Oh my God, Becky….

So last week I decided that I was going to have a yard sale today.  (Saturday) The amount of clothes in my kid’s closets was becoming out of control.  My own closet was stuffed with clothes that no longer fit/were never going to fit again/needed to be cut loose from the herd.  And yard sales! I love yard sales, right?  Who’s better at yard sales than me?  No one!  This will be great, right?  Wheeeeeeee…..


I had forgotten that just because I love yard sales and am the queen of a good bargain, doesn’t mean that it would be easy to have one of my own.  Why?  Because OMG what a long, messy, tiring process it can be.  Here’s what should have happened versus what really happened.

Ideally I would have begun putting stuff aside in appropriately marked bins in my garage for the last year as my kids outgrew or grew tired of an item.

Reality I did not.  One kid is hyper-neat and organized.  One is….not.  The one who is a hoarder not ended up with a closet that looked like a life-sized game of Jenga.  Opening that closet is always a game of chance.  Maaaaaaybe you’ll get away unscathed, or maaaaaybe 100 pounds of glitter-covered crap from Justice is going to come down on your head.  Are ya feelin’ lucky, punk?

Ideally I would have had more to put out in anticipation of items selling very quickly.

Reality I did not.  Early in the day I had a caravan of Canadians pull up.  Really. 3 cars, 2 couples in each car.  They came out with their game faces on and good old U.S. currency clutched in their hands.  I don’t know if they just happened to have a lot of size 10/12 little girls in their families or what, but they damn near cleaned me out of clothes by 9am.  And I had a lot.  A.  LOT.

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This is what my downstairs family room looked like for days. My OCD was OFF THE CHARTS.

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The bedroom was in better shape because OMG ALL THE STUFF GET IT OUT GET IT OUT GET IT OUT. I couldn’t sleep with it all watching me.

By the time my friends from the north left with about half of my clothes, (Yay, Canadians!  Merci!) the yard sale was busy, busy, busy and there was no chance for me to run in the house and sort thru more stuff to sell.  If I had stayed more organized throughout the year, I would have had a lot more, but what I had was just a weeks worth of seek and purge from very crowded closets as time allowed.

Ideally I would have had someone else at home to help give me a break for the potty every 20 minutes once in a while or to help keep an eye on Hallee.  Maddy was at her dad’s for the weekend and Mark was at work, so it was just us chickens here today.  As for the bathroom breaks..don’t drink coffee the morning of a very busy yard sale at your house.  Moron.

But overall it was a great success.  I got to see lots of friends that stopped by, cleared out a great deal of stuff, made some serious bank and met some really nice folks. Also, I made some pretty awesome signs.

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Yes, I scribbled out my address. The world is full of freaks.

And did I mention the money?  Yeah.  I may have ended up dirty, hot, sweaty and run off my feet, but this makes it worth it.  In the bank it went, ready for back to school shopping.  Yay, more stuff…just what we need! 2015-08-08 14.24.09   A couple of other great pointers if you’re having a yard sale.  Keep your money on your person.  If you’re using a cash box, keep it with you.  As much as it makes me cringe to say it, this is a great time to break out your 90’s fanny packs.  I used a small cross-body  bag.  People are good, but not all of them.

Put price stickers on the labels of clothes you selling, not on your clothing.  If it’s a hot day, the stickers can ruin material.  I used large pieces of notebook paper listing clothing prices and taped them to the shelves I had clothing stacked on.

Be willing to negotiate, because your buyers aren’t afraid to.  If you’re already selling something at what you think is a fair price, you have the right to say no, but be prepared to keep more of what you’re trying to get rid of.

Don’t forget to pick up a permit.  Here in Bangor they’re at City Hall in the Code Enforcement office for $5.

Have a plan in place after your sale ends.  You don’t want to have to bring it all back inside, do you?  Have a truck available if you can, load everything left outside right up and drop it off at your favorite charity, they’ll be glad to have it.  I tried just putting stuff out at the end of my driveway once or twice over the years with a “Free” sign on it, but it’s like Black Friday…your stuff gets trashed, thrown everywhere and you have an even bigger mess to pick up and good things get wasted when there are people who really need them.

Allyson Sorenson

About Allyson Sorenson

Bangor mom. BDN blogger. Volvo lover. Coffee drinker.