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My Assault on Stuff & What I'm Doing Next

My recent war that I've been waging has been against stuff. For a while (and by that I mean since 7th grade), I've produced my own income and spent most of it on things from the internet. I've talked about this before so I won't bore you with the laundry lists of my posessions.

Then when I sold my house in North Austin, I was faced with the prospect of moving all that stuff. My most financially productive years were while I lived there, so I bought a ton of stuff. During that period of collection it never occurred to me that I would eventually move. My garage as well as one of the bedrooms in the house because warehouses for my things.

When I moved, I took a pretty extreme approach. I went through every item in the house and made a decision - either I needed it or not. If it was worth more than $50 or so I sold it. If it was worth less than that I put it in a bedroom. If it was worth less than $5-10 I donated it or threw it away. I posted my address on craigslist and let people go into the bedroom and take all that they wanted. Within a few hours the bulk of my stuff was taken away.

Purging Personal Belongings

On The Constance Chronicles

Before moving to Korea I had to make the tough decision of whether I should stow my personal possessions or get rid of everything I owned. I opted for the latter. Through the years I lived in Austin, I had accumulated a lot of stuff. This stuff ranged from toys, second hand dishes and kitchen appliances, 50 pairs of shoes, multiple book shelves, 2 gigantic flat screens, over 300 DVD's and CD's, and boxes of things I hadn't laid eyes on in years. There was stuff in every closet, drawer, and the walls in my garage were lined with filled boxes and unwanted furniture. It took moving out of the country to decide to declutter my life. Here is how I made a few thousand dollars before I left the country and how I plan to make purchases when I return.

1. Sell your furniture. Most of your furniture is probably from Ikea anyway. Wipe all of it down, repair the damages, take some good photos, and post it on Craigslist. I was able to make a killing on two bed frames, two bookshelves, and an entertainment center. When I return, I plan on making or buying vintage and restoring all of my own furniture. This is affordable and way cheaper than Ikea. This will ensure the pieces are quality and I can set a higher price if I ever want to sell. Plus, now I've adopted a new hobby and skill.

2. Sell your car. Get the inspection and registration updated. Check the tires and replace them if needed. Clean the inside and make it look and smell like new. Wash the outside and buff out any scratches using rubbing compound. Under shoot the Blue Book price. We always believe are possessions are worth more than they really are. When I was selling cars for Ford (there will be a future post about this) we would take trade ins. For every dent and scratch, $200 was deducted from the trade price. The buyer will appreciate your integrity and in turn make this purchase comfortably without needing time to think about. In doing this, I got a buyer within a week and half of my money back on a car that was already 7 years old. Before handing over the keys, take your license plates off the car. Those are yours to keep and will force the buyer to get the title transferred and their own license plates. It's still up in the air where I will be relocating to when I move back to the US. If there is public transit available, purchasing a new car may not be necessary.

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