Winner- Finally. GAH.

Ok, so it only took me a WEEK to get around to posting my contest winner, and I am feeling very very lame. *SIGH* *ANOTHER, LOUDER, SIGH*

But I am sitting here typing this on my NEW! SOFA! Do you have any idea how long I’ve wanted a new sofa? Do you understand how UGLY our other sofa was/IS (yes, IS, because right now it is sitting in our dining room, making me weep every time I see it, because a) I’m so happy that we’ve replaced it but also b) why oh WHY is it still in my house?) I think pictures are going to be in order to fully illustrate what type of couch we are dealing with here. Doesn’t Kelly Rippa or someone do an ugly sofa contest? Hmmm, maybe it would be worth saving, if only to enter into her contest…. No. NO! It must go! TAKE IT AWAY! (Also, did I just say “Kelly Rippa”? WTH?)

But this new sofa? The one I am currently sitting on? I bought it with my garage sale money. The other (smaller sofa) and the four tables were purchased by my good looks and the wonderful folks over at IKEA credit card services, but this one was paid for in cold hard CASH, that I earned selling kids’ clothes and toys for 2 days at around 50 cents apiece.

So now it’s (WAY PAST) time to announce the contest winner, and also the Garage Sale Total. Ok, first, our lucky winner in Greenstyle Mom– congratulations! I’ll be sending you an email sometime in the next 6 months to get your address and mail your prize. (Also, OH CRAP. Now I have to send something renewable, sustainable, organic… oh the PRESSURE.) Ahem, I mean, I was totally going to give an organic prize, nothing new to see over here…

(On a more serious note, I take inspiration all the time from Greenstyle Mom’s passion to treating our planet gently. The above paragraph? That was just my guilty conscious talking…)

Let’s segue directly into GST. Are you ready? I made $659.25! The other two families each made around $500! On baby clothes and other crap!

Seriously, I had only a few bigger items. My most expensive piece was my double stroller, which sold for $40. I had probably about $100 total in my “bigger ticket” items, and the rest, I’m not even kidding, was all little stuff. Dollar items. Twenty five cent toys. Also, I made over $500 the first day, and only about $100 the second day.

Does this just blow your mind? Because I’ve never had a garage sale before, so I had NO IDEA that I would make that much. David was giving me such a hard time before the sale. He was joking about buying all the crap from me, just to be DONE with it. (Um, honey, we still need to DO something will all this crap. It’s not going to walk itself out of the attic…) Needless to say, he’s now a garage sale convert, sheepishly so.

The weather was beautiful- 70’s, sunny- so we didn’t know for sure if this would help or hurt us. Also, as I said, our sale was during the weekend of the “city wide” (ha, ha, they called this town a “city”!!) sales, so again we weren’t sure if it would be good or bad for us.

Here’s a few things, looking back, that I think I’d try to re-create:

1. City wide sale weekends are good times to have sales. There are lots of people out, and the “crowd mentality” certainly makes people more impulsive. People were making piles on the lawn, buying so much stuff at one time that they couldn’t carry it all. I was stunned.

1a. Also, have lots of plastic bags (the Target/Walmart variety) on hand. LOTS. We ran out and had to have a friend bring us her stash.

1b. My Garage Sale Mentor had a round hanging rack, just like in stores, that she some how owns. We hung our cuter/more expensive outfits there, and refilled it often, whenever we had a lull. Things hanging on that rack really sold quickly.

2. We were one of the only sales to open Friday morning. Most opened Friday around 4 pm, or not until Saturday morning, so we had lots of eager people right away in the morning. I got there 45 minutes early, and there was already at least 20 (as in TWENTY actual humans, not including children) rummaging through our stuff. We didn’t even have the tables pulled out of the garage yet. We hit the ground running, and it was busy like that most of the day.

3. Saturday was very s-l-o-w. We each only made around $100, so compared to the previous day, it seemed lame. Then again, everything was already all set up, and all we had to do was sit there and chat, so I guess it was worth $100.

4. We had a few misc things that were priced 10 cents. That made adding totals and making change a pain, especially when things were crazy busy. In the future, I will not price anything less than 25 cents.

5. I did the sale with two other families, and the next door neighbor was also having a sale. She put an ad in the paper for both of our addresses. I wasn’t sure it was worth the money before the sale, but after earning over $600 I think I’d surely cough up the cash for an ad in the future. (In this case, it was free for us, since the neighbor was returning a favor. BONUS!) Between the three of us we had SO MUCH stuff, and that looks quite appealing to people passing by. Also, it really was fun to do it with other people- I would have been bored by myself.

6. It really helps if you have tons of kids clothes/baby items/toys. These are the things people are looking to buy. I did sell quite a lot of my household items as well, but it was the kids’ stuff that lured the buyers to the sale. Adult clothing/shoes do not sell well, so only bother with the best quality- the rest can go directly in the donation pile. (I would also recommend having parents/grandparents with a shopping addiction. I personally have purchased approximately ZERO dollars worth of clothing/toys for our kids. My mom buys them SO MUCH stuff- clothes AND toys. Not to mention all of the other stuff they receive from other people… I suspect/hope I’m not the only one in this situation. It feels so good to get rid of our unused items, and to know they are being used by others.)

So to summarize: garage sales= worth it, even though it is a pain in the ass to set up and organize. The stuff has to go SOMEWHERE, so even to donate it you’d have to sort, box, and haul it SOME PLACE. Pricing the items took a little additional time, but was worth-monetarily speaking- it in the end.

(Did this really just take me ALL DAY to write?!)