My friends, despite a concerted effort to go to sleep and postpone writing my blog until the morning, I have failed. I went to bed for a time, and while I was laying there, did nothing more than toss and turn (left to right and back again). As a result, I decided it best to just get up and try again later. This move is really doing a number on me. I keep whittling down my possessions, and I thought I had everything pretty well whittled down, until the U-Boxes arrived this afternoon. Once they arrived, I went into a full-blown panic. Each of the U-Boxes is the size of a small walk-in closet (8 x 5 x 7). I ordered four of them to accommodate our ‘stuff’ and had hoped I could keep a couple of furniture items. At the very least, I wanted to hang on to a loveseat, a bed, and a couple of dressers. From the illustration provided on the U-Haul website, I thought for sure that what we had left would easily fit into the boxes/crates; however, there’s no way on God’s green earth that’s going to happen! Just one loveseat easily takes up two-thirds of one crate! With this newfound knowledge, I had no choice but to get busy taking a bunch of pictures and posting more ads.
So many of the things I had hoped to hang on to, brand new frames + canvases, the exceptionally comfortable loveseat we purchased new last year, the entertainment center (my husband gave me for our 7th anniversary), + countless other items, they all need to find a new home. I don’t want to part with them but hanging on to them is not an option. We have a giant house and only a very small amount of the contents are going to fit into those 4 unbelievably small crates. And it seems like every time I turn around, I discover more ‘stuff’ that I wasn’t aware of earlier. Each time I open a door or drawer, I cringe, because I know I will have to make hard decisions about what to keep, what to sell, and what to donate. Determining what to keep and donate is fairly easy because it’s a one-step process, but ‘selling’ is a whole different animal. Selling items requires much more time and effort. Before I can even post an item, I have to take photos, upload, and edit them. That in itself is a complicated and time-consuming process, but that’s only the half of it. I also have to research pricing, write down descriptions, and obtain the (approximate) dimensions with my oh-so-handy measuring tape.
With all of those preliminary steps out of the way, the next step in the process is actually posting the ads. Because of the limited reach of the marketing websites that I’m familiar with (Craigslist, Facebook, and the local paper), I have chosen to post each of my wares on all three. What does that mean exactly? Specifically, that means it takes 3 times as long to place an ad for one item. If I were to only use Craigslist, I’d miss out on a large part of the population (in my community and beyond). A lot of people use Craigslist, however, a lot of people avoid it like the plague because of highly publicized news stories (often centered around innocent people meeting a violent end when all they wanted to do was sell their late model car or some old baby clothes). Unfortunately, it happens, that’s why it’s so important to use caution when utilizing Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or any of the various websites available for buying/selling/trading goods and/or services. I’ve been fortunate throughout the years and have never gotten tangled up in anything unseemly or with anyone who had less than noble intentions, but not everyone is so lucky.
Oh, wait! I take that back. I have gotten the raw end of the deal on a few vehicle transactions, several, to be honest. That said, I take responsibility for each occurrence. Too many times I placed my trust in people who I shouldn’t have, or didn’t do adequate research before handing over a wad of bills. Anyway, back to ‘posting stuff’. As it turns out, as simple as it sounds, ‘posting stuff’ is a long and involved process, one which tends to make me become quite overwhelmed. The reason for this has less to do with all of the steps I previously mentioned, and more to do with what comes afterward. Oh, Lord! Once an ad is posted, that’s when life gets interesting! Depending on what I’m selling and how much I want for it, my phone will start ringing or my email alerts will start pinging within a matter of seconds to minutes to hours to days later. I posted two things tonight that my husband was certain no one would be interested in. I knew differently. He had two electric downriggers that he’d never used, and a motorcycle lift, and within 5 minutes of posting them, I started receiving offers.
As I’ve mentioned before, what I’ve learned is that if I post anything that has to do with motorcycles or tools or sporting gear, someone’s going to want it. It’s a sure thing. I have also learned that if I post anything under the ‘furniture’ category, the chances of it selling are 50/50. And if it happens to be a couch or set of couches, the odds are much worse (more like 10 in favor, 90 against). There are a whole lot of used couches under the ‘free’ category and it’s not very comforting. Many of them look pretty good (apart from either end where a cat has decided to use it as a scratching post). I suspect millions of once perfectly good pieces of upholstered furniture have been destroyed by cat claws. What is the deal with that anyway??!! Sorry, I got off track again. What was I talking about? Oh, yes! I was discussing what happens once an ad has posted. If you have any intention of posting an ad for a ‘hot commodity, I will warn you not to do it right before you sit down to watch a movie with your ‘better half’. If you do, your ‘better half’ might become slightly annoyed. No, they’re not annoyed that you placed an ad, they’re annoyed that they have to continually pause the movie so that you can respond to questions from an onslaught of potential buyers.
As you probably guessed, that’s what happened tonight. And that’s only ‘step three’ of what’s involved when placing an ad. The fourth and final step, once a price has been agreed upon, is negotiating where and when to meet. I’ve met people out in front of banks and grocery stores and a number of unusual places, but for our purposes, if someone wants to buy something from us, they have no choice but to come to our home. I don’t particularly like it because I’m trying to avoid getting Covid, but it’s preferable to meeting people in random parking lots. The transactions I love and appreciate the most are the ones where the people show up on time (with an additional person to help them with lifting and loading), and after giving the item they’re interested in a good ‘once over’, they hand me the agreed-upon amount in cash, load the item into or onto their vehicle, and drive away with a smile on their face. It really doesn’t get much better than that! Tomorrow, we’ve got two different people coming for items I listed tonight, the downriggers and motorcycle lift. I also placed ads for picture frames, a snowboard, and a weight bench, but there’s been little interest.
I wish it wasn’t the case but I’ve got more ads to place. Because it all became ‘too much’, I had to give myself permission to step away from it for a while. There are so many other things to do! There are only one or two rooms or spaces in the entire house that are completely ‘done’ (with regard to packing). That still leaves about 9 others (garage, shed, laundry room, art studio, master bedroom, two guest rooms, the office, and the family room). Once the packing is complete, the ‘loading’ will begin. The lady who dropped off the U-Boxes told my husband that if he was good at the game of Tetris, he should be able to handle filling them up without too much trouble. Whatever we cannot fit into the U-Boxes is going to be left behind and I suspect there’s going to be a lot! You know what that means, right? Yep, more ads! All I can say to that is, “Ack!! Help??!!” Once those crates are loaded to capacity and we cannot fit one more thing inside, they’re getting locked up. I will then need to turn my attention to everything else that has to happen before we can ‘sign our names on the dotted lines’ and get the heck out of here.
‘Everything else’? Oh, it’s not much (being facetious, by the way). I just have to pull all of the nails and fill all of the holes (in the walls from where pictures used to hang) and paint. And after that, I’m going to be cleaning as though my life depended on it! If there was ever an incentive to purchase a smaller house, the ridiculous amount of time it takes to clean my current home gives me plenty of incentive! It shouldn’t take an entire week to clean a house. A day or two? Maybe. A week? Forget it! I’d rather spend my time doing things which don’t involve sweeping and vacuuming and mopping and ‘swiffering’ and wiping and polishing and bleaching and scrubbing. I’d like to have the opportunity to ‘smell the roses’ once in a while, and by that I don’t mean rose-scented air freshener. Ugh. I was just thinking in my head what comes after we sell the house and reach our destination, and now rather than simply being ‘overwhelmed’, I’m ‘exceedingly overwhelmed’. Just the idea of living in my father-in-law’s basement, ‘bidding wars’, and rebuying an entire house of furniture (on a beer budget) makes my head hurt. Sigh. On that note, I’m going to try and go back to bed. My poor brain needs a break!
Much love to you, my friends! See you again (hopefully) soon!!