Next weekend my neighborhood is holding its annual garage sale. Much like childbirth and international travel, I’ve found it takes about two years to forget what a pain in the arse holding a garage sale is before I start thinking that it might be a good idea to give it a whirl again.
And yes, it was two summers ago that I hauled a carload of delightful bargain-priced treasures to my friend CombatGirl’s driveway for a garage sale at her house. In spite of a newspaper ad and strategically placed signs, the only thing that made that effort worthwhile was selling three children’s books to the Viva half of our local cable-access celebrity couple, Viva and Jerry (“Two bucks, two bucks!”).
My brush with fame made the day exciting, if not particularly lucrative. The few items I sold were mostly things that CombatGirl herself purchased, and the carload of crap came back to the basement, where it sat until last Saturday.
Amazing how easy it is to ignore the steady accumulation of junk in the backs of the closets and the darker corners of the basement. And amazing how, even after I’ve unearthed an overwhelming mountain of stuff, there doesn’t seem to be any less in those closets and basement corners. My storage spaces are like Strega Nona’s pasta pot.
This time around, our sale will include a large number of toys that the DemiGoddesses have outgrown. For most of the weekend, the three of us sorted through and priced a boatload of books, assembled puzzles and games, and tried to make the Barbies presentable. Yesterday afternoon I replaced the batteries in two Furbys, a Techno robot puppy, a WuvLuv, and two mechanical hamsters that twirl tiny plastic nunchucks and sing “Kung Fu Fighting.” I bought the batteries at the dollar store, so I figure if I can break even on those, I’ll still be ahead of the game.
We are not materialistic people. The Demis hardly ever received new toys outside of birthdays and Christmas. But the bounty of playthings those two have amassed over the years is nothing short of obscene. Three giant Rubbermaid tubs full of stuffed animals? IS TOO MANY. There are children starving in Africa, and my kids have enough freaking Beanie Babies to populate a small Asian country. How did this happen?
The point, of course, is to get rid of stuff. This time, when the garage sale is done, none of it is coming back into the house. Our local Goodwill has a drive-through for donations, and whatever is left at the end of the day is going, going, gone. I’m not expecting to be able to retire on Saturday’s garage sale income, but it would be nice if we could take in enough cash to catch a movie.
Or, maybe, take a trip to Italy…