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Sales in the Suburbs

>> Thursday, June 14, 2007

Our local shopper (that would be a small-town weekly paper to you big-city folks) is full of garage sale ads. And this weekend one of them is mine. I just read on Meritt's site about how much she hates holding garage sales. So she has a bedroom full of stuff on it's way to Goodwill. Really good stuff, too... I'm going to her house tomorrow... I wonder if it will still be there, I saw a few things that might be handy here at Casa Geek.

But, back to garage sales. I really don't mind them- for buying or selling.. When you're on a budget and the kids grow out of clothes so quickly that they are barely worn you really can't do much better than a good garage sale. I've got Brenna all stocked up on summer clothes and have begun the search to outfit her for fall and winter. And because my suburb is upper-middle class I find lots of really nice clothes for not a lot of money. Which is great because spending big $$ on little clothes makes me crazy.

Now, holding a garage sale... I gotta be honest here... I enjoy every bit of it except for the people. I'm such a freak, I know, but I have this "thing" about organizing. And a garage sale is nothing but a big organizational opportunity for me.

I bring everything in to the designated sorting room and slowly begin the piles: Items to sell, items to be free or donate, items that will be folded, items that will hang... Pricing and considering much as I go along, it is relaxing for me. Probably because I know that it will all be gone soon! I really hate clutter.

A couple of days before the sale (that would be today) I begin moving items into the garage, collecting tables and arranging the layout. Because, as you know if you've ever worked retail, the display is everything. Pricy items out front, kids clothes with easy access, and the (lots) of scrapbooking items in the back. Of course we have plenty of computer accessories, too... Software, printers, scanners... Something for everyone. Of course I will alter my display a couple of times before is feels right to me.

The night before I do my final prep and set everything up. Signs on the clothes so people don't have to root around to find things, making sure the parts of the garage that are off limits are blocked...

And then comes the part I hate. The people. Or, more specifically, the early birds. The ones that begin camping outside your house half an hour before you open because they want something specific that you listed. This year I decided to begin our garage sale at 9am because maybe at 8:30 it won't bother me so much. (Last year we began at 8am and the 7:30 people made me insane!) People around here scope out the addresses - I do, too, when I go garage sale-ing - and, because our address is in what the realtors term an "exclusive neighborhood" we get a lot of people. Which is good because it brings in the whole reason for the sale:

Money. Because, honestly, you wouldn't put yourself through holding a garage sale if there wasn't a pay out at the end. And if you say otherwise I'll call you a masochist and hand you a cat-o-nine-tails to flog yourself with.


Marie 1:04 PM  

I must admit, I enjoy going to the sales a whole lot more than hosting them. We're not nearly as organized as you... it usually becomes a day-before-scramble. We participate in our street's 1-day sale. We just found out this year's date (it's in August), so really, I have no excuse to not start chipping away at gathering & pricing stuff NOW! It's just that I'd rather go to other peoples' sales than plan for my own! Good luck with yours...

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