Anatomy of a Yard Sale

7 a.m. People are soooooo going to buy my sh*t!

8 a.m. Come on people, it’s time to buy my sh*t!

9 a.m. People are actually buying my sh*t!

11 a.m. Is anyone going to buy any more of my sh*t?

Noon. I’ll pay you to take my sh*t!

My mom and I survived our yard sale Saturday. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and at the end of the day I had a nice farmer’s tan from my shoulders down. Now if I could only get my legs to tan and not blend into my khaki shorts.

The past week or so I’ve been running on caffeine and end of the school year adrenaline and find myself doing everything via the seat of my pants, especially with a thousand loose ends to tie up before summer vacation. My mom, on the other hand, is very organized and meticulous, so thankfully our conflicting styles didn’t clash and the sale went off without a hitch, although I temporarily lost my money bag (i.e. zippered pencil pouch) with all my hard-earned cash. I made a whopping $50 and change, but that was my conservative goal, so I was fine with that. A family expecting another baby and with two young children in tow bought our jog stroller and car seat and I felt good about them finding a good home. I didn’t have any high dollar items, such as furniture, but wanted to clear out our overstuffed closets and junk drawers. When every drawer in your home is living up to its potential to be a junk drawer, you know it’s time to purge. Miss C had filled a large garbage bag with stuffed animals deemed “not pretty” over the holidays and she’d never missed them, so on to the yard sale they went.

In one of those karma yard sale moments, someone found a coin from our long gone vintage 1970s Fisher Price cash register in a box of hodge-podge toys that Miss C and I had thrown together last week for the sale. It was a blue coin, and the woman told me she had just bought the very same classic toy cash register and that was the one coin that was missing.

I advertised our sale on Craigslist and within hours got an e-mail from someone with a local charity who was willing to pick up what was left over, so clean up was pretty minimal. Still, I’m not sure I’ll have another yard sale for several more years or maybe ever. I’m thinking I may be better suited for yard sale shopping. Miss C and I hit two yard sales weekend before last and I bought a Hello Kitty t-shirt, a new Hello Kitty notebook with stickers, a My Little Pony Ponyville play set, a book, and a Barbie for a whopping $6.75!


  1. Mrs. F says:

    I am not a very good yard saleslady. I tend to give our crap away for free.

    I almost gave away a Pali crib for free because it was missing a screw. Luckily the lady had gone home to call her friend when I made that decision and she returned waving cash at me, otherwise I would have made practically nothing that day, LOL.

    Mrs. F’s last blog post..Stop Being Sucky

  2. Mrs. Schmitty says:

    I need to sell my sh*t too…I’ve accumulated way too much sh*t. I just can’t get motivated. We want a pool for the backyard…the Little Tykes Zip Pool (18′ X 48″). I told the kids that if they sell some of their sh*t, well stuff, we could maybe buy the pool. Now that’s motivation!

    Mrs. Schmitty’s last blog post..I Did Giggle, Just A Little

  3. Erin says:

    a very good post. I remember garage sales as a kid- mom made us get up really early to bring stuff out and help post signs, and we ate donuts. And by the afternoon, things were marked down to ridiculously cheap. She once left me alone and I sold a nintendo with like 20 games for 20 bucks. I nearly got grounded for that markdown. I usually end up giving things away but we are also in the stage of life where I go dumpster diving in the college dorms after students leave so I can get free laundry bins. I find a lamp and I rejoice. None of our furniture matches.

    Erin’s last blog post..Now for the serious posts…

  4. Blonde Mom says:

    Mrs. Schmitty:

    I checked out that Little Tykes pool…Miss C and Miss A would LOVE that!


    Nothing wrong with a successful dumpster diving outing, although in my college town I never actually dumpster dove as people would put their cool unwanted stuff on the curb.

  5. Spice says:

    I love your timeline of the garage sale. That’s always how it goes isn’t it? Then of course you always have the people that come by that night to see what you’ve put out to garbage. 🙂

    Spice’s last blog post..Look of the year!

  6. Amy says:

    I had one too! Mostly clothes and little stuff, I made a whopping $40. Figures out to be roughly $4/an hour after all the time I spent. 🙁 Beats the $12 I did a couple of years ago though. I don’t know about Tennessee but people here in Utah are ridiculous in their trying to talk me down. A quarter? What’s up with that? One lady tried to walk away with a .75 skirt.

  7. Jennilu says:

    I love doin’ the yard sales thing (having, that is). We usually fund some big expenditure with our sale money. I need to have one, now. But it will have to wait until later in the summer. My absolute favorite about the sales are the cheesy old farts that come rolling up in their Cadillacs. It never fails they will find the Polo shirts (and yes I mean Ralph) priced at $3.00 and then ask if I can do any better on the price. WTF?????? I’ll give it away to charity before I will let Mr. Chintzy McCheapypants buy it for next to nothing.

    Jennilu’s last blog post..Kaylea The Budding Artist

  8. Pam says:

    We’re having our annual yard sale this weekend – it helps with our annual Disney World trip. I have fun playing saleslady and I’m very hard to haggle with! If I put $.50 on that dish/candle holder/possible coaster, then dammit, I want $.50. These people can be relentless!

    Pam’s last blog post..Sunday Funnies

  9. motherbumper says:

    You know I love going to yard sales but throwing them is just too stressful for a delicate flower like me. I’ve done it twice and won’t do it again unless someone else does the organizing. But dang, they can be profitable if you’ve got the right stuff.

    motherbumper’s last blog post..Contests and Cuteness

  10. Jill says:

    When we got married my husband made me agree to “thou shalt not have garage sales.” He’d rather donate and take the tax write off. And I plead, honey, I cannot take the tax write off into JCrew and buy a pair of pants with it because the tax write off, it is in theory only. So, I am sorry to say I will never be blogging about a garage sale. :o(

    Jill’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday #5 – “Body Art”

  11. Bing says:

    That’s a nice idea selling stuff we don’t need to keep anymore…You’r kinda business minded thing, I admire you!
    On my part, I would rather give it to all my relatives so they can have it. A kiss and hug and simple “thank you”, will be enough gesture for me to keep sharing it with them.

    Wishing You Best,


  12. Blonde Mom says:


    Trust me, I have given away bags of children’s clothes over the past year to a co-worker with two little girls, but everyone else in my family is finished having babies. So I was at that point of “I couldn’t give it away” to the family! 😉

  13. Mike says:

    I really like the time-line at the beginning! I generally shop yard and estate sales looking for things to re-sell on eBay but I always look for things my family can use too. We’ve got three kids, so lightly used items are a great find.

    As for HAVING garage sales…I’d rather sit on the sidewalk and stab my leg with a fork for three hours. I tend to hit a point where I can’t take the build-up of junk anymore and it all goes to charity (if I haven’t sold it). Take care.

    Mikes last blog post..Selling Vintage Jewelry on eBay

  14. AmberWiggins says:

    I have a GREAT tip…, is a fantastic website for finding yard sales in your area. It will list all the websites in your area, list featured items and map a route to each of them. Saving us time and money! It doesn’t get better than that.

  15. Meghan says:

    By the end of any sale that i have ever had I am just begging folks to take stuff away for free. Maybe lugging in one box. I did live on a busy street that you could just leave everything out front with a free sign and most of it would go away…
    .-= Meghan´s last blog ..Magicians, freaks, and poets =-.

  16. nintendo says:

    I really like the time-line at the beginning! I generally shop yard and estate sales looking for things to re-sell on eBay but I always look for things my family can use too.
    Thanks for share with us.

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