Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Yard Sale Success!

This past Saturday was my first ever yard sale!  It was fun, but I'm so glad it's over.

Last week I laid down my intended goals for January.  Having a yard sale was one item on the list of one-off activities.  For a few months, I have been isolating items around the house that I wanted to either give away or sell.  The week leading up to the big day, I grew increasingly anxious.  Sure, I had collected and grouped things together, but those groups were still scattered throughout the nooks and crannies of my house.  All I could think about during my waking hours were all the little bits and pieces I needed to hunt down.  I fretted over remembering each teeny, tiny object in my home.  It was super exhausting.

By Tuesday or Wednesday (I forget now which), I informed Jeff that I was going to take a night off from writing and other chores and just focus on getting everything we wanted to sell into the living room.  I dumped yarn out of plastic storage bins to collect random objects.  We started in our bedroom, taking clothes, boxes, bins, everything out and analyzing what we could.  I went to the second closet that held a bunch of my random crap, things I have hoarded for years because they might be cool in a crafting project someday.  I went through each box, every bin, I threw away things that needed to be tossed, I put sale items in a plastic tub.  The process was a little stressful, but I took care not to make excuses to avoid doing what was necessary.  Jeff kept me company and occupied the cats while I kept at it.

Jeff and the boy had already done the kid's room a few days earlier, so we went ahead and moved it all down. Several trash bags and bins later, the bedroom was done.  I went into the third bedroom and decided that the specialty items it contained would need to be handled later; it wouldn't be appropriate to put these things out at a general yard sale.

We went through the entertainment room, the living room, the "dining" room, and the kitchen.  After a couple hours, we were sweaty and covered in dust.

The evening before the yard sale, we went through the garage and found twice as much crap as we did in the house.

Every time I moved through a room, I found something else that could be added to the pile.  Things that I had kept in the background for years but didn't technically use.  There were some items I wasn't ready to get rid of Thursday, but Friday I happily tossed it in the pile.  Getting rid of stuff started to become addicting.

Saturday, we started to setup in the cold dark of a January morning at 6:30.  Some asshole with his two pre-teen sons showed up at 6:45 asking about the video games I promised in a craigslist ad.  Now I had to stand and keep watch while Jeff did all the lifting and moving.  The games were for several systems and spread across a few bins since we still hadn't set up yet.  He kept asking me about the games, and I finally told him he would need to wait until we had everything out and setup at 7:00 (you know, when the ad said we would start).  He rummaged through the disorganized bins anyway and ended up leaving a few minutes later.

Fortunately, his high-holy-jerk-headedness didn't set the tone for the day.  It was slow and freezing until about 8:00, but Jeff read to me while I knitted a scarf to keep my hands busy in the quiet morning.  From about 8:30 to 10:30 there was a ton of activity and we off-loaded most of our stuff.  It was nice to have visits from friends to keep our spirits up through the morning.  By 11:30 we hadn't had any fresh faces in awhile and loaded up the left-overs into the van.

We celebrated our success with a Round Table Pizza lunch buffet before depositing our bounty in the bank and heading off to Goodwill.  We would have preferred to donate to Disabled American Vets, but we were exhausted and it was farther than we wanted to go.  I ran inside Goodwill to see if I could find a nice sweater while Jeff did the donating bit.  I came up empty handed out of the store just as he pulled up and parked.  Next we hit Target so I could get some liquid eyeliner and Jeff encouraged me to hunt down a sweater.  We only found one contestant, a jewel-tone teal that's nice and long and warm without being too drapey like my other sweater.  I would have preferred a more neutral color, but this one is nice.

Anyway, we were pooped and headed home for naps.  After long naps and a shower, we headed out to the theater, gift cards in tow, and caught the new Mission Impossible movie.  Afterwards, we shared a chicken sandwich at Red Robin, being the only restaurant open at 10pm on a Saturday.

The house was still in a state of disarray by Sunday, but we picked up what we could and Jeff vacuumed so we could do some yoga with a friend.  Through the afternoon, we had a Torchwood marathon while I worked on potential story outlines to carry me through the next month.

I still walk through the house and find things I don't want or need anymore.  I want to get rid of more, so I will be setting up a donation bin somewhere unobtrusive in the house.  When it's full we can donate it to DAV or sell more valuable pieces on craigslist.  It's a trip to think that I'm still not done purging and reorganizing.  Some things will just need a bit more time before I'm ready to let go.

I generally feel more relaxed in my home.  I still see clutter everywhere, but I feel much more prepared to release things than before.  Just taking everything off the counter in the bathroom (except for toothbrushes, handsoap, and a vanity mirror) makes getting ready at any time of day a lot less frantic.

I'm even playing with the idea of ditching the Internet at the house, but that's a blog for another day.

I'll have my mid-month progress report on my other mini-actions in a few days.  I wish everyone success in their endeavors to get 2012 off to a great start!

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