The Auction

U-Haul Ship

There’s no such thing as a U-Haul Ship

When moving to the South Pacific, you can’t just load up a U-Haul truck and drive there. Everything’s got to go by plane or by boat. This gets expensive, so you have to learn how to edit your possessions down to a bare minimum. So before we moved to Samoa, my family had an auction.

We sold almost everything: the couch, the beds, the dishes and even the cars. All of it had to go. We’ve never had many heirlooms in my family, so that made it easier, but truth be told, it was hard.

The most difficult part for me was the books. Back in the day, I was a huge Barnes & Noble junkie. I had so many books, heavy books that weren’t worth shipping to Pago Pago. These were books that I had spent $20-$40 on, with a resale value of a quarter a piece. Most of my material possessions meant nothing to me, but seeing my books sold by the bin was almost unbearable.

It was difficult saying goodbye to my things, even though they were just things, but we did have an ace in the hole. We had an auctioneer. All we had to do was get up early and help him and his staff drag everything out onto the lawn. Then we could head out for a few hours, return to an empty house, and pick up a check. Don’t get me wrong, it was still pretty hard, but at least I didn’t have to see my favorite book sell for a dime. I didn’t have to worry about the breakdown, just the final value.

Even if you’re not moving overseas, I’d recommend regularly selling your worldly possessions. It’s just stuff, after all. The real pleasures in life come from people and experiences. So every time I’m tempted to buy more stuff, I think of the auction and remember what’s truly important in this world.

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs regularly at

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5 Responses

  1. May 11, 2012

    […] not worth the time and money to move it all. Sell as much as you can: have a garage sale, hold an auction or even give it […]

  2. June 11, 2012

    […] A couple of years ago, I sold most of my worldly belongings at an auction. […]

  3. July 23, 2012

    […] Somehow, it came along with us on several moves. Years later, as we were holding an auction to sell off most of our worldly goods, I found the bottle and rescued it before it could be sold. From then on, I kept it in my […]

  4. January 16, 2013

    […] after selling off 90% of our belongings at an auction and storing another 5% in a storage locker, we still had a lot of stuff to ship. And […]

  5. February 4, 2017

    […] When it came time to sell all my stuff and move to Samoa, I didn’t dare put my dinosaurs in the auction. Nor did I try to sell them when I got back to the mainland. Instead I’ve hung on to these […]

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