How To: appreciate what you have (even if it drives you nuts)

In a nutshell: List something you cannot stand on Kijiji before you are really ready to get rid of it. When the floodgates of emails come rushing in, you will then find out how just you feel about what drives you nuts.

I did something really stupid. Happy New Year by the way. As we kick off our year thinking about things we want to tackle, change, improve or get rid of, I settled on a new year’s resolution. I no longer wanted our couch. Yes, I know. I told you it was stupid. I could have resolved to get a job, lose 10 pounds, join a gym, or even better,  volunteer for some greater cause far more valuable. Instead I settled on a material object. Literally.

This month we will have lived in our home for 7 years. So call it the dreaded Seven-Year-Itch. Having a new home and zero extra income means that if you are like many other families you will be buying a sofa from IKEA. For us it was the EKTORP 3 seater in a vibrant Idemo Red corduroy fabric. $650. Great deal, even to this day. It currently retails for $499 as of the writing of this. It has served us well. Still does. That’s kind of the problem. You see, as our family has expanded and literally grown (my 14 year old daughter is now taller than I), it no longer fits us. I even went through a rebellious phase where I purchased not one, but two white slipcovers for it so I could always have a light, bright and clean sofa (hello bleach) while another set lay clean and ready to be replaced. That did not work out either. Being a white sofa (did you know I have 4 kids?) and hating to have to remove, wash, dry and replace it every few weeks, I ended up using one of two white tablecloths to drape over the white sofa and simply wash them instead so I would not need to take the covers off. That meant I never needed to open the second white slipcover. I put a cover over a slipcover. Smart lass I am.

Over the holidays I decided what would serve our family better was a sectional sofa that is small in scale to fit in our narrow living room. Brilliant. Do we need a sectional? No. Do we want one? Oh Yes. Being a resourceful and sometimes industrious person, I then thought I could sell our sofa on Kijiji to help buffer the cost of a replacement. Stick a pin in it for a second while I ask you a very serious question. Who really wants to buy a new sofa in January when they have just forked out a small fortune over Christmas? What am I thinking?

Back to the present. This is a “How To” post after all. So I take a few photos of our sofa, upload them to my laptop and set to work. I am excited. I take screen shots from the IKEA website of a “new” EKTORP sofa in both slip cover options. I figure it bodes well for potential buyers to see what a well photographed sofa should look like. My photo is the bleak one at the top of this post.  Then I go snooping to see what the going rate is for a “used” EKTORP sofa. Anywhere from $150 to $200. Yet I have a trump card – a new unopened BLEKINGE white slipcover that retails for $79 alone. Perfect.

I settle on listing it for $200. Seems fair. Almost too good to be true. Then again, the sofa is 7 years old. Hey, no smoking or pets in this household. Even better. Now the really silly part comes in. I email my husband with a link to a sectional that I think could work ($1,099). Guess where from? IKEA! Gets better, the exact same EKTORP sofa but in a sectional. I must be mad. My husband hits the roof. No way he says. Oh right, we are still broke from our house purchase 7 years ago and you know, that problem of it being January and all. The sofa I really like is closer to $3000. Who wants to spend three grand when you have 4 kids who like to eat pizza on it while having movie night?

OK, fine. I figure I could just list it and see if I get any interest. Could take a while. Here is what unfolds. In just 20 minutes and less than an hour I get 6 emails. Everyone LOVES our sofa and wants it immediately! Only one low baller. $150. What was he thinking?

Now what? I instantly feel an unexpected emotion. Excitement? Happiness? Pride? No. Not exactly, even though it makes me feel rather touched that my trash is indeed such a treasure. Fear. That’s what I feel. Real fear. What have I done? I have a sofa that apparently 6 people would happily take off my hands immediately (minus the first emailer who wondered if I could deliver or hold on to it until the end of January while she moved).

What I do not have is a new sectional sofa, nor a plan. First things first. I have to pull the ad. Then what? Well I have to email these people with a reply. Seems like the right thing to do since they have just confirmed that if I don’t want my “IKEA EKTORP 3 seater sofa with three slipcovers (1 new in the box)”, they sure as hell do!

But what do I say? Do I come clean and say I am a fool and listed it before having a replacement? Do I lie and say it is sold? Nah. That is just bad karma. I reckon that I might just want to list the sofa sometime in the near future when our credit cards stop smoking. Then my husband comes to the rescue. My reply reads:

Thank you for your interest. It is no longer available.

I get five replies to that with the feedback, “Thanks”. The low baller apparently has issues.

As I hit the Publish button, I glance over to take another look at our vibrant sofa and think to myself: No. Thank You.

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