Moving is hard. Moving is hot, sweaty, messy. I am not a fan of moving.
I counted back and realized I’ve moved about twenty times in the last four years. This includes several international moves, which I’m not keen to repeat. Even with the small amount of stuff we had to shift, it’s still a draining process and once you’re in the new place you have to get acquainted with a cold, unfamiliar stranger.
Luckily, this place didn’t stay empty for very long. Here’s the first batch of big finds! All of these were purchased on GumTree, which is basically Craiglist except the website doesn’t give off an Arial 1993 vibe.
I love Craigslist. I used it to rent my Charlotte apartment and was able to avoid a lease-breaking fee. Now that I’m here, I love Gumtree, and have nothing but positive experiences to report.
Oven microwave: $20. I bought this off a chick who’d bought a new one and was selling this out from under her boyfriend without his knowledge. Eep. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. It’s a weird baking/confection oven, which I have no knowledge of, but it’s nice to have the option.
Washing machine: $100. Bought this in a hurried Sunday afternoon scramble when we realized we had clothes to wash and no machine. A few quick phone calls, a 15 minute drive, and we’re the proud owners of this stately appliance. Gumtree is amazing. We bought it from a couple who moved here from Arizona two years ago and established residency. Part of me wonders if I’ll be selling this in two years with the same story.
Vacuum cleaner: $18. This was my first Gumtree transaction, and I arrived righteously apprehensive with locked doors and cell phone on emergency speed dial. The seller turned out to be an eccentric old man with an accent I couldn’t place. It looked like he sold secondhand items for a living, as his yard was littered with paper signs and scooters for sale. I paid him $20 for the vacuum, and told him to keep the $2 change. In return, he gave me a one week warranty. What a gem! I find the secondhand culture charming.
So there you have it, our ragtag bag of appliances for $140. (In the interest of integrity, I should add that we already owned a fridge, toaster, bedside table and electric kettle.) Other than that, we’re apartment virgins.
Based on what these items cost new, this small haul would’ve cost around $800 retail: $389 for the washing machine, $285 for the microwave oven and $89 for the vacuum.
This may seem like the tackiest project ever to those of you are unfamiliar to the terms “yard sale” or BOGO, but money talks. And even in this early stage of digging through the trenches of the secondhand underground, I’ve saved over $600. I’m okay with that.
Moreover, this is an exercise in recycling, reducing consumption and reevaluating what we truly need. Every single one of these transactions takes time; some more than others. There’s very little convenience and it may be a bit awkward peering into a stranger’s washing machine- our belongings tell stories about us, after all.
Is it worth the time, though? In my mind, absolutely. Our future world depends on the choices we make today and if that means doing some time-consuming shopping, so be it.
With that said, I’ll hop off my green horse and continue scrolling through pages of online furniture ads. We need a bed, after all.