(Disclaimer: most of the pictures in this post are from after today’s garage sale. We were so incredibly busy that I never once thought to take any photos!)
Our very first neighborhood-wide garage sale was a hit this morning! We sold way more than we anticipated and made more cash than we thought was possible. We’re planning to make this a yearly event in our subdivision and hopefully even more people will participate next year!
There are a few things I would do differently, but really, it was a pretty stress-free, very productive event.
I thought I would list a few tips and ideas here for you and for me (to remember for next year).
1. Plan ahead!
Start gathering items year round to sell in your garage sale. Each January, I turn all the hangers in my closet backwards. If I haven’t returned them to their normal position by garage sale time (roughly 6 months), I’m not ever going to wear them, so it goes in the garage sale pile.
2. Designate a place for garage sale items.
This was our spare bedroom. A few weeks prior, I started placing items I wanted to sell in that room. Next year, I will also price the items as I put them in there. That way I’m not waiting until the last minute to put price tags on everything.
3. Sell anything and everything!
Even if you think someone wouldn’t pay a penny for something, put it in the garage sale. We sold the craziest stuff today! Our very first customer bought our old plastic watering can that was covered in sawdust for $1! I even put out used make-up and hair products… I have very little of it left! If you price things cheap enough, it will sell!
4. Do your research.
Each city is different as far as garage sale regulations go. In OKC, you have to have a permit to hold one on your property. Then, at the end you have to submit a form and pay taxes on your profits (ridiculous!). Be sure and check your city’s website for information regarding garage sales.
One of the luxuries of living in a neighborhood with an HOA (and being on the HOA board) is the opportunity to plan a subdivision-wide garage sale. We purchased these large, non-dated banners to place at each entrance. We will be able to use them year after year. Also, the Tuesday before the sale, I placed a free ad on Craigs List advertising the sale. I updated it slightly each day to bring it back to the top of the millions of garage sales on the list. After a couple years, area residents will come to expect your huge, multi-family sale and make plans to attend.
6. Make sure you have plenty of change.
We priced everything in 25 cent increments, so I only started out with $25 in ones and $5 in quarters. It was plenty for us, but we didn’t have very many big-ticket items. If you have lots of furniture or baby things, it is suggested to have at least $75 to $100 in change on hand.
7. Hang all your clothes.
This was difficult for us because we had so many clothing items and weren’t sure how to display them. My husband came up with this idea:
It’s a 20 foot tow cable attached to huge eye hooks that are screwed into pieces of wood that are nailed into the studs in our garage. It spans the width of our entire garage and is high enough that we can park our vehicles under it, but low enough so that each article of clothing was accessible to customers. It was perfect for all our clothes! It was so simple for people to look through all of my husband’s, my son’s and my clothes. I firmly believe that we sold more clothes this year than in the past just because of this! Plus, it only cost about $40 to put together and it’s something we can use for years to come!
8. Put everything out the night before.
We stayed up till about 11:30 last night putting everything out and organizing. We kept everything in the garage with the door down, but it was ready when morning rolled around. We just moved the furniture and the folding tables from inside the garage to the driveway. Easy-Peazy!
9. Don’t start too early!
In Arkansas, garage sale customers get an early start, usually they’re out by 6 am. I thought the same was the case here in OKC. Nope. We got our first customer at 6:55. I’ll treasure that extra hour of sleep next year!
10. Have a very visible sign near the street.
Since this was a neighborhood wide sale, I suggested to the residents to put individual signs at their mailboxes to signify that they had items for sale. I got the most compliments on my sign! It was just a $2 piece of bright pink foam board and 97 cent stick-on glitter letters from Wal-Mart! It kept falling over because of the wind. Next year, we’ll attach it to some stakes. Maybe that will help.
11. Be willing to negotiate.
People never want to pay full price for anything. There were only a couple items that we didn’t take less for. We had some dining room chairs from 1945 for sale… $15 each or all 4 for $50. They were rickety and in need of a good re-furbish, so I was expecting to have to come down on the price. A young couple pulled up and went nuts over them! Paid full price! Didn’t even ask if we would take less. They were going to re-finish them to match their kitchen table and recover the cushions. Those chairs were sentimental to me because they were my grandfathers, but I was okay parting with them since this couple was so happy to find them! Getting $50 for them wasn’t too shabby either!
12. Donate all left over items.
The main purpose of having a garage sale is to get rid of stuff… am I right? What’s the point of hanging on to the stuff that didn’t sell? It will just go right back to collecting dust in your home. We did save back some things to try to sell next time, but only enough to fit in a small laundry basket that we will keep in the attic. We chose to donate the remaining clothes, shoes, toys and home decor items to the Pets and People Thrift Store. They raise money to maintain the no-kill animal shelter in our area.
Hopefully these tips will help you on your next garage sale! Next year, I promise I’ll have more pictures…
Until next time…
Several months ago, Connor tried out for the Honor Band at his school and he made it!
Here he is playing his instrument of choice: bass clarinet.
This is a picture from the beginning of this school year when he had just started learning how to play it.
This past Saturday, the Honor Band held its Spring Concert at the High School. I didn’t realize until then what they had been working on and how important it was…
Last fall the Mustang Middle School and Mustang North Middle School bands raised money for the commission of a new musical work for concert band by composer Dr. Timothy Mahr. At the start of this semester, a MMS/MNMS honor band was selected to perform the World Premiere of “Look In/Look Out”.
Connor is part of that group… and even more exciting… he’s 1st Chair, which means he’s the best of all the Bass Clarinet players! Here’s the program…
Yes, unfortunately, my son’s name is spelled wrong. It is such a huge pet peeve of ours!
Now, here are a couple other pictures from the event…
That’s Connor with the composer/conductor Dr. Timothy Mahr and Connor’s Band Director, Belinda Watson, who is also Connor’s most favorite teacher ever! (I think she’s pretty great, too!)
Tomorrow night is the regular band’s spring concert. I can’t believe my son is about to finish 7th grade! Time is flying by way too quickly!
Until next time…
…decided he wasn’t done with Oklahoma just yet.
All the weathermen/women on the local news stations were predicting severe storms for last night in central Oklahoma. They also predicted freezing temperatures, along with freezing rain and possibly snow. Yeah, right… or so I thought.
It was 81 degrees outside when I left work yesterday afternoon. I had to run an errand before going home. During the 15 minute drive from my errand to the house, the temperature dropped nearly 20 degrees! That cold front definitely came through… as predicted.
We had the storm shelter all ready to go, even going so far as to leave the hatch open for quick entry should we be caught not paying attention to the weather reports.
While we were waiting for the supposed tornadoes, Rob made these…
…using my Mother’s delicious recipe! I’ll post it below.
Later, our neighbor’s son came over and he and Connor, who turns 13 in less than 2 months, decided to relive their childhoods and build a blanket fort in the living room! I wish I had taken a picture. It was pretty impressive.
Back to the storm… it was supposed to hit around 7:30 or 7:45. By 9, it was only super windy and raining a little, so we went on to bed. Yes, Connor slept in his blanket fort on the living room floor. Around 11:30, I was awakened by ice hitting our bedroom windows. I guess the weathermen/women were right! Thankfully they were not right about the tornadoes and I’m so glad! I much prefer ice to tornadoes.
This morning we woke up to this…
Here’s the garden flag my mother got me for Easter…
Here are some pictures Rob and I took throughout the day…
The weather tomorrow is supposed to be 55 degrees and sunny! Gotta love Oklahoma!
Now… Mom’s recipe for Boiled Cookies:
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups oats
In a sauce pan, blend together all ingredients but the oats and peanut butter. Stir and let boil for 1 minute. Take off heat and add the peanut butter and oats. Stir until mixed well. Let stand 2 minutes. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet (or piece of aluminum foil) and let cool. Enjoy!
Until next time…
Rob was already cooking up his homemade spaghetti and meatballs last night when our good friends/neighbors invited us over for homemade spaghetti and meatballs (oh, the irony!)…
So… what would you do in a situation like that?
Here’s what WE do… we have a Meatball Challenge!
We had a little later start cooking than our competitor, but they were kind enough to wait until we were ready. When we arrived at their house, I noticed that the recipe Janice was using was directly from one of my favorite cookbooks…
I immediately thought we were going to be the losers in this challenge, because Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, is an amazing cook… emphasis on A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. She even has her own cooking show on the Food Network!
(Just in case you didn’t know)
Plus, I had purchased Vegetable Spaghetti to go with our meatballs… Rob was certain we would lose because of that. I can’t help it… I actually like vegetable pasta… healthy AND delicious!
Here’s my plate…
In the left corner… Rob’s homemade, no actual recipe, meatballs with vegetable spaghetti.
In the right corner… Janice’s version of The Pioneer Woman’s Rigatoni and Meatballs.
Unfortunately, this is the only picture I took during the meal. I was too busy eating all the food on my plate and watching the other adults to see their reactions to the different entrees.
In the end… the decision was unanimous… Rob’s meatballs were the winner!!
If you’d like his delicious meatball recipe, just comment below and I’ll be glad to send it to you!
Until next time…
P.S. We’re still working on the Miracle Dog post. We want it to be perfectly perfect before it goes up. Hopefully we’ll have it up soon!
Thanks to Pinterest, I have cooked more in the last year than I have in my entire life.
Yes, I know, that’s very, very sad. I just had zero desire to cook, plus I was always afraid no one would eat what I attempted to make.
Enter Pinterest… whoever came up with that idea is brilliant! I have discovered more things on that one website than I ever thought I would! From home remodeling ideas, to money management tips to craft projects… and recipes!
I wanted to take today’s post to offer a few recipes I found on Pinterest that were a hit with my picky family!
Classic Chicken Enchiladas
Connor absolutely loves this one… we never have leftovers when I make it. It is so delicious!
Crock Pot Roast Beef
This is so incredibly easy to make. Just throw all the ingredients in the crock pot and let it cook itself. The meat comes out tender and flavorful. Rob doesn’t typically like Ranch Dressing, but he doesn’t complain about it in this dish.
Chicken Nacho Bake
With only 4 ingredients, you can’t go wrong with this chicken dish. The recipe also has instructions for homemade Spanish rice… I just used pre-made. The meal was perfect!
Poppy Seed Chicken
(We eat a lot of chicken)
My mother makes the best Poppy Seed Chicken. I love her recipe, but this one comes in close second to hers. It’s so creamy! It makes a lot, but it doesn’t last long in my house!
Finally, my most recent dish…
No Peek Beef Tips
Last night, I made “No Peek Beef Tips” with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.
This particular recipe says to bake in the oven for 3 hours. I’m not home all day and I’m slightly frightened to leave my gas oven on in an empty house for 3 hours, so I tried this in the crock pot. It was wonderful!!!
I’m always looking for more, delicious recipes to try… please, send me your favorites!
Until next time…