The Garage Sale (Or Why I Have Been Too Exhausted to Write Over the Past Week)

I’ve never been what you’d call a garage sale “guru.” In fact, I think I’ve been under some sort of jinx when it comes to these things for quite some time. It’s always the same: Spend at least two late late nights sorting, pricing, and displaying. At least one of these nights, get eaten alive by mosquitoes while in my garage trying to decide whether to put a dime or a quarter on a brass zodiac ashtray that I got as a wedding gift. (No, I didn’t make that up.) Get up at the crack of dawn the morning of the sale to finish sorting, pricing, and displaying. Shiver in my sweatshirt and jeans as I’ve inevitably chosen the coldest and rainiest Saturday for my sale. Pack up at the end of the sale and realize I’m only one box of crap lighter and $56 richer. Swear I will never have another garage sale again.

I should say it’s always been the same. And then along came Jody.

You know Jody—Miss Iowa Geek and Have Kid Will Travel (who also happens to have the Best Blog in Des Moines and has the badge to prove it). Being the good friend she is, Jody talked me down from an etsy high (I was talking about opening my own shop) and told me I should instead have a garage sale to make money. Well, she didn’t exactly tell me I should have a garage sale. She pretty much told me I was having one. At her house. In two weeks. (I love friends who know me well enough to determine when I need to be bossed around!)

So I took Jody’s command advice, put an ad in the paper, and set out to peddle my crap. I should back up here and tell you that Jody had a pretty darn good track record when it came to garage sales. She always had great traffic, got rid of tons of stuff, and made good money. I just prayed I wouldn’t ruin her streak . . .

We started Thursday afternoon/evening. (Thursday is the new Saturday when it comes to garage sales in our area.) And guess what? Yep, you guessed it—it rained. I was really afraid that we were doomed but was pleasantly surprised when people kept walking up the driveway, braving the drizzle, in the hopes of scoring a blue Boohbah costume or a “Christmas with the Chipmunks” record. (And lucky for them, we had both!)

Friday morning brought steady traffic, and Jody busied herself with organizing and reorganizing all of my Creative Memories inventory that I was selling. She was totally working it too. Obviously a much better salesperson than I, who was playing Scramble on my iPhone while Jody described the many features of the PicFolio Album to customers.

Have I mentioned yet that Jody didn’t sell ANYTHING of her own in the garage sale? Nothing! It was all mine, even though she hosted the sale and performed most garage sale managerial duties.

Saturday morning was a bit slower, but we still managed to bring in some more cash and get rid of more stuff so I didn’t have to haul it home. At the end of the day, I made about $750! That’s only about 10 times my average sale total, not too shabby.

One of the best parts of the experience was hanging out with Jody and her family. Her girls are so sweet and funny! Boy #3 had to come with me on Saturday because he was suffering from “mommy withdrawal,” and it was extremely entertaining watching the 5-year-old, 4-year-old, and 2-year-old play like they had just walked into FAO Schwartz or something. My favorite was when Boy #3 asked if we could buy something. “Honey,” I told him, “it’s ALL OUR STUFF!”

Here are some pictures to document my first successful garage sale! (Just so you know I’m not making up this stuff!)

Boy #3 playing with a truck that has been in his room for two years and he is just now appreciating.

“Hey, let’s take this Diego bath toy and push it down the driveway for about an hour. It’ll be fun!”

Jody commented several times as she observed my sons that she didn’t understand how boys play.

What’s not to understand, Jody? I overheard Boy #3 pretending that “Peace Dog,” a stuffed animal he rescued from the “free box,” was a super hero who had to battle against the giant baby zombie, who was apparently also naked as its clothes were strewn across the driveway. Note the baby flying in midair after being body slammed by the friendly looking Pound Puppy.

What—don’t girls play like this too?

So thanks to Jody and family for letting me crash their garage for three days, feeding me, organizing me, giving me signs to put up, and not getting mad at me when I forgot to pick up the signs right after they reminded me.

Next year—same time, same place, right?


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