Final Thoughts on Garage Sales…for now

Garage sales can take you through a long, sometimes excruciating journey of self discovery. You meet a lot of nice people, and some not so nice people who only want to spend a quarter on your personal possessions. You see your old self in those who are still collecting and you hope they will have the energy to one day let go. But you don’t put your issues on them. They are on their own path, and right now they are helping you move further on yours.

Garage sales give you the opportunity to put things where they belong. For example, we had a fairly large rustic dining table for sale. It sat there for five weeks with no interest. Then on the last Saturday a lady looked at it, and looked at it again and again. I could tell she was interested so I asked her what she was thinking. She said her daughter worked as a special ed teacher in a small charter school and she needed a conference table. The school didn’t have any money for this so the mother was hoping to help her out. We negotiated a lower price and her neighbor came back the next day and took it 80 miles to the daughter’s school. This made me feel good. I can see all the kids and their parents making progress around this humble table that gave me such pleasure for all those years.
car show, Folsom, Craigs List stuff 088

Garage sales also give you the opportunity to think about what is important. There are certain things that you just can’t bear to let go. Then there are others that you can’t wait to see go out the door. You either price your treasures so high that no one thinks about buying them or you hide them away till you have a moment to gather your senses again. My rule of thumb: Anything that is .50 doesn’t matter to me any more. Anything that is more than $20 still has a place in my heart.

I’d like to say we’re done with this garage sale business, but we’re not. There are two more storage sheds in Virginia, one with all the “keepers,” and the other with all the “I don’t knows.” But something is perking inside of me. I think I may want to do this as a mini career. I am a natural organizer, and basically happy with the bare necessities…well, maybe a little more, but not much more. I see the pain people go through when they think about their own storage sheds. I also see the glimmer of hope when they see us letting go. There is a freedom in letting go. There is peacefulness in empty space. At some level, we all see it and we all crave it.

Like the government reminds us, freedom isn’t free. You have to work for it. And sometimes, if you’re willing to let go, you can make a little money at it.

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