As the movers unloaded the truck, I looked at our shipment papers and jotted elementary math along the empty edge of the yellow sheet. 137 boxes. If John and I sorted 28 boxes of our household goods per day, then we’d finish on the fifth day. My gosh, how do we have this much stuff?? I thought, wishing I had X-ray vision to find my house slippers. This job called for house slippers and strong coffee. At least we could unpack in the comforts of home and avoid the rainy and miserable storage facility. By the time the movers received John’s signature and shook our hands, my In-Law’s garage was a solid wall of cardboard.
The past week has ranged between Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and extreme Minimalism. We packed what brings us joy: Seinfeld DVDs, Korean mugs, our hiking rock collection, a giant pinecone from Mount Baldy, blue porcelain plates from my favorite thrift shop, and a red, wooden cow from Switzerland that will live with us ’til the day we die. What weird things would you keep?
When our listings on Craigslist and Offer Up kept falling through, we decided upon a last-minute garage sale. I spent Friday night posting giant, black arrows on neon paper all over the neighborhood while John constructed our furniture. The die-hard customers started showing up by 6:30 Saturday morning before the garage was fully unloaded and I, fully caffeinated. Thank God for John and my mother-in-law, Rosa. They both handled the customers and money laundering as I made price tags and operated as a Wal-mart store greeter. A new house owner bought John’s workout equipment, our bicycles, and his wife snagged the dining set too. One couple scored an entire bed for their growing son. A Peruvian woman traced her nails along the emerald green wood of our Korean coffee table. Once I told her the tabletop was really a Korean door, she had fallen in love completely. “I’ve been to Korea!” She exclaimed and listed memorable cities, “I’ve been to Seoul, Incheon, Suwon…and wherever. I went for work and then to the 1988 Olympics. It was fantastic.” I gave her 5 bucks off.