Declutter Step 4: The Yard Sale

This past weekend I helped my mother out with an arduous task – getting rid of the toys, clothes, electronics, etc. that had built up in the attic, basement, and garage of my childhood home since my mom and I moved in in 1997. We held our yard sale, and I ended the weekend with sunburns, bug bites, and aching muscles.

It took hours of work. My mom retired a few years back, was able to put together boxes every single day for the past couple of weeks. She sorted through things, tossed things in no condition to be sold or reused, and tried to make things manageable for passing customers to sort through. My boyfriend and I stopped by a few times to spend hours helping with these tasks – and without his help, I’m not sure we could ever have completed all of this. My mom and I are both pretty close to 5 foot even, not particularly strong, and without upper body strength – but my boyfriend can lift things with ease.

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And what we made from it…would not meet the minimum wage for hours worked. We split the total we made in half and each brought home around $200.

Not a lot, but more than the trash was worth to us. And our trash is now someone else’s treasure. My personal favorite passerby was a customer who bought an American Girl doll violin – to play the sad tiny violin sarcastically to his wife.

We were left with maybe half of what we started with. Some of it will indeed be trashed now, as much as that environmental impact breaks my heart. Some of it will be donated. Some we’ll try to sell online.

But 22 years of trash is now no longer burdening my poor mother and her home. And I’m a tiny bit richer from that.

Junk total – about $315.

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