Moving out on Sunday…

Its hard to believe that this is finally happening. We’re moving out in 48 hours. There’s no space for us here.

The counter tops, the stove top, every single surface is covered with price tagged items from our lives.  There’s no room for us to maneuver, tending to the daily rituals we have fashioned into our survival, our comfort, our solace. Its gone.  We must go.

I’d move out today if we could but Tom has to work.  We could leave on Saturday but, it will take a day to finish gathering up the last of our belongings, empty and clean the food cabinets, the cold storage room, the three refrigerators and one upright freezer.  

The estate sale people will clean up the house after the sale but we’ll come back to do the fine tuning, leaving it as spotless as possible.  I don’t like this part. I’ve moved twice in the past 40 years. How do I even remember that I don’t like it?

The sale begins a week from today, Friday October 26th, ending on Sunday the 28th, a total of three full days to unload a lifetime of stuff.  Last night, as we roamed from room to room noting the prices on the little pieces of blue tape on each item, we felt we had made peace with our own form of “sticker shock,” with prices too low, not too high. 

A Waterford bowl I had purchased to complete a set, over 30 years ago for $275, still in perfect condition with no signs of wear, is now offered at a mere $18. I could go on and on with such examples.  I won’t.  Its the nature of the beast.  We must accept it and move on.

Its funny how we all value our belongings much higher than the true market value…that which a buyer is willing to pay.  Its that simple.  Any item is only worth that which a buyer will pay.  That’s it.  No fluff. No variables. Question: What will they pay?  Answer: The value! 

We hear someone say, “Oh, that’s worth so much more than I paid.” I am as guilty as the next person claiming to have made a great deal.  From time to time, an item is a great deal, usually when extenuating circumstances preclude a seller to “unload” the product(s) in a short time frame.  That’s us, right now…sell everything we own in three short days. 

Thus, a time frame and a seller’s motivation determine a price, coupled with a buyer’s perception of their “need” of the product (a sense of urgency) and, their willingness to buy now at the right price.  Then, and only then, do we have a sale.  

Optimistically, we anticipate that everything will sell.  What doesn’t sell, we’ll donate to various charities. With the professional appraisals we’ll have on hand, we’ll be able to write off more than the usual $500.  The estate sale people will take care of everything, giving us the appraisals and the receipts.  That’s comforting.

Today, I will scour every nook and cranny in this house to ensure no items were missed, leaving them on a table the estate sale people designated for pricing next week.  I’ll vacuum everything.  I know.  That’s sounds silly.  I always vacuum before visitors arrive.

Tomorrow when Tom is home, we’ll finish the above, pack his car for the move on Sunday morning, spend valuable time with son Greg, daughter-in-law Camille (who continues to be helpful) and three of the precious little grandchildren. Oh. That part is coming.  The goodbye part. We leave in 12 days.

Next time I write in this blog in two days, late in the day on Sunday, I will no longer be sitting in this comfy chair.  We’ll be at dear friend Karen’s lovely home.  I’ll pick an appropriate spot and I will write again knowing that so much is behind us and finally…so much is yet to come.

Jewelry sale day results…strange visitor

This worm or caterpillar was atop Tom’s blue Croc as the last shopper as the jewelry sale walked out the door and screamed.

We live on a peninsula, a narrow “road to nowhere.” We are the second house from the end. With water on both sides of us, there is no sidewalk, no curb, no gutter and little parking room. We’ve always considered this a small price to pay to be surrounded by water.

As a result of this parking dilemma, in 26 years in this house, we’ve never had a garage sale.  The idea of strangers coming to our home, parking on the lawn when the few space run out, made us cringe.

Alas, our estate sale guy Jim Anderson suggested I sell my costume jewelry rather than leave it for the estate sale where it becomes difficult to control with many shoppers hovering about.  

As I wrote in last week’s post, I sold my loose gold and silver while awaiting an offer on my wedding ring, hopefully to hear soon.  A sale at our home was the most practical solution, albeit our concerns about the parking.

My dear friend and next door neighbor offered to be “the guard,” helping me put up the signs and keeping me company, making the event less dreadful.  

I hoped for rain so I could cancel it, watching the weather report every few hours.  Why put off the inevitable?  Then, I looked up “jewelry lots” on eBay, hoping to find that I’d get a good price for the entire batch. Not the case.

The signs I made on neon pink poster paper with a huge black marker, all purchased at the Dollar Store for less than $5, easily glued to the sign bases Tom made for me last weekend using four $1.69 wooden stakes, nailed to four pieces of particle board the hardware store cut for me for $9.00.  Total sign cost was around $20.  

The signs read:

Fashion Jewelry Sale
Today 2-6
Nothing Over $21
With the signs in the ground appropriately scattered throughout the neighborhood, my dear neighbor and I sat in my kitchen sipping frosty glasses of iced tea, viewing the pleasing display of the 200+ pieces patiently awaiting the first customer. We were tentatively optimistic.

As it turned out 2:00 pm was a poor time to start a sale.  We were hoping to catch the “on their way home from work” crowd, which we did to a degree. But the first three hours were a bust.  A kindly, experienced garage sale enthusiast suggested we try in the early morning when the serious shoppers are frantically driving around.  

The end result of the sale was $152, not what I’d expected.  I looked up “jewelry lots” on eBay again.  My dear neighbor pushed me, “Let’s do it again next Thursday. I’ll help!”  Grudgingly, I agreed.
Next Thursday at 8 am we’ll be ready to roll again.  I’ll change the time on the signs with the purchase of one neon pink poster for $.69, cut into small squares to tape over the old times with the new times.  

As the last shopper walked out the door, her plastic bag of jewelry in hand, her daughter let out a gasp.  This is what she saw, atop Tom’s Croc, outside our kitchen door:
Anyone know what this is?  Or what this will be someday soon?  Is it a worm or a larvae?  I don’t have time to look it up online.  Good thing this critter wasn’t inside his Croc when Tom slipped his foot inside.  

guess Africa will have bigger, scarier such things.  I didn’t scream. Instead, I took a photo.