How many times have I said those words? Seems like every time I have a garage sale, I promise myself I'll never have another one...and then little by little, the garage fills up with unwanted items. An old sofa here, a tired vacuum cleaner there, along with a box of outgrown clothes and a bag full of purses no longer needed. My husband starts to complain that he can't find anything in the garage because of all of the junk stored in there. So I begin to think...maybe I should just have a garage sale and get rid of it all. A quick one - just a Saturday morning.
The thought of spending a couple of hours getting rid of the excess and making a little spending money at the same time sounds pretty good. So I mark a date on the calendar and start getting ready.
First I clean out as many closets as I can to find more stuff to sell. Hmmm...there are lots of sweaters I never wore this winter...maybe I can get rid of those. And what about that Ab Roller - never used it and probably never will. So it gets added to the stack of items I hope someone will want to buy.
Little by little my garage sale cache grows. I put the word out to friends and family members. Hey, I'm having a garage sale next Saturday. If you have anything you want to get rid of, just bring it over. Big mistake. Before you know it the garage is full of other people's junk that I am going to have to drag out and try to sell.
I learned a long time ago not to waste my time pricing items. I'll put a price on large things, like sofas and tables, but I don't bother pricing the small stuff. I just put it out and if someone asks, I tell them what I want for it. So really all I have to do to prepare for the sale is make signs and set up the tables. Oh, and I have to go to the bank for some change to start with. I'll get $100 in ones.
Last time I had a garage sale, I decided I would never do it again...so I threw away all of my garage sale signs. Wish I had kept them so I wouldn't have to make new ones. Oh well, I drag out the neon-colored poster board, permanent markers, the wooden stakes and the staple gun. I spend a couple of hours making new signs and getting them ready for the big day.
The night before the garage sale, I enlist the help of my husband to drag out the tables. It's easier to have them already set up in the drive way the night before so that I don't have to get up quite so early the next day. I ask my daughter if she will put out the signs for me early the next morning and she promises she'll be there at 6 a.m. to do the job. My husband asks me what I intend to do with all of the leftover junk once the garage sale is over. Hmmm...I'm planning to sell it all, but if anything is left then HE can load it up and take it to the Good Will drop-off center. I tell him that in a nice way.
Next morning, the alarm goes off at 5 a.m. I jump out of bed, quickly shower, and head out to the garage to start pulling stuff out. My husband is still asleep and my daughter has not arrived yet. I call her and she says she'll be there. I set up the two ladders that I use to make a hanging rod for clothing that I want to display on hangers. Out come the t-shirts, jeans, and miscellaneous clothing items that just get folded for display on the picnic table. Old fishing rods, books, shoes, purses, small appliances and an assortment of gifts I never needed or used find a display spot along the driveway, on benches and under tables. I'm ready for the first buyers...but the signs aren't up yet. No daughter in sight. My husband comes out of the house, groggy and still half asleep, and volunteers to go put up the signs. About that time the first customer pulls up with a truck. They make a quick sweep of the place, pick out all of the good stuff and place it in a pile. When they are done shopping, they make me an offer for the whole stack - $25. You have got to be kidding! If each item were priced individually, that stack of items would be at least $100. We settle on $30. They hand me a $100 bill, expecting change. I give them most of the change I have on hand and they load up their truck, and head off to another sale. Hopefully everyone else will have exact change.
The sun comes out and it's muggy outside. Everybody wants to bargain no matter what price I tell them. It's free...just take it. Oh, no, they want five more items added to their stash for free as well. Someone buys an old candle for 50 cents. They pay for it with a $20 bill. There goes the rest of my change.
Everyone comes at once. I'm trying to add up items for one person while my husband is explaining to someone else that the motorcycle helmets are worth much more than three dollars each. How much is this? Two dollars. Will you take a dollar? Yes. Okay, I'll take three of these for two dollars... Wait a minute, they are a dollar each. But you should sell them three for two dollars. Okay, I don't care...just take them. Do you have exact change? Of course not...
I'm hungry, I feel grimy and dirty, I'm hot, I didn't get enough sleep, and it's only 9 a.m. I've made $42.50 so far and I still have a ton of stuff to get rid of. Why did I tell my friends to bring their stuff over? None of their junk has sold, and now I am going to have to find a way to get rid of it.
My daughter shows up and asks me what I want her to do. Just stay here for a bit while I go inside to get some water. When I come back, she has sold the old sofa for five dollars.
The morning drags on and at 11 a.m. I begin to think I'll never make it until noon. So I start boxing things up and putting things away. Just when I have everything boxed up to take to the Good Will, someone drives up and asks to look. Sure, go ahead. They drag everything out of the boxes and then say thanks and leave. So I have to rebox all of it....
At noon, my daughter goes to take the signs down and I load up the leftovers into the truck. My husband takes it all to the Good Will, and I count my earnings for the day. Seventy-eight bucks.
Why did I waste my morning doing this? I give the $78 to my daughter - she can use it more than I can. And I tell myself....
Never again will I EVER have another GARAGE SALE!