Saturday, March 23, 2013

Garage Sale, Apartment Style

 Well, we did it!
Once we discovered that another baby was on the way, I knew that we had to make some more space. We are fortunate that our apartment has a closet, as well as some storage cabinets. But, we were already bursting through the seams of these nooks and crannies. If we used all these items and genuinely needed each of them--I could probably rationalize holding onto them. However, there were so many things that we hadn't ever used/hadn't used in years/or were likely not to use again. We also had so many extras that it was really selfish to hoard it. So in the interest of making some space, I thought about putting together a 'garage sale'.

Saturday was the big day. I'd been going through each cabinet, our entire closet, all the drawers and dresser--sorting through things that we could part with. We started throwing these things in our guest room (literally, just throwing them and closing the door before there was an avalanche) for several days. We had amassed a pile and I was starting to become hopeful that we would make some extra money--enough to buy a coveted double stroller.

Willow was 'helping' me go through the closet.
Our fans are very important since we don't have AC. :) 

Because the top priority was de-cluttering, I hoped to under-price most of what we wanted to get rid of. We have no thrift store options here. I wish we could just run to Goodwill and drop off what we don't need on a regular basis!

But here, we have something almost as good as thrift stores...apartment sales! These happen every spring, for sure, because ex-pats are continually moving back to their home-countries (or another city). They have to unload on most of the possessions, because traveling to the next home usually means packing your life in a few suitcases. This is actually our future as well.

I suppose our sale was unique since we aren't leaving Shenyang. We also didn't sell any big items (like furniture) because we need those things still. Just odds and ends. Books, magazines, imported foods that will expire before I can use them all (I can't believe I'll be in the US in two months!), extra baby/toddler clothes and shoes, decorations, clothes, bedding that we no longer need (trading in the queen for bunk beds), etc.I did receive an email today from a national employee at our school apologizing that we had to leave China--and asking if I had any kitchen items left to sell.'s awkward to explain that no, you have no kitchen items left, and aren't leaving.

So my life has been organizing and consolidating. Asking the question over and over again, "do I really need this?" It has been a form of nesting--pretty early in the game, but I'm on a time crunch! Just like with Willow, I have to have the nesting part finished before I hit the third trimester!

 At one point, we had her stroller out of the closet where it has been sitting for a few months. She loved it! I think she had forgotten about it. She wanted to eat lunch in her stroller, be pushed around the house in it, and watch tv while sitting in it. We eventually took her out on a walk.

We advertised the sale with our school and team, with our local friends (national and foreign), and with everyone else, it seemed like. I decided to make coffee and coffee cake and offer door prizes. Our colleague who lives upstairs decided to have a sale at the same time--and that really worked out well for both of us.

Thanks to our friends for offering to watch Willow during the sale. She had fun playing at their house, and it was less stressful with her off the premises. I'm sure seeing 60 people in our small home taking away our things would have been stressful to her too.


Adam took off with Willow around 8:30am on Saturday morning. In retrospect, I definitely I think Willow would have been traumatized by the sale. 

I stayed behind and prepared the snacks and coffee. 

We sold lots of bedding, since we're hoping to get rid of the queen size bed in the guest room and replace it with a bunk bed. I sold all the the clothes that were set out. All our used pillows were also sold...interesting!

Our first customers were Chinese people. They came 30 minutes before the sale was supposed to start. Knock, knock. "Can we come in early?" What was I supposed to say? "No stay out in the cold.".....I don't think so. They ended up buying the most out of anybody though. So for that, I guess I should be thankful.

We handed off many pieces of girl clothing. I still have three containers in the closet, just in case this boy ends up being a girl....I'm still in denial that we are expecting a boy. I feel like I shouldn't trust that yet.

Cinnamon Roll Cake is yummy. So is the copy cat Starbucks frappuccino!

I don't have a before picture....but that cake was gone by the afternoon.

Anyway---glad we did it. Glad it's over.

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