Clutter? Think Garage Sale!
Having a garage sale is not on my “Fun Things
To Do” List. However, I do know
that having one is an excellent way to make some extra money (and
who doesn’t need some these days?) on items that are clutter
in our homes and worse … in our lives!
The problem with having
a garage sale? – it’s hard
work! The actual sale may be fun but preparing for it and making
sure the “leftovers” do not find their way back into
our homes takes planning, time and energy.
When organizing for
a garage sale, I’d urge you to start
by thinking of each item in your home as belonging in either of
- Keep (Use/Display/Store) – Items
you love, use and/or still have strong sentimental value
- Let Go (Trash/Donate/Give
Away/SELL) – Everything
else…items you simply no longer need (and may never have
needed) and bring no value to your life.
The idea of getting
de-cluttered (and better organized) can feel overwhelming. You
know you need to do it, have decided to do it, but where do you
start? If you block out some time, it’s really
quite simple. Pick a room and start with a small contained space
in that room – such as a drawer. Sort items into like categories
and then, for each item, ask yourself:
Do I love it?
Do I use it? Will I use it anytime soon?
Does it have sentimental value to me?
Continue to the next
drawer, shelf, closet … wherever you
have things hidden away until you have completed the process throughout
the entire room, garage, basement and/or attic. Concentrate on
areas where you know you have an army of unloved, unused,
When items do not meet any of the criteria listed above, place
them in a box labeled, LET GO! and write the type(s) of items on
You should end up with an army of boxes containing unloved, unused,
unwanted items ready to be nicely displayed at your garage sale
to be bought, cherished and used by persons unknown.
For those of you with children, consider urging them to
go through the same process of collecting and selling their unwanted
toys and things at your garage sale. Besides selling lemonade,
they might want to set up their own table at the sale.
In summary, NOW is
the time to …
- Start making your
new year’s resolution to get more organized
- Gradually start
sorting through items in your basement, attic, garage, closets,
in that scary space under the stairs, in trunks, in boxes under
the bed … all that STUFF that is collecting
dust and taking up valuable space in your home and your life.
- Label boxes “LET GO!” and start filling them with
items you no longer love, will never use, don’t enjoy and/or
have no clue what they are!
Be ruthless and keep
in mind … The most valuable
thing in any home is the life being lived there!
Garage Sale Check List (pdf)
2 – 3
weeks before the sale:
garage sale items
charity pick-up for leftovers
week before the sale:
| Clean & repair
and price items (guideline – no more than
1/3 original price & best to price all items!)
bank and obtain change
up sales area (tables/chairs, racks for hanging clothes)
for safety hazards
(for your shoppers)
goods in sales area grouped & pleasingly displayed
by category (furniture & eye catching items in front)
|| Paper & pens
cords (to test electrical items)
(to wrap fragile items)
change in cash box
(or remove) items in sales area you do NOT plan to sell
|Prepare refreshments, if desired
ALL leftovers to charity (or organize/arrange for charity pick
your $$$ … go out to
What about left-over electronics? In
Portland, OR, Contact …
- I Like Stuff (503) 775-2056 or http://www.ilikestuff.com/ (DVD’s
CD’s, games, gaming consoles, phones, cell phones,
computers, etc. except TV’s older than 5 years
old and older computer monitors)
- E-Tech Recycling (503) 693-8939 or http://www.etechrecycling.com/ (most
everything electronic. They will also permanently erase
computer data so it is safe and secure and only charge
for old TV’s
and computer monitors.)
Additional donation resources:
can have your leftover items picked up and also make a
tax deductible donation of clothing and household items by
contacting Vietnam Veterans of America at: http://www.pickupplease.org/.
In Portland, OR, you can have your leftover items picked
up by Multnomah County ARC. To schedule a pickup, contact: http://www.thearcmult.org/schedule.html.