Well since we have activated Plan B (travel the world) I have been motivated to let go of our material possessions. Let me tell how we are proceeding in 5 easy (well kind of) steps.
Step 1 –
We gave notice on our place and we bought our plane ticket!! WOW – now this is a huge step so make sure you are ready. I guess we never are truly ready as this is a big leap of faith. We are giving up and selling pretty much everything so that we have money to travel AND so we don’t have to pay for shipping to the mainland from Hawaii AND we don’t have to pay for a storage (all of these things will quickly eat into your savings.)
I guess you have to calculate on how long you will be gone and make sure you give yourself enough time to sell your things so you don’t have to do a last minute fire sale! You could also go the slower route and slowly plan your getaway but I find the slower route tends to become a non-route if you know what I mean … all talk no action.
I can tell you if anything gets you moving it’s knowing that you have to move out of your place at the end of the month and that you have a plane ticket waiting for you! All of a sudden I went from lolly gagging around and reminiscing about my material possessions to creating an action plan.
Step 2 –
Follow your action plan! I started easy – going through my clothes – making a donate pile, garage sale pile, keep pile and a revisit this pile pile. Then we started going through our kitchen, books, furniture, etc and doing the same thing. You will see how much stuff you have that you haven’t used or even looked at in years! Remember books and clothes can be donated to others, either goodwill or libraries – it feels good to help out others who will enjoy your stuff.
Step 3 –
Start posting things for sale on Craigslist, Facebook sites. Organize a garage sale. Ask your friends and neighbors if they need anything. The more time you give yourself on this step the better as you won’t have to offer your material possessions at rock bottom prices because you are desperate to sell. We gave ourselves 3 weeks and already sold a lot of items in the first week. The farther in you get the more ‘junk’ you will have. In the end you can decide if it’s for goodwill, a friend or if it should just finally be thrown away.
Step 4 –
Go through your possessions again – are you sure you can’t pare down a little bit more?? Really – do you really need 15 pairs of shoes? Do you really need that decorative bowl that you really like but have never used? Let it go!!! If items aren’t moving on your ads – then lower the price after 4-5 days or remove the post for 1 day and then repost! Start packing up what you are keeping and see how much stuff you have left – can you downsize some more?
About now you may have feelings of panic, anxiety and fear. I know I did! There will be those who tell you – are you sure this is a good idea? What will you do afterwards? Shouldn’t you be saving for retirement? And on and on … don’t let them get to you.
I found a great quote that really resonated with me from the Dalai Lama : “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe and mostly live.” Beautiful, right? So don’t let those who follow a different path get you down.
Step 5 –
You have sold what you could and given away the rest and kept only the essentials. How do you feel? Excited? Scared? Free? I felt all of the above. I still can’t believe I have done it – I am ready for the adventure of life and am ready to escape the daily grind. Now go out there! See this beautiful world of ours! Feel proud, feel free – I know I do.