Financial Travel Tip #29: Getting Rid of Your Crap

by Nora on May 19, 2012

Two weeks ago while discussing how to invest your travel (and other) savings, I mentioned an account where I invested the proceeds of the sale of everything I owned prior to traveling.


When I made the decision to travel full-time, I didn’t know how long it would last (or even where I’d begin). So although I didn’t want any “stuff” tying me down to a specific location, I also wanted to ensure I’d always have the ability to set up shop again wherever I chose to hang my hat.

And what better money to use for getting and furnishing a new home, than the proceeds of my old home!



So then I was off to the task of actually getting rid of all my crap.

It was a multi-pronged process that involved selling through my personal network, local online networks like Craig’s List, garage sales, and eventually donating the rest to appropriate charities.



There are many ways of sorting through and selling your stuff, and luckily, a few helping hands out there to help you through the process as well.


Here are a couple of resources you might find useful:


How to Get Rid of All Your Crap (a detailed explanation of how I did it)

How to Sell Your Crap: A Book Review and Tips (for anybody who has stuff to get rid of and wants to make a little cash while they’re at it)

11 Unusual Ways to Sell Your Stuff




{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries May 19, 2012 at 9:45 am

I sold furniture to the college kids in my town. I sold my truck to a private buyer. I sold 600 of my private collection of books on Ebay, gave 200 to the public library and saved my rares (which are still in boxes somewhere in Colorado). Sold Xbox 360 to friend, gave my entertainment system to my sister, sold the desktop computers to a business friend, and all the kitchen stuff went to my sister. Everything else was donated to Good Will on the way out of the country.

That money paid for my first year of living abroad in Bulgaria. It took me a year to get my writing career off the ground and paying enough to sustain me, and selling all of the stuff paid for the tickets to Sofia as well as living expenses for a whole year.

And I don’t miss a single item that I sold. Now it’s just me, a laptop, my 35 liter backpack and wherever I choose to make my home on my immersion/research trips.


2 Beauregs May 20, 2012 at 5:49 am

I’m in this process myself right now.

Living in an appt, I don’t have tons of furniture… but I have two large collections (stamps and music records). I’ve begun selling collection material on eBay. Got already more than I hoped for (because I greatly underestimated my inventory) and I haven’t really touched my collections core yet… I’m still in the spares. I’m doing it the very hard way, selling pieces by pieces… but that’s also the most profitable… plus it helps me knowing the buyer is another collector… not just a store who wants to make a buck out of my stuff.

I have many large prints/canevas of pictures I took all around the world. I sold many to friends already… I have a few more to go.

For non-collection stuff (like AC, bookcases, etc), I’m using Kijiji local ads.

I’m moving next month into a tiny appt, to reduce expenses and also forcing me to scale down my inventory.

I don’t have any family storage option, but I already have an agreement with a friend to store a box for a few things I will not be able/allowed to get rid of (like tax reports in the last few years, copies of my travel documents, etc. I will scan all other documents (like my diplomas, etc…) and store both on a CD in my box and online.

For the last few things I won’t be able to sell, I will drop them to a charity store nearby. But never underestimate the value of things…. especially things you could easily mail. Look on eBay first to see… and you’ll find out there are items like yours listed… so give it a shot to get a few extra bucks.

I’ll be leaving Montreal a year from now and I’ll have enough savings then to finance my first two years on the road.

Right now, I’m still in very early stages of the new life planning… I know what I want to do while travelling, I have a very good idea of my itinerary for the first years and I have an idea of what will earn me a living long term (I’m an Internet programmer). But I haven’t started to put that in details or actions yet, for two reasons. First, I know if I begin to go in too much details right now, I’ll be tempted to leave right away. Second, I want to concentrate right now on the selling part to maximize savings towards the new life.


3 Emily M. May 20, 2012 at 11:26 am

My husband and I have moved 5 times in the past 4 years, and we always go on a selling binge right before we move. It’s a double bonus because you make money selling the stuff, and you save money when you have less stuff to move (no need to hire movers or a big truck).

We use to sell old books, DVDs, and CDs, which is handy because once you list everything, you can leave it posted forever.


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