Having made the great decision to travel the world I was feeling pretty excited. I had told my family and begun the task of deciding where to go first. Then that excitement turned into an oh my god moment. What to do with all of my belongings.
The ute I have a loan for, the furniture, the bills and an endless list of other bits and pieces that I was yet to think of. I was on the verge of derailing my great travel adventure before it had even begun, all because the thought of getting rid of all this was so daunting.
So I do what everyone suggests these days and made a list of all my belongs and categorized them into the following:
- Things I could sell
- Things I could keep
- Things I could give away
- Things I could throw away
- Things I needed to pay back
At the end of this great list, I was back to being calm, cool and collected. You see for me I’d never really escaped the student lifestyle of my university days. I was renting a small two bedroom unit which the lease had expired on. There was no major credit card bill except my ute loan. And I still had the secondhand lounge suite and the fridge that was made back in the day when it could double as a nuclear bomb shelter.
My greatest assets were a new bed, a handful of kitchen appliances and my ute. Now most of that can be stored with family (one great thing about country life, you always have plenty of sheds for storage) or even in paid storage. All except except the ute. My beloved ute, the only vehicle I’ve bought that wasn’t already 10 years old when I got it. If you do not have the storage, you can hire temporary spaces like henfieldstorage.
The thought of parting with the ute was saddening. After all I’m a country boy at heart and what country boy doesn’t love his ute.
I toyed with keeping it but knew I could never make the loan repayments while laying on a beach or skiing down a snow field. Not to mention I had no plans to come home, except for maybe at Christmas time to keep my mum happy. So it landed on the list of items to be sold along with my disused dining suite, an exercise ball and various other household items.
All my worldly possessions were listed down and sorted. Now you may have a lot more furniture, fancier cars and even a house to sell. In the end thought it can all be broken down and reasoned with until everything you own fits into the above mentioned list. Many things I have had trouble parting with for various reasons but if you look at something objectively, it becomes much easier to sort.
Activating the list and starting the actual process can be done slowly or quickly in my case (more on that later). If its all too overwhelming start with the easy things, give a few items away or label the items you can sell and advertise one each week on ebay or the local paper. Soon you’ll be down to a skeleton selection of items and be one step closer to that new lifestyle.
If you’ve decided to head off and travel but can’t decide what to do with all your belongings. Make a list for yourself and let me know how you go. What things are the hardest to part with? I’m a big IT nerd so all of my IT goods are by far the hardest to let go.
Dig your post. I like what Rolf Potts, author of the backpacker’s manifesto, “Vagabonding” has to say about the same topic — “Travel by its very nature demands simplicity.” he writes, “If you don’t believe it, just go home and try stuffing everything you own into a backpack. This will never work, because no matter how meagerly you live at home, you can’t match the scaled-down minimilaism that travel requires. You can, however, set the process of reduction and simplification into motion while you’re still at home.” Great book. Recommended!
Hey Daniel, I think I need to get a copy of that book. That little snippet makes a hell of a lot of sense. Cheers for dropping by mate.
I feel your pain, mate. I’m in the process of doing the same thing. My mantra has become “when in doubt, throw it out!” I’m hoping to get everything to fit in a small closet by the time I leave, which means I’ll have cut pretty deeply. Only big thing I’m keeping is the motorcycle, but it’s paid for…
Best of Luck!
Hey Johnny, even though I had still been living my student lifestyle I still accumulated a wealth of crap. At the moment the important items are stored back home on the family property. All I have with me currently fits into the room I rent.
Motorcycle I can see why your keeping that. I put off getting one when I decided to travel figure it can come later. The ute has to go as I need to pay the loan out on it and I don’t want it just left sitting in a shed.
I’m really loving following along with your plans, it will be a good reference for when I plan to do the same. Although honestly, I own so much “precious” stuff, I’d probably just store it in a locker somewhere. You can always buy another ute!
Hey Candice, thanks for following along nice to know I’ll be able to help someone out on my journey. Mind you I’m loving the work on your blog as well so win win for both of us.
Yes I can always buy another ute and I’m sure I will, this one just has sentimental value 🙂
wow! that must be tough… i dont have that much stuff when i left, which made letting go real easy… although i sold most of my stuff and added it to my travel funds…
Wow-now that’s sacrifice! I stayed at home with my Dad to help save up money. Even though it was lame, I didn’t have to go through this process. But it’s amazing how many things a person accumulates. I was starting to pack the other day and I think I am only bringing .5% of my belongings. I looked all all my shoes and they already seem pointless! Last trip I went on was 9 months-I got home and totally forgot I owned all these things. It makes me sad, because all that money on possessions we inevitably don’t need, could have been used on traveling.
Hey Bobbi, I’ve been a bit lucky in the fact that my parents have plenty of shed space back home for storage and having moved house a lot for study/work the last few years I never accumulated a house full of stuff.
I’m currently renting a bedroom for a bargain price off my sister so I can save more. Its not about where you stay or the like, travel is our goal and we do what it takes to get it.
I can see myself returning and looking at everything I stored and thinking WTF did I keep all this for. Travel gives you perspective I think.
I’m having the same dilemmas right now. At least I don’t have a car to worry about, but hey, selling the ute will bring some more much needed money in for the trip, right?
My brother has kindly agreed to hold my important and sentimental things until my travels are over, I’ve spent the last few weeks taking bags and bags of clothes I’ve barely ever worn to charity shops. But there still seems to be piles and piles of stuff that I’ve just no idea what to do with.
I guess a few “cover of dark” excursions in search of local skips I can make use of are on the cards!
.-= Brendan´s last blog ..Lessons learned on the road #1 =-.
Hey Brendan, I wish selling the ute brought in more money. Alas I need to sell it to cover the loan I currently have on it. It will pay itself off when sold but would be nice to have that money go into my pocket but it can’t be.
I’ve now got a lot of stuff at home with the parents and this weekend I intend to get myself organised and bundle up clothes and other items for charity.
The fact I’ve now been living in a shoe box room for so long makes it easy for me to make the final step back home for 2 weeks before I depart australia.
Storage shed’s and the like work out to be so expensive over the long term!!
I purchased a 20ft shipping container for $2000 delivered (in pretty good condition). Decided this would be the cheapest option to store our stuff (which isn’t much) for two years while in the U.K. If you have land, your parents have land or you have a friend that has land and don’t mind a container on it. Then go with this option. + you can sell the container for pretty much the same price you purchased it for. HAPPY STORING!!!