My plan to supplement my maternity leave income through the selling of the shit that we no longer want or need.

In about four more weeks our neighborhood will be having its annual yard sale. If you follow the blog, you may recall that four posts or so ago, I shared my thoughts and feelings about yard sales. Needless to say, they are not overwhelmingly positive. 

In the six summers we’ve lived here in this house, we’ve managed to be on vacation for five of the neighborhood yard sales. The one time we were around, we had guests visiting us, so, naturally, we declined to have a sale at our house.

I love recalling how leading up to that year’s sale, we had a very friendly woman come to our door a few days before the big weekend to ask us if we minded her setting up an egg roll stand in our yard. I politely told her I did mind, despite her offer to give us free egg rolls for hosting. Apparently, our yard had one of the only big shade trees in the neighborhood? I don’t know. I thought it was a bit strange, especially given that we were going to have company. “Oh welcome to our house. This is our crazy neighborhood yard sale, and our dear new friend selling egg rolls on our lawn. But don’t mind her. Let’s just hang out.”

A few women I work with are huge fans of yard-saling. When I mentioned the egg roll thing one day during lunch this fall, one colleague-friend said, “Oh yeah, I know her. She sets up shop at all the big sales. I have her phone number stored in my phone from last year. I used to text her to see where all the big sales were going to be. And, I would occasionally get in touch with her to request some egg rolls to be made for my family.” Seriously?! Egg roll lady on speed-dial?

So, apparently, this egg-rolling at yard sales is a thing.

We did end up heading out into the neighborhood streets that Saturday our guests were in town. And, we did end up seeing the egg roll lady on someone else’s lawn. I felt a little guilty about not being more hospitable to her. But then we bought some egg rolls from her to make up for being so unaccommodating. They were super delicious. If she comes around again asking in the next couple of weeks, I will gladly say yes this time to her setting up her biz on our lawn in exchange for some free rolls.

Anyway, I have been debating for months about whether or not to participate in this year’s sale. We aren’t going away anyplace (at least not as of yet). And, we aren’t expecting anyone either. And, we actually have a ton of stuff gathering cobwebs right now in our basement that we desperately need to get rid of. Our house is just too small to be stumbling over all this needless crap.

Generally, I’d say I lack the patience necessary to hang onto any of our unwanted things long enough to accumulate much for a good yard sale. I might consign some of it, or give some away to friends or others in need. 

More often than not, though, I typically bag up old clothes, household items, and toys that we no longer like or have use for, and call the local charity collectors. I schedule an appointment online for them to bring their trucks ’round to pick up our stuff at the curb in front of our house. How easy is that? For someone who hates clutter, and likes to think of giving to charity as a worthy service, I just can’t do much better than that.

I will say though, that with each curbside giveaway, I’ve thought to myself that we could probably make some money off of the selling of our throwaways. People more thrifty than me have probably done so with their unwanted belongings. 

In addition to yard sales, there’s also advertising on Craigslist as well as through Facebook groups. These two options are great if one takes the time to take photos of things and post them online. I’d just rather get the clutter the hell out of our house as fast as humanly possible. Thus, curbside giveaway it is.

But this year is a little different. We are living on limited income throughout the rest of my maternity leave and into the summer, until the middle of August, when my paycheck will resume again as usual. 

I’ve been trying to think creatively about ways I can make some additional money until then. But, I’ve come up with essentially nothing because these days my postpartum brain is incapable of doing much good thinking. It’s just keeping us all alive at this point.

And yet, it has contemplated participating in this year’s yard sale as a means to make a little spare change. I keep telling myself that if I can get an iced coffee stash going as a result of selling our cast-offs, or even pay for a week’s worth of groceries, it will all be worth it.

The questions that remain are: Will I be able to hang onto all those garbage bags full of our things for another four weeks or so? Or will I cave and call the charity collectors because the clutter has just become too overwhelming?

We shall see.


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