Just a light-hearted hoarder story today. Enjoy!
Have I ever mentioned that my parents are hoarders? Well, they are. Not as bad as the ones shown on TV, but having grown up in poverty, my parents keep everything.
Just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, I present to you Exhibit A and Exhibit B.
Exhibit A: One room in the house
What are in the boxes? JUNK.
JUNK. JUNK. JUNK.
(Yes that’s a bed frame to the left, unassembled).
EXHIBIT B: Their living room
No joke, that is a couch underneath with EMPTY BOXES or boxes filled with JUNK filled on top.
This is what their house NORMALLY looks like, and my mom is sick over cleaning it, but all she does is move junk from one room to another so it’s a never ending cycle.
THE STORY OF TWO FREE EXERCISE MACHINES
A neighbour was throwing out two awful exercise machines, a bike and a treadmill and offered it to my parents.
My mom jumped at the chance, because all she heard was: FREE and she was sold.
When I came back two months afterwards to find these two monstrosities in the living room, and the conversation went a little something like this.
BF: *calling from the house* Er… there’s a gym in your parent’s home now. So be prepared for that.
EM: WHAT? Mom!!!!
Mom: Oh yeah, a neighbour was throwing them out. Free! FREE!
EM: *face palm* Just because it’s free it doesn’t mean you should take it.
Mom: Well your dad thought it was a good idea for me to have them just in case it rains or is too cold for me to walk outside. Plus, it’s in front of the TV.
Mom: FREE! They were FREE!
A week went by and I silently watched as the machines collected dust, unused and an eyesore in the living room.
She used them for everything BUT exercising, from hanging laundry to even hanging PLANTS on them.
It was obvious after a week that they were just there because they were free, so I announced I would be selling them.
My mom looked at me with this panic in her eyes as if I announced I was going to sell a baby on the black market and immediately announced my dad would have to agree first.
Seeing as I know my father agrees if there’s money to be earned, especially from things that they obtained FOR FREE, I knew I would win.
So I cornered my father the next day and announced I would sell those awful machines they got FOR FREE and make some money off them for him.
He was on board immediately.
I started creating the listings, taking pictures and setting up the ad.
A FALSE SENSE OF SUNK COST ANXIETY SET IN…
Then my mom calls me the next day at midnight in a panic saying: I DON’T WANT TO SELL THEM. I’VE CHANGED MY MIND!!!!!! I refuse to allow you to get rid of them. I will use them!
She really had an anxiety attack over the phone, and it took all of my persuasion to calm her down by saying:
- You don’t even use them. They’re holding plants and laundry right now
- They’re just another way to be able to pile more crap on
- Have you SEEN how little space you have because of those monstrosities?
- They aren’t good machines for you — you’re too frail to be on something so shaky
When I finally got two buyers on the phone, both offering around $75 per machine, my mom said: NO! They are worth at least $200 EACH.
I gave her a long look and said: You got them for free. There is no sunk cost. It’s JUNK. I’d be happy to let them cart it away for free so we don’t hurt our backs, just so we can get that junk out of your house.
Sunk Cost = What you feel you’ve spent retail-wise on an item, and are not willing to let go for a price lower than that.
It’s like buying a gorgeous coat for $5000 and someone offering you $1500 for it.
You feel like it’s worth at least $4000 because you paid $5000, when in fact it’s worth less than half that, if anything at all.
And I sold them for $150 for both.
A woman’s trash is another’s treasure.
I knew that couple would use the machines and my mom wouldn’t. That’s why those machines were “junk” to me and to them.
Thus ends the story of how I got two monstrous pieces of clutter out of my parents’ home.
Now I’m wary every time I visit.