Thawing, we’re all thawing. And though the act of thawing is most notably observed by me doing cartwheels through the backyard, removing the Christmas lights, and pruning away more overgrown bushes for the sake of curb appeal, we’ve also taken on the springtime challenge of following through on selling a whole bunch of stuff that has gathering dust around our home. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that a really, really compelling Craigslist pitch goes a long way. #craigslistFTW
When we bought the house, several items were left behind that we didn’t have a use for – one of which being this brass log holder, which found a new home recently and in exchange, bought me and Pete a dinner date out. (Verdict: $)
We knew we were salvaging those oak floorboards for good reason when we began our flooring project last October; many of you offered to take a few boards off our hands for patchwork jobs, but our true hope was to offload the entire batch (500 sq. ft from all of the bedrooms) to one lucky household. Doing this was a major labor of love, as it involved not only removing them all carefully one at a time, but also carrying the nail-ridden boards by the armload very, very gingerly into the basement. After that, Pete spent night after night removing nails from each of the boards, and sorting our “inventory” by size. We considered ourselves really lucky when, after the Craigslist post had only been live for 24 hours, we got an offer from a local homeowner who wanted all of it, for the price we were offering (at just about $1/sq. ft.). Turns out that he and his wife had just added a large addition to their home and needed that much narrow oak to match the rest of their home. They even brought a sample of their existing floors to find that it was a perfect match. Big win for them, big win for us! It feels really good to know that those boards are going to find a new life somewhere instead of being tossed (I’m channeling Nicole Curtis, obviously), plus, it was a nice little bonus to have offset the cost of our new maple floors. (Verdict: $$$)
On the topic of flooring, after months of trying to sell the leftover maple hardwoods on Craigslist with only a few interested prospects, I finally found some success in negotiating with Lumber Liquidators, and was able to return them (and leftover premium underlayment, and an extra bullnose) for only a 5% penalty “restocking” fee. I don’t think negotiating this is standard practice by any means, I had the help of someone on the inside pulling some strings because I begged a lot, but 5% sure beats their traditional 20% fee, even if it did mean that Pete had to take three Jeep loads of flooring back to the store, 30 miles round trip each time.
Learn from me and take better estimates when you’re ordering mass amounts of expensive flooring, better yet, don’t even attempt to do it if you’re pregnant. And remember, you need to return the lumber within 30 days if you want to avoid the restocking fee; a tip that’s more for large scale projects like ours. In other news, Julia really misses her makeshift dance stage/dinner bench that lined one wall of our dining room from November – March. (Verdict: $$$$$)
We had a few boxes of leftover brads and the pneumatic nail gun once we were done with the floors; those we were lucky enough to sell by Craigslist for the same amount that we paid originally (we bought the nailer at a sale price). A pneumatic flooring nailer is just one of those things you don’t need to hold on to for future projects, and we were happy to clear it out of the basement. (Verdict: $$)
I swapped out the light in our half bathroom last month–installed the same West Elm fixture that I also had in our last house and am totally obsessed with, surprise, surprise–and made a few bucks back when someone on Craigslist offered to take the old fixture for $15. (Verdict: $)
The only thing that hasn’t yet sold – and maybe it will be of interest to one of you locals – is the sofa that we had in our old living room. It’s a big sofa at 8-feet, and a piece of furniture that I still like a lot, but it’s so long that it won’t to turn the corner into our bedroom, which is where we initially figured we would use it as an additional seating area. I paid $1,200 in 2010 for it, and at this point, we’re just looking to clear it out, so if you’re interested, please email me an offer at firstname.lastname@example.org!