linky do's!

Saturday, July 31, 2010


yesterday my mom helped me hold a yard sale up at my gram's house.  i wanted to get rid of baby gear and clothes and i had a year's worth of clothes, swings, bouncers and bottles that i wanted to clear out of the house.  throughout the spring and summer i sorted through tubs of clothes, keeping certain outfits and boxing ones i didn't want.  becos of illness and busy schedules, i didn't get the attic and cellar cleaned out like i wanted.  as the kiddos outgrew the swings and bouncers, i sent them over to mom's, who took them up to gram's.  then the summer got away from us, and we pinned down a date to hold the sale.  we decided the last friday and saturday in july would be a good time for the sale.  mom put an ad in gram's paper.  dad collected some old tools to sweeten the load, and gram found some things she didn't want.  during the week mom and dad schlepped boxes, tables and gear up to gram's, mom got money to use for change, and on thursday gram and mom pinned outfits together, put clothes on hangers and sorted items for the tables.  they also stuck price stickers on bigger items.

yesterday i took the kids up and saw the sale was in full swing.  mom said that people started coming around 6:30 in the morning, while she and dad were setting up tables.  the sale was supposed to start at 8 but people came in a steady stream beforehand - i think mom said they started selling stuff at 7:30.  gram took the kiddos for a walk and i helped mom check people out and straightening piles of clothes.

mom said my old nursing scrubs sold first.  a woman who worked for the red rock job corps center bought them for her students.  i had those uniforms for nearly 10 years - they held a lot of pain for me and i wanted to get rid of them in the worse way, but i couldn't find a way to sell them until this year.  mom said the jungle swing went quickly.

you meet all kinds of people at yard sales.  most people are pretty nice.  there was one older lady who bought up a ton of baby clothes, gear, my diet books and gram's clothes.  she seemed a bit dotty, but said they were for a baby in the family.  she bought my old maternity jeans, asked about the size (they were big for her) then commented "well, my husband can wear them.  he has alzheimers, he won't know the difference."  (!!!)  i made the dumb mistake of saying that we'd probably have another sale next year and she left her name and number so that we could call her so she could buy more things.  gram thought she was one of those people who buy things then resell them at a higher price.  hey, if she can get more money, more power to her, cos the stuff is out of my house now!

another customer was a girl and her mom - she was pregnant and needed boy clothes, after finding out the "girl" she thought she was having and bought things for was actually a boy.  she bought the bobux and a lot of clothes.

while most people are nice and fair, you do get some stingy and mean people.  there were 2 older ladies who were buying clothes for a baby that was "probably going to be put up for adoption."  the baby was 2 months old.  the one lady grumbled becos i had a lot of fleecy pajamas - didn't i have any cooler cotton ones?  then she asked if i could do better on the price of the jammies - i was asking a buck - i thought they were cheap enough already!  then she pulled out petunia's easter outfit - it was priced at 75 cents, and mom had bought the pants and shirt an a yard sale last year for about $5 total - and asked if i could do better.  i said, "my mom paid X amount of dollars for some of those outfits, i think a dollar is reasonable!"  she pursed her lips and sighed, then demanded that i help her find onesies.  i suppose she was expecting me to give her the clothes for free becos they were for "a baby going into foster care" but damn it, i wanted to make some money off my stuff.  literally, a buck.  was that too much to ask?  later on dad said that so many churches have clothing giveaways and that a lot of people expect that at yard sales too.  had i known that i would have told the old biddy that if she wanted something for nothing to get the clothes elsewhere!

someone also walked off with 2 of dad's tool kits, priced at $10 and $5 dollars.  dad said he remembered seeing a woman carrying them around, and assumed that she paid mom for them.  it was a shame - it's not a lot of money, but the principle of it.  dad said thefts at yard sales was common too.  it's a shame that people have to do that.  no sense at all.

by 10 we sold about a third of the clothes and mom asked if i wanted to slash prices yet.  we decided to wait until 10:30.  none of the snow suits or sleep sacks had sold yet, nor the car seat fleeces or the mobile.  so we went through and knocked a buck or 2 off of things, and sales heated up.  the snow suits sold as did the car seat fleeces, and the dotty lady bought the mobile and a few of the sleep sacks.

by noon we were tired and getting sunburned and decided to close up shop.  all that was left was a diaper box of petunia's clothes, one of freddie's outfits (which i pulled, cos i hesitated selling it anyway), gram's plastic flowers (they were old, they smelled old and plastically) and an old tool box and kerosene heater.  we made a modest amount of money, now safely stored at the bank, where it will go to make a credit card payment, becos unfortunately the kids are still growing and i will have to buy more clothes.

mom was tired and grumpy.  the boy was a terror and i was weary from tag teaming with the kids and the sale.  if/when we do this again, the kids stay home with hubby!  we cleaned up and went home.

i learned a couple things, to make the next sale better.  when i sort the kids clothes, i will pin outfits together.  mom and gram did their best to keep outfits together, but some things were still separated.  it's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but there were some outfits i wanted to keep together.  i think i will also sort clothes by boy and girl.  i think i did this but it might make things easier for next year.  i'll also remember to keep hangers for those outfits that hung.  also, hopefully i can add more things to sell!  there were household things i wanted to get rid of like books, cooking things and videos.  hopefully next year we won't be sick, and i'll be able to get away from the kiddos long enough to do some cleaning here and there.

i always find yard sales somewhat bittersweet.  getting rid of stuff.  history.  selling the kids stuff was hard.  but i realize that we need the money more than the things, and i do have the memories (and some photos) to remember them by.

okay, i'm getting this out of my system NOW.  i cannot allow myself to feel sad about getting rid of my kids things.  they are objects.  stuff.  i refuse to be controlled by my stuff.  i will allow myself to keep a few things - obviously the snoopy clothes and the dachshund clothes i can keep.  toys that the kids truly loved.  but everything else.  is.  just.  stuff.  i have no room for it in the attic or the cellar.  the kids probably won't care when they grow up.  so next year when it's time to get rid of the damn car seats and the exersaucer and the avents and the kids summer clothes and the baby toys, i will not think twice.  i will sell them and never look back. 

okay, mischief managed.  now i feel better.

now i feel a little lighter, getting rid of the big ticket stuff.  next year's sale - the exersaucer, the avents, mom's changing table, and more clothes.  and hopefully even more stuff.

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