Monday, September 5, 2011

He Makes An Excellent Salesman, Too

This was perhaps the busiest, most expensive weekend of my life. Except for maybe my wedding, but I wasn't footing the bill for that one. I am leaving this holiday weekend desperately in need of another weekend.

These things happened on Friday:
1) Full day of work (from home) with urgent project due by end of day. Lots of e-mailing and usage of various Microsoft Office programs.
2) Windows were replaced in the kids' bedrooms.
3) Discovered the new windows don't allow for re-installation of Lucy's room darkening blinds, so undetook last minute trip to Target to purchase new curtains.
4) Contractor came and replaced $1300 worth of rotting wood on the front of the house.
5) Entire HVAC system of house was replaced.

Four workers from 3 different home improvement businesses in our house at the same time. With the A/C off. Not distracting at all.

And, after all that money spending, we opted for carry out for dinner despite our severe need to go on a money diet because....

Saturday was our yard sale. And we needed time to finish prepping for it on Friday night, not time to cook or clean the kitchen. We priced and piled and sorted a shit-ton of crap (or "treasure", if you will), and I slaved over four signs for carefully plotted road posting.

Saturday morning we woke up at 6 a.m. to get started. M. went out to place the signs, while I finished bringing a few things up to the living room, our staging area, and cleaned off a few of the egregiously dirty items (see: children's tricycle with handle that has lived outside for the last year). The kids were up nice and early, of course, as is the way every time we want them to sleep a little late. Finn insisted on helping us schlep things outside for a little while, while Lucy just crabbed and cried about the whole process. Girlfriend was not sure about this whole "selling our stuff" thing.

We scrambled for a solid hour or more to get everything outside and displayed in a way that made it relatively easy for people to see what we had to offer. We suffered from a lack of tables, despite the fact that we had a folding table, our dining room table, a console table, and a TV stand to display things on. We ended up having to drag out our super heavy back up dining room table so we'd have somewhere to spread out the kids' clothes. We also had to spread out from our yard and take over a couple of common area spaces just across from our house:

Not our yard
Not our yard
Our yard

The yard sale officially started at 8:30, though there were a couple of early birds that came by. From around 8:50 until 10:00 or so, the sale was hopping. We had several customers - a few bought only one or two items, but a couple of people really cleaned up. Some of the big movers were picture frames, books, super dusty luggage (!), and random kid items, among others. We even managed to sell Lucy's changing table and our high chair. We thought we were on our way to a total sell out.

And then by 10:00 a.m., it was pouring out. Thunder, lightening, the works. A neighbor was kind enough to let us borrow a huge tarp, and so for a solid 2+ hours, our stuff looked like this:

A few other items were dashed inside, and the rest were just left there to collect rainwater. They looked sad:

I don't want to belittle the damage others suffered from last week's hurricane, but it's possible this weekend actually dumped more rain on us than Irene did. It really, freakin' poured. Kind of hard to sell stuff when it's all wet and/or covered up, as you might imagine. We eventually sent our babysitter home (oops, forgot to mention we had a sitter come at around 8 to entertain the kids and keep them out of our hair) because we were all trapped inside - we didn't actually need anyone to watch the kids because we were stuck in the same room with them.

We sold a bit more in the late afternoon once the rain finally left. Including a last ditch sale of our dining room set to a neighbor, who surprised us by coming out for it as we were packing up all our unsold stuff at the end of the sale.

Which means now we have no dining room furniture. We knew this was a possibility when we put the set outside for the yard sale. We have been planning to replace our dining room furniture, and took the "well, let's just see what happens approach" by including it in the yard sale despite the fact that we hadn't actually bought new replacement furniture yet. I think M. and I both thought it wouldn't sell, maybe? I don't know, I certainly WANTED it to sell. And I am glad, despite our current problem of where to eat meals, that it did sell.

The plan is now to eat as many meals as possible out on the deck until the new furniture (which I promptly ordered Saturday evening) arrives. But have I mentioned the rain? The rain was not restricted to just the day of the yard sale. It has rained every single day this weekend. Poured, really. We have been making use of the kids' Pottery Barn craft table, because we don't have enough regular-sized chairs to sit at our spare dining room table. It looks something like this:

After we declared the yard sale over, we took two car loads of unsold stuff to Goodwill and a box of books to a separate charity. M. made a trip to the dump with the stuff we deemed not worthy of charity on Sunday morning, the one day of the weekend that was somewhat "relaxing." I only say that because I had slightly too much red wine on Saturday to celebrate the completion of the sale (and all the work leading up to it!) and didn't feel up to dealing with the mess that was our entire house. But I was exhausted the whole day, so it didn't actually feel relaxing. And we still went grocery shopping, took a trip to Home Depot, watched Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone with Finn, cleaned up a pee accident in the living room, cleaned up one of the car seats from Saturday's pee accident (remind me to vent a little about this whole potty training adventure sometime soon), and gave the kids a bath. I skipped the wine on Sunday night in preparation of the busiest day of all - today!

The day where we completely re-organized our living room, dining room, and office to create a playroom for the kids. It took all day, and there are still a few things we need to do (like install outlet covers and door stoppers) and buy for the playroom to be finished. But it looks great, and I promise I'll tell you all about it. Just not tonight. Tonight, I need to go to sleep.

But not before leaving you with a little insight into the male mind. There were, as you can imagine, many, many things we needed to do to get ready for this yard sale and for moving the kids' toys into the office. While I sorted through closets and drawers, placed ads online, made spreadsheets, and priced items, M. revamped our music collection. He spent countless hours burning every single CD we own onto an external hard drive, creating a new super library of music. Admittedly, there was some reasoning behind this. The CDs have been stored up in a closet in our bedroom - the closet where we are moving the filing cabinets that used to reside in the office, filing cabinets we needed to move in order to create a playroom. So I did ask M. to do something with our CD collection. His solution, which I agreed to, was to burn all the CDs to the drive, put the discs and liner notes in 3-ring binder storage pages, and ditch all the plastic cases. A large job? Certainly.

I just didn't imagine that that would be ALL he'd do in the days leading up to the yard sale. He really, really got in to it. Like, really. I can't tell you how many obscure or random musical artists I've listened to over the last two weeks. And he keeps trying to have conversations with me about "routers" and "spare computers (hah!)" and the like to perfect our access to this library.

I shouldn't say that transferring our music collection was ALL M. did before the sale, though. He did create a "Yard Sale Boogie" play list.


  1. (this is Mark) Oh, they're on the soon as I can figure out the best way to ship. It might be easier if you guys just drove up for a visit. I've been torturing Allison with Chuck Mangione's greatest hits. What can I say, I love a good flugelhorn.

  2. But how much did you guys make?