It wasn’t about the money

This weekend Mom’s estate took part in “The Great Oregon Coast Garage Sale“.

After the initial visit to Mom’s house, where I cleaned out her clothes (Marie Kondo, step 1) and books (Marie Kondo, step 2 (went into my Little Free Library and are still be distributed)), I decided it would probably be simpler to cart everything out into the garage and have a sale, rather than pack up everything to take to a thrift store.

The first step in this plan was to clean out the garage. The garage was very organized and more than capable of holding a car. But there were a lot of almost empty cans of paint, odd wood pieces, and garden chemicals that I decided to clean out before starting anything else. That was February, and every second at the beach the last couple of months has been full of taking things out to the garage.

Garage sale yard sale unnecessary decor items and things for home

You will notice in this stock photo, that things are priced. This is a step I did not take. Instead, I made this sign and placed it on every table.

It worked a treat. While a few people were obviously flustered at the idea of “making an offer” it turned the event, for me, into an exercise where I could just beg people to take it away.

But what really surprised me is that it turned the weekend into a people watching event, rather than a stressful “sale.” Mom liked Christmas and collected snowmen, which frustrated me a little. But watching people enjoy her things and then take them away made me appreciate the joy they brought.

Some people purchased things and I would share their story. “Oh, Grandpa made that.” Or “Oh, Dad used to wear that hat.” Other things were just too ugly to do more than rejoice when they left.

We had a version of this. Isn’t it hideous beyond ALL WORDS?

Mom’s pots and their plants sold pretty quickly, but then stalled out leaving the more battered specimens remaining. Then a lady came and loaded up her Prius with the remaining. The deal: All the pots you can put in your car are $1. She got her money’s worth!

Several packs of ladies came around several times, bringing a variety of friends to look through Mom’s decorative items. Mom’s closet of pillows was a hot commodity. One lady was looking for “real silverware” for an outdoor wedding. I cut her a good deal. Another lady was looking for glass serving items for a charity event; another good deal was had.

Yes, there were pickers who came through, scanning for things they could resell. Some people would have been worried about selling them something too cheaply. Not me! Take it!!!!

Mom’s piano is still looking for a new home.

Mom’s piano has not found it’s new home yet. And the media stand hasn’t sold. But we went from a garage piled with items on tables and the floor to five overfull tables of items of pretty questionable value. I started out the weekend thinking I would need to do a second garage sale, but most of what is left is pretty picked over.

The great news is that this is the last of the “Mom events” for a while. For the next four weeks I get to run amok, doing whatever I like. I’ll be going down to the beach for Memorial Day weekend, but it’s a friend weekend, not a work weekend. I haven’t signed up for many of my typical summer events, and I’m trying to get in the head space of having a “lazy summer.” I feel like I need to just spend some time at the beach without “doing things”. I feel that will help me with whatever decision I need to make.

In the meantime, the garage sale items are out of the way and dry, so they can just sit. If I decide to pack them up, I can always do that a little at a time. It’s SO MUCH less than it was.

One thing that came up, especially on Friday, was how many people asked about Mom’s fused class pieces (the pieces, not just the equipment, which had already been dealt with by Mom.) I did not sell any of them because I wasn’t ready. Most people were respectful of that, though a few were pretty tactless. Coronado Shores has a craft sale in the winter; I am thinking about taking her pieces to that as a “final memorial.” But no decisions right now.

As for the inside of the house. Well, it’s starting to look a little spartan, which is great. I kept furniture to live on and haven’t changed the items on the wall. I did rearrange the living room, move the TV, and add a game table. But the storage rooms are cleared out and the knick knacks are moving along. There are still a lot of items I haven’t decided about (see all those items on the piano… there are five ikebana vases that I am considering. That should give you an idea of how much is left.)

And that can all wait for another day!

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Comments (1)

  1. Julia Richardson

    Wow! You have done SO much! I’m glad the sale went so well. I agree that pricing items is really time-consuming; and by not doing that, you saved yourself a lot of anguish too. (Voice of about 50 years of pricing experience here! Whew! We reverted to pricing most items in a single category the same in order to try to simplify pricing decisions.) What’s extra nice is that you did not have to haggle with anyone over any pricing decisions; they’d only have themselves to consult and decide. Bet it was a refreshing change—-unless they enjoy price battling! I’m glad you chose to wait with your Mom’s glass work. At her memorial service, it was interesting to see others who wore pieces that your Mom had made; each meant a lot to the wearers. I had worn that necklace at my sister’s services nine years ago which gave me a lot of comfort to get through that time….and of course, many times since. I never fail to receive compliments about it—-and other pieces your Mom made.
    I’m glad you might actually have some weekends coming up which you can enjoy without all the huge stresses of the past months. I really admire you as the best example ever of a “can-do” person. Painful as everything has been, you have been so organized and have accomplished so much and in such a relatively short time. Something I always enjoyed about your Dad, there was always a way to get things done that needed doing….one way or another, it was going to be done! Your Mom, on the other hand, always carefully planned everything out. She’d have her suitcases packed for a trip a week or two ahead of time; I’d be lucky to have mine packed the hour before! She’d always comment about her careful planning when aspects didn’t always go as planned, “Not that it makes much difference! “…said with a sigh. Then we’d laugh about our approaches and the results! I think you have the best of both; your Mom’s careful planning and your Dad’s strong will to “get ‘er done”. (Of course, they each had the planning and the doing too.)
    ——— Julia

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