Monday, September 28, 2015

Watching Your Treasures Leave Your House By The Car Loads........

This past weekend was the weekend for my huge sale. I spent several weeks sorting, discarding, repacking stuff in the anticipation of moving in a couple of months. Many of you have followed me here for a long time, and you know I have lots of stuff...lots of treasures...lots of favorite things. So the task of paring down for a move was a bit daunting to say the least.

Our yearly yard sales back about twenty years ago were huge money makers, always in the upwards of about 1100.00 and that was really without a lot of big ticket items. People used to line the street forty-five minutes before starting time. Luckily, for us we had a huge gate across the side of your house and I could close that and open it when the sale started, and it always was great for crowd control.

In the last five years, the sales we had were not very successful. We would spend a week getting ready and the people just did not come. Friday is always the best day and if you leave it open on Saturday, we might have had one or two come. It was just different than it was all those years ago.

As I was working myself to death trying to get all this ready for a sale, I had kept the memory of not so successful sales in the back of my mind. I surely needed the folks to come and would you believe it, they came and the came to buy.

It was as if I had ordered it all up myself to the powers to be. They did come! There were some that left like this photo...their cars were stuffed full, one lady had stuff hanging out her trunk. 

For twenty-five years, there has been a lady that is in the antique business who always comes to my sales and she gathers up all the stuff she wants and then offers maybe $20.00 for all she has managed to scoop up. I would image any one who has ever had a sale, has had someone like this stop and try to get something for a small price. Like in the past, she was there this time as well. Only difference was she filled three six foot tables full of stuff, I kid you not.  She was at my sale for almost two hours toting her cat which was on a leash. Truth. When I tallied up her total, she paid full price for what I was asking and did not haggle me at all. Never in the history of our sales has that happened.

I was so busy the first day, I hardly had time to really think about my stuff leaving my home by the box loads. I guess that was a good thing, because for a split second, I stopped and thought about it and felt my nose sting a bit, and had to quickly put the thought out of my mind. Even when someone bought something that stirred a precious memory I just let the anguish I felt pass. I know in my heart I have done the right thing, I don't need all of this stuff any more. Like one of my friends said, the stuff is just stuff, no one can take your memories from you.

I wanted the people to come and they did. Not only did I want people come and buy, but I also wanted people to come who would love my stuff as much as I have. It happened y'all, it really did. A lady came and bought almost all my restaurant ware. She collects it and uses it for church functions and family reunions. She told me she had storage buildings with all her collections stored and displayed. My heart almost burst with joy that she took the time to tell me of her love for the things I loved too and assured me they would be cared for and used and cherished. 

At the end of the two day sale, I had sold well over the top selling dollar sale I had ever had, so I was pleased with the results. My house is going on the market today, and it is empty, staged and spotless. It feels good and I feel a whole lot lighter. I'm not sure how I will feel when this chapter of our lives is closed, but I know I have to deal with whatever comes and keep looking forward.

Keep your fingers crossed for us, as I truly need the right family to come and buy my house for my own peace of mind. The family who will love my home in the same way I have loved it. A family that will take care of my beautiful yard and gardens. A family who will adore the things that make this house special. A family who will look forward to the summer months and provide fresh water for the little owls that come each night. And a family who is eager to make memories that will last a lifetime in this little house. That family is out there, I know they are and they just need to find their way to my house. *sniffle*

Thursday, September 24, 2015

It's not just a washing's not just a house!

This week has been a busy week, and it's just too bad I had to use my vacation to work so hard at home! I just about have every thing at the house done that I wanted to do before the Realtor list the house and has an open house. Weeks of sorting through belongings and a sale will be taking place tomorrow and Saturday.....and yes, I am selling SO MANY of my beloved vintage treasures. It is bittersweet knowing I have let so much go and won't be moving it and then on the flip side, I know I am ready to free myself from so much stuff.

This week was also filled with some tears as well. My little neighbor across the street just cried when I told her we were putting out house up for sale. It broke my heart to have to even tell her, but I had to let her know before the sign went in the yard. My next door neighbor keeps trying to talk me into staying every chance he gets. My heart strings are in every fiber of this house and my sweet neighbors I have had for thirty years. I have lived here all my adult life and raised my family here and it is not easy thinking about leaving. I love my house and my yard and have loved our life here. It is a inner battle I continue to fight.

I sometimes have an attachment to things and I thought about that this week as I was sorting our belongings into piles. I was reminded of an appliance that I kept holding on to for years. When Steve and I got married, his dad bought us a washing machine. I loved that darn washing machine and after a time, it began to show signs of wear. The lid of the machine had rusted out in one spot and you seriously had to remove the lid to load it and then gently replace it to wash the clothes. I refused to get another one, as this one worked fine. Steve tried for YEARS to replace it and I refused to let him. He often would say it was just a washing machine, and we need a new one but I refused to replace it. Finally, when the machine was fast approaching 20 years old, Steve had enough and we went and purchased a new machine. We brought the new one home, I sold the old one in a garage sale for $20.00 and I discovered what a fantastic thing it was to have a new machine to wash the clothes with. I wondered why I fought so hard and refused to get a new machine for so many years. I was so surprised at how great the new one was as opposed to my old, falling apart machine.

I was reminded that the move we will be making can be compared  to that old washing machine. I am still fighting it and feeling overwhelmed at the thought of leaving here. However,  just like that new washing machine, I know we will be on to better things and happier times. I just have to keep telling myself that. Now if you can imagine how hard it was for me to let go of an old rusted out, old washing machine, you should be able to understand the emotions of leaving my house of many, many truly is more than just a house.

I am counting on when the day comes and we are settled into our new house I have those same thoughts I had over that washer......."now, why did we not do this long before now......."

Send good junkin vibes my way and that all the junkers out there who will love my treasures find their way to my sale. I hope the right people who loves vintage treasures will take my stuff home and love it as much as I have. It will be a hard couple of days for me I am sure, but I just have to keep going in the direction I want to end up and this is the first huge step!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Manuel Labor for Labor Day Weekend

A three day weekend for most, would mean stretching every second into a jam packed fun filled three days and saying goodbye to summer right before welcoming in fall. I mean, that is what you do right? ahem....not around here.

This year for us, that meant three days off work and three days to actually work at packing and sorting and purging this house. You guys, fair warning....I have not blogged in a while, but will be doing so again most likely. This is a good place to write my feelings on this journey and maybe one day, I might want to read about this again, after the pain I am feeling from moving heavy things subsides a little. sigh.

Day one began at 6:00 am yesterday, yes bright and early. The plan was to get our shed cleaned out totally. If you could only imagine what that actually meant. Boxes upon boxes upon boxes and then lets just throw in a few more boxes for good measure. I felt I had to go through every thing.....every last thing.

Yes, this is my house and my junk! 
The morning started off rather well. I had one side of the driveway for keep things, the other side was for sell things and I sat every thing else I was not sure about on the trailer. Progress was being made. Then, mid-morning, Steve and I reached the holiday decor boxes. The first three I pulled out was the Halloween boxes. Now, mind you, I have not decorated for Halloween at my house since my youngest went off to college in 2005....TEN YEARS for crying out loud.

I opened the boxes and truly saw years and years and years of beloved things I used to decorate with when the kids were small. I have a HUGE and I mean HUGE collection of Halloween Chicken Mcnuggets that we sat out every year. They were a must to keep, at least I was not willing to part with those things. But for the most part, I kept a small pumpkin with a cat that lights up and a couple of other things just for sentimental reasons and the rest, I tossed in the sell side of the yard.

As I was battling with myself on what to keep and what not to keep, I did actually make the comment to my husband that I felt sorta guilty. When he asked why? I said, because Alisha, (my daughter) will be upset if she finds out I got rid of all this stuff. Steve said she won't remember this stuff and besides, we don't want to store it. Well, I thought to myself, you might be right about us not wanting to store this stuff, but I can guarantee you, she will remember and thus the reason for my guilt. As we opened the next boxes, Steve pulled out a cardboard pumpkin that had long orange plastic strings that hang down from the base of the pumpkin. The pumpkin was designed to hang from the ceiling. I used to have two of these, but one must have gotten damaged along the way. This said pumpkin could not have cost me over a dollar back twenty-five years ago, and we always hung it in the same place, by our kitchen table. Memories cast aside, the pumpkin was tossed in the sell pile as well, and we moved on past the Halloween decor and onto the next pile of boxes. Progress. It. Felt. Good.

The pumpkin man, which was saved!
About an hour later, guess who calls? Right...Alisha. Apparently, she asked her dad what we were doing. Well, and truthful as dads should be, he told her what we were doing. First words out of her mouth were we had better not be getting rid of all of her memories. I heard Steve say, we aren't, just junk.  I am willing to bet she asked what junk because I heard Steve say Halloween and Christmas. Then I heard nothing on Steve's end of the conversation.

After a few minutes, Steve walked up and said, "you are not going to believe this." I seriously thought, oh, I bet I will. He shook his head and kept saying, I don't believe this, I really don't.......He then proceeds to tell me that Alisha asked if we found the Halloween pumpkin with the orange strings. The same cheap, barely costing a dollar piece of cardboard and plastic that hung from the ceiling of our house for three weeks out of the year, every year. I did not ask him what he actually told her, but he handed me the phone and said I better call her while he walked over to the tossed..... ahem....... memories and fished out the pumpkin from the box. To make a long story short, most all the tossed Halloween was boxed up and repacked to be moved to the new house. Yep, it sure was and it all sits on the keep side of the driveway.

When we got to the Christmas boxes, I saved myself a lot of time and told him to put them all on the keep side. He looked at me and said, "What.....are you kidding?" I asked him if he wanted to make the phone call to his daughter or not. He silently,  put the boxes on the keep side and we kept right on going with what we had to do.

By days end, we could hardly move, but all the keep boxes were lined up on the driveway, and there was not that much really at all in that pile of stuff. All the sell stuff was put back into the empty, clean shed which filled up rather quickly, so we purged so much stuff. I was so surprised by how easily I let go of so much of the stuff that was in there to begin with. I will admit, I ran into some things that proved to be more of a struggle at making a decision, but in the end, about 80 percent of the time, those things went into the sell side of the yard.

Day two is today. We have to get all those keep boxes into storage and we have some stuff to sort and toss that has been stored at his dads garage. I would really like to try and get two more rooms inside the house sorted as well. Lots to do....and we are dog tired. I am feeling so much lighter, but I am weighed down by the sore muscles and bones. It is a J-O-B and believe me, I feel every bit of it today.

When I found myself with a inner battle on deciding if I should keep something or not, I tried to take myself into that new house and visualize how I  would use it or where I would use it or if I would use it. If I could not answer any of those three things, it was tossed.

This move will prove to be the best thing that has every happened to us. I can feel that in my bones and all the stuff we have tossed and are walking away from will certainly lighten the loads in our hearts and minds. We are both so excited!

Day I come!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The words I thought I'd never hear.......

" Well, just get rid of what you can, if you can. If you can't, well, we will move it and you can get rid of it later if need be"......those were the words my husband spoke softly to me this evening. The same husband who has spend years complaining about my habit of bringing mismatched dishes, do-dads, vintage finds, linens, and so forth just looked at me and spoke those words. And the most heart warming part of it all, I know that he meant what he said.

We are going to put our house up on the market and I am trying to clear this house out and do so quickly so we can get it listed with a Realtor. We have found a house we want to buy, and I need to sell our house. The main problem is, there are 30 plus years of stuff to sort through and purged and ready for a sale. Then, the stuff I want to keep needs to be packed to be moved. It's really nothing new to the world of moving, it is just very new to me. We have lived in the same house since before we were married, so you can imagine the daunting task of it all...and as most of you all know....I have lots of stuff that I love.

This evening I sat on the floor of our living room sorting boxes of dishes. I'd have a plate in hand and move it to the toss pile and before I could sit it on the top of the box, I'd swing my hand to the keep pile. I seriously found myself remembering when I purchased certain pieces and I could actually recall specific details from when they were purchased. This went on for several minutes and I began to sweat and feel an anxiety attack coming on. My husband glanced at me out of the corner of his eye and I just burst into tears. The look on his face said it all, I am sure he knew I had truly lost it after all these years.

I really could not get a grip on what I was feeling. I tried explaining to him, I knew I wanted to let go of this stuff and not take it with me. I knew I had no plans to use it, or need for it. I knew all of these things, but the thing that stirred me the most was the fact that all of this stuff that I have acquired was more than just stuff in a box. So much of all these vintage treasures were things that filled my life with a little happiness during a very dark time in my life. So in a way, it might be like saying goodbye to a therapist once you were able to let the things go that had a hold of your life. The good news in all of this is I am no longer in that dark place and have moved past it for a good while now. It was confusing as to why this was bothering me as I sat in the floor surrounded by so many things I really did not need or want.....but I did not want to let them go either.

But during my total meltdown, my husband spoke those words and something in the way he said them, changed my feelings. It was the tone in his voice that spoke volumes to me and turned my melt down into determination to finish what I set out to do this evening. He even offered his own advice when I asked him if we should keep this or that...and we have a huge pile to sell, and only a couple of boxes to keep. Out of all the china plates I sorted tonight, I kept only one pattern of small plates because I truly love that pattern and only five large plates. I put over fifty in a pile to get rid of.....and I have boxes upon boxes to sort still.

My family has teased me for years that my collecting is a sickness and we have joked about it more times than I can count. They may well have been truly right in that statement, but for the first time, I think I am on my way to getting over that sickness...and I have the boxes piled high full of treasures to sell to prove it.

~ this is going to be a journey like none other!

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