Welcome! Thank you for stopping by our page! I'm a 36 year old educated stay at home mother of a energetic 3 year old boy who keeps me on my toes! I like to research all sorts of craft ideas, recipes, activities for my son, home remedies, DIY, all the best freebies, deals, coupons, and more! God Bless The USA!


Yard Sale Finds & How To

This past Saturday I went to some yard sales. $20 in hand, I went to 4 yard sales and found some really great items that I can use. At the first yard sale I snagged 2 magazine holders for $1.50, got the magazines in them for free! What's so great about that you ask? I got july-sept issues of great magazines like: Ladies Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping and others. As well as, 2 yrs of a cooking magazine! I've already put most of them to good use by clipping the coupons inside them, highlighting interesting tips and recipes, finding websites with giveaways and so much more! What a great investment for my budding website! At the 2nd yard sale I got a box full of acrylic paints, brushes, & water colors. I got all that and the box for $3! I love to paint, my grandmother was known (in the family and friends) for her beautiful art work. I can only hope to be as talented as she was. Just tonight I got the water colors out for my son and we "painted" together for a while, made a mess but had fun! At the rest of the yard sales I found some winter clothes for my son, a long sleeve heavy duty LL Bean t-shirt ($2), roll up capri's for myself, .10-.25 toys for my son to destroy and some really cool antique plates, bowl, meat thermometer and garlic press.

In closing, I would like to let you all know that the pictures on the blog page work now!!! Click on the picture and it will re-direct you to the appropriate photo album.(click on photo there for description, for example: click here on (the blog)"What's for supper?" and it will re-direct you to my photo album in facebook. There you click on a photo to reveal the recipe.) Thank you for your patience as I've been building this page and I sure hope you enjoy all the savings I find on here as well as my other page, thriftyoutdoorsenthusiast.blogspot.com Please feel free to share your favorite recipe, home remedy, hints/tips, projects for children, craft ideas, yard sale deals, and more!~Michelle

My family calls my the yard sale queen. I think that they are crazy but I do know a thing or two about having a successful sale. We are currently getting ready for a sale this Saturday. I thought that some of my practical hints could help someone else have a successful yard sale as well. The first thing is advertising! Do you subscribe to your local paper? Our local paper allows free ads for yard sales, up to 15 words. You can also spend a little cash and get yourself a descriptive ad. In some cases, less is more but it’s important to list key items (like electronics, plus sized clothing, furniture, appliances, collectables, outdoor gear, etc). You want to target a wide audience, many customers in my area are men! Most of all, your ad must state where the sale is located, what day(s) you are having the sale and what time you will be having it. Be aware of early birds. If you do not wish to deal with them, please state that in your ad. Classified ads are best if your sale is located in a rural area or you wish to reach a larger audience. Unfortunately and fortunately we now live in a populated area on a VERY popular road. I no longer have to advertise in my local paper. I do however, put up ads (print one up on your computer and put graphics on it to attract the eye) at my local grocer, and other various local stores. DO ASK FOR PERMISSION! If you don’t ask for permission, most times your ad will be removed. Also, its imperative to place directional signs at every turn your potential customer has to make. For example, I place a large box with a sign attached stating the address (and miles if need be) at the junction of the main hwy and our road. Since we live less than a mile away I do not have to put anymore signs out until the turn into our driveway. Be sure to use bright colors that attract the eye. The most practical purchase is a large piece of construction/cardboard type paper/sheet that can be purchased at your local dollar store. Cut this down into 4 pieces and write out in large capital letters “YARD SALE” OR “GARAGE SALE” if you prefer. Put directions and directional arrows to help in navigation. Do a ‘Spring Clean’ in every room. This will not only help you get rid of stuff you no longer need/use but it helps you keep organized and reminds you of where specific items can be found. Start by making yourself a list. Under each room, list areas that need to be cleaned/organized. As you re organize each room, you will no doubt be pleased with your work and will find items that need to be thrown out/recycled or sold. Leave no room, closet, drawer, cabinet unturned and don’t forget your attic/basement and to look under beds and to check the stuff you keep stored outside. To help you with your list here is the one I used for this year’s spring sale. You can use this list in a fall sale, but if you already did your spring clean, you do not have to be so thorough. Just hit the “high traffic” areas. KITCHEN: Go through each cabinet, drawer, and shelf. Clean off top of refrigerator. Go through cookbooks. Dust and clean décor (pictures on walls, nick-knacks, etc). Look over collectibles and décor for possible yard sale items. Go through stove drawer. Organize junk drawer. ITEMS that are possible sale items can include: Cleaning products & supplies, utensils, cook ware, pots and pans, storage containers, spices, un-used and un-wanted dry foods (you can donate these to your local shelter or place them in a box for a giveaway). Hand towels and linens, misc. screws and other items found in junk drawer, glasses, cups, plates, bowls, bake ware, cook books, canisters, small appliances, knives, pictures, décor, etc. LAUNDRY/PANTRY: Go through each shelf, cabinet and drawer. Organize pantry. Clean washer and dryer. Look over décor (if there is any) for possible yard sale items. ITEMS that are possible sale items can include: Laundry soap and supplies, cleaning supplies, old brooms, mops, dusters, vacuum cleaner. Linens such as table cloths, napkins, sheet sets, blankets/quilts/comforters, pillow cases, laundry baskets, racks, clothes pins, iron, ironing board, spray starch and other ironing/laundry supplies, pet food and supplies (leashes, beds, toys, shampoo/medicine, collars, etc) can/dry foods (these can be donated or giveaway, do not sell). Throw out any cans that show swelling & check open dry food containers for bugs/webs. COAT/STORAGE/BEDROOM CLOSETS: Take out all hang up items, go through and be honest about whether or not you will ever wear them. Clean off shelves and go through all boxes/storage containers. Clean off floor of closet. Go through stored items, organize/throw away/or put in sale any un-wanted/un-used items stored or loose. Consider going through your shoes, bags, luggage, purses, belts, ties, boots, etc. It’s possible you will find something you are ready to get rid of, but be honest with yourself when doing so. Always keep basics on hand (black formal wear for funerals, nice formal wear for weddings and special outings). Some closets can be catch-all’s and others are disorganized with clothes, toys, wrapping supplies, outdoor sporting supplies, old sentimental items/clothing. Take the time to go through these particular closet/storage spaces. Organize and you may be surprised at what you may find and the treasure trove of stuff you can get rid of at your sale. ITEMS that are good sale items may include: clothing, coats, boots, shoes, ties, bags, luggage, belts, storage containers, old magazines, toys, wrapping paper/bags/boxes/bows and cards, candles, oil lamps/oil, matches, photo albums, picture frames, un-used and un-wanted pictures/décor, linens (as stated above in laundry/pantry), towels, wash cloths, storage bags/containers, foil/wax paper/plastic wrap, trash bags, un-used shelf paper, un-used wall paper/boarder, paint supplies, art supplies, hobby kits (used and un-used), puzzles, games, playing cards, rugs, fold up tables and chairs, canning jars and supplies, camping gear, fishing gear, hunting gear, just to name a few! LIVING ROOM/FAMILY ROOM: Go through all hard back/paper back/audio books. Go through all albums, cassettes, 8 tracks, and CD’s. Go through all VCR tapes & DVD’s. Look under and in couch, recliners, and chairs. Clean out catch-all storage areas such as tables, shelves, clocks, magazine boxes/racks, baskets, etc. Look pictures/paintings, all décor including collectibles for possible sale items. This is also a good time to consider re-arranging your furniture or updating your old/used furniture. ITEMS that are good sale items may include: furniture, chairs, couches, stools, pillows, shelves, tables, lamps, storage boxes/baskets, rugs, pictures/paintings, books, movies, music, audio equipment, TV., movie players, movie/music storage (books, boxes, shelves), magazines, nick-knacks/décor, other misc. found items. YOUR BEDROOM: Go through closet and organize if you haven’t already done so. Organize jewelry box and top of dresser. Go through and organize all dresser/desk drawers. Remember to be honest with yourself and get rid of some clothes/shoes that you just won’t wear anymore or probably will not wear with in the next year. Look under the bed. Go through shelves, tables, and storage containers. ITEMS that are good sale items may include: Clothing, shoes, boots, belts, ties, purses/wallets, jewelry, perfume/cologne, body powder, lotions, under garments such as un-used or lightly used boxers/panties/girdles/etc, socks, bras, slips, stockings, lounge wear/pj’s, slippers/house shoes, robes, blankets, sheets, pillows, pillow cases, books/magazines, lamps, audio players, alarm clocks, pictures/paintings, collectibles/décor, etc. THE KID’S BEDROOM (If they are not old enough to help or refuse to help) Check and clean under bed. Clean top of armoire (upright cabinet). Go through all dresser drawers. Clean and organize closet if you haven’t already done so. Go through and organize all shelves, boxes anywhere clothes and toys are stored. ORGANIZE! Look over posters/pictures for possible sale items. ITEMS that are good sale items may include: All types of toys, stuffed animals, electronics, clocks, puzzles, games, old text books, books, art supplies, coloring/activity books, clothes, shoes, blankets, un-needed baby supplies (lotions, soaps, cloths, diapers, wipes, powders, comb/brush, nail clippers, etc) storage boxes, shelves, bedding, etc. BATH ROOM (S) Clean and organize all drawers, cabinets and shelves. Organize counter tops and under the sink. Go through bath toys and supplies. Go through all medicines. (do not sell any type of medicine that requires a prescription) Throw out or properly dispose of expired prescriptions. Clean behind toilet. (yuck!) ITEMS that are good sale items may include: lotions, shampoo, hair care products, razors/scissors/tweezers (be sure to package these items in a plastic storage bag to prevent an accident) perfume/cologne, powders, mouth wash, toothpaste, new tooth brushes, combs, hair brush, hair accessories, shaving cream, electric razor, hair rollers, curling/straightening iron, hair dryer, towels, wash cloths, lotion applicators, personal care items (pads, tampons, adult diapers, topical creams/powders, bath toys, bath safety items for small children, (all safety items for children are very popular if you no longer need them), lubrication gels/oils, un-used hygiene products). Make up a first aid kit for your self with left over oral medications, lotions, topical medications, bandages, band-aids, cough/cold/flu products, scissors, tape, first aid pamphlet/book, eye wash, cleansing and disinfecting medications/agents, etc. (I will do a first aid blog later, I’m a former EMT and have a good idea of what you need to have on hand at all times). Still have left over medications/lotions/etc? Make up more first aid kits in plastic storage bags and put in your sale. Be sure ALL medications DO NOT require a prescription and HAVE NOT expired before making the kit. You can also donate these items to your local shelter. GUEST BEDROOM/OFFICE/DEN/STUDY Go through all desk drawers and re-organize. Clean and organize all shelves and storage containers. Clean and organize the closet if you haven’t already done so. Go through books, magazines, notebooks, office supplies, sewing/craft items, all media (books, movies, music). Clean out under chairs, desks, tables, stools, bed, etc. ITEMS that are good sale items may include: books, magazines, linens, electronics, media equipment, computers, musical equipment, CD’s/albums/cassettes/8 tracks, tape players, portable radios/mp3 players/CD players, audio equipment/speakers, printers, computer games, computer storage devices, desks, chairs, tables, shelves, computer programs, paintings/pictures, collectibles/décor, office supplies, filing cabinets, files, notebooks, writing instruments, art supplies, craft supplies, material, sewing machine/supplies, etc. CARPORT/GARAGE/PORCHES/OUT DOOR STORAGE/STORAGE BUILDINGS Organize and go through all holiday décor. Dust and sweep porches, garage, carport and storage building. Organize and go through tools, hunting/fishing gear, and camping gear. Go through and clean/organize all out door toys. Clean/rinse all hanging décor. Organize and go through all gardening supplies and implements. Go through and organize all storage boxes and shelves. ITEMS that are good sale items may include: pet supplies, hunting/fishing/camping gear, boating/scuba/snorkel/surf gear, out door sports items (balls, hoops, games, nets, darts, horse shoes, etc.), plants, gardening tools and supplies, hanging décor such as wind chimes, feeders, bird houses, lanterns, etc. All holiday items (Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, etc). Ornaments, lights, tree, wrapping paper/bags/boxes, yard decorations, door decorations, wreathes, décor, etc. Outdoor toys, recreational vehicles, boats/canoes. Freezers, refrigerators, storage boxes, hand tools, power tools, shop supplies, wood/metal products, paint, cleaners, implements. Be careful selling pesticides and the like. If it requires you to have a license or fill out a permission form, don’t sell it. I you don’t want it contact your place of purchase and ask how you may dispose of the item or contact the manufacturer for proper disposal directions. Lawn mowers, lawn care supplies/implements, grills, barbecue tools/supplies, coolers, etc. As you can see with the exception of a few items, you can practically sell anything at your yard sale. One way to look at it is if you would buy it, sell it. If you don’t need it donate or sell it. If its no longer of good use to anyone, dispose of it properly. And lastly, if it embarrasses you to have it in your sale, donate or dispose! We’re half way done! You know how to advertise and how to do a spring clean! As you are organizing, place items in garbage bags and boxes, and make up goodie bags as you go (this will simplify things later). Have the entire family (if they are old enough and are able to do so) go through your items. Have your family help with the organization and cleaning of each area if they are able to do so. Now, get yourself either a roll of masking tape and a sharpie, pre-printed yard sale stickers (these tend to fall off), tags, and bright sheets of art/construction paper. Price each item as you re-pack them into their box/bag. Make sure everyone is comfortable with you selling the item and the price. Don’t over price, this is a yard sale, not a retail store. Generally price the item for what you would pay at a yard sale. Be prepared to lower the price if need be or ready to gently stand your ground on the price. For example: you have a Monopoly board game for sale and it has all its required pieces. Price $5 in good condition, $8 for excellent condition, $3 for poor condition, $1 or less for missing pieces. Let’s say it’s in excellent condition and you have $8 on it. The customer asks if you will take $5 for it. Let it go for that price, unless you must get more for it. If that’s the case explain why your asking the price. (“I’m sorry, but that game is practically brand new. It’s $20 new at the store, and $8 is a reasonable price”). If the customer continues to barter/haggle, either give in or tell them politely you can not take less than the price marked and apologize. This is your sale, it has to be stress free and fun! Ok, I mentioned brightly colored paper earlier. This is for bulk pricing and notices. To help in the pricing process, you can bulk same items together and price them on the colored sheet of paper. You will also need to make notifications such as “Not Responsible for Accidents” if your yard has possible dangers. Examples: ALL CHILDRENS SHOES .50 (ETC), “NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ACCIDENTS”, “WATCH YOUR STEP”, “FREE STUFF”, FREE KITTENS/PUPPIES/PETS, ETC. Now, let’s get you set up with displays, shelves and tables. First, clean the sale area. We organize and sweep off our carport, mow/weed, and sweep off the walk way. Next we set up tables. Camping tables, folding tables, side tables, kitchen tables, covered storage boxes, shelves, and saw horses with an old door or large piece of ply-board all work very well for displaying your items. Make a clothes line for your hang up goods, or use a metal rod, or closet organizer. Start pulling out bags, hang up all the clothes you can and keep them separated (men’s, women’s, children’s), I also categorize my clothes (all long sleeve shirts together, coats, pants, shorts, dresses, skirts, jeans, sweaters, sweats, lingerie, outfits, etc.). I know this sounds time consuming and I’m not saying you have to do it this way. I’ve just found that I like it this way because it’s easier to find what you are looking for when you are at a sale or to find a specific item/size your customer is looking for. Throw all those stuffed animals into a box and sell them all or individually for 1 bulk price (.25 cents each, or $2 for all, etc). Toys are popular with kids at yard sales. Make up different priced goodie bags with small toys. Make up a toy giveaway box that the smaller children can play with and take home. Got some items that just are not ready to be thrown away but you can’t see selling? Get a big box or lay out a blanket. Put up a FREE sign. The customers can dig through the box or look at the items you have spread out. Try to keep clothing and items separate. (1 box for clothes, 1 box for misc. items). When setting up your tables, you will find its easier to keep like items together. What we do is have separate tables for different areas of your home. We have a table for computers/electronics with office supplies; anything to do with your home office and electronics. We have a media table and shelf with books of all types (including children’s), movies, magazines, notebooks, etc. There is a table designated just for linens, towels, sheets, etc. Another table has bathroom and personal supplies. Toy’s and games have their own table and shelf as well. Kitchen items are all placed together. Crafts, sewing and art supplies have their own special table. Collectibles and antiques are priced a little higher (not what you could get on eBay) and kept close to the check out area. Use that long table or kitchen table for clothing that you can’t hang up properly or clothing that is easily folded. (they will go through these piles and make a mess, so keep it simple or you’ll over work yourself). Out door supplies, sports, equipment and large items need to be placed up front and out of the way to help bring customers in. Set up a check out area with a change box (or wear a waist apron with pockets) and bags/boxes, keep a notebook for multiple family sales so you can keep up with what they sold and how much they have earned. Have a place designated for hangers if you plan to keep them and have help on hand for moral support and heavy lifting. You can offer home made treats and drinks, but sell them for your kids (if you have them) or at a minimal price (Lemonade, .25 cents/cup, cookies (bagged) .25 cents, etc). In closing, I want to include a helpful time line and some additional tips. Start planning your sale at least 1 month ahead of time to give yourself and your family ample time to go through each nook and cranny in your home, garage, storage building, attic/basement. Start pricing and packing your items at least 1 week before your sale or you may become overwhelmed. One week before your sale, or at least one day before the deadline, place your classified ad. 3-4 days before your sale, place your printed ads at local stores. 1-2 days before your sale, clean your yard and sale area. The day before your sale, set up all tables, clothes line and shelves. Go ahead and have everything out the way you want it and cover with sheets/plastic/tarp. That way everything is ready to go when you get up the next morning. The night before, put up signs at all major intersections and turns. I wait to place the one for my drive until the morning of the sale. The morning of your sale, remove all covers and re-organize if necessary, display large and attractive items out in front if moved. Place sign at drive entrance. Remember, this was a lot of hard work on your part and you want to have a successful sale by getting rid of lots of unwanted items and make some money in the process. Do not become overwhelmed or stressed out. Be prepared for early birds and price hagglers. Be polite and courteous to everyone and be firm on your price when the situation calls for it. Above all, have fun!!! PS, during the last hours of your sale, drastically reduce items you no longer want to deal with. Put more items in your ‘FREE’ area, and offer bag/box deals. Still have left over’s? Donate or save for next year’s sale. When displaying your items, try to refrain from just dumping stuff out on the table or leaving stuff in boxes. Most customers will not go through the trouble to dig and will become discouraged. Be sure you have prices on everything or have signs up. Not all customers will ask you how much an item is regardless how much they want it. I hope this has been helpful and it is my sincere hope you have a very successful yard sale!

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