Monday, July 13, 2009

Time to let go . . .

Do you ever find yourself hanging on to things for years and years . . . Clothes, books, bags . . . . well that's me! Over the weekend, I had a yard sale and I watched as people from all walks of life came by to look at all the things that I have accumulated over the years which apparently I grew not to have much use for. Now they were looking at them and contemplating whether they had a need for them.

So here's how my big weekend project went:

First, there were the 20 pairs of old running shoes that were worn out and why I kept them I have no idea. I wanted to throw them out, but my friend convinced me to sell them at the yard sale. I asked who would want to buy them? She said people will buy them! Well, she was right! I sold all the pairs of shoes. Of course I only sold them for a dollar :), but still they were among the first to go! Reminded me of Candi's photohunt picture and the old saying, "One Man's (or Woman's) Garbage is another Man's Treasure."

Next I had a huge box of these beautiful planter shells (brand spanking new)which my mom loved and left behind at my house. I could never bring myself to part with them, but with boxes of these shells and my decision to start as Annie said decluttering, I finally decided to let go! My goal was not to profit from them, but to make sure that someone who would appreciate them bought them. I sold them for $1.00 each. Three ladies came by and bought all 20 of them. And what was cool is they really loved them and thought they were so beautiful. Their delight made me feel so much better about letting them go.

And then, there were these two ladies that came by and they spent about an hour going through all my clothes. My friends and I were getting hungry so I went and got two pizzas and some salad and chicken wings and invited the two ladies to have lunch with us while they went through my clothes. It turns out that they were homeless only 4 years ago and the one lady is currently getting chemo and radiation for what was diagnosed as an inoperable cancer. My heart sunk and at that point I didn't even want to take their money, but I also didn't want to make them feel like they were a charity case either which I think would make them feel bad. So whenever they asked how much something was I told them it was a quarter. They were really nice and were so happy with the things they bought. And I was happy too.

And lastly, there were these two neighborhood girls who came by in their scooters who bought my brand new water fountain therapy thing for a dollar. They were so lively and I thought at that young age why would they need something that is meant to relieve stress? I had to remind myself that people just have different needs and look for different things. Maybe she just liked the sounds that a water fountain makes.

All in all, my big decluttering weekend made me $400.00, decluttered about 95% of what needed to be decluttered and reminded me of two things: First, life is way too short so live your life each day to the fullest, because you just never know what the future will bring. And secondly, although there are some things (special mementos, photos, etc) that I have to keep forever, there are also some things which I felt was time to let go of.

And the money I made . . . well, it will be going directly into my travel fund so I can use it doing something that I love to do, Travel!


  1. Woo hoo! What an awesome post! I'm so glad to hear that your sale was such a success. What a beautiful story. The homeless ladies part really tugs on my heart strings (and good for you for inviting them to lunch and giving them good deals on your clothes). Your kindness will come back to you, I believe!

    I bet it feels great to let go of so much stuff (and $400 towards Scotland isn't shabby at all).

    I have three bags and two boxes of stuff packed and ready to go to the thrift store. I need to motivate and put it in the car and take it (maybe this weekend).

    So glad you had a great weekend. My weekend was a little bit crazy because of the Cat and Dog drama going on at my house. Let's just say there was a lot of hissing going on (and fortunately, Buddy is a smart puppy and knows to back off when a cat hisses at him).

    But I do think we made progress. At first, Maria hid under the bed and wouldn't come out at all. Then on Saturday night, she got brave and came into the kitchen. When Buddy walked in, she turned into the classic Halloween cat (arched back, every hair standing up, dilated pupils)....she looked freaky! I looked in "Cats for Dummies" and it said that is a defensive pose when cats are scared. But at least she came out from under the bed and faced her fear!

    So they aren't friends yet but I think that Maria moved from "terrified" to "wary."

    Happy Monday!

  2. Hi Annie, thanks so much for your comments. The sale was definitely a great success. I told my friend that the day before I had dreamed that it was a success and it was very wierd that my dream came true.

    It was an amazing experience to meet the two homeless ladies (and I forgot to mention that they are actually sisters). When we were having lunch the one sister shared her story with us. They talked about their hardship of being layed off and having to live on the streets for months. But they finally got off the streets and are doing better. And then last October the one sister said she was diagnosed with cancer. She's going through chemo and radiation to get her more time but she said that the doctor was pretty frank and said that the type of cancer she has will take her life. She is trying to stay positive and enjoy what time she has. I wanted to cry but didn't. I'm glad that they got some nice things for themselves and their friends from my garage sale. They were really nice and I'm so happy that they came by. They reminded me of how precious life really is.

    I think $400 (for my Scotland fund) isn't shabby too and I really didn't think I would make and unload so much. My friends were so nice to help me. Everytime I wanted to keep something they were like sell it. I have no will power. :)

    I had to smile when you talked about Maria going into the Halloween cat stance. Oh, poor Maria. I'm so sorry she got so scared. I bet the more she is around Buddy maybe the less fearful she will become of him. I'm glad that Buddy is a smart puppy too and knows enough to give Maria her space. I hope Maria is okay after such a trying weekend.

    Thanks so much for your comments Annie. Have a great day today!

  3. Wow Kathy! Great for you!Great that it was a success, you must have been selling some pretty cool stuff there.$400 for what you thought was garbage is wonderful!

    Your story about the two ladies going through your clothes is sad,and at the same time refreshing. It is great to know that you were able to help other human beings without making them feel bad, and they feel that they kept their dignity. And offering them food is a great gesture on your part.

    I need to start getting rid of some of our stuff too, but it has to wait until I am able to sort them out. Every once and a while when I visit my parents of in-laws(where a lot of our stuff are), I post few things on eBay to get rid of, but I need to do more than that. One day.I know what you mean, sometimes you've just got to let it go.

  4. Hey - do you read

    Decluttering is my favorite activity!!

  5. Hi Candi, the story of the two ladies was sad for me too. But they had such a great sense of humor and the experience was also fun because they kept cracking jokes.

    I was very lucky to make as much as I did. I did have a few big ticket items like a brand new luggage set and a color printer, which made up the bulk of the money I made. I'm so glad I unloaded a lot. I still have a lot left over and will haul it over to the Salvation Army. I think sorting and organizing things is the most time consuming part of decluttering. Ebay is a great idea!

    Thanks for your comments Candi and have a great day today.

    Hi Lesli, I have not heard of Thanks for sharing that. I will have a look at it. That's so cool that you enjoy decluttering. The one really good thing for me in this experience is I am finding quite a few things that I had forgotten that I have or had misplaced. :)

    Thanks for your comments Leslie. Have a great day today!

  6. What a great reminder about how precious every day is. I think it's cool that those sisters were hanging out, shopping at yard sales and having fun. I bet they felt lucky to have found your sale.

    And that's great that your friends were saying "sell it!" I get sentimental sometimes about things and it would be good to have a coach saying "let it go."

    Thanks for your well wishes for little Maria. She is fine now that the scary puppy is gone. :) I felt sorry for her too; when she was hiding under the bed, I would go back there and lay on the floor and talk to her. She would come and let me pet her, but she wouldn't come out!

    These things take time. I remember how much LuLu disliked Maria when she first came and now they are best friends. So I hope the next time Buddy comes over, she won't be quite as scared.

    She did look funny doing the Halloween cat pose! I wish I'd gotten a photo but I didn't want to leave the room to get my camera (just in case I had to referee).

    Hope you're having a great Tuesday!

  7. Hi Annie, I agree that it is very cool that the two sisters enjoy going to yard sales together. They told me that they really enjoyed talking with us and they seemed to really like what they found. So I’m glad about that.

    Gosh I feel so bad for little Maria hiding under the bed and feeling scared like that. I’m sure in time she will discover how cool Buddy is and will become less scared and maybe even grow to become friends like you said. I don’t blame you for not leaving them alone to get your camera. I think I would’ve wanted to make sure things were okay too. I’m happy to hear that Maria’s life is back to normal again and that she can come out from under the bed. Poor little thing…

    Thanks for your comments Annie and I hope you’re having a great Tuesday too. Only 3 more days until the weekend.

  8. kathy -- sounds fulfilling in more than one way for you - great post. Glad you were able to benefit both in spirit and financially from your decluttering efforts. I've been following the same 'vein' for the past year - got to a point I was satisfied and felt less weighty then my son moved back in with all his *stuff*! menehune

  9. Hi M, thanks for your comments. It does feel good to unload so many things that I haven't seen or used in ages. Now the trick is not to buy anymore stuff!

    I'm sure even with your son's stuff your house is a lot lighter than it used to be since you've been unloading too! :)

    Thanks so much for your comments and have a great weekend!

  10. Great story. Doesn't it feel good to get rid of so much stuff and for it to go to people who need it is even better.

    Hey, I see you are going to San Diego also! So excited to finally meet :)

  11. Hi Girasoli, yes it does feel good to unload. I'm not even sure how I accumulated so much over the years. :)

    I'm excited about meeting you and everyone in San Diego too! March and April is horrendously busy at work for me even on weekends and I wasn't sure that I could commit to going. But I threw caution to the wind and signed up anyway. :) So far so good. Yay! I'm crossing my fingers that nothing will come up between now and then to interfere. It sounds like a fun event and to meet everyone would be great.

    Thanks again for your comments.


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.