In September we talked about Boomers buying and selling their youth. Let’s take it a step further … what’s in your closet, garage or attic that you can reminisce over for a few minutes … and then let it go?
I ask because I’ve had to do that recently. Let’s face it – times are tough and some of us are looking around our homes with dollar signs layering over the memories. Is it time to de-clutter?
Whether it’s an act of necessity or simply a wish to un-clutter fifty years of stuff, there may come a time when you fondly run your hand over a fave teddy bear or beloved G.I. Joe action figure and say, “We’ve had a good time together – let someone else enjoy you.”
Remember George Carlin’s 1986 shtick about stuff? “That’s the whole meaning of life, trying to find a place to put your stuff.” Do you just have a “pile of stuff with a roof on it”? lol According to George that’s your house, of course. The Holidays is the time of year when knowing you’re going to get another “pile of stuff,” you look around and wonder where the hell you’re gonna put it. It’s also a great time of year for the two-fold value of a garage sale.
Garage sale, yard sale, Holiday sale – whatever you want to call it – bring your friends and neighbors together and spend a fun day selling, talking, reminiscing about the good ol’ days, and … getting rid of some of your stuff.
Who would want your old 1960s-70s denim jacket with the funky patches? Or the real leather fringed purse you bought during your six weeks of hippie-itus? Peace symbols and “Keep on Truckin’!”were popular then and still seeing fashion style today. Collectors, vintage store buyers, and those retro-kitschy throwbacks who feel they were born in the wrong era – they’re all out there waiting for you to share the moment with them.
It doesn’t need to be all old stuff – the silly ceramic clown you received at a previous company Holiday party; a wall hanging Aunt Gertrude (now heavenly bound) thought you’d like (you don’t); or a gourmet kitchen gadget you bought on sale but never used (barbecuing is your idea of gourmet), are all stuff someone else might treasure.
However, if you’re not into inviting hoards of people to your home for a sale, consider donating your items – certainly much needed at this time of year – or the relatively relaxing sales environment of the Internet. There are several auction sites you can sell items on; I have so far stuck with eBay because I know its system and for now, am comfortable with it.
Note: Information to know before selling your stuff – for most items, “vintage” is anything twenty-five years old or more. (Antique doesn’t kick in until something has hit the centenarian mark.) And there is a convoluted difference between vintage and collectible. On eBay you need to know the difference, both as a buyer and a seller.
I began with my vintage jewelry (not heirlooms* – just stuff I bought myself over the years). Then I added a couple of household items that were great in my larger apartment in Phoenix, but the same amount of dollars squished me into a much smaller apartment in California … unneeded stuff …
Next, I assembled a couple of fun nostalgia items just for you – a signed copy of my Blast from Your Past! Rock & Roll Radio DJs: the First Five Years 1954-1959, a cool, collectible NIB Classic Holiday-green metal-flake, 1965 Mustang / Yafa Pen Set, and a couple other nostalgia items to create a “Grandparents’ special” gift set for the Holidays. (You can find three more of them on my Holiday Gifts web page.)
It took a day – not going to sugar coat it – it took alllll day to photo the items, write descriptions, decide on prices, and upload them to eBay. But, even if they don’t sell, they’re ready to list again, or post on Craigslist, or feature in my next garage sale – or, for those who do – re-gift!*
So … what’s in your closet?
Happy Holidays and Rock On!
(*See next week’s blog [by Sat. 12/10] about gifting a family heirloom.)