Guest post from Andria of Simply Frugal Living
The last time I saw my grandmother was six years ago when my husband and I were on our honeymoon. We now live on the other side of the country and our two boys have never met their 90-year-old great-grandmother.
We are determined to make the 2,300 mile trip to visit her this year, and to do it debt-free!
The price tag for the trip is about $2,000. We are not going to use our savings or a credit card. We are going to sell our way to California, and simultaneously accomplish one of our goals for 2012: de-clutter, organize, and simplify our home.
I tend to be a neat freak, but in the past year I have become increasingly overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” accumulating in our home. Perhaps my sentimental tendencies are to blame; it’s hard for me to part with toys we have given to our boys, gifts we have been given, etc. But I’m running out of space and something has to be done!
We have set aside one evening a week and several hours on Saturdays to de-clutter our home. We tackle one room at a time – together. We feel it is important to stick together since we are making tough decisions as to what stays and what goes.
We start at one end of a room and go through every nook and cranny, getting rid of everything we can reasonably live without. This is a time-intensive task as the contents of drawers, counter tops, shelves, and closets are examined and put to the test:
- Did we use or wear it in the past year?
- Is it broken or missing pieces?
- Is it getting in the way?
If something doesn’t pass the test, it goes in the trash or a garage sale box. Granted, the heart strings of sentimental value have been strung at every turn, but we press on because we’re tired of clutter, and we want to reach our vacation goal!
So far we have tackled three rooms, and our home is already feeling much “lighter.” Here are some of the items we have set aside to sell so far:
- trumpet/music books
- spare table and chairs
- old-fashioned stereo cabinet
- various electronics
- kitchen gadgets/cookbooks
- toys/baby items
We set aside a large section of our garage as a holding area for the boxes of things to sell. Our goal is to finish the task by the end of February and have a celebratory garage sale in March. We will also be selling some items on Craigslist or Ebay.
The hope of an exciting, debt-free family vacation is a powerful motivation for us as we de-clutter our home. The more we sell, the sooner we can go to California! If you’re interested, you can track our progress here!
Andria Alexander lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and two sons ages four and one. She teaches coupon classes in the tri-state area, has a weekly coupon segment on KDKA TV, writes bi-monthly newspaper articles, and blogs at Simply Frugal Living.