Packing The First Room And Making The First Sale – Minimalistic Living And Living Rent/Mortgage Free.


5 lessons we have learnt form packing up our first room.

In our journey to living rent/mortgage free we needed to take some of the first steps. At this stage we had made plans for the future but little had been done in our daily life to make our minimalistic, rent/mortgage free life a reality. Packing the first room and making our first sale was liberating and rewarding experience but also had an element of reality to make it also bitter sweet.

We decided it was time; we needed to clear out a room in our 3 bedroom house to make space for our “keep” stuff. We chose one of the 2 spare rooms that we have and went nuts. The keep pile of stuff was small, consisting of sewing machines and a few odds and ends. The sell, donate or chuck pile was HUGE!


Lesson 1 – There are some books you read and some books you collect

In our spare room we had a bookshelf! Full of books and magazines that we have not looked at in the 2 years that we had been in our rented home. The “sell” rule was simple, if we hadn’t opened the book in the last 12 months and it wasn’t a photo album it went to the garage sale/ eBay sell pile.

HINT – Use technology to your advantage, Netflix has replaced DVDs, scanners and drop box can replace all of your old photos!!! Scan them, upload them and they are safe forever. Then use your laptop screen saver as your photo album when you move to other peoples homes. You will always be reminded of your precious memories. Beats having them collect dust on a bookshelf. Better still is this is not enough, a small digital photo frame and a USB is portable and easy to put up in unfamiliar environments!!!


Lesson 2 – How much money do you spend on subscriptions?

Our bookshelf would have had over 100 magazines!!!! Lets to some quick math. Average magazine cost = $12

That may not seem like much until you look at the cost of a flight to LA = $898 (current market price as at the date of this post). Most of the pictures and articles can be found online anyway. Or you could use a Tim Ferris rule and apply a low information diet….. But then you may sell your TV (that’s another story). 


Lesson 3 – When a room is empty you have nothing to clean (Bonus for anyone out there that doesn’t LOVE to clean…. So umm, pretty much everyone?)

Now this is self-explanatory, when a room is empty you don’t continuously have to clean the shit in it! Dusting bookshelves, vacuuming around furniture, trying to work out how to store that sleeping bag you have had since you were 15 that keeps you warm at temperatures down to minus 20 degrees that you will never use again because you live on the sunny Gold coast!! That then leads onto the next question! Did you need to keep the stuff in the first place? How many rooms do you have in your house currently that you don’t use other than to hold your stuff???  (Really think about this, is there a room or a few rooms that you haven’t been into at all in the last month? I bet most people will be able to answer yes to this!)

Lesson 4 – Did we really need to be paying rent/mortgage on that space?

Sure, it is nice when your family come to visit once everyone 2 years that they have their own space and bathroom but is it really worth spending an extra $50 a week for the privilege? And for a luxury that will only be needed every few years, save the money and shout them a motel…. Win/Win you get to enjoy your families company but with the added bonus of not having extra mess or being at risk of getting sick of each other J

If you really need the stuff that you have stored in the room look at hiring a storage shed, I think you will find that the cost per square meter/foot a storage container is a lot cheaper than maintaining a larger home.

HINT – If you consider getting a storage this doesn’t mean: “Woohoo… I know have the fourth bedroom in my house free, let’s go to Kmart and fill it up with necessary (I don’t think so!) items that happen to be cheap and beautiful”. This is not the aim, if you look at a storage shed you need to downsize your house to make this a smart move.

Lesson 5 – What else can I sell?

As we started the process the feeling of emptying out a room that purely stored crap (let’s b honest) was amazing! The whole house felt larger and easier to manage. It is funny things you put up with in your home day in day out. We used to walk past that third bedroom and always think, gee I should tidy that room up or at least organise it. It was a constant annoyance to have the door open, so it was often closed, out of sight out of mind. Which is a shame because it did hold some of the items that we both really enjoy (Sewing – Rach & Guitar – Chris) but with all the other clutter it didn’t feel like a relaxed space. Too much junk to get to the good stuff.

So after completing one room and embracing the feeling of a weight had been lifted, we started to view our whole house in a different light. We started looking at all furniture and thinking: Do we really need this or do we just have it?

THING TO THING ABOUT: I know we did!

Question: How would you feel about selling all the things that you don’t use but have connections too?

Question: How would you feel about selling the things you do use but don’t need?


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