Monday, March 2, 2015


I've heard that the best time to purge is after you move from one house to another. We moved into this place in the dog days of summer in 2012 and had a garage sale in spring of 2013. While we were manning the checkout table and selling our discarded wares, several people kept mentioning that they had thought we were the house down the street. Later our neighbors who owned that house stopped by and told us that they hold a multi-house garage sale every year and politely chided us for not holding ours at the same time. We apologized and said we would certainly do so the next time we had a garage sale. Despite being on the very outskirts of town and off the main drags, we had a lot of traffic due to the misbelief that we were our neighbors well known multi family garage sale and made quite a bit of money.

The following years, the neighbors that put on the large garage sale had to have some unplanned for surgery that would keep them down for a few weeks so they moved up their garage sale to be before the surgery and we ended up with about two days notice. Since we didn't have a lot of stuff to purge at the time and didn't have the time to get everything ready in just two days, we opted to skip having one.

Two years have gone by and our baby is now out of toddler phase and into young girl phase. Since we are officially out of the child rearing business, we have a mountain of baby stuff that we need to purge. I have also remodeled a lot of the house and with that meant a fair amount of refurnishing things which has also added to that mountain. That mountain has grown and consumed the vast majority of the unfinished portion of our basement to the point, where I don't want to finish that portion until it is gone. So this year we have told the various neighbors that we are in with the garage sale this year and a date has officially been set for late May. It will be our neighbor who holds the large multifamily sale every year, ourselves and another neighbor just down the street and possibly another neighbor as well. It will be a crazy week for sure. So from now until then, I expect that there will be a lot of sorting, soul searching and purging going on in our household.

I should note that we aren't large consumers and our mountain may be the average garage sale molehill but it still feels nice to purge those items. It frees up space, recycles the stuff so it doesn't end up in the landfill (at least by our hands), and makes a fair amount of pocket change to boot.


sage said...

Garage sales are a lot of work and a pain, but needed. I don't mind talking to people but I am not the type to get the best price, instead often letting things go for much less than I could have received.

Ed said...

Sage - I am the same way and am willing to let things go cheap just to be rid of it. My wife on the other hand wants to get max dollar. She is almost always right and able to get what she asks much to my surprise. I have learned to side with her when it comes to pricing. In return, I have taught her the art of keeping someone on the hook that is interested in something but perhaps not willing to pay full price.

Ron said...

One thing I do miss about living in town was how handy it was for garage sales.

We have yet to have one here... instead, I've reluctantly taken tons of stuff to the thrift store over the past couple of years, knowing I could have easily sold it... but it was well worth it just to have less clutter in our lives.

Now I'm getting down to things that I'm not quite willing to give away... so eventually we'll probably have a sale here.

Ed said...

Ron - The ability to have garage sales is nice but I wouldn't trade where you live for that benefit. The town we used to live in would have a twice a year city wide garage sale and lots of folks out in the country would come set up shop in some parking lots around town to sale their goods. It worked out well for everyone.

Someday I would like to get to the point where I look around and everything around me is valuable and something I couldn't live without. As I age, I'm getting realistic that despite not being much of a consumer, I am still enough of a consumer that creates enough unwanted items that a garage sale or donation to thrift store will always be in my future.

Bone said...

The thing I'm looking forward to about a yard sale is buying back some of my own stuff which mysteriously finds its way into the sale.

Ed said...

Bone - That's what happens when you get involved with women. My stuff disappeared years ago!