Do you love the National Treasure movies with Nicolas Cage? Besides being a huge Nicolas Cage fan, I adore the old fashioned adventure and comedy, along with a dash of romance in these films, and as a treasure hunter myself the entire plot is mesmerising. One of my dream jobs as a child was archaeology, and the intersection of adventure with history in these stories also captures my heart.
In the first film, we meet Ben Gates who comes from a family of treasure hunters and we join him on his quest to find the lost treasures and get the girl. I am also from a family of treasure hunters! My days as a little girl visiting op shops and second hand stores with my parents, grew this passion for me. My Mum is also a roadside collecting queen!
I think that those of us who love garage sales, op shops, second hand shops and hard rubbish, are possibly all from families of treasure hunters. The thrill of the treasure hunt definitely comes into play for most of my fellow Recyclers – do you find that? Sometimes this can be addictive and like Ben, we can put ourselves at risk, not from being chased by the bad dude, or hanging precariously off falling bridges inside underground tunnels, but from becoming overwhelmed with things we really don’t need, or even like sometimes.
As the Garage Sale Trail Ambassador, I have had a wonderful few months in the lead up, culminating in the amazing day on Saturday with over 450 sales in Adelaide alone and 8257 sales nationally, my goodness! The aim of the event is to encourage people to reuse, recycle and reinvent, to pass stuff on to someone who can use it, rather than toss it into landfill, and make a buck at the same time. There were individuals, communities and groups, markets and businesses, op shops, charities, schools, councils and families – all joining together to have fun, make new friends, make some money, declutter and share resources.
There is so much stuff in the world and a garage sale is a totally accessible way you can move things on that you no longer want or need. We also ran a competition on Instagram nationally, to #clearyourclutter. The Adelaide winner, the lovely Tracey, had years of clutter that she really needed to move on. Due to personal circumstances, she had become overwhelmed by this clutter and the garage was impossible to even move in!
A very talented upcycler, Tracey was seriously injured in a car accident and life took over from her plans to do something with all this fabulous treasure. Visiting her to declutter and set up the sale was a tough day for her, and very emotional. I was so proud to see her overcome her fears of letting go, to put on a corker of a garage sale.
Sometimes we hold onto things for very emotional reasons and it can be hard to move on in life until we clear this clutter. Holding a garage sale can motivate you to take the first step, just like it did for Tracey. I am a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to “stuff”. I am definitely not a minimalist and love decoration, colour and memories to be all around me. However I also get overwhelmed quickly if a surface or space is cramped, or overly cluttered and can be very good at cleaning out and moving stuff on. But I am most definitely a bower bird!
On Saturday my job (poor me!) was to go out on the trail in Adelaide and snap what people were doing, as well as snapping up some bargains! Just like Ben in National Treasure we had a map, but we didn’t need any lemons or decipher experts, the fantastic Garage Sale Trail website enabled us to find the sales in the areas we wanted to look at, set up our trail and print it out. We even had information from sellers about when they were open and what they had for sale! Easy peasy.
My 6 year old Maxwell and hubby came along and we had the best day out. Here is a snapshot of our day and the Adelaide trail. We picked out a trail around the Eastern suburbs, across to the inner South and back across the West and the City, but after 15 sales we had not reached the West or the city and we were all fading! I think my Maxwell did an amazing job, starting at 8.30 and finishing at 3.30 pm – a huge day which was enjoyed by all and we all nabbed some bargains as well as meeting some lovely people.
There were so many stories we heard on the trail too, some funny such as the one about how one neighbour who was at the sale had a cat who kept coming home with sausages from the house holding the sale; the poor volunteers at the St Peters Rotary shed whose cash register had broken down and they had to improvise with old fashioned paper and pens; the beautiful old radios inherited from Sandy’s dad and the discussions working out what on earth an object was, eventually we all agreed it was an old valve radio; the sale which was from a nursing home that had been closed down, and the sale was in the old Matron’s 1960’s retro house next door, full of all of the deceased estate collections from the elderly people who used to live in the home – you could still feel the Matron in there! And the amazing vintage markets hosted by Pratty in the cow sheds at the Adelaide Show grounds,which were a real treat.
What a day….stuff is so much more than stuff. Do you know what I mean? A good garage sale brings all these stories and memories to life.
And so we found the treasure!
How was your day and did you hold a sale, or go on the trail? We would love to hear.
Happy treasure hunting and see you on the Trail again next year!