We had an amazingly gorgeous sun-filled 1 bedroom apartment in West Greenwich Village full of lovingly collected things that were not going to fit onto our new sailboat.
Reality check: we have to get rid of everything? No. We can store whatever we want in a storage unit that we will pay for. The larger the storage unit, the more we pay. One of the reasons we are doing this boat thing is to save money. Sooooo…we have to get rid of almost everything.
First: get rid of our existing storage unit. We have lived in NYC for three years and have paid an astronomical sum over that time to store things we don’t need or use.
Math is very sobering sometimes.
The storage unit contained my Better Half’s Star Wars collection (yes, that’s a real thing) and my darkroom equipment, plus some other random things. First step: find someone who would buy darkroom equipment. No one? Oh. Ok, how about a charity that would be willing to take it? I posted a full description on a NYC charity clearinghouse website and contacted many other charities directly. I tried to get in touch with NYC schools but couldn’t get through their incredibly difficult screening process. I got exactly one call back from one charity. They wanted it and were very excited! I was excited, too! The day before they were supposed to pick it up I got an email that they did not have room in their facility for it and that they would not be taking it. Shit. I then posted the darkroom equipment on Craigslist as “Free”. I got a lot of responses; mostly people wanting to take my enlarger (retail $2000) and nothing else. Nope. The first person who had responded had a truck and would be at our storage locker on Saturday morning to take everything away. Awesome! Friday night I got an email that he was no longer interested. Shit. I posted it again. More crazy people. Some angry people who wanted me to deliver the equipment to them (Hi. Free means you do the work to acquire it.). Someone wanted me to store it for him for 6 months until he could build a shed to house it and would offer it free to the neighborhood (while I appreciate the sentiment I’m trying to get rid of it. No.). Finally one guy didn’t come across as crazy, had a truck that could haul it away, and agreed to a time that was convenient for both of us. Miracle of miracles, he actually picked everything up and took it away. For free. He got a damn good deal.
Second step was Star Wars: could we donate them to a battered women’s shelter where kids would be able to play with them? No. No shelters or charities take used toys. Ok, back to Craigslist. My Better Half posted a listing and got a lot of response, mostly from people asking if he had any of the most valuable figures. Hahahaha, no. One dealer wanted to take a look at it so we went back to the storage locker, broke open the bins, and he examined what we had. His eyes lit up and he got himself a good deal, too.
That left us with a very few things in the storage locker.
Possessions are annoying. We hauled them back to our apartment and shoved them into closets and anywhere they would fit.
I posted a huge Craigslist ad telling the story of why we were selling so many nice things and got a tremendous response. It made up for the psychos who wanted the world for free.