For the last two weeks, I have been completely focused on stuff. With the upcoming move, there is so much that we have to do in terms of our stuff. First we have to determine what we are shipping, what we are taking in our luggage, and what we are selling. Once we figured that out, we had to price everything that we were selling and then advertise. Once you advertise, then you have to deal with inquiries, setting up meetings, etc. All of this is very stressful and very time consuming. Worse, it makes me feel so materialistic to be focused on so much stuff when I should be focused on people. We only have a few weeks left in Israel, and we should be spending that time with colleagues and friends rather than worried about whether or not we will sell our refrigerator.

Our efforts to sell our things have highlighted a few differences between Israel and America. This past Friday, we held a tag/rummage sale to help get rid of our things. A few people came and bought things but almost everyone who showed up had already arranged to purchase something from us. While here, they bought an extra item, but very few if any people came just because. Part of the reason for that is how we advertised. We don’t commonly see signs around for these types of sales so we advertised on Facebook groups intended for buying and selling things in Israel and on websites like Janglo and Yad2 which are intended for buying and selling. Basically, if people weren’t looking to buy something specifically, they weren’t going to know about the sale.

The other reason seems to be that people here don’t want to spend money unless they need to. In a country where items are similarly priced to their American counterparts but the salaries are significantly lower and apartments are small so there isn’t a lot of space for extra things, people can’t afford to buy just because something is a good bargain. In Connecticut, people will often stop at a tag sale just to see what there is and sometimes they will buy because it is a deal that is just too good to pass up. Here in Israel, unless there is something worth buying, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to go to one of these sales.

As we sat waiting for people to come to our sale, we started to figure this out. With everything nicely laid out for people to look at, I started taking pictures of each item for sale. Once I posted pictures of the things we were selling, people started expressing interest. They could see that there was something worth looking at.

By the end of next week, we will be moved out of our apartment. We still have a week and a half of negotiating and selling things. It is very challenging to find the right price for items so that people will want them but that you feel like you are recovering a decent amount of what you spent. This is a very trying process for me, but it is essential for us to move forward to the next part of our journey.

From the time we move out of the apartment until the time we leave, we have about a week. During that week, we will have to/be able to deal with the emotions that come with leaving. It will be a very different type of tough than we are dealing with right now. As I’m sure you already know, moving sux…

Until next time,

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One Response to Materialism

  1. TROY SCHINKEL says:

    The frustration of tying loose ends before you leave Israel will quickly be erased once you return home to friends and family here in America. Best of luck in your transition.

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