Well, not long after Andrea had moved in that we decided that maybe we ought to look at moving into a bigger house….Maybe it was all the boxes of her stuff sitting around, or maybe it was the fact that we filled up all the closets in the house with our clothes, and we had no more room for others. Still, we needed more space!
I started getting rid of all sorts of stuff I was hanging onto that I didn’t really need. While the place didn’t look like an episode from Hoarders, things were still quite a bit congested around here. E-bay was used for the “shippable” stuff, but Craigslist came in handy for the bulkier items that would simply be too much to ship. Being the electronics geek I was, I had collected a vast array of old stuff that I had picked up at yard sales and may have been given to me in less than operational condition.
Some of the items yielded great value and were easy to get rid of, like a set of vintage Acoustic Research speakers I picked up at a yard sale for $10, and I was able to flip for $100…now that’s a good investment! Another good one was an old Kustom guitar amplifier a co-worker gave to me broken. All it needed was a $3 transistor, and I was able to sell it for $100 as well. Other things weren’t so easy. I had an annoying Peavy Classic 30 guitar amplifier that at first didn’t want to get repaired, then went through several wishy-washy buyers that acted excited, but then didn’t give me any money. It finally sold for $250 this past fall after attempting to sell it for almost 8 months!
Lastly, some things that I though would yield good money, ended up absolutely worthless. A 19 inch CRT Sony broadcast monitor I purchased several years ago used had a beautiful picture on it went through several Craigslist postings, and I even begged and pleaded friends to take it off of my hands, but no luck…It went to Goodwill with many other items, like an old turntable, an extra microwave oven. Goodwill didn’t even want the pair of extra rear doors to my Astro-van, so I set them in front the house. They were gone nightfall, so at least someone saw they had value! Matthew 6:19-20 states “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Well, although this scripture does not say anything about obsolescence, it still very much applies in modern times. I was holding on to way too much junk that was simply doing me no good, or anyone else, and had much less worth than was expecting. This was definitely an eye-opener that I should not be keeping things that I am expecting to have future value, because it won’t!
Okay, with all the stuff that I had no intention of needing, but was keeping because I *thought* had value out the way, I could now proceed with getting Andrea’s things squared away. I was finally able to get her things out of the living room in boxes and stored in appropriate locations. Only now, we have a new problem on our hands…wedding gifts…and lots of ’em, and more boxes in the Living room! Since I had lived in the house for almost 10 years before we met, I had accumulated all sorts of household items that I used daily, but we now had replacements for. So, it was another trip to Goodwill with my old junk. The new wedding gift stuff replaced much of it. Thinning down all this stuff has helped, but we still got stuff stacked up everywhere. At least now with her stuff fully integrated into the house, that our home definitely was beginning to look like *our* place, instead of just mine.
That’s when I really started paying attention to real-estate signs around the neighborhood, and noticing that prices for just a little bit bigger were not much more, and prices for even quite a bit bigger were good bargains too. After we found a few houses that we got excited about, I checked with the banks and found out that things were actually quite affordable! So, not only do we have an advantage of good prices out there, but also basement-bargain interest rates that would keep payments low.
So, the next challenge was that we had to sell this house before we could move into another house. Now, even with all the stuff I had cleaned out, and me engineering every last square inch of space out of the house, we *still* had to clean the place out further in order to put it on the market. Now, this is where the fun begins. The problem is that there are many items that you want when you move to a bigger house, but you simply don’t have any room to store them, and since you need to make the house look big when it’s shown to prospective buyers.
The easy part was fixing the place up to look sellable. Although this was laborous, was relatively easy. The trim on the outside of the house all needed painting, like around the windows, and the tedious ironwork around the front porch (very attractive, but annoying to paint!) Then there’s the issue of the bathroom. It has ugly green vinyl paneling on the walls, and a terrible looking bedraggled looking vinyl floor. Stay tuned for more details about the fun in all these home improvement projects and how they all went down!
Andrea’s family came over for a work day just after Christmas, and the cleanout process began. We basically attacked the place and really started to get down and dirty with getting things in order. I had the bright idea to store things in the camper. This has actually worked out pretty good. The little 17 foot camper has actually swallowed up quite a few boxes and a good amount of clutter. This was much cheaper than buying a smartbox storage container. The rest of what had been cleaned out went to her parents house.
The real fascinating part has begun though with me cleaning out the shed. I did not realize how much of a bottomless pit that it had become until I began cleaning it out. The worst of this was all the items sitting on the shelves against he back wall. 10 years worth of cleaning supplies and other chemicals for all sorts of projects. All the cans and bottles of stuff that were less than half full were pitched in the trash, along with some of the stuff that has clearly gone bad over the years. I found cans of fiberglass varnish from when a friend was rebuilding a boat about 8 years ago in my backyard. There were also many oddball items on the shelf, like a power steering pump for a Chevette (Chevettes really don’t need power steering) and even a digital dashboard for my astro van. I did have a few nice finds in there, like enough windshield washer fluid to fill up all the cars. If I stored this much junk in a little 12 X 15 shed, I need to really watch myself when we move into a house with a real garage or workshop space!