Saturday, 10 March 2012

The Value of Stuff

by Linda from The Witches Kitchen

I went to a garage sale this morning, and it has been going round in my head all day. "Are you moving", I asked, just by way of being friendly. "Yes", she said, "My ex has already moved out. Half this stuff is his."  Huge piles of stuff out on the footpath to be collected for the tip. Huge, unsorted, unloved piles and bags of stuff for sale. So much that it was hard to get enthusiastic about finding a bargain amongst it all.

Sometimes I like garage sales - I rarely shop for stuff anywhere else but op shops and garage sales. Second hand, ironically, doesn't usually mean worse quality. Often I can find beautiful quality things that have already stood the test of time. A lovely old damask tablecloth. A big, heavy china mixing bowl.  A bread baking tin already well seasoned. A garden fork made from real steel. A pair of real Birkenstock sandals. A "Made in Italy" woolen winter coat. A fishing rod that will make a great birthday gift.

Sometimes garage sales are nostalgic and wistful, when people are moving on from a stage of life that has memories.  Sometimes they are headlong and precipitate, when people are clearing decks and launching off into a new adventure. Sometimes they are even tawdry and tacky, when people shop as retail therapy, and end up with piles of junk that no-one, not even they really want at all.

But sometimes there are sad stories of stuff once desired, shopped for, bought, but in the end worth nothing. She sold us some weights that were his for $1. "Serve him right," she said, "for leaving me with all this stuff to get rid of."


garage equipment said...

Moving on from the past are very important specially if it is makes you hurt. Giving up the things that full of memories are very hard but it is needed to start a new life.

SARINA said...

It can be quite liberating to get rid of stuff you have harbourd for a long time. A good clear out can make room for a new mindset and will leave space for a new start.

Jana said...

Lol I'm glad the garage sale made this lady feel better, must have been really frustrating having his stuff surrounding her.

momma-lana said...

I once bought a covered turkey roaster from an elderly lady at a flea market. She told me that she had made all of the holiday turkeys in that roaster for over 30 years and that it made really delicious turkeys. Her family had decided she needed to be in an assisted livivng facility so she was getting rid of her things. I have been making all of our holiday turkeys in it for about 15 years now and I think of her everytime I get it out to use it. I feel like it had many happy stories and memories already when it started making memories for my family and I kind of wish she could know that.

I'm not sure I could have bought anything at the yardsale you are speaking of because I would think of that when I used the items.

Stacey said...

I know how she feels. When my ex left he got to take the stuff he wanted and leave me with (his and our stuff) he didn't want. It was up to me to get rid of it, even though it wasn't me (or just me) who bought it! So yeah, I can sympathise with her.

Oya's Daughter said...

I had this when I moved to my new place; half the stuff in my last house was storage for ex's stuff as he couldn't be bothered to actually get storage himself. I hung onto trappings of our marriage which was well and truly ended for a year and a half. When I moved I told him he was either going to take it or it was going on ebay. Suddenly the "stuff" in my house was halved and I felt so much lighter! Now I can dorate the house as I please!