Simplify: Garage Sale

Our garage was full. It was overflowing. Overflowing with the clothes I had gone through, the books that hadn’t been read in years, a jogging stroller that hadn’t held babies in months, and just your typical clutter that piles up when you live somewhere for 5 years with 4 kids.

That’s when I decided it was time. It was time for a good ol’ fashion garage sale. I have to say, it was really successful. I knew I didn’t want to have one of those all weekend garage sales; I wanted to do a one day 4 hour garage sale and be done with it. So that’s exactly what I did. Now, I’m going to give you a few tips to help your garage sale be successful and relatively painless.

1. Get your kids out of the house: My husband and father in law were gracious enough to take the boys to the aquarium while we held the garage sale.

2. Call in reinforcements: We happened to have the garage sale while my in laws were in town, so my mother in law stayed behind to help me with the garage sale, and help out when baby Sarah needed to be fed. Also, my sister Sarah (not to be confused with my baby Sarah) helped to man the garage sale. They were a great help, and we got to get in a little girl time, which is always nice!

3. Pick your day wisely: If there is a big, local event going on in your area, it’s probably not a good idea to have a garage sale at the same time. Try and see if anyone else is having garage/yard/estate sales in your area, because that will generate some more traffic for you. We happened to also have an estate sale going on in my neighborhood, which brought in a lot of traffic.

4. Advertise: You can kind of run with this as much or as little as you want to. I posted on some local Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook pages in my area, I posted on my own social media pages, and I put signs in my neighborhood directing them to the house. To me, that was all a quick and cheap way to advertise. I didn’t post pictures or prices of anything, mainly because I didn’t want to spend my time snapping and uploading pictures.

5. Price it Right: People are going to haggle with you at garage sales. It’s part of the game. You have to know what you’re willing to let something for go. If it was something I knew I’d have multiple people interested in (like my cloth diaper stash) I didn’t really do a lot of discounting there because I knew there were moms coming specifically for that. Other things like books/clothes/shoes I was willing to part with for a cheap price because I just wanted it gone. Also, we slashed a lot of prices the last hour of the garage sale because we just didn’t want to move it again!

Overall, I consider our garage sale a success. We made more than what I was projecting (woo hoo!). We got rid of the majority of our stuff. Mainly the only things we were left with were clothes and books. I loaded the trunk of our Corolla up and went straight to Goodwill with it. And now, we can actually fit that Corolla in the garage! Imagine that, using a garage for a vehicle instead of stuff.

Your turn! Have you had a garage sale before? What are some tips can you to have a successful sale?

Simplify: Books and Toys

books-and-toys

As a mom of 4 kids, we have a plethora of books and toys. I decided that would be the next place to start purging. I began with my own book collection. I didn’t attach a number to them, and I probably never will, but I did tell myself this: If I never went back and picked up the book again, don’t keep it. I had 10 books left by the time I was done. And y’all, I’m a reader. I’ve always loved to read. So, previously, I would hang on to books I thought were okay or books by famous authors that I thought maybe I’d appreciate later. Not anymore! I had also been hanging on to books from my psychology program that I’d never gone back to read. I only kept 1 of my psychology books, and again it was one I enjoyed reading. I said goodbye to Freud, Skinner, and behavioral therapy, and I kept Jung. I filled up an entire plastic tub of books. It was pretty liberating.

As far as my kids’ books, I decided to leave room for 2 bookshelves of books. On the top shelf we have books for the “older” boys, and on the bottom we have board books. It still looks like quite a bit, but I know in a couple of years those board books will be gone. I currently have a large box filled with kids books. I’m wondering what the best option would be now. Should I sell them? Or donate them? I’d like to donate them, but I haven’t done much research on that. If anyone has any insights on this, please comment below and share your knowledge!

My boys had so many toys they forgot about half of the toys they did have in their room. My goal was just to keep enough toys where I could see them all. I got all their toys out of boxes, put their favorite ones on the shelf, and got rid of what couldn’t fit. Also, I did put some of the noise making toys in the garage sale, because there’s only so much this mom can take. Bulky items like Halloween costumes that they still play with, we put in clear plastic bins on the floor in their closets. Then they can see them and easily get to them when they decide they want to turn into a dragon, giraffe or Paw Patrol character.

If I’m being honest, my boys still have what seems to be an insane amount of toys. Against their bedroom walls are bins of Legos, Mega Blocks, wooden blocks, alphabet blocks, and squishy cloth blocks. I really don’t think they need that many blocks. I could probably do another sweep in their room and come out with more stuff, but for now I’m done. Mainly because this purge has taken up a lot of my time these past couple of weeks!

We did have a garage sale, which is an adventure in and of itself, but I’ll post more on that later! In the meantime, live simply and contently my friends!

I must know: What tips can you share with parents on how to decide what toys to keep or what toys to toss?