My 7yo daughter has been asking if we could PLEASE have a garage sale.
Her reason? Garage sales are just so much more fun than donating.
She has fond memories of waking up on a Saturday morning and coming out to the garage to find all sorts of lovely people milling around and her mom and dad wheeling and dealing.
My memories are slightly different. I remember staying up late and getting up really, really early. Oh, and the weeks of prep before. And spending a chunk of the earned cash on takeout for dinner because Mama was exhausted.
Let me be clear that I’m not knocking garage sales. At all. There was a time in our financial lives when having a garage sale meant we could take a little (cheap) weekend trip that would have otherwise been impossible. Or buy Christmas presents.
And as a former fanatical eBay seller, I have complete respect for the work that goes into selling used stuff. It’s not easy, and is a legit way to earn money when you need it.
Because this was how I used to earn spending money for the family, it has taken me a long time to change my view of the value of stuff.
I now value a lack of stuff.
I value NOT having to figure out where to put something while waiting to sell it.
I value being able to walk across a room without doing fancy kicks or slides or contortions to get around whatever is there temporarily.
I value parking in the garage because I value NOT having to scrape ice off my windshield. Or warn kids to be careful that the hot metal part of the seatbelt doesn’t touch their skin.
I value not waiting to hear back from that person who said they would like to buy whatever I’m selling. I value not being disappointed when the second person who said they wanted it no longer wants it when I check again because the first person never emailed me back.
I value not re-posting that same item three months later, after having stubbed my toe on it sixty-eight times.
So when my best friend and I were shopping for my new chairs and she mentioned that she really needed a loveseat, I immediately offered mine. The one I’d need to get rid of to make room for my new chairs.
Yes, a few fleeting thoughts flew through my Slob Brain:
What if I could sell it?
What if I could find a spot for it somewhere else in the house??
What if I neeeeedddd a loveseat somewhere down the line???
Those thoughts and slight feelings of panic were real, but I’m thankful I pushed them down.
Because this feeling was a much better one:
Bye-bye loveseat. Go enjoy your new family.
Even in those years when I was a seller, I admired those people who were quick to give something away with no concern to what they might get for it or what they might do with it.
I so hope I’m turning into one of those people.
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