One mans trash…You know how the old saying goes. What may no longer be useful to one person, may well turn out to be a cherished treasure for another. This rings true in numerous ways.
I was driving back and forth across my suburban town on a typical, putt-around Sunday, and several times passed by a house having a garage sale. The weather was a bit too frosty, in my opinion, to make that endeavor worthwhile. I was thinking this, as I passed the chilled figures working the sale. As a seasoned host of some rather lucrative garage sales, I have learned that you don’t rake in the customers, in temperatures too hot, or too cold. I have a great appreciation for the myriad of benefits that come along, from doing something as laborious and unglamorous as having a garage sale.
I had never shopped garage sales, and had certainly never hosted one, before my second child was born. I snubbed my nose at garage sales for the most part. Who would want to sift through someone else’s discards anyway? Or spend their day selling their own junk in their own driveway? What would the neighbors think?
Fast-forward to a 2-year-old son, and infant daughter later. “Oh no, all these baby clothes, and toys, and hoppy chairs, are designed for boys. What were we thinking? And what will we do with all of this boy stuff? And gee-wiz, replacing it with all girl stuff is costly? And wow, no baby shower for the second-born, to ease the financial bleeding a bit, that comes from baby-having, and subsequent child-rearing, kind of sucks…” And finally, “Heyyy, maybe those garage sale people are onto something…”
Needless to say, I have held my fair share of yard sales in the 6 years to follow that naive time in my life. It was amazing, I was decluttering my house, helping people attain some rather nice items, for which they had need or want, at a fabulous price, and I was making some extra cash to contribute to my family. And by-golly its a green thing to do, and in total compliance with the concept of reuse, repurpose and recycle. Amazing!
Let’s get back to the poor popsicles I saw running their chilly-day sale. On my last pass, at the end of the day, dropping off my daughter’s friend from a play-date, I see that they have shut down shop and carefully moved all that didn’t sell to the curb, for trash pick-up. Alas, the curious picker in my head forces me to stop the car and assess the situation. Well, my goodness, am I glad I did.
I am now the happy owner of a pristine and life-like porcelain doll, which my daughter was thrilled to receive (incidentally I priced it out and found it to be valued at around $85), an extra large, wooden-framed, backyard table-umbrella, in excellent working condition, and a perfect, unused, hardcover, copy of a book that one of my dearest friends, and cheer-leader for my writing, had been urging me for months to read, coincidentally (or not) written by a blogger-turned extremely successful author, writing about some sh*t his Dad says. Amazing!
As I think of all of this, I grow more certain that there are no coincidences. A dear childhood friend, whose first husband had told her on numerous occasions, that she was a piece of garbage, eventually remarried a man who absolutely adored her for the stunningly beautiful, kindhearted and imperfect woman she is. 10 years later, they remain madly in love. Amazing! Sometimes, what might appear to be “trash” in our lives, turns out to be a hidden treasure, waiting to fall into the hands or heart of just the right person.
As a child my mother loved going “garage sale hunting”, it was just short of a sport for her. I love getting a bargain and an unexpected find. My favorite is getting Christmas decorations for the outside of our house, I just scooped up an awesome “North Pole” sign that lights up and blinks!!! I paid $3 for it over the summer and it now it is sending out Christmas cheer to everyone who passes. I LOVE this post!!! It is relatable and I’m not going to lie, gets me excited for a great score!! If you don’t check out garage sales, you are missing out!! Great Post!
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Thanks. I love scoring a fabulous item at a great price. There is something very exciting about it. Enjoy your new light up sign, sounds like a definite score.
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I was raised to love yard sales and to repurpose things from them. I enjoyed reading this post. Check out my blog if you get a chance where i post my yard and estste sale finds weekly.
Thanks so much. Its amazing, what gems can be found at yard sales. I love it. So glad you stopped by. Ill check out your blog for sure.
Garage sales aren’t my fave but they certainly do serve a purpose in the parent realm. A big sale was also a way to unload a truck load of stuff that I “inherited” when my grandmother’s house was cleaned out – a tidy $750 wad in small bills for me and a big thank you to family members that thought it was junk!
That story sounds familiar! When Little Man, I was appalled at the idea of buying something from a yard sale for him, but fast forward six years to Baby Girl, and I’m tickled as can be to save money. 🙂
I also have a lot of luck shopping at Goodwill, for stuff for the kids and to resell. It’s a lot of fun to bargain hunt!
Isn’t it a potent thrill to find something fabulous, at a super-bargain price? I love it! Thanks for taking the time to visit.
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i liv in an old neighborhood where the houses were built long ago and the folks who live here are passing on. Estate sales are my favorite..altho it is sad to pour through dead people’s belongings…but someday it will be us whose stuff will be sold to the next generation. 🙂
i hope you live in a good neighborhood for shopping. They just dont make furniture like they used to, do they.
Recently i bought a table and chairs for a great price. the kids were delighted that we finally had a formal dining room and we enjoyed it much during these past holidays. the set was made in early sixties..so almost an antique!
We have much in common Steph. I scored a pristine china cabinet at an estate sale too. It was made circa 1960’s, and wound up nicely complimenting the solid oak, mission-style table, in my dining room, which I had previously purchased at a friend’s moving sale.
Honestly, those are two of the most well-made pieces of furniture in my house. Those, and the wrought iron tables, that I bought in Mexico with FEX, years ago. Those pieces were gorgeous, the prices were amazingly low, and we strapped them all onto the top of our van, and drove them all the way home to NY.
Getting anything of quality at a fabulous price excites me! You are right. They certainly do not make furniture like they used to.
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I love wrought iron. I dont know why i have an affinity for metal but i do…i think its all about feng shui. 🙂
as for scoring good finds…yes, i love that thrill! :)…that…and winning prizes also thrills me. thank goodness i am not a gambler or i would be addicted.