An EPIC Garage Sale

June 10, 2012

About Me

I’ve never been one for going to garage sales. I’m not knocking those who frequent them, I’m always utterly impressed with their finds and what they do with them.

Honestly, I think part of it is that I feel like I have to always find that perfect, out of the box, someone-else’s-trash-is-now-my-treasure item. When I come home with a cucumber peeler and old bowling shoes, ones that aren’t even my size, the disappointment and anxiety sets in.

But, this past weekend, I threw in the towel of annoyance toward garage sales, and we held the most epic one EVER.

Before you start to think that we had these amazing items for sale, and you kick yourself for not flying in, know that I can be rather dramatic and exaggerate a bit when it comes to telling stories. I know, rousing endorsement for this blog.

However, the garage sale shenanigans were epic to me, as we’ve never really thrown one before. Well, we did have one years ago, but it doesn’t really count.

All I did was sit on a lawn chair in our driveway all day, which led to a horrible sunburn, with a few random items like a used car-washing-spongy-thingy and a purple dragon kite on a card table, and only made about $2.52 for the day.

This time, things got real. We had quality, non-spongy-car-washing-like things.

For example, there was the entertainment center from Target, that swayed if touched, that I bought back in the age of the dinosaur for my college dorm room.

Not to forget the tube TV that went in it, the kind of thing that we should’ve shipped off to the Smithsonian for historical display, rather than trying to sell it to some innocent bystander who traipsed through our neighborhood Saturday.

At one point someone asked me if it was a color TV. I explained it was mine from college and that I’m not that old. Then they asked the question again. As you might guess, they didn’t receive an answer. Nor did they buy the TV.

We did have some nicer items, but for the most part, it was someone’s else’s trash, and apparently not many peoples treasure.

While organizing, deciding which items were worthy of the driveway card tables and hosting this epicness, I did come up with a few tips & techniques to help you maximize your time spent in garage saledom. Mainly so you only have to do it one time in your life.


I’ve had the binge part down forever, but I had to figure out this past week how to purge. If you saw my basement prior to this week (I so wish I had before pictures), you may have considered me to be a borderline hoarder.

Take a look at the items in your household and make sure that they all have a purpose. If they don’t, PURGE IT to the driveway.

I tried to use this same thinking when it came to my husband, but he gave me 5 reasons as to why I should keep him around. He saved himself from elimination. For now.

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

One thing we decided to sell was our coffee table set, mainly because the largest piece has been sitting in the basement for 5 years because I deemed the corners to be munchkin ER-visit inducing.

The moment it sold, we both looked at each other and took a little trip down memory lane. It was the first piece of furniture we bought as a married couple and we were sad to see it go.

Don’t feel bad if you have a little moment when certain things are leaving your driveway. Seriously, it’s ok to cry over refinished wood and mosaic stained glass inserts. You shouldn’t feel weird about it and the neighbors won’t stare at you. I promise. Sort of.

Show Me The Money

Charlie’s parents host garage sales a LOT (I know, I don’t get it either), so they came over to share their words of wisdom, because I was willing to give everything away, including my kidneys, for $1. Obviously, $1 for each kidney, not the set.

Truly, I thought that’s how garage sales worked. Not kidneys for sale, just bargain basement prices.

Looking back (and counting the money in my wallet now), I’m glad we had higher-than-a-dollar-but-still-reasonably-priced items and stuck to our bottom line in negotiations.

Although I did give away an expensive wooden Elephant from Crate & Barrel (originally $50) to a kid for $1 because he kept saying Ely-Funt and hugging it. I couldn’t resist.

Tip: If you have cute kids, bring them to garage sales (or at least to mine) – you’ll get great deals.

Organization is Key

I may be the type who makes a list for my lists. I’m kind of obsessed. In the garage sale realm, being neurotic actually helps.

Have things clearly marked, have an inventory list, write it down when you sell items and keep your money organized. This is all especially key if you’re selling other family members items in your sale as well, which we were.


When you put things out in your driveway for sale, if they don’t sell, don’t let them creep back inside. Everything that didn’t sell on Saturday is now sitting in our garage and will be picked up for donation later this week. Hoarderville’s population went down by 1 person after you purged all these items. Don’t go back.

Most of all, just have fun with the experience. When else do you have the chance to just sit in a lawn chair, make fun of certain people in your driveway (silently, of course) and get paid to do so?


Kick back, relax, read a little mommy-p0rn (Holla, Fifty Shades of Grey) and watch your cluttered past pull away.


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9 Responses to “An EPIC Garage Sale”

  1. pinkflipflops Says:

    I love going to make fun of shit people sell. And I love then having garage sales and trying to sell stuff I saw other people sell so we can laugh about it.


  2. Amanda

    We had a garage sale when we moved into our house almost 3 years ago and I said I’d never do it again. Lots of work for only 120 bucks. But I have done lost my mind and we are collecting stuff again for another. Sigh.


  3. Mrs. Weber

    Judging from your pics, it looks like you threw an AWESOME sale…I totally want that dining table (so cute!) and wooden trunk…I just need a spot to put them ;)

    Great advice here though. I hate throwing garage sales, but I do love going to them…even though most are a bust. So bummed I was up north Friday and Saturday and had to miss out on your sub sale!


  4. Kimberly

    I’ve never held a garage sale. I don’t know if I’d have the patience for it.
    My main question though is did you really read the book this time?


  5. Alison@Mama Wants This

    I’m kinda glad we have very little furniture, because that sounds like a lot of work :)


  6. Barbara

    I usually don’t do garage sales (host or visit). I think I’m still scarred from all of those early Saturday mornings my mom would drag me out of bed to go yard-saling. I’m a straight to the donation kind of gal, but I do love your tips!!


  7. Jessica Says:

    I’m not sure I’m convinced this was worth leaving me at soccer for.


  8. Galit Breen

    Nice, you! I can’t commit to doing one of these. I just can’t. So there. :)


  9. Jessica

    You want to come to Reno and do a garage sale for me? I’d pay you in martinis.


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