Moving To South America: Getting Rid Of Stuff Four Months Before

Tressa Sanders @ Travel Star Magazine

I'm outta here! The first week in April I'm heading to South America to start my "real" life. So what's next? Sell and purge it all! ... well not really. Many people do sell and purge it all but I don't feel I need to get rid of everything

I just need to sell or donate items I don't really use. You know, all the stuff that I've owned for over 2 years that I haven't laid hands on in ages. You'd be surprised at how much useful stuff that is. But that's the hard part about getting rid of stuff isn't it? Chances are a lot of things you need to get rid of are very useful but those things will be better off going to someone else if they rarely see the light of day if at all.

To get things started I've gathered much of what I own in one location (my living room) so I can sift through it all. I have a pile to donate, a pile to sell, a pile to take with me and a pile to keep in storage. I don't have much to purge because this is actually my second purge within the past 2 years; the first of which is a rather humorous story involving the need to liquidate all manner of goods I had no business owning during my short-lived weekend habit of buying just about anything, including a sonogram machine, at public auctions. 

I've built quite a collection of vintage goods this way so my first line of attack is to place any and all unwanted vintage items on Etsy. Some people don't have much luck on Etsy but I've had decent success there. I even sold a Tuba on Etsy once... you know .. the tuba I accepted as a trade while selling some guy a rack server cage with several servers and accessories that I'd gotten from those public auctions I mentioned... The same rack server cage I had to slide off the back of a pickup truck by myself in my garage where it slid straight into the wall and left a giant gaping hole there... Yeah... 

So whatever I can't sell on Etsy I have to list on Craigslist and I have to admit I'm not looking forward to it. Having lived in several different states, It appears the quality of one's experience using the site really does depend on the location. Where I currently live, I find using it to be somewhat of a nightmare but it's the only option I have for selling my used, unwanted items (I don't use eBay). I'll roll with it.

I also have a tendency of giving things away instead of bothering with a sale. It drives my best friend crazy when she's trying to help me with a yard sale. I set a price but will usually accept whatever someone offers or just give it away for free. I think it all just depends on the financial need at the time. Since I've already reached the goal for my moving budget (and then some), I'm more inclined to give things away. I have already been gathering up items and hauling them to the thrift store. We have one here called Community Thrift and I prefer to take it there because the prices are low so people can afford the items unlike some of the larger, more common thrift stores one might be used to.

So far getting rid of things has not been very difficult from a mental perspective. I plan to be finished by the end of January with the bed and car being the last items to get rid of. I'm still up in the air about getting rid of the car. I keep thinking that it will be good to have it if I get where I'm going and decide I don't like it and have to come back home. It's easy to rent a place if you sell your home and then come back but not so easy financially to get a new car (more of an upfront payout) and I don't currently live in a place with good public transportation.

My options are to sell the car or put it in storage. It's a risky decision. I already have a storage unit because I am keeping some of my stuff in storage because often you can't bring all of your goods over until you establish residency. Keeping the car in storage would be an additional expense, I'm not sure I'd like to have. I'll have to marinate on it a little more. 

So what am I keeping in storage? Well... as a part of this huge life change, I'm committed to spending more time doing slow crafts like film photography, filmmaking (with motion picture film), painting and music. Having lived the cubicle life for almost 20 years, I have not been able to engage in the things that make me happy as much as I would like. Now that I'm freeing myself, I can. So I have all of my film gear (most of it vintage and not easily replaced) for filmmaking, art equipment and instruments in storage. I can't bring all of the gear over at this stage of relocating to South America. I also have one plastic container of paperwork and mementos I want to keep and that's about all I have in the smallest storage unit available. 


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