My husband is a hoarder. Not a full-blown, needs-therapy kind of
hoarder, but the kind who thinks that if we're going to sell our
stuff, we should get top dollar for it. Otherwise he can't bear to
part with it.
I was of a different mindset. I thought if I could
sell the stuff at a cheap enough price, I wouldn't have to muscle it
into the back of my car and haul it to the Goodwill.
There is a certain amount of angst when trying to decide which
stuff to keep and which was good enough to spend money on a few
years ago, but now you realize you must have been on some kind of
drug. The cost of the space it took up in your home, plus the time
it took to dust it and reposition it every few months was more than
it was worth.
It isn't new, but there's nothing wrong with it. So what is it
I find myself second-guessing myself a great deal. It works,
so... $5. But would I buy it for $5? No... OK, $2. If I can only get
$2, would I keep it? Maybe... $4. Do I want to dust it, clean it or
trip over it ever again? Hmm... 25 cents it is!
I have to set up for my garage sale without the help of my
husband. Otherwise, he'd be walking around behind me saying things
like, "You want to sell this?" or "Why are we selling this so
cheap?" or "This gravy bowl was somebody's grandmother's, wasn't
To avoid giving him conniptions, I put him in charge of making
dinner. He was just as happy to do that because he got to use his
new grill. We were selling the old one, which was the only item
marked "$5," marked down to "free to good home."
I guess he thought if we didn't get rid of the old one, I'd make
him take the new one back. Not so, but the new grill kept him busy
while I cleared out our house of all the useless stuff taking up
[to top of second column]
Later in the day, he came to me and said, "We used to have a
little white basting brush. Do you know where that is?"
Oh, drat!, I thought. "It's in the garage in a shoe box full of
old utensils marked 25 cents."
"You're selling our basting brush?" he asked incredulously, as if
I'd lost my mind. Here we go...
"I never use it. I use a spoon to baste."
"Still, you shouldn't sell things we can use," he said, as if
basting was a diversion in which he regularly dabbled.
"I'm only selling things we don't use."
"Well, I need the basting brush for my barbecued ribs."
I put my salesman hat on and said stubbornly, "Fine, that'll be
25 cents, please." I held out my hand.
"I've only got a dollar."
"I don't have any change yet," I said tartly.
He looked at me and waited for me to change my mind. I looked
Finally, he broke. "Oh, for crying out loud! I'll go out to my
car and get some change. Where's my slippers?"
"Oh... um... no need for change. Those are $1, but for you... 75
[By LAURA SNYDER]
Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist,
author and speaker. You can reach her at
or visit www.lauraonlife.com
for more info.