Jump to content
Bigthinkers

Starting to downsize.

Recommended Posts

We've set a date (May 27, 2021) to begin our 1-2 year journey, which will give us time to transition our business to working on the road, sell our home, and purchase a smaller home. In the meantime, we're starting to clear out 20 years of accumulated goods. The prospect of getting rid of a LOT doesn't bother me (I quite like the idea, and will put proceeds towards solar, washer/dryer, etc), but I'm a bit overwhelmed thinking about all the ways to go about it. 

Our subdivision has a yearly yard sale each autumn (it's Florida; too hot in spring or summer), so we'll take advantage of that, but I'd like to get rid of as many higher-quality items as possible before we do a yard sale. There are limited consignment shop options near me, though there are some, and we'll look at doing that. I'm also thinking about Ebay or similar, but it's been years since I've sold anything on Ebay so I'm not certain about the best way to do so, especially when it comes to big items. We also have a lot of valuable collectibles we're ready to let go of.

How did you deal with your initial downsizing of goods? Were some options more successful than others? I could sure use some insight!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer Craigslist to eBay because it is location specific so people come pick up the items you sell. Not as many shoppers but not as much hassle.

Linda Sand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does your area use NextDoor.com?  It's a neighborhood area site for happenings, alerts and selling things.  It could be very helpful for you.

I'd use a local newspaper or small community one before Craigs List (which can bring in a lot of wierdos).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using Minneapolis' Craigslist for a year but have had no weirdos respond. Maybe it depends on your location and/or type of listings. I've only been selling hobby items for $300 or less..

Linda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We got rid of all of our bulky, big ticket items through Craigslist. I will agree that car sales tend to bring a lot of nonsense responses, but "regular" items seem to be more straightforward. Since Craigslist is local we generally went from first contact to item sold in just an hour or two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We went through this 3 years ago. You are doing good by starting early. We used word of mouth, our neighborhood newspaper, Craigslist and we had 2 consignment shops handle some of it in the end. I was not bashful asking everyone I met if they wanted something. We still put into storage too much because we have now changed our plans as to what we are going to do in the future.

I would recommend not buying a smaller house You may find someplace else you like better or change your lifestyle completely(we did). Not having a house, the costs and the worry(even if it is rented) is very calming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have antique or vintage furniture, you may end up giving it away.  Styles and preferences change.  I had a VERY nice vintage dining room set.  Duncan Phyfe quality.  Even consignment shops didn't want it.  Ended up donating it to Goodwill.  

Be prepared to sell things for pennies on the dollar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- What's the reasoning of buying another house before taking off?  Are you going to rent it out?  You may find a completely different area to settle down after seeing various places.

- Wondering why you're putting a 1-2 year timeframe on full-timing.  If it's to test if you'll like it or not, the first year is a learning process and you're sure to have various issues until things go smoothly.  Also, years 1 & 2 tend to be 'rushed' years because folks tend to go too fast trying to see a lot.

Just something to think about...…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For everything you are selling just keep thinking "it doesn't owe me anything". In our case, much was 20 years old some 40+ and some 10. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have went through this twice in the past 8 years, sold home and just about everything, went full time, found a home in Florida we wanted, missed the road and sold the Florida home, sold it and just about everything again, and are back on the road again.

We had very good luck using Craigs List in SW Florida.  I think it depends on what you are selling and how aggressive and smart you are about the pricing.  There were many items I would meet the buyer at a Publix close to our sticknbrick instead of having them come to the house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, FL-JOE said:

There were many items I would meet the buyer at a Publix close to our sticknbrick instead of having them come to the house.

We had a seller ask to meet us in a church parking lot. I watched a seller meet several people about 1/2 hour apart in a Walmart parking lot. We are comfortable having people come here because we live in a secure building where Dave meets them out front. But, the hobby things we are selling are small. Furniture would be a different story.

Linda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nextdoor neighbors is another good resource.

The rule of thumb is to not have people come to your house if at all possible. Meet in a parking lot, police hq, a public place.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check at your local Police station.  Many, including ours set aside an area for people to meet when selling items through the paper or craig's list.  That way no one comes to your home or knows where you live and you have lots of security at one yell/scream.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many problems with having people come to your home to purchase items.  The most obvious negative in doing this is of course the safety issue involved.  In Florida recently there was a teenager who was selling some DVD's or something like that and when a couple other teens came to his house they robbed him instead of purchasing the items.

It is understood when you purchase things on Craig's list that it is a cash transaction and the items are not usually warrantied.  You certainly don't want someone trying to return an item they ended up being unhappy with on a Saturday night after they have been drinking all day. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We lived in a small town so there really wasn’t a local Craigslist for us and I’d never had much luck listing things in the one for the larger city near us. Our community did have a buy and sell Facebook page that we had good results with for large items like furniture and appliances. Even just posting them on my own FB page seemed to get pretty good results but again that could be attributed to it being a small community.

Vicki

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does nobody sell things by a garage/yard sale nowadays? Checking the Tyler newspaper I find a lot of them advertised and we see them as we pass through different neighborhoods. Are we afraid to hold them today?

Edited by Kirk W

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We held 2 garage sales but did better with the larger items by listing them separately. People wanted us to give them away at the garage sales. We did sell a lot of things but were practically giving things away by the second sale.

Vicki

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

Does nobody sell things by a garage/yard sale nowadays? Checking the Tyler newspaper I find a lot of them advertised and we see them as we pass through different neighborhoods. Are we afraid to hold them today?

The OP said they have a yearly garage sale in their neighborhood but like Rover said something are better sold individually.

We had an estate sale when we went fulltime. Not a problem having people to the house because an estate sale says these people are not going to live here anymore. We would have made more money if we sold some of the larger items first but it was nice to not have any of the hassle. The salespeople came in and priced everything, held the sale including having helpers move the large things, and cleaned the house before they left. But they priced things low then took 30% of the proceeds so, like I said, you don't make as much money going that route.

Linda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for all the replies! They're incredibly useful, and definitely give me something to think about, and a direction to take. 

I do have antiques, but expect to keep them as they've been in the family for generations and I quite like them. But we have a 5 bedroom home right now, and will downsize to 3 bedrooms, so a lot of our modern furniture has to go.

We live in a gated community and the gates will only be open all day on our neighborhood garage sale days, so it's just a two-day chance to get rid of a lot of stuff. Having done garage sales for decades, I know we'll have a lot left at the end of the second day, so I'd rather sell the "good stuff" first, and have garage sale stuff I don't mind donating if it comes to that.

The reason we're buying a smaller home is, it will remain a base in Florida for our work, allow us more freedom for tax purposes due to 100% of our travel being work-related, and one of our sons will live in it while he finishes at university and gets himself set up to get his own place. Because the 1-2 years will all be work-related, we do want a base to return to when we're done. If we decide to keep going, we'll just keep going. If not, we'll return to Florida and either pick up there, or sell the house and move elsewhere. We love living in Florida, so it's likely we'd stay, but again, we're open to whatever the future brings in terms of a home.

It's all still in the planning stages, though somewhat advanced planning stages, and your replies have helped a lot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a good plan to me. It's not like Florida property will decrease in value, the land in SW Florida that was underwater a year ago are more valuable today than pre-hurricane.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're in Orlando, and from the way things are going we might have oceanfront property in another 10 years. I do think we will have bugged out before then. Summers are brutal, and this spring has been a catastrophe for my sinuses. But we love it, and will probably live here for at least a few years once we're done traveling. IF we're done traveling...!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Bigthinkers said:

IF we're done traveling...!

Age & infirmity caught Pam and since she is half of the team it cause us both to move back to part-time after almost 12 years. I still miss it after 8 years and sometimes Pam does also. For those who fit the lifestyle, it can be addictive. We manage to spend several months on the road most years now but the doctors seem to get into our plans far too much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're 56 and 59, so we do pay attention to our health in ways we didn't when we were younger, but we wonder if the lifestyle will actually improve our health (not that either of us are in terrible shape). As it is right now, we spend 12 hours a day at our computers. sometimes more, 7 days a week. This lifestyle change would mean being up and out a lot more than we are right now, and we think that's probably a good thing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Bigthinkers said:

We're 56 and 59, so we do pay attention to our health in ways we didn't when we were younger, but we wonder if the lifestyle will actually improve our health

An active lifestyle does tend to do that. We live in an RV community and most everyone seems to live well past the average life expectancy. We are nearly 20 years your seniors but retired about the same ages (57 & 58).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

Escapees Hangouts

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

Shade My RV



×
×
  • Create New...