This year, I decided to venture into the fun world of yard sales! Each July, our “town” has two days of community yard sales. I knew I had some clothes and cleaning products that I no longer had use for, so I decided to try to have a yard sale. My first very own yard sale!
When I was young, I remember helping my mom with her yard sales. She would take all of her stuff to a friend’s house, and they would have a double yard sale when their town had community yard sale days. I vaguely remember being in change of selling jewelry.
Since my husband and I had been acquiring all kinds of stuff, and he says I have way too many clothes, I thought a yard sale would be a good idea to try out. And if it is a flop, well, then I chalk it up to a learning experience!
How much stuff do I have??
The first thing I had to do was gather all of my goodies. I had a pile of clothes that I wanted to get rid of, and then I went through the rest of my clothes. I had things that didn’t fit anymore and things I hardly ever wear. I have trouble letting go of clothes. I want to keep clothes that are too small as a motivation to fit in them again. Well, so far, that hasn’t been working for me! I also think that the day I get rid of something is the day I will want to wear it again. Which actually has proven true on occasion!
Despite my reservations, I got together a table full of clothes. I also found dishes, decorations, cleaning supplies, blankets, scarves, and all kinds of goodies! My husband was the one to come up with the larger items, like a gun cabinet, a door, and a motor for an industrial garage door.
My parents contributed with some skateboards, chicken feeders, and boots.
Setting up was a multi-day affair.
The evening before our yard sale, my husband and I carried a few things out to the front yard. We roped off the side yard because it gets soft when it rains and we did not want our grass torn up. We partially set up a canopy for me to sit under so I did not roast in the sun all day! What we did not set up outside, we put on tables in the garage so all we needed to do was carry them out in the morning before my husband left for work.
We left the table of clothes in the garage, which I was very thankful for because everything that was left outside overnight was damp the next morning.
We got up early, stumbled down the stairs, and carried the rest of the tables out to the front yard and finished setting the canopy up. My husband stepped in an ants’ nest and ended up getting bit a bunch of times! Poor guy! Which in turn made me nervous that I was going to step on the same nest! And I do not like bugs! Not even one little bit!
My husband left for work, and I finished getting myself breakfast, coffee, and out the door.
Yard salers are early risers!
I knew I had to have my act together early. But I did not realize just how early! I had my first customer stop around 7:00. I was not finished putting things out, and a man in a big van pulled up. Soon after, other started arriving too! I was still organizing and pricing things as people were shopping!
The second day, I overslept by about 45 minutes. I never heard my alarm ring! I had to move a little quicker, but my husband and I were still set up in plenty of time for customers to arrive.
I got to talk to a bunch of people!
Shockingly, there were not many people that I knew that stopped at our yard sale. In our area, everyone knows everyone. Miranda Lambert said it best in her song “Everybody Dies Famous in a Small Town.” But, these yard sales brought people from other areas whom I did not know. I got to meet a lot of people who I had never seen before!
I learned a lot about many of my visitors as well! I met a man who bought his house from my husband’s old boss. He was also leaving for a salmon fishing trip in New York the following day. I also talked to a man who suffered from heat stroke just two days prior!
A few people who I knew and had not seen in a while came by. It was nice to chat with familiar faces!
I had a variety of people come to explore my yard sale. People who did not know the area, elderly couples, Amish mothers and children, and groups of friends. Friday morning produced more female customers, while Saturday produced more male customers.
I also had a few things happen that taught me something about having a yard sale, as well as some things that made me laugh!
Drive-by’s are the best!
Since we live along a main road, everybody could see what we had. Some people stopped, looked, and did not find anything. Others stopped and bought a few things. But the funniest were the people who did not get out of their vehicle, nor pull off the road! They just slowed down, rolled down the window, and did a quick once over of everything we had! It served its purpose, and I got a good chuckle out of it!
I have a face that says “Yes, I know where all the yard sales are!”
I did not realize it at first, but our house sits pretty much directly in the middle of all the other community yard sales. I thought we would be too far up the road from the “hub,” but I guess not! People coming from both directions were asking me if there were yard sales up or down the road further.
To be honest, I hadn’t left our yard. So I have no idea how many yard sales there were, although I had a pretty good idea where some good places would be down the road. Our community covers such a large area that it is sort of hard to judge where and how many yard sales there were going to be.
I gave the best advice I could, and sent them on their way, hopefully to find more great yard sale deals!
Shade is amazing!
I was so thankful for our canopy! The weather was hot and humid. It is July, after all, so I should have anticipated that! A lady down the street sat on her porch steps, which were shaded for the majority of the morning, to hold her yard sale. My shade was migratory, however. I kept moving my chair as the sun was moving through the sky.
There was very little breeze in the afternoon, so as the tractor trailers and dump trucks went past, they created some wind to cool me slightly. I was very glad for them!
I had some extra special visitors.
We have a few hummingbirds at our house. They decided to come visit our yard sale! A male hummingbird was looking at a candle and a sign with flowers on it, and then flew right over my head. The female was getting actual nourishment at the lilies behind me. A butterfly was also feeding at the lilies.
Almost all of our neighbors came over to visit Friday morning as well. It was nice to talk to them! One neighbor brought over pickling cucumbers to give me since she and her husband were overrun with them. So, I will be canning them this week. Be on the lookout for some new recipes!
Some things sold, some things did not.
I honestly thought my clothes would sell like hot cakes. Everything was $1.00! But it was actually my husband’s things that sold more quickly. Some people came with a specific item in mind, asked for it, and left if I said we did not have it. My husband had four heavy steel grates that he tied the canopy to so it did not blow away. Several people asked if they were for sale! I guess it is true that people want what they cannot have!
My take away.
Will I have another yard sale? Yes. Will it be next year? Probably not. In my mind, one of the best times to have a yard sale is when you have lots of baby/kids clothes and toys. That seemed to be a popular question. Also, small furniture and tables, tools, and outdoors items (fishing rods, archery items, etc.) seemed to be hot ticket items.
It was a long two days, and we made a fair amount of money. That was not what we were concerned with, we really just wanted to clear out things we didn’t use anymore.
Do you have yard sales? Or do you like to shop yard sales? What do you look for? What are some of your best sellers? Do you have any tips for novice yard salers like myself? Please feel free to comment!