Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Garage Sale Success!!

We just had a wildly successful garage sale!

It took 3 weekends to prepare--from deciding what exactly we wanted to sell to setting up the "store".

The most difficult task was choosing what to sell. Our plan was to donate what did not sell. The daunting task of going through all our stuff- took 2 weekends. As I referred in an earlier post--"only touch it once"-- proved to be difficult. The biggest question we had to ask ourselves is if the thing would be useful in Belize...most of our household wound up on the chopping block!

We then organized the tables into "departments"--each table essentially had like-items (ie. kitchen, tools, glassware, and holiday decorations--each holiday had it's own space). We also placed the majority of items in plastic bins and labeled them either 25 or 50 cents. Our store took up our 3-car garage.

Two days prior, I went to the bank for change and posted the garage sale signs..fortunately for us (and dumb luck as well) the neighborhood across the street held their annual garage sale the same day. Our signs and times corresponded with theirs.

The night before, we made sure all was ready...only the 18 boxes of books had to be placed for the sale.

The signs we had posted advertised the sale to be from 8-2...we were placing the boxes and moving a couple of items out of the garage at 6:30--an elderly gentleman drove up and asked if he could just look around--"there are about 100 yard sales today". So we made our first $7 at 6:34 a.m.!! By 8 we had about 25 people shop!

The rest of the day was crazy busy! Two of our neighbors brought items over to sell--and they sold almost everything! The crowd was steady and thick! 2:00 came and everything had died down. So we closed shop.

The next day we made 3 trips to Goodwill and one to the library.

What a great feeling to have purged all our stuff--it feels as though a weight has been lifted!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Garage Sale Prep

Garage sales are a lot of work!

We spent the better part of the last  2 weekends bringing "stuff" to the garage--from the attic and the house. It was a family project. The kids were less than enthusiastic about helping, until they realized they will reap $ from the sale of "their" stuff--then it took on a whole new level of expectation!

I am overwhelmed with the amount of holiday decorations we have! We inherited many of the "minor" holiday decor from my mother--she was a decorating nut!
Our big family decorating holiday has been Halloween--we're known in the neighborhood for putting on a haunted house. Last year's was the best--albeit the last one--we had our daughter's JROTC friends as actors, we hosted about 300 people, and offered 2 scare levels: one for little kids where the actors danced, and the 2nd was the terrifying one--screaming, slamming doors, jumping out at people, just all 'round scary fun!! A couple of folks even told us that our haunted house was better than the ones they had paid for!! I digress--our Halloween, Xmas and Thanksgiving decorations take up about 1/3 of the floor space!

Household items just keep showing up in the garage--kitchen, kids stuff, tools and men's toys, books, we have 7 tables of treasures plus at least 15 bins of 25 and 50 cent items!!

What is the saying--Someone's junk is another's treasure--well, the garage is now a maze of cartons, boxes and tables of "treasures" just waiting to be discovered! We've almost run out of room!

5 days and counting!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Polishing Silver

I spent 3 hours today polishing silver. Silver plated mostly. Things from my grandmothers and my mother, things given to us as wedding gifts...flatware, platters, bowls, trays and even a monogramed tea set.

Why? My motivation is to sell. I have no desire to move them to Central America and become an instant target for theft. Also, these items are never used, they stay wrapped and in the china cupboard. We have never had a formal evening at our home. Perhaps someone else will use them.

I was able to sell 2 silver candleholders and silver-lipped coasters to a local antique jeweler. They do not buy silver plated items, but gave me a name of a local antique dealer who does.

I looked on line to try to sell the silver plated items to a replacement service, but could not easily find the patterns or the manufacturer and the service required photos, measurements, etc....too labor intensive! Ebay was useless as well. So, I have an appointment tomorrow with the local antique dealer who purchases silver plated items.

Never thought it would be so difficult to get rid of "silver." Today's silver trading price was $39/oz!!!