We are one month away from our move-out date, and our goal is to leave with only enough items to fit in our car. And since Max’s dog crate takes up quite a bit of room, that doesn’t leave much for us. We’ve also got a one-week business trip for Warren and a one-week visit from out-of-town relatives within that timeframe.
Not a lot of time to get rid of a house full of stuff, is it?
Luckily we have a head start. (Luck? Who am I kidding – we worked our asses off to get that head start by decluttering for the last 18 months!)
We’ve already told you that we negotiated with the buyers to take some of our stuff. But what about the rest of it?
Last night we hosted an indoor sale for a few good friends, and we’ll do it again on Saturday. If you are in a situation where you are leaving but not quite yet, but you need to know your things have a home, this is the way to go. Your friends will wait a few weeks if necessary to get something at a great deal, and of course you both trust each other to do this. It won’t happen that way on Craigslist.
What we sold:
- Tempur-pedic mattress/box spring and sleigh bed
- Laptop and accessories
- Painting supplies
- Wii video game/Wii Fit
- A tree and 2 plants
- Dining room table runner
- 2 lamps
- Baking pans
Plus we found a good temporary home for 3 pieces of art that will be lovingly cared for by our friends. Better to have them hanging on a wall and appreciated than in storage if possible.
How to have an indoor sale
- Buy some small yard sale stickers or post-it notes in bright colors. Pick one to be your “keep” color and tag every big item you plan on keeping as well as drawers/cabinets full of items you are keeping.
- Invite a few friends to go shopping at your house – we had 5 to start because it made it easier in our small space. It may make it more appealing to your friends if you include a list of some of the top items for sale.
- Give each friend a specific color of sticker and a pen and allow her to roam the house picking items she likes by putting a sticker on it. You can have your friends write an offer price on the sticker or do all their shopping, tell you what they want, and let you come up with a bulk price for everything.
- You negotiate payment and pickup terms with your friends that allow you to use your stuff until the very last moment, which makes the transition much easier.
- Your friends really do want to help you and can be great sales people. My friend Karen, for instance, called me soon after she left because she thought of a buyer for our bed. Sight unseen because of her recommendation and description, someone bought our bed and won’t pick it up til we move. How cool is that?
This indoor sale is perfect if you are too lazy to have a yard sale, have a hard time parting with your stuff, or have a lot of good friends. You don’t have to price anything, set anything up, or advertise other than an email or Facebook post to your friends.
You do, however, have to have a reasonably clean and organized space. Remember that people will be looking around your house and opening doors and cabinets unless you tell them not to.
Offer some light food and drink for your shoppers so they’ll stay longer and either buy more things or help you sell items to your other friends. Warren had a lively negotiation with one friend over some furniture, and I think it was more fun for most people to watch that interaction than it was to leave with their new things!
The next step for us is to do this all again on Saturday and then start Craiglisting things.
Even if you aren’t planning to downsize to a backpack, this idea can work for you. Would you ever consider an indoor sale with your friends?