How to Declutter Your Home to Pay for Travel
Over the years, any family in the US will have this happen: you find that you have too much stuff. I don’t subscribe to the minimalist philosophy I’ve seen become ubiquitous in the expat community. That may work for others, but I like things. I like to purchase good quality products and use them for a long time. That is antithetical to renting out your primary residence to take a family gap year or a long backpacking trip. Let’s dive into some ways to mitigate this and learn how to declutter your home.
How to Use Decluttering With Junk Removal and Donations
Ideally, you’d move through life consciously accumulating items and cycling through others. But we err on the side of accumulation because this is the easiest. It’s easy to buy things, but hard to decide to jettison them. There are simple solutions like 1-800-GOT-JUNK. I’ve used this service and it was about $340 for a truckload. It’s a good last resort. But there are some other methods as well if you plan ahead. You can donate many items at an ARC store or other local thrift store. I recently donated dozens of books to ARC. I was pleased that when I went to go buy a used book online, it was shipped from an ARC in Ohio.
I just heard an interview with the CEO and CFO of Goodwill of Central Arizona. This apparently is quite an operation. These are 501(3)(c) corporations, so remember your small tax deduction when you donate. It’s good to know that your old junk might be cleaned up, resold, and the proceeds used for much-needed employment resources and help for those down on their luck.
How to Declutter Your Home By Selling Your Things
Websites like Goodbuygear will help you sell items your children may have outgrown. I think they are only in Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia and Denver for the time being, but this list may expand to your area. We linked to this company in our prior post about travel planning. You can also use this company to purchase used gear for your trip like a stroller, or baby carrier–i.e. things you don’t have the budget for new while you save for your trip.
Of course there’s the tried and true method of Craigslist. Good luck with that. It is time consuming to say the least, not just because of the time creating the posts, but the added time to a peer to peer transfer.
Facebook Marketplace is the new way to sell peer to peer. Give that a try.
Reducing Your Expenses While Decluttering
As an avid fine bourbon and wine drinker, this one hits home. I don’t consider myself an alcohol dependent person, per se, but I do spend a lot of my monthly budget on these products. They are fun when enjoyed responsibly, and enhance your quality of life. But It’s vital that I try to drink less expensive suds from time to time!
Taking control of your finances and living life on your terms involves restructuring your personal finances. View your life as a business, and your monthly expenses like a balance sheet. If you have more cash going out than coming in each month, you are in the red and will fail. If you are attempting a trip without many passive income streams set up, your trip will be constrained accordingly. You will likely shorten your trip or choose cheap destinations.
Your home is likely the largest financial hurdle to you having the freedom to travel. You have to figure out how to turn this Achilles heel into a strength. The best way to do this is to rent out space, and to do this you must optimize your home through the decluttering process.