So as the title suggests, this is the first video I've ever shot, recorded, edited, and finished! This is a compilation of my friends in Atlanta. Give it a look and let me know what you think!!
So I sold everything I owned to adopt a nomadic lifestyle of travel. It wasn’t easy, by any means. I actually had to sell a lot of stuff three or four separate times while moving from Columbus Ohio to Atlanta Georgia, then moving around Atlanta in different living situations! At one point, I owned enough stuff to fill a 1,200 square foot apartment. And before that, an entire three bedroom, two bath house… So here are some tips and pointers I’ve learned along the way.
Make Lists of What You Actually NEED!
This part is pretty easy! Consider how you plan to travel. For me it was backpacking and road tripping. I really only needed a handful of bathroom supplies, a handful of clothes, some bags, luggage, and some camping gear. Beyond that, everything I owned I decided I could sell. Including extra TV’s, dressers, book shelves, bed, clothes, camping supplies that were too bulky, instruments and audio gear, and so much more!
For me, traveling is minimalistic, but that’s not true for everyone and their goals. As an example, if you only plan to travel for a few months then return to your daily life, it would be best to just put your things in storage such as your bed and other furniture. However, getting rid of things you’re not using would be a good idea!
But What About the Things Too Sentimental to Part With?
A lot of my things that I collected over the years are very sentimental to me. Thus, instead of selling them, I put them all into a large box which I stored at my parents house. It really wasn’t easy picking and choosing what I should keep and why. But one thing really helped me. After I would make a pile of what I wanted to keep, I would go through it again. Then again. Then again. A lot of things I actually decided to take pictures of, so that I still had the memory accessible (or something I may stumble across later) but the physical thing I didn’t have. Eventually, I got down to one large box and decided that was good enough for me!
Take Pictures and Know Your Worth!
This part is pretty important. When you try to sell everything you own, sell the big ticket items first. For me, this was mostly recording gear, instruments, and other pro audio gear. These sell by themselves quite often and have some really good going prices. After doing a little bit of research, I found some were worth more, others were worth less! While you may have a price in mind, the market may not agree with that price. And your goal is to sell everything you own, so you must (unfortunately) bow to the basic economics of supply and demand.
Once you’ve sold your big ticket items and individual things, you can take pictures of the smaller things, all together. I grouped mine mostly by what room they were in or what use. As an example, my shower head, over the toilet shelves, humidifier, hair clippers, and a bunch of other things I keep in my bathroom, I took a picture of all together. I also did this with all the things in my living room which didn’t sell immediately. My side table, coffee table, Roku Box, etc. Which brings me to my next point…
Use Social Media!
Sell to your friends and social networks first. If you’re sociable, your friends have probably seen the things you have, maybe they have even used them as you’ve spent time together. They know the quality of your items and if they’re good friends, they’ll want to help you. After posting most of my stuff on Facebook, many of my friends even shared my posts and helped me to sell my things. It went pretty quickly! After I sold all my major stuff, I was left with a handful of major things and mostly smaller ticket items. I was able to group the smaller items together and move to the next steps! Some of the posts I made had images such as the one below...
Use Sites Designed for Selling & Buying!
There are so many apps and websites now to help you sell the things you own. LetGo, eBay, Craigslist, even Facebook Groups and Yahoo Group pages! Selling through these means took a lot more work. A lot of picture taking from every angle, negotiating, scheduling times for pickups or drop offs, emailing back and forth, answer phone calls, and more. But the good thing about it is that that it really helped to get rid of the majority of my medium ticket items. Though the downside is that to get rid of it quickly, I had to offer slightly below market price. People on these sites scourer the posts for deals. Often times for days or weeks on end. And it’s not all that uncommon that people make a living buying good deals, then flip them! Sometimes even refurbishing or simply just cleaning the items really well to sell at a slightly higher price. While these sites can take a lot of work, they will help you get things sold at reasonable prices. Which again, brings me to my next point!
Use Garage Sales & Yard Sales!
What About The Things That Don't Sell?
It’s no secret that some things just don’t sell very well. These things are often small ticket items, clothes, shoes, things that cater to unique tastes, silverware, dishes, and more. Well, there’s all kinds of ways to get rid of them. Your clothes, take places like Rags-O-Rama or Plato’s Closet, they buy gently used clothes that are in fashion. Look up some other local businesses as well that buy used clothes. I sold some clothes to a company I had never heard of simply by asking where I might be able to sell some of the clothes that didn’t sell at Plato’s Closet or Rags-O-Rama simply because they were out of season. Check with your local thrift shops, I had a few buy some electronic cables and coffee mugs, plates, and glass cups that didn’t sell. And finally, check for your local charities, recycling centers, and more. I found a local charity that took all of my clothes that didn’t sell and that sends them to those in need. I also found a local recycling center that took literally the rest of it and sends nice things to charities they partner with. After that, I literally had one carload of stuff my parents agreed to keep safe for me while I traveled… oh, and a motorcycle and car. And yes I had two motorcycles to start with, one for adventuring (a Kawaskai 650 KLR) and a luxury ride (Honda 750 Shadow). Just for fun, I'll include a picture of the KLR below!
Planning is Key!
So like anything else in the world, you want to have a plan of action if you’d like to be successful. That being said, you need to consider when you’re leaving to travel, move, or whatever other reason you’re looking to sell your things. It took me roughly four weeks to sell literally everything I owned to be able to get to a point where my parents said they would store things for me. That was it! But it took some planning…
You need to plan for what you’ll need and at what speed things you’re getting rid of will likely sell. Smaller ticket items might take a long time to sell. Bigger ticket items, they vary depending on the item. Electronics like TV’s sell quick. Furniture can take a long time. That being said, I didn’t try to sell my shower stuff until about a week or so before I moved. And even some things, such as my bed set (including bed, frame, headboard, pillows, and sheets all in a package deal) I found a buyer but scheduled and took a down payment so that they would pick it up the weekend I left. Without thinking things through, you may sell your bed, then sleep on the floor or air mattress for a few weeks while trying to sell everything else. Imagine selling your dresser but still needing one for a month. The point here is, work it out so that you can transition as comfortable as you’re okay with.
Brush Up On Your Skills!
This is important as you can get rid of a lot of stuff quickly but offering a slight discount. The discount comes in that your time, stress, and overall peace of mind can be translated to a dollar amount. People also often like buying things in packages that include everything they need. As an example, I sold my entire bed set as a single package. I also sold all of my furniture as a single package. I also sold some guitars, amps, stands, straps, cables, and a “Beginners guide to playing guitar” in a single package. Had I tried to sell each of those things individually, I’d literally have to try to make 30-50 transactions. Instead, I was able to make three. It saved me a lot of time, hard work, and saved me a lot of peace of mind. Below is a few shots of things I bundled including an entire kitchen camping set, amps, and even a surround sound system with a bass amp!
Whatever Works, Works!
While I listed a lot of ideas that come directly from my experience, I’m sure I’m missing out on a lot of points, things I’ve done, and even things that work well. So research! Educate yourself! Get creative! I didn’t come up with the idea of taking pictures of the things that I wanted to keep but were too bulky or took up too much space. My friend Kat Moenk did. In fact, she’s super creative, check out her project Pocket Universes. Whatever works for you, works for you. These are just some stories, pointers, and suggestions from my experiences. If you think having an eye catching sign with lots of art on it will work better for you, go for it! If you want to try taking out a radio ad, sure, why not! Maybe a flea market space might work better for you? The point here is that, don’t think for one minute that there’s only one way to do something. Worst case, you try, it fails, and you learned something new. Isn’t that what this is all about?
Just your average, not so average, guy! Here you can follow my travels, learn to travel yourself, check out some cool photography, and otherwise follow along as I explore my interests from performance arts to traveling to philosophy and more!
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