Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Yard Sale Postlogue

We successfully (we think!) pulled off our first yard sale.  Indulge me for a few minutes with the details...

Wednesday Night - we hung up signs around the neighborhood in key locations (see this post) and began to price our items, using a color-coding system because three different families were selling their items at our yard sale.

Thursday After Work - We priced, and priced and priced some more... organizing our items into "like" piles.  You know, kids stuff, clothes, home decor, kitchen stuff, furniture.  Rob's mom brought over a van load of stuff to sell, too, so we had fun chit-chatting while pricing & organizing.

Friday Morning - Yes, people actually come to yard sales on Fridays. Rob and I woke up at 6 AM (unheard of for us, even on a normal work day!) to make sure everything was completely set up, so that we weren't still organizing when treasure-hunters were coming to browse.  By 7, we had a place for everything on the driveway and in our garage and were ready to go.  Here are a few photos:

Friday Afternoon - By about 2:30, the traffic had tapered off.  We were pretty surprised that throughout the day there was steady traffic. One person would come, look around, maybe buy something (if we were lucky!) and leave.. then another would come.  Our grand total for Day One was $66. Not a bad start.

Saturday Morning - Remember that movie Groundhog's Day?  Saturday morning felt like a scary, strange repeat of Friday morning, except that we slept in (HA!) until 6:30 AM.  We decided that we could squeeze in an extra half hour of sleep since we knew where everything was going to go on the driveway and all we had to do was quickly move things out of the garage.  More people came first thing on Saturday morning than Friday morning, and we had quite a good turnout.  And the weather both days was gorgeous, which made it all the more worthwhile.

Saturday Afternoon - Around lunchtime, Rob fired up the grill and we sold attempted to sell hot dogs, Nathan's hot dogs actually, but no one really bought them, although a few bought some water bottles and cans of soda that we had on ice.  Also, our new washer and dryer got conveniently delivered, and for no extra charge, the delivery guys offered to bring the old ones up out of the basement, so we decided to sell those, too - and we actually did!

Around 2:30 PM, dark clouds were rolling in, so we decided it was time to wrap it up. And we got everything back into the garage just as the first drops were starting to fall from the sky! Everything that we didn't sell went to Goodwill, with some of the larger items placed out by the curb for a good old Craig's List Curb Alert! We still have a few trips to make to Goodwill, but are mostly finished.

The grand total we brought in (all three families) was just $333 and some change. And we made about $200 of that, which will get put back in the "house projects fund." Plus, there's a little less clutter in the basement. What a great feeling!  And another big PLUS for us was being able to meet some of our neighbors - some who came and bought stuff, others who just browsed and chatted.  It was great being able to meet people who live around us and get to know them a little better, and we're sure we'll see lots of them out and about this summer. 

Have any great yard sale finds lately?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Let's Get Ready to YARD SALE!

Another one of the favorite American spring/summer pastimes, especially early on a Saturday morning is yard sale-ing. I, myself, don't really plan my Saturday mornings around that - my sleep is too valuable. But occasionally, I'll stop if I am driving by and see something interesting.

But helping to organize a yard sale is one of my many talents (well, maybe talents is a little too strong of a word... but you get the point).  Rob's mom is bringing a bunch of her stuff to our house, and our friend Becky is bringing stuff, too - so we can advertise as multi-family, which might help a little.  We're selling all kinds of things... books, clothing, toys and games, kitchen housewares from college, Christmas decorations, some collectibles, and even some furniture.  Right now, we have everything on tables in our garage, and will put the finishing touches on pricing the rest of stuff tonite after work so that all we have to do VERY early in the morning is pull the tables out.

Some good ole fashioned marketing - neon signs stapled to a telephone pole!
At 10 PM last night, we went on a covert mission to hang up the signs at strategic locations near our house - one near WaWa!  There wasn't much traffic then, which allowed us to take our time.  We also advertised on Craig's list for the past few days, and are hoping we might get some traffic that way too.

So if you have nothing to do, stop by - we'd love to see you.  And you might find some good deals, too! Who knows?

Look for another post about Yard Sale Day #1 tomorrow sometime, complete with more pictures, and an update of how things are going!


Check out a new recipe posted under the "cuisine" tab!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Summer Reading

When I was a child, I always cried on the last day of school.  I was one of those dorky kids that LOVED school, and so I think I picked up reading in the summer as a way of bridging the gap between June and August and formal education.  Now, summer reading is a habit.  Maybe it's the longer days or the ability for more time do pick up a book for the beach or vacation.  Summer is just a time when I get to read more, and love it still!

Here's what I have on my list for this summer, so far...

This book is currently being shipped to me from my friend Amazon.com. I ordered it because I heard the author being interviewed by the host of the radio show I listen to on my morning drive.  Sounds like an excellent read, and I'm sure Rob will be reading it too...

I started the Omnivore's Dilemma a few years ago when it first came out, but never got past the first few chapters.

And now for the lighter reads...

I am over halfway through this book, which I have LOVED so far, especially after seeing the movie Julie & Julia and cooking my own Boeuf Boourguignon.  It makes me want to move to France and transport myself back in time.

Every girl needs a mindless, quick page turner, right?  This 500+ pager bargain mass-market paperback is sure to do the trick. It will be something I can keep in my purse and pull out during a lunch break or car ride.

What's on your reading list? Any suggestions I should add to mine?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Random Musings

This is going to be a no-picture post, although you can see some lovely pictures of our flowers in bloom here.  Since it's the first spring in our new home, we've enjoyed being surprised by the colors and types of flowers planted by previous homeowners. Right now the poppies are in bloom, and I hope to post pictures of those soon - they're fabulous!

This weekend, we spent a bit of time powerwashing some of our backyard and soon-to-be patio furniture. It's amazing what a little bit of pressurized water can do!  While Rob was working on that, I transplanted and potted some plants and herbs (mint and basil).  We are hoping to get some more vegetables planted in a bed out back for this year, with hopes of building a raised garden a little bit later, but not in enough time for planting for this summer. We also pruned our Japanese Maple to make it a little less lopsided and expose more of the pretty trunk... and be able to more easily mow under it without killing ourselves! 

We've also been busy moving in some new furniture donated by our family with the selling of Rob's grandmother's house... and just as busy getting ready for our first yard sale, to happen this coming Friday and Saturday.  I am hoping to start pricing items tonight that we've been collecting in a corner of the basement as we moved and unpacked.  Hm... to go with the "all items on this table $1" method or individually labeling or color-coding with a sign labeling... not sure.  Suggestions?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Furniture Rehab

We've been spending our project time lately not only outside, but inside, too - and we've recently completed transforming 2 scratched, worn, chipped, blah, mismatched items of furniture - a dresser and a bookshelf, more accurately - into some pieces that work in our decor scheme and are completely functional for our home.  Check out the boring befores and amazing afters (and one during...)! And as always, click on a collage to view a larger version.

The dresser:

The bookshelf:

What do you think? Here's the breakdown:

+ Both items were cheap or free and were bursting with potential!  The dresser was Rob's (and his brother's) growing up & we purchased the bookcase at Goodwill for just $20!

+ In anticipation of these projects, and others, we invested in a small orbital hand sander which saved us tons of time and will be a great tool to have for future projects.

+ We used the paint we purchased for all the trim in our home to paint the bookshelf (2 coats), purchased a pint of Ralph Lauren paint that was on clearance ($7.94!) at Home Depot in Midnight Black, and used leftover oil-based interior Kilz primer from our kitchen project.

+ We worked on both projects at once, which saved half the work in the prep and clean-up department since we didn't have to prep and clean up for each project like we would have done if we did them at two different times. And to be honest, the rest of our house pretty much turns into a disaster zone when we are doing a project because our attention is focused solely on the project - so that saved 1 extra instance of home insanity as well!

What projects have you taken on lately?  Any projects in the works since it's yard sale season, and you found something up-cyclable?

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