Yard sale: Letting go, clearing clutter
Who picks one of the hottest days of the year to have a yard sale? My neighbors and I do. With temps in the mid 90s, we all sold stuff as we melted in the stifling hot humidity.
There is plenty of work involved in planning a sale. Admittedly, I was not prepared. A vacation and a busy work week made for limited prep time. I opted to clean out some files in the air conditioning instead of going through boxes for the sale, thanks to the effect of reading Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” on the beach. Six large trash bags were filled with shredded paper in my recycling that week. That felt good.
My neighbor, Emma Gonzalez-Laders, says, “Yard sales are a lot of work for very little money. Since I have a hard time getting rid of stuff and needed to de-clutter, the prospect of making a few bucks gave me the incentive. Being brutally hot and peak vacation season, I earned less than half what I had hoped for. Having, in some way, already parted with the goods, boxing and bagging for the Vietnam Vets to pick up was the next natural step. Worth more than money was the sense of relief when I pulled in my driveway to find the piles on the front porch all gone.”
The prospect of letting go of bits and pieces of the past can be quite emotional. It is the toughest roadblock many clients and attendees of my classes share with me. To quote my youngest son, who viewed a few items in the sale, “You are selling my childhood.” It was the last thing I needed to hear.
At one point, a bag filled with plastic Easter eggs I used to fill with candy and coins for my kids, got bumped into and eggs started rolling down my driveway. After returning each egg to the bag, I took it out of the sale. Heartstrings were tugged.
Linda Nilon, who had her items for sale with me in my driveway, says, “I was hesitant on bringing certain things with me, and those were the items that actually sold, like a heavy mirror. Keep an open mind and make sure you have ALL the things out at the sale that you want to get rid of. Keep the yard sales to spring and fall when people aren’t on vacation — July and August are tough months.”
Would we do it again? “I think purging once a year is good practice. Yeah, I would do it early or late in the season,” says Emma. I couldn’t agree more.
Now to deal with what didn’t sell. It is still hot and humid, and I have avoided packing things up to donate. A Big Brothers Big Sisters pick up is scheduled this week. Giving myself a deadline will be my motivation.
This week I noticed one gladiola starting to bloom in a bed that was smothered under overgrown plantings; they have not bloomed in years. The flowerbed was cleaned out this spring, allowing that dormant flower to bloom. What a good reminder to get rid of whatever is smothering us, in order to allow for movement and growth.