Friday, July 27, 2007

I Think I'm Insane (in other words, I'm Having a Garage Sale)

I have *SWORN* off having garage sales, but with the Tween room makeover (remember my little Peter Walsh was ruthlessly tossing things out) we have enough stuff to have a garage sale, and she wants to use the money to buy new bedding. I know all of my friends who know me well, and have heard "I'm never having another garage sale" ad nauseum, are all rolling their eyes.

Question ... and please pipe in with any opinions you may have, Tween wants to get rid of all American Girl dolls and accessories. I will let her sell almost anything, but this collection I cannot part with. I must save it. Am I being a clutter rat or is it ok to save something really special for our family (grandchildren, nieces) and future guests? Am I saving Tween from selling something that she may want to keep in the future, or should I let her get rid of her possessions the way she sees fit?

Ok, so my honey is also cleaning the garage, which is a source of much, much, much more junk to sell. I think there is more eye-rolling going on from the friends, because you all know what our garage has looked like for ages. He has already installed shelving and cabinets, so the real test is next week when he is going to de-clutter. I think Tween may have inspired him though. Keep your fingers crossed for me ladies.

So with Garage Sale plans full steam ahead, I thought I would brush up on my garage sale skills. I found a great little check list on my new favorite organizing website, OnlineOrganizing.Com:

BEGIN BY PREPARING YOUR SALE ITEMS
sort items into categories (kitchen, books, kids, clothes)
clean and repair items as you go
price items and label with a description when applicable

CLARIFY YARD SALE REGULATIONS
call city or county government for local yard sale regulations
find out about "signage" rules (size, shape, placement)
find out if you need a permit to hold a yard sale in your area

DECIDE ON NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING
call for prices and deadlines (don't forget "free" and local papers)
include date, time, address, directions, and items of interest
run your ad at least 1 day before and day of your sale

DETERMINE YOUR YARD SALE POLICIES
determine the length of your sale (number of days and hours)
decide if you will accept checks or hold items for people
decide if you will allow early birds or let people in your home

GATHERING YOUR SUPPLIES
decide if you will allow early birds or let people in your home
"checkout" items (cash box, extra bags, tissue / newspaper)
"try-before-you-buy" items (extension cords, batteries, bulbs)

MULTI-FAMILY SALES
ask friends, neighbors, and family to join in
have each participant mark his / her items differently
keep track of each person's sales in a notebook

PUTTING UP SIGNS
put posters at major intersections and along your road
put up fliers in local stores, laundromats, and churches
include address, hours, arrows, and major items of interest

SETTING UP YOUR CASH BOX
get change ($20 in coins, $50 in ones, $40 in fives)
create a list of "minimum prices" you will accept for each item
make arrangements for a charity to pick up your leftovers

SETTING UP YOUR SALE AREA
make sure nothing is blocking traffic flow
display like items / complementary items together
make sure everything is clearly visible

TIME TO ASK FOR HELP
make arrangements for a charity to pick up your leftovers
recruit helpers (at least 2 people to stay the length of the sale)
educate helpers about your pricing / negotiating

WEEK BEFORE THE SALE
put up fliers in public areas around town
place your newspaper ad
gather supplies, get change, and confirm "helpers"

WEEK OF THE SALE
put up directional signs around your neighborhood
block off any areas you don't want shoppers to enter
get a good night's sleep

WHAT TO DO DAY OF THE SALE
start setting up 1-2 hours before sale scheduled to start
put one person in charge of cash box -- never leave unguarded
have fun -- let your kids sell snacks and play some peppy music!

Anyone else hosting a garage sale this summer?

7 comments:

The Feathered Nest said...

Dear Heather, I just want you to know your blog is PRECIOUS! I have just poured through all of it and loved it. You have a sweet spirit and I can read it in your blog ~ and so many wonderful projects, I love looking at them....what a beautiful self portrait, too ~ xxoo, Dawn

Manuela said...

I would keep the American Girl stuff in storage for her. I think when she's older and maybe has kids of her own she'll be glad you did. I bought a steamer trunk for my daughter and I keep things I think she'll like to have in the future there - like favorite books, special toy etc. Good luck with the garage sale - I really hate having them!

Manuela

becoming-home said...

We're not having one, but we definitely should.. and when we do this little guide will come in handy! I hope it goes well..

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi Heather! You know that I go to a lot of garage sales, so it sounds like you've got it all covered to me. I've done well too when I've had my own. They can be a pain this time of year (too hot!), but it's really motivating to get rid of clutter & make extra $$ too.

You asked me about painting your outdoor fixtures. I don't see why you can't do it yourself. Taking them down is really not hard & you can do it! Turn off the breaker so you don't get shocked & look for the nuts & bolts or screws that hold it in place & just take it down. You'll see the wires then where it's all connected & there should be a white, black & probably a copper grounding wire attached. Take the caps off those & pay attention to how it all goes back together. I'd use a good metal primer to spray on that brass first & then finish with a bronze or black spray paint (light coats). Let it all dry & put it back up! It will look a lot better, I promise you.

Rhoda

DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

Thank you for visiting me. I'm so glad you did & I hope you come back often.

I adore garage sales, but do hate having them. Sounds like you got it all covered though. Good luck! Hope you make lots of $$$

The signs are really cute!

Martha said...

Gotta keep the American girl stuff....don't you think? I agree with Manuela. She will thank you someday!

How exciting for your tween to be able to redecorate her room (just like Mom!)

Great Garage Sale tips - someday I will have one. You always have the best stuff on your blog!

xoxo,
martha

Sarah and Jack said...

I also would keep the dolls, even if only for a little while.

If she is really still insistent on selling them in a year, sell them on Ebay. They bring big $$$ there.

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