Our Story

Welcome to our site! We are Joanne & Steve. After 20+ years working for a city school department and police department, we sold almost everything, bought an RV, and started living on the road with our three children. Joanne homeschools and works online.
What we have chosen is to live life as unencumbered as we possibly can and to spend time with our family, for our family, and as a family.
This website is a record of our travels. But, we also hope to educate, entertain, and inform others about RVing, roadschooling, and the great places we visit in this country.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Getting Ready to Hit the Road: Purging What You Own: Part 2

The Big Stuff

So, when do you start the purging of the big items, namely furniture?

If you start too early, and the house doesn't sell for months, or, shudder, years, you will live in an empty house, the feeling of limbo persistent.  However, if you wait too long, and your house sells quickly, even with a 2-month escrow, you are going to be hard-pressed to do it all.

Selling furniture early on, especially if your house won't sell for many months, can be tricky.  We sold our Ethan Allen king four-poster bedroom set to a couple from Binghamton, NY.  They drove the 6 hours to Rhode Island with their two kids, a trailer, and lots of clear wrap.  After that, we slept on the mattresses on the floor.  Eventually, we purchased a used full bed frame and mattresses (both new) locally on Craigslist for $100.  It was very comfortable and worked great, except it was kind of small for hub and me being used to a king-sized bed.  So, we passed that onto our oldest son (after we sold his loft bed/desk/drawer monstrosity), and bought a used king waterbed on Craigslist for $100.  When we finally moved, I sold the full bed to my aunt, and the waterbed stayed at the house bought from us for $50.  (A LOT easier than dismantling it and getting rid of it ourselves!)

{Yes, after we sold, we bought...because we needed places for our clothes and to sleep.  Who knew how long it would take for the house to sell?  Thus the conundrum.  There's always the possibility of friends with extra furniture in storage that you can borrow until you leave.}

So, start with the non-essentials, and whatever those items held, get rid of those items, or box them for storage right away if not necessary items to daily living.  This is a great time to go through all those chotskies that collect dust and filled the space of a large home.  Do you want them for when you stop traveling?  Will your kids?

Once you start getting rid of the furniture you know you won't hold onto, your house will feel a bit empty.  This is a plus.  It took so long for us to get on the road, that by the time we actually left, there was nothing in our house.  It was an empty shell.  But that made it easier to let go.

Where to sell?  Well, Craigslist of course, yard sale, consignment.  Don't try to make a fortune.  If you are getting close, price the items to sell.  If you hold out for more, you'll make far less at the end when you have no choice but to give it away.

 {If you advertise for your yard sale, here is something to think about.  I did so very early on through Craigslist with pictures of furniture and other items for sale and descriptions, but I DID NOT name my exact location.  I gave the town, or area of the state, but never the exact address or street.  All it takes is for someone to see that you are selling all this great stuff and know exactly where you live.  Keep the specifics under wraps until right before, but whet the public's appetite.  I had visitors from an hour away looking for, and buying, big items.)

  • If it is a nice time of year weather-wise, get your neighbors involved.  The more enticing the yard sale environment, the more people will show.

You've sold what you can...given away what couldn't be sold.  So, what do you with Aunt Edith's secretary and Great-granddad's hand-carved rocking chair?  

Rent a storage unit?  Things to keep in mind...what is the monthly (or 6-month or yearly) price?  Don't forget any hidden fees or taxes.   Think about climate control...dampness will destroy.  Is the business in a safe area?  Are the buildings newer and in good condition?  Before you spend what could be anywhere from $90/month to $500/month, ask yourself...Is everything in there worth the money you'll pay?  Or when you open it back up in a year or 5, will you get rid of most of it?

If you are able to store some things at various friends' and family's houses, you may be better off.

One thing we did was label all of our furniture still left after the buyers gave us their offer.  Being such a large house, and the buyers coming from a small apartment, they needed furniture.  It was appealing to them to be able to purchase some of what we had at good prices.  Some furniture may be even used as bargaining tools.

Of course, if it is the eve of the big move, and you still have a plethora of furniture left, there's always that bon fire permit and a big send off!

**When you sell items on Craigslist, sometimes, especially with furniture, you'll need the buyer to come to your house.  Never do this alone.  If possible, bring the item outside so the buyer does not need to enter your home.  Keep garage doors and other areas of the house off limits and closed off visually.  If possible, get the buyer's name, phone number, and license plate.  Record the date and time they visited.  Always be safe.

Stay tuned for Part III...What About The Memories?


  1. Great information as we are starting the first wave of selling off things. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks...by the way. Thank you for two other comments you made on two other posts that I accidentally deleted with my big fat thumb on my phone!


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