Friday, April 29, 2016

Selling Off Crap

I read a lot of online articles about decluttering and making space in your house.  Want to sell your house?  Go through and sell off things in your house.  You'll make money right upfront, and make your house more sellable.

Please.  I feel as though online articles are so far removed from the truth.  It's hard work to sell your crap.  You don't just walk through your closets, picking out the stuff you don't want or use any more, and set it out on your lawn and have people swarm over.  We worked on our sales for weeks.  We posted online, we advertised within and without our neighborhood, we gathered a LOT of stuff.  And then we sold SOME of our stuff.  A lot is going to donation.  We put cash in our pocket, but a lot less cash than it would take to replace that stuff.  Some of the stuff we no longer use, some we would like updated, some we just can't see the value in storing for a year.

I'm not saying that yard sales don't help, but you certainly need a plan for what to do with the rest of the stuff.  And if it's stuff you really want/like, and all you're trying to do is clear out space in the house so it looks and feels more spacious to a potential buyer, pack it up for the next house.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Reduce Redux

Second moving sale down.  Yeah!!!!!  We've managed to get rid of tons of stuff, thanks to the two moving sales, and advertising on our neighborhood site and Craigslist.  Whew!  We've got a ways left to go, so we'll continue to use Craigslist, and then we'll donate or keep (or toss) the rest.

This has been an amazing journey that has challenged me in so many ways.  Just to lay hands on EVERY last thing in our possession.  And then to make decisions about all of it.  Things that I've had since college, or earlier.  Do I keep the silver duckie that my godfather gave me for baptism?  Turns out yes, yes I do.  How about the armoire I got for my room senior year in college?  Nope, that one's out (buyer dependent).  It really brought up important ideas that I haven't really worked on in such a long time.  How much do I really need?  How do I keep things neat and tidy and controlled?  Do I really need very much?  And if I don't need very much, what do I need?  Such a great exercise, but I don't think I want to do this too very often.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tedious Business

Daydreaming about the trip.  That's fun.  Researching places to go, I love it.  Talking about the beautiful sites we'll see.  All over it.  Weighing and recording every last little thing we're going to take with us so we're not overweight.  Blech.  I think I'd rather do almost anything else.  Especially since it's literally been weeks I've been doing this.  Not all day every day, but enough of my time and energy that it's really gotten old.  I've set everything up in a spreadsheet, I've got every item attached to a person or function (I don't want all the homeschooling materials coming out of my personal allowance!), and I'm weighing things on my bathroom scale or the kitchen food scale.  I hope those are accurate enough!

In addition to weighing every.single.thing, we're having a second go at the moving sale this weekend.  Taking pictures, assessing value, posting pictures online, figuring out where (other than Craigslist) to advertise a moving sale.  I am slower than a tortoise trudging through molasses in January.  I went to a local high school event with a friend last night, and an older lady and I were talking.  I said I was tired (it was, in all honesty, my normal bedtime--of 8pm).  She went on a little rant about how I had no business being tired, she's 70, she has every right to be tired, but why in the world was I?  Even having 5 kids wasn't swaying her.  So I'm slow, I'm tired, and I'm quite pathetic.  What a week I'm having.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Petroglyph and Tent Rocks

 We did some poking around before heading out to NM for the Sprinter to figure out what we wanted to do with our time.  I had found Petroglyph National Monument.  TONS of petroglyphs.  Really cool to see.  The hike was a sandy one, which is definitely NOT something we do a lot of in Colorado!  We enjoyed our morning there, and then headed out for a hike recommended to us by several people.


Tent Rocks!

What a cool hike!  Definitely spend time asking people from the area what there is to do.  I didn't find this one online, and it was decidedly awesome.  The hike isn't very far, about a mile and a half, but the elevation rise is all in the last little bit.  Oh, but what a view you get.

We all brought back a bunch of sand on our clothes, our shoes, in our hair, and possibly in our socks.  But we had a great time hiking in New Mexico!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Going Big AND Going Home...

We bought our minivan right before our 2nd son was born.  That's coming up on 12 years ago now.  Our oldest just turned 13, and he no longer fits comfortably inside our beloved Odyssey.  He fits, just not comfortably.  And when I say not comfortably, I'm referring mainly to OUR comfort.  So tired of the touching and the yelling and the discomfort that such close quarters bring.

That's a pretty packed car.  The quest for a new car began about two and a half years ago, but was put on hold when my husband began his new company.  His company is actually the reason behind the whole big journey.  Success has not come quickly, and so we needed to change things up a bit.  Downsize.  Prioritize.  Live our lives on our terms.  Challenge our notions of what is possible.  But I digress...

We looked for a couple of months at Sprinters (which is what we had been looking at so long ago), but really kicked up the search a week or two ago.  We knew we would want to be towing a trailer for our year or so of travel, but we needed to make sure we could get one that would fit all seven of us and still have a dry weight right around 3000 lbs.  Once we found that (it's custom, so we don't have it yet), it was time to get the Sprinter.

Used Sprinters are still EXPENSIVE!!!!  We looked and looked and looked, but the deal we liked best was a brand new Sprinter in Albuquerque.  We hit the road at 5am Tuesday, and picked the van up around 1pm that day.  By 6pm the Odyssey was sold to Carmax.

We put all our stuff in there, and still had enough space for my own yoga/stretching area in the back.

We'll pack that baby with so much more for the big trip, but this is what it looks like with seven people's things for a couple days out of town.  Complete with luggage, daypacks, coolers, and snacks.

Now we're back home.  The stress of getting everything ready to sell and store and move is weighing heavily upon me, but the excitement of a new vehicle and a new adventure is amazing.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Reduce, Reduce, Reduce

You know that guy from The Lorax?  The one who figgers on biggerin' and biggerin' and biggerin'?  Yeah, I think that was us for a while.  We held our first moving sale to try and reduce.  Our goal is to not need a storage unit.  We're very fortunate that our parents will let us store some of our stuff at their houses while we're making our way around the country, but we don't want to impose too much.  So we're looking hard at all our stuff and trying to figure out what's really important.  As time goes on, fewer things are really important!

That's a lot of stuff.  And we had a bunch of other stuff that didn't fit into this room that I just forgot to photograph.  I had a friend over a couple days before the sale to go through stuff since she's going back to a classroom and got rid of all her stuff when she left the classroom years back.  Blessedly, she could use a lot of what I had.  That rescued a lot of things from either the trash bin or the recycle bin.  Thanks Lisa!!!  We also posted a bunch of things online that garnered some attention, so the table saw was sold before the official sale as well.  And then we spent 5 hours on a very sunny, beautifully sweet spring day, and sold a lot of things.  While we still have a lot to get rid of, I'm pleased with how much we've done.

Now to figure out where to store all this until our neighborhood sale in another month or so.  This house needs to hit the market, preferably without all the clutter!