Annual boy scout garage sale...gives me perspective

mommabirdAugust 21, 2011

My sons' Troop had their annual super-mega-mother-of-all-garage-sales yesterday. They raise over $12K a year on this beast (YES that was tweleve thousand dollars!). The troop works on it from May to August every year. We usually have 3 XL storage units full floor-to-celing with donations, plus stuff dropped off the week it takes to set it all up.

Handling all this stuff for the 6th year in a row has made me really, really re-think possessions. Every year we handle thousands of items that people paid for, took home, used or stored and then no longer wanted. We have useful things like lawn mowers and stupid junk like knick-knacks (LOTS of knick-knacks).

My new perspective after this year is that we never own anything. Life is a stream of items that come through our lives. It's OK to let them go when they are no longer useful. Someone else can benefit from things when we don't want or need them any longer.

Another new perspective is that needs are met. Expect it and it'll be there for you. While sorting stuff I found exactly the tie my son needs for school and exactly the shorts he needs for band. The Universe delivered them straight into my hands - at a time when I didn't have time to run all over town looking for the right things. Isn't that amazing!

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jannie

Great thoughts. I find that whenever I need someting, it falls in my lap. Well, maybe not my lap. But I find it in someone's garbage or I find a substitute among my own possessions.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 10:11AM
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miscindy

When my children were young, I donated a few things to the church nursery. The next time I went in there was a large can of the infant formula I use with a note on it "free." It was just what I needed.

Just last week I went through my son's closet and pulled out a lot of clothes that no longer fit. I dont' have time for a garage sale and wanted to do something good with the clothes. The next day I was reading Craigslist and there was a post looking for boys' clothes in that size for a family that just took in 2 young brothers. I was able to get the clothes to them today and glad to be able to help. :)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 10:33PM
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jannie

I once gathered together some unused items for a big white elephant sale they were having at my kids school. I was embarassed, but donated an unused breast pump still in the box (?/!) and went by later to see it stacked in a pile an on sale for $2. I don't know if it sold. All I know is it was perfectly brand new. I had managed to breast feed and wean 2 babies without ever needing it. And I was glad it wasn't in my closet getting in my way anymore. Speaking of Zen, I have two thoughts. There's a Chinese proverb "Everything breaks." And my MIL told me, everytime you throw something out, you never have to think about it again. Tho I do try to recycle and donate when I can.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 8:04AM
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breenthumb

I would think "every time you throw something out..." would include recycling and donating. It's all out of the way and thats a good thing.

I sometimes check freecycle or Craigslist for anyone looking for things I might have. Surprised to come across a gal actually looking for the ceramic mask faces bought by DD as a gift, never given, left in her closet, still in fancy (dusty) boxes. The gal and I were both thrilled with their new home.

People looking for a dehumidifier, and a big storage type thing to hold balls and bats or hockey sticks etc. Come and get 'em.

My favorite was someone looking for a manual typewriter. She turned out to be a social worker at the same home my parents were in years before. I was so glad to be able to help one of their residents.

Big double bagger for our John Deere rider also went to someone on Freecycle--but I was surprised that time by the people who expected the riding mower to come with it!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:13PM
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