By 2:30 p.m., five hours into the garage sale, I sold one item, a Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack CD for $1.00.
My reservations about having a garage sale were now justified. It was a colossal waste of time and energy! The attention it took to store, clean, organize, price, set up and finally box up and cart away items for a garage sale just wasn’t worth it. Not to mention the Sunday afternoon spent waiting for customers that would never arrive.
I had heard the same warning over and over from other people who were minimizing their belongings and getting rid of unwanted items. “If you don’t need the money, just donate your things straight away, a garage sale just isn’t worth it.”
Although I didn’t need the money, for some reason I just couldn’t heed this advice. Perhaps it’s my stubborn streak or maybe it was because I felt that all the time, effort and money spent accumulating this stuff over the years just had to be worth something.
The garage sale was a bust and the glassware, knick- knacks, albums, DVD’s, frames, etc. would have to be boxed up and brought to a donation center. By now I was completely detached from my old things and I even began to despise them. THEY WERE TAKING UP TOO MUCH OF MY TIME.
The very reason I began to minimize is so that I could spend more time doing what I wanted. Sitting out in the hot sun for six hours with no ocean or lake in sight certainly wasn’t what I had in mind. I was so over the garage sale and all the things I was trying to sell. I just wanted to get rid of them. They no longer brought me joy.
As my thoughts began to shift to boxing everything up, I wondered if giving everything away right here in my driveway would change anything. I honestly doubted it, since the items were so cheap to begin with, but I figured I had nothing to lose. The more I was able to get rid of, the less I would have to lug to the donation center.
My daughter and I taped up a new sign which read, “All items FREE.”
Things began to change immediately. Not only did the new sign attract enough customers in the next hour and a half to take away about fifty percent of my stuff, but the entire mood shifted. At first people were skeptical and wondered what the “catch” was. Once we reassured them that there was no catch, their disbelief lifted. They became excited, and happy and were so appreciative to get something for free. Families spent time talking with us and carefully picking out items that they wanted.
In turn, their happiness made me happy. I would have never thought that what started as a pretty regrettable process (other than the time spent with my husband and my daughter)would end on such a positive note! As we packed up for the day, I smiled to myself realizing the lesson learned.
Always be open to new experiences, especially when things don’t go as planned or as expected. Sometimes they work out better than one could ever imagine.
I laughed as I thought, “My old stuff brought me joy one last time!”