We had 2 big yard sales spanning a whole weekend, and one that was Saturday only in an attempt to sell everything. These aren’t my first yard sales, as I have had them in various houses before, but I notice a lot of things are the same no matter the location, and some of them make me laugh. For those who yard sale, you know what it’s like. Saturday you have people pulling over the second you put something in your yard. They’re like, “Hey is that free?” And you’re like, “No, sorry, we’re just setting up for a yard sale. We’re getting rid of like 80% of our belongings.” Then they’re all, “Cool, what else you got?” And then you have to prevent them from coming in your house to find that one special thing that they’ve been looking for, and because you don’t have anything in your yard yet, you tell them that you don’t think you have their special thing. They drive off all bummed out, and you’re annoyed that they couldn’t wait for you to finish. You repeat the process for two or three more eager people that pull over in the next half hour. It’s 8am in the morning by the way, on a Saturday, and you really wonder: A) Why are these people up so early, and B) Why are these eager buyers eyeballing my couch after rolling up in a tiny smart car?
By the way, don’t ever tell anybody that stuff is for sale inside the house because they won’t buy it, but they’re nosy as hell and they want to see the house. They will pretend to need a piece of furniture from every room in the house just so they can act slick like they aren’t just snooping before they drive off empty-handed in their hatchback. Not to mention the house is a wreck cause all you’ve been doing in the house for the past 2 days is digging out all your junk to sell, and you’re gonna get that one crazy person who came in to see a dresser and starts picking clothes out of your clean hamper and draping it across their forearm like they’re gonna buy it- as if everything in your bedroom is up for grabs because you’re selling a single dresser. (Yes, that just happened to us!)
Then, after the mad rush of people dies down between crack-of-dawn and 9am, you finally set everything up outside. This is when you find at least one special thing that you sent someone away for earlier, and guess what, no one else that stops by is going to want that one special thing, EVER. Saturday is a blur of people of all shapes and sizes. You get the people who have to poke everything and try to play musical instruments when they’ve never touched one in their life, you get the people who will only buy things for $1 each no matter how big or expensive it is supposed to be, you get the “I’ll be back later with my truck” who never come back, you get the college kids who will buy anything at all for under $5 even if it makes no sense to their budget or lifestyle, and then you get the creepers. The quiet, don’t make a sound when they walk creepers who look at every single item slowly and silently, waiting until the moment you are distracted to sneak up and scare the crap out of you with an, “Excuse me, how much is this?”
Saturday goes by fast and before you know it, the crowd is suddenly gone and it’s 5pm. I really enjoy a good crowd and how it makes the day go by fast. Sunday you wake up even earlier, so of course, people decide to act normal and not show up until 10am. Then you get a handful of people here and there and the activity is dead by 2pm. We usually get at least one Sunday person who comes in and makes a big buy to redeem the day, that is, if you have big stuff.
We had the genius idea of setting the kids up with a lemonade stand, and they made a decent amount of money for only 3 large pitchers. All three kids would wave down cars and yell, which really helped slow the traffic, and people would just dump a handful of change into the kids’ money jar even if they didn’t want a drink. The kids were happy until we split up the money between their 3 piggybanks, because they were each convinced they earned more than they got. That lasted about 2 minutes but they moved on and forgot about it when I gave them some quarters from my pocket. On Sunday we ran out of lemonade at 12pm, but the baby was happy to yell “Lemonade!” at everyone that stopped by and we didn’t correct him or explain why he was yelling because the confusion of strangers was too funny. It’s the little joys in life, people.
Speaking of joy, we have been having a grand time purging the house of stuff. You all know what it’s like to keep little things because one day you might need them, but in truth you will only use 1 out of 100 little things maybe 5 years later and then never again. And you feel guilty about throwing out perfectly good stuff, but only you think it’s perfectly good because no one will buy it. For example, I have a ton of ribbon. I don’t even really use it, but I bought a lot of it here and there. There are entire spools with the plastic wrap and prices still on them and people won’t buy them, but then they’ll turn around and buy a ton at a craft store sale. WHY? Because consumerism tells us to. We are programmed to want to buy stuff at stores, to collect sets of color-coded stuff, to purchase containers to hold our stuff, to buy thingies to label our containers, to get a bigger house to handle the amount of increasing containers, and then to get storage for the amount of stuff you don’t really need but you don’t want to get rid of so you can get more new stuff in your house. It’s madness. On one hand it’s a bit depressing to resell your stuff for a tiny percentage of what you paid for it, but on the other hand, it feels ridiculously good to see empty shelves and rooms. I don’t know why exactly, but we are feeling incredibly liberated after letting go of our addiction to stuff.
I mean, if we went to the extreme and broke it down to what we actually NEED in a house, you can guaranteed get it down to a suitcase each, no joke, because that’s essentially what we’ve done. We have just enough clothes for about 10 days each, 2 pairs of shoes each, 1 jacket each. The kids each get a 1 foot cubed toy bucket, I get one art box, and Joey gets some books. We throw in some board games for fun, a set of linens for each of us, and a dish set for each of us and maybe 1 spare. Consolidation becomes a game, where you start seriously considering, “Maybe I could get rid of my forks by filing my spoons into sporks, and maybe I don’t need a cup if I get a bowl that’s shaped just right,” and so on. But we’re not crazy or anything, ’cause we still have 3 types of hot sauce. Can’t consolidate flavors.
So that’s our fun yard-selling adventure summary, and next week we should have a ton of awesome before and after pics to show off all the painting and decorating we’ve done. I think all that’s left is to install flooring, build a storage bench, install seat belts, and hook up the RV/SUV towing system. We have most of the pieces needed for these things, we just need the time to do it. We got a storage unit today and will start moving in the things we don’t want to get rid of ASAP. 2 WEEKS LEFT TO MOVE OUT! Oh, the stress!!