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The Yard Sale Reminder

Yard sales are torture for me.  I would rather give blood once a week than do a yard sale once a year, and the payoff would be just as good or better.  I despise yard sales.

Meeting people and seeing them make use of stuff we no longer use is the fun part, not to mention they pay a little money for the stuff (the saying “one mans junk is another mans treasure is so true). Most of the people who have shown up at our yard sales over the years seem to be really good people.

Dragging all the stuff out, tagging it with prices, putting up signs, and getting up early for the professional yard sale ninjas who show up at 6:00 with a flashlight to look at your stuff – that’s the hard part.  But none of that is what bothers me the most about doing yard sales.

The biggest reason I hate yard sales is because Shawna and I were forced to do them when we were broke.  We only did them two different times but both times were miserable.  We had small children to watch after, we were desperate to sell as much as we could because we needed the money, and some of the stuff we were selling we would have rather kept (but we needed the money).  No matter how painful it was we did it anyway and I believe our diligent efforts were honored both times as God blessed us both times.

A couple of weekends ago Shawna and I decided to do another yard sale. It felt good that this time we weren’t desperate to sell stuff to make ends meet.  Instead this time the most painful part was the loss of sleep. It was the first time we had even considered yard selling in the past couple of years because once we established margin in our finances we started just giving stuff away that we didn’t want anymore.

This time was different. Shawna and I are on a mission to de-clutter our house and make more sense of the space we have (our house isn’t large, we have three kids, and we want to stay here at least 3-5 more years or longer).  As we began de-cluttering we realized we had enough must-go stuff to do a yard sale.  I seriously considered donating it all like we normally have been doing (and getting a tax write off receipt), but I chose to do the yard sale instead – for one reason.  I want to remember.

I don’t ever want to forget the humbling process we’ve been through, the tough decisions we had to make, the sacrifices. I don’t want to become someone who no longer understands and relates to what people are going through.  I don’t want to be the guy that tells people to do things they’re not willing to do their self.

Our yard sale actually did well. We proved once again there is always something in the house that could sell to make a few hundred bucks.  However, a bunch of leftover stuff still got donated.  It’s a good feeling knowing we didn’t need to hold onto any of the stuff and we can just give it away.   I couldn’t imagine doing that when we were broke.  I can’t say I ever want the yard sale reminder again, but I do want to remember and if that means more yard sales in the future so be it.

Have you ever done a yard sale to make ends meet? Do you need to do one now?

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