Emotional tethers.......

wannadancMarch 31, 2006

Long a hoarder, I have recently begun to do battle w/ the demons. In all of that a very profound lesson or revelation came to me. One category of "stuff" that I have in excess is BOOKS. Specifically, I could open a book store with self help material....a child of alcoholics, an ex-wife of an alcoholic, I began to make sense of my life when I discoverd 12 Step help. That was decades ago, now. My parents have passed away, my alcoholic husband first became an ex-husband and he has also passed on. I recognize my HUGE tendency toward codependency - but I no longer read or need the library materials. I contacted our shelter for abused women - and they were thrilled w/ my offer to give them the library. Whoa - I found I could not pull even so much as a SINGLE book off the shelf. Six months later - I am ready. I can now "let go". I can survive without this shrine I have to my journey!

Next category? The four decades old books that represent my career training ....teaching. Even though they are so much less than anything current, they still represent another journey, another struggle. So - there is the next wall....but it will come down.

I think the lessons here will make it possible to recognize the symbolism of a lot of my clutter and information is freedom.


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Vicki--Good for you! That's definitely a move forward in your life.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 5:04AM
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Excellent job!! And a wonderful way to win back space in your home! :)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 7:17AM
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Great job! It's really hard to get rid of things that you really needed at one time!

As part of her attitude adjustment, Flylady says that getting rid of things from the past that bring back sad memories lets you get on with your future. There is a lot of truth in that idea, and this has really helped me let go of a lot of things that I never would have considered getting rid of previously. And it really IS a relief to clean out that stuff and make room for the future.

So...congratulations on getting on with your life!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 10:47AM
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Well done, Vicki. Congratulations.

One problem I have is letting go of books with a lot of emotional significance for me when DH insists on keeping "A History of Greece to 322BC" and "The Government and its People 1939-1941", etc. I have to find a way of not making this a competition. I'm finding this website so helpful in acknowledging and dealing with the huge emotional aspect of decluttering. Every success story helps me stay determined.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 10:54PM
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We have two huge bookcases full of books. I remember just a few years ago, I threw out all my high school regents exam study books. I mean, I graduated High School in 1970, it's not as if anyone cares what questions were on the Biology regents. And I think I only kept two college text books. One was the complete works of Shakespeare. But from the looks of my bookcases, paperbacks piled horizontally on tops of other books, it's time to go weeding again. . .

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 11:15PM
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I know what you mean. I have books that I have no further use for, but at one time they were useful, helpful and even essential to me, so it's hard to give them up. I also have some books which were my parents' which I cannot part with either. And we won't even discuss the children's books which I once read to my now grown kids.

However, I don't have book shelves, so the books are tucked here and there and are not really a great number of books. But you have reminded me that I need to go through them to see what I can part with. (But not the kids' books!)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 11:17PM
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Thank you for all the supportive comments and understanding.

The next HUGE inventory here is clothing....I have sets in every size I have ever been and some in sizes not achieved. It IS time. Let someone else have them and reward myself when/if I get to that lesser size. In that I am retired, it isn't like professional clothing items ...but I have had so much fun going to TS and such in search of "bargins".

Time to take clothing to clothing bank - where it is distributed FREE of charge to those who are truly in financial despair. I hate what Goodwill charges, so will go that direction. I am excited to get started on that one tomorrow AM!



    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 1:24AM
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Two books I have found really helpful were Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui and The Zen of Organizing. Both deal with the "whys" of keeping stuff rather than just giving directions for getting boxes, labeling them giveaway....

While I was able to do some pretty massive decluttering to get rid of items, these concepts really helped my DH who couldn't seem to let a single book go, even though he would never need it (as in Learning to Play Bridge).

After going through all I thought I could go through, I finally approached the house with the "if I died tomorrow" would I want people to see this and a bunch more went directly to the trash.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 9:50PM
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I like that thought - what would I want others to see if they had to come in and clean up after I am gone. I know that some of my in depth journaling needs to be trashed - my kids don't need to read any of it. I don't need to read any of it. I just need to find where I "hid" it!

Beyond that - there are so many many layers of history - oh my!!! But I am getting there and I feel a sense of freedom on the horizon....after decades of living in a prison of my own making.

Thank you.......and in my house, the totally unnecessary book is on origami. Where did THAT come from?


    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 9:57PM
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Interesting thinking!

A while ago, I finally got rid of my fabric stash (OK, I'll be honest--MOST of it). And I realized, once I finalyw as ready to do so, that was I was doing was LETTING GO OF AN IDENTITY.

I've always thought of myself as a sewer. And sew--er, so--I had fabric. Because then I could sew. Or could say I was about to start sewing.

When I gave it away, I said to myself, "it is OK that you are not a sewer any more. Someday you will be again, but you are not right now."

It sounds like you are READY to give up the identity of "someone struggling with other people's addictions and her own co-dependency." You are DONE with that part of the journey.

It's understandably hard to give that up--when it's such a part of your identity to yourself, change is sort of uncomfortable.

But hooray for you!

It sounds like you'll need a similar "re-identifying yourself" when you get to the clothes. I had to really be firm with myself--I'm not a size 10 anymore, and I really had to work to persuade myself that that's OK. and that it's also OK that I don't WANT to do the work that it would take to be able to wear those clothes again.

Good luck! Keep us posted; you're inspiring!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 11:30AM
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I made it!!!!!!!! The self-help books are safely in the care and custody of the women's shelter - and the career books are at the local library for their book sale. I feel a huge weight off my back.

Thanks for all the loving and understanding support!!! My work has "only just begun"!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 2:01PM
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Talley Sue, I like the way you put it:

--When I gave it away, I said to myself, "it is OK that you are not a sewer any more. Someday you will be again, but you are not right now."--

I've used a similar mode of thinking when I diet: I've had cheesecake before and I'll have it again in the future; I just won't have it today.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 5:07PM
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Hi, I've recently been lurking on this forum to psych myself up for the task ahead and pick up some pointers. I definitely feel those "emotional tethers" to certain keepsakes, but there's a more mercenary impulse, too, and maybe a different value system: as a child whose parents lived through the Depression, I was taught to get the full use from things (whether household items, clothing, or toys), or pass them on to family and neighbors, rather than discarding them. Waste not, want not. And today, I feel that many of my things still have some inherent value or usefulness to someone elseÂIÂm sure that many of my kids' old toys still have a lot of play left in them. Unless theyÂre broken or damaged, I absolutely can't bring myself to throw them away. And I guess I'm not generous enough to just donate everything without trying to recoup some of the money I spent to purchase them. Therefore, I'm thinking of holding a yard sale next month (anything that isn't sold will be donated). It's a huge job to carry the boxes from the attic or basement, wash off the dust, sort, and repack everything. I'm recovering from a back injury, so I can only do a little each day. I've had to create a "staging area" to hold the things that are ready (it's sacrificing some living space, but I think it's worth it).

p.s. I realize this is a bit OT to this thread, but I had to post it here. You see, when I read metaphysician's post today, I read the quote from Talley Sue out of context, so I pictured a pipeline for sewage! :-) Sorry, TS!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 7:48PM
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Sue, I can understand how you would like to recoupe some of the cost of items, yet when I was a single mom with a baby, if people had not been generous and blessed me with hand me down toys and clothing my life would have been so much more difficult.

Maybe look around and see a young family just making ends meet who would really appreciate some nice toys. I am so grateful now that I am in a position to have an abundance of what my family needs and wants that I am very happy to pass the stuff on.

Talley--definately understand the loss of identity. When I got rid of my quilting stash and became a non-quilter I floundered for a bit. Then I went to quilt appraisal training. Now, I still get to play with quilts, buy quilts, even make one once in a while (with new materials) and really enjoy quilts with no pressure or guilt to produce them.

So, I'm not a quilter. But I'm still a gardener, a rug braider, a reader....just lots of other things.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 1:38AM
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Sue, Many people here also get tax receipts when they drop things off at donation spots. I have found that the time and energy of doing yard sales is not worth it. People want to dicker on prices and it takes a whole day or 2 out of your life, and then you end up spending more time packing up and bringing it to charity when it doesn't sell. I will never do another one. That's just me. I've found that what I originally thought someone would be able to use, even charity didn't want. They had better/newer stuff people were dropping off. There is a lot of STUFF out there. I tend to give stuff to friends. I feel I've gotten my $$s worth.

Good luck with your yard sale, but don't kill yourself to make back a few dollars.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 7:35AM
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if anything, a yard sale will help you assess how much value those things actually still have.

You may find it much easier to be generous by giving away your kids' old toys once you realize that their only dollar value is $1.50 or something.

before you invest too much time in cleaning everything, w/ your bad back, you might ask around to see what price stuff is getting at yard sales.

When I give something away, I don't get money necessarily, but I *do* get "value" on two fronts: 1) I got to help someone else; and 2) it's not in MY HOUSE anymore!! I get space, and time, and energy back. (there are times I realized I would *pay* $5 not to have to clean around a piece of stuff, or move it out of my way, or store it--would you pay $25 for a clean attic? $100? Then donate or toss that stuff)

There was a "yard sale" sort of thing at my church recently, and I know it wasn't publicized as well as it could have been, but still....the amount and type of stuff that was still sitting around a week or two later was an eye opener. Chafing dishes should just all be thrown in the garbage--nobody wants them, not even for free!

We truly live in a vastly different era than the Depression. Stuff is SO much cheaper now, and people have WAY more money--even poor people do! And there is just so much more stuff.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 11:54AM
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Well, you've given me a lot to think about. Thanks for all the comments! Maybe this is not the right forum for discussing yard sales. I do understand how freeing it is to get rid of clutter, and I want to do that, but I haven't signed on to the idea of just throwing/giving everything away. It would NOT make me feel better!

I do agree that a lot of yard sale stuff is junk that nobody wants (e.g., the chafing dish example), but I've been to enough yard sales to know that "one man's trash is another man's treasure." I disagree that the poor are richer now; in my area, there is a LOT of poverty. There are also many large families in some ethnic groups in my community; they can't afford the insane prices in the toy stores, but they want to enrich their children's lives. I was in the same boat myself when my kids were little and I was a SAHM; I searched the yard sales for toys with educational value that I could afford (I certainly wasn't looking for a handout, but I felt that I "earned" the discount by the time I spent looking for bargains on quality items). Years ago, I gave away a lot of infant toys to a friend who runs a day care center, and I've also made many contributions to charity over the years; what remains are the quality toys that older kids would enjoy (Erector sets, large Tonka trucks, dollhouse furniture, etc). They're in good shape, just dusty, so it's the same work to clean them whether I give them away or sell them.

Another factor is that I recently retired, so I DO have more time for this now (although I have to pace myself), and, unfortunately, I DON'T have that feeling that I'm in a "position of abundance" right now; I'd rather convert some of my possessions into cash (although I agree that I may be deluding myself that there will be much of a profit). Also, I have several large items (portable dishwasher, dresser, computer monitor) that I want to sell, so I'll need to place an ad anyway. Why not do it all at once? And after the yard sale, everything will be ready for the charity pickup.

Thanks, everybody, for your advice.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 3:41PM
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I'd hate to t hink we were so "anti yard sale" that we made you thik you couldn't ask for advice.

And I think having the yard sale is the thing that will tell you whether or not it makes sense to have one. Does that make any sense? You won't know how much you mind it, etc., till after you've done it.

Also consider other methods of translating your stuff into cash & getting it out of your house--classified ads, craigslist, putting up a sign for the big stuff at the grocery store.

Though I can understand that the big stuff would be a draw, and get you more people stopping by at your yard sale, which means more sales of the lesser stuff.

(don't be surprised if that computer monitor doesn't sell--depending on how old it is, it may not be compatible, and if it's the old one from when *you* upgraded, then not many people will consider it an upgrade for them, so why buy it? I found the computer stuff to be the hardest stuff to give away or sell, the last time we upgraded)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 4:01PM
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Talley Sue, I think you may be right about the computer monitor; my regular charity wouldn't take it without the corresponding CPU. So, unless somebody wants it, it will go in the trash (but again, it works fine, so it seems like such a shame to give up on it). I appreciate your other suggestions, such as Craig's list.

I know what you mean that I won't know whether the yard sale is worth the effort until afterward. I had two sales, many years ago, and it WAS a lot of work, but I made several hundred dollars, which was a lot to me then. One thing I might do differently this time is to presort the items into different price ranges and then place them on different tables; that way, I won't need to put price stickers on individual items. I'll also wait until after Easter and Passover and hope for a sunny weekend. I saved my old posters and cash box. And I've already asked DH and DS to help with the carrying and "security." If anybody has other suggestions, I'd love to hear them!


    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 5:19PM
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I don't think we are anti-yard sale, really. I do think most of us have gotten to the point we place a pretty high value on our time and energy levels.

Garage sales here seem to have gotten a bit out of control. Used stuff is still used stuff. I'd rather buy my kids new clothing from Wal-Mart than pay someone more than that cost for a used shirt just because it Gymboree or Nordstroms.

We are a town built up after WWII, so it's not like there are neat antique things hiding in attics. Or estate sales. Those things just aren't here.

The last time I did a garage sale was 10 years ago. Took me three days to set up in the garage. I had a lot of nice things (IMHO) and priced them low. One full day for the sale. I made $100 and spent $40 on pizza that night because I was so pooped. Spent several weeks trying to deal with the left-over stuff.

For our 05 return, we had over $5,000 in non-cash contributions. I track it really well and document with photos Itsdeductible. In my tax bracket, that means a cash savings of a good chunk of change for probably 6 hours work.

Sue, when I was saying I appreciated others blessing me with their leftovers, I really meant that even garage saleing was out of my price range. I was boiling diapers on the stove and washing clothing in the bathtub.

There was an interesting article in our local paper a few weeks ago about how the new parents are buying items like $700 strollers and it is with the intention of reselling and recouping most of their cost selling at consignment shops or ebay. Interesting.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 9:12PM
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Gloria, first of all, thanks for sharing your experience of starting out with practically nothing and appreciating help. I'm glad to see that, although your life is more comfortable now, you haven't forgotten what it was like to be struggling and can really empathize with others who are in a similar situation. And the fact that there are $700 strollers is almost obscene to me (even though people who can afford it have the right to purchase them). I used a $15 fold-up, no-frills stroller for two kids.

I agree with you about selling used clothing. I could never bring myself to buy clothes at a yard sale (though I did accept hand-me-downs from friends and relatives). I've already given all my kids' clothes, plus clothes that didn't fit me after I lost weight, to the charity I mentioned earlier (they have a resale store). We get receipts from the pickup drivers, but they're not itemized, and no value is declared. I never thought of documenting with photos.

One last comment: in the past, until about 6 months ago, I would have felt the same as you: that a sale wasn't worth my time and energy. I was working extremely hard and putting in lots of overtime, evenings and weekends; when I left, I was totally burnt out. That's why the stuff has been sitting in my basement and attic for so long. But now that I've had a few months to recuperate, I feel ready to tackle this project. (I hope I'm not out of my mind! :-) For one thing, we plan to remodel the house, and we'll need to use that attic space for breakables that aren't put in storage. And secondly, I feel, as you expressed earlier, that it would be awful to leave this mess for my kids to deal with someday. So while I'm relatively healthy, I want to clear it out.

p.s. Tonight, I carried two trash bags of toys that were "not worthy" to the curbside for pickup tomorrow!


    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 10:52PM
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I think you may be right about the computer monitor; my regular charity wouldn't take it without the corresponding CPU. So, unless somebody wants it, it will go in the trash

Around here you cannot throw away computer monitors (or TVs, for that matter) in the trash. There is plenty of toxic metal inside them, the tube is fragile, and, depending on how long the monitor has been inactive, it may still hold a big jolt of electricity. If it's picked up curbside here at all, there's an extra charge. Ditto for taking it to the hazardous-waste facility.

One thing I might do differently this time is to presort the items into different price ranges and then place them on different tables; that way, I won't need to put price stickers on individual items.

Much as I like to believe in people at their best and much as I don't want to rain on the parade, do you think people will keep items on the appropriate table or will they tell you their item came from a cheaper table?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 8:47AM
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Steve, thanks for pointing out those possible problems. According to my city's web site, the only prohibited bulk trash items are certain building materials. I called to arrange for pickup and confirmed that they will take the computer monitor (and there's no extra charge). I added an old vacuum cleaner beater bar attachment and a (broken) child's bike to the list; they will take only 3 items per month.

Good point about the "movability" factor. I'll give it some more thought.

A question, related to the top part of this thread: we have a lot of books dating from college years, but although many of them are timeless classics (literature, history, etc), they probably would not be appealing to yard sale or resale shop customers. I see lots of listings in the yellow pages for Books, bought and sold. Do they pay much? Any thoughts on the best way to sell books?


    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 12:09PM
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the other thing you could do w/ prices, is simply pick the price when people bring it to you, unless you really, really care.

Like, you know you want $50 for the dishwasher, so either write it on a list, or put it on the dishwasher (or both).

But for books, or a vase, just pick a number out of the air--50¢ for a paperback, or $1.50 for a vase--and tell people when they bring it up. If it's too high and they hesitate, knock the price down by a quarter.

And remember that you're entitled to look at the yard sale from a non-monetary point of view. That's what many of us who reject them are doing--we look at the money, and say, "the money doesn't matter, my TIME doesn,a nd I don't want to spend my time on that.

You are entitled to say, "I'd LIKE to spend my time seeing how much money I get." Some folks like having yard sales--even if they are hard work. And for you, I think you'll feel better about spending the time so as not to abandon the money.

It'll be an interesting experiment, if nothing less. You'll have to let us know the results.

And "good on you" (as they say in Britain or Australia or somewhere) for keepign an eye out for stuff that's "not worthy">= That's a smart attitude, and I bet that will make your yardsale more realistic, and therefore more rewarding.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 12:13PM
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About the used literary classics - our local used book store will take paperbacks ONLY - and give you 25% of value as credit for buying more used books from them. That is why my books went to the library, for their book sale fundraiser.

About garage sales - I love GOING to them. However, as soon as I began that, I also recognized that I could never HAVE one. Others have commented on the work - but for me it is something more than that.

First of all - if I am selling thing that matters to me at some level - and I finally decide I can part with it for 50 cents, it would just jerk my jaw to have someone offer 25 cents. SO, I see that I don't have what it takes to run a garage sale. When I go, as a buyer, I pay the asking price. Not everyone does that....part of the game for a lot of folks is to see how cheaply they can get an item. I understand that. I just can't "do it" and would hate to have it done to me.

The other part has to do w/ the ugly stuff I have seen going on at sales - the folks who walk off w/o paying for items they are carrying. Even worse than that is when the seller is an elderly lady who has no help and who didn't price things ahead of time. Not pricing requires conversation, which slows down the process, and which distracts the seller from the rest of the activity, and which encourages theft by folks who may even justify that by complaining about being held up in a checkout line.

Anyone having a sale needs to have LOTS of help. To do it on your own is to invite the lowlife behaviors. Too bad, but true.

Now that I am beginning to unclutter and purge, I don't go to the sales the way I did. I still LOVE to "shop" - but at least I don't "buy" as often or as much.

Back to the original thread theme - even garage sale items that I have purchased are often hard to "let go". I saw a LOT of my garage sale buying as an attempt to fill up an emotional void in my life. It may not make sense, but the changed feelings brought about by acquistion helped to block the real pain of life losses. The patch, however, IS only temporary.

So now I am ripping off the temporary patches and bandages - and trying to get real about who I am, and what it is that I want around me in my living space. SPACE?? Did "I" say that? Do I even know what "space" means? Well, I am learning.

Thank you for the great ideas presented here....it all helps so very much!


    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 12:56PM
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As others have mentioned, I think this is another topic on which one's lifestage has a HUGE influence. I know I use my poor MIL as an example too often, but she and I are so clearly on the polar end of this scale. I have a husband, 2 teenagers, a job and some fairly intensive volunteer commitments. She is a widow, living alone, retired and without any external organized activities. So, the way she chooses to use her time and spend her money are very different than my choices. It's actually a good life lesson for me to be around her to learn NOT to be judgmental. I think in some small ways she has learned from me too, about how the 'younger generation' (and how nice to be that when you're pushing mumble-mumble late 40s :) thinks and operates.

For me, a garage sale is just not something that makes sense for my own balance point right now. I'm not willing to dedicate the time not only to having it but to preparing, to cleaning up afterward etc...for the monetary results. For me, the cost of losing that time, which has so many other competing demands on it, outweighs the money I could earn. However, if I had more time I might decide it is a good use of it to spend it on yard sale prep. Everyone's equation is different, though I'll be honest and say I do look forward to having more time to put into my own life balance equation!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 2:12PM
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Talley Sue and Vicki: wow, you've really opened my eyes to a lot of things I hadn't stopped to consider, like the possibility that items will just "walk away" (I was only thinking about how to guard my cashbox). I'm enlisting the aid of my DH and DS, and maybe I'll ask a friend/neighbor to help, too. It sounds like price stickers would be useful and efficient, after all. A price "picked out of the air" will be my starting point, but maybe I'll browse at other people's yard sales this spring to get a better idea of the going rates of comparable items. I think I WOULD be willing to cut prices if anybody wants to haggle. Now that I've been cleaning up the toys, I realize that, although some bring back happy memories, I DON'T really feel much sentimental attachment to them. My kids have already told me what they wanted me to save (very little).

It's disappointing to know how little a used bookstore will pay; I'll check with my local library (I think their sales are only their own books). Anyway, if the books are not part of my yard sale, I can worry about them later.

Years ago, a collectibles dealer came to my home and bought a number of items (furniture, DH's toy cars, etc). He was very interested in DH's old baseball cards from the 1950s, too. He told me that he would sell them for approximately twice the amount he paid us (but we didn't accept the offer and still have them...they've increased in value since that time).

Vicki, it's really great that you've got some insight into the reasons it's so hard for you to part with some things. I suggest you take it slowly, in stages; who says you need to rip off the bandages all at once? One thing I've done, in the past, is to save a few special items for each child (first baby shoes, a cub scout uniform, a handmade Halloween costume, a box full of mementoes); it makes it easier to get rid of the rest.

Talley Sue and Runninginplace, thanks for the understanding. I guess I AM at a different stage of life (and know that I've got more energy now than I ever will in the future). I'm going to take a more jaundiced eye to the stuff I'm sorting through and discard the things that nobody would buy. Maybe I'll mark some items as "free." I'll let you know how it all turns out.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 2:34PM
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Sue - thank YOU for taking all of this info and factoring it in to what will work for you. Your mentioning "free" makes me wish that I lived on a county road, instead of a rural easment - because I would LOVE to put things "out" w/ a free sign on them. I have unloaded some larger things on Freecycle. There are lots of pros and cons to going that way with stuff. However, the other day, in my urge to purge, I realized that I didn't need ALL the gift wrapping paper that I was finding in my hidey holes. Ditto the bags and bags of bows. I posted it on Freecycle and w/in an hour, it was gone!!!! Yeah!

I am not "rushing this" - it is more like finally getting "a round tuit". What was it - two years ago that Oprah had that gal on her show, and for many of us, we learned about the obsessive compulsive side of hoarding? I subscribed to FlyLady - I joined an online support group - but it STILL is a slow slow process coming to terms w/ oneself and life and the choices we have.

Like some here, I was raised by parents who survived the Depression, who made "do" with what you had on hand, and when my parents passed away, I cannot tell you how many empty cottage cheese cartons they had saved - just to name that one item. It gave them comfort and a sense of security - just in case. You always had a storage container for "stuff" if you needed one. I recognize that I came by a lot of my behaviors because I was a compliant, loving child who learned those lessons. However, they don't apply today - at least not all of them.

$700 for a stroller - OMG - and I am still reeling over how much these "youngsters" pay for disposable diapers! LOL I guess you can tell I am well on in my years!

Kudos to hanging on to the BB cards, Sue. 50% is the going rate for dealers, but as you note, the value has risen over time. I wish I would have saved my comic books - but, oh my - what a chore that would have been!!!



    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 2:59PM
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Sue - At my last garage sale, someone actually picked tomatoes out of my garden! One tip - at my first garage sale, people (dealers) started coming an hour or so before my listed start time. They watched me put stuff out and came over and started making offers saying "You won't sell it for that much". That really bothered me. I wanted to tell him to come back at the end of the day and he could have it for that much then.

If nothing else, though, having a yard sale really makes me want to get rid of stuff. When it's all out of the house, I can see more stuff as I look around the house.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 4:31PM
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Vicki, thanks for your kind words (I was worrying that you'd be annoyed at my highjacking of your thread--didn't mean to!). We have a lot in common. I know that I have a lot of emotional tethers to SOME of the stuff in my house, but I can't even deal with all that till I get this other stuff cleared out. And sadly, it's mostly coming from the attic and basement, so the main floor will still be as cluttered as ever. But I have (hopefully) years to work on it.

rjvt, thanks for the warning! When I had a sale, years ago, early birds came an hour early, too. One of them startled me by knocking on my back door, before I was even dressed. I'm sure your last paragraph will be true for me, too! :-(


    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 5:37PM
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Sue - no worries! Garage sales ARE more interesting and more universal in appeal and opinion than my "stuff" - and there is a lot of good information going on here.

RJVT - one sale we went to told of someone scaling the fence into the backyard - where the items were placed the night before - and taking the best of the best.

Another person reported someone came in the back door during the sale which was out front and stole the purse of the person who was helping her.

Maybe where we can go w/ this thread is to discuss garage sale perils and/or recommendations - or someone can start a new one.........in any event, in this case, let the "seller" beware!

grins Vicki

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 7:45PM
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