The Purge {Tips for a Successful Yard Sale}

Hi! I’m blogging again.

Some housekeeping  items.  Google Reader is gone – did you switch to Bloglovin yet? I was never a Reader person to begin with, but all the chatter got me curious and I’ve been using Bloglovin for a few weeks and I think I’m a convert.

Like my new header? New website coming eventually as well…I’ve been toying with the idea of tweaking my so called “brand” and realized I wasn’t digging Kilo Bravo, Inspired anymore for various reasons. So after months of consideration, I hereby re-introduce myself. I am Kilo Bravo. and This is my blog.  Welcome 🙂

Since January, Tom and I have been systematically emptying out every single closet, drawer, and box in an effort to do a whole house purge. We’ve thrown out what was garbage, and the rest got thrown into our middle room.  We’ve been trying to become better adults lately, and letting go of some material items and trying to live a simpler life is all part of it.

So a few weeks back, we finally got around to emptying out what we had accumulated in the middle room onto our front stoop.  We had our first yard sale! And I’ll cut to the chase – it was a major success!

New respect for chalk artists – I felt like I might as well have been writing with my left hand.

We advertised on Craigslist starting the Monday of the week of the sale, but only left our block as the address.  I figured if people were really interested, they would find us.  I also shamelessly promoted on Facebook.  The night before the sale I pretty much pulled everything out and did basic sorting between what we wanted money for, and what we wanted to get rid of for FREE.

Yes, Free folks.   I think everyone that has a yard sale has to make a decision before they get started. Are you trying to make some money, or are you trying to get rid of stuff?  We knew we were willing to give away about 75% of our items, and the rest we really only wanted a few bucks.  Our thought process was that most of the stuff we would have been happy to give to goodwill, but we had accumulated so much, it would have been impossible to drop it all off.

We woke up early on Saturday, and while Tom dragged everything out under the canopy of our front yard area, I ran around the neighborhood with chalk and wrote out basic directions in front of the subway entrance, on the corners of the main avenues, and in front of the local bagel place, supermarket, and coffee shop.  By the time I got home again, there was a good group of people looking around and it wasn’t even 10am yet!  Tom and I ended up working outside in our PJs for the rest of the day and meeting a ton of our neighbors.  It was really nice to interact with so many folks that we would have never met otherwise.

People had various reactions to us telling them that they could take things for free, which was amusing at times, and heart warming at others.  One woman was so excited to take bath towels and sheets for her sister who was a single mother.  Another woman took items to donate to her church bazaar.  We ended up talking another mother into taking our L-shaped desk and splitting into two desks for her two daughters, with the help of her excited daughter.  We felt really good at the end of the day.  Exhausted, but good.  We only took 2 boxes of stuff into the house, which (of course) we still have to drop off at goodwill.  It’ll happen one of these days. Hopefully before we have enough to have another yard sale!

In addition to do some serious advertising between Craigslist, Facebook, and chalking all of the surrounding sidewalks, and giving most of the stuff away for free, I think part of what made our sale a success was that we took the time to lay stuff out in a way that made it easy to peruse.  We set up the canopy to provide some shade, and organized things into basic categories: bed and bath, kitchen, office, holiday decor, home decor, wedding decor (yes, I actually got rid of some of the wedding stuff!), and we hung all of our clothes and old costumes.  I think making stuff easy to look through encourages otherwise timid people.  We also had small bills to make change, and plastic bags to give people so they could take home their finds easily.

Betcha wanna know what we ended up doing with the middle room once it was empty?!?! What a cliffhanger, eh?