We have 7 weeks until we move out of our 2 bedroom apartment and back into a single room at Amy’s parents house. This might seem like a pretty simple move but as the moving date approaches, we face quite the dilemma!
What the hell do we do with all our stuff?!
Over the past 12 months we’ve accumulated quite a lot of possessions, but what do we do with all of them when we move out? We’ve fallen in love with our fridge, our washing machine and our vacuum cleaner (if you’ve ever used a Dyson, you’d know why!) among other things. This post isn’t even taking into account what we’re going to do with our cars – fortunately we’ve still got 6+ months to think about that.
Essentially we’ve got two options – keep most of our stuff (and probably pay for storage) or sell the lot! Making this decision is incredible difficult, particularly when there are 2 parties involved who sometimes have conflicting opinions.
Option 1: Keep The Stuff
To put it simply, storage would be the ideal option for both of us… if it were free!
We’ve spent a lot of time researching the appliances we own and finding the best deals for them. We’ve also gone to a great deal of trouble to find and buy matching furniture throughout the apartment – so much so that it took us 5 months before we finally bought a dining setting that matched the look and feel of the rest of the apartment.
Being able to come home, find a new place to live and be able to furnish it immediately is the strongest reason to keep our belongings in storage. We’ve built up an attachment to these things and are quite proud of what we’ve accumulated. While that may be the consumer in us, it’s going to be very hard to let go.
The major (and perhaps only!) downside of storage is the cost. We’re expecting to spend 6 months staying with Amy’s parents to save money and then hopefully 12+ months on the road. Over a period of 18 months, the cost of storage nearly outweighs the cost of the possessions that we would be keeping!
Option 2: Sell It All
If we deem the cost of storage to be excessive, then selling the majority of our belongings is the only other viable alternative. The financial benefits of selling are extremely attractive.
Selling our belongings would provide an additional source of income and we would be hopeful of making $2,000-$3,000 for our bounty of goods. We would also save an additional $2,000+ not having to pay for storage for 18+ months, plus selling would eliminate the need for removalists on moving day which would result in another big cost saving.
Overall, selling would create approximately $5,000 of additional funds. These could either be used to extend our journey, or as a “coming home” fund to refurnish a new place when we come back from our travels. Despite this seemingly impressive amount, we still would make a big loss on some of our possessions (damn you, depreciation!). For example, we paid $1,400 for our brand new stainless steel fridge under 12 months ago and this is likely to fetch less than 50% of this amount which would be difficult to watch.
There is also the considerable effort involved in selling our belongings – taking photos and compiling listings on eBay, organising times for people to inspect and pick up goods at short notice, etc. While those last few reasons are fairly minor, they’re still a consideration.
From a financial standpoint, it obviously makes more sense to sell our stuff and start again when we get back, but as we all know – the heart plays a big part in decision making. As we discussed in saving for long term travel, we do plan on selling a lot of our belongings on eBay – the question that remains is how much we should sell? Some, or all?
Have you had to face the same dilemma before jetsetting off around the world? What did you do, or what would you do if you were in our circumstances?