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Yard sale gone crazy...I'm overwhelmed

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
OK, it's a mixed blessing and a pain. My FIL passed away before Christmas and this spring I had mentioned to MIL that I was thinking of having a yard sale this to clear out some junk & put some things on consignment. Our next visit (she lives 4 hrs away), she has his entire wardrobe washed, ironed, on hangers and boxed. Along with a bunch of other boxes of stuff that she is volunteering for the sale & consignment. It filled the back of our pick-up truck. I know she is in the healing stage and is sorting through, but now it's on me to deal with. While I appreciate her generosity (she says money is going to baby fund), all of these expensive business suits would sell in her city much better and faster than in my blue collar town. I am so overwhelmed with all of these huge boxes of stuff and everything I have to do, not to mention that I'm 8 months into a high risk twin pregnancy & have no help to get through everything (I don't think that hubby wants to have to go thru Dad's stuff), and my garage is FULL. I feel like PAYING someone to haul it all to the curb on trash day. Why do people think they are doing this huge favor for you when all they are really doing is compounding the problem? Maybe I am just hormonal, but I am getting tired of looking at it and the heat now prevents me from even working out there during the day. Any rational advice out there?

Thanks for letting me vent.
post #2 of 13
Oh my. I am wondering if you have any friends/family who could come in help you out. You have no business trying to have a garage sale at this point without lots of help. What is dh take on all this?
post #3 of 13
Yikes...maybe there is a consignment store in a bigger town not as far away that you can take the suits to? I don't know...maybe someone else has some good suggestions. That sounds like a tough thing to handle sensitively and still take care of yourself.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
No family out here at all. AND I have mentioned to a couple of friends about the yard sale & they offer to donate their junk to it (couple of odds & ends, but no one seems available). So I've not mentioned it to anyone else. Aside from that all of this stuff is just sitting in our garage gathering dust which is why I've concluded that DH has taken everything off of MIL's hands, but not ready to deal with it himself. I am in the compulsive nesting stage and want some stuff to be done & the rest to be out of the way. I hate having to walk thru a maze just to walk into the garage & now we can't park a vehicle in it. Makes me mad at her for not seeing the work she has passed onto me without thinking thru. Why is my house the dumping ground for all of this stuff??? DH also works 14+ hour days and I am not a nag. Besides, I hardly see him enough as it is. ***I really believe that everything will stay where it is until we move unless I get it done before I deliver.***
post #5 of 13
Hmm I think I will be the contrary voice ...but I would not rush it. I definitely hear your frustration, especially being 8 mo preggo with twins! I remember how overwhelmed/tired/bulky/billion thing list-ed I was 8 mo into a normal singlet preg.

From reading your post, it sounds like your MIL loved you FIL very much. And I can only imagine how many hours and hours and hours she spent preparing all those boxes. I imagine a grieving woman over an ironing board. With each sleeve, maybe she was remembering her DH in this outfit, or what he said to her in this shirt, or something that happened in this suit. It sounds like she didn't much warn you of the truckload of memoiries? Maybe because she would not/could not take a refusal, even a gentle one.

How about a consignment store? Make an appt and bring what you can. Or is there a young teenager on your block in need of extra cash, someone you could hire to help out? Maybe though, taking your time would be okay?
It would seem to me that your gentle care of your FIL's things will be the greatest gift that you could give your MIL at that time. And you are a hero for that! In whatever course, do be sure to take care of your twins and yourself...lots of fluid, lots of rest. Even if it doesn't get garage-saled soon, the truckload took a life-time to accumulate, surely it will take awhile to sell/consign/share.

BTW, some cities have organizations that will take business clothes and "repatriate" them to persons needing them to get out of unemployment, first job interview out of trouble etc.

post #6 of 13
Depending on your financial situation, you may get more out of the lot by donating them. When I say it depends it depends on your taxes - if generally the standard deduction is more than you would itemize, then you probably won't gain that much, but if you normally itemize your deductions, you can almost get as much saved on your taxes as you might get for the item. The suits are really a good example of this. You can consider a suit to be worth lets say $100 when donating it. But you might only get $20 at a yard sale. However, if you deduct $100 from your taxes and you are paying at a tax rate of 25%, that's $25 saved in taxes. Just a thought!

(Oh if you do go this route keep in mind that if you donate over $1500 in goods to a charity you need them to give you a receipt which details the value, not just a receipt syaing you donated it - turbotax happened to mention that when doing my taxes last year because we donated a significant amount to charities before moving)
post #7 of 13
have you tried calling good will purple hearts vets... etc... most of them will come and pick up the items... also habitat for humanity will take clothes and housewares...

they come to you... they can take the stuff right from the garage or inside your home... they can unassemble it... etc...

congrats on the twins... im right behind you... 7 mos w. twins.. and i have an 8 mo.old... i must be crazy
post #8 of 13
There are ebay stores now! You can take the stuff that may be worth something and the store will list it on ebay for you. I've suggested the same to my MIL as she is trying to get rid of suits. I think they'll sell much better on ebay or in a consignment shop than at a garage sale.
post #9 of 13
Yeah, I think consignment is the way to go with clothes. I have always heard clothes don't do well at yard sales. In my own experience we had a yard sale and had a lot of clothes put out, both men's clothing (pants etc) and a bunch of maternity clothing that was fairly nice, size large, I mean stuff you'd think people could use. We had a LOT of traffic at our sale (we were very well located for it) and yet I think we sold two items of clothing the entire day. We were only asking $1 per piece! People just weren't looking for clothes.
post #10 of 13
Have you looked at craigslist.org? I love craigslist!

It is LOCAL, so you post for your area (or nearest major city) "Business suits and shirts in size ***" Ask any interested people to email you their phone number, you call them back. I have done very well with craigslist, selling furniture (even expensive furniture!) that I no longer need. If you have big stuff in your garage, even junk, this is a way to make it go away. The larger the size, the easier it will be to sell.

I would ask $25 or so for a (used) suit, so donating locally is not such a bad idea. There may also be charities that provide work clothes/interview clothes to the needy. Ask for pickup.

There are also eBAY trading assistants: http://pages.ebay.com/tahub/index.html
They sell stuff for you, and take 30-50%. This might sound like a lot, but believe me, the TA does a lot of work to sell vintage suits!

I save almost nothing for yard sales. Much easier for me to just donate. Based on your being pregnant with twins, though, I would ask a friend to run the yard sale for you. You have enough to do! If something does not sell in 2 days, donate it. It could be really nice to have room in the garage!

best regards, sleeplessmommy
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate everyone's advice and perspective. It's hard sometimes to have to go out into the garage for something and feel as though I've got so much to do and so little time. I will ponder your advice and come up with something over the weekend. In the meantime, if anyone comes up with other ideas please let me know. I will definately research some areas for donation or selling thru other avenues. Many thanks for your insight and help with my dilemma.
post #12 of 13
I was going to suggest craigslist too. You could also ask the local high school if they need theater costume items - or even the local theater group if there is one. If they seem at all interested, donate all the clothes to them, and let them sort through *in their own space.*

post #13 of 13

What about

putting everything in your yard, and charging nothing for it? Just put up a table and a sign that says: FREE take me!
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