Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Garage Sale from Hell

I'm just going to jump right into the cluster that has become this damn garage sale. We were supposed to have a garage sale, it was supposed to happen over a MONTH ago, but for some reason or another, it didn't. We went camping....."oh lets give ourselves some downtime, we'll do it next weekend". 

Next weekend

New Beau: Did you get all of her clothes priced?

Me: Uh sure (not even close), I'm really considering just taping a paper to the stupid table with prices. (I think I'm brilliant).  

Then I realize that there a bagillion different types, seasons, toys, books, and all manner of other non-clothing type things. I am decidedly not brilliant, it would take just as long to write out the stupid price list as to actually price the clothes.

So here I am WEEKS later, the garage sale has continued to get pushed off for some reason or another, the plan is to have it this weekend. And for real, do you think I have made any progress pricing those blasted clothes?? I think we both know the answer is no, i think it's partly because it actually hurts my heart a bit to see her little preemie onesies and fleecie jammies, that my doll could fit in, walk out the door never to return. I sometimes miss her when she was smaller than my forearm, don't get me wrong, my girl is amazing. She gives the BEST hugs and kisses. She learns new words everyday, she says momma and melts my heart. But there is that every once in a while feeling of holding your little when they were totally dependent on you, when they snuggled in because you were their world. Then their world began to grow, and expand, just as their curiosity grows and their complete lack of fear blossoms. Lala has decided that scaling bookcases is on the months agenda. I have sprouted at least 14 gray hairs since this behavior presented itself. 

Anyhow, pray for me friends! I NEED this garage sale to happen this weekend, I need people to show up, and I definitely need them to buy everything (or at least most of it, momma needs some cheddar). I will be placing a prettily painted coffee can on the table next to the register that states : "Broke Single Mom's of America Fund". Think anyone will buy it???? I swear if anyone has any good garage sale hosting advice or any advice I will gladly dip into the coffee can fund and share. X-)

Tuesdays Poem: (I seriously love this poem, it is all fall and beautiful.)

"Come,  little leaves"

 Said the Wind one day,
Come to the 

meadows with me 

and play. Put on your
dresses of red and

gold; For summer is

past, and the days

grow cold."

  - George Cooper

Dear Friends:
I am so very serious about the garage sale advice. This will be the first one that I have actually hosted and I need to know how to get this clutter out of my house. Please, Please, Please, any advice or even words of encouragement would be really appreciated! 


  1. Oh Angel, I'm sorry to tell you I have no words of wisdom for Garage Sales, because I HATE THEM. Don't get me wrong, I'll go, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING sounds more like torture than haggling with some lady/dude over something for a nickel. Now that being said, I hang with a pretty smart crowd of garage saling gals, I'm talking big time. I think one of them wrote a post on it once, let me search the archives and see what I can find.

    Otherwise, post it on Craigslist for sure. Make sure if you have any furniture you post pics of it and in the descriptions you put the sizes/seasons of girl's clothing. Also use words like this: like new, with tags, hardly puked on, not a hand-me-down, and for God's sake the mother of them all...GYMBOREE! There be your pot of gold.

    Yes, milk it, but use an empty baby formula can instead. And borrow any extra neighborhood kids to if you can. Oh my goodness, that comment doesn't bode well for me at the Pearly Gates now does it?

    Good luck! I hope you make lotsa money. I'd come help you, but I won't. Garage sales make me stabby.

  2. Hope you are surviving the garage sale, hon. I started a Single parent Tribe on Triberr {Side effects of single parenting}. Would love you to join, but you need an invite. Email or tweet me if you're interested, here's more info about Triberr.


  3. Well, unfortunately, it's a little late for me to make a meaningful comment... But, I know a bit about garage sales. I learned from my mother-in-law, who learned from her mother-in-law, who was the BEST garage saler ever. So, some quick tips for next time (if you haven't already learned these wise little nuggets on your own)...

    Properly display your stuff. Get tables! Lots of tables! Stuff doesn't sell well when it's on the floor/ground. Get it up where people can see. They're lazy and won't stoop over.

    People also like things clearly marked with a price. Again, this plays into the lazy factor. If they have to ask the price, they usually won't make the effort.

    Set things up so that they are functional and working. A radio with batteries in it will sell because you can hear the songs playing. It also makes for great background jams while you are sitting there in the hot sun.

    Not only should things be working, but they should be clean. No one wants to buy a cookie sheet with 10 layers of baked on crap and dust on it. Also, if something is in need of repair but still has some sort of value,readily disclose what the problems are with some sort of sign. If it's not even nice enough for Goodwill, you shouldn't sell it at a garage sale.

    Always have a free box. Go through and find small items that have little value but are still in good shape. Happy Meal toys come to mind. When families come to browse, offering a child the chance to pick out a toy from the free box is something that moms love to see. You will also find that they will take more time to look through your stuff (and usually purchase something) because they see that you are a nice person and that their child is happy and content to be there because of their new toy.

    Save the heavy negotiations on price until the last day/hours of the garage sale. Stick more firmly to what you have listed when there is still a good selection of items. As you are getting closer to the end of the sale, you will want to get rid of more stuff rather than have to pack it back into your house. Make deals where if you see someone looking at something, offer a quantity discount. Say they are looking at some books that are marked for 50 cents each. You can offer them 3 or even 4 books for a dollar - buy 2 books, get 2 free, etc. If I have a lot of something in particular, I will offer a flat price to an interested party for the entire kit and kaboodle. They will often buy more than they planned on this way.

    Don't forget to have good signs. Many people will find you simply by following well-placed signs.

    There's more up in this noggin of mine, but geez, I'm already starting to write a How-To book as it is. Hope that helps you next time around.

    -Angela (aka Caffeinated Autism Mom)

  4. So the garage sale ended up getting put off again, big surprise I know. So your words of advice really were put to use, thank you both.

    Know what it taught me? Garage saleing sucks. You get up early, sit in the cold (if you're us and wait till Michigan Fall), and wait. Holy crap it was ridiculous. Lala was bored, so was I. New Beau kept finding reasons he had to leave and come back, yeah not impressed with that so much. By the end I was like "yeah if you buy these two outfits I'll throw these five in free". It was bad, but hey you do what you have to do.

    Thank you ladies both for the help and encouragement. We all got viscious sick after the first day and only did it Thursday. So yay more sitting in the garage next week, blah, lol.

    Hope you both have a wonderful week, hope it goes by quickly.

  5. Well, at first the going is slow. But once you see that passersby are starting to take an interest, you'll feel relieved. Though I don't have any first-hand experience in hosting a garage sale, what I understand through my experience in buying from garage sales is to keep the items as neatly grouped as possible.


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