And another 30 Before 30 item bites the dust. The task…hold a yard sale.
We’ve been planning on having a yard sale pretty much since the day we moved into the house and we FINALLY pulled the trigger on it this weekend. After months of pulling “merchandise” we were ready and had a little free time (now that we’re post wedding) to hold a successful sale. So I bring you our “how to hold a yard sale” post and share with you what we did and some tips and tricks worth noting.
First up, the merchandise. We waited to have a yard sale until we had a decent amount of things for the sale. I know I tend to drive right by yard sales that look sparse so I wanted to make sure that we had plenty to sell. We’ve been storing yard sale items on our porch. For more than a year now, every time we found an item in our house that was yard sale worthy, something we longer needed or used, we grabbed it and stored it on the porch. That is until we pretty much filled the entire porch with yard sale merchandise. Here’s a pic of the porch before it got too overrun.
Once we decided to pull the trigger and actually do a yard sale we did two things: promote the yard sale and price the merchandise. For the yard sale promotion, we opted just to make a few signs: a pair of signs on each end of our street. We live in a pretty busy neighborhood and right down the street from a school. So we waited until the day school resumed to post our signs, just a few days before our sale, and called it good. We opted not to pay the thirty dollars it cost to advertise in our local paper. We just wanted a nice, simple, impromptu yard sale.
Then came the infamous night before the yard sale pricing extravaganza. An extravaganza indeed! It took over our living room. It was like a sea of stuff eating our couch alive.
This isn’t even the half of it! There was still stuff out on the porch, items lining the hallway, and while I priced away Colby was still combing the house grabbing anything and everything that we wanted to part with for a few bucks.
The pricing strategy was easy, but it took me a little while to get there. I used those little round stickers that you can get at Target for a couple of bucks. You know, those neon ones that you see at all the yard sales. I simply wrote a price on the sticker and placed it on the product. I had a hard time at first pricing things, some items were definitely overpriced, mostly because I kept thinking of what I paid for that item. But I quickly let that go since the mission of our yard sale was to get rid of the clutter in our house! Not necessarily to make serious money. Then I started think like a yard sale shopper, and what I would pay for something at a yard sale. I ended up using prices like $1 for a vase, $0.25 for a three ring binder, $0.50 for a pair of earrings, $5 for a small suitcase, etc.
We had a few big ticket items like a dryer for $50, table and chairs set for $60, and skis for $75. But the rest of our merchandise was pretty much $5 or less.
We priced everything out on Friday night to get ready for our Saturday, 8 am to 2 pm yard sale. A couple things to note…definitely price your product before the sale. The morning of the sale, even if you get up extra early and think you can price things as you put them out, think again. You’re gonna get early birds. No joke, a pair of ladies came by our sale at 6:45 am! Crazy fools! AND we had only set out two boxes! They were pawing through our boxes as we were setting them out. I wanted to kick them out of our yard, mostly out of spitefulness, since we were promoting an 8 am sale, but I couldn’t kick out a customer. They ended up buying about $15 worth of stuff AND came back later so I guess I can’t complain.
Some other important yard sale tips that we learned:
- Categorize your merchandise: Keep like with like. We had a kitchen wares section, purse section, jewelry section and more. The jewelry section was a real hit! But the categorization made it easier for customers to peruse what interested them and to find things they were looking for.
- Have change: Lots and lots of change. It was amazing the number of twenties that we got even for one or two dollar purchases. Have lots of singles, fives and tens and a handful of quarters.
- Negotiate and be willing to come down in price: One of the most successful selling methods was when Colby would walk through the crowd of perusers and try to package deals. For instance, we had priced my old purses at about $3 each but offered up a any two for $5 promotion as women looked interested in some of the bags. And it worked. There were a couple of upsells using this method AND we got rid of more things…the ultimate goal of the sale.
- Be friendly: The more we chatted with our customers and the more random stories we exchanged, the more they perused and the more they bought. I also learned more about our town and neighbors that I could have ever imagined learning at a yard sale. Sometimes a bit too much!
- Keep it short: We advertised an 8 am – 2 pm yard sale, but we should have just ended it at noon. We were super busy all morning but as soon as noontime hit, crickets. No one came by. Next time, we’ll do a Saturday only sale from 8 am to 12 pm. Nice and short and simple.
All in all, I would have to say we had a successful yard sale. We got rid of so many things, including every big and bulky item we put out there, and made about $350…sa-weet! And in the end, we decided to pack up what little merchandise we had left and do it all over again next fall. But this is all we had left:
We went from about twenty boxes of stuff down to only three. AND our porch is looking almost usable these days:
Hmmmmm…could it be time to start refinishing the front porch?! Perhaps!
Now that “yard sale” is checked off the list, let’s take a look at what my 30 Before 30 list is looking like these days:
Get Married(August 10, 2012)
- Go see the Timber Tina Lumberjack show in Bar Harbor
- Consider having children
- Join Colby for a romantic date night out
- Learn how to use the video function on my Nikon DSLR
- Purchase a big girl couch
- Try surfing
- Track down the world’s most amazing Sangria recipe
- Travel somewhere outside the continental US
- Run the Beach to Beacon road race
- Hike Cadillac Mountain
- Finish a quarter of the books on “The List”
- Go on a picnic
- Learn to sew
Bake Colby a birthday cake(August 19, 2012)
- Learn to knit
- Dig for mussels on the Maine coast
- Finish the yearly photo books
- Make my own Christmas cards
Spend a weekend in Southern Maine(July 20 – 22, 2012)
- Go to an auction
- Send my mom flowers
- Watch all 10 seasons of Friends start to finish
- Explore Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Cook through my recipe idea files
- Attend the infamous Brimfield antique show
- Become a mug club member at a local bar
- Organize the house
- Conquer Julia Child’s Le Boeuf Bourguignon
Host a yard sale(September 1, 2012)
Psssssst…And now it’s audience participation time again. All you overachievers can put those hands down because I’m calling on all of you. What are your yard sale tips? Or stories? Anyone else have crazy early birds come by?!
And with joy…absolute, pure joy…I bring you the August monthly roundup. August was a pretty big month around the roost this year…probably one of the best months of my life. Why?! Because (caution…upcoming sky high sappy moment) I married my best friend! No…not Heather…she’s just the hetero lifemate…Colby and I got hitched! So I bring you a very wedding-ie August monthly roundup.
Best Week Ever: When we kicked off the festivities with wedding week…a week full of (cough…last minute…cough cough…) wedding projects.
Most Scandalous: The great garter vote where you, my dear readers, weighed in on which garter I wore to the wedding. And…I’m not gonna lie…I can’t remember which one I chose. I think I was in such a hurry when it was time to put it on that I just grabbed one!
Most Flighty: The bird cage turned wedding card holder depository. It was a big hit at the wedding and we got alot of compliments on how well it turned out. Now if we could just find a cute place to display it in our home…hmmmmm.
Best Directions: The series of rustic wedding signs that we crafted for our wedding, including Mr. & Mrs. chair back signs, “I Do We Did” directional sign, love sign and more.
Most Likely To Be A Walmart Greeter: The rustic guest book that we crafted by covering a sketch book with linen material and stamping boxes/prompts on the blank pages for guests to sign.
Most Clinically Insane: The two days before our wedding when we were frantically making centerpieces and baking hundreds of whoopie pies for favors, which was also a HUGE hit at the wedding. There may have been some whoopie pie thievery going on during our reception!
Most Awesome Day In The History Of Awesome Days: Our wedding day! We gave you a little sneak peak but we’re still waiting on pics from our photographers (family and friends) to do a big “our wedding” post. I’m hoping to have it all sorted out for you sometime in the next few weeks. So stay tuned for details!
Most Mischievous: The evil corn squirrel who has eaten every…single…wait for it…ear of corn in our garden. Curse you corn squirrel (she says while shaking fist in air)!
Most Likely To Be Mistaken For An Old Piece of Pottery Barn Furniture: Our latest and greatest yard sale find, the kitchen buffet table. It’s so awesome! And it still hasn’t reached it’s full awesome potential. Just wait until I refinish it (I’m thinking just a coat of poly to liven up the wood tones) and then REALLY style it up.
Biggest Pane (haha..bad pun bad pun): The window sash seating chart for our wedding reception. We picked up the sash at a flea market, polyed the wood, and painted names on the window panes. It turned out adorable!
Weirdest Moment: When we brought a llama home. It’s not a llama…I swear. We just call these clay fireplaces llamas. Weirdos…cough, cough.
Most Likely To Be Confused With Deodorant: Our living room when we revealed our living room freshening up mood board. The room has been a stagnant dumping ground for so long that it’s about time we freshened it up a bit and gave it some real style!
Most Cohesive Moment: When we FINALLY painted the living room walls gray to match the gray walls in the parlor, hallway and dining room.
Best Use Of Wedding Table Numbers: Hanging table numbers as art in our master bedroom to commemorate our wedding date. There was also a bit of table number thievery but thankfully our wedding date numbers 8-10-12 were recovered…phew!
Biggest Impulse Purchase To Date: The new energy efficient washer and dryer. An alternate title could have been “Best Use Of Wedding Gift Money”, but we didn’t technically use wedding money since we stashed that in our savings and went for the zero percent, 12 month financing option instead.
Most Private: The new natural bamboo roller shades in our master bedroom. It’s about time we added some privacy to our room. The neighbors are forever grateful!
Most Likely To Be Found On A Runway Near You: The master bedroom pillow arrangements after four rounds of a Zoolander-esque pillow walk-off. The coral pillow totally won out!
Most Improved Paint Color: The living room trim after painting it glossy white to match the rest of the trim in the living areas of the house. Much improved indeed!
And scene. We didn’t have too many huge house projects going on this month, but can you blame us?! We were trying to pull off the biggest DIY project yet…a wedding! But we’ve got a few big changes in the works for September as well as some small guys for balance’s sake…and for sanity’s sake, and also some fun fall decorating projects. So as always, stay tuned and keep it classy!
Confession…sometimes I add things to my to-do list just so I can cross them off two seconds later. Like I did this evening when I wrote down “paint living room trim” on my to-do list and promptly crossed it off. Ding dong the trim is done!
And the furniture was moved back into its rightful place.
It never ceases to amaze me how much of a difference a fresh coat of paint can do to really old trim. And by really old trim I mean REALLY old trim. Just look at what one coat of primer can do to old, off-white trim:
Amazing. And even after painting it a couple coats of glossy white paint, it still maintains its old trim feel but just with a new outfit.
I still have to paint the crown molding but we’re thinking of adding another level of molding and beefing it up first, making the crown much more substantial than it already is. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves…way ahead of ourselves.
My favorite space in the room, now that the walls are all a cohesive-with-the-rest-of-the-house, Bay Waves by Valspar, is the media cabinet with the lobster art above it. We’re in love and I don’t care who knows it!!! It looks so cute a cohesive there now. Before the tan walls kind of clashed with the lobsters. Now it’s way more soothing of a home for lobster art.
And by freshening up the trim and painting it all white (Betsy’s Linen by Valspar), the wall color really pops. I can’t get over how good this room looks now that it’s the same color as the adjoining hallway and parlor. It no longer looks disjointed. Here’s a view to the hallway.
And a view into the somewhat messy parlor. We’re still recovering from wedding house hurricane of August 10th.
And here’s a slightly different angle showing off the cohesiveness between the two, open to each other rooms.
It feels more like one room these days rather than two. I can now fully understand why all the experts out there, the Emily Hendersons and Genevieve Gorders and what nots (I’ve been watching WAY too much Design Star…but is there such a thing?!), always recommend painting your open spaces the same color. It really makes a room flow. I didn’t really understand this until after we painted this room. But I get it now. Oh…I get it!
Now that the living room is painted and cleaned up, we’re not so patiently waiting for our couch to arrive. It’s scheduled for delivery on Monday. And Colby and I are scheduled to do absolutely nothing but lounge on the new couch on Monday. We’ll be celebrating Labor Day alright…by laboring around on the couch.
Back to the lobster art….seriously…I can’t get enough of this nook. I’m pretty sure I took about 8 gagillion photos of this area.
One more picture and I’ll leave it alone, I swear!
Okay, now back to the living room and the grand plan of things to come. The room is feeling pretty sparse these days since we rid the room of anything that won’t be staying, taking down all stray art (other than the beloved lobsters). We’re waiting to rehang things once the couch is here and in place. It will take the place of the loveseat and one of the pink chairs will be moved to the parlor to make room for the chaise section of the couch.
And these guys…the pink chairs I inherited from my grandmother…are getting a bit of a slip cover situation. But again, I want to wait until after the couch is here to be sure what I have in mind will match. No getting ahead of myself and making decisions I’ll regret later. I like a nice, slow and steady pace these days. Does that mean I’m getting old?! Dang it….I’m getting old!
I hate how naked the corner of the room is looking right now. But we’re thinking of taking that bookcase on the right, and essentially extending it all along that wall, surrounding the window to the porch, for a wall of built in bookcases. Maybe painted white…with a blue accent wall…I can see it now! And with a gray couch with a chaise and billowy wide striped curtains with bamboo blinds…oh yes…I can see it!
And that’s all she wrote folks! Tune in tomorrow for a monthly recap and don’t miss all the new couch action next week! Booyah! We may have to play pillows again!
Pssst…Anyone else out there in blog land working on their living room? Paint it? Now that most of the big stuff is done (painting…new couch) I can’t wait to get down to all the fun, little decorating projects…I’ve got plans…big…I mean…little plans!
I have been planning this blog post…well more like the blog title…for nearly two years now. I always wanted to do a blog post about throw pillows and call it “Pillow Panache” ever since I was running to some rap tunes (weird…I know) and this song came on and rapped about “that girl’s got panache” and I’ve been addicted to the word “panache” ever since. And thought it went so well with pillows. Don’t mind me, I get inspiration from odd places. Anyway…I spent an evening playing pillows in our master bedroom and snapped some picks of all the different “looks”…kind of like Zoolander’s looks. Here is take one…which is our ordinary old bed without any fluffing.
Snooze. Then out came the pillow shams for look number two…Blue Steel by Zoolander.
I added the shams to the front pillows (both the shams and the duvet cover are new and were wedding gifts from our Pottery Barn registry). I liked that it hid our wrinkly, not so fluffy plain white pillows but I wasn’t digging how the ticking on the duvet blended right into the ticking on the pillow shams. Next…take number three…Zoolander’s Ferrari.
For Ferrari, I turned down the bed covers which helped break up the ticking in a HUGE way. And flopped the pillows on my side of the bed. How come when Pottery Barn does this it looks unique, pulled together, and visually interesting but my version just looks like a dud? Oh Pottery Barn, you’re so good at making it look easy. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling it. Next up…take number four…otherwise known as Le Tigra.
Now we’re getting somewhere. I went back to the first noodling attempt and brought the shams out in front on the turned down bed covers, but this time added a Ralph Lauren throw pillow, that I picked up at the Home Goods section of TJ Maxx for $16. It’s a soft gray color that plays off the gray undertones in the wall color and the gray/blue ticking in the duvet cover and shams. But it was missing something…the bed is looking just a little too neutral for my liking.
A Grandma Gert quilt…that’s it! Excuse my juvenile night stand. I swear I’m painting it this weekend…I swear!
The quilt adds a little color and some pattern that was missing from our bed. Too bad we don’t leave the quilt on our bed all year round. It’s just too hot these days to justify a quilt and I’m just too lazy to keep moving it on and off our bed.
But even without the quilt, the pillows looked great together. There are two Pottery Barn euro shams (circa 2002) for the first layer, standard pillows with white pillow cases next, followed by standard pillows with shams, and then the throw pillow. It’s a nice mix with some great texture.
But then there was Magnum…I don’t know if the world is ready for Magnum?! Here she is! Isn’t she beautiful?! (Note…if you don’t get this “look” talk go watch Zoolander…I promise it will change your life).
I LOVE that coral pillow. And what do I love even more than coral pillows?! A great deal! That pillow was only $6.99 at Christmas Tree Shop. Score! I dig how the coral pillow brings in some much needed color and pattern and also plays off a bit of a nautical theme in the vintage stripe ticking material behind it, almost like a seersucker. Sadly…the quilt does not quite go with the coral pillow.
There’s a bit of a clash going on…a clash for attention that the pillow won.
But maybe the coral pillow without the quilt can be the bed’s summer look and the quilt and gray pillow combo can be the winter look. A girl needs options, right?!
So that’s my pillow playing story for the evening. I hope you enjoyed it! And if you haven’t been through Christmas Tree Shop recently, GO! They’re having big sales on all things summer like planters, gardening tools, and even summery pillows!
Pssst…Anyone else play pillows lately?! Isn’t it fun?!
Neighbors rejoice, we now have blinds in our master bedroom. Cue up the band!
I know, they’re hard to see and equally hard to photograph with sun streaming through the natural, bamboo shades. But trust me, they’re there and the neighbors are rejoicing that they no longer can see into our room. Here’s the room pre-shades.
All naked like and exposed…the windows…not us…but we sure felt that way most mornings getting ready for the day…sans curtains.
We purchased the shades from the Home Depot using a gift card that we got as a wedding gift. They ended up costing $56 for the pair of Lenovo natural roller shades. They’re those bamboo style shades and we had Home Depot cut them down to size for us…more on that in a moment.
Installation of the blinds was easy, especially for me who watched from my sprawled out position on the bed and snapped pictures while Colby screwed the shade hardware into the trim.
And then attached the roller parts to the shade.
Here’s a closeup.
And attached the roller parts of the shade to the hardware attached to the window trim.
Did you notice the look of fear on Colby’s face? It’s there…trust me. That’s the moment that he realized the shade was too short…WAY too short. When we had the shades cut down to size, we told the Home Depot rep that we needed the shade to fit a 28.5″ window opening. They cut it down to 26.5″….oops. Thankfully, Home Depot was super helpful and let us exchange them for another, properly cut pair. And now they’re installed…at the proper width. I love how you can barely see the blinds when they’re rolled all the way up.
The blinds blend in so well with the trim.
I also love how the shades aren’t solid. They filter in some light and the cross winds keep breezing right through them which feels sooooo nice sleeping at night after a scorcher of an August day.
I’m thinking the window still needs something more. I’m debating curtains but I’m worried curtains may compete with the drop cloth closet curtains. I’m also thinking of a patterned, upholstered headboard but we’ll see what we decide on.
I’m trying to focus and try to finish putting together the master bedroom before moving on to other exciting areas of the house, like the laundry room!
Pssst…Who else has installed shades lately? Anyone else have them cut down to size? It’s soooo much easier than doing it ourselves and it’s free! Or anyone else have house project A.D.D. and tend to jump from room to room and project to project?! Sometimes it’s just more interesting that way!