At some point, we’ve all looked into our attics, basement, or storage rooms and felt an overwhelming need to purge most of what we’ve been holding on to for many years. Knowing that the undertaking is an overwhelming one at best is an obstacle we face. However, the motivation and rewards for tackling this job are significant and gratifying: More space, more organization, and the obvious monetary reward.
Time for a Garage Sale ….
You’ve heard the adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” It’s based on the irrefutable truth that most of the items you’ve been holding on to will find a happy home with someone who will be genuinely grateful to make daily use of the item you’ve lodged in your attic.
The moniker “garage sale” has expanded to include attic sale, junk sale, yard sale, lawn sale, tag sale, moving sale, or rummage sale. All fall under the same heading of a sale of used household items that the owner no longer needs.
Every item has a story, as you go through everything, be firm with yourself and realize that while you can always hold on to the story, you don’t always need the 8-year-old box of rusty fishing hooks that your husband used to take the kids fishing the summer they were five. Sell it and enjoy the photos.
Trying to stage a mixture of furniture, appliances, home decor items, camping gear, garden tools, clothes, electronics, sports equipment, and books can prove daunting. Understanding that the power of a yard sale is the curbside appeal helps to wrap your mind around where to place everything. The merchandise should be displayed in an orderly fashion with signs categorizing your items. It goes without saying that all items should be in usable and in good to excellent condition. Items that draw crowds go up front to lure them in.
Advertising your garage sale is necessary. I find advertising on Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, and local newspapers very beneficial. I generally print about 30-50 self-designed and created flyers, outlining the pertinent information such as date, time and address of the sale, and put them out a couple of days ahead of time.
All items should either be individually priced or bunched up and marked “everything $2.00 on this table or box”. Be prepared, most people will try to bargain on your listed price; it is your decision how you want to handle this. Keep in mind, you want these items gone; barter on the ones that are important but get rid of the rest. Remember to set up a “cash only” station with plenty of change on hand. I generally delegate a family member as the register keeper so that I can answer questions, walk, refold items and reorganize as items leave.
As I have two teenagers and I encourage their help, I put one of them in charge of refreshments such as a glass of chilled lemonade and warm homemade cookies for our happy customer. People that want a head start shopping at your garage sale are called “early birds.” It’s a personal preference whether you want to negotiate an early sale. I find that I’m so busy setting up and organizing that the interruption is too disruptive so I include this on my flyer “no early birds please”. Be sure to get up early and plan to spend the day outdoors.
Lastly, garage sales are infused with nostalgia. Watching that “Tickle Me Elmo” or the hand-crocheted doily go out the door is often difficult. When that moment comes, remind yourself that it’s an expanding universe and the creation of space leads to more wonderful, treasured artifacts and more memories.
And more garage sales.