As you can imagine, a sunny day in the low 80’s simplified the logistics. Buyers began snooping around five minutes after we started putting things out at 6 AM; by 11:30 everything was at half price; at 2 the leftovers were by the side of the road, with a sign that said, “Free”; by 3 the pickers had snatched everything, with the exception of a bag of stuffed animals, three baskets, and a huge artificial Christmas wreath.
With every item taken away, a buyer’s life becomes more complex: young couples finding kitchen items for their new home; parents and kids looking for toys; little kids spending their allowance; collectors searching for special pottery; teachers rummaging for anything and everything; middle aged women selecting brand named clothing to put on EBay; older folk scrounging for items to sell at flea markets.; everyone thumbing through books.
With every item taken away, a seller’s life becomes more simple; less stuff! But what amazed me was that my attitude toward material possessions shifted just in that morning. Case in point: I was tempted to take the set of measuring cups I was pricing. “Um, these are nice-- high quality and like new,” I told myself. But then I retorted, “Hey, you have enough measuring cups to last your lifetime.”
Believe me this takes a lot of discipline and practice, but by the end of the morning, I was pretty used to this private discussion with myself. Now that I’m home, I am hoping that the internal conversation with continue. “Keep what you need; share the rest in some useful way.”
(Full disclosure, true confession, I took back one of those pocketbooks that I had purged from my closet and wrote about in a previous blog. How many pocketbooks do I need? What is need, anyway? Life isn’t simple.)