By Karina Rook
Once you know what you will be bringing with you when you move to San Francisco, you need to tackle everything else in your house, deciding what to sell, how and if anything is worth storing. There will also be plenty of junk that will have to be donated or disposed of.
Storage is expensive and generally not recommended unless you have family or friends who are willing to hold your stuff for free. We toyed with storing items in our house attic, or under the house in sealed containers, but decided this was only going to cause problems if we decided to sell our house later on, probably remotely from San Francisco. We know plenty of people who are paying to store items that are no longer wanted, out of fashion, or superseded with new technology.
Aim to sell your remaining furniture and big items (things you want more than say $20 for) privately amongst your network of friends, school families, work colleagues, sports clubs, etc first. This is much easier to set up, than say eBay or classifieds, and you will be dealing with people you know when making appointments to look at items. You will also get more money, and no-one will haggle, because of the trust and relationships you have with people means there is less perceived risk from their point of view. They won’t be scared of being ripped off.
It took me about 2 hours to create a spreadsheet with photos, dimensions, descriptions and prices for all the items we wanted to sell privately. I found original receipts, manuals and packaging where possible, and listed the purchase price and age of the item along with our asking price. I then turned this into a Google document, allowing others to view the latest version easily. I updated the document when items were sold by placing a ‘Sold’ image on top of the photo.
This proved to be easy to administer, and resulted in all but one item being sold out of the 33 items listed. Our leather lounge suite was too large to be of interest to most people, so we resorted to eBay to get that sold.
There was only one troublesome object left amongst our household goods……a fire-proof safe that is a family heirloom. Too heavy to bring to San Francisco, too heavy to leave with family or friends, just too darn heavy to move anywhere! It’s currently in our house in Melbourne (which is being rented out) and will become an issue if we decide to sell the house.
All things considered, I know we did a great job of selling our high value goods to friends and acquaintances. But the real fun began with our garage sale.