Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The Humble Garage Sale

Against my better judgement I decided to have a garage sale. I’ve never been a fan of them, having vivid memories from when I was young of people knocking at our door at 5am in the morning looking to scoop up a bargain. Having learnt from that, I kept my street number a mystery until the morning of the sale. Admittedly, I was rather dubious, imagining if I didn’t want this junk, why would anyone else? But the lure of my new found love of decluttering, and some extra cash was too much.

My mum and Q also decided to contribute various treasures to the sale. We had some strict rules to make sure we didn’t end up with more than when we started. We were not allowed to buy or swap each others stuff. That punch bowl in my cabinet, that’s always been there, I swear!

So bleary eyed, we gathered on my lawn on a Saturday morning in February, where we dragged out table after table of junk, ah I mean quality used goods. I would really love to tell you that it was a huge success, an excellent way to find new homes for the things you no longer want, and an effective use of a precious Saturday morning. However I’m a terrible liar and I don’t think you would believe me! Between the three of us we made just over $170 that morning, and my share of the loot was a grand total of $27.25. About half of the leftover items went out for my suburbs kerbside collection. Suddenly the items that we had been asking just a couple of dollars for became far more appealing when they were free. The remainder of the items were loaded into the car and taken immediately to the local op shop for donation.

While we didn’t make a lot of money, the act of setting a deadline and agreeing that nothing was allowed to return to my garage afterwards was an excellent way of decluttering. I have regained the use of my garage as well as the storage room under my house. To let go of all the things and regain some space felt good, and the effort required will make us all think twice every time we make a purchase now. I think a lot more consideration will go into any item I’m thinking of buying and bringing into my home. I will ask myself questions like ‘do I really need this’, ‘will I use it’, ‘will I love it’  and ‘how long will this last in my life’.

So at the end of the day, the humble garage sale helped me take some big steps forward on my path to a simple, more minimalist home. In future, if I decide to part with something I will either donate it, or use EBay or Gumtree to sell it. The highlight of the day was the discovery that Q made on the side of the road. A cute little wooden desk that already had it’s paint stripped off and was just begging for a restoration. I will be blogging about this project in a couple of weeks so watch this space!

I would love to hear from you - what are your experiences holding a garage sale or rehoming those things you no longer want to need. Do you think the garage sale is a thing of the past, what is the best way to get rid of things today?


  1. Can't wait to see the table done! Have you picked a colour?

    1. I was tempted to paint it blue, but I am thinking white to match the cabinet I recently restored :)