Monday, June 14, 2010

The Garage Sale - Preparation

The Goal – Clear out enough space in the garage to park one car.
The Strategy – Have a garage sale.

Many have joined the ranks of those who hold garage sales. For us it was a first attempt. I volunteered to help a friend with this project because I had always wanted to do one and she was overwhelmed. We opened the garage door to view a ten-year accumulation of stuff that belonged to six different people and had been through three moves. We stood with hands on hips wondering where to begin.

After watching many organizational shows and drawing on my TLC mental files I suggested that we make three piles: keep, sell, and garbage. With an accumulated 12 hours later we looked around having accomplished this first step and any empty floor space we originally had was gone. I felt like we had made tremendous progress but the person I was working with wanted to quit and walk off the job. With a little coaxing we started moving all the keep stuff into organized sections, labeled the boxes, and in a short time had them all stacked neatly in the corner. The garbage pile was surprisingly very small so that just stayed by the trash can to be picked up in a couple of days.

Now the biggest job was to begin. There was children’s clothing of all sizes along with toys, books, and apparatus some of which I did not even know the purpose of. There were bags and bags and boxes and more bags along with household items, men’s clothing, exercise equipment, and enough stuffed animals to start a virtual zoo. Again, we put our hands on hips and looked around. I can’t really say why that helped but it seemed to and was definitely part of the process.

One of the best things about being the helper in this sale was that I got to keep whatever I found that I wanted. So I came away with some new clothes, office supplies, and books.

Bins, we had almost 10 big Rubbermaid bins. The temperature was getting hotter, we were tired, and so we decided on a plan for phase II. We brought all the bins in the house and labeled them with a size. Then we brought in bag after bag and sorted all evening while talking and watching TV. We ended up with 6 bins of baby clothes from 0 to 24 months. No, they were not all from one child. I continued to work on it every morning for the next few days and the garage started to take shape to look like a little store. A couch was used to display all the stuffed animals and they were so well cared for and cute. We also had two boxes of shoes, one box of purses, a table of women’s clothes and one of men’s, two more tables of children’s clothes, 3 boxes of books, two tables of decorative items, and more…..

Pricing was going to be a nightmare, too many little things and only a couple of days until the sale. So we decided to keep it simple. The clothes were in excellent condition and it was the plan that whatever did not sell would then go to a consignment store, another garage sale, or eBay. We priced a one-piece outfit at $1.50, two-piece at $3, and three-piece at $4. Pink tags were priced as marked. All the other times we tried to price in line with what we had seen at other sales in the last couple of weeks. This was definitely a “no junk” sale so we priced accordingly. We were also part of a community garage sale so people would be going from house to house. The premier item was a five piece almost new baby set. If that would sell the rest would be bonus.

We had spent hours in the garage everyday for a week. Garage sale day was Saturday. We were exhausted and sick of it. We put our hands on our hips, looked around and decided we were ready to go.

See Wednesday’s post to find out how the sale went.

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