I Tried It! First Garage Sale

Terrified. That’s the word. Procrastination. That’s the result. Or, that was the result until this past Sunday. Me and the kids threw our very first garage sale. Here’s how it went down, and the lessons learned.

Discussion of a garage sale began about 2 years ago, but I won’t start that far back. I could start 2 months ago when I finally got tough and spent a day with my mom clearing out half a shed, the bedrooms and closets and stacking everything into the kitchen. But that was a scary long time ago as well.

I’ll start back a few days ago.

Thursday

I realize that although the garage sale is on Saturday, I haven’t attached more than 3 stickers to our pile of stuff. I set out with the intention of simply setting prices, but quickly realize that some of this stuff’s dust has procreated. Dust bunnies everywhere. Okay, wet rag. Get cleaning and pricing. Call kids over to help. Mom stops by and prepares to lecture me on my disgraceful laziness (in the nicest possible way) before realizing that we are in full garage sale prep mode. She can sleep tonight.

Friday

I post listings for huge garage sale on Facebook and Craigslist. I tell friends about it. We three musketeers soldier on with adding price stickers to every item that will be sold. There’s a lot of shit. The kids start bickering. It is a merry-go-round of what are you doing you shouldn’t be doing it that way that’s actually mine and I don’t want to get rid of it why are you still sitting there anyway you’re so lazy can I have this oh you don’t use it anyway when’s the last time you’ve used it you are so bossy that’s the price you’re putting on that you’re crazy no one is going to pay that much money for that nobody asked you goodness just wait and see. So yeah, it’s a real good time. It’s too bad you’re missing it.

The kids do not have the clutter-free, everything-you-don’t-want-goes-into-this-bin milieu that I was expecting. We start looking under dressers and beds. Fml there’s a lot of shit. Well, seeing as money isn’t currently in abundance, I decide to rejoice over everything that might possibly sell. That positivity lasts some time, then it wears off. After hours, an entire day, of adding price stickers to items and mediating preteens, grumpiness sets in.

It isn’t until evening that I remember that I have a choice. This experience is going to happen regardless, and I can make it a fun challenge or an anxiety-enveloped potential disaster. It’s all in my mind. This is our first garage sale. I’ve been talking about doing this for years. I’ve told the world it’s happening and I’m doing the work to make it happen. I’m a fucking winner already! I’m getting out of more comfortable place, trying something new, teaching my kids at a young age to do what’s taken me so long, we’ll be making money, we’re together as a family, and something else.

With every decision I make to sell something, I feel a little weight lifted. This is proving to be an exercise in cleansing not only our home, but my mind. I’ll have to ask the kids for their thoughts on the process. Anyway, I get committed to being as prepared as possible and keeping a happy face and positive attitude. It’s gotta be better than this fear, right?

What is this fear, exactly? It’s the fear of failure and the fear of sunken costs. What if no one comes? What if I make no money at all? What if it turns out to be a huge waste of time? What if the kids see me fail? What would they think of me? Well, what would they think if I keep talking about something and doing nothing about it? Right. Buckle up, Lyz-Stephanie, this garage sale rollercoaster has begun.

Saturday

Alarm goes off at 5:45am. I take one last look around the house and change price tags that with time’s passing seem inappropriate. We start setting up the carport with items for sale. We make decisions about layout. My mom pulls up with more garage sale signs. I hop onto my bike to place more signs around the neighborhood. Mosquitoes start attacking me and my daughter. My son calls register duty. We wait. We wait. I post about the sale once again on every social media outlet and group. We wait. Someone shows.

Short version: People trickle in at a painful pace. We extend the sale to most of the afternoon. By the end of it, I don’t feel like a winner. We’ve barely made money after a lot of work, and now we have the task of bringing everything back inside. I had said goodbye to this stuff already. We had parted ways.

Sunday

Imagine signing your divorce papers, thanking the judge, and walking into the same elevator as your now ex-husband. It’s like, fuck, I just said good riddance to your ass. Why am I still looking at you? That’s how I’m feeling with this shit back in my house.

However, I decide that in front of my kids my comments will be positive, even if my thoughts aren’t. After all, the negative aspects of this garage sale experience will fade, but the lessons I’ve been learning will last throughout my life.

As I think about Sunday’s portion of this blog post, I do some stretching to music. My body is tense. It mirrors my inner turmoil–the fight to stay positive when I’d like to punch positivity in his face and get back to the comfort of safety.

Instead, I think of my writing, and I focus on my body.

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Things I Learned

  1. I didn’t die. The garage sale wasn’t what I was hoping it would be, but I survived. Annoyance and time are small prices to pay for numbers 2-
  2. There’s relief in just getting it done. All questions that surrounded me having a garage sale are gone. It frees me of some anxiety I’ve been carrying around.
  3. The number I was expecting to earn at the sale was far more than what I actually made. It’s reminded me that in these stressful times, I still have a natural (maybe unnatural) sense of optimism, and optimism is always beneficial.
  4. I pushed back fear, which is something that has held me back in the past. Every win against fear is a point in favor of confidence.
  5. I’m no garage sale expert now, but I’ve learned some of what works and what doesn’t work.
  6. I treated myself to a nice long session of stretching, which I may not have done otherwise.

My name is Lyz-Stephanie and I want to inspire you to live a more interesting, fulfilling and beautiful life. Think of me as your well-being and happiness guide. I know that things aren’t always easy. Life doesn’t drop dreams into our laps, but every day we can do something to make our lives happier and richer, make our minds more active and engaged. I’m on the journey. Will you join me?

If you like what you’re reading and think I’m kind of a cool chick, please share the link. And don’t forget to find me on the other side! Instagram I Twitter I Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 thoughts on “I Tried It! First Garage Sale

    1. That’s exactly what I’ve been dreaming of doing since Saturday afternoon but I could use the cash. Fml… well at least I’ve learned what I don’t like to do, yard sales. Some people do this every weekend. It takes a special sort.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. It’s a great example of an event that you can choose to view and deal with from two different perspectives! I think that going through old stuff from time to time (objects, photos, even computer files) can be a useful exercise (as long as you’re not constantly doing it!). Did it bring back a lot of memories and emotions as you went through the stuff? Perhaps just dealing with that was the useful outcome rather than than the money.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had tons of memories coming back to me as I went through their stuff especially. Pulling out all of the clothes that they’ve now outgrown feels at times surreal. But it felt great to pull things out of everywhere and make a decision to let them go. And you’re right, I had to draw something else out of the experience because money certainly wasn’t on the list, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It sounded like a valiant effort. Maybe you could list some of the more valuable items on eBay or CL (and donate some of the rest, now that you’ve sorted it). But I can imagine you might need a break from it for a while 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, I did post some stuff on social media and selling sites. I’m giving myself until this weekend to be rid of them all. I don’t want to get comfortable with all this stuff stacked up in my kitchen, you know. My time is coming! 🙂

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  2. All in all, it’s an experience right? I’m proud that you actually did it! Cause I’m also the procrastination type, an do would have delayed that sale forever. Also, this may just be cause I’m reading on my phone or I’m still sleepy, but did some of the paragraphs repeat itself? I feel like I read the Thursday and Friday part twice 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Angela, I’ve got the fight against procrastination happening everyday! Believe me, I’m proud that I finally did it too. And yes, the paragraphs did repeat. I was going back and forth between my computer and the phone app and everything was haywire. Thanks for the heads up dollface 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the exercise of cleaning house and getting rid of unused/unwanted items is necessary, but my one and only experience with a garage sale is unfortunately attached to the very stressful memory of moving! Bottom line: never again. We make regular trips to Goodwill and just hope our stuff found better homes 😉

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    1. Moving is definitely the worst! I’m hoping to make some cash to support my hippie lifestyle, lol. It’s the only reason I haven’t dropped everything off at a thrift store yet, but at this point they are bound to get some of this stuff!

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  4. Congratulations on overcoming your fear and learning new things from your experience.

    I wish I had the patience to do a yard sale. I am a brutal sorter. When I don’t need something anymore, I throw it out. When I find a pile of things that I need to go through, I go through it all, and bin the stuff I don’t want.

    I tried once to put a whole load of ball gowns, heels, and clothes I knew I would never wear again, and listed them all on our local selling website. After one sale, and no interest in anything else for three months, I threw the whole lot into bin bags, and dumped it. The charity shops around here wouldn’t take the shoes, and were dubious about the clothing, because it was high-end ball gowns and party dresses… and I just couldn’t deal with bringing it all back in and leaving it festering in the basement. So out it went.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, that sucks that you let that stuff go. It sounds like your thrift store is a bit big for their britches, lol. Some girl could have really used a discounted prom dress. It is a lot of work as you say. Some people love the whole process, but I’m not one of them. I’ve given myself to this weekend, but then I’ll be moving on. I’m so ready to purge, though I’m not as hardcore as you are! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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