And so what do you do with 10 years of accumulated possessions plus the various belongings of three small children?
Well, the first thing I did was make a master list of everything that needed to happen in order to prepare for departure. The list included things like pack kitchen, sell washer and dryer, sort clothes, clean out kid closets, etc. I had a few items on the list for each room in the house. Then I color coded each item to match with the date I wanted it to be accomplished. Beside this list I posted a calendar with each week color coded to match my To Do list.
It worked quite well, and I tried to make myself stick to the list and complete each task on time. Of course, we were still up late for a few nights, but we got it done.
One of the things on my list was to have a yard sale. Now, I’ve had yard sales before, and they were massive failures. The last one I had only profited me $80 bucks. And I live on a major highway! It was ugly. But I figured I’d do it again. I asked my mom and sister-in-law if they wanted to help and/or donate any items. The yard sale was to serve two purposes. It was 1) going to help me get rid of lots of my unwanted things, and 2) it was going to make me some cash.
I began piling things around the house. Almost every room had a yard sale bag of some sort. I wanted this yard sale to be big! And let me say that if you ever want to figure out how much you like/need/want anything you own, ask yourself “would I take this to the other side of the world?” The important things rise to the surface pretty quickly.
For this sale,we borrowed a string a flags (think “car lot”) and hung them at the end of our drive way for all passers-by to see. We then borrowed tables and filled up my double carport with oodles of stuff. We had furniture, 9 long tables FULL of things, plus hanging clothes, shoes, books, jewelry, toys and more.
Now, I not only needed to get rid of things, but the money issue was important. In order for us to apply with the Singaporean government for our work visas, we had to turn in our transcripts. Well, we had an unresolved debt at one of the universities and could not receive the transcripts until that was paid. It was about a thousand dollars. It may as well have been a million. But I was determined and hopeful and prayerful that people WOULD stop and that they WOULD buy everything!
We started our sale on Thursday. That morning, my mom came over, and we began setting out things. There were no signs, no flags hanging yet, just some tables and two ladies working in a carport. Before noon, people started to stop. We were not prepared! I still had bags and boxes of things to set out! But they shopped! And we let them! And over the course of the day we were able to unpack and display most of our things. That was Thursday. We made over $200 on Thursday. WHOOP!
Friday morning came, and I headed outside to greet any early shoppers, and soon people began to arrive. There was a steady flow of shoppers throughout the day and many moments when my long driveway was full to capacity. It was definitely a Field of Dreams moment–all weekend! By the end of the day, we had to block our carport and turn people away because we had quit for the day. So when Saturday morning rolled around, I was expecting a massive turnout. After all, most yard sales in our area are on Saturday mornings.
It was our slowest time yet.
I worried that no one would show up.
Every now and then, a car would stop, but we didn’t have near the traffic that we’d had Thursday and Friday. Most yard sales also end around noon on Saturday, too. As noon approached, we considered packing it all up and donating the rest to Goodwill. Then a strange thing happened. Every time we’d start to pack up, someone would pull in my driveway. This happened over and over again. And at one point, my driveway filled up with shoppers again . By this time it was late in the day. We were shocked! We’d never seen a yard sale go this late in the day (late afternoon/early evening). Finally, as evening approached, we did pack up what items we had left; however, people were still stopping. Out of the nine long tables we had, which were completely full when we started, we managed to fit what was left on 1 table. Most of it had sold!
We retired to the house and sat down to do a final count of our money. It had been an exhausting three days, but we had met neighbors, talked to friends, and watched interesting characters as they shopped. We hoped it had been worth it.
The final count revealed that we had made close to a thousand dollars!
Yes, you read correctly. We couldn’t believe it!
God had provided yet again! We were rid of unwanted stuff, and we had enough money to take the next step!