So this idea DOES need more explanation than the title? Okay, I will give it.
We have a yard, and it is in an excellent location for yard sales: visible from a semi-main road, semi-visible from a main road. We've had a couple of standard yard sales there. The more successful one, I spent hours and hours gathering/sorting/pricing things and laying them out attractively, and we spent most of the day sitting outside monitoring it and not getting the things done we'd usually get done, and we made $75. VERY DISCOURAGING. (The less successful one, it was drizzling and we made $7.)
So now what we do is once per summer we put stuff out on our lawn with a big "FREE" sign, and people come and take it away for us. Usually the first few cars of the morning take about half of it, and the rest of it gets picked at over the rest of the day. If we do it during peak yard sale season it goes particularly quickly, no doubt because people are taking the stuff to sell at their own yard sales.
This has ended up being a much more satisfying way to do things. It's much, much easier: I don't have to fret about the condition of things or whether something might be broken or missing a piece; I don't have to put things out nicely; it doesn't have to be monitored; I don't have to decide how to price things; I don't have to deal with people trying to bargain me down to 75c from a dollar; I don't have to do math in my head; I don't have to sit there feeling frantically self-conscious while other people poke critically through my stuff.
I like to peek out the window at people and make up little fantasies about what they're taking and why. I pretend that the person taking the baby stuff is pregnant and has been lying awake nights wondering how she was going to afford the things she needs. I pretend that the person taking the kitchen canisters has been looking for those at antique stores for YEARS, to replace the ones from her childhood. It can be very gratifying to make this stuff up, and far better than imagining that other people are going to make MILLIONS by having a proper yard sale with it.
Our free yard sales have been much less impressive since we (1) had our porch made into a dining room and (2) started using Freecycle. The porch is where we used to dump all the stuff waiting for the day we did the yard sale, but we don't want to put all that stuff on the dining room table instead. (For one thing, the dining room table is ALREADY covered in stuff.) And with Freecycle, we tend to get rid of stuff as we have it, as opposed to saving it. Still, with a big pre-mother-in-law-visit purge, we get out the old sheets and put out a nice spread.
Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 2 of 2 - Last week I talked about the gifts we were getting/considering for Edward, who is turning 8 next month. This week it’s Elizabeth’s turn: not “girl gifts,” ...