Saturday, April 20, 2013

A spring cleansing

We had a blast showing my little sister all our favorite spots downtown last week, including the Mice on Main and all the various statues and fountains. We had checked out Falls Park and a tiny piece of the Swamp Rabbit Trail on Friday, so Saturday afternoon/evening we stuck to Main Street north of the Reedy River. It’s always fun seeing our town through a visitor’s eyes, but it can be even better to taste Greenville through the excuse of guests… Enter cheese fries, wings and burger, excellent fare for a spring evening after a long day of work.

How hard could our Saturday have been you ask, especially with ace-childcare specialist little sister in town? The morning started at six, as we struggled to unpack dozens of boxes of stuff onto our driveway for a good old-fashioned yard sale. Our two previous moves had been a little bit sudden, and as they both came on the heels of having a baby I might have been a little lax in sorting the essentials from the clutter. Along with spring came the urge to purge, and the past weeks had been spent going through boxes, cupboards, the shed and the closets, sorting our life into piles of “need,” “keep,” and “sell.” I convinced our neighbors on both sides to join in the fun, and after an ad in the local paper (much too expensive, will not be doing that again when our online ads pulled in a couple of hundred people) and some handmade signs out on Main Street we had a pretty decent yard sale, if I can say so myself.

The boys immediately appropriated items from the sale for themselves
With an hour to go until the official start of the sale the cars came pulling in, people demanding to see what had yet to be unpacked. It was the first weekend of sunny, warm weather, and I was a little sad not to be out hunting bargains myself, but the feeling of satisfaction over de-cluttering, and making room for some new furniture won out.

Z and Max Heller
My five lessons learned on having a yard sale:

1. Begin at 7am, because despite listing your start time as 8, people will be there at 7.
2. Every sale needs big ticket items to balance out the knick-knacks. We just happened to sell our biggest item a few days earlier on craigslist, but had enough medium sized stuff to draw people in. All of our CDs sold, books didn’t sell well at all.
3. Get your neighbors to join in, one-stop shopping is appealing to people, and it also adds variety.
4. Display things visibly, easy to peruse. We put our big, bulky electronics up on pallets, used a ton of cardboard boxes as tables, propped a curtain rod up on a ladder to hang clothes on, and sold the majority.
5. Price to sell. Of course you’ll have some bigger things that you want to get a certain amount for, but remember that you’ve taken the trouble to get it out of the house, and you want to keep it there.

PS. On our way home from downtown, we stumbled upon another type of sale. This enterprising artist was selling his work. When offered a choice between a piece of art for $1 or for 3 cents, we chose the more expensive of the two and walked away with a portrait of a sea monster. More importantly, we made a mother’s day. Apparently selling art is more difficult than selling lemonade… I think the sea monster will go next to the portrait of Lauris we commissioned in Amsterdam on Queen's Day.
PSS. Anyone want to buy a great wooden desk? It's solid (code for weighs a ton), is an antique (read: old) and could be a great drafting or work table (aka very large!). Still has the typewriter slide!!! Yours for a bargain :)



  1. What a busy week Liene! I remember my Aunt hosting a yard sale once and having people knocking on the door at 5am! (start time of 7am... but the antique dealers were there early to try to get the best stuff). It must have been a long day, and a lot of effort, but how nice to feel freshly decluttered and to have made some money in the process. xx

  2. These yard sales for me is a new thing. I am trying to jump in this kind of thinking, but, be honest, just visited once! In Latvia people are not doing that kind of sales. No I am learning!:) Thanks for post! And you started your sale at 7am on weekend, unthinkable!!!!:)


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