Been a While since I have written and I just cannot believe how fast the last 100 days went. I mean, the entire last 2 1/2 years has flown by, but the last couple months have been a blur!
We knew that as December approached, it was time to enact the final sequence of getting rid of our stuff. We had already jettisoned 80% of our belongings in May and only held on to the things necessary and comfortable for our daily life. December also brings with it the holidays and we always have family over to the house. After Christmas it was time to start really parring things down and figure out the balance of how long we actually needed something against how long it would take us to get rid of it. Sell a car too soon and how do you get to work? Sure there are people lining up to take your dishes and that stainless pan set but are you prepared to eat TV dinners with a titanium spork until you go?
At the beginning of February we thought we were ready to see our living room set. We thought we were prepared to sit in the camping chairs we had in the garage for the next month or so. Oh man were we wrong! We lasted about 48 hours and we were looking at Rent a Center furniture online. We had seen the ads and went into our local Branch and met Leif. We explained that we were leaving the country in a month and wondered if we could have a couch delivered in the next few days. He assured us that he could make that happen and he would work something up. We wondered around the showroom and saw that most pieces were $25 -$30 per week and figured we could swing $120 for the comfort of a couch. Leif then explained to us that the displayed prices were for long term renters on a program to purchase. Since we only needed it 4 weeks, we would have to pay “event” pricing which he could do for us for a mere $250.Thanks but um . . .no! We headed out for an adult beverage because restaurants have furniture while we considered our dilemma. We though about Craigslist and offer up but kind of forgot about the issue enjoying a nice comfy booth. We got home and those damn orange camping chairs were still there starring us down.
I was able to find a gently loved couch that was advertised as Super Comfy that was about a mile from our house. The Price? $70! I messaged the owner and said I could be there right away. I would have to do some measuring to see if we needed to get the kids truck, but that I would pay if I liked it regardless. We headed down with a tape measure and a positive attitude. Maybe right now you are asking yourself, why would you need to measure if you can get a truck? Well the kid with the truck works graveyard and I was pretty confident we may be able to get this thing into the back of Amy’s 2006 BMW X3. Yeah, I was gonna be that guy! We got to the spot and after a few calculated measurements I figured that we could do it. I paid the lady and as we were moving our new used couch away from the wall I noticed the back of the couch had been scorched because a week prior she had moved the couch in front of a baseboard heater because the television needed to be moved. Not only did we get a temporary couch for a bargain, we basically saved her life!
Amy and I took the 7 foot long couch out and after removing the wooden legs, were able to stuff a strong 3 feet into the back of the Beemer. Yeah . . . 4 feet of couch was hanging out and we had the rear lid tied down. We were a site to see but we only had a mile to go and we were not going to sit in those lawn chairs again!
Since I was laid off at the beginning of January I did not have a need for my car, so it was an easy sell. Amy was still working and we still needed a car. Since there was still a balance on the car we knew we needed to pay it off to get the title in time for a smooth and easy sale. We paid it off and in about two weeks we had the title in hand. We waiting for a nice day (about a week!), took several detailed pictures, and listed it in the first week of February. After about 5 days of dealing with companies that had buyers and wanted to help us sell it and people offering stupid trades we were able to sell Amy’s baby to a super nice couple. With out a car we were able to borrow one from a neighbor for a couple days until we could get one from one of our kids. Two cars gone, furniture gone and now for all of the miscellaneous stuff.
The miscellaneous stuff is stuff that it was just not worth the time or effort to sell. It was good stuff though. Stuff that could be used. Electric griddles, pots and pans, dishes, silverware, towels and more. Normally we would just call a donation truck to come get it for charity, but we had a better outlet.
Our Church has a Facebook page for members to share lend or borrow. It is our church communities effort to support minimalism. If you need a pressure washer, chances are someone has one they will lend you. Have a torque wrench in your tool box that gets used once in blue moon? Maybe someone will post a need for it! One week before we had to be out of our house we went live on Facebook and anno
unced Sullivanstuffgrab2018! The hashtag was made up by someone in the group but people loved the idea! We announced than on Friday we would be going live and showing off all of the stuff that was up for grabs and all they had to do was comment on the items they wanted. We explained that sets of things would not be broken up. If we announced the hodge podge utensil drawer as a lot, then you had to take it all not just the wooden spoons. We also explained that “need” would win out over “want”. They had to pick it up the following Monday or Tuesday, because we still had use for most of it through the weekend. By Late Tuesday EVERYTHING was gone, right down to the left over cleaning supplies.
We have spent the last several nights couch surfing with the kids and sleeping on an air mattress. We have our lives boiled down to a couple back packs. As I am writing this we are at 35,000 feet on the first of three flights that will take us to Vietnam.
Stay tuned and be sure to subscribe to hear more!