Day 151: Disinvest

Somewhere around five o’clock tonight–as I was straddling the intake duct on the heat pump in an attic well over 100 degrees, wrestling with a disassembled, solid oak crib–it dawned on me that (once again), the day had gone somewhat off track.

Tomorrow morning we will have our moving sale. In advance of the sale, I have already sold off an old sleeper sofa and a couple of spare dining room chairs. We have mountains of books and equally impressive piles of clothing we’re trying to get rid of, plus other large pieces of furniture.

The whole point of selling this stuff, as I’ve said before, is to reduce our excess and only hold onto what we really need. But at some point during the day, I could feel that my motives had shifted. Suddenly, tomorrow’s moving sale was all about the profit.

So I started wandering around the house looking for other things that we could sell, rather than looking for things we no longer needed or used that we could finally let go.

And that’s when I remembered the old cribs in the attic–heavy, beautiful pieces, but since I can’t find all the hardware for the two of them, they are probably not items that are going to sell. I did manage to drag out the various pieces without tearing out any duct work or falling through the ceiling, but not before coming to terms with the fact that I needed to be a little less invested in the selling part of this sale. The important part, really, was just letting the stuff go.

A little later this evening, I was catching up on comments on this blog and read a wonderful response to yesterday’s post by an old friend of mine who goes by the name of pencilgrub on WordPress:

My experience after my recent move has been that I am skeptical of many purchases. “Free” is seldom free. And I have become more willing and able to to give things away I no longer value as well as things that, in some other person’s hands, will be more useful.

It was a nice shift in perspective for me: what if I were to view this sale tomorrow not as a means of generating a little extra cash, but rather as a vehicle for moving our unused and unneeded superabundance into the hands of others who might be able to put these goods to better use.

I’m sure it might take some of the fun out of haggling, but my guess is that I will feel doubly satisfied with each sale.

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9 Responses to Day 151: Disinvest

  1. nrhatch says:

    We held a sale once where I decided ahead of time to accept ANY offer, no matter how low. It shifted our perspective from getting $’s to FREEING up space in our life.

  2. I think I need a little change in perspective too…we have a street sale planned for next Saturday and I feel like this deadline to go through every little thing in the house is looming over me. Instead, I’ll focus on getting through what I can. I can always continue the process afterwards. Thanks for this!

    • Mark says:

      Yup. In retrospect, I think as an experience it was probably worth it… but ultimately as a strategy for shedding what we don’t need, I’m probably better off just donating stuff.

  3. See I think sometimes looking for things I no longer need is just not good enough. Sometimes I find that if I am selling some items and not just donating it makes it easier to part with. Sometimes donating makes it easier then selling…depends on the item. I see no problem with doing both 🙂 The true question is how badly do you want to reduce you belongings 🙂

  4. revdarkwater says:

    Looking forward to the report from the front!

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