10. November 2012 · 2 comments · Categories: Life · Tags: , , ,

I think I’m addicted.  It all started innocently enough with a desire to simplify and reduce.  Then came the decision to prepare our home for sale.  Now, we put a mental price tag on everything we own.  Getting rid of stuff has become an obsession.

We started with a garage sale in early summer.  A traditional Saturday/Sunday affair, advertised and signed, complete with balloons.  Saturday sales were fine, with waves of customers throughout the day.  After a lull, a customer came by and said our sign was pointing in the wrong direction.  Ah, yes.  It was a windy day and earlier we got word that the signs had blown down so we sent our 10 year old to put the sign back up.  He did, but pointed it in the wrong direction (some “attention to detail” training may be in order).  Sunday’s sale was a bust, with hardly any traffic.  We later learned that Friday tends to be the biggest garage sale day in our area.  Who knew?  We had planned on a second sale in September, but a Friday would involve taking a day off of work.  No thanks.

Following the garage sale, we sold some popular items on Craigslist – for more than we had marked at the garage sale (tip: kids’ bikes and tents sell quickly!).  But, not everything was going to sell there.  Even if it could, I really did not want to travel 30 miles to sell a $4 platter.  So, as we’ve done many times before, we prepared for a mass donation to the Goodwill in our area.

Then, I found the answer to my selling/purging dreams.  I was checking the Facebook group our real estate agent had set up to keep us informed of the real estate activity in our neighborhood.  On the side of the page, I noticed a link for a local “Buy, Sell, Trade…” group in our town and two of my “friends” were members!  I looked around the site, but was unable to post until I was a member.  It was a painful 2 days of waiting to be “approved” and become part of the group – I wanted in!!

After joining, I quickly earned the reputation around town as having a “great closet” and even received actual requests for me to shop with women as their “style guide”.  If they only knew what I look like every single day – working from home, rarely do I leave my yoga pants and sweatshirts.  I travel occasionally for work, but my wardrobe was way too extensive for those 6-8 weeks per year.  With previous purges, I simply donated clothes.  Now, I was culling down my closet for a purpose and had lots of nice stuff.  I became addicted to finding the right buyer for my pretty blouses, and sexy dresses (yes, I did own them…didn’t mean I wore them…sorry, Ben).  One mother became a hero to her teenage daughter after spending $20 on four cute tops that she fell in love with on the site.  Who knew old clothes could bring families together!

These sales became regular, almost daily meet-ups at a handful of spots around town – McDonald’s, the library, and the “garden side of the grocery store” where the parking lot is relatively empty.  Throughout the day you can find groups of minivans clustered together with one seller meeting three buyers and purchasing from another seller.  My husband and a buyer’s husband even met for a transaction (a leaf blower!) and both felt like they were doing something wrong.  No drug deals – honest!

I’ve even had buyers come straight to my home – either to try clothes on or just to pick up an item from my porch.  Since I’m often on conference calls throughout the day, leaving the item on the porch and the buyer leaving the cash under the mat seems to work just as well.  I wouldn’t do this with Craigslist customers, but this local group is pretty easy to work with.  Chances are your kids go to school together, or you will see a buyer or seller at the grocery store.  So, for the most part, people are on their best behavior.

What a thrill to open the front door and find a $10 under the mat – consistently.  It’s addicting. We’ve even put a glass container on our table to put all of the cash in.  It keeps us motivated to continue purging and selling our goods.  The kids come home from school daily and ask how much I’ve made.  It’s fun to see our travel fund grow – one “meet-up” at a time.

2 Comments

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  2. Keep it up!!! I’m laughing at the story of your 10yo. I think my 20yo has the same “attention to detail issue”. That’s such a compliment to be the neighborhood “best closet”. How amazing it must feel to have people loving your taste and wanting you to be a local style expert!!! Maybe a way to make some money on the side!?!

    We had started out just like you guys back in 2010. We downsized our lives by 2/3rds and got rid of our 3500 sq ft house. It does become quite a “high” or addiction in-and-of itself to purge doesn’t it? Sadly I’ve never been one who’s liked to sell stuff (eBay, Craigslist, or local groups) as I’m too impatient. I just like things gone. I <3 local buy, sell, trade groups!!! Usually I'm the one on the buyers side though so I tend to delete myself when I start craving too many things. 😛

  3. Thanks AdventureBee! Yes, it is quite a compliment to be the neighborhood “best closet!” Although I find I dress up when meeting up for these sales, otherwise, if I am dressed in my daily “work from home” clothes they will find me quite the hypocrite! Ha ha! I shouldn’t care, but I do…part of the reason I am selling is because I, sadly, just don’t dress like that much!

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