or The Cravens vs the Yard Salers (pt 1)
Moving to the other side of an ocean will make a person re-evaluate how much you need all of the things you currently possess. Particularly when it costs an appendage or two to ship your possessions across said ocean.
Suddenly the things that have composed the backdrop of your life for fifteen years don’t seem all that vital.
A friend who’d moved even farther afield than we’re going (from Georgia to Japan) suggested a method, which was to start with only the things we loved most, then pack things we loved/needed a little less, etc. That way we’d begin the next chapter of our lives surrounded by our most treasured possessions.
This idea appealed greatly. When it came time to go through my library, though, my brain, pled, ‘No, no, I’ll read that book I’ve had twenty years and just haven’t read yet! I swear!’
No. No, you won’t. Prising the book out of my brain’s grasping, phantom hands, I’d put it in the ‘for sale’ boxes and, eventually, got my library down to about half its size.
K was much better at this task. He is ruthless. Of course, he arrived in the country ten years ago with only two pieces of luggage and I wondered if he understood he was meant to remain here after we married.
Then we got to the house and it turned out one of those pieces of luggage was mostly electronics and CDs.
K is not high maintenance.
Inspired by his example, it was easier to say, ‘Sell it!’ for other items.
Eventually, the cupboards, drawers and cabinets divested themselves of their contents. You’d be surprised just how much stuff will fit in a 400 square foot/37 square meters apartment. And we aren’t even hoarders.
This brings us to the yard sales.
Or yard sale number one, at any rate.
I’d only thrown… conducted? Hosted? Whatever. We’d tried to sell a boatload of my childhood toys (my childhood was in the 80s) many months ago and two people showed up. One of them bought something. Total haul: 4USD. Cha-CHING!
I’d also posted my toys on Craigslist and a local yard sale site on more than one occasion to no real luck.
When it was time for this one, I put the ad up in three places—a neighborhood site called NextDoor, the local yard sale site and craigslist. The copy read:
My husband and I are leaving the country in September so we are selling a variety of things in order to avoid shipping them and to raise money so we are not destitute upon arrival in England.
Items for sale include, but are not limited to:
- Coffee mugs
- Toys (Legos)
- Lots of vintage toys from the 80s
- Storage organizers
It’s basically an estate sale but no one died.
This is the first of two–the second will be closer to when we leave and will include anything not sold in this one (in case you miss it!) and the things we need for the moment but won’t need when it’s time to go.
We simply need to do this sale now, as the house is going feral on us and we’re beginning to fear for our lives.
Within four hours I had four emails. Two of which were asking about Legos and toys. In the morning I had two more asking just about the Legos.
K asked: Is Lego the street name for some kind of drug we don’t know about?
Then he tells me a story about a car boot (trunk) sale he and his mother went to to sell some of their things when he was younger. He said before they were even out of the car people were crowding around, trying to look in the windows.
It’s a little Night of the Living Yard Salers.
One guy emailed me three times between the time I posted the ad and when I got back to him, twelve hours later (you just know what he’s like in online dating, right) asking about how much for the Legos and all of the vintage toys.
He doesn’t even know what I have—and I have a lot, as my parents tried to buy my love.
I told him I hadn’t priced anything yet.
His response: Let me know when you do—I have cash.
Dude. Bro. Friend. Mate. Everyone has cash. That’s how they do it. Unless people are paying in gold bouillon now and I’m the last to know.
Is it less about the actual item and more about getting something so someone else doesn’t get it? I don’t know how these people work–their brains clearly function differently than mine.
We’ve decided to start it at 10, but I just know people will arrive earlier than that. Our friend who is basically the adult in our relationship, M, knows quite a bit about yard sales and she says 6 or 7am is typical.
These crazy people are going to be outside our house, scratching at the windows at 8.
I’m going to be standing there with my half sword, trying to keep them back while we bring things out and someone will ask if that’s for sale, too.
Me: No, I’m trying to threaten you into acting like a sane person, you fool!
Them: I’ll give you $15 for it. $20 if it has a holster.
The first person who contacted me was a woman. It must have been within the hour of posting the sale. She wanted to know if we did pre-sales. Cheeky.
I said I just didn’t have time, as there were too many moving and packing things to do this week. (I also didn’t feel like being haggled, which I’m positive is the form of torture awaiting me in Hell.)
Her reply: See you on Saturday! 10am? :o)
She’s definitely going to be out there at 9. Probably with one of those beer hats on—you know the hats that hold two beverages? But instead of beer it’ll be two energy drinks. It’ll be her yard sale hat.
The blood runs cold.