Note from Liz: This was originally posted in September, 2011. I’m reposting it, because I’m working toward having another garage sale sometime between now and the middle of June. I’d love it if you would join me!
This week’s Combat Clutter mission is a bit different from the norm. Instead of focusing on one area, we are going to try and do a quick sweep of the entire house and then… have a Garage Sale! This is a two-part post, so be sure to read the second half next week.
I know that the idea of having a Garage Sale can be daunting. But stick with me. Let me tell you why I think we should all have one this fall.
One of the biggest reasons that people continue to feel disorganized and overwhelmed even after spending time decluttering and cleaning is that they don’t actually get rid of any stuff. As you take the Combat Clutter challenges each week, you have likely come up with things that you realize you no longer really need or want. When you come across those items, ask yourself if they fit the standard set by 19th Century designer, William Morris:
Have nothing in your home that you do not believe to be beautiful or know to be useful.
If you don’t love that lamp in your living room, and if you don’t truly need it… get rid of it! You will feel better having your house decluttered, and once it’s truly gone, there’s no risk that it will sneak back into your house.
Another great reason to have a Garage Sale is to make a little cash. Ok, so maybe that seems a little obvious, but I mention it, because I think we should remind ourselves of the benefits while we are doing the work to set up and run a Garage Sale.
Once you have all of your sale items accumulated and priced, make a guess of how much you think you could make at this sale. Obviously there are a lot of factors that could change how much you actually make, but try to guess. Then, decide what you will use the money for if you reach that goal. You could even give yourself three “if – then” scenarios. For example, during our garage sale this Spring, Brian and I decided:
If we make $50 we will go out for a nice dinner as a family.
If we make $100 we will go out for dinner as a family and then have a date just the two of us.
If we make $200 we will go on a multi-day camping trip as a family.
We actually ended up making $217 after a weekend of selling things we had ruthlessly purged from our home! So, in August, we borrowed my parents’ RV and went on a 5-day camping trip to a lake. We had a blast! Plus, it was so freeing knowing we were paying for every cent of the vacation with cash!
Knowing our goals before we started the Garage Sale was great motivation. First of all, it made it feel so much more worth it to get rid of stuff we had been holding onto for years. It was easier to part with that chair in the living room I didn’t really like, knowing it was going to help me have an awesome vacation. It also motivated the kids to let go of some of their toys, knowing that they were basically “cashing in” on something better.
Second, it made the work so much more worth it. I kept reminding myself how fun it would be to have a “free” date with my husband or go camping as I cleaned, organized, and priced. Once the garage sale started, every customer brought us closer to the goal.
So, now that you know why we should have a garage sale, stay tuned for help with How To Pull of A Successful Garage Sale.