We removed many boxes worth of crap from our lives, and it felt pretty damn good.

We were planning to have a yard sale for weeks now. We had gone through the house and filled many boxes full of stuff we no longer needed and/or wanted. Many, many boxes - two dozen easily, possibly even three. We stored them out on the sun porch as we filled them up, and the pile just kept getting larger each day. And we waited for a Saturday when time, opportunity, and not entirely crap weather all converged in just the right combination. For a little while, it looked as if this past Saturday was going to finally be the day. Signs were made; loose change and small bills were acquired for purpose of, well, making change; tables, blankets, and tarps (oh my) were located. We tried to place an ad in the newspaper, but the people at the Providence Journal classified department never could get their story straight as to when you had to place an ad to get the best price, so we said screw it. But we intended to, so I count it as part of the prep process. And then, of course, the forecast predicted an entire day of rain, so we went to bed thinking we’d be putting off until next weekend once again.

And of course, when we wake up at 6:45 on Saturday morning (which, when you have a toddler, is considered sleeping in), wouldn’t you just know it was the most beautiful day ever?

And so we scrambled trying to get everything set-up by 8 – Erin brought Liam over to her parents’ house so they could watch him for the day (they volunteered to do so earlier, so it’s not like we threw him at them at the last minute), and I went out to hang up signs and acquire us a much-needed morning caffeine boost from the mind-numbingly not-too-bright folks at Dunkin Donuts (much more time was spent in line at DD than in hanging the signs… they are dumb and slow at our local donut emporium; I should really consider going elsewhere, since this is Rhode Island and there’s a Dunkin Donuts every 500 feet). Then back to the house to drag everything out to the yard – clothes, books, unused/unwanted baby stuff, CDs that Newbury Comics and Strawberries weren’t interested in buying off of us, a few records, several boxes of discard comics, old kitchen stuff, board games we no longer played, about a gajillion candles, some weird exercise thing, Erin’s old basket chair… well, you get the point. A lot of stuff.

It was kind of slow at points, but there were a few periods when things were pretty hopping – as hopping as a yard sale can get, anyway. We noticed that more people tended to show up when I was in the house getting something, though, whereas a lot of people tended to only drive by when I was outside. So apparently I’m the Elephant Man. Good to know for future reference. But overall, I think we did pretty well. We’d have probably done better (or at least had more people stop by) if we had placed a classified ad or put up the signs more than an hour beforehand – I planned on putting them up Friday, but as it was raining all that day and was supposed to do so all Saturday, too, I didn’t see the point at the time – but we made a respectable showing of things. And we got to spend a beautiful day outdoors, so that was a plus. And even though one of the neighbor’s pit bulls managed to get loose at one point, the vile beast didn’t see fit to attack us or disrupt our sale in any manner, so I thought that worked out rather well.

As two o’clock rolled around, we packed everything back up and proceeded to haul it off to the local Salvation Army store. We seriously wanted this crap out of our lives post haste. We had a yard sale a while back, and brought the stuff that didn’t sell back inside with the intention of having a second sale later that summer; this, of course, never happened. We were determined not to repeat our mistake again. We allowed one storage tote worth of stuff back into the house, filled either with stuff we’d actually like to keep (Erin enjoys the game UpWords, for instance, and wasn’t terribly sad to see it not go) or stuff that may eventually go to eBay (my pile of Doc Savage books, for instance). But beyond that tote, the only things to come back inside were the things that wouldn’t fit into the car for this particular run to the Salvation Army (but are definitely headed there) and the comics that didn’t sell. I want to see if I can donate them to Hasbro Children’s Hospital; if not, they’re going to Sal’s, too (we don’t get enough Trick or Treaters to consider them as Halloween candy alternatives, and I’ve already picked out the stuff worth saving for Liam).

A lot of effort – most of it at the last minute – but it was all worth it, I think. It’s good to be rid of so much excess mess. Not that we don’t still have tons and tons of shit in our house even now. If anything, we’re sort of terrified of the prospect of moving now… as much stuff as we tossed, we still have so much more to potentially pack up and bring with us. Kinda scary, really.

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