Year End Update 4 of 7: Simplicity Sale

Simplicity Sale
While on the subject of “de-cluttering” ~  During 2013, alongside my “Ten Year Plan”, I also made the intention to minimize some of my belongings through what I call a “Simplicity Sale”.

Most North Americas are familiar with “Garage Sales” and “Yard Sales” ~ sub-urban, Saturday morning scenes, springing up in cities across the continent.  (Our friends in the UK call them “Car Boot Sales”.)  Before morning dew has faded, city folks drag their unused trinkets out onto the drive-ways, front-yards and boulevards of the nation’s neighbourhoods to set up impromptu bazaars.  They shiver in the cool morning air, often un-showered in pj’s and slippers, with coffee and breakfast toast in hand, awaiting nosy customers eager for bargains on unique, unused household items.

My mother used to always say, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure”.  For people wanting to de-clutter, and others searching for cheap deals on collectables or much needed household items, these little bargain-markets are cultural celebrations of independent entrepreneurship.   When entire streets of families get involved ~ establishing “Street Sales” ~ the resulting festivals and community buzz can be quite enjoyable.   The objective of the seller is primarily to unload lightly used belongings that are too good to trash.  Thus, price tag amounts tend to be token and flexible…especially as the sale day comes to a close.   For the customers ~ roving from road to road on weekend mornings in the act of “Garage Sailing”,  the thrill of bartering to secure a “good deal” can be quite empowering ~ especially in a part of the world where retail product mark-up averages between 12 – 15% and no formal mall, store, shop or franchise allows a customer the freedom to haggle.

Being on the road so much with my music (away almost every weekend) has made it hard for me to hold a garage sale or even utilize websites like Kijiji or Craig’s list in an effort to sell some of my things.   During the last 12 months, I only had one free Saturday available to host my own home-spun bazaar. It went well, but did not even put a dent in the number of items I had hoped to clear out of my house.  So this past autumn I devised a new plan for simplifying my life ~ a traveling “Simplicity Sale”.

Upon each of my travels to share my songs, I bring along one or two items I no longer need and either auction them off to my audience or set them out on my CD table for sale.   Among the goods I have parted with over the past year was a virtually brand-new guitar case, sold to a budding musician who attend one of my shows.  On my last trip to the UK, I even auctioned off one of my two primary performance guitars of the last decade, to a dear supporter who now intends to learn a few chords herself!      It feels so good to know that belongings which have meant so much to me over the years have found homes in the hands of new friends, who I hope will keep in touch.

In 2014 I plan on stepping up the “product line”of my Simplicity Sale to include some of my forlorn collections which, as I get older, I have felt less inclined to maintain.   That will include some of my 16mm films, antique cameras/film projectors, books, records, random rhythm instruments and even some nick-nacks collected on my various travels around the world.

Proceeds from all of my Simplicity Sale items go toward the Al-Imtiaz Academy, a school  in Pakistan my wife’s grandmother started over 25 years ago (and the primary benefactor of royalties from several of my recorded works.)

Anybody wanna buy a classy looking and unused hooka pipe from Damascus?    …Or  the retro 1970’s super 8mm movie camera I used to film my “Out Seeing The Fields” video?    How about a collection of Star Wars figures from my childhood….well, all except Yoda…guide me in The Force and smile in my studio a little longer, will he.

Goodbye to GuitarPassing along my dependable Yamaha guitar to new friend Mehrunisha in Oxford UK as part of my Simplicity Sale.

Categories: Community, Personal Philosophy, Reduce Reuse Recycle, Simple Living

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4 thoughts on “Year End Update 4 of 7: Simplicity Sale

  1. sufia


    Salaam alaikum,
    The idea that I could be the owner of the Star Wars figurines that you mentioned up there ^ seems very appealing to me. If they really are for sale, could I buy them? (sans Yoda ‘chalega’ , I have Gandalf for now)

    Please & thank you,


  2. Dear Sufia, As Salamu Alaikum and thank you for your cute post. It was my hope to sell the figures as a complete set to avoid unloading them piece-meal on Kijiji or such similar site. My fear is that the complete set would be too expensive for anybody other than a collector who intends on re-selling them. There are about 50 figures from the original three films (1977-1983) in a Darth Vader Carrying case, along with some quirky and uncommon pieces I sent away for as a kid and all the relevant lasers/light-sabres in the mix. Nothing is exceptionally “rare” or a “diamond” to any collector, but as they are, each piece would easily sell at a trade show for between $10 -$20 each. My focus, pure and simple ~ is to unload the old toys and have all funds go to the school in Pakistan my wife and I assist with. So, if you or anybody else wants a specific figure or wants to make an offer on the whole set, I am open to anything. Consider the payments to be “donations” with say an extra $4.00 for shipping per figure. They were a HUGE part of my childhood, collected between the ages of 5 and 10 as birthday/Christmas gifts (The tooth fairy even brought me one!). They came with me to the beach, grandma’s house and even became the subjects of one of my first attempts at 8mm film animation! So having them in good homes with imaginative kids would be a good feeling.

  3. Sufia

    It’s very generous of you to give away something that’s been such a big part of your childhood. I’ve got a couple of little old knick-knacks myself and I’m considering letting go now. I’m not a collector of any sorts. I have a small army of five that could use an Ewok or two. I like to keep them on my desk, and occasionally they get to go on little adventures – when I’m babysitting, or sometimes on Dungeons&Dragons.
    I’ve an idea though. There’s a new episode on its way. It might do to your little girls what the older films did to me over a decade ago. Perhaps they would like the figures? That’s just my suggestion. You know better.

    Warm wishes


  4. Dear Sufia, Your idea is good ~ especially with the new films on the way… But judging from the current interests of my young ladies, I doubt the new Star Wars films will be of much interest to them. They are into wired stuff ~ even old scary films and foreign films with sub-titles believe it or not. But Sci-fi doesn’t seem to “click” with them. As for the memories ~ don’t get me wrong…I am very nostalgic. To a fault actually! Beyond just the Star Wars figures, I have almost all of my toys from childhood… I’m talking about waaaaaay back in the day when Tonka dump trucks and fire engines were made out of metal! My wife thought I was nuts when she married me…”You STILL have all your toys?” But they were in such great shape and held such memories for me. It was always my dream to keep playing with them alongside kids of my own one day, and now I do! It is as if my childhood has never ended sometimes when we all sit and play with Lego bricks or Playmobile people I’ve had since Christmas 1978. But the Star Wars figures ~ the girls have no interest whatsoever, and I must admit I too think I have lost interest in them. They’d just get broken, lost or add to playroom clutter. So as I “whittle” down the old toys, you can be sure some will stay for the grandchildren one day ~ God willing. Mostly the timeless wooden and metal ones I suspect.

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