GARAGE SALES–A Necessary Evil??


GARAGE SALES – A Necessary Evil???

There are two types of people: “garage sale people” and “non-garage sale people.”

Garage sale people plan their day, their weekends and their vacations around the best times and places to go “garage selling.” They rent a vehicle or borrow a neighbor’s truck and hit the neighborhoods. They’ve watched the papers and internet for the best ones and arrive pre-dawn with cash-in-hand and their best poker-face ready to negotiate that overpriced dollar sticker down to a quarter. Even if they don’t necessarily want the item, it’s the thrill of the bargain. (And I am pretty sure they all watch “Antiques Road Show” for the hope that they might have just snagged an old Victoria Vase worth $29,000 paying only $2.00 when it was marked up to $15.00)

I am not one of those people. I don’t even look twice at a “garage sale” sign. I actually speed up if somehow, by pure mistake, I end up in the vicinity of one.

A garage sale–People seeking to obtain some value by placing their trinkets and treasures on display — out of the area usually used to store a dirty car, old motor oil and unused bicycles. I get embarrassed as I rifle through old VHS tapes and mostly junky jewelry, as though they are exposing me to their most intimate moments and memories. Was that the first piece of jewelry he gave her in 5th grade? Was that the movie she always watched when she missed her ex-husband?

I loathe the possibility of tarnishing someone’s memory of an item by requesting it for less money.

Garage sales stress me out. My blood pressure is rising as I consider putting on a garage sale four months from now.  Strangers sifting through my belongings (or those of a loved one) and then demanding a lower price just for the thrill of it.  Degrading my trinkets with my memories attached, even that gruff-looking, ratty bear dressed in a clown suit.–I was only asking a dollar.– Seriously, you only want to pay ten cents for it?

I sometimes think I would actually pay twice the price to avoid a “haggle,” and I would certainly rather give things away than risk tarnishing a memory.

But isn’t ten cents more than nothing? What really is the purpose of a garage sale?

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

My fiancé and I, after nine years and four years, respectively, of living on our own, will be joining lives and merging households in six months. In six months. 135 days from now two very different tastes will be merging, two separate sets of kitchen utensils and cookware will be looking for its place, five bathrooms of towels, five bedrooms of sheet sets, pillowcases and duvets will be searching for a place to land. We will have two washers and two dryers…

Not to mention my collection of snow globes, Precious Moments figurines and stuffy’s (I tend to horde these!) from my past. Then there are his “umpteen” medals and t-shirts from road races and triathlons, his extensive sport shoe collection and, in truth, way larger collection of clothes than any man I know…  What to do???

A time for a garage sale.






(Sorry, I just passed out from the dread.)


I am back and grasping for air as I sum up:

I know that getting rid of these “extras” and selling off the “excess” cannot take away a single one of my memories. I know that my sister, who gave me the plush, emerald green Ralph Lauren towels 14 years ago will understand. Decisions must be made to clear space, to clear the way. And not to mention the cost of a wedding.–Ten cents is more that nothing…

As I place the stickers on my items, I will keep telling myself that all my friends and family who bought me the wonderful snow globes,(each signifying special and memorable places and times,) will be honored to know how I cherished them through all these years.

I also know how happy they are for me to have met this phenomenal man and they understand that room needs to be made for this new life. I know that clearing out the shelves and boxes, and closets and drawers opens me up to this new beginning and clears the spaces in my heart for my new love; it refreshes the rooms for my new life to begin with him.

I know it is time.


“I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.” –Ecclesiastes 3:14

So, for you “garage sale people,” consider this your official notice: there will be a massive MOVING SALE taking place in the month of May in the towns of Peoria and Scottsdale. Everything MUST GO!

Except for the snow globes; I changed my mind.

Oh…and the towels…I decided to donate them to a pet shelter.

See you there 😉

Dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Todd and April Reilly who merged their lives January 11, 2014.

Congratulations! (Sorry I missed the garage sale!)