Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Garage Sale...

I haven’t written for my blog for a very long while; a year to be precise.  Yikes!  I really didn’t think it had been that long.  Talk about being M.I.A.  But I have returned and hopefully back with some regularity. 

A lot has happened during the past year which should be a helpful source of blog posts.  One of these was a job I tackled for the first time in my 59 years; organizing a garage sale.  Yes indeedy, I and my family (much to their alarm) took on this overwhelming task.  There are several things I learned though this experience but, before I tell you about them; I shall digress and tell you how it all came into existence.

Early 2015 I became consumed with an overwhelming desire to purge my entire house.  At first I felt it was just the crying need to divest myself of 28 years of accumulation and clutter but, as I tackled this task I actually, learned plenty about me.  Not the least was I just may have all the earmarks of a potential hoarder! 

I started in the basement (it isn’t finished) which had become a great, grey dumping ground and catch-all throughout the years for anything and everything that couldn’t  seem to find a home elsewhere.  Now let me be clear about what I mean...  There were belongings of my mother’s, who passed away in 2002.  Stuff of both my daughters who have left home over 15 years ago and have long ago married, had kids and created their own piles of “stuff”!  There were things I’d forgotten I had or hadn’t used in 20 years.  I t was frightening!  In fact, I didn’t even know where to start and gained a whole new empathy for those folks who hoard much worse than I.

Nevertheless, I set about tackling this job and was absolutely ruthless.  By that I mean if I hadn’t used it within the past 2 years, out it went.  It was a big job.  There was a lot of stuff.  It took me all winter but, finally I was ready for the Garage Sale!

These are the lessons I learned through my Garage Sale experience:

·        It covered 2 weekends, eating up my time and the time of my family’s.

·        It was a lot of work hauling things in and out on to the driveway each day.

·        It didn’t earn nearly enough considering the time and work invested.

·        The wise thing to do would have been to donate it all in the first place.

I realize there are folks who feel garage sales are profitable and well worth it.  I am NOT one of them.  Never again will I attempt such a folly or get my family mixed up in the same.  However, God bless them for rallying round me and my asinine idea. 

I did, however learn (as I mentioned earlier) some very insightful things about myself through this whole experience.

·        The clutter around me that was driving me loony was really guiding me to examine the mess of internal clutter I’d allowed to build up in my spirit.  More about this is another blog.

·        Despite my disability and the pain I was able to tackle this difficult task little by little if I accepted that it couldn’t be accomplished overnight and it was entirely okay if it took several months.

·        It isn’t the timeline that counts; it’s the finished outcome that matters.

·        What an AWESOME, WONDERFUL, EMPOWERING and HUMBLING feeling accomplishing this job gave me!

·        I now feel ready to tackle the rest of my home and while I clear away the years of physical clutter surrounding me, I can also, clear away any spiritual or emotional clutter within. 

So, my advice is don’t let your clutter overwhelm or own you.  Pick a spot, a room, a drawer, or whatever and get started uncluttering.   Give yourself permission to take your time but, be consistent.  Little by little, bit by bit you will see the end.  Be ruthless and don’t add anymore stuff to the pile.  Ask yourself before filing anything into a cupboard, the basement or the garage; “Do I really want or need this?  Will I use it in the next year or two?”  Be honest and you’ll be surprised what you’re willing to let go of and give away. 

Last but, not least I DO NOT recommend doing a garage sale.  It is lots of work, doesn’t earn that much profit and often involves others.  Throw out what is garbage and give the rest away.  Unless you enjoy such things or do it as a job, I believe the garage sale is a colossal waste of time.  And time is something we never can accumulate! 

Until next time...tootle-loo!