Whilst I collect the things that are meaningful to me: Little camels from Dubai and Tiki's from Vanuatu, my grans old Harvest Jar and T-Pot, a Victorian Barometer that doesn't work and an old treadle sewing machine among many 'pieces' that I simply can't part with. I am without doubt a tosser. My house is minimalist and devoid of clutter (except the kid's rooms of course). If it hasn't been worn for 2 years, it gets chucked in the rag bag (we have the best dressed homeless people in Sydney thanks to the many donations of still labelled items that I bought without trying on and disliked or found skimmed my curves a little too tightly). We have a 'tradition' here and I think also in the US that if you have a significant amount of well-preserved stuff, you have a Garage Sale. Bugger e-Bay, you can sell the lot by whacking all your junk into the carport or garage, putting an ad in the paper and signage on adjacent street light poles and hundreds of people will come and buy your rubbish and you'll make a tidy profit.
I hear of loads of people who say it's worth spending 2 days arranging stuff, pricing it, getting some change ready for those fuckers who bring $100 bills for a $2.00 book . . .so we did it. The family churned out clothes, books, vinyls and CD's, obsolete china, tubey bunks, bar stools and all those non-matching mugs that breed in the corner cupboard. A little bit of costume jewellery, electric lawn mower and whipper snipper, numerous blow up mattresses, a dog kennel and wire run, food processor and miscellaneous electricals and a huge TV.
The browsers come early despite the ad stating it starts at 9.00am. They're mostly the second hand dealers looking for hidden valuables. Then there are the cruisers who pop in and offer you 50cents for that Trent Nathan designer dress that no longer fits and you think - shit, I might have been going to throw it out but it's worth more than that! And the ruthless Garage Sale browsers who want a whole pile of stuff 'delivered' as if we're a friggin' courier service! Then there's the little old lady who cruises through the paperweights, ums and ahs and comes back three times before making a paltry offer. She's on the pension we think so throw in a couple for free before she drives away in her Beamer . . .sucked in again . . . old people are so devious.
Our garage sale was a disaster. We sold an old History of England and after it left I realised it was an 1850 first edition (bitch slap me to Tuesday for not realising it's value) and a Shelley China Tea set, the telly went and a few ods and sods but a plethora of stuff remained. I don't know why nobody bought the James Last Dance Album or the Reader's Digest collections, not to mention the delightful baby bouncer that you adhere to a door frame, whack the ankle biter into and watch them bounce up and down until their face goes blue. Great training for future bungy jumpers.
So we had to pile the rest in neat bags and tidy stacks so that St Vinnies could pick it up and use it in their op shop. The kennel and dog run earned $250 which was probably worth sitting outside all day and one of the punters was bitten by a bull ant which was very amusing. (not for him - it would be a few days before he'd get his shoes on!). All in all it was a total flop and a waste of time but there was something nice about sitting in the sunshine with my sister and daughter, drinking champagne and devising ways of spending all the money that we didn't make!