How to sell all your stuff in 13 steps

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Our humble home holds lots of crap love inside

We’re selling most of our belongings and renting out our house for this big move to Mexico and beyond. That sounds simple enough.  I imagined selling everything, donating the remainder, and walking/skipping away feeling refreshed with a load of cash in our pockets. Most of what we own doesn’t hold a lot of second hand value, though. Holiday decorations, camping gear, Barbies with their arms chewed off, approximately 17 incomplete board games, the ashes of our deceased pets, DVDs of the best 90’s comedies, every book written by Wayne Dyer, a three story rat condo (accessories included), a 20 lb bag of food-grade diatomaceous earth, a barely used glockenspiel and a 1994 Craig MacTavish jersey. You know, the usual stuff.

So this is how the selling process seems to be shaping up:

Step 1: Decide to sell everything, rent out the house, and move to Panama. Then decide instead to move to Mexico.

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Box of rocks – $5?

Step 2: Look around for things that won’t be needed in the next 8-10 weeks and pile it all in a corner in the living room to sell/donate. Two hours later discover Pickles has claimed an old backpack, the entire Outlander novel series, an old cell phone and quart sized jar of marbles and stashed them under her bed. Convince her to hand over most of the stuff but let her keep some after she tearfully bemoans how she’s always, desperately, wanted a quart sized jar of marbles.

Step 3: Ask the kids to go through their clothes and pull out all the winter stuff. After watching from a distance for over an hour as they yank every item out of their drawers and proceed to stack/throw/roll in aforementioned clothes, step in and do it myself. Sell most of it, piece by piece, on the local buy/sell/trade Facebook group for $3 a pop. Realize later that I sold my oldest son’s only pair of black pants, which he needs for the upcoming choir concert. Run to Kohl’s and buy new black pants for $25.

Step 4: Pull out photo albums and sentimental items to box up and store with family. Spend hours paging through albums intermittently crying and laughing while reminiscing about years gone by.

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Follow me on Pinterest for tips on how to attain this level of organization

Step 5: Put some dresses and purses I think my sister might like in a box and bring them to her the next time I see her. As I’m about to leave, accept a giant black trash bag full of hand-me-down little girl clothes to go through. Leave with more than I brought.

Step 6: Sell some unused coloring books for $2 a piece. Deal with no-shows on friggin’ $2 coloring books.

Step 7: Sell some camping gear and some random pieces of furniture cluttering the garage. Make $85. Feeling good!

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This woman has really nailed minimalist packing

Step 8: Sell one year old, $350 bike for $75 after the buyer tells you it’s not worth the $80 list price. Sell the four board games that actually have all their pieces for $3 each.

Step 9: Realize it’s been 7 weeks and we’ve only made $247 and the house looks like Walmart after Black Friday.

Step 10: PANIC

Step 11: Clear entire shelves and closets into black trash bags and donate to the Goodwill.

Step 12: Pile remaining household items a story high on the curb with a FREE sign.

Step 13: Breathe a sigh of relief that it’s over.

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Our backyard