I grew up in hand-me down clothing from my cousin. To me, it was not a strange thing. In fact, whenever we made our yearly ventures to Houston, you could usually find me sitting in my cousin’s closet, staring at all of the clothing that would eventually be mine.
This would be one of the reasons that I never found garage sales to be strange. Depending on whose garage sale you attend, there is quite an assortment of ‘hand-me downs’ to choose from.
Luckily for me, not only did I grow up with great hand-me downs, I grew up with the Queen of Garage Sales. My mom had garage sales every summer it seemed like … the point was to make some money, but more importantly, get rid of stuff. The prices were never high, but the quality was still there.
In the span of just over a year, I have held two garage sales. Last summer, Matt and I filled our garage with pre-wedding junk and finished the day with less stuff and a nice chunk of change in our pocket.
One year later, with one year of marriage under our belts and another large accumulation of ‘stuff’, we held garage sale No. 2. While we were making the move from Bristlecone to Patty’s, I didn’t really think that we had that much ‘stuff’… until the move was complete and I walked down to the basement only to have a 4’x4’ piece of carpet that was NOT filled with a box of ‘stuff’. And her basement is not small…
After actually visualizing the amount of ‘stuff’ that we had that we did not need, my mind went into garage sale mode. I started with my closet and for the first time in my garage sale’ing days (which began early in my childhood), I actually went through, piece-by-piece, and decided if I had not actually put the clothing on my body in two years, sayonara. (Sidenote: I only took back ONE piece of clothing that had not been worn in two years…. it still has yet to be worn and know that it will be so cute with a pair of white pants next summer!).
Somehow, yet again, we filled our garage to the brim with everything from clothes, shoes and wine glasses to a sandwich maker, a 1986 fondue pot (courtesy of Patty Clark) and a golf ball penny bank.
I was a bit worried about taking on the task of garage salee by myself. Last year, Matt took the day off of work to help. I don’t deal well with hagglers and the people that come to our garage sales… or at least the people who trek around to Wichita garage sales come to haggle! Matt was able to stick around for the official first 30 minutes of the garage sale, but when you post a starting time of 8 a.m. for a garage sale, somehow that is a hidden meaning for 7 a.m.
By 7:53 a.m., we had already had a morning rush and when the sale was actually suppose to start at 8, it was quiet!
Matt eventually went to work and I was left to hold the fort. We had a few early snafoo’s… Matt came down before he left for work, asking where his Kenneth Cole watch was. I had bought him a KC watch for graduation in 2005, but bought him a new one for our wedding last year. So his previous KC watch hadn’t been worn for more than a year. But ofcourse on garage sale day, he wants to wear it. Well… he had accidentally put it in a pile of ‘sale’ items, so I tagged it and it ended up being the first item I sold. When I told him, he tried not to hit the wall, but I could see the steam coming from his ears. I felt bad, but… he put it in the ‘sell’ pile. Whose fault was that?! I’m not a mind reader, folks!
Throughout the course of the day, I threatened to sell both Bob and Wrigley a minimum of 10 times (since they sat outside the garage and whined the entire sale – one guy asked if I was serious about the Golden Lab… I said no, I was serious about the howling bassett hound!). I also heard the life story of a woman whose daughter was getting married in Mexico and she had three dresses to choose from to wear to the wedding, but her daughter didn’t like any of them and reminded me not to ‘over mother’ my children one day. And for some reason, the most annoying cat ever showed up at the sale and plopped himself up front, whining all day long, only to have every other garage saler stop and tell me how pretty my Siamese cat was (had to tell them it wasn’t mine) and that she looked hungry (in which I said, “Too bad!” I didn’t want the cat to stick around!).
I stayed open until 2:30 pm and by then, we had gotten rid of three-fourths of our ‘stuff’. I closed shop, loaded four bags with clothes and one box with ‘stuff’ and made my way to Goodwill.
By 4 p.m., I had completed garage sale 2009 and accomplished the Golden Rule(s) of Garage Sales… Made some money and got rid of ‘stuff’.
I hope that my hand-me downs can put a smile on another young girl’s face… and I hope that someday, she will be able to turn around and sell that 2008 smocked royal blue turtleneck for a quarter, like I sold it to her.