I have had a bit of an OCD couple of weeks feeling intent on de-cluttering our house. Trinny and Susannah would have been proud parents watching me scale down my wardrobe with the ‘if I haven’t worn it for a year it shouldn’t be in there’ mantra, unfortunately this did mean that my ‘get rid’ pile was larger than my ‘keep’ pile. Still, it felt good to get rid of my ‘thin’ clothes, there really is no point keeping my favourite skinny jeans worn pre-children if their only purpose is for me to occasionally stroke them fondly. And I have been ruthless with regards to my ‘fat clothes’ too, many bought when pregnant that I have kept due to their ‘comfort factor’, it is not healthy to keep a black 2 sizes too big kaftan just because I can tuck my legs underneath it when vegging on the sofa, it makes me look like Mama Cass and needs to be passed on to a person who needs it.
With a slimmed down wardrobe I moved onto the kids bedrooms. I dropped them off at school and returned home feeling like a baddie from a James Bond film as I set about removing toys and games that were unloved. This is not an easy task as everything you put in the ‘chuck’ pile suddenly conjures up memories of their former pleasure of playing with it. Games that have been left unplayed with for years I suddenly see an educational benefit to them. I ended up with a bin bag containing a couple of McDonalds toys and an Alien game with a broken battery compartment. Hubby noticed my moment of nesting and decided to jump on the bandwagon with a loft clearout. Suddenly we are sat in our living room amongst a stack of baby paraphernalia such as cots, moses baskets and a playpen, or twin cage as it was known which is seriously the best bit of baby kit you need with multiple babies if you want to ever have a wee! With our room full of goods to get rid of, I decide it would be a good idea to try to make some money from our pre-loved wares. After a conversation with my best friend who is in a similar clearout mode of thinking we decide to embark on a boot sale to make some cash.
So last Sunday after a rubbish nights sleep worrying about how to cost up my stock, my alarm went off at the unfeasible time of 5am. After I double checked that I wasn’t still wearing my pyjama bottoms I made my flask of coffee looking out on a darkened street while the rest of my street snoozed away. After joining a convoy with my bestie we headed down to the designated field in the middle of nowhere, feeling like I was going to a rubbish rave where people wore Dayglo jackets and bumbags. We were shown to our plots where we parked our cars up and began the task of unpacking and setting up our stall. Now I like a bargain but we have to remember it is 6am on a Sunday and people are starting to arrive to shop! No sooner had I emerged from the boot of my car with a box full of baby cookery books when I had a torch shone in my face with a man asking me “you got any mobiles?”. I nearly threw the books at him and run in the opposite direction until I realised he was looking to buy a mobile, I quickly answered and unnecessarily told him “no, it’s mainly baby stuff”. He scuttled off to the next plot to interrogate them instead.
Once we were all set up, thankfully the sun had decided to join us too. I had a rough idea of what price I wanted to charge on my stock and had labelled up the bigger items. However, this is pointless as the boot sale is where haggling is born. No matter what price you tell people, they will persuade you to drop it and I’m not talking by a small amount but quite often by half. For instance, one of the twins cots we bought from Mamas and Papas which probably cost us somewhere in the region of few hundred pounds, I was selling it for the bargain price of £20. My first cot customer said “I’ll give you £10”, I politely explained “sorry it is £20”, he persevered “I only want to pay £10”, I negotiate “I can do it for £15?”, “I can pay £10.”, I give in “OK £10 it is”. I am weak, I need to stand my ground but then I don’t want to take the cot home and £10 is better than nothing I suppose.
It is quite funny when you find your inner salesperson though, when you attempt to sell items using any line that people will believe. For instance, hubby gave me an old pair of salopettes that he used for ski-ing in his younger years. A punter came to my stall (wallpaper pasting table and tarpaulin) and asked me what they were for. He was an older gentleman so I figured he wasn’t looking for skiwear so I suggested “do you ride a motorbike as they are fantastic bike gear or perhaps you’re a fisherman as they’re great for fishing, bit like waders?” He eyed me suspiciously and then walked away. But I did manage to sell my travel cot as an indoor pen for rabbits with its “waterproof base which is perfect for pets”, that was a proud sale and made me think perhaps I should work on a shopping channel with these new-found skills. As lunchtime approached and all that was left was a few unwanted books, an iron headboard and the salopettes, I decided to give up. I had made £150, I had rid my house of unwanted goods and I had experienced what it felt like to be Pete Beale. So let me know if you know anyone in need of salopettes, great for ski-ing, fishing, motorbiking, you name it they cover it.