Here’s another post from present time.
It is 5:30 am and it’s the morning after our Great Household Sale-Part 2. I swore to myself I would sleep in. All the planning would be done, all the work would be done, we’re not having another sale until January 15th, I can slow down for a few weeks.
As Steve Martin used to say “But No-o-o-o-o-o-o!”….the committee in my head started in on me at 5 am. It’s always a race at that time of morning to see if I can get back to sleep after the early morning bathroom run before the committee gets going. Today, the committee won.
So, I got up, made a pot of coffee and thought I’d fill you in on how the garage sale went yesterday.
If you are like I am, which is a bit of a pack rat, a move like this can be somewhat traumatizing. I’m not talking about an extreme case of hoarding, nor am I even to the extreme that I’ve edged our cars out of the garage with my stuff. I just tend to keep certain things.
One of them is fabric. I love fabrics! I’ve sewed most everything in my home: slipcovers, window treatments, decorative pillows, duvet covers, bed shams, etc. And I’ve done it for 4 bedrooms, a living room, dining room and a family room, numerous times over 18 years.
Needless to say, I have lots of fabrics.
So, my obsessive/compulsive nature took over this past week and I started bundling again. Cannot remember if I’ve told you about bundling. That’s a way of merchandising and packaging related items together to form something attractive and has perceived value that will compel a buyer to purchase it. We see it on telecommunications ads all the time.
Well, I’ve taken to candle bundling and fabric bundling. I spent evenings after work all
week long sorting and bundling. Pulling out fabrics, cutting them up so they form a value-sized squares. Packaging them with other large scraps of like-minded fabrics and then wrapping them in ribbon and pricing them. Usually really cheap. As John said to me all week: “Yep, looks like you’re making about 8 cents an hour.”
Yea, bite me.
I may not be making the most sound use of my time, but you know what? It was therapy. This process helped me cope with parting my most favored and luscious of items. It became a way for me to say goodbye.
Never underestimate the power of bundling.
So, I bundled to my heart’s content. And then on Friday night, I came home from work and John and I worked until 11 pm. We had set up banquet tables we had borrowed from neighbors (thank you!!) and I had merchandised to my hearts content. We knew we had not placed out everything we own, because we just have too much stuff. We knew we are
having two more garage sales in January to get down to the knitty gritty stuff, so I concentrated on Christmas decorations, gifty-type items, wall decorations, furniture and of course, my fabrics.
I set up a sort of “store” in the front entryway of the house, and John set up a couple of tables in the garage. Of course, I had to second-guess how he set up his stuff…..not the prices of the power tools – he was fine with that, but the way he had arranged stuff. I mean, you do NOT put a stuffed Easter bunny in between a jig saw and a circular saw! You do not put a caulk gun in between a dvd player and a set of vcr tapes featuring the Star Trek movies!
I just shook my head and walked around the house back to “my shop”.
Next morning we were up at 5 am (Hello, committee!!!) putting the finishing touches on pricing. (Why am I even bothering putting 50¢ price tags on individual candle votives? I think my obsessive/compulsive nature would like to take a break now, please!) At 6:20 John says “I think I’ll go put out the garage sale signs around the neighborhood.” I protested: “But we do not open until 8! Everyone will come early!” “Just tell them we open at 8,” he said as he loaded up the borrowed garage sale signs into the car and headed out.
At 6:45 am 4 cars pulled up to the house and four families unloaded on me. Great, I’m surrounded by people, it’s not even light yet, John isn’t here to help, great start to the day!
“Electronico? Tienes electronico?” They were darting into the house where I had two tables set up in the entry way and yellow “caution” tape cordoning off access to the rest of the house. These people knew what they were doing. They were on a mission to find anything with a plug and were not distracted by Nutcrackers, stocking holders, tree ornaments or tables of carefully bundled fabrics.
When they saw I had no electronicos for sale, they stalked out, got in the cars and roared away. I felt like a wave of locusts had just swept through my farm, leaving me breathless and empty.
The rest of the day went fine. Some items I was able to sell at the price I put on it, other items I had to come down on price to get them moved out. It was really odd, the things that sold right away and the things people left alone. One wave of people would hit the Christmas decorations hard and totally ignore all seven of the picture frame boxes. The next group would paw through the frames and scope in on table top decorative items. I especially loved it when people would say “Can I start a pile over here?” “Why yes, let me help you with that!”, I’d reply
In the middle of the morning, one of our dear neighbors walked in with two plates of home made breakfast. I was caught off guard by the thoughtfulness. There was bacon and eggs
with an incredible home made rosemary bread. Unfortunately she came in with them at a particularly busy moment, and I couldn’t get to it as quickly as I’d like. John, thinking I had eaten my fill (Hey, I’d only had two bites of the egg and 1 bite of the bread!) threw my plate away in the trash! Hello, I was NOT done with that!
By 1 pm, John and I were wiped out. Our backs hurt from standing so long and we were again, famished. I was ready to throw in the towel. And here’s the kicker: No one, and I mean not one person, had bought any of my bundled fabrics! All that time spent on Wednesday and Thursday night, all that
love lavished on each little scrap, just waiting for the right sewing hobbyist to see my tray full of fabrics and just swoon over them like I have.
Nope, not a fricking one.