To display it, or to pile it up?

Written on May 8, 2012

Like most couples, Sam and I have very different approaches to lots of things in life. We’re not quite opposites, but we do look at things through different glasses. Yard sales are one of them. I want to display things on shelves and tables in common sense groups with colored price tags like you would find in a department store, and he is fine with just setting boxes out and letting people dig through them. As usual we have learned to compromise. I organize “my” stuff and he puts his boxes out on the driveway and we hope for the best. Both ways work apparently because we’ve sold a lot of stuff.

Last week, on the night before the big, county wide Garage Sale Saturday, I was on the verge of tears because I thought we weren’t ready. Very little was on shelves, most of it was still in disorganized boxes and there weren’t any real “categories” of things. I’m not sure why I need that structure but I do. Maybe it’s because my first jobs were in retail and I was really good at keeping things neat and tidy and at knowing what fit where and how much each thing was worth. I was ready to cancel and just go to the storage shed and continue organizing for the following weekend. But something in me said, “Oh, stop whining and just do it!” I say that to myself a lot these days.

We got there at around 8:00 and people started pouring in, looking around, some at the stuff on shelves and others at the stuff in the boxes. By 3:00 we had sold about half of the contents of the storage shed. The brand new, very heavy safe sold for $10. A weirdly shaped grill that I have tripped over more than once also sold for $10. Almost all of the kids’ toys sold for a few dollars each and a couple of stereos also sold along with tools, pillows, decorative masks and other unnecessaries. But here’s the strangest thing: most of my neatly arranged dishes and vases and books and holiday decorations were still there on the shelves. Neatly arranged. Waiting for someone to appreciate the Feng Shui of it all. No one did.

I’m learning that people who go to yard sales don’t expect much, and they definitely have no problem going through large boxes filled with random things that don’t match. I may be wrong in my approach, but we’ll see. Maybe next weekend I will load all this cute girly stuff into boxes and set them outside with the tools and extension cords and broken lamps and see if they attract more attention.


  1. I could have written that post!!

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