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Friday, August 1, 2014

Elizabeth Street

CLEAN HOUSE & GIVE BACK WITH A GARAGE SALE

Sep 13, 2013

Clean House & Give Back With a Garage Sale

With kids, jobs, and hectic lives in general, it's easy for our homes to become cluttered. Speaking from personal experience, life with two children means there's lots of toys, papers, backpacks, and more littered around our home. We do our best to keep the place organized with bins, drawers, and storage, but somehow, I still manage to find myself tripping over old art projects and Lego pieces. 

As we approached the start of the school year, my patience was wearing thin. Not only was it clogging up my home, but it was a reminder that we are blessed at a time when so many people are not. The solution was to clean up the house and sell our stuff in a garage sale with profits going to the Red Cross

I learned a few lessons along the way, which I'm more than happy to share.

1. Start planning early. It's a good idea to begin gathering stuff to sell a few weeks in advance of the sale. That way, no one is scrambling the night before to clean out closets. It's also key in avoiding tantrums when the kiddos see their favorite Elmo doll in the pile. 

2. Get your kids involved. This is a great time to teach some lessons about generosity, sharing, and appreciating what we have. My daughter was very hesitant to get rid of her wares, but when I explained that there were kids who had no toys, she was more willing to let go. 

3. Bribery works, too. If the moral argument doesn't work on your tots, tell them that the more they get rid of, the more space they'll have for new stuff. 

4. It's all about charity. We saw firsthand the damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy, so for us, it made sense to raise money for the victims of the storm. A garage sale where all proceeds go to a charity is easy to get behind for both sellers and buyers. 

5. Do some marketing. Post a few fliers, write on the sidewalk with chalk, and post on a few message boards. Communities want to offer support, and your neighbors will be happy to come out, catch up on local gossip, and support a good cause. 

6. Consider the timing. Plan your sale at a time when the weather forecast is good, and if possible, do it during a block party or another event where foot traffic is likely to be heavy. 

We also offered incentives...in the form of brownies. (Whatever you have to do, right?) More than anything, the interaction we had with our neighbors made the sale well worth it. Spending the entire day out on our stoop watching passersby, chatting with neighbors, and catching up on the local news was something we plan to do again soon.

Need more tips on how to get your home ready for fall? Check out our slideshow above! 

By Christina Anderson

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