Expat Decluttering Concierge
One of the things I learned from being a diplomat's wife for the past decade is how to declutter and dispose of things prior to a move. When I knew we were about to move, I would start selling things...
- that we would not be needing in our new post, or
- things that would not fit in our allotted container
...a whole year before the expected move. After some time it felt like my whole life was one giant garage sale.
It was a lot of work, but I would figure out the most efficient ways to sell in whatever country I was in. I remember when Facebook Groups weren't a thing yet, the best way to sell stuff to other expats in Jakarta was through an ad at the end of a catering menu mailinglist. It was all very low tech then. In Berlin, the best way to sell preloved stuff was through eBay Kleinanzeigen. With the help of a German friend and Google Translate, I even learned to write my ads and correspond with the buyers in German.
As a trailing spouse and housewife, it felt really good to be able to contribute to our household by selling decluttered items. This was when I realized: I wish I could have hired someone like me, to help prior to a move, so that I didn't have to go through the panic, emotional breakdowns, and losing a lot of money over things I failed to sell.
Instead I could focus on packing up, psychologically and logistically planning the next chapter of our lives and even enjoying the last few months of posting.
That's why I decided to do this, a service specifically for expats who are moving out of Manila.
I remember my first every client, Joan. We met her about 2 months before she left Manila, and she was able to go on vacations twice before they left the Philippines for good, after fifteen fun years in the tropics.
I remember thinking, what a great way to say good bye to the Philippines, by enjoying our paradise beaches, instead of getting harassed coordinating furniture pick ups and collecting payment from buyers, who sometimes don't even show up.
My team and I were happy to do everything for her and just send her a summary of everything and a bit of garage sale cash. We work hard to dispose of everything in the most effective and sustainable manner, so nothing goes to waste. We coordinate pick ups for donation and recycling. We also sell items that still have some value, so they go to new homes and families that will love and celebrate your stuff.
We are always touched when buyers are so happy with their preloved bargains, that they send us pictures. It's so gratifying, knowing that these things might have gone unused, and disintegrating in storage.
It also gives us joy knowing that our clients are going to their new posts with lighter hearts, bringing only the things that Spark Joy.