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25 things I learnt selling my life possessions (Ultimate lesson in minimalism)

In May 2013, my wife and I decided to pack up the family and leave the comforts of Sydney for the adventure of the Philippines. We didn’t want to ship, so we decided to sell everything. Nothing was safe, not even the children. Some days, especially the children.

Our entire 30 odd years and almost 14 years of marriage, all up for sale to the highest bidder. Many minimalism lessons were learnt covering as well as things like sales, detachment, children and old people. It is too much for one post, but here is 25 of them:

  1. It is the first world citizens prerogative to fill the space in which they live. The more space, the more crap.
  2. Of all the stuff accumulated, I estimate only 20% of it was ever used on a semi-regular basis.
  3. The “E” in E-Mail in the Philippines stands for “Eh … ill get to that next year”.
  4. Buying new is a giant waste. Nothing, no matter how new it was, sold for much more than 40% of it’s original price.
  5. Those things we were saving for that “one time” we would use it. That “one time” never came.
  6. Buyers want you to bargain yourself down, don’t do it. Make them make you an offer first.
  7. We never want to hear the phrase “What’s your lowest price” again. Ever.
  8. The most precious things had no correlation to how expensive they were when bought.
  9. My entire valued possessions fit into half a box and a laptop bag.
  10. It is infinitely easier to move to a country where you are only required to pack for one season.
  11. Selling everything is liberating.
  12. Something is only as valuable as a buyers offer, not it’s historical journey.
  13. Never trust you have sold something until you see it leave on a truck.
  14. There seems to be a buyer for almost anything.
  15. Once gone, it is quickly forgotten.
  16. No-one wants to buy dirty underwear.
  17. People are however happy to buy dirty mattresses.
  18. It is harder to sell to Gen Y than any other generation, mainly because they rarely turn up.
  19. Always set aside at least 5 hours if selling anything to someone over 70 years of age (tea anyone?).
  20. Usually best to not cheer and yell “we are rich, we are rich!!” in front of the buyer (take note 7 year old son).
  21. As a seller $5 is a big deal.
  22. As a buyer, $5 is a bigger deal.
  23. Adding “moving overseas” in an Ad translates to “Seller is desperate and will accept any offer” by the time it reaches the buyers corneas.
  24. Big ticket items are sometimes best sold the old fashion way, posters and signs in the windows (cars sold this way).
  25. Buyers have no shame.

There are many more lessons in selling which will be great for a later post. For now though I will return to my foam mattress on the floor which is now my office, bedroom, dining room and lounge.

What about you? Have you had to sell all you own? Let us know what it was like for you in the comments.