A Solution to the Urban Garage Sale

Let’s face it, I have a lot of stuff.

My pantry/storage closet makes me look like a hoarder. But it's really just full of things I don't use daily--sewing projects, camping gear, winter clothes, old files (all organized, I swear), and cleaning supplies.

No, not a lot — a ton. I have a whole life in this apartment. I’m not the kind of person who flits from apartment to apartment. I have an established life, everything a girl could need–sewing machine, crock pot, wafflemaker, real furniture…Everything! I even have a sewing dress dummy. But when it costs over $3,000 to rent a truck and drive everything up to Alaska (not to mention the cost of gas, food, and campgrounds), taking my stuff is just not an option.

I’ve wish I could hold a garage sale. Except this is New York – where are you going to do that sort of thing? You don’t really want to let people into your apartment, do you realize how many crazy people and kleptos there are in this city?

The first thing I did was send the long list of stuff to all of my New York City friends. They’ve really responded and they’ve put dibs on a lot of things. But there’s still so much more to go!

Solution? I’m trying this sort of “virtual” garage sale. It’s nothing that hasn’t been done before–but for my purposes it’s working out alright. I’ve posted a good chunk of the things I’m selling on Craigslist, complete with links to photos in an online photo album. So far I’ve gotten a decent amount of responses.

Craiglist: New York City’s answer to the garage sale.

Like with habitual garage-salers, weekends are a good time to catch all those people moving around who need little things. Blender? Check. Cheese grater? Check. End tables with lamps? Done and done.

It still seems a bit early to start selling things, but the college kids are coming back to school, and the recent grads are moving into the city. Gotta catch ’em while they’re still looking for crap.

Anyone who knows me in real life knows this: I love my stuff. My stuff makes my home. I have everything I need! And it’s been years in the making. A spoon here, a table there. But since my mentor Tere laid out the simple fact that storing everything and eventually spending the $3,000+ to have to shipped to Alaska, or wherever I wind up in a few years, the cost of all of that will have far surpassed the cost of replacing all of it.

Once I reconciled with that fact, it became a lot easier to list things for sale. Yeah, I don’t feel ready to let my end tables go. But at the same time, that’s going to be $55 in my pocket for literally no work. And do I really use them anyway? Nah, not really.

So what am I keeping out of all my stuff? Still way more than I wish at this point. Clothes, shoes, pillows, linens, bicycle, KitchenAid, immersion blender, camping gear, and more books than I know what to do with. Believe me, I weed out books every two months or so. I’m down to my bare bones! And I’m keeping my desk. It’s a magical desk. It will cost a lot to ship, around $200, but so will my bicycle. And both of those things came in the mail anyway.

Farewell, stuff. It’s pretty liberating to think that I won’t have the burden of things left behind on the east coast. One of my friends is even going to adopt my basil and rosemary plants.

All of my stuff will be going to good homes, to people who want the things. It’s a rather lovely relief.


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