Garage Sale Reject

I can’t believe that I’m feeling rejected over a garage sale, but I am.  I really shouldn’t be surprised at the distaste of my customers.  After all, most of my things are hand me downs, garage sale purchases or items I have picked from the garbage, but still…to have people come and look at your stuff, turn around and leave makes one feel…well, insulted.  These are the things I’ve lived with and cried on, the things with which I have died a little and thrown my head back in joy around.

Don’t people see how precious they are?  Pictures that have adorned my wall line a shelf in my garage. They stand to testify of loving words, arguments, cries of anguish and sighs of contentment.

There are clothes I have worn on my journey: a journey through life and toward knowing God deeper and greater than I’d imagined possible, shoes that have taken me everywhere.  They have led me to church to be spiritually fed and to serve others; to home school coop where my children learned to be taught by someone other than me; to the grocery store where I bought what I needed to in order to give sustenance to my family; to the birthing rooms of friends; and to funerals of many whom I’ve loved.

I have desks upon which the pain of my heart poured out the words I dare not speak to anyone, ever; dressers that have contained my trousseau;  books that have changed my life;  bowls I have mixed with love; chairs I have rocked late into the night with my babies now grown up.

And yet the people come and go.  I lower the prices.  People come and go.  I ask if they want things for free.  People come and go…and now the garage sale hand-me downs and the proceeds of my garbage picking with which I’ve made a beautiful home and have shared precious moments, will return from where they’ve come.  To the garbage.  I just hope that there is a wise woman who is building her house,  who will see them sitting on my curb and find the magnificence that I have found in them.


Finding grace with Ann

#4 – unforcasted sunny days

#5 – grace to comfort others

#6 – a husband who puts up with my faults

#7 – so grateful that my garage sale is over… 😉

#8 – growth in the Bible Study in my home

#9 – abundance to share with others

#10 – bringing guests to church

and with Michelle at Graceful

39 thoughts on “Garage Sale Reject

  1. I know exactly what you mean, Kim. I could not take the rejection of my first garage sale, so never had one again. Also, I do avoid garage sales because I must buy something, so I am free of the guilt of hurting the poor seller’s feelings. My daughter runs a HUGE garage sale Zion Lutheran Church school. Everyone donates the goods and the church profits. All feel good about cleaning the garage and helping the school.

  2. About two years ago, my husband, daughter and I got a stall at a local flea market…we viewed it as an adventure. We had done garage sales before, but we were really serious about getting rid of our life’s accumulation so thought we would try a flea market. We rented a U-Haul and filled it up…our stuffed house said ‘thank you’. We sold everything and earned about $1,000, enough to pay for the weekend stall and the U-Haul. We were floored. Yep…flea markets bring in the crowds and all that stuff found new homes. Do you all have a local flea market? btw, If you were in my neighborhood, I would have picked up that rocker. Lovely chair.

    • I know, and I marked it down to $5!! I’m going to have the Salvation Army pick everything up. They are a wonderful and trustworthy organization. Thanks for your vote of confidence on the chair….and you should have seen the antique art deco buffet….

    • That might be true, but I didn’t think they wanted better than free… 🙂 Like I said on other comments, I really didn’t mean for this post to sound so pitiful, it was actually kind of funny that I couldn’t even give away our stuff.

  3. Garage sales are like writing – if you’re not braced for rejection and unkind comments, better not to put it out there. Because the thing that you found most precious and beautiful, sometimes other people look at and say, “Meh,” while some other piece of crap may get endless oohs and aahs. Yet a week or two later, or earlier, reactions might be reversed.

    Mostly, I drop my excess belongings at the local Goodwill, because I know *I* don’t want to invest the time & energy to have strangers sneer at my “treasures” for a couple hundred bucks.

  4. It looks like you have some nice stuff, so I think your lack of sales has more to do with the economy than your taste! haha! I’ve found the same problem in my neighborhood whenever I hold a garage sale. In fact, I only do it when my “subdivision” has a garage sale and yet not much sells. And that’s very unlike what it was about 5 or 10 years ago. 😦
    Thanks for stopping by messy marriage and commenting! I appreciate your encouraging thoughts!

  5. Did you sell that green ceramic Christmas tree? If not, I’ll buy it! We have one my mother did, but the top translucent “star” broke, and we haven’t been able to replace it. I’ll gladly buy yours!
    And the clock, if you make me a good deal. 😉
    We threw a garage sale once for a sci-fi club we were in, had a dismal turnout on Saturday, and it rained Sunday. By 1 pm Sunday, we were selling $5-$10 dollar items for a buck or less. We did get rid of most of the stuff, didn’t make much money, but the club seemed happy, so we called it a win. And some dedicated suburban garage-salers got some tremendous deals!

    • John,
      You are so sweet! This has turned out to be a virtual garage sale, indeed. I’ve donated everything to the Salvation Army, so I will be unable to fulfill your requests… :[….I did everything’s a dollar, but there wasn’t much traffic on Saturday. Friday there was tons of people.

  6. Well I can tell you right off the bat I would have purchased that Santa Clause teapot (I collect teapots), the black and white shoes if they had fit and the hat – definately for a remake. I went to a big garage sale at a Church on Saturday and purchased lots of things. Try not to take it personally – something I learned when I sold furniture in another lifetime; there is no accounting for bad taste! People just didn’t appreciate your great stuff or were busy doing something else.

    • You are sweet Elizabeth. This has ended up being something of a virtual garage sale. Everyone looking at the pics and picking out what they would have bought! I don’t think my neighborhood enjoys antiques so much…

  7. Aww, I saw a pair of shoes in that pic I would have picked up and I love the hat! Too bad I wasn’t there, I would have lifted your spirits with a purchase or two 🙂
    I had a garage sale once and was so tired by late afternoon and still had quite a bit of stuff. I put a sign out saying “everything free”. It was all gone within the hour.
    I have a #6 too. Aren’t they wonderful?! 🙂

    • Kristin,
      The funny thing is that even when I tried to give things away they weren’t taking them. Those sales are exhausting, although I wasn’t too bad with this one. Having organized my church’s garage sale the previous week, this seemed like a piece of cake.

  8. We have never had a yard/garage sale, usually drop off unwanted items at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. My daughter and I went to a rummage sale at a local church, that was the best day ever!

    • That is where are the extras are going. To the good old SA. Part of the reason I was so tired was because I just ran the church garage sale the week before….probably not the best timing to do mine the following week!

  9. This is a tough one, because we take it so personally. But in a way, they are really just things. And the memories are yours and will always be with you. If it is any consolation…I like the chair in the last picture 🙂

    • I know, right? The chair was $5! Then I tried to give it away…Oh well, I guess it was just the wrong crowd. This started out as a humorous piece, but then when I started equating memories with each of the items, it made me sound more melancholy than I actually was…

  10. I totally get what you are saying — I tend to get hurt feelings, too. We have so much of ourselves wrapped up in our things because of the memories they evoke in us. Sometimes we think they must be rejecting us and not just our stuff.

    • I get totally sentimental about places. They become almost sacred to me. But, my feelings weren’t really hurt. This piece was written tongue in cheek. It was actually kind of funny, when I tried to give things away…and they still weren’t gone. That’s what actually gave me the idea of the post.

  11. I used to have oodles of garage sales when my kids were little, stuff had to be moved out to bring more in. Would organize it with a few friends, put our names on the tags and make it fun. Once a neighbor bet I couldn’t sell a pink toilet he was tossing after a remodeling. Well, we set it at the end of the driveway with a styrofoam head wearing a black wig!!! We didn’t win the bet, but that toilet brought crowds of people and much laughter throughout the day.

    I now pass my discards on to the Goodwill for others in need to use. They’re only material objects we were given for a while, what’s really important are what we hold in our hearts forever.

  12. I love garage sales but rarely go to one. Too much of a home body. We used to have one with 2 other families. It’s just! As we work on the simplification of our life we’ve become Good Will’s best friend. 🙂


  13. I would have bought some of your stuff! Our styles are very similar. I have had that same feeling at the one yard sale that I held. What do you mean you don’t like my stuff?! The same way that I felt when we were trying to rent our house out. Don’t you know what these walls have meant to me? What I learned from this is that it is not the things, but rather the memories that make them special.

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  15. I don’t do garage sales at all. I don’t have garage sales and I don’t attend garage sales. I just don’t like to haggle, don’t like strangers coming to my house, and I honestly just don’t want to price everything and set up and tear down. Instead, I donate everything. I write every item down and write it all off on my tax return. That way, I I’m benefitting others AND making a little money the EASY way. I use “ItsDeductible” on Turbo Tax to itemize, and it tells me what everything is worth, according to what it sells for on ebay. So easy. You would be surprised at how much money you will get back for your “stuff”. The hardest part is boxing up my precious items and dropping them off. We all get attached to our things, but they are just that…..things….material things. The memories stay in our mind.

    • What a great idea…We were doing the garage sale to earn money for my son’s college tuition. I don’t usually do sales either. They are very time consuming, and donating isn’t as painful, because once you give it, the things are out of sight and gone.

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