Selling Stuff – Downsizing Phase 2

Joyce has always enjoyed attending garage sales but Bruce hates them!!!  So Joyce became the garage sale lady, a great new role after being the general contractor lady for the basement flood remodel!   April 2016 was the first garage sale. I didn’t quite get around to pricing items ahead of time nor really thinking about what should be put out for sale.  Advertising was done only during the week of the sale and signs put out the day of the sale. We had a good turnout, especially on Saturday. If I had spare time off work, I would have held my sales Friday/Saturday.  My advertising:

  • A garage sale sign kit from K-Mart was used to bring in people off the busier streets on either side of our street with good arrows to guide people to the house.
  • “” smart phone app.  I ran into this cool app in Phoenix area with daughter, Megan.  It worked well as the buyer so I tried it in Portland.  It has cool search features, accepts pictures, and displays sale locations on a map.  I updated the posts after the first day to remove items that had already sold (a pet peeve from using the app as buyer).
  • Posted on “Next Door” neighborhood site. It’s ok but doesn’t have such good editing features and the posts appear along with all the lost/found or nosy neighbor comments.  People can be rude and demanding on there.  I didn’t have time to post any pictures and got chastised a bit.  It did bring in some people though so it was worth it.

Thank goodness for Mom’s help!  Mom is a GREAT merchandiser! People were swarming before I even got the signs put up – they were asking me what I have for sale as I was driving down the street to place the signs!  Give me a sec people….

Loved Loved Loved seeing items go to a new home where someone would enjoy them and feel good about the price they paid. It breathes new life into the things we had enjoyed over the years.  I really enjoyed talking to people and seeing the neighbors out and about, wishing us well.  I’ll miss them.

A favorite story:


I was selling this 24″ x 36″ watercolor that I painted of cows standing in shallow water. It was beautiful but needed very specific kind of decor.  I sold it (for a ridiculously low price) to a guy that owns a store near Tillamook.  Tillamook is a coastal town with lots of dairy farms and is the home of Tillamook Cheese.  He said he was either going to sell the item (with a story of meeting the artist) OR gift it to the café near his store.  The Cow Belle Café displays lots of cow décor.  I was so happy to have my painting move to one of my favorite places, the beautiful Oregon Coast.

Large or high priced items didn’t sell well at the garage sale.  The FREE pile was very popular! I put the furniture or unusual items on the classified site at work. First item to sell?  A plywood-size sheet of copper colored aluminum to a design engineer!  That got things rolling.  The final item sold just days before the vacate deadline: the prized foosball table!  A really nice guy that I work with snapped it up to share with his young sons.

A 2nd garage sale was held in June 2016.  Mom was recuperating from surgery so Bruce and sister-in-law, Susan helped out. Susan is a great motivator and we were so thankful when she arrived with sandwiches!  We had virtually no food in the house. This was about a month after the offer on the house was accepted, during high-stress inspection period.  We were swimming in purging, packing, getting repair bids and handling requests and delays from the buyer.

The new owners bought the dining room furniture and the living room furniture went to consignment.  I had many conversations with my kids on facetime showing items live or showing items in texted pictures – “do you want this?”.  My junk is apparently not their treasure!  Some nicer items and family heirlooms were gifted to relatives.

De-junk-ify early!

Overall learnings, as Bruce kept telling me, “it’s the small stuff that will be the hardest”.  The junk drawer means 100 decisions where the large couch is one decision!

Comments are closed.