Jul 20, 2011

What's it worth?

How much value do you put in your stuff? I hadn't thought too much about that until recently when we decided to sell most of the extra things we have. We didn't want to have to move it...and it was time to finally let go of baby things now that the newborn phase has ended in our lives.

As I looked around the garage after it was ready for the sale I thought about the thousands and thousands of dollars I spent on the things...and wondered if it was worth it. Did I get my money's worth? Why did I need so much stuff? Why hadn't I gotten rid of these items yet? Why did I have so many things that were brand new and never taken out of their packages or still with tags?

It was fun going through the kids' newborn and small clothes and thinking about the memories I had of them wearing each outfit. But in the end, I don't need to hold onto those outfits to help remind me of my precious little babies. I went through all of the various decorative things that had adorned my past apartments and remembered fun times I had with friends. All those memories hold tremendous value to me...but the stuff no longer does.

Look at all these tiny shoes!
It's a strange thing when you see all your things lined up for sale and you watch people pick over them. Part of me wanted to put high dollar amounts on things...especially if they held sentimental value...but the practical side of me wanted to see it all purchased and find new homes.

We sold everything you can see in this picture...including the shelves! (except the guitar...I'm still working on selling that)
I opened the garage sale up to close friends before opening it up to the public so that the people I know and love could give good homes to the best stuff first. :) I'm thankful that so many came out and bought things that night.

Then the garage sale started and it was somewhat strange to see the buying patterns some have. I literally had people come back 3 and 4 times during the two days of the sale and keep buying things. I saw some people come in to 'browse' and ended up taking out bags and bags of things.

I was also shocked about the things that didn't sell right away. Michael kept giving an update on what he thought were the 'deals of the century' that were unclaimed. (like a $250 video baby monitor for $4, some brand new with tags Pottery Barn linens for $1, etc.)

Yes, I not only filled up an entire 2-car garage...but I also had enough stuff for sale to fill up the summer porch! Thankfully enough sold to consolidate all of this just a couple hours after the garage sale started. (although no one bought much Christmas stuff...I guess May isn't the best time to think about the holidays)
By the end, we had sold all but a few boxes worth...which have now been consigned or donated. A few 'big' things are left for Craigslist like my dresser, a guitar, and a surround sound system. Overall it was a lot of work but very worth it.

 The desk in the pic below left was sold along with most of the tea stuff. (I still sell loose-leaf tea, just not the pots and things anymore.) The pic on the right was one of my first furniture purchases after college. I still love it but it doesn't have a place in our house to go so hopefully someone will get good use out of it in their home.

And I hope I can keep myself from ever accumulating that much unused stuff again! (As a side note...once everything was set up Michael said 'wow...I don't remember buying any of this stuff.' It's true...it was pretty much all mine! Yikes!)


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