Up to my elbows in chipped coffee mugs at the church hall a few weeks ago, it occurred to me that the words “Rummage Sale Donations Needed” are actually perceived as code for “Bring Us All Your Crap” in the minds of so many.
I found myself digging through box after box and bag after bag of donated items trying to decide what would be sold and what would be landfill.
But after sorting through the 24th box that had clearly been extracted from someone’s moldy attic and, rather than just being hauled out to the curb for the trash pick-up as it should have, had been transported to the church for resale, only to have me make the judgement call that, even by Third World standards, these items were long overdue for a trip to the city dump, I realized not everyone knew the Rummage Sale Rules According to Jules.
In light of this revelation, I am dedicating this week’s space to laying out a few helpful guidelines for those trying to decide what items may (or may not) be appreciated at the next local rummage sale fundraiser.
Please do not donate items that carry an aroma reminiscent of any of the following: basement, litter-box, ashtray, bar floor, old people. This is not only to increase the likelihood of said items selling, but also to decrease the likelihood of vomiting by the poor person charged with opening the sealed, warm boxes and garbage bags filled with said items when such odors come pouring out.
Neither baby powder nor Old Spice are capable of removing the odors mentioned in Rule #1.
Used clothing is fine. Even your acid-washed jeans. Even your Peaches-N-Herb concert t-shirt. Even your box full of enough shoulder pads to send Alexis Carrington into a fit of jealously.
If you are going to donate underwear, however, please do not leave any evidence that the underwear has ever been worn. This same rule applies to jock straps, even monogrammed ones.
When attending a rummage sale of any kind, you should know that if you choose to try on the above-mentioned acid washed jeans in the church hall and strip down to your underwear to do so, we will all be able to see you.
Certainly, there could be a select market for people looking for just one beat-up shoe in a women’s size 5 Narrow, but that is not very probable.
Please be sure to thoroughly clean out the training potty chair before you donate it. Ideally, you would thoroughly clean it out after each use. But that could just be me and my high suburban standards. I dunno.
That is awesome of you to think of us when you are trying to decide what to do with the mattress you have obviously been using since well before the Summer of Love, but I would have even more appreciated it even more if you had taken the spring-loaded petrie dish to a biohazard drop-off facility before your lured me into touching it by leaving it at the donation drop site after-hours.
Clothing, sheets, towels, blankets, and curtains that are covered in what appears to be hair from any part of your body or your pet’s body will be classified as “Contaminated” and immediately discarded.
The person discarding the item will simultaneously gag and curse your name once you are out of earshot.
If the item has ever been inside any part of your body that is typically covered by undergarments, please do not donate it to be sold to someone else. I do not care how much luck that basal thermometer brought you in conceiving your six children over the years, allowing another woman to use it is just gross.
On the plus side... Rule #10
If you donate a purse with the Prada label still attached, I will absolutely buy it the night before the sale officially begins, carry it for the next six months, and not feel weird about it at all.