Along with my kids, who are eager for new-to-them-toys, I've been garage saling like a mad-woman this year. And I've noticed, depending on the item, the time it takes for me to feel like the true owner of the item varies.
Factors that affect the time an object becomes MINE:
Ability to clean/sanitize the item
If I can stick it in the dishwasher, or washing machine, or paint an item, it is mine as soon as that is done. If cleaning the item is more tricky, true ownership takes longer. Like the handbag still hanging in my closet looking like a stranger's purse.
Cost of the item
When we drove off the used lot with our van, it was ours. Was this because it was from a used dealer and was "cleaned" or because we had committed to it because of it's cost?
Age of the item
When a beautiful lampshade still has the original store tags and protective wrap on it, it is mine even before cash has changed hands to make it legally mine. If I find a wooden kite spindle with a 25 cent sticker on it that is so old that it's past is called "history," it is mine. If the item is just plain old, and dusty with someone else's dust, it may take a bit longer. Then again, this factor may just be the cleanliness factor.
Need for the item
Our vacuum died a few weeks ago. The next morning, Mr. Smarty took the kids to a garage sale where we found a relatively clean and working vacuum for $2. In the history of histories, I never would have thought I would buy a used vacuum-with someone else's dust and...other stuff on and in it. But I did, because I needed one and they looked like a nice family and they looked clean. okay, we're back to the cleanliness of the item factor...
The IT Factor
This is more rare, in my experience, but it does happen. You see the item and it is yours. Not just like you are the current owner, but this piece (you wouldn't call it an "object" or "item", but a "piece" like pie, or cake or pizza or any other piece of yumminess)---this piece was built FOR YOU.
My IT Factor purchase: This chest of drawers from Craigslist. It was mine at hello. Before I made the two hour drive across our metroplex, with cash in my pocket. When I brought this piece, MY piece, home, I lovingly cleaned it and treated it with a wood repairer. And it was not to remove the yucky-stranger's-furniture-factor, but to welcome it home and allow it to shine.
Garage sale season has been in full swing now. Have you made any IT purchases? Any purchases that still haven't been given the full welcome into the home (you know those purchases that sit in the garage until you actually make them yours!)?