Before moving abroad, we sold everything we owned through Craigslist, eBay, yard sales, consignment shops, electronic buyback websites, and even to family and friends.
But where to begin? How did we prioritize our items into what, when, and how we sold them? Here are nine steps detailing the best time to sell your stuff, starting from one year out until the last few days before your big move.
- 1 When Really is the Best Time to Sell Your Stuff?
- 1.1 1. Sell Your Stuff You Aren’t Using: 6 Months to 1 Year
- 1.2 2. Sell Your Stuff You Rarely Use: 4 to 6 Months
- 1.3 3. Sell Your Seasonal Items: 4 to 6 Months
- 1.4 4. Sell Your Furniture in Minor Rooms: 2 to 4 Months
- 1.5 5. Sell Your Furniture in Primary Rooms: 1 to 2 Months
- 1.6 6. Sell Your Kitchen Stuff: 2 to 4 Weeks
- 1.7 7. Sell Your Vehicle: 2 to 4 Weeks
- 1.8 8. Sell Your Master Bedroom Furniture: 1 Week
- 1.9 9. What Can’t Be Sold, Donate During the Last Few Days
- 2 The End Result – $27,000 in Cash
When Really is the Best Time to Sell Your Stuff?
You can never start getting rid of your stuff too early, but you can start getting rid of your stuff too late! To keep your sanity and to truly maximize your profits, it is important to follow a general timeline to purge your home. Below, we break down exactly what we sold, when we sold it, and through which method.
1. Sell Your Stuff You Aren’t Using: 6 Months to 1 Year
The best time to sell your stuff is between one year and six months before your big move. Begin with a general purge of things that are tucked away in your basement, attic, or closets and that you haven’t touched a year or more. Make sure items are in good to excellent condition.
We focused on our guestroom closet that contained things we weren’t using, including unopened boxes from our last move. We purged the closet, sold the stuff on Craigslist, and earned roughly $1000. We also sold another $165 of knick-knacks at our community’s spring yard sale. Earning our initial $1165 was a huge motivator for us and paved our way to continue selling our stuff.
2. Sell Your Stuff You Rarely Use: 4 to 6 Months
Do you have luxury items or things you use but can live without? Sell ’em.
We sold kitchen appliances, including our wine cooler, fancy juicer, mini fridge, and bread machine. We sold doubles of anything, such as a smaller TV, an extra router, and old computer speakers. We also sold popular books, wall art, and video games that we weren’t using, either through Craigslist or online sales such as Amazon. In all honestly, it wasn’t too hard let these items go.
We also reluctantly sold our workout equipment just after Christmas, but it sold like hot cakes. Why? Because the best time to sell your stuff is when everyone is making their New Year’s resolutions.
3. Sell Your Seasonal Items: 4 to 6 Months
Sell seasonal items, including clothing, holiday related items, and sports or yard equipment. The best time to sell your stuff is right before the time of year they are in high demand.
We sold about three dozen pieces of gently used brand named clothing in addition to accessories to consignment shops. We sold our summer clothes in the early spring and our winter clothes in the early fall.
We sold our Christmas decorations in early December. The best time to sell your stuff is when you can take advantage of the seasons, and we were able to make some money off of a four foot fake Christmas tree, lights, and ornaments by timing our sales just right.
4. Sell Your Furniture in Minor Rooms: 2 to 4 Months
The best time to sell your stuff in minor rooms is not too far in advance, but give enough time to move those heavy items.
We sold all of the furniture and decor items from our guest room, guest bathroom, dining room, home office, and our balcony. Furniture was our biggest money maker, and we sold all of it through Craigslist. We also made money off of lamps, throw pillows, and curtains. It started getting difficult to see our stuff go, but the cash rolling in encouraged us.
5. Sell Your Furniture in Primary Rooms: 1 to 2 Months
Entertainment system? Gone. Coffee tables Gone. Bedroom dresser? Gone. Couch? Gone. We kept our clothes in hanging shelves (which we packed with us) and set up our TV on the coffee table. We ate dinner on the floor. A lot.
6. Sell Your Kitchen Stuff: 2 to 4 Weeks
Assuming you cook often, the best time to sell your stuff from the kitchen is towards the last few weeks.
At this point we were simultaneously trying clear out our dry pantry and fridge while getting rid of cookware, bakeware, utensils, gadgets, mixing bowls, pots and pans, etc. We found that we our smaller kitchen items sold better together in sets.
7. Sell Your Vehicle: 2 to 4 Weeks
The best time to sell your stuff, such as your last vehicle, is right before your big move, but with enough time to weigh your offers. We sold our Honda Civic through a private sale a couple weeks before our one-way flight to Thailand. It worked out perfectly because we were gone on a ‘round-the-USA trip visiting family during our final weeks in the US.
NOTE: We had two vehicles, a Ford Edge that we still made monthly payments on and a Honda Civic we owned. About two months before we moved, we sold our Ford Edge to CarMax to get rid of the monthly insurance payments, loan, and gas expenses.
8. Sell Your Master Bedroom Furniture: 1 Week
The best time to sell your stuff, such as the master bedroom furniture, is at the very end. You will thank us later!
We managed to keep the mattress and bed frame until the day we moved out, but still had to get rid of the curtains, comforter set, the master bath decor, and even the vacuum cleaner.
9. What Can’t Be Sold, Donate During the Last Few Days
Donate to the local Goodwill, homeless shelter, library, animal shelter, or YMCA. Don’t forget about friends or family members who would appreciate some free clothes or other random stuff!
During the last week in our apartment, we donated everything we couldn’t sell. We gave pantry items and cleaning products to family and donated clothes and other household items to Goodwill. We donated towels and unused flea medicine to the local animal shelter and books and magazines to the local library. If it was in good condition we gave it away; otherwise, we threw it away.
The End Result – $27,000 in Cash
Figuring out when the best time to sell your stuff can really pay off! With a little trial and error, we tackled this enormous project by breaking it into smaller, more manageable parts, month by month. It took a lot of hard work and many sacrificed evenings and weekends. Even when times got rough, we used the momentum we gained from big sales and the excitement of moving overseas to push us through those last few weeks when our sales dwindled and we were tired of giving up our evenings. In the end, we got rid of everything and were rewarded with a few light suitcases each and a well cushioned savings account.
Have you tried to purge your apartment or house and didn’t know where to start? Was there anything that was particularly difficult to sell? Do you think you could make the time and energy to sell your stuff? When do you think the best time to sell your stuff is?
Check out our recently featured post on Man Vs Debt for a more inspiration!