Reposted blog entry from May 2, 2008
I love garage sales. I have scored some major finds like a playhouse that retails for $500 -I got it for $40. And this toddler car bed that retails for $200. I got it for $1. (not a typo!) I've also gotten a barley used trampoline with enclosure, two park benches, a desk, 3 motorized Fisher Price ride in cars ($5 each!) and various other big items for cheap, cheap, cheap. My latest find, was a 5 piece all-wood bedroom set for Asha. We are getting it painted, but it was in otherwise perfect condition. $250 score!
(There's also a hutch, a desk and a long dresser)
But I will confess that I have a problem. No, its not spending money. I usually spend less than $5 on any given day of garage sale-ing and many times come back without having spent any money. My problem is that I'm a hoarder. Which is kinda of ironic since I'm also a bit of a minimalist. I told a friend once that I was having a garage sale and she laughed and said, "What are you going to sell? You don't have anything!" Not true. Even though my house is so empty that I can often hear an echo when I talk in the living room (I'm really not kidding about the echo), my garage is packed with stuff I don't need/want/use.
I blame my parent's for my problem, so lets start there. My dad used to work at a retirement home and whenever there was a funeral, the family would sift through their stuff and toss all the junk. My dad would then sift through the junk and bring his finds home. While my mom hated that my dad brought all this stuff home, she couldn't bear to throw any of it away. So growing up we just moved all of these things that we didn't need/want/use from spot to spot.
Back to my problem...all the stuff that I don't need/want/use any more I can't bear to throw out either. Here's how it goes through my rationale: if I want something like it in the future, then I will have saved money by keeping the one that I had, right? And even though I don't want it, it is perfectly good, so someone else might want it, right? And if they do, they might even pay me money for it! So I store it all in random boxes in the garage for a garage sale that I might get around to one day.
Believe it or not, my "one" day is actually coming this Saturday. I decided to break down and force myself to have the sale to get rid of stuff that I don't want to cart to Hawaii. But as I am picking through boxes marked Garage Sale, I found myself taking things back out! At first it was just innocent, like a few toddler boy clothes that had put in before I knew we were having another boy. But then it started to get ridiculous. I've got a huge box of sweaters from North Dakota that I haven't worn since moving back to California -and will of course not need for another 3 years in Hawaii -and I know they will be sorely out of style after that. But then I think to myself, no one is going to buy these here in semi-sunny California...so I take them out of the sale pile. But there's nothing wrong with them so I can't bear to put them in the trash either. So there they still sit in my garage. Ahh! I was so disgusted with myself that I just closed the garage and came back into the house to see if I could muster up the courage to toss them in an hour or so. I had a whole pile already designated for the sale tomorrow but it seems to be getting smaller.
Now I know a lot of people who have garage sales complain about early bird shoppers who stop by hours before the sale is set to start, but its kinda sad to be the early bird shopper at your own garage sale.