Saturday, May 29, 2010

Yard sale

Today we took part in a long-standing Iqaluit tradition...having our own yard sale and fending off the hordes. Man, people in this town love a good garage sale. Now, I understand this is the case in many communities. There are travelling caravans of people roaming the streets of St. John's on Saturday mornings hitting yard sales.

I guess the difference in Iqaluit is that at this time of the year there are easily a half dozen or so every weekend and you can certainly hit them all if you want.

Anyway, we decided to have one this morning. Lots of people asked if we were moving, but no, we're not. It's just we've been here nearly five years now. Things accumulate. We don't really need the UV plant lights. Or the humidifers. Or the DVD player. Then there's the stuff you grossly over-ordered on seal lift. We had enough pesto to do us for another two years and it was all going to go bad before then. So why not sell some of it now. Plus, the previous owners left a few things that we have no interest in keeping.

Plus, Cathy was on a spring cleaning purge. It's kind of terrifying to be around, to be honest. For the past week I've been getting Cathy pop into what ever room I happen to be in at that minute holding something asking "do we need to keep this?" And if I said yes, there there had to be at least some justification as to why we needed to keep it. One of the differences between us, I guess. I like keeping stuff. I'm not a hoarder, but I generally need a better excuse than "it's taking up space" as the reason to toss it. Cathy, on the other hand, abhors clutter. And when she gets in one of those de-cluttering moods, well...

Well, I joked that I was worried I was going to wake up this morning tied to a chair with a piece of green tape on my forehead with a price. This produced the usual round of sympathetic Twitter and Facebook responses from my friends saying they had some spare change lying around, and did I do dishes.

My "friends" are bastards, have I mentioned this lately?

Anyway, we had a pile of stuff in our kitchen this morning for sale. We put the posters out a few days ago and sent a PSA to Raven Rock. The sale was supposed to start at 10 am this morning. We knew we were going to get some early birds, but figured they would show up around 9:40 at the earliest.

So imagine Cathy's shock when she tried to take Boo out for a walk at 9:20 am and there were cars already pulling into our driveway? That pretty much opened the floodgates. We had people pouring into the kitchen going through all of our stuff. By 9:45 we were essentially cleaned out. I felt bad for the people who showed up at 10 because there was hardly anything left. By 10:30 we put a sign up in the door saying the yard sale was over. At that point all that was left was Cathy's old winter coat and some things in a 25 cent box.

We made several hundred dollars and, most importantly for Cathy, we cleared out some stuff we didn't really need. So mission accomplished.

The only disappointing thing about the whole process was discovering that a couple of pieces of old electronics I had hoped to resell were essentially dead. Two older digital cameras no longer worked. One of them I paid an obscene amount of money for it back in 2004, so that was really depressing. The other was the first iPod I ever owned. I discovered that sucker is dead as well.

I don't know why I feel bad about tossing electronics more than anything else that goes in the garbage. Yes, I know some of these electronics are bad for the environment when thrown into a landfill. And to my knowledge there is no electronics recycling program in Iqaluit. So there isn't much I can do, but there you go.

Our first yard sale was a success. Now we'll see how long it takes before Cathy needs to purge house again. I give it no more than a year, but we'll see...

Last Five
1. Back at your door - Maroon 5
2. They never got you - Spoon
3. Drunk again - Mo Berg
4. We've got everything - Modest Mouse
5. Here comes your man - The Pixes*


WJM said...

Today was the Great Glebe Garage Sale in the big O-Dot.

Google it.

I put at least 20km on my new(ish) boots and filled my backpack with books. Twice.

Oh yeah.

SRD said...

why do you call it a yard sale if it is in the kitchen?

towniebastard said...

The plan was to have it in the yard, but as it was raining all of yesterday, having it in the kitchen seemed the more prudent idea.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious. Up there there's still snow around right? So is it still common to have a 'yard sale' or are they normally 'indoors' and are just called a yard sale?

towniebastard said...

Most of the snow in town is gone now, with the exception of stuff in shadows and whatnot. Although there is still plenty on the hills around town.

I guess "yard sale" is just a term. Plenty of them happen in people's apartments. If the weather had been nice yesterday, ie. not raining, we would have held it outside.