Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How to get ready for a garage sale

I decided to have a garage sale. The idea sort of evolved from doing a sale with my friend at her house, to thinking that sounded like too much work to, do I have enough of my own stuff to have a sale to, Yes, I can have a sale! So I'm having a garage sale. It's still a couple weeks away but I'm having so much fun getting ready. You'd think that I wouldn't have anything to sell since we just moved and all, but prior to packing up our Washington house, I didn't have a sale, nor could I have of. Simply because there was no one living out there! Well, a few...but I lived in a somewhat secluded country kind of place, remember: Little FarmHouse in the Woods?

There's a lot of thought involved with getting ready for a garage sale. And a lot of activity. I started by going through all the totes in the laundry room. In those totes were mostly clothes of various sizes (organized of course), but I wanted to make sure the clothes that were in them were appropriate and that I still liked them. Next I started going through all the toys in the basement. We don't have an over-abundance of toys but there is always something the children have stopped playing with or that I am getting tired of looking at. The one question I keep asking myself is, does this toy require money to make it fun? In other words, does it have batteries? Those toys tend to frustrate me the most because they always need new batteries and they are always noisy, especially when the youngest is napping! One by one I've been going through each room, each closet, each cupboard, each drawer. I have found a ton of stuff! My sun room is getting fuller and fuller with each passing hour. I think I've pretty much gone through everything and now I'm moving on to pricing.

I never price anything under a quarter, then I don't have to have lots of change, only quarters! Also, I always price things really cheap, because while it's no secret we need the money, it's also no secret that clutter DRIVES ME BONKERS! The primary goal being to declutter, secondary to make some cash!

Also, come what may, I never keep the stuff that doesn't sell. UNLESS, it was something that I decided beforehand to keep if it doesn't sell. For instance, my daughter is selling a wooden horse stable, it was pretty pricey when she bought it and wants for recoup some cash from it. But, if it doesn't sell for the price she wants, she's happy to keep it too. I'm going to have a table of homeschool stuff that I will probably keep if it doesn't sell and try to sell it at another used curriculum sale later this year. But the rest, it immediately goes to Goodwill or the Crisis Pregnancy Center!

For me an organized house is one that has room in it's closets, that has dresser tops uncluttered and where everything has a place to go when not in use! I'm particularly anal in this regard...always have been. Just ask my mom...I had a pretty tidy room growing up, at least compared to my brother! :o)

The children are all getting rid of things too. They want to make a little cash to take with them to the State Fair at the end of August. I love it that they are not attached to stuff and that they want to buy their own treats at the fair, even Bubble Gum Taffy is dreaming about Cotton Candy and Milkshakes!

I feel like I've had such a great day because even though my sun room is a disaster and all the neighbors can see my mess, my house is getting decluttered and organized. So liberating!

Glimmering and Sparkling all over the place,
Mrs. Taffy


  1. Well done! I think you get those de-cluttering genes from your father's side of the family! Although I DO price my stuff to sell when I decide to get rid of it!

    Enjoy the feeling from getting rid of excess baggage!


  2. Awesome!! Hope you sell a lot of stuff. You made it sound so simple. The thought of having a yard sale makes me feel a bit overwhelmed. But you did make it sound so simple.

    Have a question about how you organized your clothes in the totes. Can you give me some tips? I have clothes in totes but not as organized as I want them to be. Also what advice would you give on sorting socks after doing laundry. I keep all mine in one big basket. Not matched. Everyone has to dig to find them. It takes so much time, especially when we are trying to get out.

    Chris in FL

  3. Hi Chris! I've been thinking about your questions...

    Socks. Here's the deal. When I was a youth I did some house keeping and child care for our pastor's family and their 5 children. The sock situation in that house was AWFUL! I could have spent hours sorting socks. The mom, instead of sorting socks or having the children sort socks, would just buy more socks and make the problem worse. I tried to help her when I was there, but mainly I learned what NOT to do from that. I was NEVER going to have that problem!! And I can honestly say I don't! I only buy one package of socks at a time, usually only white. I do laundry almost everyday. I think that really helps keep the socks sorted. If a sock comes through the wash without a mate, I'll save it for one more wash day. If I don't find the mate, I chuck it. Here are the three main things-

    1) Always fold the socks everytime you do laundry (or delegate it)
    2) Throw away mismatched socks.
    3) Don't buy new socks until you absolutely have too.

    Really, I have to MAKE myself fold their socks, but it's not so bad when I do laundry so often. My biggest problem right now is that my husband and first born are wearing the same size socks (king size!) and sometimes I don't get them in the right pile, apparently they can tell the difference...

    I don't know if that is helpful or not, but I do not have a basket of unsorted socks in my laundry room and I know many many household do!

    Aren't they a blessing? The secret to clothing storage is "keep it simple." With my younger children, say size 10 and down, for the girls everything is an outfit. For the boys, three pairs of jeans or shorts and 5 polos. I usually have a couple sweatshirts in there too. Each size only has 2 or 3 pair of pajamas. Each size has one winter, and one spring/fall jacket. I only save underwear if it's gymboree :o) and socks don't usually make it to the tote. I try to have one size per tote. The older the chidlren get it seems the bigger the tote has to get as their clothes get bigger. I have to keep the bigger shoes in a tote of their own labled: dress shoes, tennis shoes, sandals or boots. I rarely keep t.shirts, you know like funny t.shirts they pick up wherever...sport logo or vacation or something, unless it's for sleeping in. I only keep stuff I REALLY like. As SOON as they out grow something I wash it and put it in the appropriate tote.

    Again, I think the reason I can get away with having so few clothes is that I do laundry constantly and I always have the children putting it away. I don't tolerate dirty clothes on the floor--you should hear me get after them! :o)

    I don't know if that was helpful or not...I hope it was! Wished I lived closer so I could help you! I really enjoy cleaning out closets and organizing! God Bless your efforts!

    Have a wonderful day Bloggy friend!

  4. Hello cuz! I read your post and it immediately took me back to the days when I'd go garage saling with my mom. We loved it and my dad hated it. He just didn't seem to have an appreciation for little girl treasures that we'd come home with. My Little Ponies were abundant. But really, it's his fault for having 4 little girls right?! ;o) Love him! Anyhow, as an adult, I miss garage sales! I should start doing more.


  5. Well that was quite a discussion of sorting socks! I know that job often fell on me. I was the oldest of 6. When my feet got the same size as Dad's, I often kept the ones without holes for myself. I know, bad, right!

    Love, Dad

  6. Thanks for the great advice. I need to read this a few times more. Wished you lived closer, too. I definitely am not naturally organized. Striving to learn each and every day.


  7. You're a super mom! You have 6 kids, you homeschool and you are SO organized. Wow! I greatly admire you! I could gain so much wisdom from your mentorship!


Your comments make me happy! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!!