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Editor's Note: Garage sales take on a life of their own

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

I love to shop, but as weird as it is, I like getting rid of things almost as much as I like acquiring them.

I don’t like clutter, and I don’t tend to get sentimentally attached to objects, so clearing out things that have overstayed their welcome, to me, is akin to having a clean canvas for the things that are important in the present time.

All that being said, garage sales are a pain.

After a ruthless sorting of our boys’ toy room – with the willing help of our 8-year-old – my husband and I realized we had enough stuff to hold a garage sale.

We spent the next week going methodically through the rest of our stuff, room by room, and found ourselves having conversations like this:

“Are you ever going to put anything in this empty scrapbook?”

“No. What’s the deal with this ice bucket?”

“It was a birthday gift five years ago.”

“It’s still in the box. The card is still in here, too.”

Our subdivision was having a neighborhood-wide sale weekend, so though it was too late to get on the map, we hopped on the bandwagon.

The sale was to start on Thursday, so we were up late Wednesday night, cleaning, pricing and arranging items in our garage. We had to bum some folding tables from other people, and by the time I got to bed, I was exhausted, dusty, and pretty excited over the prospect of clearing out so much clutter and making a tidy sum at the same time.

After all, I figured (doesn’t everybody?), we were putting out some pretty nice stuff.

My enthusiasm was further stoked when I opened the garage door on Thursday morning to walk out to my car, and a man stopped and bought a few things before I left for work.

My husband officially opened the sale on Thursday afternoon. When I came home from work, I had to look twice – there was more stuff in the garage than when I left.

My husband had called my in-laws to borrow a folding table, and along with it, they had brought some of their things to sell.

On Friday, he ran the sale all day while I was at work. This time when I came home, the garage was bursting at the seams – my grandmother was moving, and we had agreed to sell the things she wasn’t taking with her.

That night, I was up late again, pricing and rearranging. By this point, I had spent my free time for more than a week working on the sale, and was even dreaming about it at night, so the excitement had kind of worn off. Still, her stuff was even nicer than mine, so that was promising.

I ran the sale all day on Saturday. When all was said and done, we sold most of what we started out with, but I still ran out of boxes and newspaper packing up the leftovers (Nobody bought that? Really? I was sure that would go!) to donate to charity.

It wasn’t for lack of trying; by the end of the day I was almost giving items away.

“It’s priced at $5. Will you give me $3? $1? How about 75 cents? I just don’t want to take it back inside.”

My brother asked me if I was going to do it again the next day.

I laughed.

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