How To Sell All Of Your Stuff – Part 1

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We all have stuff we don’t need.

When we decided to travel again, we knew that this time we wouldn’t return to the UK. After our last round the world trip we returned home appalled at the amount of stuff we owned. Not only that, but we hadn’t missed any of it.

Smart enough not to make the same mistake twice, it was obvious that this time it would all have to go. Turns out that this is a mammoth task. It’s a mammoth task with tusks – a woolly mammoth task, if you will. That guy in the picture? Nothing on us.

We’d accumulated so much junk over our twentymumble years that it was a time consuming and often emotionally difficult task to get rid of it all. But it has also been liberating and financially rewarding. We feel a lot freer – we haven’t missed anything (*cough*espresso machine*cough*) – and we earned a surprising amount of money towards our travel fund.

So, whether you are heading off to travel or just want to reduce your clutter, here are our top tips for offloading your junk.


1) Start early – We started selling six months before we were due to leave and are glad we did. You own a lot more than you think you do, and it takes a lot longer to get rid of it than you think it will. Leaving it until the last few months is a bad idea because you’ll be busy with travel plans, so start as early as possible.

2) Take an inventory – The first step is to go around each room of your house and write down all of the items you could sell.  Don’t forget to look inside your drawers and cupboards for things that you never use. You may want to create two lists – Sell Now for items you rarely use (if you haven’t used it in a year it should definitely go), and Sell Later for things you use on a regular basis. Once you’ve sold everything on your first list, go around again and add more items – you can always find more to sell.

3) Try selling everything – You never know what will have value to others so don’t discount anything- it’s surprising what can be sold. Electronics are always valuable, even when they’re broken as people buy them for parts or to repair. Anything limited edition (check your CDs) or signed sells well, but even low value items are worth selling as it all adds up.

4) Don’t get attached – It is emotionally difficult to sell all of your possessions, but try not to dwell on it, and remember why you are doing this. As time passes it gets easier to sell things that you didn’t think you could part with, and watching your savings account grow is a great encouragement. You have to accept that things will probably sell for much less than you think they are worth. It doesn’t matter – the important thing is getting rid of it all.

5) Research – Once you have your list of things to sell, do some research online on the best ways of selling that particular item and see how much you are likely to get. In Part 2 of this series we’ll share our favourite selling methods.

6) Set targets – Set yourself a weekly target (say 10 items) of things to sell to help keep you focused. Increase the target as you get nearer to your leaving date and when you get quicker at listing items. Caleb at 100 Days of Less set himself the target of getting rid of all his stuff in 100 days and documenting it on his website.

7) Give to charity – Anything you find you can’t sell, or by the end when you become weary of selling many low value items, you can donate to your local charity shop or list on freecycle.

8 ) Clear out sentimental items – We took eight bin bags to the recycling full of photos, sketches, journals, school notes, letters, cards and other mementos. That’s a lot! Did we really need all of that for memories? We did keep photo albums with the best photos, travel journals and a few letters and drawings. You need to decide what’s really important to you. We aren’t as hardcore as Colin from Exile Lifestyle who threw a shred party before he left on his travels and got rid of absolutely everything.

With the right planning and enough time, it doesn’t have to be difficult – just remember not to buy more stuff to replace all the things you’re selling!

Still not convinced? For more on the benefits of selling all of your belongings read our post The Benefits of Selling Everything You Own or watch George Carlin talking about stuff.

In Part 2 of How To Sell All Of Your Stuff we share our favourite selling methods- setting up a ‘stuff blog ‘ and Ebay, while Part 3 looks at Amazon marketplace, car boot sales, where to sell old CDs and mobile phones, and other methods, as well as detailing how much we earned.


  1. Two days ago I decided to purge my belongings. After struggling with just how to determine each item’s sales possibility, it came down to just a few yes or no questions.
    (Not considered is the inventory destined for specific people and organizations: family, friends, local library, teachers, coaches etc.)
    Ask the following questions for each item:

    – Is the selling price more than it would cost to ship?
    Yes = Ebay/Etsy/Amazon.
    No = yard sale/ Craig’s List/ Freecycle.

    – Is it worth the effort and/or cost to ship (size, weight, or fragile packaging involved)?
    Yes = Ebay/Etsy/Amazon.
    No = yard sale/ Craig’s List/ Freecycle.(as typically buyers do the moving, lifting and transportation)

    – Is it worth a few bucks?
    Yes = Attempt yard sale first, then donate/trash if it doesn’t sell.
    No = donate/trash

    The above question process determined 95% of all the items.It took the anxiety and hesitation out of deciding to tackle the project head on.
    Any remaining items just need to be set aside and given special focus to its value to me.
    I hope this helps some others as they struggle with the process/decisions.

    Good luck to everyone trying. Wish me luck, too ; )

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  2. Sometimes, selling stuff is not always so cut and dried. I have friends that say, “If you don’t use it, sell it.”. I always have to remind them that life is not that simple. For example, I have both a mountain bicycle and a road bicycle. I use both. Can I get by with one? Probably, but I’d be missing out on the aspects of the other. When you get down to it, do I even need a bike at all?

    Also, I have an old Porsche convertible. People tell me to sell it, but it’s worth very little and I still enjoy it. Do I need it? No, I can just drive my work truck around. Do I want to? No.

    In a way, I wish I were 100% not a materialist and could get by with the barest of essentials, but that is not me.

    Thanks for the insight, tho.

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  3. I’m moving from New Jersey to Oregon in October, and I’m only bringing what I can get into my little Honda Fit (including the cat). My friends are having a going-away party where I suspect they will give me gifts, even though I’ve asked them not to- none of us has a lot of spending cash. So I’d like to give them some of my good stuff- a crock pot, margarita glasses, an Edward Hopper print, etc. I’m looking forward to reading Part 2 for some ideas of how to sell the rest of my stuff. Luckily, I don’t have all that much!

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  4. Kim, take a look at amazon FBA. You get an amazon seller account (easy, any one can get one). You sign up to sell FBA, which is fulfilled by Amazon. (Again, easy). Then you list your stuff using the bar codes on amazons website. You fill boxes with stuff and ship then in using ups which is very cheap cuz you get amazon’s ups discount. And amazon charges the shipping fees to your seller account. So if you don’t waste time and ship the boxes in, some of your stuff should sell in time to pay the fees. Just keep shipping stuff in until it is all gone and donate the stuff that isn’t worth sending in. Craigslist the items that are too large for amazon. Once your stuff is in Amazon’s warehouse the money will trickle in as it sells and Amazon ships it out to their customers.

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  5. Do you know of any companies that will come into your home and just offer your a certain amount of money for your “STUFF”. I have been unemployed for over 6 months and running out of time even to pay monthly bills. I want to sell enough so I can get to Calif. from Washington. Any suggestions?

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    • I’m afraid I don’t although if money is an issue you’d probably get more for it by selling it yourself on Craigslist and/or a garage sale. Good luck!

      Reply ↓

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