Throwing a Yard Sale

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By Lisa Scarbrough

Finally, after watching enough episodes of “Hoarders,” I felt the time had finally come to purge. It’s amazing just how much stuff can amount in the first couple of years of having a child. But at some point, you have to let go, if for no other reason, you don’t want your kid bringing those TV cameras to your home.

1. Make the commitment.
In all honesty, I’ve been saying for over a year that I needed to have a yard sale. But it’s a lot of work, so I found excuse after excuse not to do it. Finally, I talked my church into having a multi-family yard sale, and since I was one of the organizers, I had to pony up and participate.

2. Set the date and advertise.
If you put it out there, you’re more likely to follow through. So set the date, advertise with your friends, put it on Craigslist, and don’t forget to make the signs. The brighter the paper with thick, black marker, the better, and don’t forget to make it legible.

3. Be realistic.
For two and a half years, I had been saving all my pre-pregnancy clothes. I was going to wear them again soon, I just knew it. But after dragging down all the bins out of the attic and spending half an hour “sorting,” I owned up that it just wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I bagged 10 large trash bags of the clothes and put them in the pile to donate.

4. Not everything you have is a treasure.
When’s the last time you spent your time at a yard sale sorting through someone else’s clothes? While maternity and children’s clothes are often sought after, that neon pink blazer you just had to have may not be. Think about the space you have to sell, the time you have for people to spend browsing, and consider donating those items you wouldn’t buy again to a local charitable thrift store instead (you’ll appreciate the tax write-off next tax season). Make sure all your items have been cleaned, and be considerate with children’s toys by wiping them down with some disinfecting wipes. The cleaner they look, the better chance you have they will sell.

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5. Take the time to organize.
Maximize your buyers’ time by grouping like-items together and already having prices on them. Use tables and bins to help keep them organized.

6. Be engaging.
It’s early, we all know that, but put on a smile and make small talk to your shoppers. Ask them if there is something specific they are hunting, and talk about how you used an item when they are showing interest. If you have items that could go together, make a point to mention it, and make a special “offer” to see them all gone.

7. Realize that you are not out to make a fortune.
Yard sales are places people go to get deals. Price your items fairly, and as you would expect to pay if you were purchasing at someone else’s sale. Not only will it keep haggling to a minimum, but it means the chance is greater you’ll have less to pack up and haul off at the end of the day.

Remember the ultimate goal of your yard sale is to lighten your load, with a bonus of fattening your wallet, at least a little bit.

Lisa Scarbrough offers mom-on-a-dime advice for parents like her who still hold out hope that they’ll be able to afford the rising costs of college tuition (yeah, right). Course, Lisa has some time to prepare; her son, Ian, is three years old. Lisa lives in Guyton, GA, and when she’s not chasing after her little man, she serves as the Digital Properties Manager for Paula Deen.
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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm