Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Friend Craig

Much the same way it's said that a goldfish will grow larger depending on the size of its tank, Devin and I have a habit of spreading out and obtaining as many belongings as are necessary to fill our current home. And in all of the years we've lived together, we've always had two bedrooms that we could really fill up to our hearts' content.

Now we're getting ready to move into our new apartment, but this time our home will be smaller. And, for the first time, we're going to have to confine ourselves to one of the two bedrooms so that our brand new baby can have a place of his own.

But what can we get rid of? I'm no hoarder but I want all of my things.

After humming and hawing, breaking out the tape measure, and weighing our options, I came up with a list of stuff that had to go. And then it was time to embark on my biggest Craigslist venture ever.

The patio furniture, office furniture, pub table, tv stand, the fridge, old air conditioners, gardening supplies... everything must go! As hard as it was to think of parting with some of this stuff, once I started posting things, I turned into Crazy Gideon. Asking prices got lower, my sales pitches got pushier, and I tore feverishly through the house seeing what else I could get rid of.

Once everything was put out there into the internet universe, I waited impatiently. By coincidence (or maybe as a result of overexerting myself), I came down with a nasty cold and stayed home sick the day after I went live with my moving sale. I spent the whole day on my couch, next to my laptop and surrounded by used tissues. By late morning, the first few emails came in.

And they were dismal. Confusing sentence fragments, spam, and my personal favorite, an email that just read "Joe" with a phone number. I responded to everyone anyway. But once I'd answered questions or placed calls, the trail went cold. No one went any further. New emails would come in and I'd answer them psychotically quickly, but there was no promise.

By early evening I'd given up hope. I know, I'm quick to throw in the towel. But I was sick so everything in life just seemed worse than it was. Then, between my 86th and 87th attempts to clear a particularly difficult level in Super Mario 3 for Wii, a glimmer of hope appeared in my inbox. A perfectly constructed email from a woman who wanted the patio furniture set. I sent my desperate response in about 4 seconds. YES YOU COME HERE AND BUY NOW PLEASE I NEED HAPPINESS. To my delight, she wrote back again within a few minutes and we set plans for her to come by and get it that night.

She, her roommate, and some guy they'd coerced into using his truck and carrying things, showed up at my doorstep after dark. They quickly decided they wanted the table. Then, admiring the string of lanterns I had hanging around the backyard, one of them commented they'd need to get some for their own patio. "OH! Take them!" I blurted out.
"How much?"
"Oh, you can just have them. Do you need other stuff for your apartment? I have so many things."
"Um... mostly just outdoor stuff. Like a fire pit..."
"I have that! It's yours. 10 bucks. And here, take this firewood too."

By the time they pulled away with a truckload of backyard stuff, precariously tetris-ed in and tied down, I had the feeling things would turn around.

Since then, I've sold off the pub table, an office organizer, TV stand, and the old fridge (I think... if she actually comes to pick it up.) I gave away the grill for free since I felt ridiculous asking anyone to pay for that beat up old thing. Of course, when the girl came to pick it up and remarked "Oh! It looks great!" I wondered if perhaps I'd cheated myself out of a few extra bucks.

With a few items remaining, I've so far earned $280 (More if the fridge works out). Enough to be a big help paying for all the new stuff I'll need to fill every nook and cranny of the new apartment.


  1. I feel your did you even get started ?? What were your decluttering methods ?

  2. oh man that's a lot of stuff to slim down. why are you guy's moving? maybe i missed that part.