Trash and Treasure

One of three strollers stored in our home. Two of the three we have sold on Facebook Yardsales pages.

It’s that time.  We are preparing to move.  Again.  While the details of our move are far from finalized, we have started the process, taking a look at what we will bring with us and what we will leave behind. 

Memory is a funny thing.  While I recall moving to Okinawa nearly two years ago, I have forgotten about all of the stuff we brought with us, much of which has been tucked away in out-of-the-way places. 

A month ago, with the help of my Husband, I began pulling things out of closets and storage areas.  The find?  Three strollers, including a second-hand jogging stroller used three times; a backpack carrier, used twice in Okinawa; an infant vibrating seat, carrier, bath, play mat and jumperoo, none of which were used in Japan, but were brought in hopes of welcoming another (small) addition to our family; an infant car seat outgrown; a breast pump and related nursing items; and, hidden in plain sight in one of our under-used bedrooms, [S]’s mini-crib and mattress. 

Thanks to friends, I’ve learned how to navigate Facebook yardsales groups, posting various items here and there.  We’ve sold the crib and mattress, infant carrier, two strollers, and the Britax car seat and stroller.  And I couldn’t be more delighted. 

The cause of my delight?  No, it’s not the cash.  A robust second-hand market.  Indeed, it serves the dual functions of keeping durable items out of landfills, while providing a financial win for the buyer and seller.  Of course, some items, such as clothing, books and household goods, we prefer to donate to the Marine Corps Thrift Shop solely based upon the time value of money.  (Bonus, they also accept plastic bags for customer use–a great way to ensure they are reused.)

What I didn’t expect, however, was the market for items in a state of utter disrepair.  Our first lawnmower was refurbished on-Island.  A father and son worked on putting them together and selling them.  Less than a year later, rust caused a wheel to fall off.  “Someone will pick it up if it’s free, just post it,” my Husband admonished.  I shook my head, “Why would they do that?,” I asked myself. 

Regardless of my skepticism, I took photos and posted the lawnmower for free on Facebook.  Within hours, two people reached out keen on collecting it from our home.  The alternative?  To drain the oil and gas and set it out for recycling.  I saw that one of the people who reached out to me, recently sold a refurbished lawnmower on Facebook for $80.

One person’s trash really is a another person’s fortune. 

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