When we decided to become location independent and travel full-time we had decisions to make about what to do with our two-bedroom house worth of stuff.

Nothing we owned was particularly fancy or special to us except a few sentimental pieces so we decided to sell the lot. A not-so-insignificant task when you’ve accumulated stuff over multiple years so we made a list that included the major items (fridge, beds etc.) and assigned a value and ‘go-date’ for them to keep us on track.

We had a few months before we were actually going to hit the road and needed the fridge to keep the beer cold before we left but we had wardrobes and draws bursting at the seams so we started there – clearing out and listing items that were in good condition for sale on Facebook Marketplace, TradeMe etc.

Listing items for sale can be time-consuming so don’t waste your time with anything that isn’t worth the trade-off. Make four piles to keep things simple with clothing:

  1. Keep – things that you’ll need until you leave i.e. workwear and or things that you want to take with you
  2. Donate – anything that is in condition but isn’t worth your time listing for sale (we either listed on neighborhood pages or placed these in charity clothing bins)
  3. Sell – anything that is in good condition and can make you some $$
  4. Throw – things that have seen better days, are stained, ripped etc.

As the wardrobe started to empty I have to admit I did start to feel a little bit of dread as I let go of things, some that I’d had for years but we hade to keep going!

We moved onto some of the larger non-essential items like coffee tables, stools, and heaters. We didn’t make huge $ from selling anything but $50 here and $20 there all adds up and as I watched the house empty it felt like we were a tiny bit closer to living the dream the dread started to drop away.

We still had a tonne of stuff left to empty out of cupboards i.e. plates, serve glassware, this was all stuff I put in the ‘donate’ pile and listed on our neighborhood marketplace for others to make better use of – we were overrun with a response and had people coming and going for days collecting bits and pieces and thank us as if we’d done them a favor when really they were doing one for us.

With only the big items left to go, we listed them for sale and held our breath hoping they’d shift quickly and add to the bank balance and just like that with nothing left but our laptops and our 7kg carry-on bag to take with us into our new life. We felt none of the initial horror of leaving everything behind and now I wonder why we needed so much – none of it was important, it was literally just stuff and the prospect of making memories unencumbered was worth far more.

Author

Zahn is a travel junkie born and raised on the North Shore of Auckland, New Zealand. Zahn spent two years in South Korea where she met Addison in 2018. She has visited 17 countries and is on a mission to literally work her way around the rest.

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