Spring is in the air
Time for spring cleaning and sprucing up! We’ve been power-washing the back patio and furniture, filling pots with flowers, pulling out the charcoal BBQ, getting the beds in shape (new bark!), planting the garden, and overall – freshening up our home!

I woke up inspired one day last week. I wanted something new and different in my home, but I’m trying to stay away from stores and spending money. What I thought would be a relaxing Saturday suddenly turned into a spring-cleaning day for my family, as I came up with this great idea – moving my upstairs furniture down, and my downstairs furniture up!

My kids helped me out, and from there, it had a spiral effect. They started cleaning through their rooms. The Goodwill trip that we thought we’d have that day turned into a discussion on having a garage sale, inspired by my children! I called my friend, she agreed that her family would be a part of it, we set the date, and then we made it happen!

What does this have to do with the Reluctant Entertainer, you might ask?
I think many times we get so bogged down with junk. Too much stuff and stacks lying around (I’m guilty – in my bedroom!) Even my kids have felt this heaviness, so I didn’t even have to ask them to purge their rooms. After cleaning through our house, attic, and shed and hosting our sale – we walked away with over $600.

We get so overwhelmed with not only busyness in life, but by the amount of stuff we have. Then we start thinking that our house is not quite right for entertaining. Perfection robs us again!

Tip on Setting the Date & Time
I’ve had so many sales over the years. I’ve learned early spring or late fall works the best and brings the most foot traffic. I also look at the calendar and rule out any parade days, holidays or soccer tournaments in our town (we always have soccer stuff galore at our sales!). Always start at 8 am and close up around 1. It’s not worth it to hang out for 3 extra hours to make a whoppin’ $10. My time is valuable!

With years of garage sale experience, and as I’ve thinned through my entire house, I’ve found myself using these guidelines to help me purge and to keep me on track when it comes to the sale. Remember, keep it simple! Your goal should be to get rid of stuff, not to become rich!

If you haven’t used it, cooked with it, worn it, read it, displayed it in the last year, get rid of it.

One Touch Rule!
I used to spend way too much time folding, preparing, pricing items ahead of time. Find a place where you can stack your items in your house or garage. Once you put them there, don’t go through your stuff again, until it’s time to put out on tables!

Pricing is Unnecessary!
Contrary to some articles I’ve read, and especially for busy moms like you and me, pricing each item is really unnecessary! If people want to buy it, they’ll ask how much! Our sale was living proof!

Sign Option!
You can make up posters that say: 50 cents shorts & shirts, $1.00 pants, $3.00 dresses, etc., for each table.

Grab a long pole and put between ladders and hang your clothes (hangers at Dollar Store). Keep like items on separate tables. IE, clothes, household, decorating, etc.

I put an ad in the paper, put the sale on Craig’s List, and made simple signs with arrows pointing to my house. The secret to a successful sale is foot traffic!

Be Ready to Accept Offers!
If you truly want to get rid of your stuff – ALL OF IT – be ready to accept the offers that people give to you. With the exception of the first couple of hours of the sale, we’re happy to see our stuff go! For cheap!!

Not Sure About Pricing?
If you have a few high-priced items that you are unsure of, grab one of the “tried-and true-garage salers” who come through your sale early on. You can tell who the dealers are, because they show up with their trucks, already piled with stuff! They will tell you a fair garage-sale-market price for your items. I trust their judgment!

Get kids involved!
Our kids sold coffee, lemonade, brownies and cookies. And they got to keep the cash!

When Sale is Over!
Box everything up and take to Goodwill. Do NOT bring anything else back into the house. Drive around and remove all signs. Count your cash!

I love how my upstairs/downstairs idea turned into a $600 bonus for our family!

Remember purging and spring-cleaning is about freshening your home – it’s not about perfection!

You may not have enough junk to have a garage sale, but at least you’ll feel freshened up and maybe even inspired to have your first spring guests over for dinner!

Give it a try!

(For more posts see Freshen it Up, here, and I Love Orange, here! Photos: both sets of furniture in our living room, the top one (sectional) making its permanent home there, and the brown couch up in the family room!)