I’ve spent the past three years nesting. Getting very comfortable in my living space. Buying things I like and really making myself at home.
But two weeks ago, I got offered an amazing opportunity to “up sticks” and move from Bendigo, Victoria to live nearly 4,000 kilometres away in Darwin, Northern Territory.
It has meant I’ve had to dismantle my nest, downsize like no tomorrow, and sell things I don’t particularly want to part with.
It’s been confronting at times, but also quite illuminating meeting people who want to buy my things off the internet.
Selling things online is kinda new to me, so I didn’t really know what I was getting into.
I’d seen my aunt put things on social media to sell. “Who would want that?”, I kept thinking.
Drinking glasses, dining room tables, chairs, you name it — she’d put it up. I decided to give it a go.
A shoe rack, timber stools and a metronome
My first item was a shoe rack. I bought it three years ago when I moved into my small one-bedroom apartment in inner-Melbourne. It was perfect for that apartment; the right length, width, and colour.
I bought it flat-packed and my German backpacker friend Kevin and I put it together over a couple of hours and a couple of beers. When he visits, he points to it and says, “Our shoe rack!”.
I don’t get to see Kevin very often, so when I’d put shoes into it, it would remind me of him. Cute.
But I didn’t need it anymore. So, I put it up online for $40 hoping someone else might like it for their place and treat it with the respect I’d treated it these past years. Within minutes, someone was interested. “When can I pick it up?” the first potential buyer asked. “As soon as you like!”, I responded with excitement.
Over the next 24 hours, I had over 20 people interested in this little shoe rack. I was BLOWN AWAY. Suddenly I was thinking, “Okay, let’s see what I can get rid of to help pay for these moving costs…”
Door snakes to block drafts coming into warm rooms. Sold.
My hanging baskets with herbs in them. Sold.
Four cocktail glasses I never used. SOLD.
I was on a roll.
There was a classic red metronome on top of my piano. I purchased it at the local op shop thinking it was a cute little addition to my lounge room. It was! But I needed to move things on that I didn’t need. So, I threw a price on it.
Within half an hour, a man messaged me and wanted it right away. He turned up and told me he’d just started learning the guitar. “I was going to travel to Creswick [90 minutes away] for one of these! Do you realise how rare these are!?”
Immediately, I thought I should have put more on it, but I was just happy someone wanted it and appreciated its value.
I’d inherited a lot of bits and pieces from family members through the years, and it’s those pieces that tend to follow me around from place to place because of their sentimental value.
I had these two white, timber stools that my uncle made that I’d never used. I’d taken them to four different locations over the years, and it was time to let go. I threw them up for $10, without any interest, so I put them on for free.
Soon enough, there was interest. They’d be picked up that evening.
“Sorry I’m late, I had to get food for my rat!” the woman said to me, getting out of her car parked in the bus stop in the pouring rain. “…. Your rat?” I questioned, trying not to picture a rat as I’m not the biggest fan of them.
“Yeah, I have a rat and I needed to get food for him ’cause he ran out of food and that’s why I’m late!”
I didn’t need all the information, but I was glad she was here to get the stools.
“Well enjoy these stools!” I said, changing the subject.
“Oh, they’re perfect for me because I have a hernia.”
Daringly, I sought clarification, again, trying not to picture the subject of our conversation.
“Yeah, I’ve got a hernia, so I can sit down washing the dishes now. It hurts too much if I sit down for too long.”
After the woman gave me details of her impending operation, I walked inside with a real sense of satisfaction.
Sure, it’s been hard to part with items from my nest — particularly items with some sentimental value, but now these items are getting a new life in a new nest, hopefully bringing new meaning to new people.
James Findlay is a presenter and producer at ABC Radio Darwin
ABC Everyday in your inbox
Get our newsletter for the best of ABC Everyday each week
Posted , updated