I have listed a bunch of things on-line, which means I had to describe the thing in enticing terms, photograph it, figure out how much to ask for it, and go through the posting hoops. Time-consuming. Nibbles on most of the stuff not happening.
I also made a trip over to Powells Books in Portland this morning with three and a half boxes of great books, sheet music and instructional CDs. They took about 20 books and gave me $74. More time spent. I now have to figure out to whom to give the remaining almost three boxes.
Books and sheet music are sacred things in my universe. A happy home must be found for them. So I’m bringing some to the Friends of the Library and some to our magnet school for the arts. Another trip and another hour to distribute those. Sigh.
As of today I’ve pocketed about $150 for merchandise that probably cost $1,000 new and it took many hours to “earn” it.
Already the take-away lesson is shockingly clear: the value of a purchase plunges steeply the minute you take it out of its wrapper at home — and if you need to sell it, expect little or nothing in return, and expect it to eat away at your time.
Buying something new makes NO sense any more unless you plan to use the thing to death. It’s much much smarter to buy used if you must have it, or to rent, borrow or share if you need it only briefly.
I sold a printer cart on Craigslist yesterday, but no nibbles on the crib yet.
Selling the crib brings up all sorts of feelings even though the crib is nothing special.
It’s about my role in the family as materfamilias.The crib represents my ability to host family gatherings, guests from out of town, grandbabies and adult kids who need a few months to regroup.
All three of my kids have returned home for a few months (post college) in their early 20s to regroup before launching into the next thing. My youngest has been here since October and will leave (swine flu permitting) for world travels in late May. In each case it’s been a privilege to get to know the former child as a young adult.
My daughter was looking forward to sending the little ones up for a week in the summer starting next year, but if I’m living in a shoebox it may be a challenge.
Christmas will be very different too. One of our long-standing traditions is gathering after the little ones are asleep to wrap presents and stuff stockings together. We sit on the floor, everyone facing a different corner so no one can peek at the gift being wrapped– laughing, drinking, passing scissors and tape, drinking, laughing. And in the morning all waking up way too early to be ready when the little ones come down…
Have to let that one go until someone in the next generation gets a bigger house themselves…
My resistance to this move is in full flower today.
I stumbled on the photo of this mug on Flickr, so I don’t know if it’s smaller than a regular mug, but buying another mug to add to my mug collection isn’t my idea of downsizing.
But if it is smaller, that would be cool. When I look over the china and silverware that’s been passed down thru my family it’s clear that we’ve upsized all our eating equipment.
And the bigger the plate, the more we eat. Ergo the bigger we become.
Today I called a local furniture consignment store to inquire about their selling a Victorian ladies chair that was my mother’s, as well as the aforementioned humongous McGuire executive desk.
Here’s the chair:
The gal said they’d have their appraiser give me a rough price, but not to expect a lot, because the market for antiques has plunged. “Antiques aren’t drawing the prices they did a couple of years ago… you might want to wait to sell,” she said.
Right. But I want to sell it now.
I understand fashion cycles – things go in and out of vogue. Currently the 1950’s are hot (whodathunkit??). Victoriana is cold. But my question is – will big old heavy stuff ever come back into fashion?
Everyone is wanting to live lighter, smaller, cheaper. Ikea – screw it together yourself is all the rage. If it breaks in a few years, so be it; we’ll get a new more trendy one when that happens.
Perhaps another golden age of well-crafted American-made antiques will return, but not until the economy is standing firmly back on its feet – and no doubt long after I’ve moved into my shoebox.
Here in the Pacific northwest we’re used to gray skies for several months of the year. People may grumble about the absence of sunshine, but there is at least one significant up side to the dusky light:
You can’t see how dirty or dinged your stuff is. You don’t see the cobwebs, the cat’s noseprints on the windows, the greasy streaks on the oven door. And you don’t realize how funky that old oak bureau really is – faded over here, scratched over there, and the drawers refuse to shut straight. Unfortunately I want to sell the old oak bureau. And the big (scratched) executive desk. And the (faded) Victorian chair.
The sun has been out for two days straight, and I’ve seen the light; serious cleaning is in order. This house is almost 40 years old… I’m thinking I shouldn’t put it on the market till the sun backs off a bit!