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Operation Garage Sale: Totally Exhausted


I wasn’t planning to have our garage sale this weekend. As of Wednesday last week, all of the weathermen were forecasting rain for Saturday and I didn’t even want to chance it if there was rain in the forecast. Well, on Thursday, the weathermen started saying that it would be sunny all day!

I worked really hard to get as much stuff done as I could so we could at least have a sale yesterday to start getting rid of things. I was up until almost 3 a.m. on Friday night and got up at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. We started setting up around 7 a.m., thinking it would take an hour or so to get everything set up.

Boy, was I ever wrong.

We weren’t ready to go until close to 10 a.m.!! The sheer amount of what we had was overwhelming. We were scrambling trying to figure out more tables because what we had wasn’t enough. I ended up turning over boxes and setting them down for makeshift displays. And some items stayed in tubs because we ran out of room.

It was insane. I always thought that we didn’t have a lot to show for our debt. Looking across our sale I see what definitely contributed to it. Too much STUFF!!!

By 2:30 p.m., traffic slowed down to a trickle so we decided to close up shop. The last few visitors we told them 1/2 off so they lingered around a little longer and ended up buying more. Still, we had so much left.

Once everything was packed back up and brought back into the house (that took a good hour and a half to do!), I sat down and counted the money to see how we did. I wasn’t expecting too much because we weren’t open for the hard core garage salers. We also didn’t sell anything that was over $5.00.

I was so amazed to see that we made $200.90. I’m not sure what a great take is for a garage sale, but to us…that is a lot. The last one we had we only made $65 and one year we made $350 (but $250 of that was for a bass guitar that I sold). It is the biggest take we have ever made and we still have so much stuff left!

We will definitely be having another sale once we can figure out how to have more tables so we can make sure everything can be displayed. I also plan on waking up super-early next time because I know how important presentation is. It bothered me that alike things were not together so I want to remedy that problem next time.

I learned a lot from this sale, so I know we will do better next time. I also realized how exhausting a sale of this size really is. I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. last night. I’m barely ever in bed before midnight. When I woke up this morning around 7:30 a.m., I felt like I slept like a log. I barely ever drink alcohol now, but the way I slept felt like how I used to sleep after a night of heavy drinking (during my first year of college). You hit the bed and konk right out and sleep for 10-12 hours without stirring.

Today, I was back at it with getting more stuff ready for the next garage sale. When that will be, I’m not sure. I think I’m playing it by ear and watching the weather forecasts. I want to be ready for the next one and have a much better sale so I’m working on it now rather than later.

As for what I learned? I’ll be writing about that this week.


  • Reply Dedicated |

    I think $250 is great. I wish I had the “whatever it takes” to do one myself. With 5 kids, I know I could sell a ton and clean my home of clutter all at the same time.

    Good for you. Putting the money towards debt, family fun or getting by?

  • Reply Tricia |

    Dedicated – well, my son gets to keep the money from the toys he sold and the soda pop (he sold cans). The rest I will be using towards debt and/or our savings.

  • Reply MoneyDummy |

    Congratulations!!! Hearing all about your wonderful success makes me wonder if I should have had a garage sale, rather than decluttering so much to the thrift store. *Laugh*

  • Reply Kris |

    That’s a good take if nothing was over $5.00! The most I ever made was about $800, but that was when I was moving to a new city and sold a bunch of furniture and w/d. Because I live in an apartment, I haven’t had a garage sale in a long time, so I just donate it. Either way…decluttering is very satisfying! Good luck on round 2!

  • Reply glblguy |

    I’d say you did good. We had one over the weekend as well. They are a great way to clean house and pay off debt!

  • Reply Wendi |

    Congratulations on the success of your sale! That’s awesome! I had a driveway sale this past weekend as well and made $101! I was able to pay a bill with part of it and the rest I will use for groceries this week.

  • Reply Wendi |

    Sorry to double post but I meant to ask you if you’ve considered listing things for sale on craigslist (craigslist.org)? At the end of my sale I took pictures of some things that were worth posting and have people coming by this evening to take a look at them. It’s a bit more work in selling the item but it’s worth it.

  • Reply Renee |

    Hi! That is a great take if you had no large items!

    About the tables – we had the same problem last summer and ended up buying some cheap lumber at the last minute and balancing it on stools to make 3 additional tables. We also had some large boxes and inverted them to put lightweight things like stuffed animals on them. Still wasn’t enough room, though, and much of our stuff ended up being on tarps on the ground – which I’ll try to avoid next time since a lot of people don’t like bending over so much.

  • Reply Catherine |

    We had ours Friday, and continued into Saturday morning because we had big stuff we wanted to sell. It was a good weekend for every garage sale I know of. Hot as Hades though. We made about $200 as well. I got rid of almost everything I had in the sale though. I’m going to post about it soon on my blog too.

  • Reply Danielle |

    We used leftover plywood and made makeshift tables. We also put a pole between 2 ladders and I hung the clothes for sale and we sold a TON more that way b/c it was easy to look at. I started mine at 8 am (yawn) but it was worth it.
    Way to go!

  • Reply Cheryl |

    You may want to consider eBay for any leftover “chachka” (niknaks, your eagle figurines, kids toys or clothes)..some of it may sell, you’d be surprised! I do a quick search first to see if there is anything similiar listed, and what it’s selling for and see if it is worth your while. Craigslist as well, you can sell kids toys or clothes as a “lot” of items and get rid of them. May be worth looking into, you can make a few extra bucks!

So, what do you think ?