Garage sales are work, but also fun

I wasn’t going to have a garage sale this year because I just didn’t feel like I had the time to organize one.  But when my SIL, the other Sandra, asked if I wanted to help with hers, I was happy to get to be involved in one after all.  She would be doing it as part of the neighborhood association’s garage sale.

And, of course, once I started helping her set up, I came up with things to sell too.  One thing I did was go through a drawer in our bathroom that was full of miscellaneous hair decorations, make-up samples, extra tubes of conditioner which comes in the box of hair color I use, etc., and put it out in a box labeled “25 cents”.  I also put out alot of books that I had already read and were just taking up space.  AND, I had a whole drawer of decorating magazines from when we moved into this house seven years ago.  There were probably 50 of them (yes, I am somewhat compulsive when I am focused on a project, like decorating a new house).  I sold them for 50 cents apiece and all but a couple sold. I also took this opportunity to sell an 8’x10′ area rug that we no longer used.

SIL was selling living room furniture to make way for new so having her still very nice furniture, lamps and artwork setting in front of the garage, just about guaranteed that we had lots of shoppers.

I had just read in a magazine article about garage sales that the things you are selling look more inviting if they are on a pretty colored table covering, rather than on the usual brown rental tables.  So we used partial rolls of  solid color wrapping paper that we had to cover the tables.  I have to say, I think the article was right — the tables looked much brighter and more inviting when colorfully covered.

The association garage sale was advertised for Friday and Saturday, but SIL suggested that we start a day early because rain was predicted for Friday.  Two of her neighbors across the street opened on Thursday too, so the three together drew a pretty good crowd even though it wasn’t the whole neighborhood yet.  Friday was a madhouse!  We saw at least three different groups of Amish doing some serious shopping.  The Amish don’t drive cars, so they hire drivers to take them places that horses and buggies can’t go, in full-size vans.  And these three groups then each had a large trailer attached to the back of the van to haul their purchases.  An Amish lady bought SIL’s sofa and the whole group just picked the sofa up and took it out and put it right into the trailer.  That lady told us that they come from a town about an hour away, and come to shop at garage sales in this area twice a year.

Success!  Saturday at noon, Sandi’s final chair sold and our tables were almost bare.  We closed the garage door and literally put everything that was left in one approximately 2’x3′ cardboard box to donate to charity.  We took down the tables for my BIL to return and had the garage all cleaned up in an hour.

By the way, it is a well-known “rule” among garage salers that even though you are selling your own stuff to get rid of it, you “must” purchase something from someone else’s “stuff” — you know, just to show that you’re a team player. 🙂  And far be it from me to break the “rule”.

The only thing at our garage sale that wasn’t either Sandi’s or mine was a set of Christmas dishes that our friend Jane just didn’t have room to store any more.  Well, if you’ve ever had a garage sale, you know that the time of  year has alot to do with what sells and what doesn’t.  So even though Jane’s dishes were pretty and in perfect condition, they just didn’t get any serious looks, I guess because Christmas seems a long way off right now.  But when it got down to Saturday morning and we had marked everything, including them, down to half price (we were okay with doing that because Jane had said, “Just keep marking them down until they sell.”), I started thinking that maybe I “needed” Christmas dishes for the first time in my life.  So I bought them.  When I told Jane, she immediately looked at Sandi and said, “Well, now we know where they are stored, in case we want to use them!”  So, I guess their permanent home just moved to my house, but they may be doing some traveling!

Aren’t they pretty?  I  hadn’t seen the whole set until I got it home and took it out of the box.  And now I just love them!

I like the simplicity of their lines and pattern.

I’m so glad they’ve come to live at my house.  I like them so much that I think I will take everything out of the glass-front cabinet in our dining area and display them there.

Aren’t garage sales fun?

9 Responses to Garage sales are work, but also fun

  1. Hilary says:

    Very nice! I love garage sales and head out to them regularly on Saturday mornings throughout the summer. I also coordinate a street sale almost every year along with our street parties. They’re great fun.

    My winter reading comes from the 25 cent books I buy throughout the summer. And of course, there are a number of other things I never knew I needed. Enjoy your dinnerware.. in a few months. 🙂

  2. Linda says:

    Those Christmas dishes are really pretty. Now, the trick is to remember where you put them when the time comes to use them. 🙂

  3. Sandra says:

    Hilary — I think lots of people like used books — they are definitely a popular item. Those “things I never knew I needed” are the reason I don’t go to many garage sales any more. Whenever I think about buying something, a little voice in my head (that sounds just like Hubby) says, “Where are you going to put it?” He’s right — we don’t have unlimited storage space. I tell people I’m no longer in my acquiring stage — I’m now in my liquidating stage. 😉

  4. Deb says:

    I love them too. I have a thing for Christmas stuff!Anything with red berries or pinecones…. I’ve never seen this pattern and I think you probably are going to enjoy using and displaying these. 😀

  5. C. Beth says:

    I am VERY impressed that you could sell everything except one box of stuff! And yes, the dishes are beautiful!

  6. Sandra says:

    Deb — I think I’m going to enjoy them too. 🙂

  7. Sandra says:

    Beth — We were impressed too! Just great garage sale karma, I guess. 🙂
    And, as you can tell, I’m delighted with the dishes.

  8. Suldog says:

    Those dishes are excellent. I would have snapped them up.

    MY WIFE and I took part in a church-sponsored multi-family ‘yard’ sale once (I use the quotes because everybody set up inside the church basement) and it was loads of fun; much more than I expected. We sold all sorts of stuff, and bought a used TV from someone else, for $10, that lasted almost three years!

  9. Sandra says:

    Suldog — It really is addictive to find something cheap at a garage sale that is just what you wanted. I guess that’s why they are so popular! And I love the part where you sit in the garage (or church basement, in your case) all day for a couple days and just visit with whoever walks through the door and collect the money they are willing to pay for your junk!

    I bet you thought about what a great deal you got for that TV many times during that three years you used it. I imagine I’ll do the same whenever I use my new dishes! 🙂

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