May 31 2011

The De-valuation of Stuff

So this weekend I had a Tag Sale (or Stoop Sale or Garage Sale or whatever). I carted out a trunk full of CDs. Hundreds of books. Old computer parts. A router. A pair of never worn ice skates. Used rollerblades. A DVD/VCR combo thingamagiggy. Some framed art prints. A working portable TV from 1961. Never used picture frames. Never used dog stuff. All sorts of crap.

I went around town putting up flyer signage and writing on the street with big chalk with arrows directing the way. And it wasn’t until I started walking around that I realized it was totally dopey to be all doing up a Tag Sale on friggin Memorial Day weekend! Everyone leaves town!! After planning for years to do this sale, nailing a sunny day, and finally having a good reason to get this stuff outta here– I probably picked the worst friggin day of the year to be schlepping my stuff down front!

Anyway, the hardest thing to let go of was my CD collection. I built it up for so many years and had such a ‘cool’ mix of stuff. People would look at my CD collection and knowlingly nod. They’d feel bad about their own CD lame collection. But reality set in and they had to go. The more impressive mix now lives on my computer. So– 2 for $3. 3 for $5.

And books? I kept the books that I love the most or the ones that I might want to actually read one day. Everything else went out. $2 for hardcover. $1 for paperback. It quickly became All Books $1.

Fortunately people started coming by. It was a cool neighborly event. Most people stopped to assault my CD collection. Or nab books. The occasional stray weirdo would buy something else. Like my two wigs (blonde and redhead) or my used-up Rollerblades (but refusal to take the new ice skates).

But as the day dragged on I could tell there was no way I was selling all my stuff. Maybe half at best. Not really because of Memorial Day weekend. Moreso because– frankly, for the most part I was selling things people simply don’t want. Even a $5 lava lamp sat untouched.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised alot of the stuff sat unwanted. I mean does anybody need to take home Red Hot Chili Peppers ‘Mothers Milk’, A DVD box of Mad Men (missing one disc), a dusty old lava lamp, a 1937 fire-hazard toaster, and a jacketless hardcover of The Pelican Brief? On top of the stuff they already have?

I had other random stuff too– a perfectly fine router $10. A giant framed Van Gogh museum print $15. A hand-made butterfly kite $5. A dog gate $5. I giant knit quilt made by my grandma (sorry grandma, I love the quilt but I never use it. (It fortunately found a good home with a crunchy woman who had a vintage Rolling Stones t-shirt and oversized sunglasses. She immediately loved it). $7.

I fortunately did sell an impressive amount of stuff. I made close to $400. But as I marked down my sale to $1.00 CDs and 2 for $1 books– I started noticing that a lot of this stuff I treasured simply wasn’t wanted– by anyone. And late in the day, I just changed the signs to ‘EVERYTHING FREE!

And as the sun went down and I sat with the gf drinking beer watching the neighborhood vultures descend and ravage the remainder of the goods, I felt the sadness of losing this stuff rise away. Sentimentality turned to stone. Take the friggin CDs. I ripped most of em anyway. Take the books. I’m never reading ‘Infinite Jest’ never ever. I was simply relieved to have all this crap out of my friggin house! (frankly I was leaning a little bit hoarder style).

Because for me– alot of this stuff had been near-garbage to me for a long time– I just didn’t realize it because it was inside my house on shelves. I recommend a clutterless lifestyle to all! Feels good! And to all a good morning! Good day, sir!

ok bye!


PS. The last remaining things (lasted overnight)– that were literally worth nothing to nobody. A pair of brand new tuxedo shoes. A DVD of Margot at the Wedding. And the dog gate.


Krankor says:

Man, I would’ve snagged that Lava lamp! I love those things.

Anonymous says:

Todd. The vagina that you’re fucking currently may be nice however she’s probably going to try to get rid of your dog next.

Anonymous says:

I need a dog gate. But I’m not driving to friggin’ Brooklyn from Maine to get one for free.

Congrats on the de-clutter and the $400 made.

the REAL weeze says:


Nicol says:

I have kind of a rule that if I bring something in the house, something has to go out. I have a smalll house so it can’t hold a lot of stuff. Even if it could, I like to keep things kind of clutter free.
My mom let’s stuff pile up and I can’t stand it. I am having a cleaning day today and I think there will be some stuff for the donation pile. I am putting my vaccuum cleanear out on the curb today. I don’t know what’s wrong with it, but it can become someone else’s problem.

-DJ- says:

I have that rule too, but the wife keeps finding her way back.

My Butt Here says:

Stuff just simply isn’t worth the over inflated price we pay for it. We usually pay for the joy and splendor of the new feeling and that can keep in your mind but not anybody elses. The madison avenue frontal lobe freudian capitalist at their best. TaDah!

Yellowdog says:

And now the best part: The slow, imperceptible trickle of NEW stuff back into your apartment. It’s just human nature. Next tag sale: 2013, or 2015 if you really try.

flowy dress waitress says:

WOW nearly 10 years of reading OddTodd’s What’s Happening, going from hermit crab to puppy to girlfriend… to buy or not to buy, to throw or not to throw… I feel like all that stuff was my stuff! And now it’s gone!
What does the future hold for you, Todd? Can’t wait to find out!

Leslie says:

I, too, fondly remember Gene Gene Dancing Machine and Senator Fancy Pants. They were good hermit crabs, but I suspect Rosco is snugglier.

Best of luck with the declutter!

Amy says:

I’m jealous because I have a whole garage filled with crap that has cobwebs

oddtodd7 says:

I really didn’t realize how much stuff I had in here. I’ve been here for 8 or 9 years and it dawned on me that I never really did any spring cleaning. It’s one thing to have a garage but in a nyc apartment it can get sorta crazy…

The hardest thing was what to do with the boxes and boxes of personal information and stuff 🙂

Mr. Deng says:

Americas are so luck!

huhwha says:

2 for $3 and 3 for $5?

flowy dress waitress says:

LOL I didn’t realize it until I read taht comment! I wonder how Todd figured that was a deal…

richard Nixen says:

America’s obsesion with things has been the downfalling of USA thanks obama bine linens

Squirrelman Jones says:

Obama had nothing to do with Todd’s tag sale. Take is somewhere else.

Anonymous says:

“Take is somewhere else.”

Spoken like a true Libtard.

Emphasis on the tard. With extra tard. And a side order of tard. With tard for dessert.

Squirrelman Jones says:

“Spoken like a true Libtard”? Really? The level of stupidity you have demonstrated here today is staggering.

Let’s set aside the fact that I am not even remotely close to being Liberal. This is not a political site. This was not a political story. This was about Todd selling his old things. It did not involve Obama, Al Franken, The liberal media, socialist kool-aid, MSNBC, Fox News, Newt, GW Bush, tax cuts for the rich or corporate fascists. Nobody cares about your political beliefs or how in your deranged world the lack of interest in Todd’s $5 lava lamp is Obama’s fault. There are lots of other forums where idiots such as yourself can gather and circle-jerk each other on a variety of topics. Hence the comment to take it somewhere else.

To say you are a moron would be overestimating your IQ by double. There are people right now with the intelligence of a small barn animal, sitting in their own vomit and unable to spell moo if you spot them the two O’s. These people see you and the first thing they mumble in a barely coherent voice is “now there goes one stupid motherfucker”

DB says:

STFU and take your Nerdrage to another forum… buh by now, dont let the url hit you on the way out.

Tiffany says:

Buy Quality and you shall never have to endure that public ridicule again.

C.J. says:

Great! a major victory in the battle with stuff. Have you tried selling stuff on amazon? For things under 13oz and some bigger things, it’s quite good. Video games in particular.

klobster says:

Dang t, I’ve been meaning to read Infinite Jest!

Pittsburgh Dude says:

tOdd, if you ever read these comments… there’s a site called FreeCycle, and I’ll bet there’s one in NYC. You post stuff you don’t want. Other people take it. A good way to declutter for stuff nobody wanted to buy.

tim says:

you SHOULD read infinite jest

potato says:

With the ’61 TV and the ’37 toaster, it seems to me you probably would have been better off putting them on ebay with a good made-up story to go with them. Old haunted TV turns on by itself at random times, old haunted toaster, um, makes toast in the middle of the night by itself. Or something like that anyway.

Mike Anthony says:

Good for you….it is strange & sad to unload, but at the same time very free-ing….

Coocoam says:


MsM says:

I am in a never ending cycle of gathering things I don’t want around the house, taking them to Salvation Army or the church free store, and then going back and picking up some stuff I think I can use. At least some of it sells online. But it’s so hard to let go of it once it gets in here. Especially if it has a face, like a teddy bear.

Anonymous says:

Took me literally 2 years to get around to reading infinite jest after buying it…still, it was way worth it, you should read it.

Gamperexala says:

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