How to Organize a Garage Sale
It’s that time of year. The sun is shining the grass is green and the junk in your house is calling to be set free in a Garage Sale. I dread yet love this time of year. Dread because there’s usually a lot to sort through, (where do I start?), yet love because when the STUFF leaves I feel a little more free from the responsibility of owning things I don’t or no longer need.
I don’t know about you but I cannot go throughout my entire home and organize what to keep and what to toss very quickly. With the little ones running around and using my boxes as “houses”, sometimes very little can get done in way of preparing for a Garage Sale.
- Keep your perspective. Yes there is always stuff around the house, but take a look, a real look at your stuff. Do the years go by and the levels of things accumulated in your house stay “Normal”. Or do they just keep adding up? How many people are living in your house? (more people = more stuff) Is the stuff that makes up your house STILL useful?Yes there are always toys on the floor of our home, but they are the ones that are bring played with and still enjoyed. There are no broken or unsafe toys lying around.
Yes there are clothes sticking out of the kids dresser drawers, but they do wear all that is in those drawers.
Yes our shoe mat by the back door is heaping, but the rubber boots and school shoes are being worn RIGHT now.
- Sort through your house little by little. That age old saying of “Rome wasn’t built in a day” applies to busy mom organizing her house.When do you have time to go thorough everything? = NEVER. So we do this little by little.If you have the room to make a spot in your house (i.e. corner of the basement) set a box there as the “Garage-Sale-Items-Box”. I start after Christmas, which is usually when I’m trying to find room for the new Christmas toys in our house. I use a process of asking myself questions to see if the STUFF I’m organizing is still useful. I.E. when I’m storing kids clothes that they’ve outgrown; Do I keep this item of clothes for my younger kids? Then I store it. Does it look stained or stretched? Then it can be tossed. If it’s still in good condition I put it the “Garage-Sale-Items-Box”. Or was this item of clothes ever even worn? (i.e. Little girl NEVER did wear that jean jacket) I can apply this process to our toys as they are being picked up, or the cupboards in my kitchen as I put a pot or pan away. Etc. While I’m not always on the hunt for things to get rid of, a couple times a year it hits me. The “let’s-toss-things-out” bug. If this doesn’t work for you, you can also try grabbing a “Garage-Sale-Items-Box” set your timer for 15mins and GO fill it up!
The more often you do this the easier and quicker it will go = your a pro/ less things to go through.
- Start early to avoid tossers guilt. (by “early” I mean “in-the-year-early.”) I know that if I start early with a “Garage-Sale-Items-Box” putting in toys, clothes, jewelry or dishes, then, as the months go by I still have that testing time and opportunity to see if I really need or want to keep that thing that I tossed. The out of sight and out of mind trick will work. Unless it’s something that you are really not ready to let go of yet. Word of warning; don’t waste your time by going through and going through and going through your “Garage-Sale-Items-Box”.This process will work great for kids toys. When they are at school you can load up a box with all the toys that you know that you know that they NEVER play with any more. You can seal it, label a date on it and put it in the far corner of the basement/storage. If your kids ask for that one toy that you packed away… voila… you still have that chance to give it back. If enough time goes by and you eventually get rid of the toys through a Garage Sale and if your kids come looking for the toy long after it’s gone; you can explain to your kids that a lot of time went by and they never even missed it. I use this process on things in our home that I find VERY hard to get rid off because of the sentimental value to me, even though I know I need to get rid of it. Also to the stuff in our house that was a gift given by someone special but… I NEVER use!
- Bring the kids along…( or not). Depends how daring you are (and how old the kids are) but you can involve your kids to help sort through their things that they would like to put into the Garage Sale. Maybe they could keep the money that is made off the toys that are theirs?! We haven’t done that before (our kids are still too young) but… it might work with kids that are older.I don’t bring my kids along yet. Usually I ask one of my mom’s to watch my kids and I go do the Garage Sale thing. My kids are too young to be sub-independent, and it really stresses me out if I have to run a Garage Sale (see below) and watch the little ones. If I ask one of the kids grandma’s this give me a nice working break and I can fully concentrate on the Garage Sale.
- Join a Community Garage Sale Day. This is what I do. On this coming Saturday our Community is having a “Garage Sale Day”. Our little town will have houses all over with there doors opened selling their STUFF. The church were we go to is located is a great spot in our little town. So we bring all of our stuff to the church and collect from other people their stuff they want to donate as well. We end up having this HUGE Garage Sale right in our church parking lot. We also have an opportunity to do a Community BBQ. It’s a great way to meet people in our own community that we’ve haven’t met before.Best part about it; we do this together. (by we = mommy friends) Second best part of working together, is making it a fundraiser for a cause that we love!!! This is my story, and how I love to do a Garage Sale, but you can adapt it anyway to fit where you are at. Do you have a community Garage Sale Day coming up? Does a friend of yours have a home that is more central to the town, thereby gaining a lot more foot traffic? Can you join tables with her? And help watch each others kids? Can she sell your stuff with hers while you take all the kids to a local park, then split the profits? What works for you?
When organizing a Garage Sale don’t forget:
- a float for your cash box
- signs for the road
- flyers about the upcoming event
- snacks or lunch
- what-to-do if it rains (Plan:B)
- masking tape and markers to price some items (especially the bigger stuff)
Happy Garage Sale Week-end!
By: Sharon Schuler
P.S. Worship Song for the week!