Garage Sales No More: Best Bets on Purging for Travel
It SOUNDS easy, sell, donate, toss.
For some things, purging for travel is easy. Purging unnecessary old bills, credit card statements, junk mail, notices from the kid’s school, cards, notes and other paperwork (Make sure you keep your income tax returns though! you don’t want to get in trouble with the government).
Another easy one is clothes. If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. If you hope to one day be skinny enough for something, just get rid of it and go get something that fits (I’m bad for this one)! Clothes the kids have outgrown or will not end up being seasonally appropriate, get rid of them.
But there is so much emotional attachment to STUFF. All of those people and books that say stuff doesnâ€™t mean anything, experiences and people matter are not exactly us.
We really like our stuff; we spent good money buying it. We saved and weâ€™re proud of our achievements. The thought of getting rid of everything just doesnâ€™t work for us.
But that doesnâ€™t mean we will not get rid of a lot of stuff. My personal goal was to get all of MY stuff into one trunk. That includes photographs, trinkets from my childhood and adult life, and anything else that means something to me. I have TWO bookshelves of books. I love books. But I also know, that I can buy these books again. Most of them are thrift store finds, which makes them a bit more special. Its much more rewarding walking into a thrift store and getting a great book for 50c rather than getting it from Amazon, Chapters or Costco and buying it at full price.
I recently read something about stuff, if it doesnâ€™t bring you joy, then purge it! That resonates really well with me! I am inspired every week following along World Travel Family, and how they do things “differently” than most people chasing the “American” Dream!
My husband collects autographed memorabilia. He is contstantly flipping through the books of photos he has, admiring how much the autograph has changed over the years or how he wishes he can meet that person again. These are things that should be treasured in my opinion. They have value to him; they do in fact, bring him joy. They will not be purged.
So how are we getting rid of stuff and why?
Well we need our stuff to take up less space and we need to generate money. (But I will be honest here, we are not able to save pretty much any of this money. We NEED to sell stuff just to pay the bills each month.)
I have found that Facebook â€œbiddingâ€ groups that have popped up are a great way to get rid of stuff! I got $22 for my mumâ€™s old double boiler! I was expecting a few dollars if I was lucky enough to find someone who wanted it! But I bidding war erupted between two ladies, who just couldnâ€™t let this double boiler go! Its fun to watch when two people (or more) are interested in your item! There is some kind of satisfaction in watching the price go up and up as the minutes tick down!
Besides general 24 hour bidding type groups, there are also lots of kidâ€™s stuff groups and clothing type groups. Personally, I like the auction ones best. In 24 hours your item has either sold, or it hasnâ€™t. You are then free to relist it or donate it! I usually give it two or three goes and then it goes into the donate pile!
Consignment stores are also a good way to get rid of stuff. We have some toy and clothing stores locally here that will buy your stuff for a store credit or even cash. One of them is my kidâ€™s favourite toy store, Toy Traders, who will give you trader bucks to redeem for other merchandise. This has been great as they outgrow toys, but it is also great for them to purge their large bulky toys, and invest their own trader bucks into more travel friendly items (you can read out list of great airplane toys here)
With the popularity of the bidding sites we havenâ€™t looked too much into having a physical garage sale, itâ€™s so much work to set up and then waste a whole day and then put away, the bidding sites suit me best! I can be selling stuff while Iâ€™m at work, or while Iâ€™m sleeping or even while I have the kids in the bath!
What are your best tips for purging for travel? How did you remove your emotional attachment to things? Do you agree that if it does not bring you joy, that you should purge it! Let us know in the comments
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Lindsay is the founder and editor of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She left her career in Canada to share her love of travel with her two young boys. She is passionate about sharing adventure travel activities for families and to encourage others to explore the world. She resides in the suburbs of Vancouver when not jet setting abroad.