Monday, August 9, 2010

Did You Say Sale???

Ok, so I have to confess here. There must be something wrong with me, something seriously wrong with me, and I might need you savvy bloggers help on this one....I think I am turning into a Hoarder. I have heard about these terrible shows where these people have "dieases" for lack of a better term, and they hoard all these items.  I even heard about this old couple who was killed when the home collapsed on them, and they were deceased for days and no one knew...they were buried under loads and loads of stuff. Eww...Well, my recent obsession with garage sales just may turn me into a Hoarder.  Buying toys/clothes to save money presently and in the future doesn't count as hoarding does it??  I mean we need the items, right??

I partially blame my mom (no, really?). Yes, mom is always an easy outlet, but c'mon give me a break here, I have a problem, it's better known as denial or what's the word, projecting?  Yes, mom is partially to blame. My mother, as I do, loves to "collect things."  Now, my mother has exquisite tastes in the items she collects. She like fine things, she raised me to like, to want nice things. And, I am thankful that she has raised me this way, otherwise where would I be today, I might not be married to my fab hubs without it!  My mother raised me to expect a lot, and my husband reinforces that I think.  But, my mother has in my parents basement what we have coined, "lynda's shop." Technically it's a room, well 1 and 1/2 rooms, well okay, probably technically 1 and 1/2 and 1/2 rooms where she keeps all her "fancy things."  Basically in this room, you go in and there are decorations, flatware, plateware, dining ware, etc for every holiday. Theres a wall for the 4th of July/Memorial Day/Labor Day, for Halloween-well there's a couple for Halloween, for Christmas-don't get me started, for Thanksgiving, for Easter, for Football Season/Superbowl, etc. Then in the other half, there's china for an Italian themed dinner, an Asian themed dinner, showers/luncheon/garden club meetings. And in the other half there's christmas presents from 5 years ago that were never gifted or needed to be returned/exchanged.  But, everyone has something similiar, right?

Now, my mother is a neat person, everything is organized in labeled boxes, on shelves, and storage units (with help from my father). But, my mother works full time, has since I was very young, so I think, as a pick me-up she shops from a lot of catalogs that come in the mail, nice catalogs, and she shops at the dept store that she works at on her down time. She literally near Christmas receives enormous stacks of magazines in the mail daily, they don't even fit in the mailbox!  Basically Christmas is, go see mom at work and pick out what you want, bc if it can't be bought or wrapped there, you don't get it, ha!  Just kidding, well kind of. 

So, I have a love of things....But, the hubs and I don't have the budget for really nice things, so....that leaves me where. Well, gulp, garage sales. Ok, I always hated garage sales/ yard sales.  Most of them just hold useless, gross stuff that nobody wants. But, sometimes you can find some pretty ok, gently used items for a steal. I admit, I never really shopped at garage sales before having Nik. If the hubs and I did, it was kind of just for fun or out of boredom, and we never really found anything that we "had to have." 

Growing up, My Nana used to watch my cousin and I every Friday in the summer for a couple of summers. And every Friday, she would take us on this little travels/adventures. We would go to these little town where they had Fairs, Flea Markets and garage sales. And we'd go out to lunch, and she'd pack us a Capri Sun and some snacks for the car ride in her Burgundy Cadillac. I remember that Cadillac so well bc it was always so heavenly cool in the car, and we didn't have air in my parents car that summer.  Ironically, my Nana didn't really buy anything I don't think. It is funny that she liked to go so much bc at the time she wasn't in the financial state to need to be bargain shopping, so maybe there were other reasons in her wanting to browse. Maybe as a throwback to her life, or maybe she was looking for something all those times that she didn't disclose. I'm not really sure, but I will never forget those Fridays with Nana.

I wouldn't say that it engrained in me a desire to shop at garage sales, but I def find antique items unique, and I love that they carry a history with them.  So, is my recent "obsession" with garage sales/aquiring things a mix of my mother's infleunce as well as my Nana's. I don't know. But it's got to stop. Our basement has become like one big garage sale. I have Christmas presents for Nik for several Christmases to come, and a small supply of clothes from 12 months to last her till 6X. 

So, this leads me to my problem, since the pumpkin was born, and with money getting tight, I have developed this love of garage sale shopping for items for her. And since, this is summer, and rally the only time that our area generally holds garage sales, I am just giddy for garage sales this year. I don't buy anything for myself, just Nik, and I admit I am picky about what I purchase, and I do want to walk away with a bargain!  I am a savvy Garage Sale shopper, in that, I know whether something is worth buying or making an offer. I mean come on, you can buy a Fisher Price Laugh and Learn House for $80, that I bought it for $2, how can you pass that up?  Or, a Little Tykes toy kitchen or tool/workbench gently used for less than 1/4 the price, or a Radio Flyer tricycle or a riding pony.  

We bought a crib, rocking chair, wooden pony, and jumperoo for my parents for when  they watch Nik bc they didn't have many toys bc they're only grandchildren live out of town. I mean as long as they're gently used, and I always soap them down/sanitize them before I let Nik play with them, she doesn't know whether the items are new or not. The only person that really knows whether they're new or not is me.  To her, she just loves that it's something new to play with.  She gets so excited when I come home from garage sales with new stuff. She will spend all day playing with it bc it's new to her. 

Yes, new toys are more fun to have and seem cleaner, and well they probably look better than used toys, but  we've probably spent a couple hundred dollars over two years that would have cost us a couple thousand dollars new. Plus, I LOVE to buy books because they are .25$, and how can you beat that!  My mother is always impressed when I bring Nik over. She usually can;t believe that I bought her clothes at a garage sale.  She'll say, "I'd shop at that garage sale more often," ha!

I usually look for the Brand Name Clothes when baby clothes garage sale shopping, for several reasons. One:because I'm a garage sale snob, yes, I admit it. Two:because it is a better bargain, bc they do cost so much more. Three: the material and the color typically hold up better after use/washing, the material. Four:becuase their clothes are typically just better made, and the styles and designs are just, well, more cute, I think.  But, I will buy Nik garage sale clothes are not name brands, if I think they are in really good shape and cute. I definently always seek out jeans and shoes because I hate paying money for jeans and shoes new, they are crazy expensive! 

We are blessed to both have wonderful mothers that buy our pumpkin new clothes. And, I LOVE new clothes. I love that no one has worn them before the pumpkin, I love the feel of the fabric before it has been washed.  I lvoe that I can carefully wash them/hang dry them and preserve their quality. But, it's nice to have a couple weeks worth of clothes for when the laundry build up, or if you know that the little one is going to get food/dirt all over her clothes, and you don't want her/him running around naked, it's nice to have those garage sale clothes to fall back on. But, I just can't stop lately.  Thank goodness the garage sale season will be coming to an end soon, ha!

I do have a couple of rules when garage sale shopping, like:I usually wont buy anthing that has fuzzies. I HATE fuzzies, ugh!  I also won't usually buy anything with a stain on it, unless it's very subtle, and/or I think that I can get it out, and/or the outfit is adorable or too great a steal to not purchase it and try to get it out.  And, I won't by anything thats really yucky and/or if I get a bad vibe from the house/owner/or the items.  I typically prefer to shop at garage sales near us, I don't really seek out garage sales, it;s only if I happen about them.

I am a very clean person by nature, of course, working full time, and having a little one has made me a more relaxed person to clutter/procrastination, I'm sure every mother has experienced this. I hate clutter, but how can you have a child and not have clutter. We have toys EVERYWHERE.  This garage sale shopping is not helping with the clutter situation, but I just keep telling myself, we're saving money by buying at garage sales, right?  Denial kickign in. I keep telling myself to stop, but everytime I see that sign, I wonder is there that one great find there that I may be missing??  And it will bug me, and if I have the time, i just may stop and check it out.

  Anyone else out there a garage sale savvy shopper?