It's that time of year again: garage sales. Whether city-wide or neighborhood sales or just a lone sale, it's hard to avoid them.
My friends and I have been having a group sale for the past six years. We met in ECFE class when we all had little ones, and we've stuck it out as the kids have grown and more babies have come into the families. We've had anywhere from three to seven families involved over the years, and it's always a lot of fun, an excuse to get together, and a way to empty our homes of unneeded items.
Here's our recipe for a successful garage sale:
1: We hold our sale during the annual city-wide sales. That brings in the most traffic, and allows us to mark it on our calendars months ahead of time.
2: We hold it at the home of whomever lives in town (some of us are in the country) and has a garage. (Perhaps obvious, but necessary!)
3: Everyone has their strong suit. One provides the garage and hosts us. One has sawhorses and plywood for tables. We each round up as many card tables as we can. I store the tablecloths and hangers from year to year.
4: We have a hybrid system of pinned-on paper tags and stickers. The tags are removed and put into a jar, and are simple to count up at the end, making piles of $5. Some prefer stickers; we're an easy-going enough bunch that we make it all work. Each of us has an assigned color that we use from year to year.
5: We start setting up early in the week, and the sale pretty much consumes us. The final setup comes on Friday morning, and we usually end up selling things while we're still setting up.
6: Everyone pitches in and brings food and beverages. Our kids love playing together. We come and go during the sale, depending on other commitments, but we make sure there are two of us on duty at all times.
7: Someone usually volunteers to take things to the thrift store after the sale, so nothing has to come home again unless we want it to.
8: We work together to count up the tags and the money. If things don't come out exactly, we've made a pact to divide the profit or loss evenly.
9: The older kids help with the little ones during critical times.
10: We have fun! It's the only time of year that we're scheduled to get together and really catch up with each other.
This year we had four moms with twelve kids plus some of their friends. We each cleared some clutter out of our homes, and made a little extra cash so we can fill up the empty spaces!