As I See It 8-15
Thursday, August 13, 2009


By Melik

I thought it would be easy, put up a sign or two, place some stuff on the lawn and rake in the money. Although the idea was simple, having a garage sale was a whole lot of work. Pardon me, I mean yard sale. I do not have a garage. Since I am a procrastinator I thought it would behoove me to start this process early. However, since I have a tendency to be an uninformed overachiever I put an extra strain on my endeavor. The idea of the yard sale was not necessarily to make money but to get rid of stuff. I have been purging unused and long forgotten items from my dwelling for over a year now. I believe I am at the tail end of things, hence the yard sale.
Now, I realized that my stuff was important to me but it might not be important to anyone else. I also realized that once I sorted out the stuff that might be worthwhile to another I did not have much of a yard sale. I had more of an end of a driveway sale. My next great idea was to involve other people. I put out a notice to the people that I know about my task and offered to help sell any items that they might have. The first person that responded was a cousin of mine, Terri. She had two car loads worth of stuff, things like tables, glasses, mugs, candle holders and baby stuff. A friend of mine, Ken, filled my car with a whole lot of basically worthless technology. I believe computer items that are more than five years old belong in a specialized museum. That museum would be called a computer junk yard. He also had a twenty-five inch old school tube television. A third person to donate to the cause was a new acquaintance Jana. I believe her task was slightly more therapeutic than mine. Ms. Jana was getting rid of items from an ex-husband. Talk about using every definition of ‘cleaning out my closet’, Marshall Mathers would be proud.

After three evenings of picking up stuff, sorting stuff, throwing away stuff I thought this is a lot of work and I have not even started the sale yet. Then I heard horror stories about people that were super hagglers and some that would come in groups to distract and steal. I began to wonder if it would have been better if I had just rented a dumpster. Yet, know that I was on the quest to have my first yard sale of my own. I was determined to have my junk become someone else’s treasure.

Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. I was up and excited to get started. I jumped in the shower, took care of the dog and started setting things up. I was still setting stuff up in the yard at 9:30 and had not put out one sign and I was getting discouraged. Fortunately I had placed an ad on craigslist. I felt at least I had done a little bit of promotion. I even had pictures. Then someone informed me that Friday was the day to really get good traffic at a yard sale. What? How how was I supposed to know? They did not say anything about that on the morning talk show I saw that said someone made $2000 during one weekend sale. I sat, I waited, and I saw people slow down. I practiced my guitar. I ate a banana. I told several people that the guitar was not for sale. I told more than a few people that the DVD player did work. I did not have it hooked up to a television so people seemed more than a little skeptical, same for the VCRs. I found it interesting people were not willing to take a chance and spend the $2. Nobody asked to make sure that the VHS tapes were in working order.

After three evenings, three different trips to other people’s houses, rearranging stuff from my house to my neighbor’s garage, two early mornings on my weekend off, two full days worth of time, many how are you doings, $20 worth of supplies including signs, ice, water, and markers, I cleared $70. The math on that breaks down to making $2.69 an hour for my effort. Good thing I was not in it for the money. I do thank the people that donated to the cause; or rather got me to take their treasures off their hands so I can be responsible for getting rid of it. The real triumph is having less stuff in my house and being just a little bit closer to finding my own feng shui. Anyone need any coffee mugs or an unused breast pump? Make me an offer. Thanks for your time.

~Melik melik_2001 @ yahoo.com

 

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