We spent three solid days just organizing the stuff already piled high in the garage and cleaning it up for the sale. Getting 44 years of stuff out of the basement, attic, and four bedrooms full of drawers and closets took a lot of time...sorting into 'keep', 'sell', 'toss' was the bulk of the time and Mom was such a trooper...I know she was already brain dead by the time I got there, but she really hung in there and I know I worked her to death getting it all done. Dad did what he could given his sight issue and my three siblings in town helped (two after work, and the third really helped me a lot daily with the help of sitters). Even my DD drove out to help for a few days and the grandparents sent her home with a car full of treasures.
The back of Mom's head during the garage sale.
Although there were emotional moments we laughed a lot...as my siblings and I do, we laughed until we cried often...the favorite moments involved the mice (no, just remnants of dead ones, no live ones sighted) in the basement. I stepped on one in the dark trying to get to the light chain on the back side of the basement (OK, it was already dead, but I ran screaming for Dad like I was 5 again)...another day I had just vacuumed up the basement after everything was out and I washed up and came back down and there was a black seed on the floor (Mom kept bird seed down there that the mice got into long ago)...so I licked my (clean) finger and touched it to the seed to pick it up...it was still on the floor so I licked my finger again...YUCK! Bird seed in my mouth...there were two seeds together on the floor and now one was in my mouth...so I spit it into my hand...AHHHHHHHH! It wasn't a bird seed at all!!!! It was a MOUSE TURD!!!! D@MN my eyesight! I spent the next five minutes spitting into the sink and rinsing out my mouth...my sister's were crying (and gagging) as I recounted my stupidity.
Lots of buyers.
By the weekend I'd made a rule that no one could ask Mom or I any questions after noon (my brain was sucked dry by then too). We were able to get almost all the other jobs (spackling, painting, etc.) needed for the house sale done as well and it's in really good shape. The garage sale went really well even though the weather wasn't the best and we had some periods of light rain. I'd say about 2/3 of the things were sold, but even after we sent the shelving and other furniture they (Salvation Army) wouldn't take to the curb for the trashmen (we could have filled a dumpster with all the trash we sent to my three siblings houses during the week for their trashmen...makes me want to clean out my stuffed basement too LOL), we still had 20+ boxes and some big pieces of furniture filling the center of the garage. Salvation Army comes today and we (5 kids) paid to have window washers come today and a cleaning lady to come Wednesday. The house goes on the market Saturday. We're all praying it sells fast...it would SO make all this worth it!
Dad, with a 50 cent tag on his forehead greeting the buyers (by the end of the sale we'd written 'free' on the tag).
I'm exhausted (slept 10 hours last night); we worked morning 'till night each day, and (as DH described) my body looks like I got polka dot tattoos (there are so many I lost count, seriously...I bruise easily). I did have one day where I got a little worried...I thought I was 'good to go' since I had my post-op check up from the gallbladder surgery. By Wednesday my belly button area was swollen again like it was post-op and then it got a little red, hot and painful (and I was flushed). No, nothing was open, but I probably opened something internally. Luckily, I just stopped lifting heavy things for a few days and my body fought it off. I've got a second van load full of treasures from Mom and Dad sitting in a huge pile in my kitchen now to unpack today. Oh, and I gained 2 pounds...I'm blaming the huge piece of birthday cake...and the mouse turd.
My youngest sis at the very end of the sale (this was when about 2/3 was gone believe it or not).