Spring Cleaning: YARD SALE

Spring Cleaning.  The attic is a scary place – it is where monsters lurk – okay well maybe a racoon or squirrel on unlucky days but truly our fear of the attic is the mound of stuff we just throw into the dark space on the slim hope we might need a random item again.  I think it is important to keep sentimental items, in the south we guard our antiques like the crown jewels because of the memories and legacy of the craftsmanship.  When does holding on, prevent us from moving forward?  This is a tough task with Spring Cleaning.  I still have a storage unit in Nashville I cling onto with college textbooks and family photos and yes antiques.  Truth is it is costing me a fortune, but I have struggled to let go for a number of reasons – not the least of which is the extreme cost of moving furniture and all my possessions – it is even expensive to make the drive up to Nashville just to toss everything away.  In truth a part of me doesn’t want to let go because letting go of items makes me feel like I’m losing my sense of identity somehow – sometimes it is important to pass down items and cherish them – but when it is a cross you don’t need to bear and a burden that is clogging up your space (mentally, emotionally and physically) you might have to divorce your things so you can make room for living.

I love shows like Clean House and What Not to Wear – it is my favorite sort of lazy day baking muffins and scrolling the internet in between laundry kind of Friday night – the reason I like these shows is because they highlight real people who struggle to perceive desperate situations that clog their energy and prevent them from moving forward.  We often get acclimated to dysfunction that when a functional solution comes along we repress it and resent the solution.

On Clean House – you can be hoarding items and living in a cesspool of dysfunction – you and I would walk in and think – YIKES – but we too have a lot of this clutter in our lives – be it files we need to update or just reorganizing the closet, creating a more functional workspace…the list goes on.  I’m not one who is going to preach micromanagement and perfect heavenly organization – a little clutter sometimes can infuse creativity – you need to life in a space not a sterile artificial tank – The issue is when you refuse to change a pattern or clean because you cannot face a reality – often times we hang onto things because of depression or we really want to be a size two even though we are a size twelve – that does not serve a purpose, it brings us down.  You can let go of a few items and still have everything you need and more.

On What Not to Wear poor fashion is the concern on the table, but it really goes back to helping the participant look and feel their best – I know when I’ve struggled with my weight I always hate to wear cute clothes because I don’t want to be noticed – I think “I’m not the pretty one,’ but that is RIDICULOUS we can all shine our light and style and should be noticed – we should be noticed for our kindness and raw creative niche, without sticking out in ludicrous resolve.  I’m all about independent fashion and following your true self style, but there are times you actually hinder your true style when it is clogged up with poor clothing that doesn’t make you shine – be yourself, don’t do it by rebelling against the world – do it for you.

One of the best ways to have a SPRING CLEANING of mind, body, soul and life one of the oldest concepts in the book – because it works – a YARD SALE.

A Yard Sale is a great way to celebrate spring.  You can sell items you don’t need or want anymore to those you might be able to use the item.  The space you clear out allows you to infuse open space in your home you can use for new furniture or perhaps just having more room to dance in the living room – dancing is a great workout by the way – GET CREATIVE…

Get Creative with the Yard Sale you can even pretend it is a Clean House type of event, Dress up in tacky clothes and really have fun with the event – print signs, do a video chronicling the ‘before’ and ‘after’ and ‘reveal’ -have refreshments, bake some spring cookies and have music playing – make it a neighborhood fiesta. Who knows maybe you and a few neighbors can team up to have a ‘Block Party Yard Sale’  You can use the money to help out with finances or invest in new household items – or BETTER YET – use the $$$ to donate to a charity you care about or a community project.

One fun idea is if you have particularly valuable pieces (and some not so valuable) do an auction on site – you don’t need to pay an auctioneer – just learn to have fun playing up the bidding role – this is more of a fun opportunity for attendees and you can maybe drive up sales by allowing interested parties to have to engage in bidding.  This could be done in jest too with a really tacky item 🙂 People like to have fun at yard sales – you find extreme yard sale lovers and having a yard sale can end up being the spring forward fun event you needed to kick start the season – de-cluttering your life and adding in excitement.

– Make SIGNS – you don’t have to spend a lot – just need a printer a little man power…If you need some creative help – FedEx has some options on their online site and print centers – or go to a local printer.  Shutterfly or Snapfish are cool options too.

– e-List – advertise and network your yard sale online through Facebook, Craigslist, Google Invite…there are many options for e-flyers to friends.  Let your church community, friends and neighbors know about the event – call the paper…I’m just brainstorming ideas…there are lots of ways to invest in the event – depending on the scope and your goals.

– Use fold out tables (card tables or office tables are fairly affordable) – your goal is let junk so it is better to borrow tables than buy them.  Your church might be able to help – or a friend – most people have a fold-up table you can use

– Merchandise the tables – make it easy for customers to see the merchandise and promote the product

– Pricing – in merchandising make sure you come up with standard pricing and use tags to label the price (you can buy these at most office stores) – you can also type up a manifest – applying a number to major pieces – when it is sold you can keep track of the cash flow…

Don’t have time to plan and host a yard sale (or you live the apartment life like me – the starving retail artist :)) Call up Goodwill and/or Salvation Army they will pick up your gently used items – it is tax deductible and helps give back – SA and GW provide jobs for those in need and the money earned helps a number of community projects.

Give the items to a friend in need – sometimes charity can be found with a friend who needs furniture or can benefit from your clothes.

If it is junk – just recycle it to the dumpster bin – sadly some items should never be worn again and should not be given.  Hot pink magenta moo-moo with zebra print I’m talking to you – find release in the power of recycling or dumping – it does have a purpose.

Once you have taken stock of items and gotten rid of things you don’t need – it helps you focus on what you have, be grateful for it and also focus on your goals.

I’ll post soon about how to figure out whether or not to keep, trash, re-treasure.

For more Yard Sale tips – I recommend searching Pinterest – I will work on making a Spring Cleaning board and link it to this site as well.

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