Monday, July 26, 2010

Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

We had a HUGE garage sale this past Saturday. It was a lot of hard work, but we made close to $1,200. It was one of the hottest days of the year, but I can’t complain because the forecast called for severe thunderstorms. I learned a lot during this garage sale. First being, don’t EVER schedule a garage sale when your husband is on call. He had to go to work 10 minutes before the start of the sale. At one point, I had over 12 people with armloads of stuff waiting to pay. A few were getting irrate, and I was getting frazzled. Overall, the sale wasn’t that bad, and I met sooooo many nice people.

Here’s a few tips I’d like to share for a successful garage sale:

  • At least a month ahead of time, start gathering your items. That sounds like a long time, but if you have children, you know that going through their clothes and toys can be a daunting task.
  • Find a place to store gathered items.
  • Make sure the clothes you sell are clean and have no holes or stains. Don’t even bother with trying to get a stain out.  Is it worth 2 hours of scrubbing and washing to make 50 cents?
  • Another thing….make sure your clothes don’t have an odor. Everyone’s house has unique “smell”. Just make sure your stuff smells clean. The week before the sale, I took everything out of the boxes and sprayed with Downey Wrinkle Release and fluffed. I had several people say, “Most stuff from garage sales stink, and yours smells good.” However, you don’t want to make the clothes so “perfumey” that it turns people away.
  • Gather lots and lots of hangers. Clothing that is hung up sells much better than clothes in a box or wadded up on a table. I ran out of hangers and folded some clothes and put on a table. Guess what? Only about 50% of those clothes sold. I found some extra hangers 1/2 way through the sale, and hung the folded clothes up. Everyone of them sold!
  • If you have a lot of clothes, check into renting clothes racks from a party rental facility. I rented 3 clothing rack for $8 each. I also rented 2 six foot tables for $8 each. It really does make a difference if you have your stuff off the ground and displayed properly.
  • Get a fanny pack. Yes, I said fanny pack. Might as well look like a garage sale goober, right? Sadly, there are people that seize the opportunity to take money at garage sales. They see the money box unattended, and bingo your money is gone. With a fanny pack, you can walk around and have your hands free and your hard earned cash ON you.
  • Make sure you have at least (1 or 2) twenty dollar bills, (5) ten dollar bills, (5) five dollar bills, and (20) one dollar bills. You’ll need lots of quarters too. I had 2 $10 rolls of quarters. You’ll more likely to lose a sale if you can’t make change.
  • It goes without saying, dress comfortably. This is not the time to look fashionable. Shorts, tank top, and sneakers is the way to go. Oh, and the fanny pack.
  • Check to see if your city or neighborhood has garage sale regulations. Oftentimes, you’ll need a permit if you live in the city limits.
  • Also make sure you can put up signage. In our area of town, you can put up signs, but just a few blocks away, the signs are regulated.
  • ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE. Use social media to your advantage. Place a detailed ad in the local newspaper. If you have big ticket items, list them in your ad. I also placed a listing on Craigslist, Facebook, and let my local Twitter friends know about it. I also started a Blogspot listing. Yes, I made a blog dedicated to the garage sale. It’s free!! I included a few “teaser” pics, and a very detailed listing. You don’t have to include prices.  I also mentioned the sale to anyone that breathed--the manicurist, people that work with my husband, etc.
  • For you moms that will be selling your children’s clothing, furniture, etc.—consider having a “preview sale” the night before. This was REALLY my breadwinner.  I put everything out in my living room and dining room and let people I know come early. It was nice because I didn’t get the haggling that I did with strangers, and I didn’t have to haul all that stuff out early the next morning for the sale.  Another benefit—those ladies went and told their friends about the sale.
  • Have a much as possible done the night before. Have your clothes laid out that your are going to wear.  Have an idea what you’re going to do for breakfast. Make sure everything is priced. Categorize your stuff (i.e. kids’ clothes separate from your clothes, kitchen stuff together, books together….) If you box similar items together, it’s a lot easier to get things out.
  • Have lots of plastic grocery bags. I used well over 50 bags. Also have newsprint or bubble wrap to wrap breakables.
  • I strongly encourage you to price all your items. It’s a lot of work, but I practically gave away the items I didn’t price. I don’t do well coming up with a price off the top of my head.  Plus, when you have 3 or 4 people needing to know the prices on a stack of clothes….you’ll quickly wish you had priced everything.
  • Realize people are there to get a bargain. Ask yourself if you were looking a particular item, would your asking price seem fair? You can’t hang on to the fact that you paid $80 for that Lilly sweater 12 years ago. Nobody cares. They want it for a few bucks.
  • Don’t get your feelings hurt. I had a lady that came and insulted Seriously, she made comments about how she’d never buy designer clothing, how ugly a skirt was, and why didn’t I have any size 9 women’s shoes. I had to walk away from her. I’m glad I did, because she ended up buying a lot.
  • If you have large items, such as furniture, don’t put a puny little sticker on it. Make a larger one to grab attention.
  • When setting up your sale, think of how retail stores do their displays. Put like items together. Arrange items so you can see them.  With kids’ clothing, take the time to arrange by size. If a mom comes, she usually has a specific size in mind. Half way through the sale, move things around so people can see them and straighten clothing.
  • Get your kids involved. I let the girls set up a table of their own to sell their toys. They also had a cooler with bottled water and Gatorade to sell. I was so proud of how hard they worked and all the suggestive selling they did. Here’s one area where I wouldn’t let the kids get involved……making the signs for the street. People usually can’t read them and quite honestly, they look bad. I’d let them make a sign for their table.
  • Speaking of signs, my one suggestion….get neon poster board and stick with one color for your signs. I used neon pink (of course) and had the same look for each sign. This is the time to pull out your black, big-tipped Sharpie. Use big letters, and only put the basics on there-date, time, address and an arrow. People can’t see miniscule letters when they’re at a stop sign.
  • Put the big items such as furniture at the end of your driveway. It’ll make the “drive-bys” stop. Another way to get people to stop…..put some hunting equipment, lawn tools, electronics, or other “man stuff” close to the street.  I had as many men stop as women.
  • Be friendly, and greet every person that walks up, but don’t hover.
  • Don’t hang on to the leftover stuff. You’re purpose of the sale is to make money and get rid of stuff. You made the money, so find the leftover stuff a home. Don’t fool yourself into having another sale. Just get rid of it!
  • Lastly, have a good time!

Do you have any garage sale tips?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Effortless Chic-Blast From the Past

As I was thumbing through the August issue of “Town and Country” magazine, I saw an interview with Frederic Fekkai’s wife, Shirin von Wulffen. When asked who her style icon was, she said “Francoise Hardy in the the ‘60s and ‘70s, for her ability to make basics look effortlessly sexy.”

I had heard Francoise Hardy’s name before, but don’t think I’d ever seen pics before. Shirin was right….effortlessly chic is right.  And stunning!!



photo source: Jean Louis Atlan/Sygma/Corbis

This photo was taken in 1969. Seriously, this could be a pic from today!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Forever 21 Denim Shorts

I’m old enough to see trends on their 2nd and even 3rd time around. Denim shorts, even though they have never truly been “out of style”, they’re on the upswing this summer.

I honestly am not a big fan of shorts for myself. I’m self-conscious about my legs big time. However, I can’t wear dresses everyday, and I don’t want to live in workout clothes either.

I started looking for some distressed denim shorts that were not so short that it looked like I needed to “drop it like it’s hot”. I’ve either found them to be Bermuda length or booty shorts. No in between.

I found these at Forever 21 and love them. They’re longer, but can be cuffed or rolled up.  Even better….they don’t have the $100 price tag like J Brand and other designer brands.

Forever 21 Cut-off Whiskered Short


Cuffed one time.

Um, excuse that weird bulge in my sweater.

I’m wearing them with my new Forever 21 sweater and Sam Edelman “ Ginger” gladiators.


Cuffed two times

I had to share these! So comfy!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It Would Be Easier To Pray if I Were Clear

This is a prayer that our pastor read at closing this past weekend. We’ve been studying the fruits of the Spirit, and we’re currently on the topic of “gentleness”. This is something I struggle with, especially when I’m stressed. I need to work on my attitude when I speak to my family and those around me. I want to be remembered as gentle, not angry or impatient.

Take the time to read through this prayer. It’s such an honest prayer.  A lot of times when I pray, I’m not really honest with myself or God.  I pray that this speaks to you as it did me.

“It Would Be Easier To Pray if I Were Clear”

O Eternal One,
it would be easier for me to pray
if I were clear
and of single mind and pure heart;
if I could be done hiding from myself
and from you, even in my prayers.
But, I am who I am,
mixture of motives and excuses,
blur of memories,
quiver of hopes,
knot of fear,
tangle of confusion,
and restless with love,
for love.
I wander somewhere between
gratitude and grievance,
wonder and routine,
high resolve and undone dreams,
generous impulses and unpaid bills.
Come, find me, Lord.
Be with me exactly as I am.
Help me find me, Lord.
Help me accept what I am,
so I can begin to be yours.
Make me something small enough to snuggle,
young enough to question,
simple enough to giggle,
old enough to forget,
foolish enough to act for peace;
skeptical enough to doubt
the sufficiency of anything but you,
and attentive enough to listen
as you call me out of the tomb of my timidity
into the chancy glory of my possibilities
and the power of your presence.

Guerrillas of Grace – Prayers for the Battle by Ted Loder

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mulberry, How I Love Thee

It’s funny---some conversations on Twitter can spawn ideas for blog posts. As most of you know, us tweeps can do some talking about handbags. I love all the popular designer brands, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and I even love me some Tory Burch.  But I haven’t talked about my love of Mulberry. Sometimes when I mention “Mulberry”, people give me a blank stare. he he

I’m not sure when I first eyed a Mulberry handbag. Maybe a few years ago, but I didn’t like their bags that had the big metal logo with the mulberry tree. I’m sure I eventually saw a cute bag on a silly celebrity website & started investigating the line.

Any-who, I love the quality and classic shapes of Mulberry bags, and I love that it’s not covered in logos. Leave it to the British to have an understated bag.

Here’s some pics of Mulberry bags.

Style guru and muse, Alexa Chung. She’s carrying the “Alexa” bag that Mulberry designed after spotting her with a vintage briefcase.

Olivia Palermo carrying Alexa bag

laurenconrad Lauren Conrad Ditches Chanel for Mulberry

source: People magazine

Lauren Conrad carrying Mulberry “Bayswater”

photo source: The Bag Lady

This is my favorite style: “Neely”. Definitely on my wish list.

photo source: Butter Hot Shoes blog

Olivia Palermo carrying the “Neely”

photo source: Mulberry website

Mulberry Hayden

Here’s the great news! From October 10-December 24, Target is teaming up with Mulberry for a limited line of handbags. From what I’ve read, there will be about 8 styles featured and at least one version of their popular bags. The “Alexa” is predicted to be one of the versions. 

I have a feeling this line will be flying off the shelves like the Cynthia Vincent wedges.

So what’s your opinion of the Mulberry bags? Too plain or just right? I have the oversized “Alexa” and hope to order the “Neely” soon.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Olive This Fall Fashion Trend

Even though I’m not ready for colder temperatures, I have my eye out for a few fall fashion trends that I’d like to try. One trend I’m seeing in fall/winter runway shows is lots of army green and olive. Check these out:

  • Army jackets- Military style jackets have been around for a few seasons, but this fall there will be a lot more jackets that resemble army fatigues. Some will be very casual, with a slight wrinkled look, and others will have structured sleeves and fitted waists. I’m excited about these jackets because quite honestly, I’m never liked the military jackets covered in bright gold buttons.

photo source:

Here’s Olivia Palermo with a Zara jacket, black cardigan, DVF top, LnA leggings, Tibi belt & over the knee boots. Oh, and her Birkin bag.


  • Sweaters- I just ordered this sweater from Forever 21.

  • Blouses- Here’s another little gem I ordered from Forever 21.

  • Cargo pants- J Brand Houlihan Cargo Skinny Pants took Hollywood by storm in the spring. There’s tons of versions out there and this is a trend that will definitely continue on through to winter.


Photo Source:

  • Jeans- Lots of brands are featuring olive and muted brown-green in their fall lines.

large product image

J Brand low rise skinny jeans in olive

  • Dresses- I am ABSOLUTELY in love with this dress. It’s definitely on my wish list.

large product image

Alice + Olivia One Shoulder Drape Mini Dress

  • Boots and Shoes- Olive green makes a great color for fall/winter shoes. It reads as a neutral and can coordinate with so many pieces from your wardrobe.

Robert Clergerie Stretch Suede Over the Knee Boot

Robert Clergerie Stretch Suede Over the Knee Boot

Steve Madden Avvery Olive Suede Platform

  • Handbags-

Steven by Steve Madden 'Tulip - Large' Drawstring Shopper

Steven by Steve Madden 'Tulip - Large' Drawstring Shopper

So what’s your take on the color olive? Do you like it or does it make you think of camouflage and 4-wheelers?

I really love it, especially paired and tempered with black. Notice how sleek and modern the outfits feature above are when paired with black.

Now back to the summer heat:-)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hawks Cay Vacation

Wowzer! Summer has been super busy for the family, and I’m trying to enjoy every opportunity to spend some time with the girls.  We went on our trip to Hawks Cay in the Keys and it was wonderful. Here’s a few pics:


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