We don't plan to get rid of everything - just the stuff that we can't justify storing for a whole year. My parents have kindly offered some space in their house to keep the things we want to retain for the year, the rest needs to go. We're keeping our beds, our sofas, some wooden units some friends gave us which we love, some of our electrical stuff like TV, DVD player etc, a reduced amount of books (we have many, many books), *some* of A and my clothes (whatever we don't take with us for the children won't fit them by the time we get back) and kitchen stuff. It is our intention to live in a house again so we will need all of this stuff when we do.
Everything else must go! In the style of a sofa retailer having a closing down sale, prices are low, bargains are to be had, buy now and pay, erm now.
We're dubbing this Operation Crap Clear and it has Phases. Alongside clearing the house we are also obviously trying tor raise money for the Campervan Fund (more on that later). So Operation Crap Clear Phase one is clearing a room / cupboard / loft void and seperating it into piles:
- Keep, stuff we want, either to take with us or to store. Stuff that makes it into this pile has to be very justifable of it's place.
- Bin - stuff that simply isn't worth giving away or selling. This pile isn't too big and thankfully most of it seems to be paper or card or otherwise recyclable materials.
- Sell - by far the biggest pile. Which then gets split into sub-sections of where we think we can sell it.
Phase two is ebay! Time consuming, pretty boring and with the added hassle of queuing in the post office a week later with a load of parcels, then hoping Royal Mail do their bit and it actually arrives where it's supposed to. Ebay can be fab, I've sold many things over the years for loads more than I was expecting and it's nice to think stuff we don't want any more will be used or played with by someone else.
Phase three is Car Boot Sale. We've not sold at a car boot sale before but have frequented them many a Sunday morning. A and I had a jolly time in a field trying to sell our crap back in the very same location some of it intially came to us from :). We cleared about a third of the HUGE carfull we took, another third went straight to my Mum who runs a charity shop (again returning our crap to a place it had once come to us from) and the remainder returned home with us as I suspect it is worth touting it in a field for a second time or possible sticking it on ebay too.
Operation Crap Clear began in our playroom and cupboard under the stairs and has moved to the loft space in D's room. We're clearing one area at a time, using the playroom as the holding bay for stuff for sale and then moving to clearing the next area as soon as we sell stuff from the holding bay. We have already tackled the most clogged up areas but are conscious of time not being on our side with car boot sale season coming to a close in the next few weeks.
Alongside Operation Crap Clear is running Operation Book Cull and Operation Clothes & Shoes Reduction and Operation DVD/ video & CD removal are still to come. Operation Book Cull is happening on ebay and Amazon marketplace as car boot sale proved not to be the right platform for that particular phase :), I am still pondering the best place to unload clothing and dvds etc. I am thinking job lots of ebay for collection only might well be the way forward when I clear a large enough floor space to spread them out for photos.
I am finding this a very liberating and theraputic exercise but I like a good declutter anyway. The others are finding this slightly more challenging and it is bringing home to all of us what a Big Thing we are doing. Realising just how little stuff we will have around us for our year in a van, how we'll be starting again when we come home and really making us question what our material possessions mean to us and how much we need them.