I should have known better but the list of items I didn't want any more was growing. Every time I looked in a room, on a shelf or in a closet, I found something else to add. There was the 36-bottle wine rack in the garage, the three photo albums I never used, and the assortment of baskets and artificial plants that decorated the tops of our kitchen cabinets. In the guest room closet there was an old but still-functioning printer/scanner. The kid's room had a DVD player (does anyone still use those?) and stored against the wall was the non-smart TV we didn't need after my daughter and her husband gave us a smart TV for Christmas. In our closet was a CPAP machine that my husband only used a couple of times. I had a box of cute dachshund figurines that belonged to my parents, as well as three large guys that were displayed along with aforementioned baskets and plants. Another box held a set of beautiful dishes we bought in Philadelphia's Chinatown years ago with a tea set. The list went on and on. It all had to go.
Could I have taken all this stuff to the local thrift store? Of course. But no-o-o, I had to have a garage sale. I advertised on Nextdoor and bought signs and price stickers at the Dollar Store. I borrowed three folding tables. Spent an hour pricing everything. On a nice cool Saturday morning I set up the tables just inside the garage, draped them with some old red sheets and artfully arranged everything to appeal to potential buyers. The wine rack was a great place to display pots and artificial plants. Andy visited our bank and got $100 in small bills for making change. I strategically placed four signs around the neighborhood. I was ready to roll.
A few people trickled in but didn't buy anything. One or two cars slowed as they passed but kept going. One even turned around in the driveway and took off. In hour two, a couple women bought some of the pots and dachshunds. Speaking of dachshunds, our Toby was outside with me, but with his retractable lead hooked to the metal frame of the garage. He amused himself by barking at people or winding himself around table legs.
At noon, Andy brought me a turkey sandwich to quell hunger pangs. I consumed it uninterrupted by customers. A couple of Hispanic guys spent the most time perusing the items and commenting in Spanish. They did buy a couple things but were my last customers. Nearly all the items I had carefully arranged were still there. In hour four, when my back was about to give out from sitting in a wooden chair with a pillow, I called it quits.
Now we couldn't pull the car into the garage because everything was still there. On Monday, I loaded nearly everything into the back of the Murano and headed for the thrift store, which was glad to take everything off my hands. Still trying to sell the wine rack. The Royal Copenhagen dachshunds might go to the consignment shop. And I'm still hoping to find a good home for the Chinese dishes because I just couldn't dump them at the thrift shop. I returned the tables, folded up the sheets and we pulled the car into the garage.
Final profit? About ten bucks. Lesson learned.
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.