Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Garage Sale!

Getting rid of stuff is a lot of work.  Two weeks ago we decided that it was time to downsize on the "stuff quotient" for our house.  There are several reasons for this.  One, we are going to be heading overseas in the near future and we don't need to be storing boxes and boxes of "stuff" just so that we can throw it all out when we come back.  Second, we're moving back up to the Peace country at the end of this month, and it seemed to make much more sense for us to be getting rid of as much as possible now before we move than to move it all up there and have to deal with it then.

The days leading up to our sale were quite busy with sorting through mountains of boxes of stored stuff and the kids toys and our toys and the garage and the kitchen and the office and on and on and on and on!  We had decided that we would have our sale on Friday evening and Saturday, so a part of my week involved creating signage to advertise our sale.  I bought brilliant green poster paper and printed off several signs, complete with address, times for the sale and even arrows for direction.  I figured, if I don't let the people know where and when we won't be able to sell all of our things.

Friday dawned and from the first thing in the morning we were running hither and yon, hauling things out to the garage and setting up tables and pricing things.  My beautiful signage stated that the sale was to start at 6:00pm on Friday afternoon and we knew that we would have to work hard to be ready for that.  I knew that we didn't want to put up our signs too much in advance because people will come when they see the signs, regardless of the time that it states.  By 2:30 in the afternoon we had about half of our things displayed and priced to sell.  I thought that I should probably head out and put up the signs so that parents who were out to pick up their kids after school would see them and make plans to come.  The signs were all up shortly after 3:00.  The following is a short account of the chaos that ensued.

3:27 - The first person shows up to see if we're willing to sell anything early.
3:35 - Our garage is filling up with strangers.
3:45 - I realize that it is going to be an unending river of people through our garage and if we want to sell our stuff it needs to be out on the tables.
3:46 - I begin wind sprints in and out of the garage in an effort to haul all of our things out to the garage.
3:47 - I become winded and realize that I would be more efficient if I actually picked up items and brought them out instead of running around aimlessly, screaming.
3:48-6:00 - I finish bringing all of our things out into the garage.  The people never stopped coming in all that time.  Much of our stuff wasn't priced yet and so Karen was kept busy making change and answering that all important question; "How much for this?"
6:00 - The stream of people through our garage begins to slow down.  This was the time that our signage advertized we were going to start.
8:00 - I hit the button on the garage door and lower it, officially closing our garage sale for the day.

The next morning there were vehicles parked outside on the street at 8:37, waiting for 9:00 to come so that they could browse through our things.  The forecast looked pretty poor for the day, with a low overcast and showery precipitation, but people still came.  It was fantastic to see all of our things being sold and heading out the door.  We had advertised that we would be open until 3:00pm, but at noon we shut the whole thing down.  There were very few people coming and what was left had been thoroughly picked through.  We packed the useable items up into boxes and took them to the second hand store over at Prairie, and then made one trip to the dump with a few things that we hadn't even been able to give away.

By 5:00 everything was cleaned up.  Our garage was super clean, the tables were returned to the church* and absolutely everything was cleaned up.  The only items that came back into our house was one board game and a couple of balls of yarn.  Everything else was gone.  For us that was a huge answer to prayer.  This means that our move north to Rycroft will be much easier in every respect.  We will not have very much at all to store when we are ready to leave overseas, and even the cost of the move will be seriously lower.  Also, our sale netted us enough money to pay for our move, another big answer to prayer for us.

This is the story of our garage sale.  It's cool to see God answering prayers about the little things too.  I do have one more prayer request before I log off now, and that is regarding our place in Rycroft.  Our renter is supposed to be vacating the premises by the end of the month, and we do not know how we will be able to do the cleaning that we would like to do before we move in.  Pray that the property would be left in good shape and that these little details would be worked out satisfactorily.  Thanks again for your prayers and support!

*Thanks to Mount Olive Evangelical Free Church for lending us many folding tables that we used during our garage sale.  It was very much appreciated.

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