This past weekend, we decided to have a yard sale. We’ve had boxes and boxes (and boxes) of junk in storage for 5 years since we left our house, so, we decided to pull it all out and see what was there. We ended up with enough for about 3 yard sales, and we haven’t even started to clean out the home where we are presently living. For a family that has lived on a nickel and a dime for the last decade, we sure do have a bunch of stuff! I discovered a few things in the process of cleaning out.
1. Sorting through your children’s old toys while sitting in your old house that you loved but had to leave is not a great idea. The emotions were deep and strong as I pulled out the Goose’s stuffed animals and the Beetle’s GI Joes (or, “Boy Barbies,” as the Goose calls them just to frustrate the Beetle). I was sobbing by the third box. The Goose came in to see what I was doing and saw me. She said, “Are you okay? What’s the matter? What happened?” I said I was fine, but I don’t think I convinced her. Mr. Everything came back to the room to see why I was sniffling so much. He didn’t say anything but just went back to what he was doing. The Beetle happened to walk through, saw me, rolled his eyes and got away from me quickly. I’m not sure when I became so sentimental. I’m pretty sure when the doctor gave me my epidural during childbirth, he also injected emotions.
2. The Goose had way too many Barbies. Last Christmas, she was sad because no one gave her a Barbie. I reminded her at that time that she had too many as it was. She said she could never have too many Barbies. However, as we were cleaning out for the yard sale, she admitted that she may have been wrong.
3. Things that seem so important at the time really aren’t. Back when we left our house, our kids could not bear to get rid of anything. We, not wanting to traumatize them any more than necessary, let them box up whatever they wanted to keep and put it in storage. Last weekend, as we were pulling things out of boxes, both kids kept saying, “Why in the world did I keep this???” and, “Why didn’t you throw this away??” I reminded them that these were the same items that they cried over just a few years ago. It’s amazing how things change.
4. The Goose had way too many clothes. I’m pretty sure she could have worn a new outfit every day for a year and not worn everything we pulled out of boxes.
5. The Beetle may have a tough outer shell, but my little boy is still in there. While the Goose was ruthlessly throwing her items in the “get rid of” pile, the Beetle was grabbing things and stashing them. There were stuffed animals, toys and trinkets that he still could not bear to part with. It is amazing that someone so big can be so tenderhearted. He still lives up to his nickname that I gave him years ago, “My gentle giant.”
6. I have a problem with books. I didn’t know that I had a problem until we started opening boxes. There were at least 8 full boxes of books! There were some novels that I had read, but mostly, there were kids’ books and curriculum books. Amazingly, I have 2 cabinets full of books in our home now that I didn’t even count in these numbers. You’d think, with all those homeschooling books, that I would be the world’s best homeschooler. You’d be wrong.
7. No one wants to buy old computers. Okay. I actually did not learn this, but I was reminded of it. Mr. E still has those dad-gum computers and monitors. Every time we move them, I swear it’s the last time I’m moving them. I moved them out to the drive way for the yard sale, and I moved them back in after the sale. When I started to fuss at him about the computers, Mr. Everything just stared at my boxes of books. I guess we’re even.
8. One man's trash really is another man's treasure. As we looked at the stuff we had, we really figured we’d make $100. We weren’t doing it for the money as much as to get rid of the stuff. However, in two days, we made $450 on junk. Not bad for a few back-breaking days of moving stuff. (It still wasn’t worth moving those stupid computers.)
We still have enough for another yard sale. The next time the planets all align correctly and we have a Saturday without baseball, softball or Girl Scouts, we’re going to do it again. The kids will probably be grown and married before we have another free weekend. Maybe they’ll be ready to get rid of more stuff by then. -Al