10 Tips on Having a Succesful Yard/Garage Sale

10 Tips Yard Garage Sale

Despite the very short amount of time we spent preparing for our yard sale yesterday, it was actually pretty successful. The weather was perfect and we had a lot of traffic. Our main objective was to help our son raise money for his trip to London but in the meantime we were also able to offload some things that were cluttering our house.

Our son was also blessed with items to sell donated by family and friends. That also contributed to some of the money he raised. He is getting closer every day towards fully funding his trip.

Here are some tips I can offer anyone wanting to hold a garage sale in the near future.

1 – Advertise in your local newspaper, Craigslist, and local Facebook groups – In this digital age we often assume that not very many of us subscribe or read newspapers. Majority of the shoppers we had yesterday said they found our garage sale through our advertisement in the newspaper.

2 – Put up signs. – Aside from customers that live by the newspaper for yard/garage sale ads, we did have some customers that said they stumbled across our yard sale signs.

3 – Display some items so that they are visible from the street. We live up on a hill and we had our yard sale up on the top in our yard. We displayed a few bigger items in our driveway so that people could see that we were having a yard sale. It may have helped if we also placed some smaller more attractive items on our driveway.

4 – Have small bills on hand for change in a cash box (with someone watching it at all times) or wear an apron with pockets for your change.

5 – Have plastic bags and extra boxes to package up customer purchases.

6 – Price each item or place a price point for groups of items (for example: We had a box full of hot wheels and small toys that we sold for $.25 each.) Having prices on items will deter customers who are looking for a great bargain from giving you a really low-ball price.

7 – Put away your phones when customers are around. I walked out of the house to find my husband and son on their phones when there were customers walking around in our yard. Strike up a conversation with the customers. Some customers may find it a turn off to see you on your phone while they are shopping and just leave. You should be ready to assist anyone with questions, just like an employee in a store should be.

8 – Start preparing for your yard sale months in advance. Go through your garage, storage, shed, closets and shelves to find items that have not been any use to you or your family in the last year. We spent 2 weeks going through things and we definitely have more to go through and declutter.

9 – Have a plan on what you will be doing with the items that aren’t sold after your yard sale. Will they go to the thrift store or maybe consignment shop? Do you want to hang on to the leftover items for a future yard sale? Could you possibly sell some of the items through Craigslist or local yard/garage sale forums online?

If you are hanging on to items for a future sale, plan where you will be storing your items so that they can easily be retrieved when needed. Otherwise, plan to close up your yard sale early enough to take to your leftover items to a local thrift shop.

10 – Do not plan any strenuous activities after a yard sale. After the very long day, you will be tired. Shower, make some popcorn, pop in a movie and relax.

We had a dinner to go to yesterday and it took all of our energy to get ready and out the door. My husband and I tried to take a 30 minute nap. Our little one said, “No way” to nap time. We each even had a cup of coffee before heading out the door but it was of no avail. We lasted a short time at the dinner and said our goodbyes regretfully earlier than we really wanted to.

Teenagers are little more resilient. They were out the door as soon as things were put away and went gallivanting around town for 6 hours looking for Pokemon stops. Sigh. Oh, to be young again.

 

 

 

 

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Yard Sale Craziness

Getting ready for a yard sale can be chaotic in itself. Getting ready for a yard sale in a week is ridiculously crazy. Our boys and I have been gathering things for a yard sale fundraiser for my son. He was selected along with other high school Drum Majors across the country to go on a trip to London to perform in their New Year’s Day Parade. We are quite excited for him but a little anxious on the amount he needs to raise to go on the trip.

He has been working odd jobs and has raised some money but he has a ways to go. We clearly stated from the beginning that we will help as much as we can but that the funds he needs to take the trip will need to be raised by him through work or by fundraisers driven by him. This weekend’s garage sale is his first fundraiser.

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Luckily, we have wonderful friends who have volunteered to bring by donations for his yard sale and we have boys to do the set up and tear down. It is the cleaning, gathering and pricing that will be very challenging for us. We have the next two days to prep. I’m doing my best to stay positive and productive.

I have found several blogs about yard sales that have been very helpful. I especially love the checklists provided. I’ll include some of the links below and hopefully they can be of some help to you if you’re planning a garage/yard sale in the near future. I’ll be sure to put something together after we’re done to let you all know what worked for us.

What are some of your favorite garage/yard sale tips?

http://www.nogettingoffthistrain.com/frugal/tips-successful-garage-sale/

http://blog.delightfulorder.com/2012/06/hosting-more-organized-garage-sale.html

http://pureandsimpleorganizing.com/blog/item/165-yard-sale-series-getting-started
http://pureandsimpleorganizing.com/blog/item/170-yard-sale-series-week-before-the-sale

Short Summer Bucket List

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Summer is flying by so quickly. We are now almost at the halfway point of our summer vacation. It has been quite a busy one for our family and we are loving every minute of it. We held a party and have had several gatherings. We are also very blessed to have had many visitors (family) come in from out of town.

While we are having a great time making some beautiful new memories, it is time to focus on getting things done around the house. I am also hoping to get a few more items crossed off my short bucket list before the summer is gone.

Not so fun to-do list.

  1. Get house painted.
  2. Replace furnace.
  3. De-clutter and have a yard sale.
  4. Yard work.

Fun Summer Bucket List

  1. Take pictures of some eagles.
  2. Go on a R.A.O.K. (Random Act of Kindness) adventure with my youngest son.
  3. Go on a wine tasting adventure with my husband.
  4. Have a movie night outdoors.
  5. Plant a miniature garden.
  6. Go on a road trip to the Oregon coast.
  7. Craft (make cards, color, paint, create things for miniature garden).
  8. Read 10 books.

Do you have a Summer Bucket List? If so, what are some of the items on your Summer Bucket List?

Here are a few links to some really great Summer Bucket Lists. These list are pretty in depth examples.

https://findingtimetofly.com/summer-bucket-list/?pp=0

http://www.savvysouthernbelle.com/2016/05/summer-bucket-list.html

100 Fun Ideas For Your Summer Bucket List

 

How to Feed a Family of 6 Without the Restaurant

Having a toddler has made it much more difficult to enjoy eating out as a family. We still go out to eat occasionally with our children but we have been trying to limit ourselves. One of my favorite places to eat at is a local Hawaiian restaurant called Aloha Kitchen in Silverdale, Washington. I often crave eating food from back home and Aloha Kitchen provides some of the best known dishes of Hawaii.

Their Kalua Pork and Cabbage plate (complete with rice and macaroni salad) is my favorite. I’ve made Kalua Pork several times in our oven but it is very time consuming and can be a greasy mess.

A few months ago, we ordered trays of food from their restaurant for our daughters 1st birthday. Our friends and family loved it. This is where I came up with a money saving idea. It will also help save our sanity.

I ordered their largest Kalua Pork and Cabbage party tray for our dinner on Wednesday. It is listed as having 18-25 servings but the tray serves so much more.  After eating dinner, were able to package the rest into eight portions that will serve 5-7. We froze the packages and containers for future dinners. The cost was $125 for the large tray. Therefore, each (5-7 servings) portion cost about $14.

Those who feed their family on $3-$5 per meal may think me crazy but this is a dish I crave for often but I really dislike cooking. The $14 for a dinner to feed our family of 6 is a huge savings compare to what it would cost to take our family out to a restaurant to eat. It would normally cost our family $60-$70 to eat at Aloha Kitchen.

We now have 8 more meals in our freezer. We will just need to cook up some rice and throw some veggies in a pot on the stove. This works great for those last minute meals and it sure beats eating at a fast food restaurant.

We will occasionally eat at Aloha Kitchen without children every once in a while to continue supporting their business. We also love purchasing their gift certificates to give away as gifts to friends and family.

Do you have a favorite dish that a restaurant near you could cook up a huge batch for you to freeze into portions?

Excited Over Pencil Deal

Many of you would think me hilarious for getting so excited over this. For some reason there was a post for a really good deal for colored pencils on my Facebook newsfeed today. I was able to purchase this set of colored pencils from Amazon.com for $3.97. I clicked on the link that was in my feed and it took me to instructions and a coupon on how to claim the deal. I’m sure the deal is no longer in existence because it claimed that there was only 29 coupons left.

Anyway, I was hesitant to click on the link but I’m glad I did. My youngest son and I love to color but the pencils from the Crayola set we are using are really hard to sharpen without their tips breaking. So I was really looking forward to purchasing a different set. This was great timing and I am hoping these will work out. For this price if they don’t work out for us then it’s not a huge loss. I just need to take a few minutes to write a review about the pencils.

I did check out the Facebook page that the offer was sponsored from. https://www.facebook.com/Amazon-Brand-Aware-Club-1603817996601610/?fref=nf

On the page is a button to sign up for their club. I’m looking forward to seeing what other offers they’ll have. I’ll be very selective and only choose those offers that will benefit myself or my family. Since we are trying to be productive in decluttering our home. I just figured I’d share this opportunity with all of you and to see if you have already participated in any of this company’s deals. If so, what are your opinions of the company? Here is the link to their sign up page. http://www.brandawareclub.com/

Question for all of my coloring friends: What are you favorite coloring pencils?

 

To Cookbook or Not to Cookbook

As I went through our very crowded dining room, in an attempt at babyproofing, I came across our cookbooks. I already paired down our cookbooks to two baskets a few years ago. So really didn’t remove much out of the baskets this time. There’s a grilling cookbook, which I purchased for my husband a few years ago. (It still looks pretty brand new.) There’s also a Joy of Cooking cookbook, couple of Pampered Chef cookbooks, a Betty Crocker Cookbook, and a few others. Some were purchased at yard sales and Goodwill, others were given to us as gifts and the Pampered Chef ones were purchased decades ago when I was a consultant.

I don’t cook extensively. What I do cook are very simple recipes. I totally regret not hanging out in the kitchen with my Dad and Mom growing up. It would have been nice to have learned how to cook all the yummy foods I grew up on. For the most part, nowadays, I utilize websites like www.allrecipes.com and www.cook.com or I just simply use Google.

The cookbook pictured above, Joy of Cooking, looks pretty worn and used but I can admit it wasn’t used much by me. I think my husband purchased this during my “Hamburger Helper” and Tuna Helper” days in an attempt to get me to learn how to cook healthier and more nutritious meals. I can gladly say I have graduated from cooking boxed meals.

Anyway, my tip for this post is… if you haven’t already checked out http://www.allrecipes.com, please do so. It is such a great site. I love that there is a way to save the recipes you are interested in. Also, all of the recipes have a rating system and most have great reviews. It gives you the chance to see what recipes have been tried and were successful for others, before trying it out yourself.

I know we have a lot of friends and family who love using their cookbooks but honestly, I don’t know why we are hanging on to our cookbooks. Decoration? Maybe we’re saving them in case we have an outage or lose our internet for some reason. Then at least we’ll have recipe options.?

How many cookbooks do you own? How often do you use them?

By the way, apparently the Joy of Cooking is still in print. Wow! The first edition was printed in 1931. Our copy was printed in 1962. It must be a good cookbook. I guess I really should open it more than once every 5 years.

 

 

My First Real Bullet Journal

I received the journal I ordered from Amazon.com in the mail yesterday. Decided to go with the Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook A5 Hardcover Dotted Medium Black and I love it! The journal opens flat and the weight of the pages is great.

I started writing in it today. I do have to remember to let the ink dry if I am to continue using the gel pens that I purchased from Walmart. I smudged a lot of my writing but figured I’d still post my first entries from this book to compare with future entries in hopes of seeing an improvement.

Again, I’m taking baby steps to being organized but in an artsy sort of way. Also working on building some better life habits and will use bullet journaling to follow though to my goals. So far so good but still a very LONG way to go!

 

Effective Lists

Having an organized and clean house has always been a challenge for me. I was always great about making lists but not very good about using them. Lately I been trying a new attempt at list making. I first came across the idea of bullet journaling through Pinterest.com. I’ve just been using a plain ruled composition book for my daily lists but a bullet journal would work so much better. I just ordered one through Amazon.com.

So far my little fancy composition lists have been working. Plus it’s really nice to add little notes here and there about my day in my book. I’ve never really been one to journal so this is perfect.

Trying to motivate teenagers and a pre-teen is a chore in itself. I’ve been experimenting with “journaling” and jazzing up our childrens’ to-do lists. Above is today’s list for our 11-year-old. He got through most of the list. I think this works great for him.

Having a jazzy list for our 17-year-old is a completely different story. I’m sure there’s a lot more running through his mind than our 11-year-old. We’ll try it out for a few weeks to see if his motivation changes.

Do you organize your days with lists? What kind of lists work best for you and your family?

Here are a few links to a few blogs I found very helpful.

http://withoutelephants.com/to-do-lijstjes-die-echt-werken-bullet-journal/

5 Steps to Craft a Better To-Do List