A month before we departed for our 8 month trip in Central America and Asia we pretty much sold most of our possessions. We even made a reasonable amount of money from it considering most of our possessions were secondhand to begin with. We are really happy with the cash we made and it meant we had a bit more cash once we hit the road.
We used a website called Trademe (NZ’s Ebay) to sell most of our larger household items as well as some clothes. We also sold our car via this website. Overall, the experience has been really positive and all the purchases went smoothly. We also had lovely friends who purchased a few things.
Despite the above there were a few things that we did not want to part with such as special books, gifts and favourite clothes etc. Many blogs on the subject discuss how liberating it was to get rid of ‘everything’ and become a nomad. We aren’t quite there, although we still feel liberated as a lot of junk is now gone. We actually had the intention to return to New Zealand and when we did return it was nice to be reunited with some of the few possessions we did decided to keep. We are also mindful of how expensive it can be to start again, so where possible we kept things that are difficult to replace.
Even though we are keeping some possessions we decided not to use a storage company, this option would be okay if you knew when you were coming home but it worked out too expensive for us. The cost is approximately NZD$75 per month for a small room that would have only stored a few boxes, so for us it was not worth it. We are lucky that we have a place to leave a few boxes but to be able to do this we really did have to minimise what we wanted to keep so we are not imposing.
Tips to declutter your life before travel
- Buy some vacuum pack bags, this has allowed us to keep some clothes and other soft items without taking up too much space;
- Throwing away junk over a space of a few weeks, this includes old clothes (although some donated), cleaning out draws and cupboard. By spacing it out it has made the process less stressful;
- Buy some good quality boxes, as we don’t know how long we will be away a flimsy banana box won’t cut it, it cost us NZD$40 for 5 boxes;
- Review the cost verses benefit of using a storage company to store things you want to keep, are the goods really worth it? and
- Trading some items for favours, for a few bits and pieces you might be able reimburse your friends or family for any help they provide.
Overall, it has been a positive experience and a wake up call to just how much junk we have accumulated during our 2 years in Auckland. The packing experience has also started to make this adventure feel more real, especially as from Sunday we are sleeping on an air mattress.
Katie & Ali