Many of us dream of escaping the cubicle and traveling the world. But very few people actually have the means to take the plunge and make it happen. One of the most common reasons for staying put is not having enough money to satisfy that wanderlust. However, most of us have a ready-made travel fund at our disposal in the numerous possessions that we own.
One of the quickest and easiest methods of committing to a life of travel and being able to afford it without years of saving is to sell everything you own. Here’s how to do it. (See also: Make Money and Declutter by Selling These 5 Unlikely Treasures)
Get in the right frame of mind
Selling everything you own might feel nothing short of terrifying, never mind the fact that you’ll be setting off on a journey into the unknown immediately after. For most people, the thought of getting rid of things that they’ve had for years and formed emotional attachments to can cause serious distress.
However, if you’re ready to embark on this adventure, you’ll need to get into the mindset of valuing experiences over physical possessions. A great method for doing this is to find a way to remind yourself of exactly why you’re doing this and the amazing memories it’s going to pay for. Selling that beloved car that you’d dreamed about owning for years? That’s potentially six months’ worth of accommodation costs paid for. Getting rid of a childhood toy that was a birthday gift from your parents and has now become a collectors’ item? That could pay for a delicious meal out.
You can find a million reasons to set aside stuff that you don’t want to sell, but once you start down that path, it’s difficult to stop. Mentally detaching yourself from your possessions can be gut-wrenching, but once it’s done, you’ll feel free of all that material baggage and ready for a new chapter. (See also: 4 Reasons You Should Splurge on Experiences, Not Things)
By focusing on the positives that come from selling your belongings, you’ll be able to start reframing the experience in your mind to one that’s enjoyable. Go through your digital and hard-copy photos from previous trips, or read an inspirational travel blog every day. Whatever it is, find a way to maintain that sightseeing excitement when you start feeling blue. (See also: 8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor)
Sort through all the stuff you’re going to sell, and categorize it into separate piles. Make an inventory list for everything you have, either in a notepad, or in a spreadsheet so it’s easy to search and edit. This will also come in handy for tracking what’s sold and for how much.
Once everything is on the inventory list, price each item by checking eBay and Craigslist to see how much similar items are going for. This will take some time, but will be worth it to ensure you’re getting market value and not letting things go too cheaply or expecting way too much.
Set a date
Once your items are priced and ready to go, it’s important to quit procrastinating and just start selling. The best way to jolt yourself into action is to set a date when you’re going to have everything sold by. The longer you wait to start, the easier it is to talk yourself out of selling certain items, and the harder it will be to actually let everything go.
Be realistic when you’re setting the date and take into account how long it’s going to take to put your possessions up for sale, plus the amount of time it may take before they’re actually sold. Not everything will be snapped up right away, and even some extremely valuable items may take a long time to get rid of. Allow yourself at least a few weeks, but ideally, a number of months to get everything sold.
You can also set a target for how much you want to make from selling everything and break it down into a weekly target. This way you can work toward it in increments and maintain your focus by just doing a little bit each day.
Use the right platforms
To maximize the amount of money you’re recouping for each item, it’s important to choose the right platform to sell it on. Though it may take more time to do it this way, it will ensure you receive the best value for your belongings.
This site is great for collectibles or other small items that have a decent value. For these items, it’s best to use the auction function in the hope that you spark a bidding war between interested parties, driving the price up.
Don’t be tempted to just throw a bad picture up there and a two-word description of the item. The more effort you put in, the more attractive you can make things look. Put a bit of time into writing brand names, captions, and taking photos that show items in their best light. (See also: How I Make $800 on Month on eBay Selling Used Clothes)
Things that are going to warrant huge postal fees are more suitable for local pickup. That’s why Craigslist is a great option for these item. Think furniture and bulky items like TVs.
Pro tip: When buyers come to collect, take the opportunity to show them your other stuff and ask if they’re on the lookout for anything else. You may be surprised at how many extra sales you make this way.
Remember, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. Because of this, even the odd bits and pieces that you may not think would sell might earn you a few dollars or more in the right setting. Yard and garage sales are great for these kinds of items, because in my experience, they’re often attended by people looking for unusual objects. (See also: 12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes)
At a sale I held, a woman was looking for absolutely anything miniature. She made doll houses, and was interested in objects that would be suitable to furnish them, and was willing to pay for items that probably wouldn’t have sold elsewhere.
Facebook Marketplace can be a great tool for selling specialist items, and items to people who live nearby. You have to have a Facebook account in order to use this part of the platform, and you can include photos, the price you’re offering the item for, and any additional details. Interested buyers can contact you via direct message to inquire if the item is still available, or ask questions. You don’t need to be Facebook friends in order to connect with potential buyers.