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Follow the exploits of Rockford parents Dorothy Schneider and Brian Wallheimer and their three children.
Hitched: Purging extra stuff in (perhaps) our one and only garage sale
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By Dorothy Schneider and Brian Wallheimer
Dorothy Schneider and Brian Wallheimer have their hands full with three young children: two daughters and a son. They tell stories about the kids, but also the challenges of building and maintaining their own relationship through all life’s ...
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Hitched
Dorothy Schneider and Brian Wallheimer have their hands full with three young children: two daughters and a son. They tell stories about the kids, but also the challenges of building and maintaining their own relationship through all life’s challenges.
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By Dorothy and Brian Wallheimer
June 8, 2017 3:17 p.m.

We've put some pretty heavy stock this past week in the 'one man's trash is another's treasure' adage.

In preparation for a garage sale this weekend, Brian and I spent hours sifting through bins, basement shelves, dresser drawers and closet floors trying to purge. Our sale was Saturday morning, so by the time this prints, it will be over, and hopefully our wallets will have a few additional dollars and coins.

So many friends warned us against having a garage sale, citing the time and hassle of organizing the whole ordeal. But, of course, we dove in with the 'how hard can it be?' mindset because we are foolish.

Turns out " pretty tough. We donate a lot of stuff every year to Goodwill or the Salvation Army or Rockford MELD, but as the piles accumulated in recent months, we figured it was worth putting price tags on the lot.

With no plans to expand our brood, we were ready to depart with any and all remaining baby stuff in the house " which was an emotional undertaking (both exhilarating and sad). We've already given a lot of the baby stuff away to friends in recent years, but somehow we keep turning up onesies, tiny socks, teethers and toys around the house.

We were flabbergasted to realize the volume of toys, dolls, stuffed animals, games, art supplies, sports equipment and junky giveaways from fast food places that our kids (ages 7, 5 and 3) have amassed.

Going forward, we are very strongly considering a 'no toys' edict for birthdays and holidays. At the very least, no toys with more than three pieces.

We sorted through the sea of 'stuff' and pulled together boxes of play things that our kids have not touched in months or, in some cases, years. Much of this was done in stealth mode to avoid the dramatic scenes in which the girls would pounce on a long-lost item and claim it was/is their most favorite (fill in the blank) in the world.

And Brian and I realized some of our own guilt in this process. I agreed to part with boxes filled with spare kitchen utensils, small appliances we never use and dozens of items I categorized broadly as 'home decor' (though Brian had some other choice words for many of those pieces). We also cut ties with numerous VHS tapes and an unopened cassette that apparently features 'Sounds of the Mississippi.'

We will report back on the overall success or failure of the sale day, but I feel a sense of accomplishment just surviving the preparation period. There was something very cathartic about carrying bags and boxes of unused or under-utilized items out of the house with no chance for return.

Now we just face the task of keeping the junk at bay moving forward. To that end, the fear of having to organize another garage sale may be just the incentive we need.

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