This weekend's agenda can be summed up in one word: Cash. It was, for all intents and purposes, a collective family fundraising effort.
We have a HUGE trip planned for next summer to take our adoptive daughters back to their home country for a visit. It is going to set us back some serious cash, but we think it is important to reward their 4 years of hard work in high school, and also to allow our biological kids to see their sisters' homeland. So we decided to dream big and make this trip happen as a family. Therefore, we are funding the trip by pooling our collective resources from various side hustles.
One of those side jobs was a giant garage sale. Now previously the words "garage sale" would cause a visceral reaction of dread within me, but not anymore! Because I decided to apply my organization skills to the yard sale and -- BEHOLD! It wasn't bad at all!
So here I am after the fact thinking that perhaps someone else could benefit from the things I did to make the experience less horrendous! :)
I think it goes without saying that you need boxes to prep for a garage sale. But perhaps not. Often people just dump stuff in a bag and then, on the day of the garage sale, they dump the bags out onto tables. I recommend something a little different.
Diaper boxes are one of the most useful things on the planet. You can recycle them again and again. And nowhere are they more useful than when prepping for a garage sale.
They aren't too large -- so you can't pack them too heavy. They aren't too small -- so you can fit a lot of items inside. They have handles built in, they stack nicely, and they are built with sturdy construction.
These are especially useful details if you are doing a garage sale off site at a friend's house and you need to transport your goods. They fit easily and nicely into your car, a little like a puzzle, because they are all the same size.
You can also write on the flaps of the boxes what is inside to avoid having to put every single item on a table and making it easier for shoppers to shop at your sale. (People LOVE to dig through boxes in search of hidden treasures at a garage sale!)
Diaper boxes are also handy because you can pack them up at the end of the sale and just drop them off at a donation center without needing to get your plastic bins back.
AND they won't fall apart of get holes in them like plastic trash bags.
As you prepare for the date of your garage sale, these boxes will serve another purpose: organizing your items into categories. I use Duck tape and a Sharpie to label each diaper box in my garage. Then, as I find items to sell, I go and place them in the appropriate diaper box. As my kids clean out their rooms, I have them place the items into the appropriate box. Sweaters, Toys, Shirts, Pants, Shoes, Kitchen, Linens, etc... Organize as you go, rather than spending hours all at once putting things into categories.
Why organize the items? That is simple! Any veteran garage-saler will tell you that the instant you open your garage door, you will have people stopping. PARTICULARLY if you have advertised or if you are doing this on a day that the entire neighborhood is participating. So if your boxes are already labeled and organized, you buy yourself precious time and eliminate frustration because you can literally hand an Early Bird Shopper a box from the garage and say "Here you go!" as they carry your items out of the garage for you! :)
Then, as you get a break in some of the action, you can start to put things out onto tables for easier shopping. But initially, everything is already orderly and easy for people to look through -- and purchase!
So there you have it. The one item that will make your garage sale prep smooth and easy. I have other tips -- but that's a topic for another blog. For not, start hitting up your friends who have babies -- or start saving up your own -- and you'll be all set to make some extra money from your extraneous stuff, AND, more importantly, to start simplifying and minimizing the clutter in your home!
Happy Garage Sale-ing! :)
Side Note: You'll notice from my picture that I don't have exclusively diaper boxes shown. However, you can't see ALL of my boxes in the image -- and they were mostly diaper boxes! I also use stacking plastic bins, but I prefer the diaper boxes.