Hello from snowy, Denver, CO!
Today is a good day to be thinking about your next garage sale. You might be thinking to yourself, “What can I do on a snowy day that would help with an upcoming garage sale?” Well that’s a great question that I’d like to take a minute to answer.
I’ve been stuck inside for most of the weekend, hiding out from the snowy weather and slippery roads. While most people see days like these as a time to laze around watching movies and catching up on your favorite television show, I see these days as the perfect time to begin preparing for a garage sale. I’m not going anywhere, so why not spend my time sorting through my things, combining a bit of early spring cleaning with garage sale preparations.
I spent most of Saturday afternoon going through my office and bedroom, and next on the list is the basement. As I go from room to room, I’m pulling everything out, making sure I actually touch everything – nothing is spared from the once over. If I haven’t used it in over six months or a year, it’s getting the boot. But I’m not going to actually throw out anything. No matter what condition it’s in or how bizarre it might seem, one person’s trash is often another person’s treasure.
To give you a prime (if not extreme) example of this adage, while taking a break from my cleaning and sorting this weekend, I came across a New York Post article professing “NY family buys bowl for $3 – it sells for $2 million.” Can you believe that?! This family saw a seemingly ordinary bowl at a garage sale and purchased it back in 2007 for $3. After admiring it for many years, one of the family members decided to do some research (a true treasure hunter!). They soon found out that their ordinary bowl wasn’t so ordinary after all. Turns out, the bowl dates back to the 10th or 11th century and only one other piece exists today, and it’s in the British Museum collection. Sotheby’s estimated the piece would sell for between $200,000 and $300,000, but it wound up fetching a startling $2.2 million! (if you’d like to read the entire article, head here http://tinyurl.com/blokw4n)
I’m certainly not saying that everyone is going to find some hidden gem in their home, but you never know! Maybe something you’ve been sitting on is worth a pretty penny. And even if it isn’t, it might be worth something to someone else. The art dealer who purchased this bowl clearly wanted it since he was willing to pay way beyond the estimated value. On a smaller, more relatable scale, that trinket that’s been sitting in your closet might not appear to worth anything, but it might be worth something to someone out there. So don’t throw it out; sell it.
Go through every desk, closet, cupboard, basement corner and garage shelf and keep everything. And to add to that, if you’ve got something that seems unique, maybe take a minute to do a quick Internet search to see if it’s worth anything significant. You never know what you may find!
On another note, I just received an email from a follower who recently finished reading my book (thanks, Bob!). He had some really great garage sale tips to add to my repertoire, and I’d like to share a few of the pre-planning tips that you could start thinking about now:
- Before throwing your garage sale, check with your town to see if you need a permit. If you do, see how far in advance you need to apply.
- You should also check to be sure your town allows you to post signs throughout the neighborhood.
- A few weeks or months before your sale (think now!!!) you should start saving paper and plastic shopping bags to use for your big buyers. They’ll appreciate the bag and it’s a great way to recycle!
- Try to coordinate your sale with another local event. If there’s a festival or art fair in your town, try coordinating with that time frame. You’ll get a lot of out of towners that might notice your sign and swing by after they finish up at the festival.
Good luck, and happy hunting!