It’s nice to receive gifts, but …

DSC_6927Last week we had a massive snow fall in Toronto and since there was absolutely no way to even attempt to leave the house, I decided I had no excuse and looked at some long forgotten “treasures” that were hiding in my basement. Tons of 8mm movies my father in-law took decades ago and which have all been converted to DVD, my grandmother’s rolling pin, a little pot with the name of the town I grew up in in Germany sent by my aunt Doris (I moved to Canada almost 2 decades ago). You all know what I’m talking about.

Let’s face it. We would all be happier with less stuff and we know it, however, letting go is sometimes not so simple. Especially when it comes to gifts we have received we worry about hurting other people’s feelings even when the gift is something we never have, and probably never will, use.

DSC_6919Usually, people that buy gifts buy something they like (first and foremost) and then hope you like it as well. Also, if you mention to them over and over again that you love cooking, you will get something kitchen-related each and every time. Once every inch of kitchen drawer space is full of “gifts” from all these well-wishers (no offense!), it’s high-time to empty them and – here comes the stumbling block for most people – DONATE them.

Don’t worry about cousin Maggie’s feelings. She will never find out about it. You are doing an honourable thing by donating and should feel good about it.

If you’d like to make a few bucks selling your items, start looking around the house now so that you are ready when garage sale season starts. This is your time and being prepared is half the battle. Garage sales can be a lot of fun if you price things reasonably (remember – it’s a garage sale not Waddingtons) and advertise well.  However, after you have made a few bucks and the garage sale is over, whatever you do, don’t take everything back into your home.  The key to organization at this point is donate all the excess items – those that didn’t sell.  There are a number of worthy charities that will accept your surplus items (Value Village, Goodwill, The Salvation Army) and make sure the items get to those less fortunate (who probably could not afford to drive to your garage sale), but who really need those items.

DSC_6918Today, even though it’s only February, not prime “garage sale season”, I happened to be at an indoor garage sale at Sentinel storage facillity @ Stouffville Rd/Kennedy yesterday. People were able to rent storage lockers for a few hours (the rent went to the Foodbank) and had the opportunity to sell their goodies in a warm, indoor environment. A great idea for our cold, long winters!

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