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.
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.
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 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!