I'm not sure what motivated me - maybe a recent yard sale episode of Duck Dynasty? It certainly wasn't because I needed to get rid of things - I've moved enough that my belongings are fairly slim and trim - but it sounded like a fun idea.
Rule 1: Think things through.
I texted my friend Melissa (aka "Slim") with the idea, and because it's a summer of saying "Yes!" she was a shoe-in. We picked a date and started pulling things out from under the bed, the backs of closets and drawers, our vehicle trunks, and anywhere else an unused item might be hiding, and the Friday night before the sale, Mel, her roommate Whit, and I pooled our stuff in their front room and started pricing.
Rule 2: You will get rid of things people have bought you; look through pictures of your yard sale carefully before posting.
Rule 3: Prepare to be amazed at the
Because my contributions were minimal, I started making signs to hang around the neighborhood.
Rule 4: You will feel frumpy as you nail a garage sale sign to a telephone pole next to a Ferrari stopped at the red light.
This sign was not as helpful, I suppose, but it was a pleasure to make.
Once we had everything ready to go, it was pretty late. We ate some cheese fries and then went to bed in anticipation of an early morning.
Well, after Whit attempted to amp(ersand) us up. See what I did there?
It turns out 5:30 am comes quite early - I was up and at Mel and Whit's place by 6:10 am, and there were already two people waiting. This is where I ask you to remember the 7am start date.
Rule 5: Always plan on people - the most impatient types - arriving at least an hour before it begins.
Rule 6: Have a designated coffee-runner (boyfriends are an excellent option).
Here is a before picture of the yard:
We really couldn't have asked for a better location - the flowers were blooming all around us and certainly lured in a good percentage of the patrons.
Under the judgmental eyes of the early-arrivers, we raced to set up, throwing everything haphazardly into the yard, only to be met with a 6:45 am rain shower (during which we still made two sales). Everything was quickly tossed under a tarp and we waited until we saw the rainbow that signified it was over. It's there, I promise. Squint just a little more.
Rule 7: Have a tarp. Or, you know. Watch the weather.
And then, an inspired Melly, hands on hips, surveyed the situation...
... before working her magic, turning the front yard into a pop-up antique shop.
Rule 8: Always throw a yard sale with a stylist friend.
Sam contributed a mattress...
...which we put to good use.
Rule 9: Always have a man around for the heavy liftin'.
The sale stayed busy with people meandering in and out all morning, stopping to examine items, look up information on their cell phones, and make obscure bargain offers.
Rule 10: People will try to bargain you down from something marked at fifty cents.
As with every good yard sale, there were a few gems that cannot go unmentioned:
"The Porcelain Lady"
Si-cology 101. I read excerpts to Mel as she priced.
Dem bone babies again
Rule 11: Don't buy things at your own yard sale.
Yard sales, an American institution, might be a better in theory than practice. They are an awful lot of work and they seem to bring out the neighborhood's finest; that said, I did blow through my income goal (I went into with very low expectations), a group of male friends showed up like angels at the end to help us tear down, and all of our leftovers went to a charity thrift store. So in the end, mankind came out ahead.
Rule 12: You will, one day, turn into your mom.