Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Preparation for the Great Garage Sale Event of 2011

I’ve decided having a garage sale is rather a lot of work. In theory, it seems like a good idea. I think it is a good idea. It’s just…a lot of work.

I’ve had the intention of having a garage sale for a while. I suppose since I’m not setting it up in my garage, it’s probably really a yard sale but I like the sound of garage sale better.

I had originally hoped to have a joint one with my sister but since that didn’t look like it was happening, I decided to join in our annual neighbourhood garage sale day which is this Saturday. Naturally, my sister decided to have a sale on the exact same day without telling me. I admit, I was a little irritated. It would have been nice to have a joint sale merely because it’s going to be tough to run one alone. It means that every trip inside to use the bathroom or grab something to drink or check on the dogs will have to be squeezed in quickly in order to make sure that my items being sold are guarded at all times and so that no one has to wait.

So, you can see why I’m a wee bit irritated especially as my sister will have backup from her husband whereas I, the singleton, won’t have backup.

Still, I’m determined to make it work. I don’t have a huge amount of stuff for sale. Mostly what I have are items that I once liked/loved and needed/wanted but over time I’ve either lost my need/want for them or they just don’t suit me. I have a lot of bags, for example. I went through a huge messenger bag phase. When I used to work on a college campus, this was perfectly ok. I had a use for messenger bags. Nowadays, I tend to use either my purse or the bag I got from work. That’s it. I have a bag that I use when I take the dogs to the park. I have another bag to use when I go to my parents. But the other ten bags? I really don’t need them anymore. That’s not an exaggeration, by the way. I have 11 bags/purses for sale.

I also have books, old appliances and some knickknacks for which I could never find a place. Redoing my 1970’s retro den and turning it into a Tuscan haven meant that I had a lot of stuff I’d tucked away in the den that no longer had a place in ‘Tuscany’.

I’m hoping to sell most of it. My strategy is to price is super low. I’m not really in it for the money as much as the ‘purging’. My highest priced item is a dog carrier that I used exactly once. It still has all the paperwork. I paid $45 for it. I bought it for Sookie when I first went to claim her as my own. Of course, when I ended up getting a Rory Gilmore to go with my Sookie Stackhouse dachshund pup, that put a bit of a damper on the small, individual-dachshund sized carrier. The two pups fitted in the carrier once- when I first brought them home. Then they grew and, voila, I had to upgrade to a larger carrier. I’m hoping that $20 won’t seem too much for it but it’s a super nice carrier and still way less expensive than in stores.

Mostly, I’m selling things for 25 cents, one dollar or, gasp, two dollars. I do have a rather lovely evening gown that I’m selling for $5 because while it still zips and technically fits, I’m a bit less of a stick insect than I was when I originally bought it and my curvier figure doesn’t suit the style.

The problem that I’m finding is that I’m a wee bit obsessed with my sale. It’s this coming Saturday and any time I allow my mind to drift and not focus on, say, work, I’m suddenly doing a mental tour of my house and thinking of other items I could stick in the sale.

The actual preparation for the sale is quite time-consuming too. I’ve been placing things that I intend to sell in a pile. Last night, I started to price things, thinking it’d take a short time. I’m not even half-way through. It’s amazing how many things can really fit in a large storage tote.

I plan on spending a little time each evening pricing out my items and making sure everything’s ready to go. Friday, I’ll have a checklist. I have things to do like running an extension cord outside so people can test the electronics I have. I’ll need to get everything ready to lay out. I plan on putting all my boxes of stuff out before I start putting it on the table. Even though the sale is supposed to start at 9 a.m., the irritating early birds will be out way before that. I’ve seen them before- they swarm on any sale that looks like it’s about to begin and start digging through boxes that aren’t even unpacked and ready for selling yet.

I think it’s going to be an interesting experience. I have a feeling Sookie and Rory might agree. Sookie will have plenty of people to guard me from as she watches from the front window. Guarding the house is Sookie’s hobby and any time an ‘interloper’ walks by the house, she lets me know with her “STRANGER DANGER” bark. I’m expecting a lot of “STRANGER DANGER” moments on Saturday.

I think I’ve covered my basis- I have plenty of change. I have a place to store the money. I have a table to sit at and a chair to match. I have a display rack, a table (although I really would have liked the other one my parents could have loaned me but my sister is borrowing that…grr) and a box of toys for the kids to rummage through. My experience of being a buyer at garage sales has taught me what to expect.

All that remains is organizing and pricing which may not seem like a lot of work but it is. I think I’m glad I have a few more days to go because I’d never get done otherwise. Of course, it would probably help if I didn’t keep thinking of new stuff to throw in the sale but I don’t seem to be able to help that.

I’ll keep you posted. Maybe by Friday…I’ll be done.


Happy Wednesday!

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