Sunday, November 20, 2011

Free Sale

There are several reasons a person will host a yard sale; first is that you really need some quick cash and you're selling what will make you the most money. The second reason is when you're trying to unload some stuff from your house to clear out clutter and you've finally realized you're never going to use that toaster oven with the broken knob you put in the basement to save for the 'cottage' you will probably never own. The third reason is death, divorce or threat of death or divorce if you don't get rid of some of your crap.

Our case was a mix of the second and third, if we did not get rid of some junk soon, divorce or death was bound to occur. We were to the point where if we were robbed and our home was vandalized no one would be able to tell cause it was such a pit of junk and despair. If we didn't do something about it soon there would be a knock on our door to be featured in the next episode of hoarders and you could all watch us cry and scream as we refuse to get rid of our really weird collection of toilet paper rolls that we insist we might need in 8 years when our child is in school and could potentially have an art project that called for nothing other than 1,000 toilet paper rolls.

I hate just throwing usable things away and there is no excuse for not being able to load up items that have life left and drop them off at any convenient Goodwill donation center where someone in need can get some use out of them; Goodwill is an excellent example of a way to help the local community and of course you get a tax write off receipt. Double win. I however was feeling very lazy looking at the pile of donations that I would need to load into the truck, load the kids up because apparently its illegal to leave a 2 year old and an infant home alone and drive downtown to drop them off - it was all built up in my head that the kids would be screaming and I would be cussing because I already didn't feel like dropping these things off. Light bulb goes on: lets just let Craigslist know were giving stuff away and see who comes to take it off our hands, I figured at least half of it would go which would make the few remaining items much easier to load up for Goodwill.

Don't try to make me out to some sort of saint here, I did this purely for selfish reasons and to attempt to avoid guilt because all I really wanted to do was load this stuff in a dumpster. But what ended up happening was really surprising and very rewarding. I posted a Craigslist ad Saturday night listing a few of the items we were giving away and letting everyone know they would be available for free starting at 10:00 am in our driveway - please don't knock, don't call, don't email, just take it all. We had an idea of what we were going to give away and both of us were holding onto a few things we just couldn't let go of because maybe we will need it even though it had been collecting dust in the attic for all three years that we have lived in the house.

I was busy tending to infant needs when my husband asked if I wanted to get rid of anything else because just about everything we had put out there was gone already, it was 10:15 am. I looked outside and there were about 15 people standing in the driveway taking the things that were out there and waiting to see what else we brought out. I felt somewhat overwhelmed, I felt like I had to keep giving things out since so many people showed up for the ad I placed. So I ran around gathering more things I thought I could do without, threw my hoodie on because I had done nothing to myself since waking up 2 hours prior and brought them outside to let the crowd pick through them. And then it happened, someone said something like, "thank you so much," and I looked up and looked in their eyes and saw real appreciation. Here I have bitching all weekend about having so much stuff I can't even step through my house without tripping and I realized a lot of these people don't have much at all. I gave a brand new unopened box of Victoria Secret perfume samplers that I really did appreciate as a Christmas gift from my mom last year but haven't had time to wear with kiddos and all, to a teenage girl that was there with her dad. She was so happy to get this that the ice melted off my heart and I felt like returning all the who-pudding and the last can of who-hash to Whoville with my little dog and Santa costume. We rummaged through the whole house pulling out things we thought people could use this winter that we just didn't need as much as we thought we would. Winter jackets with snow pants, small tables we had in storage, shoes, boots, high heels, books, toys, a desk, incredibly expensive bridesmaids dresses I wore once, vacuums, and more - literally at least a truck load of things, all good usable things we just didn't need anymore. We talked all day about how great it felt to see the people who came over to take these things. It felt so good, so much better than getting a tax write off receipt from a Goodwill drop.

We could of had a yard sale, we could have made maybe a hundred dollars, maybe even two. We could have marked each item with a price, and sat outside all day waiting for people to buy these items that we didn't want anyway. We could have bickered back and forth with someone trying to pay $3 instead of $5 for a dress I paid $180 for and will never use again. But by having a free sale, we got rid of all of the things we didn't need in our lives anymore and passed them onto someone who would use them, and maybe even cherish them. 'Tis the season for giving.


becky3086 said...

This is actually a very good idea. I take all ours to the salvation army but it usually means not taking as much as I really should and it wouldn't be as nice as a free sale.

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