Friday, May 26, 2017

Shedding Weight

At our previous house, we held the occasional garage sale but not very often just because of the work involved. We did take advantage of a program where once a year, residents were allowed to pile just about anything they wanted to rid themselves along the curb and the city would come, pick it up and dispose of it free of charge. The best part is that you had a week grace period from when you could start piling it up before the city came to haul it away. This allowed people to wander the street and cart off some of your "trash" before it made to the landfill. Most times, our modest pile of stuff would be 90% gone before the city ever came to haul the few remaining items away. It was one of those win-win situations.

Our current town doesn't do this so we have to either hold more garage sales or haul it to the dump and pay tipping fees. Fortunately, our neighbors across the street and down a ways love to hold an annual garage sale every spring and we all combine our resources from labor, advertising fees to household stuff we are wishing to remove from our houses. We took full advantage of that this year.

We spent a week combing through our basement and sorting through all our storage shelves for items which we will probably never use again due to aging, changing desires, or most recently inheritances from grandparents downsizing to fit in a one bedroom apartment. Believe it or not, we still had boxes full of stuff from our move into this house five years ago! This past year, several major retail players in our community have closed up shop leaving only one major household player left. So unfortunately in an effort to organize our lives, I had to go to Walmart and buy a van load of clear plastic storage totes. We're still in the process of getting everything organized into those totes but we are rid of the last of the moving boxes which means we can see what we have left.

Between all the stuff we've been saving up for a couple years and all the stuff "gifted" me by others, I had a van load of stuff to haul across the street to the garage sale. I ended up working around 10 hours over two days manning the booth and wheeling and dealing with people to offload everything and in the end, I only had to haul back two garbage bags of clothes and a brass/glass fireplace door set given to me by my parents to sale. The clothes we kept simply because most of them were gently used kids clothes that we will gift to others who want them. The fireplace door I would have sold cheaply to anyone who had an interest but not one person expressed interest. Years ago I won one in an auction while just bidding on a fire poker set and sold it later on Ebay for over $300 profit so I'm guessing I will do something similar with this one.

We got a sizable check for all our stuff but more importantly to me, I can now walk through our storage room without walking around a pile of stuff destined for a garage sale and soon what remains will be organized in clear plastic totes (thanks to whomever Walmart bullied to make so cheap) on the shelves with some room to spare. It's hard to put a price on empty space in a home.


Kelly said...

Good for you - I know that's a major feeling of accomplishment!

We use to have an annual Trash & Treasure sale at our church and it was a great way to clean out and help raise money for the church at the same time. That's a thing of the past, so I haven't done a decent purge in awhile. It's time.

Ed said...

Kelly - As someone who doesn't like shopping and consider myself somewhat of a minimalist, I'm surprised at how things can accumulate.