Yard Sale Psychology

You can learn a lot about humanity by holding a yard sale. Firstly, about your own life. The accumulation of stuff that we once deemed so necessary in our lives, now up for grabs to passers by. My “no buy it diet”changed me forever. So the amount of stuff we culled this time was, in fact, minimal, but there’s still that quiet reminder that too much stuff doesn’t add to the essence of our lives.

First observation – blokes came looking for stuff for themselves! Tools and fishing gear. So many a man walked away empty handed.

Second observation – some people wear tshirts they probably found at a different garage sale, for example; “Trust me, I’m an alcoholic”.

Third observation – women usually buy with others in mind. Therefore my sons started singing “all the single ladies” in the hope that it would have a Pied Piper effect on the neighbourhood ladies. Women came mostly buying for friends with babies or children.

Fourth observation – women AND men change their minds. One lass purchased something only to return 10 minutes later for a refund. Do I look like a department store?! But I do look like a pushover, it seems. So I handed her fiver back. It hurt too, as that was 25% of our takings at that point.

One fellow thought long and hard about a Lego and Wii purchase. As we were eating dinner there came a knock on the door, 6 hours after we packed the gear away. He had $10 so we did an after hours deal on the doorstep. Odd, but the kids scored an extra $5 each.

Fifth observation – kids learn niceties quickly when greeting copious amounts of strangers asking them “How are you?”By the end of the day, they were (unprompted!) asking, “And you?”

Sixth observation – making a batch of gluten free scones and a pot of fruit tea for morning tea is good on any day.

We didn’t make much cold hard cash, but our home feels lighter, and our ongoing quest for less is strengthened!

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Wardrobe Cleansing

Tonight I pulled every item of clothing I own out of my wardrobe. The mountain of clothes on our bed made for some giggles and jumping fun for the lads, but was a stark reminder to me of the insanity of fashion! I rediscovered a number of items that have been hiding amidst the mess that I tackled tonight. I’m sure you can relate to the, “Ah! I forgot I had this!” moment.

It’s almost 2 years since I made the decision to quit buying new clothes. I was never a shopaholic, but I did want to change my spending habits and reinforce the values I want my children to take a hold of. I have purchased just 3 new items of clothing since November 2010. I love the challenge of scouring op shops. Recently, all of my jeans had started tearing at the knees, so the hunt has been on for the perfect op shop jeans. I’ve found a few pairs, and have paid around $5 each. I’m not in love with them, but I refuse to pay $100 for the ideal jeans. I love to look good, but I refuse to be caught up in the ever changing tides of fashion. I’ve got better things to do with my time and money. I know some people are totally freaked out that someone else has farted in my second-hand jeans. I understand it’s not everyone’s thing to recycle fashion. But I’m more than happy to share bum pockets with previous wearers if it saves my hip pocket and gives much needed financial support to charities. Not to mention the environmental benefits.

Tonight I tossed 50+ items of clothing to the charity store. My wardrobe is still full, but now that it’s not bursting at the seams, I’ll actually be able to see each item, and try a few new looks.

I was stoked when I found three pairs of shoes in superb condition for $18 at St Vinnies a few weeks ago. I scored some Chuck Taylor high tops,, near new, for $8 and Asics runners or $4. For Matt, some Merrell walking shoes for $6. Brand new, these same shoes would’ve set us back somewhere around $300. Now that’s retail therapy.

A-Z of Gratitdue: B is for Bargains

I posted C is for Chairs and realised that B is for Bargains was still in my drafts. Oops!

Day two of my A-Z of Gratitude.

B is for BARGAINS. I am grateful for bargains.

I went to the op shops again today looking for the final vintage dress to cover our last dining chair.  I didn’t find the perfect dress but I did find a gorgeous vintage top for myself for just $5. I am always rapt when I find a good bargain.

It’s about 16 months since I started my “No Buy It Diet”.  I decided to have one year off buying new clothes.  I made the rules, and decided I was allowed to buy things from the thrift shop, but after a few months I realised that made it too easy.   I changed the rules meaning no clothes were to be purchased, new or second-hand. It was such great exercise, and one that fascinated many of my friends. Women have this reputation of being chronic shoppers. I am amazed at how many clothes I have that I never wear, and have come to realise how utterly ridiculous it is that we have so many clothes.  Imagine trying to explain our fashion obsession to a family living in abject poverty who have one set of clothes for everything.    I have been officially allowed to buy new clothes since December, but have only purchased one new top from an eco store and a few things from the op shops.  I have no desire to window shop anymore. I don’t go into clothing stores to try things on. Clothes shopping is something  that just doesn’t appeal to me anymore.  I still like to wear nice clothes, and I have no trouble finding fantastic quality items at the op shops. It is much more of an adventure to go to a charity store and rummage through racks of random clothes than going to a shop filled with what the masses are wearing!

Anyway, back to today’s bargains…

I bought two lace doilies…

To attempt something like this…