Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Kitchen Sink of a Garage Sale

Great fun when the weather’s warm and neighbors come cheerily out to gaze at all of your stuff and chat, garage sales in the winter prove a marketing challenge. When it’s winter and cold (forgive me, you frozen Mid-Westerners, but it was cold for Alabama today), the art of throwing a good garage sale takes some effort.

I placed ads in our local birdcage liner, bulletin and even Craig’s List. I made signs on the computer and slapped them on leftover mounting board, stapled them to stakes and went around sticking the signs into corners in the neighborhood hoping to bring customers.

Today was the big day. After arising at 5 a.m. to start the arduous process of carrying out of our wonderful possessions, I greeted our first customer at 6:30, and by 7 we were busy with a steady stream of customers. Shortly after 11, I was glad to see the last young mother and daughter walk away with armloads full of free goodies. It took nearly two hours to move the items back into the garage, clean up and restore the driveway to a functional status. We happily called it a day.

I’m calling the Salvation Army on Monday for a pickup of the leftovers. Watch out Montgomery—there’s some good stuff left.

The most interesting customer was an old guy from Letochatchee who blows up beaver dams with dynamite for a living. He gave me a card, and I told him I’d be sure to call him if I ever needed a beaver dam blown up. But before that, he asked, “You got any guns?”

Note: A stretch of U.S. Highway 127 in northeast Alabama happens to be part of “The World’s Longest Yard Sale,” which our Governor Bob Riley calls a “Top Ten Event in Alabama.” Put it on your calendars for August 2-5.


Tim said...

Ah, how I miss the garage / yard sale. They don't do such things here, and if we WERE to do so, we'd get some very odd glances, not to mention perhaps the looney-wagon making a stop at the house.

Dirty Butter said...

We go to Estate and Yard Sales every Friday!! I've only tried one at our house once, as we have a blind driveway, and no place to park cars. I would LOVE to get rid of some of our stuff, though.

Around here, people carry their sales down to the front parking spaces at the High School. It's on the main highway, and it does have easy access and parking. We will be doing that this Spring, for sure.

Our problem is a basement full of junk, pure junk, as our city will not pick up trash, only garbage. The county dump is a good 25 miles or so from us, and they charge. So, the basement is our dump. UGH!!

Sheila said...

So Tim, what do the folks in Norway do with their unwanted items?

DB, I can see your dilemma. People who live a ways out do have a problem with junk and unwanted household items. Good luck with your spring sales at the high school. It might be worth it to pay the dump to get rid of the junk if you are like me. I hate clutter and always feel so much better when I get rid of it and have a minimalist environment.

Less is More.

Dirty Butter said...

I can't stand the way the basement looks ... so I just don't go down there any more LOL!!

Tim said...

Well, they do one of three things. Recycle them at the dump, give it to the Salvation Army or something similar, or wait for the few flea markets we have throughout the year.

Sheila said...

So, I guess yard sales are an American thing? We have a monthly flea market in Santuck on the way to Equality, Alabama. However, before you get there, you will pass by many yard sales that the country folks have set up along the highway. I don't know where they get the stuff to replenish their inventory unless they are professional scroungers. I'm just happy I can now donate the leftovers and be done.

Marion said...

In my corner of Canada, these are called garage sales...I guess because there is a lot of rain!

I always feel soooo much lighter in mood and outlook, after I've cleaned out the junk I am known to accumulate.

It's difficult for me to do this, however; these things don't look like junk, to me, lol!