Friday, July 16, 2010

Critical mass

I get used to my stuff. I've gathered quite a collection of crap. But I live here, I get used to the clutter, the multiple junk drawers, the closets that I close abruptly so items don't spill out and conversely, the closets I open gingerly in case something might spill out and thwack me in the noggin. It's the classic out of sight out of mind game I play with myself.

Then there are times when I look at my house the way visitors might see things, and I get all kinds of critical about the subpar nature of my housekeeping.

I decided recently that I have way too much stuff.

So what's a woman to do?

Two words: garage sale.

In addition to a crapton of stuff I've tucked away in closets and drawers, I have an entire room in my basement that's been affectionately dubbed the Ebay Room.

Lined with shelving all around, this room is where I've been storing treasures I've found over the years, with the intention of selling them on ebay. The room is such a tangible testament to my treasure hunting learning curve, and what's become apparent is that I bought a bunch of stuff I thought had value that's really not worth the listing fees incurred by slapping it up on ebay.

To be fair, I've learned a lot, and I've become much more discerning about what I buy. But that still means that I have a whole bunch of stuff I simply don't want any more.

I've reached critical mass.

So I'm in the process of organizing a garage sale.

I'm motivated on so many levels. I want to divest myself of the things I no longer need. I want to turn my ebay room into a functional living space. I want to step a few paces back from standing in the line marked "hoarder" on Judgment Day.
My car is now relegated to the driveway while I load up my garage with my life's castoffs.

This is an unfortunate yet motivational necessity. It was just last year about this time that my garage was rendered functional for its intended purpose. After almost a decade, I'd finally cleared a path so my car actually fit in the garage.

There's such a sense of accomplishment and normalcy when a garage can actually be used to shelter a vehicle. And I love not scraping my windows in the winter or hopping into a scalding hot car in the summer. I like the fact that, when my car's in the garage, no one knows if I'm home or not. Pull the car in the garage, push the little garage door opener/closer button and my home is my tidy little oasis.

At least from the outside looking in.

Lately I have zero tolerance for the closets, the junk drawers, the stuff I pass by every day and actively ignore. I've been looking at my house the way other people might, and I think I'd think my house would be a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

So I'm motivated to have this garage sale. Items are finding their way upstairs, out of the ebay room and into the garage. My car is banished to the driveway, and the garage is filling up with stuff I simply don't have room for any more.

This photo was taken a while ago. There's a whole lot more stuff in my garage now, and there's a whole lot more to do.

I can't wait to get rid of these things I've collected, and I'm much more interested in having a decluttered house than making a ton of money. So the signage for my garage sale will most likely include the words ROCK BOTTOM PRICES.

It feels good to let go of things you no longer need. I'll be selling the tangible elements of my treasure hunting educational process that have accumulated to the point of critical mass. And I'll be gaining a new room, manageable closets, a few less junk drawers.

Best of all, I'm able to look at my house the way other people do, and I think I'll like what I see.


  1. You go girl! I am cheering you on!!

  2. Have you ever read "It's All Too Much" by Peter Walsh? Very inspiring read if you want to clear clutter from your life. Liz