The Purge

Basement before

For the last few months, I’ve been going through all of the boxes I’ve had packed for the last 5 years. I had forgotten about a lot of my stuff. It was sort of like Christmas, except the gifts were wrapped in smelly cardboard, they were all used, and, once I saw them, I did remember them.

OK, it wasn’t like Christmas at all. It was exactly like unpacking boxes in a basement.

I’ve lived without this stuff for 5 years, so, not surprisingly, I was ready to part with a lot of it. But seriously, this was some great stuff, so surely I would make a ton of money by having a yard sale, right?

Garage Sale 1

Garage Sale 2

Hey, did you know yard sales totally suck? I am never having one again! I would rather burn all of my stuff in a bonfire than have someone haggle with me on something that was already only priced for a buck. People suck. Yard sales and people suck. Don’t get too close to my bonfire, cheap people, or I’ll toss you in there too.

Burn Baby Burn

I spent something like 237 hours unpacking boxes, agonizing over what to keep and what to sell, cleaning and repairing and pricing… and for what? $237. That’s what I made. A buck an hour. So, financially speaking, my yard sale was a massive failure and complete waste of my time. But logistically speaking, it was quite successful because it’s all gone…

Basement after

Want to see what it looks like upstairs now? Yeah… I bet you do. Too bad it’s a mess and I’m too lazy to clean it to take a picture. Whatever! It’s my blog and I do what I want. I am Princess Spackle!

How about I show you my garage instead? (It’s relevant because I’m storing the stuff I didn’t want to sell in here.) This is it:

Garage Empty

Oh, wait, that was it. Silly me. This is it now.

Garage inside

Seriously. Where does all of this crap come from? I don’t recognize half of it. Is it even mine? Maybe my neighbors are sneaking in and storing their crap in my garage. (Which is a much bigger problem, so I hope it’s not that…)

Last fall my dad helped me get it somewhat organized. Can you believe it was even worse?

Garage Inside Before

After we cleaned (sort of), dad helped me rock the walls.

Garage Rocked

I’d been waiting for warmer weather to do the spackling and taping (which, btw, I’m terrible at…) and I was planning to sand it all smooth and pretty and paint it, but then I said to myself, “It’s a freaking garage, psycho! Get over yourself! Don’t you have enough to do?”

Garage Spackled

And, as usual, I was totally right, so I installed shelves right over those crappy walls. When Better Homes & Gardens comes to profile my beautiful house (in like 2030), they’ll just have to stay the hell out of my garage. Why you gotta be so nosy, BH&G?

Garage Shelf Supports

Garage Shelves

Yeah. Shelves. Woo hoo.

So, this was quite a long wait for a less than spectacular post. I know. You’re disappointed. But this might make it better… A nice man named Doug (who happens to run his own home improvement blog over at asked if he could interview me for his podcast. (I’m totally getting famous, people!) I haven’t listened to it yet (I seriously hate my voice), but Doug says that talking to me was like…

“a refreshing kick in the butt to get me back into a DIY mindset and she will inspire you too.”

I’m finding that a little hard to believe, but Doug is from Canada and Canadians never lie, so… You can check it out here.

Anyway… my next post will be about flooring and it will be way better than this post, so you should definitely subscribe below, if you haven’t already. (Why haven’t you already? Princess Spackle commands you!)

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  • Kelly Sewell

    Hi Vicki! Great blog post and audio interview. I always look forward to reading about your renovation projects. Keep up the good work!

  • Andrea

    Yeah, we’ve been dealing with a late relative’s huge amounts of stuff via monthly flea market booths and the occasional yard sale. Flea market customers = human roaches feeding off each other’s garbage.

  • Louise

    i just finished listening to your interview…great job! Plus it was nice putting a voice to one of my favorite bloggers. Love your blog and your renos!

  • Sally

    Sometimes garage sale people are like big old ugly vultures aren’t they or maybe it’s more like bloodsuckers! I mean you’re practically giving stuff away and they want to haggle, ugh. I too, would rather burn it than give in to these weasels. Thank you for letting me vent.

    • My Crappy House

      So you totally feel me. I would tell them no. I ended up giving almost everything away at the end in a big pile by the curb, but at least THAT person didn’t get the thing I spent $50 bucks on for the 50 cents that they offered. Some other vulture got it for free.

  • Sharon Turner

    In the living room photo above, where did you hang the black and white photo? Left of the TV or around the corner? And, now that you’re getting a new sofa, what are you going to do with your old one? Nice job on the shelves in the back of the garage!

    • My Crappy House

      The photo is on the wall around the corner from the TV. It’s as you go down the basement stairs. It’s a little small for the wall, but I think it will look perfect once I have a railing. I’m keeping my old love seat for the (someday finished) basement, but for now, my brother is letting me store it at his business. So… it’ll be there for a few years… lol

  • Lisa

    That’s what garages are supposed to look like: gray with white splotches and wood things. And yard stuff and Rubbermaid bins. Anyone who has a finished garage drives a Porshe and doesn’t like us poor people and our unfinished garages.

  • Susan Kuehne

    Right there with ya about the Garage Sales sucking. I put it off for sooooooo very long. I finally donated everything and got a write-off for my taxes. Not as good as cash in the pocket – – but soooooo much less work.

  • Doug

    You gotta ask yourself, if you didn’t have the yard sale, was there another way you would have put $237 in your pocket? That’s grocery money, or party money, or new power tool money. It could be a down payment on flooring materials. It could be set aside for emergency repairs. You could put it towards your mortgage.
    Or, put it in a bank account at 2% interest, and you will have almost $400 after 25 years.
    Not too shabby.
    Oh, and I enjoyed your interview, too. But I may be a little biased. Thanks for talking to me!

    • My Crappy House

      While it’s nice to look at it that way, the truth is, for the amount of time it took to prepare for that sale, I could have done work for my business and made a lot more money. It was a gross misuse of my time, but a lesson well learned. Yard sales are not for me. I will definitely donate in the future!

  • Tina

    I had a garage sale this weekend too. Totally different experience. I had tons of people tell me thank you, comment on what great things I had. A couple people who just moved here a couple of days ago from Costa Rica were thrilled to be able to partially furnish an apartment so inexpensively. No, I didn’t make a ton of money and yes it’s a lot of work. But I feel lucky to be able to pass on some of the blessings that I’ve been given to people that can use it right in my community. Yes you could donate the stuff to goodwill. But I like to think some people that asked if I would take less really needed the stuff and they wouldn’t find a pair of end tables at Goodwill for $10. There were far far more grateful people than “vultures” or “cockroaches” or “blood sucker” and 237 dollars to some people is a lot of money.

    • My Crappy House

      You must live in a much better neighborhood than I do where people are respectful and grateful they’re getting such a great deal and don’t feel the need to insult you by offering you a fraction of the already low marked price for stuff that cost you a fortune. Lucky you! The Salvation Army may not sell stuff for as cheap as I was, but they use the money they make to help people. That’s where I’ll donate any of my future unwanted or unneeded items and I’ll feel great about doing it! (Incidentally, I ended up putting the remaining 90% of my stuff that didn’t sell by the curb so “my community” got a hell of a lot for free. Lucky them!)

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