Monday, September 28, 2015

Tips for a Successful Garage Sale aka Let it Go

I texted my friend Leah shortly before our yard sale began last week.  She had asked how she could help, and I told her she could make it easier for me to get rid of things.  Her response?  Just think WWLD.  Translation: What Would Leah Do?

I have a confession to make.  I have a really hard time letting go of my baby boy's stuff.  Now that the baby is two, and the factory's been bombed (ask Justin), I have come to that difficult place of making myself part with our baby toys and clothes.  I'd rather just hide it behind closet doors and pretend it's not there, or find an excuse like, "Someone close to me may decide to have another baby!" but as closet space is running out and most of my friends are turning *ahem* forty, I know the inevitable will happen.  I will have to part with it.

This boppy was Jonah's, then Carson's, and finally Camden's.  I used it when they nursed, when I wanted to prop them up before they could sit on their own, and when they wanted to "read."


I cleaned out Carson's closet recently and as I was sorting clothes into a keep pile and a donate pile, I realized that it's a lot easier to get rid of items as soon as you are finished with them, than it is to allow them to take up space in a closet, constantly having to work around them.  And I knew I would have to participate in our neighborhood's fall yard sale.

After our successful yard sale, I feel compelled to share some tips with you.  Here they are, from one closet pack rat to all you others out there:

1. Make your kids disappear.  If they stay, they will only want to keep the very items you are trying to get rid of.  Or if they are two, they may curl up into a ball and scream while your customers are walking up the driveway.  That is not inviting in the least.  It is simply easier to conduct a yard sale with your kids out of the way.  Come up with a plan for them to go somewhere with your husband or other family members and don't change your mind.  Even if they write a note like this...

My husband took all three boys to Jonah's baseball game.  And even though Carson ended up babysitting Camden so that Justin could help Jonah's coach, everyone survived.  They also grew up a little in the process.

2. Get in on a community or group yard sale.  Let someone else do the advertising, and other sales will draw people to your sale.

3. Don't price your items.  This takes too much time and may keep people from even considering an item.  Remember, the goal here is to get rid of your stuff, not necessarily to make a buck.

4. As the end of the sale draws near, be prepared to take less for items.  Consider the hassle of loading up what is left and carting it off somewhere.  It just makes sense to take less or even give away items, than to go through the trouble of taking it somewhere.

5. Be willing to make a delivery.  I had a lady interested in some framed art we had loved but no longer had a place for in our home, and some teacher books I hadn't looked at in years.  I told her $7.00 for the picture, and she said if no one else wanted the books she'd take all of them (she runs a tutoring company out of her home).  When she never came back for the art and books, I drove them around the corner to her house, and made a special delivery.  I asked for $10 for the art and books and it was a done deal.  I was so happy she could put the books to good use and she contacted me the other day to let me know how much she loved how the art looked hanging in her home.   It was a win-win.

6.  And finally, and this might be the most important one--NOTHING COMES BACK INSIDE.  Load it into your car, and make a trip to Goodwill.  Done.

So, as difficult as it was for me to part with that boppy (I ended up taking it to Karrousel Kids), I realized when I came home with a new play grill for Camden, that is was a pretty good swap.  Someone will be thrilled with that boppy, someone who really needs it to nurse her baby or prop him up, and this someone is overjoyed to grill alongside his daddy.

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