One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure

Summer was garage sale season for my father-in-law. Every Saturday he was out early and home late, not missing a single garage sale in a 50 kilometre radius. It was a rare day that he came home empty-handed. Finding something that was actually useful for a bargain was cause for celebration and finding something that just needed a little fixing was exciting too.

He would spend the week days taking things apart and fixing them and if they could not be fixed, oh well. There was always another garage sale somewhere. He would not be so happy now because I am very much afraid that the good ole garage sale is beginning to be a thing of the past. I am seeing fewer and fewer sale signs every year.

Twelve years ago when I first moved to my town there was town-wide garage sale on rodeo weekend. There was so many that we had to hurry to get to them all before they closed up for the day. This year I found out about two sales.

There are a few reasons for this, I guess.

First, putting on a garage sale is a lot of work, gathering enough stuff to make it worthwhile and making sure everything is clean, pricing everything and putting it all on display. Then when it is all over, there is always some things left and you have to figure out what to do with them.

People are finding easier ways to sell their stuff now. Most towns have a buy and sell page on Facebook. This lets people put things up for sale one or two items at a time so they can do this all year long whenever they find something that they want to get rid of. In some ways, it is like having a year-round garage sale. It can be handy for the shopper too. It is kind of interesting to scroll through the pages of items all comfy and warm on winter nights. My father-in- law would have loved that.

Another thing that he would have liked is the town rummage sales. I like the idea of them too. Everybody brings the things that they would have put in a garage sale to a hall or arena and this gets put out on tables for sale with all proceeds going toward a town project. The town gets some funding and the people get rid of the stuff they don’t want anymore, with the leftovers getting sent to charities. It is a win for everyone.

One thing that will never change is the fact that one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.

by Lois Perepelitz

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