CLEANING YOUR ATTIC Tip #3: Curb It!

I’m guessing a lot of people are now thinking, “Why doesn’t she have a yard sale and make some money? Or sell that stuff on Ebay??”

Ebay is not an option right now because it would mean a whole new learning curve. I just don’t have the time for that. (I have too many other projects on my plate with a steep learning curve.) Most of what I’ve moving on is hard to pack, or not worth shipping.

A yard sale is out because I don’t have the big stuff that makes a yard sale a success–furniture, appliances, etc.

I also don’t have the time to spend gathering stuff, tagging it, lugging it out and displaying it on tables (not to mention hauling the tables down from the barn attic), making and putting up signs or paying to run an ad in the paper. I don’t want to sit outside in the hot, hot sun for six hours while people haul away TRASH for $5, yet haggle me over 25 cents for something really nice. (Yes, this happens all the time at yard sales.)

And then the yard sale is over and you still have boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff, and a hundred bucks in your pocket for all your troubles.

Most of all, I don’t want to sit on stuff for a week while an auction runs. Or have it languishing in the garage while I gather enough for a yard sale. I want this stuff outta here as soon as I cull it. I don’t want to have second thoughts!!

So here’s another tip on how to just make the stuff go away:

Leave it on the curb.

I learned this years ago while helping with a fund-raising yard sale. The end was nearing, and we still had a lot of crap left over. I asked the woman in charge if she wanted it packed up and hauled anywhere.

“Oh, no!”, she replied. “Just leave it on the tree lawn. It’ll be gone by tomorrow morning!”

I was astonished. But we hauled it to the curbside and left.

Sure enough, when I drove by the next day, 90% of it was gone.

I don’t know who these people are, these yard sale scavengers, nor what they do with all the unbelievably useless stuff that’s usually left over from such events. But bless ‘em!

So now when I get tired of keeping track of Freecycle pick-ups (or get discouraged by the no-shows), and it isn’t clothing (which can go to Planet Aid or local thrift shops), and when the thrift shops are full from everybody else unloading their attic junk, I just put stuff out on our tree lawn.

I put out a bunch of items last night, lined up so I could tell from the gaps when things were taken. Within a few hours, everything except a wicker bread basket was gone. (Why did they take a slightly disheveled mauve wicker wall basket from the ’80′s but leave a perfectly good bread basket? Don’t they ever serve bread to company?)

You know what was sweet? I put everything in small boxes so people could just pick it up and carry stuff. But most people just took the stuff and left the boxes behind.

Last night, I left two perfectly good white organizer shelves and they’re still sitting out there today. Uh oh. Has my luck run out?? I just ran out and restacked them so they like like shelves instead of pedestals. I’ll bet they’re gone within the hour.

P.S. Don’t abuse this privilege. If you have stuff out there every day for the summer, your neighbors are bound to complain. Unless they’re the ones doing the picking!

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5 Comments

Filed under action steps, cleaning the studio, life, recycling, recycling tip, time management

5 responses to “CLEANING YOUR ATTIC Tip #3: Curb It!

  1. It’s amazing what people will take, isn’t it?

    I got rid of a truly hideous (and mildly damaged) fiberglass fountain this way. I left it out on the lawn right by the sidewalk, and after about a week someone finally took it. I was so relieved!

    I think a sign saying “FREE” would help. In my neighborhood it’s not always obvious whether something is meant for giveaway or just being stashed temporarily.

    You’re inspiring me to go put some stuff out! I’ve been meaning to, but this is the nudge that I needed.

  2. I’m with you – the goal is to get rid of the stuff. Setting it free into the universe to find a new home (vs ending up in a landfill) is the best reward. When I moved a few months back I gave away thousands of dollars of stuff. I figure it’ll all come back to me in some form someday.

  3. Deborah Hill

    Its funny but this also happens in the city of Geneva. There is a free service that one calls to pick up discarded items. It usually takes about a week before they pick up. However, during the week many people have taken anything thats relativly clean and in good shape. Leaving by the end of the week all the left over junk to be hauled off.
    As for yard sales we call them Ville et Vous. This is where all the little neighborhoods have an assigned weekend either in spring or autum where everyone hauls out their stuff to sell. The upshot is there is live music, food stalls, and free crafts spaces for kids.
    All in all its a great way to get rid of your stuff, meet up with people in the neighborhood while eating great food and listening to cool music.
    Thanks for the clean-up series.

    Warm regards Deborah

  4. Barbara, one year someone took my “free” sign! :^D

    Lisa, great outlook, and one I’m striving for.

    Deborah, what a wonderful junk festival! My only hesitation is, I can’t hold on to my stuff for any length of time during this particular purge. It pulls me back in to hoarding mode, OR it’s just one more “thing to take care of” hanging around.

    But it could happen like that here in Keene someday. It’s nice to know there could be F*U*N involved in clearing out. :^)

  5. I live in Boston, and because of all the college students, you can go on a veritable curbside shopping spree around the end of May when they’re all leaving their apartments for the school year. I have bookshelves, chairs, tables, and more that I’ve gotten this way.

    My studio building also has an official “free stuff spot” right by our trash, and it’s an amazingly effective way to get rid of studio clutter. Sometimes items don’t last more than 5 minutes!

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