Monday, August 18, 2008

From Chaos to Cash

cha·os [key-os] –noun
1. a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.
2. any confused, disorderly mass: a chaos of meaningless phrases.
3. the infinity of space or formless matter supposed to have preceded the existence of the ordered universe.
4. movie with Jason Statham

Where do you think I can get a copy of this dictionary?

For the purpose of this entry, chaos is the first definition. Or the second would work as well. Chaos = my basement. Or more specifically my guest room in the basement. Let me back track for a moment so I can explain the origins of this chaos.

Back in March, I posted about the girl's complete unwillingness struggles to clean up after themselves:

The kids have really been struggling with cleaning up after themselves. Madalyn especially. When she puts away her laundry - she doesn't really put it away. Some might go in a drawer. Some hung in the closet. A bit put back into the dirty clothes hamper. Some under the bed. Some in the toy box. I wonder how long it takes her to think of all the ingenious places to stuff her clothes rather than do it the correct way. Perhaps it's an exercise in creativity.

The same sorts of things go on in their basement playroom. They tell me they have picked up. But instead of putting the Polly Pockets back into the cabinet...it's much easier to put some in the cubbie of the coffee table. Or under the rug. Under the computer stand. Or maybe Polly wants to visit with the Barbies in their container - or better yet, Polly wants to get rich with the Sponge Bob monopoly money.

So, I took it all away. A lot of their toys have been in our storage room - Polly's, Barbies, Groovy girls, and other toys that they have outgrown. Then, a few weeks ago, I signed up to participate in the kidsignments consignment sale here in suburbia. And the pressure was on. I had to organize all this crap stuff, label, price, tag, and hang. I had the girls go through their games to make sure all the pieces were there. We got rid of VHS movies. A lot of DVDs. And it all went into my guest room.

Which, last week, looked like this:Except worse. Because I forgot to take a picture before I started working on everything. And I had already boxed up most of the books and movies. I had over 200 pieces of clothing:A lot of them with tags still on them. Alot of them grouped into 2, 3, 4, and even 5 piece outfits. I am sure that Gymboree is suffering financially these days because my girls can no longer wear their matching outfits.

And this: How else can this be described except as chaos. There are costumes. Playmobile "things." 17 Barbies. 4 Ken dolls. 27 Kelly dolls. A Barbie car. Some Groovy girls. And a basket to put Toto in to match the Dorothy Halloween costume. But Toto. And Dorothy are apparently MIA. Perhaps in Oz?

And then I found out that due to all the recalls on the magnetic Polly Pockets, kidsignments was not taking any Pollies. What should I do with all this?

It's a veritable town. There's a mall. An amusement park. A ski lodge. Pools. Cruise ship. Several private airplanes. Limos. And even a car that turns into a helicopter. Obviously not a town I have ever heard of. But a town. That is now in boxes. Should I ebay it? Craigslist? Offer it to my bloggy buddies?
Last week while I was ignoring my blog. And all the blogs on my reader, I was busy, turning chaos into product. That was boxed. And hung. And on Saturday, put into the back of my van. (Notice the towels in my van? Would you put things you want to sell on the floor of your mom van? Somehow I think I am not alone in the level of gross...)

So, then, we were off. Off to the fairgrounds and the huge building that hosts the sale. I checked in an my appointed time. And then went to retrieve all my "treasures" from the car. I am starting to feel the retreat of the chaos.

Next step: wait in line to check in.They have people looking at each item you bring. To make sure there are no stains or rips in the clothes. To make sure things are tagged correctly. To make sure that you are actually bringing kid stuff. And I am not sure what else they are looking for. What else could they be looking for?

I got checked in with only 2 items eliminated (I missed a rip on a pair of leggings. And the telltale sign of red Georgia clay on the bottom of another pair of leggings.). And then I was off. To place all 500 of my items in their correct spots. First stop: clothing (*edited to add: just to give you an idea of the size of this place - the clothes on the right - that is all one size. Two levels. On the left side of the row, another size. Each size has it's own row. Just like this. And some rows have over flow in another area. Oh, and what you see below is girl's clothes. Boys clothes are all done the same way in a different section. This place is massive!).And then costumes:And shoes:There are seas of strollers and cribs:This place is the opposite of chaos. It is completely organized. With labeled boxes and sections. So you know where to put your stuff:And so organized that there are volunteers that make sure that we don't put things in the wrong box.

And the whole endeavor was so worthwhile. Because my guest room is not chaos. It is calm. And peaceful. And most importantly. My chaos will turn to cash.

So, what about you? Do you have a room of chaos? Are you a consigner, shopper, or both? And can I interest you in a town of Polly Pockets?

34 comments:

Jill said...

OMG - I can't believe everything you had there. Amazing!! The room looks great now. I can't wait to hear how it all went.

Jennifer P. said...

That was all so stinkin' organized I'm sitting here with my mouth agape! I would have LOVED to hit a place like that :)!

My poor kids--I"m such a minimalist that there isn't much of anything hanging around here that hasn't been purged several times. I think they have a slinky, a piece of string, and an old sponge to play with. :)

Off to be whimsical!....

Jennifer P. said...

oh yeah--are you gonna tell us how much you made? And did they make you take the stuff you didn't sell home with you?

Gina said...

Holy Smokes! I would be in 2nd hand heaven!!!!!!
Send all those Polly's my way, girl!!!!

Rhea said...

I'm impressed. That was a lot of crap you got rid of!! And, I'm going to come live in that Polly Pocket town, as soon as I shrink to about 6 inches tall. That's the way to live, man!

I'm so impressed with your de-crapifying! You go, girlfriend!

Heather said...

There are a couple of groups here in town that have huge sales like this. After my four girls get through all of their clothes and since they were probably hand-be-downs to begin with...I tend to donate my clothes when we're done. They get really trashed. The town of Polly Pockets sounds so enticing, but I am well aware of the teeny tiny parts involved. *shudder*

SKELLER said...

Yikes, that was a HUGE task. Yay, YOU!!

Lula! said...

WAIT!!!!
Katrina, why have you been holding out on me? I have NEVER seen this picture of my boyfriend. NOT ONE TIME. Girl...

This has made my day. OK, I'll go back to read the rest of your post now...I just had to stop at Jason and write you. And drool. And fawn...and...

Lula! said...

We don't have such as this in the country. I am very jealous.

And of course I have a room of chaos--doesn't everyone???? Ours is the basement. It grosses me out down there. But not enough that I'm aching to tackle it anytime soon.

Your guestroom is now all ready for visitors. When should we come?
p.s. Thanks again for the picture of my boyfriend. Have you seen "Chaos?" It's one of his better films...but then again, I'd watch him haul trash if necessary. Yep, kinda love him a lot!

texcindy said...

OMG!!!! That is a sale to end all sales! Such a dangerous place to be lurking about! I'm so glad you got it all over there and in one piece or 500 or however many you had. you simply have to tell how much you make, or at least tell me, cindysue. I can keep secrets.
this posting was fab!
When the kids start school, i throw out a bunch of stuff. no more selling for me. we donate or give away to someone we like but that's rare. not rare for us to like someone, but rare for me to keep from just donating anyway. it's harder to get Mike to get rid of stuff--like socks and shirts. do you have a massive men's stuff sale in Atlanta where you take stuff to consign? Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

yertle said...

Wow. Thanks for this inspiration. Our chaos is on the garage and office. This makes me want to tackle it. Thanks!

Kat said...

Jill--And what is so sad is that this is not the first time I have consigned with them! I have done it twice before. And I STILL had all that crap. And I moved from my other house with all that crap!

Jennifer--The place is amazing. Tonight is the seller's preview shop. And it opens to the public tomorrow morning. And runs through next Saturday. They do not make you take what doesn't sell. You have an appointed time to come and pick up what doesn't sell. If you don't come, they donate it. I don't plan to go! And my stained items that were rejected - they had a donation box right there for me to put it in.

And yes...I'll be happy to share the amount of my profit. My last two times was about $500 each. I get 70% after a $10 admin fee.

Gina--email me and we can talk about how to get your Pollys...Yippee!

Rhea--It has been a huge process. We started right after I got back from the beach. There was so much to go through. And so much that just got thrown away. I am a minimalist at heart...so having "stuff" just makes me nuts.

Heather--I know what you mean about the kids being hard on things. Katie was great with them. But Madalyn! OMG. The stains. The rips. I don't know what she is up to...but a lot of things just go straight to donation after Madalyn gets a hold of it.

Susan--I'll be even more excited when my check arrives :-)

Lula--When I was looking for a picture - I just inherently knew there had to be a movie called Chaos. I just didn't know it had your boyfriend in it. And then, in looking for a picture of him - I loved this one. My other choice was him running down the street in a hospital robe. Which kinda goes with this post...but the suit. Oh, how I love a man in a suit.

And our guest room is huge. As you can tell. It's like a compound. Perfect for an entire family. We'd love for ya'll to come.

CindySue--OMG is right! It was such an overwhelming process. And I did the sale because I just had so much. And so much that was still really nice. It may be a while before I do another one. Well...I might do it again in the Spring. After that it might be a while.

Michael won't give up his stuff either. He's such a pack rat. I mean I have miles of computer cables, speaker wire, telelphone wire...you name it, we have it. You know. Just in case.

Yertle--It can be daunting to start such a project! Good luck with yours - and take pictures :-)

Elena said...

Good for you! I have SUCH a hard time parting with my stuff. "This might come in handy," I always think. And now, things are starting to get out of control. It's time to purge a few things. Love your guest room with the multiple beds. What a great idea!

Mama Dawg said...

Girl, I'll take some Polly's off your hands. My daughter LOVES 'em.

Mama Dawg said...

Ahhhh...I missed out. I saw someone else claimed 'em.

Angie's Spot said...

I'm so impressed! I'm a consigner for sure. I'm trying in earnest to curb the shopping function. My intake valve has been stuck on high for way too long, while the outtake valve was clogged. (And still is) Despite a huge consignment sale 3 weeks ago, a yard sale this past weekend and bags of stuff donated to charity, I still have a house full of clutter. GAH!!! I've really got to work on this when the girls are in school, so I can have 3 hours of uninterrupted time in which to distract myself from the task at hand.

Brian and Staci said...

WOW! I'm speechless...about that place...about how incredible your guest room looks and especially at how much time and work it took to get all your stuff organized to take it there! AND you still had posts up last week! Amazing! Truly amazing. We are in the midst of building a new home...so in about 6 months...I'll be a purgin' fool...I'm not moving half this $&#& to the new house! I'm actually looking very forward to The Great Purge :)

Brian and Staci said...

Oh yea...I did the consignment thing one time...made like $100 but I usually just load it all up and take it to The Hope Center (local donation place). Sorry, I am not in need of any Pollies...although I'm sure my boys would still think that town is awesome...even if it is pink!

texcindy said...

OMG-I toally forgot about the chords that we have that we never ever can find when we need them and so we therefore go buy another one. same thing with other guy stuf-like lightbulbs, batteries,duct tape, it's everywhere and yet we still buy more...

amy said...

One word, my friend. Ebay. Ebay still sells Pollies!

Kelly said...

Oh my goodness, Kat, I am exhausted!!! That was a lot of work; I hope you get return on your investment. Oh wait! you already have with you non-chaos room (BTW, what a HUMONGOUS guest room!!)
Doesn't it feel good to be clutter-free?!

Insane Mama said...

I am doing THAT this week, while my kids are away at their dad's. I have a realy hard time geting rid of stuff though. So, who knows

Romi said...

That is amazing. We have nothing like that here. My kids take their stuff to consignment shops. They grow tired of their designer jeans really fast and they are so expensive that I'm glad they get a little bit of a return on them. I would have loved one of those sales when my kids were small. I have a garage that needs to be moer organized. My house is in pretty good shape.

Your guest room looks huge. 3 beds! Wow!

Debbie said...

Oh my word! I have never seen a "garage sale" like that! Love the step by step we through to get there. Very ingenious my friend. Ok. I am not a big shopper...I love buying stuff for my house though. And I have a back room in the basement that is known for getting into some chaos sometimes. That's where I store things to purge alongside my husband's stinky hockey equipment ;) I did clean that out this summer though. And felt soooo much better. I have another walk-in closet in my basement guestroom that needs attention. It holds all my seasonal decor and stuff..oh and the kids christmas presents. ok that was a really long answer...i need a diet coke right now. Have good day, Ms. Kat.

Amy said...

Thanks for visiting my blog from BATW. I will be adding you to my google reader, you had me with this chaos post....my WHOLE house is chaos at times. You cleaned up wonderfully and that place to sale your stuff was awesome :)

Lula! said...

Um...
Yeah...
So...
I came by again to see his picture. I did. I'm rather stalkerish that way.

Can he stay in the guestroom with me? Just sayin'.

Swirl Girl said...

I love garage sale-ing. We used to have one about once a quarter until we moved to our Planned Urban Development.

Love to be free of clutter! If you can't sell it, donate it!

PS- my 4 year old would flip over your polly planet! We have a small village ourselves...

Teri said...

Man, your guest room is the size of a large dorm. And I do not garage sale or do the consignment thing. I am a huge Goodwiller. I love that I have just dumped all that stuff off and will never see it again. Love trash day for that same reason. :-)

monica said...

Your children sound like my son, put it up doesn't matter where. I hope you will make good money for all of your items. You had a lot of inventory1

Firefly mom said...

Good Lord, woman, that is A LOT of stuff!!! And I am in complete amazement at the amount of stuff for sale there.

And I want to live in Polly Pocket-ville, with my own helicopter and limo. Stupid plastic chicks. They get all the good stuff. Of course, they don't get anatomically correct males, so I guess it evens out ;D

jennifersusan said...

And I thought I had a lot of stuff. Of course most of mine comes from my two older boys, and I'm sure Gymboree is suffering from my not buying my boys matching outfits but I'm making it up by buying plenty of little girl clothes. ;p You've got a pollypocket town and I've got two castles, and a pyramid. ;p I freecycled a few boxes, donated a few trashbags worth of clothes and now i've got 4boxes of clothes and 2 boxes of toys I'm taking to the consignment store. Wish me luck!

Nissa said...

You're an inspiration!!! I usually just gather everything & take it to goodwill. If I know someone who could use my hand-me-downs, I'll give to them, but everything else... Michael hates clutter. It must be hell to live with me sometimes! lol

I've sold a couple things on e-bay. Only specialty things like boutique dresses that were never worn, or cheerleading outfits (cuz I like to be able to find those!). Ebay is a lot of work, though. i don't know how people powersell.


PS- how many beds are in that room, anyway?? You could have the whole extended family come stay with you, it looks like!

amy said...

That's quite impressive- wanna come help me get ready for the Glenn Sale? LOL

Karen said...

My room of chaos is my spare bedroom, where currently stuff that will, eventually, be going with us to NZ, is being sorted and packed.

Some of it kind of got rearranged during an earthquake earlier this year.

It's going to be my school holiday project as it's beginning to flow out of the room and into the hallway...