This week we’re celebrating the launch of Sherry Harris’s Tagged for Death. Which brings me to the question Wickeds, have you ever held a yard sale? With family, neighbors, a common group like your kids nursery school? Did you love it or hate it? Were you enriched or depleted? We want to know…
Jessie: I’ve never held a yard sale or a garage sale. We simply place things out near the side of the road with a sign stating “FREE” and that usually gets us all cleared out. I haven’t been to a lot of garage sales as an adult but I did go on many trips to the flea market as a child and I always loved it. I think the sense of adventure and that it is really a sort of treasure hunt is a big part of the appeal.
Edith: While I was a farmer and home with my kids, money was tight for a while. We lived on a busy state route, so we held a yard sale (which we call garage sales in California) one Saturday. We made a few hundred dollars off the stuff we no longer wanted or needed and it did help the coffers. I put out some “hippie” skirts from an earlier era in my life, and my husband at the time put out a few African shirts he no longer fit. The high school girl across the street snapped them up. Perfect! The down side is the end of the day: getting rid of what doesn’t sell. As Sarah is so good at in Sherry’s book! The FREE sign is useful.
My town holds a town-wide yard sale at the end of June and my Friends Meeting participated for a few years, but it ended up just being too much work so we stopped. Sherry, come up on up next June! I avoid shopping at yard sales now, because I have too much stuff as it is…
Liz: I’ve held a few yard sales over the past couple of years, not because I love to do it, but because I couldn’t think of a better way to get rid of years of accumulated stuff that was just too nice to be tossed in the trash. I have to admit, I got kind of into it – the setting up, the bartering, and best of all the sales! The worst part? Having to pack up what’s left after a long day. And every time I do one, I swear whatever’s left is going to charity, but there’s this little voice that says, Maybe just one more…
Julie: When I moved out of my old house into a condo, I planned a yard sale to get rid of stuff. Of course, it rained, so I had to have the yard sale inside. A challenging day, mildly put. At the end of it, I had a friend come by with a van, and I donated everything I hadn’t sold to a charity she worked with. In my theater life, yard sales help fill prop lists and furnish actor housing. And, of course, I’ve been to Brimfield, which is worthy of its own post.
Barb: Every year we used to have a yard sale with my husband’s brothers and sisters and their families. We lived on a busy street, so it was always at our house. My sister-in-law was an artist’s agent, and just like our agent gets copies of our books, she got copies of everything her artists licensed. It was a treasure trove of china, table linens, stationery, trays, waste paper baskets, rugs, all brand new. She drew people in, who often then bought from the rest of us. Her stuff was so popular, sometimes when I’d be working in the yard, people would pull up and ask me when that year’s sale was.
We’ve moved since then, and we try to be better at culling stuff throughout the year instead of saving it for the yard sale. I look back on those days as long and exhausting, but very happy, leading to a treasure trove of family stories.
Sherry: I would have loved that yard sale, Barb! I’d love to go to your town’s yard sale, Edith! Brimfield sigh — I’ve never been but want to go, Julie. I grew up in a family that donated our old stuff instead of selling it. But when I was in second grade my best friend’s family had a yard sale. I went and soon ran home to grab some things to sell. I quickly sold a jar of marbles and some comic books and I was hooked. I confess, going to them is a lot more fun than throwing them. I try to collect small things now like the “H’s” in the picture but I have a hard time resisting small tables and chairs.
Readers: Have you held a yard sale? What was the best or worst thing about it? And as an aside–what do they call them in your neck of the woods? Tag sale? Yard sale? Garage sale? It’s all fodder for Sherry!