“A Dolla Makes Me Holla” ~Honey Boo Boo
This past fall, my husband and I sold our ten-year-old, custom colonial home. In its place we purchased a historic, salt-box colonial farmhouse that was built before there was a United States for George Washington to be President of.
When we decided to move and began to house hunt for a new place, we didn’t necessarily have a particular type of home in mind, but we were open to a project so long as we got the yard and neighborhood we wanted. A home built in 1735 wasn’t necessarily what we expected to fall in love with, but fall in love with it, I did. Let’s just say my husband loves me and has a great sense of humor.
We moved in last November. Since then, we’ve been working with a builder on our renovation and addition plans. We are finally set to begin our project within the next few weeks pending various approvals and in order to prepare, we had some clearing out to do.
Rather than pay someone to haul away the homes dated, but otherwise perfectly functional appliances, I decided I would try to sell them. My husband was skeptical of this plan. He didn’t believe anyone would be interested in an old washing machine, age unknown and requiring the buyer to do the heavy lifting. I was not deterred.
I did a little research using the model number on the appliances as my guide, snapped some photo’s and then listed the items FOR SALE on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Within about a week, I sold the washing machine, two refrigerators and the stove. I also found someone willing to haul away the broken dryer for free.
Suddenly, my inner Sanford & Son was awakened and I began surveying the house for more items I could sell. Since the current kitchen is a gut job, I decided to list a nice set of solid wood, floor to ceiling, custom built wall cabinets the prior owners had installed.
I was clear in my ad that “floor to ceiling” meant the cabinets were only about six-feet tall and would need to be disassembled and removed by the purchaser. I further clarified that there wasn’t a level spot to be found on either the floor or the ceiling, so the purchaser should be prepared for a challenge.
My husband said, “No way, those go!” But badda-bing, badda-CHA-CHA-CH$NG, I sold the cabinets to a guy who traveled 90 miles and spent three hours taking them apart while I fanned myself with his $300.
In addition to the cabinets, I sold a gas wall heater that had served as the kitchen’s sole source of heat. Again, the item had to be removed from the wall, which required the purchaser to disconnect the gas line running to it….preferably without blowing us all up in the process.
I sold it to a guy who had to make a run to a local hardware store mid-job (twice) and who also had to venture into our creepy, dirt floor basement in order to shut off the gas line feeding the unit. I sent my still skeptical husband a picture of myself rolling around atop the $450 I made on the sale.
High on commerce, I continued to find things I could sell. I advertised a BYOS (Bring Your Own Shovel) plant sale. For a small fee, I offered up the homes antique garden to anyone willing to dig-up and transport the wide variety of heirloom plants that would otherwise be destroyed when work got underway.
I was delightfully smug, when one afternoon my husband came home to a bevy of middle-aged women in sun hats happily digging up Echinacea, Black-Eyed Susan’s, Amaranthus, etc. Each of these ladies had been to the house at least once already and had returned with friends. I likened myself to a drug dealer, only instead of crack, I was peddling Hostas and Heirloom Roses.
On a roll, I sold the lighting fixtures, toilets, sinks, vanities, the garage door opener and various window blinds. Then, I branched out to include things that didn’t have to be sold to make way for construction, but had been sitting around unused for far too long. I was glad to see these items go to new owners who wanted them and would put them to good use. Especially, given my disdain for waste.
It’s been about three weeks since I started the process and the envelope I labeled “Park Street Liquidation Sale” has nearly two-thousand dollars in it; money I occasionally toss into the air, make it rain style, but otherwise plan to put toward the purchase of things we’ll need for the renovation.
At this point, I have nothing left to sell, but now there’s a monkey on my back demanding to be fed. I find myself eyeing curbside garbage on trash day for treasures I could scoop up and sell. I fear it won’t be long before I start digging through my neighbors recycling for bottles and cans I can haul off to a redemption center for a quick twenty-bucks.
Did I say, I fear it won’t be long before I start scavenging for redeemable recyclables? What I meant to say is, I’m excited to say it won’t be long before I start scavenging for redeemable recyclables.
Seriously, if these past few weeks have taught me anything, it’s that one person’s trash is most definitely another’s treasure. Also, it’s called into question my entire professional career. I’m pretty sure I missed my calling. Instead of languishing away in Corporate America, uninspired and generally annoyed, I could have been happily riding around in an old pick-up truck breathing new life into junk.
You know what….it’s not too late.