Moving out


I am totally overwhelmed with the concept of having a yard sale to get rid of all my possessions to go on the road. My wife has multiple sclerosis and I decided my job was killing me with stress. Can't take care of my wife if my job is making me sick, so figured I would give up the six figure job, sell the house and move into our Cyclone full time. I can't believe all the accumulated stuff that I need to somehow organize for a yard sale. Don't know where to start. Any advice?


Well-known member
I am totally overwhelmed with the concept of having a yard sale to get rid of all my possessions to go on the road. My wife has multiple sclerosis and I decided my job was killing me with stress. Can't take care of my wife if my job is making me sick, so figured I would give up the six figure job, sell the house and move into our Cyclone full time. I can't believe all the accumulated stuff that I need to somehow organize for a yard sale. Don't know where to start. Any advice?

We are not full-timers, but have some really good friends who were for many years and have talked to them many times about what they did. They do and did when work as "work-campers" as part of their full time RV lifestyle. For them, the work-camping paid most of their expenses and offered many opportunities to move around. From what they have told us selling everything was a real eye opener. It was that realization of all the "stuff" as you put it they had aquired and really didn't use. The one thing our friends have said over and over about their time on the road was the committment they had to make and keep to if it was not used in 6 months it got given to Good Will or thrown out. The other thing was, they had a practice of litterally throwing out their wardrobe every six or seven months and starting over.

What our friends did was to actually contract with a regular auction firm to do their sell. This pretty well assures that you liquidate all your "stuff" at one time. I would think this would be the way to go as opposed to a "yard sale".

We are not going to give up the house this year, but we are doing a lot of soul searching about a larger trailer and making a move in 2013 to full time. Like you, when we talk about all the "Stuff" aquired over the years it is a big step.

Best of luck.


Texas-South Chapter Leader-Retired
We began full-timing in April of 2011. My husband is in the military and with his last duty station transfer (September 2009) we started paring down. (We'd known for years that we wanted to begin full-timing in 2012 when he retired). Then in 2010 when we moved the date up we started going through things. We had 5 sortings at first - stuff to give to our kids, stuff to donate, stuff to store, stuff we weren't sure about & stuff to sell. Most things were easy to determine what to do with...others...not so much. We rented a 5x10 unit to keep things in...and continued to go through things that we were unsure of. The more times we went through those items the easier it was to decide where it should go. We are now down to a 5x5 unit that pretty much just has my husbands Army gear in - and that will be gone when he retires. **We do have some family heirlooms (dishes, etc) that our youngest son is storing for us at his home in NY.

Good luck to you. Hoping you can get rid of your 'things' as easily as we have been able to. We decided that that is just what they are...things. We wanted the time together and the experience more than those 'things'.


Well-known member
We both retired three years ago ,sold our house and became full timers.We didn't like where we lived and always
called it our work house because of the convenience so timing was good.Most of our belongings are in storage as
it is a link to security in case of illness ,etc.We may sell some things later??We stay at a golf resort in Fl for 4 months,
travel for 2 months in the southern US , reside at a park in Canada for 5 months,and stay in the kids yard for the other month.
for us its a busy lifestyle and enjoy it immensely.
All the best whichever way you choose to go.

Ray LeTourneau

Senior Member - Past Moderator
When we made the decision to "get out of dodge" we went the yard/garage sale route. There was a lot a prior planning and lists made.

Our first priority was to get the house sold. once we did that the fun began. We decided to keep things that were important to us either in a storage location or with our Son/Daughter if room was available. My woodworking stuff and tools went to my Son. Thankfully he had room for it. We rented a storage place and negotiated a yearly rate as opposed to monthly. It seemed they appreciated getting a years worth of rent up front. We kept enough stuff to get us started in a house again if we ever decided to change lifestyles. It was a wise move because after 4 years full timing, we now have a home again.

We had 2 yard/garage sales and things that didn't sell went to Goodwill. We also put stuff on Craigslist prior to the yard sale. If you price it to sell, it will.
Good luck with your decision. We really have no regrets. Getting away from work was the best decision we ever made.


1st Tennessee Member#1084
We had an estate sale. A company came in and cleaned and priced everything that we didn't want, then they advertised it and handled the sale. They got a percentage of the sale and we both did well, no stress at all. Then hired a mover to tale what we wanted to keep to a climate controlled storage. We hit the road in July and absolutely love it. Temp here in Rockport Texas today 85 and Sunny. I aint moving back to Tennessee until it is warm again.


Well-known member
we're not full-timing but recently moved and made some tough decisions on what to sell. In the final analysis, it's only "stuff". and I just wanted it to have a place where someone would use it. When I started to sort things I realized a lot of what possessions I had was saved for "just in case" scenarios and hadn't really been used in months or even years. We thinned the herd with phased garage sales and priced items to ensure we didn't have to keep anything. I really haven't missed much in the last six months, or so. Good luck with your new milieu.


Texas-South Chapter Leaders-Retired
things I realized a lot of what possessions I had was saved for "just in case" scenarios .

This was my case also. I have always saved things for that "just in case" time. I finally came to the conclusion that buying a item new when needed was probably cheaper on fuel not having to haul it around.

Delaine and Lindy

Well-known member
We went the yard sell 1st day did over $12,000 was going for 3 days but on second day the people started to want everything for nothing. Took down sign and stop yard sell. Called on Monday to Good Will told then to come and pick up the rest and gave it to them..... Remember its just stuff and in many cases you weren't using it all that much... I feel for you my friend, hope the best for you and yours... Happy Trails....


Active Member
When we went full time we moved everything into storage. After 6 months we knew we liked the lifestyle and if we went back to a house we would want new furniture. We called an auction house and had them come pick up everything we didn't want. We felt we did much better through the auction house than what a yard sale would do. If we were to do it again we would have started with a smaller storage for those things we wanted to keep and have them come to the house and pick up the rest.
Good luck on your new lifestyle.


Senior Question Asker
When we first decided to get an RV we were looking at Class As, which meant we'd need to sell the house to feel secure financially. Now that we're going the 5-er route, we're keeping the house for a while but we're still clearing out stuff.

Here are my tips after many yard sales and craiglist-ings.

1. Pull out the most valuable things you want to get rid of and sell them on craigslist. To me, craigslist is less overwhelming than having 50 people in my yard. And you'll likely get more money for your item.

If you have a digital camera or smart phone, snap several pictures of the item from different angles (it helps to clean the item first!) and then post to craigslist. Post once every 3 - 4 days until the items sells or a few weeks has past. When the item sells, delete the post.

2. Define a space in your house (we used a corner in the dining room) as your Yard-Sale pile. As we'd walk through the house and came across something we wanted to get rid of, we put it into the pile. Keep adding to it.

3. Go through the house in search of "trash." Things that are broken and can't be repaired, things that you don't want to repair, things that are worn out and no one would want. Get rid of them. Giant trash bags are your friend.

4. Go through your closet with more giant trash bags and get rid of anything that you haven't worn in a year. I do a year vs. 6 months since I need winter clothes (cold natured) and summer clothes. Get rid of anything that doesn't fit. Get rid of anything you don't genuinely love. Take the bags to a local thrift shop or Goodwill. (Check with the thrift stores to see if they support a cause - my local one supports homeless animals.)

Anything that's torn, discolored or stained should go in the trash.

Go through your socks, shoes, coats, and winter gear while you're at it.

5. If you find you're sentimental about something, take some time to say good-bye. I have some favorite childhood games that my parents brought over. Spending an evening playing them is a good way to say good-bye before donating them.

6. Take a close look at what's left. Does it have value to others? If so, yard sale it. Would you want to use it again in the future? Would it be expensive to purchase at a later date? Anything that gets a "no" goes up on craigslist or in the yardsale pile.

7. Contact relatives or friends about items you don't want. At this point you've gotten rid of "trash," given things away, sold big ticket items. This leaves 1) stuff you want to keep, 2) stuff for the yard sale and 3) stuff you're not sure about. It's a great time to see if you're kids want their old Nintendo or if your sister wants the credenza she's had her eye on.

8. Start boxing things up. If you're going to sell the house and put things in storage you might as well start boxing things up that you know you'll want to keep but won't need in the RV. Wal-Mart has all shapes and sizes and boxes for cheap. Thick boxes, too! A few times as I was boxing things up I decided I didn't really need the item. Into the yardsale pile it went.

9. Prep for the yardsale. Wipe things down. Clean items sell far better than dusty items. You can do this while watching TV.

Give things a pricetag. I hate asking how much someone wants for an item. A price sticker saves us both time. Stores like Wal-Mart sell pre-printed sticker sets (usually in the school supply section or near the outdoor trashcans/mailboxes/yardsale stuff.) Use these stickers on everything you can.

Before the big day, make up some killer yard sale signs (or purchase them.) I bought foam board in the art supply section at Wal-Mart and wooden posts from Home Depot. The kind you'd use to hold back the black erosion barriers along a road. They have points on one end and are easier to stab into the ground. I find that putting YARD SALE in giant black letters along with a single arrow make the best signs. Not cluttered. Easy to "read while driving" and follow. This takes some thought because you'll need to decide where you want to put your signs ahead of time and plan the arrows accordingly. But these signs have brought me so much traffic over the years and I just keep reusing them. I staple the poster board to the wood post with my staple gun.

Get change. I find $50 worth of change is a good amount. Usually 3 - $5, 1 - $10, 15 - $1, and the rest in quarters. I wear an artist's apron that has 5 pockets. This keeps the change and money separate and easy to access.

At my last yard sale I had a "free" table. It was stuff I didn't think anyone would necessarily buy, but they might find useful. Stuffed animals, party decorations, things like that. It was a big draw and really made people get out of the car. I simply made a sign that said "items on this table are free. Sorry, the table stays with us."

I generally put a radio on the front porch so that there's some background noise. Easy listening. Not too loud.

10. Use it - or - lose - it. This is the phase we're in right now. Using up supplies. Food. Bath gel. Paint. Cleaning supplies. Anything we don't want to take on the RV. We started buying the 9 rolls of toilet paper instead of the 18 so that we don't have any left over before the big trip. :)

Hope this helps.


Well-known member
My wife retired ,sold our house 4 months later,I retired 2 months after that.We sold nothing but did give items to our kids
and the remainder in storage and most of it is still in storage after 2 years.Two days after I retired we started our adventure by
driving to Florida with our Landmark.We stayed at an inland location of Florida for the first month and then decided to move
to the easten coast and have been golfing and going to the beach since then.Its really what you feel comfortable can
keep your things for a few years and then slowly phase into selling over time.It may cost you storage but make you more comfortable.


Well-known member
We started to full time 3 years ago. We made a list of all the things we really wanted to keep. We measured all the furniture, put in boxes pictures, keepsakes, etc. Then we went to a storage place and did some measuring to see just how it would fit. We had 3 large yard sales and at the end of the day whatever did not sell, went to good will--not back in the garage. The storage people were willing to deal with a yearly rate, sold the house and enjoying to road.


Well-known member
Here in Sacramento, there are professional "Estate Liquidators" that do it all for you. Check the internet, or the phone book.


Well-known member
We let kids have what they wanted, sold a few items on e-bay, then had 'one' garage sale, gave the rest (a whole truck full) to The Salvation Army Store - got a receipt and got a great tax charitable deduction on taxes that year. Wished we had passed on the garage sale and took the tax deduction on that stuff.


I am not looking forward to the day we have to downsize. I am glad you shared your experiences so that I can be better prepared. I am looking forward to staying out for much longer periods of time.