Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Trash and Treasure

Twice a year my neighborhood has a community wide yard sale and Saturday is "the" day.  So we've been busily cleaning out closets and creating a "store" in the garage.  I have a friend who joins me in this craziness and this year my sister will also be participating in the fun in preparation for her upcoming move.  Usually the husband finds a reason to be away, but this year I've recruited him to be support staff for those of us on the front lines.  Saturday is usually chaotic and fast paced starting at first light and finishing by early afternoon.  This year we've decided to start on Friday to get a "jump on the action."  Truth be told, there is so much work to get ready that it seems to make more sense to offer our treasures for two days and increase our odds of not having to handle these items again.

You might be thinking, "Why not just donate this stuff?"  And you would have a valid point.  And often we do just make a trip to one of the many charities in town.  But sometimes the yard sale venue offers a bit of satisfaction that a donation doesn't.  When I have a "treasure" that I'm finally ready to part with and someones trades me some money for it (even if it's just 25 cents) it makes me think that they want and value my "treasure".  Maybe they don't value it too much - especially those who will offer me 10 cents for an item I've priced at 25 - but they've made the effort to take it home, so they must see something in that old album or coffee pot or jigsaw puzzle.

And I'm always amused by the choices people make.  Sometimes we try to guess what items will sell first.  Our track record is about perfect....we are most always wrong.  Occasionally the item that I almost threw in the trash is the first one sold!  And the item that seems like a wonderful treasure to me remains unsold at the end.  We have one fairly firm rule, though:  nothing returns to the house.  If it doesn't sell, it goes directly into the car to be taken to a local charity.  I will admit that there are occasional exceptions to that rule, but for the most part we determine to let go of our "treasures" one way or another.

The real reward is the space in the closets and the empty shelves in the garage rather than the money.  I'm one of those people who feels calmer and uncluttered of mind when my surroundings are also uncluttered.  It's just hard to balance that with some of the memories that I tie to various objects.  But, as I said from the start, life is a balancing act. 

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