The Big Week Is Here

I have read a number of books and articles about people who have embarked on a roving retirement. But they always just say, “We sold our house and our stuff!” I didn’t think that was too helpful and I wanted to give you a better idea of the process and how it feels to sell a house and get rid of all of your stuff. This article is a bit long as I did not want to overlook important insights. I apologize in advance, and buckle up!

Originally titled, “The Big Day is Here,” this article was started the day before our estate sale. However, seeing as this week has been such a rollercoaster for us, I have decided to write about the entire week in one article.

Estate Sale Prep

The first order of business for this week was to prep for the estate sale. I actually felt much better about everything than I expected to. Yesterday, the estate sale team cleaned out all of the furniture, closets, cabinets, and drawers in the entire house and brought their contents out to the garage. It was very hectic and the team almost dumped out my vitamin drawer, but I caught them just in time. There were some other things that got dumped, like all of my spices, which could have been given to friends, but everything had to go anyway and they made quick work of it. Here are a few pictures of all of our unwanted stuff in the garage.

Estate Sale

I must admit, I spent a lot of time laying in bed last night thinking about what I might want to keep. I was concerned I might have been too careless in selecting stuff to keep. So, I went out to the garage after midnight and grabbed a set of crystal dessert dishes and some reusable bags I thought might come in handy. 

The estate agents had some people come by yesterday for presale purchases including most of the furniture, lots of dishes, and all of the small planter boxes in my backyard (surprisingly). I am always amazed at what people will buy.

Estate Sale

Today was something else. The team showed up at 7:30 this morning and moved stuff onto the driveway and arranged everything nicely so it would sell. I was told people would be lined up outside before the start of the sale and they were right. There were at least 30 people lined up outside for a good two hours before the sale opened because everyone wants first dibs. I was happy to see the good furniture and dishes go quickly.

I stayed in the house during the sale because, for me, today was a down day. Finally, I had time to work on the blog and my long to-do list. That meant I could watch my stuff leave, which actually felt pretty good. The estate agent did tell us we might prefer to leave, but our neighbors bought our couches and desk chairs, so we still have something to sit on until Sunday. Tomorrow, our storage box arrives and on Saturday, the movers will pack the few things left in the house.

Stuff we are keeping

After the sale, the estate people gathered all of the leftover items and made three trips (in a really big truck) to the dump. Logically, I understand some of our stuff it isn’t worth anything to others, regardless of how much I initially paid for it. Still, it bothered me just the same, and the measly $3300 total proceeds didn’t help. After paying commission and dump runs, we cleared a few hundred dollars. On the plus side, a woman came by late in the afternoon to pick up a table she had bought and decided to take a set of bunk beds and my china hutch. I felt much better about giving them away than having them go to the dump.

Before the sale, I said I hoped we would get enough money to cover the cost of the sale and the clean-out of the house. But apparently, when the time came, I felt differently. Mike, on the other hand, just said “whatever.” BTW, he is generally much more concerned about money than I am. I guess you never really know how you are going to feel about something until it really happens.

Moving Day

The movers showed up at 9 am on moving day and we immediately realized we had made a packing mistake. I had put clothes from my closet in the dresser drawers but the dresser was going into the storage box first, essentially making them inaccessible forever. This realization came after the dresser had been prepped for storage, so we had to unwrap it, take the clothes out, and replace them with pictures and memorabilia.

After that setback, the movers did a great job at the Tetris game that was packing the box, which is 7’x 7’x 8’. That might sound big but it isn’t. Eventually, we got everything into the box except our mattress. At the end of the day, there was still a fair amount of stuff that needed to be reviewed, shredded, used in the next 3 weeks, or culled for our trip. So, all that stuff had to go to our hosts’ house, at least temporarily. We still have 3 weeks to deal with everything.

Small Storage Box
Full Storage Box

Kitty Goes to the Kennel

It turns out today was the worst day for me by far. While my son will collect the cat in 7 weeks, I won’t see her again for a really long time if not ever. I’m tearing up just thinking about her. Fortunately, she will be going to live with my son in Chicago, but I still burst into tears when I dropped her off. To go along with that, today is the day we need to be out of the house and no one else has prepared for this as I have. They are all still packing and sorting things. Admittedly, we have another three weeks until we leave on our trip, but the box is leaving tomorrow. As a result, I got really angry with everyone in the house and went to the hotel early by myself.

It is now two days later and we are settled at a friends’ house, but I’m still out of sorts. I’ve been secretly worried for quite some time about our sleeping situations while roving. You all know by now of my arthritis issues, and sleeping well is super impactful on how I feel. I haven’t slept well for at least three weeks due to the stress of this whole process and I’m really feeling it. I hope in the next week I can again start looking forward to and getting excited about the adventures to come.

I don’t want any of our readers to worry about me. I’m extremely resilient and I’m sure I’ll feel better in a few days.

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  1. Thanks for this view into how deaccessioning works and feels. It is clear that you will feel better after a little time has passed and that it is an understandable challenge to release what one has accumulated over many years – that makes perfect sense.

  2. I hope you know how interesting and informative these blogs are to others! I can’t imagine not bawling my eyes out watching “my stuff” going to the dump! Not to mention saying goodbye to a beloved pet!
    That’s a real eye-opener that these estate sales don’t really clear all that much money! I would not have guessed that at all! Please keep educating us on your upcoming experiences!

  3. Thanks so much for your comments. Different estate sale companies work differently and result in a different amount of money. There is an article about the estate sale folks coming soon.

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