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Garage Saling Away…

The FutonAs I sat soaking in my sweat in the fairly useless shade of of a half-dead pine tree on the hottest day of the year waiting impatiently for someone, anyone to stop and buy some of our superflous clutter, I couldn’t help but endlessly mutter the same words under my breath.

‘This is all Jamie’s fault.”

Let me back up a little bit.  My friend and co-worker (the aforementioned Jamie) recently moved back into the area after living in Florida for several years.  He and his wife purchased a 70’s era split-level that needed a sizable amount of work to bring it up to 21st century standards (running water and the like).  Jamie immediately set to task on switching over the classic shag to some newfangled laminate flooring, a job that I “assisted” (held the tape measure) with one Saturday. That was the beginning of all of this.

The ease at which our friend was able to drop in the floor planted a dangerous seed in our minds – the idea that we too could “laminate” our basement, turning an otherwise inhospitable wildlife refuge for our cats into the faux-hardwood, safari-themed romper room of our dreams.  With minimal work and expense!  My wife especially has turned Ty Pennington on the matter, collecting paint swatches from Home Depot, drawing up elaborate blueprints and trying to keep Paulie from dissolving into tears (again).

These fancy plans, of course, require a significant reduction in what some folks term “clutter,” but is more aptly termed “housecrap.”  After an initial purging of obvious garbage, removal of several layers of shredded cardboard from the scratching posts, and a Tetris-esque repacking of the closet (increasing our storage capacity by 7%), we were still left with a basement full of junk and an inevitable conclusion.  Time to sell!

We came up with a two-pronged assault strategy to reduce our clutter and bring in some cash at the same time – selling the big stuff via Craigslist and the rest via a classic garage sale. We immediately set about listing items online, and scored a few early hits unloading some old video games, a small futon, and several tons of baby-generated fertilizer.  Meanwhile, we began preparations for the garage sale, going room by room, collecting old trinkets and unused gadgetry, amassing them in the garage and then doing our best to assign appropriate prices to our useless junk.  By Thursday night, everything was pretty much set.

With much fanfare, we de-garaged our wares Friday morning and I set off for work while Kim set about the twin tasks of managing sale AND our endlessly toddling 14 month old.  And from what I understand, it was a glorious sale-filled day, where we raked in dozens of Washington’s as our “housecrap” slowly and miraculously disappeared.  By the time I arrived home, my wife was dancing amidst the few remaining Christmas decorations, flush with the success of the day, and the prospects that a full Saturday sale would bring.

Alas, it was not to be, and that is how I found myself on that blanket in the grass, slowly suffocating in the humid August air, watching with disgust as the lookie-loos drove slowly past in their air-conditioned conveyances, in search of something that we apparently didn’t have.  We made a few sales early in the day, but for the most part it was a bust, and we were left to pack up boxes of crap (for eventual donation or possibly bonfire conflagaration) in the brutal heat of the afternoon, our grandiose plans of “trash to treasure” derailed in a late summer heat wave.

And all thanks to Jamie.


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  • PJ Mullen

    I learned during our renovation that watching HGTV can be bad for your checkbook. My buddy who helped me install our flooring and tile dreaded my standard morning greeting: “So, I was watching HGTV last night”. I swear he rigged that tile saw to kill me. I love CL to sell stuff, but I don't think I'd have the patience for a garage sale.

  • yourwifeisawesome

    It's ok we did good if we could only get rid of the freakin couch!!!

  • yourwifeisawesome

    It's ok we did good if we could only get rid of the freakin couch!!!