Second Hand Culture

Let’s face it, there’s too much stuff in the world.  There’s too much stuff in your house!  There are several reasons it ended up this way.  First, people buy stuff that they don’t need and often subsequently don’t pay any attention to.  Second, people buy NEW stuff when they could easily get by just fine with used stuff.  Third, stuff isn’t made as well as it used to be and breaks before it should.

There are few things in life you should ever need to buy new.  There is so much used stuff on the market that it often just gets thrown away, even by second-hand shops.  The reason more people don’t buy used is that it’s time consuming and deprives them of that insidious instant gratification that everyone has become so accustomed to.

I admit that I rarely go to garage sales.  I have a house full of crap.  I mean, really, what do I need?  However, my sister wanted to go to the town-wide garage sale in Warrensburg, NY, so I agreed to accompany her.

There were certainly a lot of treasures there… and a lot of people!  Half of the town was set up with “crap” stands, as I call them.  In other words, cheap shit from China that may or may not have lead in it.

Warrensburg, NY town-wide flea market

The other half was actual used stuff – some yard sale type stuff and some older, antique-type items.

Warrensburg, NY antiques

Then there were the fair-style food stands with delicacies like fried bread dough and blooming onions.

Warrensburg, NY town-wide yard sale

My favorite things to look at are old kitchen wares.  While I’ve considered getting a small butter churn, these were a little bigger than I wanted.  (I’m aiming for 2-quart Mason jar.)

Antique butter churns

While it was mildly entertaining, the stuff all starts to look the same after a few hours.  I left with one item that, ironically, was not used.  But I needed them (leggings), and they were $5 and looked relatively sturdy.

1 Comment

  • Do I ever know! As an interior designer in DC, I used to encourage my clients to clear out, then take the remains and package them into four groups — Holiday and three others to relieve clutter because no one sees anything after the first several months. These groups were to be rotated out of the garage/attic storage through the year. That goes even for the high-end furnishings and artwork I helped them select. After only so long, it becomes part of the walls, not much more.

    And man, oh man, was dealing with the retail studio client part of my career ever the worst. After hours (!) of listening to anyone walking in go on and on about their most prized possessions, the best I had to offer them was attic or yard sale, though I couldn’t actually offer either! Too often it fell into the category of vacation souvenier. We all have too much. And how much of our income does that represent? Family memorabelia is all I can countenance at this point and even that, wel….

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *