Yard Saling

Since at least Christmas, my utility/laundry room has been a staging area for stuff in my life I just didn't want or need anymore.  I'm not a fan of having "stuff" for stuff's sake.  It clutters my life and ties up money that could otherwise be mine for saving or put to use on something needed.  Plus, other people might want it for their own enjoyment!

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Enter the yard sale.  I haven't had one since I moved from San Diego to Chicago 9+ years ago and got rid of almost everything I owned,  

Every year, my town has a city-wide yard sale.  They waive the permit fee and there are dozens of signs on every street corner.  Because of that and the fact that I had a couple days off before, I figured this would be the perfect time to have our sale.

Yard Sale Sign Tips-  

  • I made our signs out of poster board ($0- had it already), little garden fencing ($0- had it already), cheap as heck permanent markers in three colors ($1 at the Dollar Tree), and staples.  
  • I drew the signs in big, bold letters.  Don't just write on the signs- make the lettering extra bold so people driving by can easily read it.
  • I included the fact that it was a Yard Sale, the address, the day/date, and the time.  "Yard" is shorter than "Garage" so it is easier to make the signs.
  • Each piece of garden fencing had two pieces of poster board signs stapled together (reeeeeally stapled.  like, a lot.).  This made the signs really sturdy, unlike those really sad signs that you see that have flopped over and are no longer readable.   
  • The evening before the sale Kris and I just walked to all the major traffic points and put up the signage. We took the signs down as soon as the sale was over.  Always take your signs down!

I also did additional advertising on Craigslist on the Thursday before the sale:

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I think it was decent and had all the "need to know" info.  In hindsight, though, I wish I had listed more of the cool stuff we had and I would have also included photos.  At the time I wrote it, I was extremely lazy and didn't want to get up and look at what was in our for sale pile so I did it from memory.

The day before the sale, I got super organized.  I put prices on everything using generic mini post-its from target ($2) and I cleaned the dusty goods so no one would be grossed out.  I also went to the bank and got change- $10 in quarters, $25 in ones, $15 in fives, $20 in tens and $20 in twenties.

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The morning of the sale we woke up early and set-up tables (and makeshift tables, as you can see, where Kris is making sure all the discs are in their boxes).  We laid stuff out in categories and tried to make everything easily visible.  I also had Joe-Joe's and Lemonade out for shoppers.

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We got a smattering of folks throughout the day and sold most of our "big" stuff.  Most of the rest of it we dropped off at the Salvation Army after the sale.  We made $175!  That is pretty good considering we didn't really have that much stuff (compared to some yard sales I see) and we also had no baby/kid stuff and no tools, which seems to be what people are always looking for.  

I certainly consider it to be a success, though.  My goal is to stop acquiring things that I won't receive lasting value from so that I don't have to have another sale!  I guess another one in 10 years wouldn't be too bad.

Anyone else spring cleaning and yard saling?  Or yard sailing?  I don't know how you'd do that.