Cleaned out the garage! Have garage sale or donate extra stuff?

kgsdJuly 7, 2008

I'm about 90% done with cleaning the garage! Thanks for all the encouraging replies to my earlier post. All I have left to do is go through a couple of small bins of random hardware and organize the paint area near the sink. It is SOO nice to be able to find things!

There is a huge pile of stuff to get rid of (the pile is in the garage). Probably the size of a medium car. This pile is only the stuff that was too nice to throw away.

I could probably have a garage sale, but there are no big pieces of furniture (I've given all those away to save on space). I probably wouldn't make very much money, and I'm not sure I want to sit out for several hours and end up making $20 (probably a small exaggeration). But keep in mind, I'm a cheapskate and it might be nice even to have an extra $20! Actually, I really don't know how much I'd make.

What would you do?

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Good morning! Congrats on cleaning out your garage - a huge job. Let me ask you a few questions.
Do you see many garage sales in your area?
Which sales get a lot of visitors/buyers?
Have you checked the classified ads to see if garage-saling is still a popular pass time in your town?
Can you arrange pickup of all your stuff if you decide to give it away?
Garage sales can be fun to have, but also exhausting. If you feel pretty certain that people will come and give you money to take away your unwanted things then it could be worth your time and effort. Where I live (hot and humid Florida) everyone seems to be decluttering, not shopping for garage sale bargains. Although they will take anything left by the curb that's free!
Personally, after considering the probability of financial gain (low in my case) I have just donated my unwanteds.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 7:23AM
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Elizabeth, there are a fair amount of garage sales in my area and I am guessing I'd get a decent amount of traffic. I'm just not sure I want to take the time to do it! Thanks for your opinion.

Anyone else?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 11:51AM
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I just had a garage sale a couple of weeks ago and you're right - it's the big stuff that makes people stop and look. Perhaps you could get a neighbor or two to join with you and add some bigger stuff. Just make sure they understand they have to help, and any of their stuff that doesn't sell, they have to take back. If you decide to donate it, make sure you keep track of what you're donating. You'd be surprised how that stuff adds up when doing your taxes!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 12:11PM
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I usually donate the items because when I am done cleaning I want them out and not taking up space until I have a garage sale. I have had two garage sales when I just had a little from every room and the garage. I didn't think it was worth it because of the time you have to put into it for someone to give you $.25 for a $25.00 book. I ended up making about $30 which after I took out the ad and paid the city it's $3 fee I ended up working for about $.08 an hour.

Moving sales are something different and you can really make some money.

If it was me I would put in the the car/truck and send to goodwill or put the items on freecycle and be done and enjoy your clutter free garage.

BTW congrats on doing your garage, I have been putting mine off.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 3:40PM
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Your pile doesn't sound worth it to me either. IMHO, people who 'make money' at garage sales normally are losing money because they buy too much junk that they don't need to begin with. Of course, there are exceptions like selling all of your outgrown baby stuff or selling off an estate. Unless you just enjoy having garage sales or need the pocket change, save yourself some time and extra work.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 8:14PM
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Donate! Unless you absolutely love working garage sale.

Moneywise, you'd be better off working for minimum wage than hustling to put the garage sale together with $20 to show at the end of the day.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 9:25PM
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kgsd - if your things are easy to pack and ship, you could try selling them on ebay - just a thought. Could be a slow process 'tho.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 10:29PM
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D O N A T E !!!!!

Take the entire pile to Goodwill. Do not go in the store, just drop off, get your receipt, and go home.

Congrats on the job. Stay on top of the garage so you do not need to do it again.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 11:15PM
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Thanks, all! Daytona, the reason the garage was such a disaster was due to our move. We moved quickly and couldn't purge stuff beforehand, so all the extra junk went into the garage. We're actually pretty good normally because we like to park our cars in the garage. And hopefully, we won't move again anytime soon so we won't have the same situation!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 9:09AM
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Congratulations kgsd on your very fast work ! When did you move into the house? No way could we have gotten ours done in a few days. Ours is a 34 year pile up and the cars never did fit in the garage and still don't.

I also say is quick and easy and no looking back way. I like the idea about not going into the store, for if you are like me you will find something to come home with!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 1:08PM
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Brugloverz, it wasn't all that quick. We actually closed on the house last September and moved in in February, but have been doing some fairly big remodeling projects and still have a few more to do.

We did many of the projects before we moved in, and now we're kind've taking a break before we finish the rest. Although we're officially taking a break, I'm doing a few small things (like cleaning the garage) that have just been bugging me. The great thing is that it really only took me a day to clean it out once I got around to it.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 5:13PM
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I love going to garage sales. Here's my take on it. Some people have garage sales where they are selling about $15 total worth of stuff. My sister who comes with me sometimes always marvels at these sales. She can't fathom why anyone would sit in their garage all day for that bit of money.

My answer is, well, because they enjoy it! There are people who really don't have a lot to do and enjoy sitting there, striking up conversations with customers, etc. For them, a low $ garage sale isn't so much about the $, it's about the activity itself. The $$ are just a bonus.

So... in your case, I'd say donate. I love going TO garage sales, but in my life I've had only about two of them, both times selling large items (furniture and such), thus making it worth my while. You kind of have to use dd50's logic. Estimate how much you will make vs how many hours you'll be sitting there and come up with an amount per hour. Then figure if your time is worth that or not. If not, skip it and donate.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 5:41PM
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Do both, Have a garage sale on the weekend, arrange for a charity to pick up anything that's left on Monday. We did this several years ago, it worked out perfect. We made over $100 on the stuff we sold, and everything was gone within three days!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 9:29PM
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