Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Joy of Junk

My joy in garage sales has dimmed in direct proportion to the number of episodes of “Hoarders” I’ve seen. Houses buried under mounds of unnecessary crap, families torn apart by the sheer amount of stuff; I can’t help but double-think every purchase. I was never one to plan my weekends around hitting major garage sales, but if I saw one in the area and had the time I’d stop in. When my kids were little I bought toys, games and Barbie stuff at garage sales. Now I think twice; do I really need it?

I love antique shops, though, and still plan an occasional Saturday trip to the larger ones. Oh, not those dust-free, polished shops arranged like great-grandma’s dining room and parlor, with matching china place settings and silverware in its original wooden case. I like the shops with nice furniture here and there amidst mismatched dishes, the spice jars my mother used with the same rusty screw tops, and lots and lots of books. Hours can pass while I wander through one of those acres-huge shops. I seldom buy anything—my house is full of furniture, my bookshelves are crammed full, and I don’t need a blessed thing—but the fun is in the looking, not the buying. And I might just find the footed dessert cup to fill out my mother-in-law’s incomplete set.

Once in a while I’ll stop at a flea market, marveling at the booths of worn-out shoes and half-used Avon lotions next to a double booth of cheap cookware and utensils. Again, seldom a purchase, but that wasn’t the point.

Sometimes I worry about my penchant for poking through other people’s old junk. Then I remember a girl I worked with telling me that on the way to church for her wedding her parents stopped at a garage sale, saying, “We won’t be a minute!”

Obviously I don’t have a problem.


  1. Antiquing used to be a favorite pastime for Vicki and me. We were usually looking for something in particular: a lamp, coat rack, or the like. The fun part was the search, and the serendipitous thrill of finding just the right item. Nowadays, there's so little we need (or have room for), we seldom forage anymore.

  2. If I see a yard sale, and I have time (which I rarely do), I'll stop. I don't usually find anything I want or need. I do enjoy looking though. Same for antique shops. I love to look. I just don't buy.

  3. I avoid all kinds of shopping. Except food shopping. I'm fine with that. But going through stores is not my idea of fun, even less with a garage sale.

    Love Amazon!