Our fulltiming adventure is getting closer and closer and the downsizing begins in earnest this month. We're having a .......
Its not like we can just move our belongings into the RV and take off. OH NO! That would be much too easy. We have to give notice to our jobs, we have to sell our house and we have to get rid of our stuff, keeping only what we really, really need and what will FIT in the RV without going thousands of pounds overweight in the 35 foot fifth wheel we'll call "home".
So how does one get rid of their STUFF you ask? YARD SALE! We started planning this yard sale months ago, picked out the date and then talked our neighbors into having one the same day. They say misery loves company don't they? Ok, the date is May 20th for the big sale!
We started weeks ago eyeing our belongings and thinking BIG BUCKS! Now that's a laugh! We went thru every nook and cranny pulling out things we had forgotten we even had. Just how does one accumulate so much stuff over 26 years? We started loading our porch with STUFF getting ready for the big day. Now, not only did we have our STUFF, but I invited my niece, Ryann, who is moving to bring over her STUFF and my good friend Cindy who is moving to the beach (eventually) to bring her STUFF too. It took Ry in an Explorer, fully loaded, to get her belongings to my house the night before. It took Cindy a jam packed Blazer and my car trunk and back seat to get her STUFF here. The original thought was that Ryann would take off work on this particular Saturday but things didn't quite work out that way. No problem, we'll put her STUFF out and sell it for her. Cindy, my dear direction challenged friend was to be at my house at six in the morning but managed to show up at 7:30 because she got lost in the 8 miles from her house to mine. But hey, she knows how to get to Lums Pond now!
Bob and I spent the Sunday before pricing our STUFF. Our price ranges for what things should sell for were worlds apart. I'm more in the Lord & Taylor price range and he's in the Walmart sale rack price range. I mean come on, do you remember how much we paid for this STUFF? So the pricing was finally done and all week long we found more,,,well, you guessed it...STUFF.
Now Bob has every tool known to man in the modern world and it has to go. But does it have to go so CHEAPLY? We let a router with all the bits go for $12.00! I think we should have asked at least $40!
Bob took off a half a day the day before our sale so that he could "build" tables for us to put our STUFF out on. You know the kind, 4 x 8 sheets of plywood screwed into sawhorses for stability. Ryann brought two tables and we had the lawn.
OK! Its YARD SALE DAY! I'm up at 4:45! Yes, in the morning. Kelly, my neighbor, and I are tasked with getting the signs we made out early. We put out 18 signs in a two mile span of a busy road near our home. Great signs! Catchy phrases, bright yellow poster board, we were determined to draw in every motorist from Route 40 to Route 273 and every side street in between the two. The sun comes up and we repeatedly say, we're gonna have a great day, great weather, couldn't be better. We get home about an hour later and the neighbors are outside, wiping sleep from their eyes as everyone gets ready for the SALE! Everyone has their tables out and are going back to their staging areas to start bringing out the goodies when it started. The RAIN started! Wait! This can't be happening, Cecily, the weather girl, didn't say anything about rain on the 11 o'clock news last night! There can't be rain on yard sale day! (Say that in the tone Tom Hanks used in A League of Their Own when he said, "There's no crying in baseball!) It wasn't a heavy rain, just a steady light sprinkle, enough that you couldn't put your STUFF out. The sky let its droplets of H20 fall for two hours. Look! Over there! Its getting brighter! See that patch of blue in the sky??? Its gonna clear, it'll be ok....we told ourselves over and over again. Our yard sale was supposed to start at 8am and here it is 9 and we're just starting to put the sale items on the tables. Now we thought we had a lot of STUFF to begin with, but add Cindy's STUFF and Ryann's STUFF, geesh, I was tired just putting it out!
OK, tables are filled with our worldly possessions and we're waiting for customers to come, their pockets bulging with fives and tens. And we waited. And we waited some more. Ok, here comes another baseball movie analogy: Remember in "A Field of Dreams" when the voice said, "Build it and they will come"? Well, friends, we built it and they DIDN'T COME! Neighbors walking from house to house saying over and over again, "I don't understand it, why isn't anyone coming? We always have good yard sales, we always have tons of traffic for this". We finally concluded that yard salers (is that a word) got up, looked outside at the drizzle and said to themselves, "I'm not going out in this, nobody will have a yard sale today" and promptly turned over and went back to sleep.
The first customer arrives! Yep, at 11 am our first customer arrived! We were so thankful that if this man had asked us to bow down and kiss his feet we would have fought for the first place in line to do it!!! Little by little they came, they didn't buy, but they came. I just sat there thinking about having to drag all this STUFF back to the porch.
As it happened, Ryann did pretty well with the baby stuff she had to get rid of and some of her household items. Cindy made $1.50 I think. We came out at about $35.00. What a huge disappointment! All that work for a lousy $35.00. Ok, we drag all the stuff back to the porch, I'm exhausted. My back hurts, my feet hurt, I'm tired and we still have tons of STUFF!
There was talk of going to the Farmer's Market for their outdoor flea market on Sunday. TONS of people there, we're sure to sell everything (there's that optimistic feeling coming out in me again). I call the Farmer's Market to find out the particulars of selling there and the lady says if you want to get a space be here at 4am and then there's no guarantee that there will be space available. Four in the morning???? Is she nuts? NO WAY, I can't do it, but our neighbor went, got there at 4 and found not a space to be had. So he put some signs up again, the originals were gone, I don't know where they went, and set his STUFF out. Here comes Bob at 6:45,,,come on Snook, get up, we gotta get our STUFF out. In case there are small children reading this I'll keep what was going thru my head to myself. I did NOT want to get up. But I did. And they came! They really came! We didn't put everything we had out, just the high dollar (in Bob's mind) STUFF. We sold a good amount of stuff really cheap, just to get it the hell out of here! Did we sell half our STUFF? NO! Did we sell a quarter of our STUFF? NO! Just some of it.
One of our customers told us about a flea market that is going to take place the following Saturday at a middle school parking lot on a busy road not far from where we live. I jump at accepting the information she has about it and we've decided to go there. Now, how are we going to get our STUFF there? Although we have a huge pickup truck the bed of it is useless as we have the 5th wheel hitch and two tool boxes in it. Our neighbor Duane has a pickup but his will be used to get the borrowed tables from the Elks Club to the sale. I know! I've seen trucks at Lowe's with signs that say Rent Me for $19.95. We'll rent one of those for the STUFF! Our STUFF, Duane's STUFF, Cindy's STUFF, Ryann's STUFF. We'll sell our STUFF there! So off to the phone I go to call Lowe's. Yes, they have trucks for rent and yes they are $19.95. Now you know there is always a catch and the words "If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is" rang true here. Its $19.95 for the first 45 minutes and $5.00 for every 15 minutes after that. That is NOT going to work! It could end up costing us more than we could even make. So we're racking our brains wondering what to do. Rent a U-Haul? No, too much money up front. Duane has a trailer he hauls cars on....nope, no sides, our STUFF would slide off. What are we going to do? How are we gonna get our STUFF there? Then I had a lightbulb moment! My dear friend Gordon has a trailer! Will he lend to us? I called him and we played phone tag until we finally connected. YES! He'll lend it to us and he wants to see our STUFF too! I feel a sale coming on.
So that's where we are...waiting for this coming Saturday. I'll let you know how we do.
Oh yeah, our final tally for the two days was: US: $121.00 Ryann: $97.45 Cindy: Poor Cindy only made $8.00, But hey,,,,next Saturday is coming!