I have kept to my habit of sticking things in the sterilite boxes in the corner of our garage throughout the year though - just any time I felt the urge to clean out a closet or cabinet or something, the stuff we weren't using went straight to the boxes. And a couple weeks ago I realized I had about 12 of them full.
A friend of mine was planning to have a sale this weekend, and she invited me to join her at her house. I went back and forth in my mind about it, wondering if I'd make any money after the gas it would take to drive my junk across town. By the beginning of last week, I had just decided to set up tables in my own garage, put a few signs out, and see what happened. I was bummed to think about missing out on spending a day with Jessie (the fellowship is what makes having a garage sale fun!), but to keep the stress out of it, Dave and I both thought it would be best to keep it simple.
Monday night when he was at church, Dave picked up some tables for me, so on Tuesday afternoon, while the kids played in the driveway with their neighborhood friends, I got everything set up and priced. It was by far the easiest set up day I have ever had. Usually, before a garage sale, I am up pricing things into the morning hours the night before the sale. Note to self - remember this next year!
I opened my sale Friday morning at 8 am, and the traffic was amazing! There was never any break in traffic until 10 am, when a neighbor called to say that she saw the city taking down my signs. Oops. We thought they were in the right spot, but apparently not. Since I was home alone with the boys, I just closed the garage doors and called it quits for the day. I have to admit, I wasn't too disappointed - I had already made almost $300 in just 2 hours! Isn't that insane?
Dave wanted to open for a couple more hours on Saturday. The traffic was still really good - we live in such a great location for garage sales. But we had sold most of the good stuff on Friday, so we only made just over $100 more. Dave likes to start calling out "half-price everything" an hour before we pack up and head to the Goodwill. Just like in previous years, people started gathering up arm loads of clothes as soon as he said it. :)
After a couple hours we bagged the remainder of stuff in trash bags and took it to Goodwill. I kept thinking, That was so easy! Why am I not exhausted? And it really got me thinking....
Because I've had a garage sale every year of our marriage, I think. Usually with a big group of girl friends. And while we usually rake in the dough, it takes me awhile to recover from them. So much so that I almost didn't have a garage sale this year.
So here's what I think helped make this garage sale the easiest one I've ever had:
- I collected items throughout the year to sell - no major house overhaul to get ready.
- I set up for the sale during the day instead of in the evening.
- I didn't wait to join my neighbors for our neighborhood garage sale in June. I have done it with them the last 2 years, and it was obvious that people felt like they needed to move through quickly and then head to the next sale. Since my sale was the only one on the block this time, people stayed for quite awhile, browsing through everything.
- I sold all the extra household/toiletry items from my CVS stockpile. This probably accounted for almost half my earnings, to be honest. People went nuts for $1 tubes of toothpaste and shampoo bottles. I sold a ton of medicine too - it cracked me up when people would buy like 6 things of Beano. They were stocking up! :)
- I had the sale by myself (sadly) and was only open for a short amount of time each day. Since the boys didn't have other kids to play with, they sat beside me and helped me count change. It ended up being pretty fun, for them and me!