Where we live, garage sale season is just getting in full gear. Am I the only one that thinks that with the garage door open, a house looks like it vomited all its contents into the driveway? LOL. I didn’t used to like going to garage sales because it seemed like an inefficient way to get items for my family. Even though it’s definitely not the fastest way to stock up on items for our family, I’ve learned some things that can help make the day go smoothly, and make the best use of my time.
Check items on CL
In this age, we no longer have to run by numerous garage sales to find what we are looking for. Unless you’re looking for something very specific, and relatively rare, then skip the vague listings and find sales that have exactly the type of stuff you are looking for. Girls clothes? Nope. Girls NB-4T? Sounds good. Now, if you’re looking for a Baby Trend Sit and Stand LX in great condition, that’s going to be harder to find. If something says “double stroller” and it isn’t terribly out of your way, drive by and see what it is.
Keep a small driving area
The garage sales are plentiful all over the metro area, so again, if you’re just clothes/shoes/toy shopping, you can be picky. Just pick two cities, and only look at those listings on Craigslist. Many cities have city-wide sales, so that’s a perfect time to cut down on gas, and make your way through a good number of sales.
Map it out
I used to list my sales based on how interested I was in visiting each one, but then found I was backtracking quite a bit. You can put multiple addresses in Google Maps, so just list them out, and then drag and drop the list of addresses to order them how you see fit. I normally try to make a circle, though if I’m headed somewhere else afterwards, I’ll try to make a line to my final destination. Once I get everything in the order I want, I put the list of addresses and a short description of the sale in Evernote.
Make a budget
Whether it’s a certain number of items, or a dollar amount, don’t let the fact that everything’s at a deep discount make you careless about your money. It’s really easy to blow $100 at just a couple garage sales on cool new (to you) things. Make sure to only bring as much cash as you’re willing to spend.
Include fun money
What fun is a garage sale if you can’t pick up something unexpected? I found some gorgeous photographs done by a 15 year old homeschooler. Really, the boy has talent and I just had to stop myself from buying even more because they were breathtaking nature photos at $1 a piece! Plus, I got the book Science Experiments You Can Eat. Can’t pass that one up! Even $10 in fun money can score you some great finds.
Susan W says
Great ideas! Thanks for sharing at the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop!