Hoarding Woes: Dampened Stuff…Enough!

Yesterday, the morning dawned bleak and wet. It stayed that way until the afternoon. The crowds stayed away until the sun peeked out. Then they came, but the influx was a little late to equal the previous two days. The nearby mega garage sale extravaganza drew a fair amount, but some that came our way afterwards said it was running slowly as well.

Headed to the sale yesterday morning. This morning it is again pouring.

Many agreed that our signage and placement on certain roads was excellent. We have heard it enough that I know it is the contributing factor. Next is word of mouth. Many have arrived telling us that so-n-so told them about our sale. Those two things have contributed more than the computer postings…but that has contributed too.

The people that attended were amazingly kind and generous.

The people, mostly couples and gal pals, are for the most part very kind. They are without exception awestruck about the size of the sale. Our signs say the ubiquitous ‘huge’ ‘big’ etc. but the people remark ‘this really is big’. Yes, it is and we explain to those that ask about the why’s and how’s.

There are the not so nice types: the know it all types, the loud/drunken/loaded types, the thieves (meth addicts entering with too much energy and purpose, looking here and there, attempting to breach barriers to peek) and the hagglers that take up your time to negotiate over a nickel. If it were a game ok, but they are serious, not poor and assholes (sorry). There was one know it all yesterday by his arrogant demeanor and condescending remarks was shown the door via our comments back and ultimate shunning. But! for the overwhelming majority of folks visiting it has been a blessing to meet such nice people.

I have to admit it, yesterday with the gloom and personal clouds, I became a bit disheartened. The sheer volume of stuff, the pace of sales and the reality of moving that much stuff to make a dent hit. I would estimate that in three days several thousand pieces moved off the property. But, as we restocked the tables during the day and late into the night, it was a 10% table clearance at best…at times.

 Now that is ok, I know that intellectually, but all this magnitude is more realistic now that we measure it against the pace of sales, buyer’s interests and time. Also, add in the physical wear and tear on The Team. Every Team member is broken. Backs/shoulders/hands/hips, arthritis and energy are already in bad shape. Pain factored into the thinking is debilitating as you know. Yet the Team members step up to support one another and step in to do this and that for the others. That is really humbling. If someone or a few did not have this support it would be even more daunting.

Stars shining at times for sure.

On several occasions in three days, we have had people arrive in tow or alone in response to a friend’s admonition to go take a look at this sale: the person coming has a ‘collecting’ ‘clutter’ ‘organizing’ problem. The ladies that I conversed with were honest to say why they were there. I related my Aunt’s and my Mom’s history. The ladies quietly listened their faces studious, tight and the eyes distant. It was odd to me they would come as if in remedial training of sorts. But, then they would hit the tables. Not the gambling tables…the stuff tables. They came alive. One woman’s stuff is another woman’s (or man’s) stuff.

A portion of the built-in drawers my late uncle constructed in 1952 in one basement bedroom. Each and every drawer is full of jewelry. From the cheap costume to the truly vintage costume jewelry, there’s scads of pieces along with the bed overflowing above and under and a closet jammed full of craft and jewelry boxes. Candy boxes and any box was commandeered to hold jewelry. We got so far behind, we didn’t get the jewelry sorted and packaged. Sorting through hundred upon hundreds of loose earrings and bracelets and brooches takes time. Then opening some tiny plastic pouch to slip them in. What we did have went well. Even inexpensive costume jewelry really should not be left unattended…due to sticky fingers. This next week in anticipation of next weekend’s sale will put emphasis on get the jewelry ready. The truly vintage pieces will for the most part be held back for the estate sales.

We have to decide on whether we make a recycling-drop box run this next week or accumulate more until after the second weekend sale. After those two sales we will take a break until the end of July. That will give us a chance to sort more, regroup and donate/trash more stuff.

But one tray of rings or one box of beaded necklaces…little treasure boxes.

Ok, time to head down to the house and put out the sandwich board signs up on the corner streets, open up the tarps, turn on the lights, sweep where it isn’t wet, maybe create some bargain signs (I did this last night for wrought iron pieces. They are ornate and ‘nice’ but not selling as priced. So I made a sign highlighting the pieces at rock bottom prices and ‘must sell’…). Tonight all the rain beaten signs will come down. This next week I will make new signs and pray for drier weather for the end of next week.


3 thoughts on “Hoarding Woes: Dampened Stuff…Enough!

  1. annietiques

    Wow!!! That’s all I can say………..the vast quantities in every category…..this must have been a full time job (mission) for your Auntie & Mom!

    It is truly amazing how much “stuff” there is……..congrats on your first weekend of sales…..the word will spread that is for certain!

  2. The jewelry is so tempting I almost want to take a road trip just to look through it all, even though I only wear my wedding rings and a bracelet now and then. There’s just something about jewelry. I imagine that will all sell quickly and easily but so much work to prepare and organize it. Again, God bless the Team!

    I know it’s important to keep overhead down during all your work, but would it be worth the time and cost to have your best signs laminated at a kinkos type store, for the sake of re-use? Forgive my bossyness. : )

    1. Well thank you for the praise and support! Yes God Bless the Team because there is no way I could turn in any direction with much confidence or endurance to manage this. Truly a Team effort. As for the signs, that is not a bad idea but it may be too spendy. As I took down the signs last night, I notice most of the signs were a bit damp from the heavy rain but not spongy. The blue and red lettering did not hold up to the rains, but the black did. I bought a can of some spray covering stuff to experiment this week. Heck I was even thinking of hiring the kid that dresses up in some costume and twirls a sign board all day at 9.00 an hour to steer traffic toward some enterprise. Any way, thanks for the suggestion. It may all come to that eventually.

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