In an effort to simplify our surroundings and possibly make a little money on the side, we’re having a garage sale this Saturday. While I’ve always been willing to throw a few unwanted items in the garage sales of my relatives, I’ve never actually run my own sale.
The first monumental task of organizing a garage sale was to craft a garage out of the large two-car space that was completely covered in junk. We have a two-car garage that hasn’t seen a car in it since 2005 because the garage has always been the holding area for random shit, which had recently hit a saturation point when Aaron had trouble getting the trash can out of the garage via the little path we had carved for it.
Last week when we started this mission, I glanced into to gaping mouth of consumerism hell disguised as a garage and thought that maybe we should abandon all hope. One back corner of the garage was untouched by human hands for over three years. Surely this should be tackled by someone else, or at the very least we should have spelunking hats and tie a rope between us in case we got lost or had boxes cave in on us.
But we did begin ever so slowly, starting at the front where the light of the outside made the area in front of us less intimidating. Aaron and I quickly found that much of the space was taken up with empty boxes that had collected over the years. Breaking them down would free up a lot of space. We picked through yard work tools, camping supplies, and holiday decorations, setting them aside to organize as we dug deeper into the abyss.
I’ll admit I was surprised by some of the stuff we found. Boxes and user guides to cell phones we no longer own. A tub full of Lego blocks. An old-style gigantic computer monitor. Boxes of baby clothes that I forgot I had. (Lucky Mira – they’re her size!) A bag full of socks. My college diploma. Video tapes and cassettes from the 80′s and 90′s, including Madonna’s Like A Virgin album. My original 1985 Nintendo system with several games. I was starting to wonder if Jimmy Hoffa, Amelia Earhart, and the Ark of the Covenant would be found hiding amongst the boxes in the back corner as well, biding their time in a spot where they knew no one would find them.
The real surprise came yesterday, our second full day of cleaning. (Yes, it took a week to recover from the first half.) As we reached the furthest recesses of the garage, I opened a box and found bathroom items from our old apartment. Another box revealed small decorations from our apartment’s living room. For some perspective: that’s shit that hasn’t seen the light of day since we moved into our house – four and a half years ago!
(The downside to all of this is that we also found four and a half years of dust and dirt, requiring a crazy amount of cleaning. I think my broom gave up after forcing it through that much dust. And my sinuses are now clamped shut.)
Oh, the shame, to have a garage full of so much junk. Four bins worth of trash later, you can now see the garage floor, and could possibly get one car into the space. About one-fifth of the garage is currently filled with items to go into the garage sale, and anything that doesn’t sell will be hauled off to Goodwill on Monday morning. Then there will be ample space for one car, with only a quarter of the garage filled with stuff that belongs in the garage: camping gear, holiday decorations, and yard work supplies.
And the stuff from our old apartment was either put into the garage sale or thrown out. If we haven’t cared about it in over four years, I doubt we need it now.
I’m glad the garage is clean now. Ridding ourselves of all that junk feels great. Next challenge: going through the bedroom closet, which also has a floor that hasn’t been seen in at least a year. I wonder if I’ll find my Hypercolor shirt from the early 90′s? I mean, the 80′s are in fashion currently, right? 90′s fashion has to be right around the corner.