Thursday, August 26, 2010

My garage sale crap recap.

So I mentioned a few blogs ago that I was preparing for a garage sale.

As you may recall, I revealed that I'd accumulated an almost hoarder-like quantity of crap. And, having resolved that I no longer needed or wanted any of this stuff, I decided I would attempt to convert my collectibles into cash vis a vis a garage sale.

Let's review. This is what my garage looked like the day before the sale.

It's no exaggeration to say that the garage was virtually filled to bursting with incidentals and nick-nacks I no longer wanted.

Am I apologetic for having generated this quantity of castoff crap?


Do I feel privileged to live in a land that allows such flagrant consumerism?

Of course.

Glad to see it go?


But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

I'd decided to divest myself of my tangible ebay learning curve, which took shape in the form of tons of potential collectibles I'd acquired during the course of a decade, give or take.

These items were all stored in one place, known by all who live here as The Ebay Room. The Room was filled with all manner of evidence that pointed to the fact that I know more now than I did when I started this odd hobby.

Slowly and methodically, I, and whoever I could coax into helping me, cashed in some sweat equity by cleaning out that room. Completely.

Ah. So refreshing. The light at the end of the crap tunnel was just a 3-day garage sale away.

The whole process was so interesting, so enlightening, so painstaking.

Making compelling signage, then staking claim to prime real estate at pivotal intersections.

Creating a Craigslist ad that enticed the curious while hopefully discouraging folks who would potentially case the joint in order to ransack my house while I was away.

Enlisting (read: mandating) the help of those who insist that they love me.

Dragging this compilation of items into my driveway by 7 a.m.

I had a fabulous companion during the sale. My friend Anne has a beautiful, interesting, polite, sales-directed daughter who was as invested as I was in a good garage sale outcome.

Melissa had accumulated a very nice inventory, and she was at the sale every day, at dawn's crack.

She was the quintessential salesperson. She wasn't much of a chatterbox. She's a watcher, I'm thinking. An observer. And I'm thinking that her observations of our time, our customers, her experience, went into her personal vault.

I don't know if many folks have the combination to her vault, but I enjoyed her quiet company during those spates of time when we had no customers.

And having a garage sale does have its idle moments. It's like going fishing. Good preparation means that there's a point when you get to sit back and wait for your line to register a tug.

The tug on our line were the customers. And the customers were so interesting.

There's a reverence most people project when they're combing through garage sale stuff. A sheepishness, almost.

Some people are talkers. Other folks are quiet and tentative. Some seem like professionals.

Of course the majority of people who were lured into my crap web breezed in and out, and there were others who were comfortable with a high level of personal disclosure. There were players. There were several who left an imprint.

One woman dropped by on Thursday, enjoyed the zucchini bread we were passing around to our customers, and she returned on Friday with a copy of one of her favorite recipes.

She was a discloser, who told me more about herself than some of my friends have shared. It's the safety of anonymity, I'm thinking.

It's interesting, inviting people to browse through the items you no longer value. There's no guest list. It's all about creating value in what you've determined no longer holds value in your world.

But when push comes to shove, it comes down to the bottom line.

I wanted to get rid of what had become superfluous. And I wanted to make a bit of ching.

My ching bottom line from the garage sale was somewhere in the $500 range.

It was nice to have the money. Frankly, a big chunk of the money I generated by selling my unwanted things went to buy my kids the new items they need for school. Freshman + Senior = Expensive.

And I have fresh, clutter-free space post-garage sale.

I had the opportunity to get to know my friend's daughter just a little bit.

I met a whole bunch of cool people, who took my merch away.

And now I  have this.

I still have some items that are designated for donation.

But my car has once again found purchase in its comfortable resting place.

The new room in my house is very valued. The elimination of the unnecessary is paramount. And the space in my garage is fantastic.

Now, my transportation is impervious to the elements. My cat (shown) doesn't have to navigate a path to his/her food.

It's a no-lose.

Garage sales are a good thing, on so many levels.


  1. Mary

    I love your perspective on so many things ! especially about things ( we don't need)


  2. What a wonderful story. Downright inspiring! Sounds like it was a very positive experience all around.

    I love that you handed out zucchini bread. What a fun garage sale for your customers!