Friday, April 9, 2010

The Downside of Thrifty Treasures


Have a great Thrift Store in town? Know where they have THE BEST garage sales? Haunt the free sections of Craigslist or subscribe to

These things became an addiction and up until about a month ago, I visited them all often, bringing home everything from dinette sets to cheese domes to store displays to candle holders to what is now a collection of over 50 frames in various sizes. (Yes, 50. If I put a solo picture of everyone of our relatives in one, I would still have at least 30 leftover.)

The haul was mighty even while the actual cash outlay was very low. Out comes the sander, the spray paint, the varnish when they come home to help in my quest for transforming them anew. It was great fun.

Then……dah, dah, dah, dummmmm comes the idea of moving. The excitement of a new pad is quickly replaced by abject terror. I have to pack & then move all of these extra mirrors, tchochkes, vases, shadeless lamps, etc.

I am buried by months of week after week of thrifty treasures picked up for a song, but most likely languishing in closets, cabinets, to do piles and don’t forget under the beds!

That brought on the dreaded sentence words that I have avoided for my, cough, 29 years. “I will hold my very own garage sale.”

The thought of being trapped out front of my house for hours on end, having to chat with people, face their scorn of my offered knick knacks, dither and dicker on prices, and even worse, deciding on time, date, & amount of change needed has always made me cringe.

The thought of an influx of cash and the sheer determination not to have to pack and lug the crap, I mean treasures, to the new pad spurred me on.



That was me last weekend. My first and hopefully my last garage sale. The things that didn’t sell finally left the house today thanks to donations and free listings on Craigslist.

I didn’t make a lot of money, but that wasn’t really the point. The whole idea was to get rid of the treasures and that, I did indeed, achieve.

I NEVER WANT TO DO THAT AGAIN! No more buying stuff just because it is a good deal. No more buying something that is ugly as sin and spending hours sanding and painting only to have really no need for it or place for it.

I need a nap, but am left packing what I felt that I couldn’t live without. Which, by the way, is still too much stuff!


FrugalMom said...

You are so funny Gwen! I have so far avoided the dreaded garage sale, but only because I have moved across the Atlantic several times in my life. I am very thankful that my last move was before they put fees on everything, as I am sure my six suitcases, two carry ones, 1 car seat and 1 big stroller would have cost me an arm and a leg.

It must feel good to get rid of everything though.

Dawn said...

Oh, we are so alike. I would love to have a garage sale now and then to get rid of my compulsive shopping mistakes but I don't have any room to sort it out. So I end up taking it, one box at a time, back to good will. But that's okay cause you really have to bring home a lot of junk to see what really works!

I wish I could have been there for the sale. I bet I could have found some good stuff! I know, I'm hopeless!

Amanda C. from the middle of nowhere said...

I've had two yard sales in my life. My mom is thinking about having one later this year. My MIL yard sales her CVS finds. I don't. So, I have like 30 bottles of shampoo in my linen closet.

When exactly are you moving? Whenever, enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Anonymous said...

"No more buying stuff just because it is a good deal. No more buying something that is ugly as sin and spending hours sanding and painting only to have really no need for it or place for it."

Are you out of your mind? Really, because I cannot do this alone. Codependency is vital to the continuation of my habit, and I was counting on you.

Oh well- I guess somebody has to be the grownup. If you want to give anything away, call me, k?

Struggler said...

Good for you.
I've realized I'm far too lazy to have a garage sale. The closest I got was last December; I dumped a load of stuff on our front drive and posted a 'free' ad on Craigslist. I was shocked at how fast absolute rubbish disappeared!

Miss G said...

Oh I know, I know! I had a booth at a school fundraiser sale last fall and bought all kinds of treasures to fix up and resale. I made some good money but still have sooo much stuff leftover including stuff that never got "made over". It is weighing me down. Need to get rid of it . . . Kelly

Cotton Blossom said...

Gwennie, this is making me SAD...why didn't I get to read these posts? Have you blocked my dashboard dear? Hmmm, well, this was like three weeks ago so I'm probably just talking to myself...anything I have to say will be three weeks late and a Craig's list short.

ON THE OTHER HAND....I'm totally talking to myself here and there is FREEDOM in that! WOOOHOOOO I think I'll break into song...hmm but which one? How about...

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly get your adverbs here. Father, Son and Lolly get your adverbs here.


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