Having a sheriff traipse by way of your home with eyes on EVERYTHING is like anyone shining a highlight by way of a magnifying glass onto a pimple.
All of a sudden, you see each embarrassment that you simply’ve hidden away, each secret stash of unmentionables. However sheriffs are educated to pry, and once you stand behind a sheriff wanting by way of his eyes as he goes room to room, your heart sinks into your stomach.
Innocence appears guilty by means of a sheriff’s magnified glasses. My husband’s plant pastime, as an example, which he’s really good at. No, we don’t develop any of THAT, but you possibly can guess that the sheriff assumed that we did.
Bear snips tiny twigs off of bushes, timber, and annual flowers, after which roots them to create plant clones. We plant them, we give them away, and once during a yard sale we even bought a couple of. Nothing illicit by any means, however you already know for positive that the sheriff filed this information away, particularly since we’re two previous individuals with flip flops and long hair — previous hippies.
Additionally harmless are the bells hanging in the middle of the hallway as if to warn us of intruders — or the regulation. However that’s not why we hung the bells. I identical to the sound, and bells gained’t ring in the event that they’re up towards a wall, so we hung them in the center of the hallway where I might ring them as I walked previous. Childlike joy in the sound of small, ringing bells.
However you’ll be able to imagine what a sheriff would assume, adding one other mark of guilt where none existed. This go to was The Trigger — that second in time when the undertaking we’d been pushing aside for ten years all of a sudden turned actual and instant.
The sheriff’s search of our residence had nothing to do with us. We’d simply been accommodating once they came knocking on the door as they have been doing with each house on the road, hoping to find a missing kid. In hindsight, it was in all probability a nasty concept to allow them to in as a result of I’m positive we appeared guilty of SOMETHING, even when we weren’t.
But the sheriff’s go to isn’t what this publish is about — it’s what his go to triggered. I used to be mortified when he noticed our catch-all room, that room the place all the Christmas stuff is saved, and the packing containers we by no means unpacked from ten years in the past, and all the incoming Christmas presents that we had no use for or just plain didn’t like. You hold onto these presents as a result of any person that you simply care about GAVE them to you, in order that they get packed away to refill closets and drawers.
We additionally had bins filled with packing peanuts, and piles of bubble wrap taking over an enormous chunk of area. You possibly can’t throw these things away, you already know? So it will pile up, and then we’d give the packing peanuts away on Craigslist — however the bubble wrap, it was crucial that we maintain it, I just wasn’t positive why.
And naturally there were all the empty packing containers from once we bought something, the unique field that the merchandise got here in. If we ever moved we’d have bins ready to pack, and if we ever bought the merchandise, having the unique box added worth for the purchaser.
And naturally there have been numerous bins filled with * stuff * that was by no means essential sufficient to determine what to do with. Or perhaps it was so necessary that we couldn’t give it up, but we simply didn’t know what to do with it in the meantime, like the ratty previous stuffed animal that I’ve stored since I was two years previous. Too ratty to promote, however a souvenir to stash away until the finish of by no means. You get the concept.
The sheriff’s keen eyes on this room, it was like a cattle prod. Abruptly, after years of procrastination, the overload of stored stuff turned Precedence Quantity One. However there simply wasn’t ever a block of time large enough to deal with The Undertaking. That’s how the challenge grew. I imply who has time to open a thousand bins and determine on each little item, one after the other?
If we hold it, where does it go? If we promote it, how a lot is it value?
These have been the keepers… stuff simply too good to have a yard sale with. Apart from the empty jars and bottles, however hey, glass jars are onerous to return by with the whole lot going plastic… so that you see how this room exploded with packing containers.
Once you walk into a cluttered room considering to make a dent, each spark of power fizzles and you walk right again out once more. So I stated to myself, “Just one thing. Pull just one thing out of this room, put it on Craigslist, and sell it.”
I knew there’d never be a large enough trigger to deal with the entire room as a unit. It was like a multi-headed hydra, a creature that grew again two heads for each head you narrow off. So I logged into my lengthy disused Craigslist account, listed that one factor, and it bought.
It was a set of porcelain dragon collectible figurines that I’d bought again in the mid-1980s throughout my Oriental decor part. Perhaps it helped that I’d seemed up comparable collectible figurines on eBay and Etsy, found that they have been selling at $42 to $70 a pair, and mentioned that in the itemizing. I listed mine for $35 and took $20, although I should have held out for rather more and bought it online. It was a studying experience, that first sale.
It was heady, clutching that $20 bill as the woman drove off with my dragons. At a yard sale we’d have been fortunate to get $5, and virtually all the things I needed to promote was too upscale for yard sale prices. This was the * stuff * we’d hung onto for many years, near and pricey to our hearts in the yesteryear of life, now vintage and in pristine condition.
I listed several other things, all the time taking time to analysis every one, write up a detailed description, our historical past with the item, and noting what the item was selling for elsewhere if it made sense to do so.
Photographs have been key as properly, however all the time with honesty. I didn’t just photograph the cool issue, however the flaws as properly. You don’t need to waste your time meeting up with someone solely to have them say, “But hey, you didn’t tell me that the papasan chair had a pea-size stain blending in with the flowers! No thanks!”
I referred to as it — my Dwelling Property Sale — this selling off of all the things that wasn’t nailed down. We should always have started ten years in the past once we moved into this home, earlier than a whole bedroom turned a catch-all. Weeks handed, after which months, after which years, till ten years later the room had executed such a superb job catching flotsam and jetsam that only a pathway was left, wending its approach by way of.
There’s all the time something more essential to do than clearing out a room, and truthfully, who the hell WANTS to spend a month on such a venture? It in all probability would have continued on for an additional ten years till The Trigger.
I bought a number of extra gadgets and was getting into a groove with it, however then got here the Huge Scare. I’d listed my classic 1980s Technics stereo system — an entire unit with big flooring audio system, a rolling cupboard, and a number of other elements. I’d stored the unit so pristine that I nonetheless had the consumer guide for the stereo, and the meeting instructions for the rolling cupboard. I additionally had the caster device, and even a slip of brilliant orange paper displaying easy methods to change out the belt on the turntable.
This classic stereo gear, I knew beyond a doubt, would sell instantly. My husband was almost in tears to let it go. He stated, “How about if I buy it from you? We don’t really need to sell it, do we?” He didn’t get that it wasn’t about the cash. The stereo system had been stored in that catchall room unused for a decade and it took up a whole lot of area.
I posted the stereo to Craigslist and instantly, emails flooded in. I used to be overjoyed! Everyone needed to buy it! However something was flawed, and my consumers appeared off someway. They didn’t feel right and the little voice stated, “Search Google for Craigslist scammers,” so I did.
That’s when the bottom fell out. Utterly and completely. It was dangerous enough to find the darkish underworld of Craigslist scammers and slicksters, but the even darker hell-world of Craigslist robbers and murderers… my coronary heart felt prefer it was going to pop. One misstep and you have been at the incorrect finish of someone’s gun… my skies turned a foreboding shade of slate gray.
Throughout the internet, ominous newspaper headlines warned of the risks, similar to the sweet previous couple who simply needed to buy a automotive and ended up lifeless. Even off-duty policemen using Craigslist discovered themselves underneath hearth, and one such policeman received shot several occasions. He survived. Who knew that there were so many predators just trolling our advertisements?
A much less lethal, but equally sleazy scam involved having you ship an merchandise to someone. They’d send a cash order or some such, often providing greater than you have been asking, and you’d ship the item. But the money orders, cashier’s checks, or no matter financial unit they used have been all the time counterfeit.
To combat all of those sleazeballs trying to roll Craigslist sellers, our Men in Blue had stepped up to supply protected zones in police station parking tons. All around the nation, police stations now have designated parking spaces only for Craigslist meet ups and comparable transactions.
From that point on, all of my transactions befell in the parking zone of our local police station, and I launched myself to the policewoman at the entrance desk. She and I turned pals.
Some consumers withered away like a melted flower as soon as I stated “police station,” however others have been overjoyed, akin to the lady who drove for 2 hours from a neighboring state to buy our aquarium towards the recommendation of her buddies who’d additionally heard the Craigslist horror stories.
4 hours round-trip in rush hour visitors after working all day — that’s what she braved to buy a double-hex aquarium so uncommon, that I couldn’t find a single photograph on the internet, whilst just a showcase for someone’s personal aquarium.
Three years earlier my husband needed to offer it away to anyone prepared to return and get it, but then hamsters took up residence therein. By the time Hammy and Sammy handed away, I used to be absolutely lively promoting off our life’s possessions on Craigslist.
Clearing out that room wasn’t the only motivation. I was making an attempt to speak my husband into downsizing for retirement, and believing that he’d ultimately say Sure, I did NOT need to have to move * All This Stuff * but once more. I remembered what we’d gone by means of shifting right here, and now The Stuff had multiplied exponentially.
There’s a learning curve to selling your stuff on Craigslist, akin to gadgets in widespread classes dropping out of visibility inside hours, or being slightly too lively and triggering popup warnings. Ebay has a learning curve as nicely, and you should take top quality pictures, particularly of the flaws, and notice every single flaw in the description right down to the tiniest speck of mud. Belief me on that. Ebay rip-off artists use flaws in scammy methods towards you.
As soon as I acquired the cling of it, I expanded onto eBay, Etsy, and native Facebook yard sale groups. I used to be on a mission, and while it wasn’t a speedy process, there was unimaginable satisfaction every time something bought, or was given away. Not every little thing deserves a price tag, and a few things are simply too good for the trash, so that you line up someone who needs it, put it on the entrance porch, they usually come and get it with out you ever opening the door.
And all of the empty packing containers, packing peanuts, and bubble wrap… they’ve turn into Pure Gold in packing gadgets for eBay. I do make sure that to note in the listing that packing supplies might embrace pre-used supplies, with an inventory of those supplies and a blurb about recycling and defending Mother Earth. Transparency and element are the keys to success.
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Rehabilitating a Shelter Dog
Once we adopted Dakota in the summer time of 2007, she was a semi-adult shelter dog who was the Queen of Dangerous Conduct and the Master of Soiled Tips. I turned her first yr with us right into a guide — Dangerous Canine to Greatest Pal. The ebook takes you from Dakota’s awful beginnings to her superb transformation into a beloved member of our family. In December 2016, she turned 10 years previous, and she or he is so well-behaved that we’ve taken her throughout the country on street trips.