Monday, April 12, 2010

Adventures of a Yard Sale

The yard sale is finally OVER! This was the first time I had ever done a yard sale, and let me tell you, it is a lot of work! Sorting through everything and organizing it into bins and pricing everything and finding tables and baskets, going to pick up donations, hauling all this crap by yourself, making sure you have money to make change, storing all this stuff in your house for weeks...I about went crazy. But it was a success...I made about $250 for my mission trip!

Friday was the craziest of all days. I had a lot of stuff and not enough bins or tables, so I sent out a message on Facebook. A girl who used to work in my office had one and I found one at work to borrow. I had also borrowed an old dining room table from witty guy (which he also let me sell!). I borrowed laundry baskets from friends. It was a lot of running around. I had to make signs for everything. I had to go to the bank to get change. I had to go pick up some last minute donations from friends. I spent the whole night sorting through everything and pricing. I didn't go to bed until 1:30 am. Here was my dining room the night before (and there was even more stacked up in my living room!)

I got up at 6 and the yard sale started at 7am. My friend Kristin came over to help. I do not know what I would have done without her!! We hauled everything outside and got it all set up. Then the craziness began. It seemed to come in waves. There would be no one or some people would stop and look but not buy anything. Then all of a sudden there would be lots of people buying! The big sellers were clothes and jewelry. All the kids toys I had sold. Except stuffed animals. I didn't sell one stuffed animal and I had a whole box! Books didn't sell as well as I thought either. By 9 am it still looked like we had a ton of stuff, so I marked everything half price.

The yard sale was supposed to end at 12, so we started packing stuff up at 12:15, but we still had 4-5 people stop to look while we were packing stuff up! Finally we had everything in trash bags and boxes to take to Goodwill. It was a ton of stuff!

We decided to take the women's clothes to try to sell them at a place in Cary called Plato's Closet that buys and then re-sells gently used clothing. But they told us they do not accept clothes in trash bags! Luckily I had some reusable grocery bags in my car and we went through 6-7 trash bags full of clothes and pulled out the cute brand name stuff that we thought they might buy right there in the parking lot. We ended up giving them 5 bags of clothes, shoes, and bags to go through.

Then it was back to Raleigh to drop off stuff at Goodwill. We gave them 6 bags of clothing and 6 boxes of shoes, bags, and other random stuff.

A few hours later I got the call from Plato's Closet that my stuff was ready, but they wouldn't tell me over the phone if they had bought anything. So I went all the way back out to Cary to discover they only took 2 pairs of shoes and a couple skirts and offered me $13.30 for them. Fine, but really that was not even worth it.

I bagged up the clothes they didn't take into 2 full trash bags and took those to Goodwill. Then I loaded the dining room table into my car to take to a girl at church that had bought it for $10. Last night I emptied all the baskets and took 3 boxes of stuff I didn't sell or give away up to my spare room to go through later. I loaded the tables I had borrowed in to my car and now my house is starting to look normal again.

It was exhausting though. And I don't know if I will ever do it again. That is the hardest I have ever worked for $250!

I do want to say a huge thank you to Meredith, Abby, Heather, and Kristin who all donated stuff to sell at the yard sale! Especially Abby who gave me probably more clothes than I have ever owned! And some really great bowls and tea kettles that all sold! Also Kristin was my savior! I could have never ever survived the day without her! Also a big thank you to my friend Jennifer who drove all the way out to see me and make a donation!! Also, witty guy, Meredith, and Kendall for letting me borrow tables and laundry baskets to put all the stuff on/in- thank you, thank you! One lady even commented that it was the most organized yard sale she had ever been to!

I am so glad it is over and I made some money for the trip! Combine the proceeds with other donations I got this week, and I have enough to apply for a scholarship! AND I only have $910 left to raise! For some reason being under that $1000 mark excites me so much!!

I want to know, have any of you had a yard sale? Was it just as hard or did I make this harder than it should have been??


Maureen said...

I've never hosted my own yard sale- sounds difficult! Good for you, glad it went well!

Cat said...

Yard sales are hard should be very proud of your $250! You earned it!!!!!

Jen said...

I have never had a sucessful yard sale before, but I think yours was the best one I have ever seen. You had a lot of different types of items and it was absolutely the most organized! I am starting on one of the books I got from you. :)

Erin Kathleen said...

My neighborhood hosts a huge community yard sale every year. Last year my organization took advantage of it and raised money for Cancer research with the stuff we had to sell. We first took donations of stuff from people so believe me, my basement was FILLED. I would have to say the hardest part was getting rid of what we didn't sell... But it was a fun experience. I would totally do it again! :o)

Congrats on making $250! That's a good chunk!

Jennjilla said...

You should be so proud, 250 bucks is great for a yard sale. I've hosted a few and will never do so again. I now use craigs list for all items I'd like to get rid off - I always make more and it's easier!

Shoshanah said...

I can't say that I've ever hosted a yard sale. But it does sound like a lot of work, and glad to hear that yours seemed to be pretty successful.

Jen said...


I am also doing fundraising this spring and the other night we hosted a dinner at a local restaurant that committed to donate 20% of sales. It worked really well because it was an order at the counter type place but I would say we had between 50-60 people. We also set up a donations jar and it was really successful. I'd say we generated between $300-400 for 2 hours of our time and it was SO FUN to see everyone and share a meal together. The restaurant was local to the Texas area but you might find something in NC that would be willing to do the same thing for you, restaurants can use the business these days!!

Carly said...

Wow! You worked exceptionally hard for that $250! Who knew yard sale's were so much work? Congrats on having enough to apply for a scholarship :)

Aritza, Goddess of .. said...

Wow, congrats Suz ! Glad you managed to escape the yard sale alive, it sounds like such hard work. And I really thought Plato's closet would pay more, that's so disappointing.. but the important thing is you got rid of the things you didn't need anymore, donated a lot to good will and raised 250$ for your mission trip. So it's all good !

mr. pineapple man said...

i really want to do a yard sale, but havent seen anyone doing it yet in our neighborhood...makes me sad...