Saturday, May 13, 2017

Garage Sale - Revisited

A periodic garage sale, tag, sale, jumble or whatever you want to call it, is a good way to clear up clutter, make a little money, and put your life in perspective.

We are having a garage sale this weekend.  So far, we've made over $450, in the first day.  This is pretty good, considering that we live on an island.  When we were in Alexandria, it was a lot easier to attract customers.

I have written about garage sales before, twice.  A lot of people look down their noses at such activities.  They let status get in the way of their lives.  "I'm not going to do something trashy like that - putting my possessions on the sidewalk and selling them!"   Or they don't think the money is worth it - "A few dollars is all you'll get - what's the point?"

Or, they take the hoarder mentality approach - "I paid good money for that item, why should I sell it for ten cents on the dollar?   I'd just be throwing money away!"

That last statement bears analysis.   Yes, you get less than half your purchase price selling something used - often far less if the items is worn in any way.  Often nothing if no one wants it.   This should be telling you something very, very important - all the crap you buy in your life is just that, junk that is worth 1/2 to 1/10th what you paid for it, the moment you purchase it.   Maybe think about buying less junk.

As for the money, well, $450 isn't a bad haul for a couple of day's work.   You'd bend over and pick up that amount of money if you saw it on the ground, to be sure.  So, it is a worthwhile endeavor, to convert things you no longer need, want, or use into cash that you can use maybe to buy things that you need, want, or use or just to live on.

But the main goal is to eliminate clutter in your life.   Every week, if you go "shopping" you bring bags and bags of "stuff" back to your house.   Now, if it is just food or soap or things you consume, this isn't a big deal - it exits your house via the trash can and/or sewer pipe within a week or two.

But that "cute little tchotchke" you just had to have, will be with you for life unless there is some sort of "end game" to it.  And everything has an end game to it.  From that shiny new cell phone you just got that is state-of-the-art (which will end up in a drawer somewhere in less than five years) to the shiny new SUV that will be in a junkyard in 10-15 years, to your own body which will be underground or burnt to a pulp in a few decades, nothing we create, buy, or enjoy is permanent in this world.  Get used to it.

The hoarder tries to defy death and defy entropy by "saving" things in life - and ends up with a house full of utter crap within a few short years.   It is hard to fight the urge, and hoarders don't set out to hoard, they merely give in to the urge not to discard.   And since we are such a wealthy society with so much shit, it is all the more easier to hoard today, as the cost of hoarding is a lot less.

But, I rag on hoarders when they serve a useful social purpose.   They come to my garage sale and buy all my old crap and drag it home and add to their piles of useless stuff they will never use.

Meanwhile, I iron the stack of $20 bills and count them nicely in my cash tray.   When it comes to hoarding,  it is far more satisfying to hoard money than to hoard objects.   Money actually has uses!

UPDATE:  Haul from Sunday was about $225 $330 making a total of about $675 $730 for the weekend.   The stuff we never thought would sell, sold first, too!