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I Had A Garage Sale

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And I actually made a lot of money!

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So, a few week ago, I came to Kristien and said, “I think we should have a garage sale!” We had both been complaining about clutter – especially in the garage and kitchen – for a month or so.  I was also sick of opening closets and having stuff tumble down on me. :)

 

My goal with the garage sale was not to sell a bunch of junk.  I wanted to sell nice, useful things – things that people would actually buy – and not spend a lot of time organizing, cleaning, and pricing stuff that no one wanted, like old stained Tupperware.

 

I spent a week slowly going through the house, pulling stuff according to three rules:

 

  • It was a duplicate item – like our George Foreman, which was replaced by our oh-so-awesome griddler.
  • We didn’t need it anymore for whatever reason.
  • We hadn’t used it since we moved into the house.

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I can’t believe no one bought my Caitlin Boyle original painting.  Hah.

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I think one of the reasons the garage sale was such a success was that I really, really maximized Craigslist to my advantage.  The day before the sale, I took pictures of everything over $15 and put an individual ad for the item on Craiglist.  In the ad, I wrote that it was available for pick-up on Friday afternoon or at the sale.  I sold $100 worth of furniture the night before the sale, and lots of people showed up on Saturday just to pick up certain items.  Craigslist really helped me target the sale to the right buyers.

 

To advertise the sale, I posted another ad in the Garage Sale section of Craigslist and put up posters on the main roads near my house.

 

I started the sale at 7 AM, which I thought would be too early but people showed up immediately!  DadHTP and Henry were a BIG help.  Henry really loved hanging out in the garage all morning, which I never, ever would’ve predicted.

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It was really interesting to see what sold – a old pair of Kristien’s swim trunks – and what didn’t – a Coach purse!  By the end of the morning, most everything was gone.  I counted my cash – $300, enough to fund the purchase of a new chair for the living room! – and put all the leftover stuff directly into the trunk of my car for a Goodwill drop-off.

 

We love having more space in our house and feeling less cluttered!  I cannot WAIT to have a baby-item garage sale once we’re done having children.  I bet we will seriously bank from a garage sale of baby gear, clothes, and toys.

 

Do you call it a yard sale or a garage sale?  Or something else?

{ 48 comments }

 

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  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More October 16, 2013, 8:58 am

    I helped my parents have a garage sale earlier this summer. It’s nice to get rid of some of the clutter, especially when it’s things that you know other people could use because it’s still nice. I think putting the rest of the stuff in your trunk and heading right over to Goodwill is key! My parents packed everything that didn’t sell back up and while a few things were brought to a local reseller most are waiting for the “next garage sale” which doesn’t help the clutter issue…

    Reply
    • SpaceySteph October 18, 2013, 11:43 am

      Totally agree going straight to goodwill is key. If you keep all that stuff you were already willing to get rid of, you’ll be stuck with it forever!

      Reply
  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs October 16, 2013, 9:10 am

    I love a good garage sale! Looks like you did a great job, and got a pretty awesome return out of it! :)

    Reply
  • Greta October 16, 2013, 9:16 am

    I am a long time reader and a very seldom commenter, but I had to chime in and thank you for this one! I just suggested the idea of a yard sale to my husband this morning and then got to work and read this. Thanks for all the tips! I’ll try to get organized and take photos for craigslist.

    Reply
  • Anne Weber-Falk October 16, 2013, 9:25 am

    In the Chicago area we call them yard sales or garage sales. The newest trend though is to call them estate sales. That cracks me up.

    Reply
  • Karien @ Running the Race October 16, 2013, 9:30 am

    PRECIOUS pic of your dad and Henry under the table!

    Reply
  • K October 16, 2013, 9:50 am

    In Australia we call them Garage Sales as well. I’ve never had one but have been to plenty! Love garage sale’ing. Our govt is actually running a national Garage Sale Trail day where you are able to sign up and advertise your garage sale, and if you are buying, plan your day. Pretty good initiative!

    Reply
  • Lyn October 16, 2013, 10:03 am

    When I planned my wedding in under a year, I knew i was putting a burden on my mother and bridesmaids. Being in a wedding is a lot of money! From May until August we held 4 garage sales and made around $600 bucks which helped pay for 90% of my bridal shower. It was fun and a great bonding experience for me and all the girls. What really boosted sales was one of the days we also had a bake sale. People. love. treats. :)

    Reply
  • Nicole October 16, 2013, 10:20 am

    Ah! That Cookie Monster chair! I think those are collectible now, lol. We had that one plus Big Bird at my dentist office when I was a kid. I can’t believe I was ever small enough to fit in it! They still have them, too. Somehow they have survived 30+ years of kids.

    Reply
    • Caitlin October 16, 2013, 10:25 am

      Ours is almost 30 years old! It’s awesome.

      Reply
  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun October 16, 2013, 10:51 am

    I love the pic of Henry and your dad under the table! Awesome garage sale – I went through our kitchen last night and tried to get rid of stuff. I HATE clutter and I am trying to de-clutter my life! It is always nice to feel like you have gotten stuff accomplished!

    Reply
  • Rebecca October 16, 2013, 11:04 am

    Also called rummage sales. But that might just be the older crowd, like my grandma. :)
    My neighbor just had a garage sale this weekend, and she made $10 off of me. I don’t know how much she sold total. She moved out and her son’s family moved in and they were getting rid of all the old stuff that wouldn’t fit in her new apartment and that her DIL didn’t want. My mom wanted to try to get rid of a few of our things too, but I’m not sure how much of it sold either. Most of it ended up at Goodwill or the Habitat Restore, but I bought a dresser from her that I’ll take with me when I finally move. And she gave me a couple of little wood carvings, one of which her husband carved sometime before he died a few years ago. It’s nice to have something tangible of his to remember him by. :)

    Reply
  • Jessica R @ FromtheKitchentotheRoad October 16, 2013, 11:26 am

    I call it a yard sale or a garage sale. People here in Milwaukee call it Rummage. Not Rummage Sale, just Rummage. I find that odd.

    Reply
  • Ashley N. October 16, 2013, 11:36 am

    May I just say how much I love how often you have been posting?! :) Also what a great idea to post your items on Craigslist, talk about target marketing!

    Reply
    • Caitlin October 16, 2013, 12:04 pm

      I’m trying to get back to posting more :) thanks!

      Reply
      • Aishah @ Coffee, Love, Health October 16, 2013, 2:03 pm

        Well it’s always great seeing a post from you, whether it’s once or twice a day. I think it’s always a treat for us readers :) A very interesting post would be your thoughts about the period where you took a “blogging break” and your emotions about that and what made you want to come back more. I hope it makes you just as happy as it makes your readers! <3

        Reply
  • Emily @ The Good Era October 16, 2013, 11:42 am

    We had a garage sale this summer and I was shocked that my coach purse didn’t sell either! I think they are so mainstream now, everyone has them. My friend joined our sale with her baby stuff and she made a killing!

    Reply
  • Grace @ Grace Dishes October 16, 2013, 12:31 pm

    $$$$ :)

    I call them garage sales. Our community has them twice a year so it’s a nice way to clean things up around the house. Goodwill makes rounds afterwards to pick up anything we don’t want anymore. Win-win!

    Reply
  • Mandy @ Eat Pray Grow October 16, 2013, 12:42 pm

    I thought I’d be one of those people buying tons of baby stuff at garage sales, but I’m hesitant to buy anything until after the baby showers and by then, garage sale season will be over! But, I guess it works out well anyway – by next spring we’ll have had our bambino, finally know the gender, and hopefully know a little more about what we really need. It’s just hard to pass on all these fall garage sales! (By the way, I really appreciate when people sell useful, nice things and not just junk. I hate going through other people’s junk!)

    Reply
  • Ali October 16, 2013, 1:01 pm

    I call it a garage sale. That’s awesome that you made enough to buy a chair and get rid of some extra clutter around the house. Craigslist seems like a good way to get people there too!

    Reply
  • Lindsay October 16, 2013, 1:03 pm

    Anyone else call it a Tag Sale? Or is that just a CT thing? :)

    Funny about the Coach purse– I recently tried to sell one too (in literally perfect condition) and it had no takers. Weird! But awesome job making bank on your old stuff!

    Reply
  • megan @ theveryhungryrunner October 16, 2013, 1:12 pm

    I have been dying to have a garage sale lately! We moved about six months ago and there is so much stuff we don’t need or use anymore that I would love to get rid of. I think you’ve inspired me to actually have one!

    Reply
  • Aishah @ Coffee, Love, Health October 16, 2013, 1:37 pm

    Hi Caitlin!

    I love reading your posts every morning and the sweet moments you capture with Henry and his grandparents are so precious. It seems like he is so fond of both of them and they seem equally in love <3

    No pressure, but I must say I love getting online each morning and seeing a post up from you. It has always been my favorite way to start the day since your "See Bride Run" days… Yes, I have been reading that long :) love the blog!

    Reply
    • Caitlin October 16, 2013, 1:59 pm

      I’m trying so bad to get back into a rhythm! I’m ultimately aiming for two posts a day… fingers crossed. thanks for the support :)

      Reply
  • Alexa October 16, 2013, 1:56 pm

    Currently doing a lot of purging and planning to collect all the stuff we have to get rid of in storage for the winter and have a big garage sale in the spring. Whatever money I make will be put towards paying down our car I’m thinking. I’m hoping to make at least half of a payment!

    Reply
  • Kristi October 16, 2013, 2:09 pm

    Just curious why you sold the baby bike seat?? We just bought the new model of that seat – wish I had seen one on Craigslist near me!

    Reply
    • Caitlin October 16, 2013, 2:13 pm

      We bought it for Kristien’s bike but I sold his bike to fund my new bike :) I’m afraid to ride with Henry on my bike. I’ve crashed too much.

      Reply
  • Brenda October 16, 2013, 2:24 pm

    Glad you had a successful garage sale. Heading to sales is one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning! My neighbor who is in her 80s refers to going to garage sales as ‘garaging.’ I kind of like that term. : )

    Reply
  • Katie October 16, 2013, 2:27 pm

    Try consigning the baby items when the time comes! My daughter is only 3 weeks younger than Henry and I’ve already consigned things we received that are either duplicates or just not our style and have made more than I think I would have made on craigslist or yard sale-ing. That said I think some larger items I could see craiglisting as you have more control over when/if they sell (versus a consignment that might offer a 1/2 off day or you forget to pick up unsold items during the designated time- guilty! :) )

    Reply
  • Sarah October 16, 2013, 2:38 pm

    Great job with your garage sale! I always sell my old things on ebay. I’m pretty addicted!

    Reply
  • Tammy Root October 16, 2013, 2:59 pm

    I TOTALLY would have bought your wall art! I think that is the coolest picture. :) Too bad I live so far away.

    Reply
  • allison October 16, 2013, 2:59 pm

    i agree with what some others’ have said- it’s good to see you here more often! i thought i was going to die(!) when you cut back. dramatic yes, but i really loved checking in multiple times a day. i totally get it though, and no, i didn’t die ;)
    do what makes you happy :)

    also, great idea about craigslisting items individually. i’d love to have a garage sale but the thought of organizing it all kinda stresses me out. annnnnnd, im a pack rat. i always tell myself ill need it later. i usually dont. lol

    Reply
    • Caitlin October 16, 2013, 3:00 pm

      no dying allowed :)

      Reply
  • Sarah October 16, 2013, 3:06 pm

    We are in dire need of a garage sale, but we were robbed this summer! So we’re not interested in having random people go through our stuff (again). Total bummer since we have great stuff that needs new homes.

    Reply
  • Lisa October 16, 2013, 4:29 pm

    Way to go on the garage sale. I totally could have used and bought your seed spreader. I had to rent one last weekend for more than you were selling it for. To bad I live on the opposite coast. :)

    Reply
  • Kim October 16, 2013, 7:20 pm

    You sold your artwork, no way!

    Reply
  • Janelle October 16, 2013, 7:40 pm

    I have a little guy Henry’s age and I was looking to buy a toddler bike seat. I notice you were trying to sell(or hopefully sold) yours. Did Henry hate it? I can’t find one at a consignment shop and hate to pay full price if there’s any chance my son will protest it.

    Reply
    • Caitlin October 17, 2013, 7:06 am

      No he liked it, it’s just it was bought for k’s bike
      And we sold his.

      Reply
  • Suzy October 16, 2013, 8:58 pm

    I’m from the west coast and we call it garage sale. My husband, who is from New York, calls it a tag sale.

    Reply
  • Kathy October 16, 2013, 10:13 pm

    I wish we had done a garage sale when we cleared out our storage. We were so busy, we just put it all out at the curb and people took it, which was great, but I bet we could have cleaned up!

    What a great grandpa to crawl around under the table with Henry!

    Every time we pass a sign for a “yard sale” I say to my husband “ooh, we should go, I’d love a yard” and he gives me the pity laugh…that’s love

    Reply
  • Leslie October 16, 2013, 10:23 pm

    I love that picture of you. So pretty.

    Reply
    • Caitlin October 17, 2013, 7:03 am

      Thanks :)

      Reply
  • Leslie October 16, 2013, 10:29 pm

    Oops posted the above comment on the wrong post. Sorry!

    Reply
  • Joe October 17, 2013, 8:49 am

    Love the photo of your dad and the baby under the table hahaha :)
    I’m in SA so we call it different things, depending on where you stage your sale. Garage sale, yard sale, clear out sale (household stuff) or home flea market.

    Reply
  • Reenie October 17, 2013, 10:42 am

    I guess I better check you more often, now that you’re posting more again ~ yea!!!

    I was just wonderning about DadHTP, I hadn’t seen you mention him in awhile. The pics of him and Henry are absolutely adorable.

    I won’t have a garage sale….. but I sure will stop at one. HA!!

    :)

    Reply
  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) October 18, 2013, 8:34 am

    Are you and the husband still wanting a big family? Many moons ago you and I had talked about large families…we have 7 with the possibility of more (a mixture of homegrown and adopted blessings). Congrats on your big haul!

    Reply
  • Janice November 18, 2013, 5:53 am

    Garage sale is very cool! You can sell the things you don’t need any more and buy then the things you really need. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Garage sales offer a number of advantages not only to the shopper, but to the seller as well. One of the advantages of conducting garage sales is the opportunity to get rid of items that have been gathering dust around your home. Another advantage of conducting garage sales is the opportunity to generate income from items that may have been earmarked for the trash or given as a donation to the local not-for-profit thrift store.

    Reply