Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lessons from my Garage Sale

I had my first big garage sale this weekend.  This was the one with all the baby clothes.  Fortunately, I labelled all the boxed when I packed up the baby clothes.  I used diaper boxes for my basement looked like a diaper warehouse.  When I brought them upstairs, there were over 35 boxes!  Plus a few boxes from the guest room of things that hadn't been brought down yet.  

I kept the garage sale simple - 50 cents for each item, $1 for new with tags, 50 cents for books and toys (Laci got that money) and 25 cents for little items (bibs, socks, onesies).  i was able to borrow three 8' foot tables from a co-worker.  That helped so much but I could have used many more tables.  I still had a lot of boxes on the floor.  I laid the books, toys, misc. household stuff on blankets.

I learned a few lessons this weekend.

1.  Most people were looking for older kid stuff.  I think most people when they have their first baby want everything shiny and new.  Plus they get tons of stuff from their showers and excited first time grandparents.  By the time their kids are preschool, they are ready for all the garage sale clothes they can get.  Sizes 3, 4 and 5 were the most asked for stuff.  By noon Friday, I reorganized and put the bigger stuff on the table.  I didn't have as much of the bigger stuff because by the time Laci was 4, I started giving her stuff away more often to people we know with little girls.  Plus, later I found a box of size 3T that I was kicking myself for missing that I could have set out.

2.  But on the flip side, as soon as I would organize and box up the baby stuff, I would have someone come looking for newborn and infant clothes.  You just never know what people are looking for.

3.  Every time I saw someone hold up an outfit, all I saw was my baby wearing that. The memories attached to the clothes are so vivid.  I wasn't sad and it wasn't hard but I was shocked at how vividly I could remember every outfit and Laci and Calvin wearing them.  It was a strange feeling.  I mentioned that to Charlie and he said he couldn't remember any of the clothes.  That is the difference between a mom and a dad.  

4.  Friday is the best day for garage sales.  I had heard that was true but it doesn't make much sense.  Aren't people at work on Friday?  Wouldn't Saturday be better?  But that didn't seem to be the case.  I had my garage open from 8 - 3 on Friday and made $130.  I closed up shop on Saturday at noon and only made $40.  

5.  Garage sales are exhausting.  I was tied to the garage.  I don't think I went inside all day.  I was hoping for a quiet day to read my book (I'm behind for book club Friday) and didn't have a chance.  When the kids came home from school, they wanted to play outside all afternoon too.  

6.  Clean the kids closets before the garage sale!  What was I thinking.  Rookie mistake.  I cleaned Laci's closet on Sunday.  At this turn of season, I packed up another box for size 6 clothes and brought them into the basement.  I could have put all those clothes out!  Size 6s was a popular size.  I still need to clean out Calvin's but I am sure I will have to throw another box or two back into the basement.  

7.  Clean the garage and put everything out.  Charlie found two boxes of stuff in the garage just sitting there and he set that stuff out.  Most of it sold.  We even got rid of a box of stuff in the garage. 

8.  Use drop clothes and other unattractive blankets to lay things on.  I used a drop cloth on one side of the driveway for some items.  I used my favorite nice picnic blanket on the other side.  When I laid things on it, nobody noticed.  On Saturday, Calvin insisted on using it to eat his breakfast.  Then it laid there with just a few of his toys on it.  I had so many people ask about the blanket.  It's my favorite - not for sale! 

All and all, I am calling the garage sale a success.  I made $171 overall.  I gave Laci the money from the books and toys.  She made $6.50.  Most importantly, I only have 25 boxes in my basement of baby clothes.  That includes two bins of the special baby clothes that I am saving from my kids, a box of baby blankets and a box of my old baby clothes.  I also have a box of baby toys for next years sale ready.  

I don't think I will be making this an annual thing but I may do the baby clothes one or two more times to try to downsize before sending it all to Goodwill.  

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