Scrap, Sell or Save?


If you have ever moved into a new house or apartment or been nice enough to help somebody else move, then you know as well as we do that moving sucks. Moving sucks so much that it usually prevents rational people from ever relocating. But since “rationale” has never been our forté, this will be our fourth time moving in two years. What makes this time different from the rest is that we’re only moving out, not in. We are d-o-w-n-s-i-z-i-n-g our life to fit into a 60 liter backpack.

Down-sizing requires asking yourself one very simple question: do we scrap it, sell it or save it? One multiple-choice question per item. That’s it. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well its even easier when you know where to draw the lines.

First decision: What to Scrap

We all are guilty of holding on to things we don’t really need. If you can’t sell it, give it way or realistically imagine yourself using it again in a year or more, then it must be scrapped. Good examples of things to scrap (all found in our apartment) are: half-used, expired toiletries; stained and holey bed sheets; used notebooks; burnt candles; dried up Sharpies; and opened pet food. Of course wherever possible your “scraps” can be recycled, so please dispose responsibly. Other “scraps” may have an unrealized use and should actually be donated instead of discarded.

Tip: As an ex-donations coordinator, please please please do not give away your dirty, torn sheets, opened toiletries and half-used cleaning products to homeless shelters or other non-profits. They will not be reused despite your good intention and will end up in the garbage. Learn how and where to dispose of your pills, perfumes, cleaning products and everything junk appropriately at or find your give-away items on a local charity’s “wish list” at

Second decision: What to Sell

There comes a time when we all must part ways. With furniture, however, you also get to name your price. Since we decided that the cons of paying for storage and transporting it at the next move totally outweigh the cons of selling now and redecorating later (fun!!), we’re going to sell EVERYTHING. As of today, you’ll find almost all our household belongings on Craigslist and Facebook. It was surprisingly easy to give each piece of our home a goodbye kiss and a fair price tag. If we can sell everything we’ll earn enough to pay for 2 months volunteering in Bolivia!

Final decision: What to Save

Ever heard the saying, the home is where the heart is? Hopefully I don’t need to explain to you that it means life isn’t about stuff and home isn’t a place. With this in mind, we’ve filled our storage bins with just that: our heart. Our boxes are filled with our favorite books and photo albums. They’re filled with rock collections from Iceland to Israel, and every single card anyone’s ever given us. Of course we had to keep a change of clothes for when we come home all torn and tattered, but we would never leave behind our 7 billion cutting boards and beloved Mt. Mansfield memorabilia.

Now all we have to do is… do it! It’s May 8th and we have 3 weeks until move-out day. There’s lots of sorting to be done, boxes to pack, sales to make and donations to drop off. It appears our work is cut out for us – actually it’s spread out across our living room – so please feel free to offer any moving tips of your own!

Good luck to us catching this goat,

Julie & Jeremy

Note to self: Avoid trashing so much stuff next move and BUY LESS STUFF! Every time I come home from traveling I’m sickened by how much stuff I own. We all need to do our part by buying less, buying used, and using products til they’re gone, so we don’t end up with all this (s)CRAP.