Our Garage Sale (Recycling Our Junk)

I was kind of a bad girl this weekend.  I piggybacked on our community garage sale.  There were several reasons for this.  First of all, with Soldier Son being on leave, Middle Son J originally scheduled to ship off to Germany (now postponed by the Army for at least a month), and other hectic things going on, I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to schedule the time to get ready for this.  Another big reason was how much the organizers were charging.  Although I admire their entrepreneurial spirit and agree that they did deserve some compensation for their effort, they wanted $20 from a minimum of 20 participants (at least $400 if you do the math) to put a $30 ad in the paper, tack up some cardboard signs and directional arrows, and print up some maps.   I think at ten dollars I would have taken the gamble, but I could have put my own smaller ad in the paper for $20 and directed the folks right to my house.

I still had some bins of stuff accessible from my last garage sale.  When I saw that no one in the family had anything going on except for sleeping in Saturday morning and that it was supposed to be an absolutely perfect day weather wise, I made my decision to put some of the merchandise out.   This is a big garage sale area, and I knew the traffic would be heavy.  Someone else on my street signed up for the community thing so there was even a directional arrow pointing down my street.   People would be stopping by.

Early birds started driving by around 6:00 a.m. (it was scheduled to start at 8:00).  These were mostly men in pickup trucks asking if we were selling trains or musical instruments. (Must be some big money potential there).  I could see them stopping at the neighbor’s house down the street also.  I was setting up my merchandise, but started having people stop by and browse before 7:30.  It was a little hectic trying to set up, keeping an eye on my merchandise and on the money I had for change, and interacting with the customers by myself out there, but most people shopping at garage sales out here are like me, just looking for bargains and having fun.  And if they’re ready to help me get rid of my clutter and actually pay me to do it, I am going to be ready to accommodate them.

It’s fun chatting with the people stopping by to shop.  I don’t feel so bad about getting rid of the kids’ old toys and clothes when I see the excitement of the new kids that will be using the stuff.  A little boy started swinging the oversized plastic bat that his parents bought for fifty cents.  The young mom and grandma were thrilled to get the cute Little Tykes golf set for only three dollars.  A  teacher scooped up my neatly bagged assortments of educational toys and blocks, explaining that she taught preschool and special ed, and was tired of asking and not getting supplies she needed and was taking matters into her own hands.

You never know what’s going to sell at these things.  It all depends on who drops by that day.  Children’s things usually sell quickly.  I once made over $150 just selling baby clothes and small items.  But one time I didn’t feel like putting out a lot of household items, and several people stopped by looking for them.  One was a mom about my age with her newly moved out son, looking for things to furnish his new place.  It’s kind of heartwarming to think of your stuff being used and enjoyed all over again.  Guys are almost always looking for tools, or sometimes sporting goods.  Big Daddy, who is not at all into shopping, has managed to get all of our golf clubs (some very decent sets) at unbelievable prices by scouring garage sales.

And now phase two begins.  I’m going to finish cleaning up the rest of our clutter by throwing out the real junk, giving away the completely usable stuff that just didn’t sell, and saving the more valuable and vintage items for e-bay.  And maybe someday, I’ll be blissfully clutter-free.

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3 Responses to “Our Garage Sale (Recycling Our Junk)”


  1. 1 Pastor John July 23, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    We have some friends who are going to adopt 3 (yes, THREE) little girls from Haiti. They had a garage sale to raise money. They asked all their friends and family to donate items. When we dropped off our stuff, (the stuff we were planning for our own, but really did not want to deal with), their whole family room, half their living room and most of their basement was full of stuff. You can make some serious cash with a garage sale. I think they took in around 1500.00!

  2. 2 mamaneeds2rant July 23, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Awww! That’s awesome. I’m so glad they made they made out on that–they’re gonna need it with the little ones! And I’ll bet the shoppers got some good deals in the process, also.


  1. 1 Making Money Or Cleaning House? « Mamaneeds2rant’s Weblog Trackback on June 12, 2009 at 11:53 am

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