If you pay attention to this blog, you’ll notice this is the first post in a while. That’s because our house has been turned upside-down and inside out the last few days while we got ready for our annual Garage Sale.
I am a fan of garage sales. I like going to them, and I like having them. They’re a lot of work to put on, but it’s good to see your stuff out there on the tables. Things that you’ve been holding on to for years, or – more accurately – things you’ve been tripping over or constantly moving around to make room for other things, can be offered to someone else so that they can enjoy them for a while. You might even make a few bucks on the side.
Having a garage sale is very humbling. People paw your treasured items, lift them into the air, and scrutinize them for flaws and blemishes. They make faces at things that don’t quite make the grade. They roll their eyes sometimes. They even giggle or laugh. Worst of all, they often put things back, sometimes not very gently, and then walk away without buying. Sometimes they don’t even get out of the car. My husband likes to do the drive-by-garage-sale-browse, and I cringe in the front seat when we do, because I know how slighted I feel when people don’t even bother to park and take a closer look.
But yard sales are also enjoyable. Beyond the hard work of setting up and the sometimes-monotony of managing the actual event, it’s nice to be outside. We had absolutely beautiful weather, and I savored both days from sunup to dusk. We also got to chat with a lot of folks that we wouldn’t have otherwise seen. Many of our neighbors, some of whom I’ve never met, stopped by to browse and visit.
There’s also a sense of cleansing, both physical and emotional, that comes from clearing out your house. We somehow become so attached to stuff that it’s sometimes crippling. We need to be able to let go of our death grip on possessions. Garage sales are helpful in this sense. Once you go through the work of gathering your things, pricing them, setting them out, and then managing them through the sale, it’s easier to cut the emotional ties and let go. You become detached enough to see your things as others do: as objects, without the emotional blinders. Then you get a taste of the freedom from years of accumulation, and you are better able to decide what you really should keep and what might be better off being Freecycled or donated.
Just don’t stop at someone else’s garage sale on the way to recycle your discards…