Monday, September 20, 2010
The Golightly’s yard sale was a success. To my pleasant surprise all visitors were cordial and didn’t attempt the vicious low-ball on price. Perhaps it was because we varied our music from Miles Davis Kind of Blue to Billie Holiday’s Songs for Distingue Lovers to Stan Getz and Bebel Gilberto. You know, keep it mellow.
Or, perhaps it was because all shoppers had to “pay the Piper” as Little Pie sat at her post as money collector. In addition to playing money collector she also sold her sets of homemade pastel pies, book lanterns and a few mason jars of specially selected buttons from her collection. It was a very long day and she was in the throes of it the entire time. What a trooper.
Upon reflection, most of my learning happened the week of pricing. It wasn’t that I learned more about product information or online values, I learned more about The Acquisition of Stuff.
As a family, we're very good about keeping our clothes closets clean. We just were not aware of all the stuff that had collected in the home at large.
Here’s a few things to consider so that you need not end up with stuff you don't need.
Just because it's on sale and a fantastic bargain doesn't mean you need it.
Newlyweds and new parents buy picture frames. Loads of them. After a while photos are taken down. If you fit into either category, get thee to the thrift store and save but also have some awareness that you might be purchasing more than you really need.
With silent auctions now a popular fund raising method for the PTSA’s about the country, I learned that I don’t value the items that come home from such auctions. The one exception is a beautifully framed class sketch of Piper’s Kindergarten school garden. That is a treasure and it hangs above the fireplace mantle. But most those items were bought out of a sense of duty. Given all the work it takes to acquire auction items – and I know because one year I rounded up $5,000 of stuff – I think I’d just rather write a check. How I wish schools would be elevated to the level they deserve when it comes to government spending. Our PTSA raises a lot of money each year and the majority of it seems to fill budget cuts.
When you move from one home to another, don’t just put stuff away to be done with the move. Yes, there is a pressing urge to finish the damn job. Moving is very stressful. But, as you unpack items while standing in the new home, consider if it’s still going to be of value. Ideally it’s best to purge items before a move. But sometimes, whether or not an item will work in a new home cannot be determined until it’s in that home. I had items from our former home shoved in the backs of cabinets from our old home. Ugh, we moved to Denver in 1998. One can have a yard sale before and after a move.
If it hasn’t seen the light of day in a year and it’s not an heirloom, it’s gone.
Take caution on items you intend to save for your children’s children. Mr. Golightly had a huge stash of such items. When seeing the complete pile, we realized we were hoarding items for our grandchildren that we don’t even know if we’ll have. We hope to but there’s no guarantee. Pile was purged with a few meaningful items tucked away.
Often times when you buy a new item, the old goes down in the basement. Na-uh. It’s off to the thrift store! Purge! Be free!
Toss emotions aside. You may have an emotional attachment to an item, like how I love the beautiful solid brass candelabra that hold’s seven candles. But, it really doesn’t work in our home. Poet was so excited to see it and thought she could use it in her Halloween costume, until she attempted to carry it. It weighs more that a meteorite I’m certain and it's really too big to hold and not look like you just might topple. Once you let go emotionally, you become motivated to sell.
Watch out for piles. They can clog you up. [Wink.] I had piles of table linens. When we purchased our dining set from an estate sale, I failed to purge the linens to the old table. It was difficult to open and close the buffet drawers. Not now!
Don't feel bad about abandoning unfinished projects. So what if it didn't come to completion. It happens. Be rid of the guilt and dump the supplies, chances are good that this project will be finished by another and you'll have less clutter.
When you finish a phase, clear out the equipment. Before the girls, Mr. Golightly and I ate sushi at home. We had time to prepare the fish and roll it. The making of it was as important a ritual as the eating of it. One of my kitchen cabinets was full of sushi serving supplies. Thankfully not any leftover fish.
I am very glad that we did this. The week leading up to it was not fun and I was a bit grumpy, partially because I had all this stuff and felt rather, ugh, stupid for acquiring it and the constant price checking on EBay gets tiring. But, I feel cleansed and have a nice chunk of change that I took to the bank this morning. And, I know there are a few people in Denver who found a few items they needed at a fair price.
If you have any purging tips, please share in the comments. If every household in America purged, just think of how full the re-use market would be! Perhaps so big, it would crush new products for awhile and the country could stop taking on water. This stuff has led us into debt, let's not allow it to sink us.