This Saturday I held my first yard sale. The third floor of our house is unfinished. Since we moved in ten years ago, anything that can't find a place in the house gets put in the attic. A few years ago, I hired "The Garbageman" to come and help haul out the junk from the upstairs. It felt great. But then we just turned around and filled it with even more junk. It started to feel like I had all this crap hanging over my head, literally and figuratively, so I decided to deal with the attic once and for all. I read a great article about how to have a successful yard sale in the Saturday Evening Post (who knew this magazine was still in existence) while waiting in the doctor's office. I followed the main points of their plan:
- Give each family member 3-4 boxes that they could fill with items to keep
- All items leftover are tossed, sold, or donated
- Hold your yard sale on the 15th or 30th of the month (around payday)
Yesterday was D-day. I added balloons to the signs by 6:30am and we started carrying everything out around 7am. By 8:20, I had just about everything out, organized by category and up on boxes or tables, as suggested by the Yard Sale Queen. The early birds started arriving around 8:15 and I made my first sale by 8:45: our first coffee table I bought at an outlet store for $99, which I thought was a real steal at the time. I sold it for $20. Other salewares included:
- a box of shoes at $2/pair
- the Jack Lalaine juicer used once at $10 (sold for $5 at 2:45p)
- endless toys
- lamps and tables
- various small tables
- prints and posters
- glass vases
- golf clubs and tennis rackets
and so much more.
At the sale's end, my neighbor came by and had the brilliant idea of hauling what didn't sell to the end of the driveway so it could get picked at and I'd had less to bag up up Sunday for trash day on Monday. (My town allows each household one garbage can of trash and anything else must be in special bags the town cells at $10/5 bags!)
Later that night, I headed over to Target to pick up laundry detergent. I usually enjoy a stroll through Target, but the idea of buying and bringing in another piece of stuff into my house made me physically sick. What it took to clean out 10 years of clutter was several hours of serious sweat, and at the end of the day, I had $232 to show for it. I've put the money into my SmartyPig savings account and setup recurring payments into the account to grow it. I haven't decided what we're going to do with the money once I've hit my savings goal, but I know it won't be towards buying a meaningless piece of nothing; and that's sure worth something!