Boy Scouts garage sale was a WONDERFUL chance to purge

mommabirdAugust 19, 2008

My two older sons' Boy Scouts troop has a MEGA garage sale the 3rd Saturday in August every year. It is HUGE - they made $14,000 this year! We accept donations for 3 months before and spend a full week setting up (thanks to the church who turns over the building & parking lot to us for a week!)

This year I had the most awsome time decluttering that set up week. I took 3 vanloads of clutter down. I litterally purged 1/2 my clothes and 1/4 of my shoes. I got rid of dishes, housewares, linens, books, magazines-- just everything!

My house still has a LONG way to go - I should have taken 12 vanloads instead of just 3! But at least I can see a difference now. It gives me hope. I feel like for the first time in years, I made a dent in the hopeless mess. It's not good enough to invite my mom over, but it's not as bad as it was a week ago.

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dilly_dally

You go girl! It sounds like you feel really good now with your space more organized and deserve kudos for your efforts. You also made a lot of other people happy who needed things for their homes. The scouts made money too. Its a *Win Win* all the way around. Good wishes for your next endeavor.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 11:07PM
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talley_sue_nyc

What a great service that is to the community, as well as a fund-raiser.

People know it's coming, so they can purge; people know there will be stuff, so they buy.

We did a "garage sale" sort of thing at my church, and the eye-opening thing was to walk around AFTERWARD and look at what was left. And realize how incredibly worthless most of that stuff is.

It made me feel much better about throwing things straight into the garbage instead of trying to get them to the Goodwill.

Yay, less stuff in your house!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 10:10AM
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donnawb

That is fantastic. Now that you started it is much easier to keep going. A little at a time and you will be all done.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 10:22AM
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jamie_mt

Congrats on the big purge!!! I have some jewelry that I was saving for a garage sale that my mom's group normally has, but they aren't doing it this year. :-( Guess that will have to go to Goodwill instead. But I love donating stuff to *other people's* garage sales...I won't put the effort into one, but it's nice knowing someone personally who will benefit from it.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 10:54AM
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jannie

I remember one year my girls' school had a huge indoor garage sale and asked for donations. I purged every room of my house, had a car full of stuff. I was so pleased when I actually went to the sale after it was all set up and saw MY stuff with price tags. I had such odds and ends as a breast milk pump (never used), a heater for an adult car seat and a set of books about dinosaurs. I wish they would hold another school garage sale. i have lots moe stuff to donate now!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 5:46PM
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mommabird

Thanks for all the great insights! Every year one mom in the troop organizes charities to pick up the leftovers. Three years ago, the first year my son was in the troop, we had 2 of the biggest, industrial size dumpsters you can rent FULL afterward. Last year she got more chairities on board and we had only one dumpster full. This year, she had 30 charities come and we had about 1/3 of one dumpster!!! It was great!

One dad in the troop also arranged for a scrap metal dealer to come after the chairities. He took so much stuff - anything with any usable scrap metal. This year we had at least 25 Xmas tree stands donated and not one sold. They all went into the scrap metal dealer's truck, but at least it was a community service so they didn't go into a landfill.

Our Scoutmaster also sent out an email to a Scout leader email group to see if any other troop was having a garage sale. He hooked up with a troop on the other side of the city that was having one the week following. They came with a full size U Hall and a pickup truck and filled both. It felt good that another BSA Troop was directly benefiting from our leftovers.

A good lesson from this MEGA garage sale is - don't judge your junk. Stuff that the parents had made fun of as worthless trash sold. Other stuff that I would have thought would sell right off, was left over at the end. So if you're having a garage sale, don't pre-evaluate your junk. Someone might want it!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 8:20PM
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mommabird

The FUNNIEST thing donated was - two mink stoles. Remember those - like elegent ladies wore in the 50's? They have the heads, tails and feet still attached? The faces are kind of "taxidermied" with glass eyes and leather noses. They are soooo funny that I bought them.

When I was growing up in the 60s and 70s my mom and dad would joke at Xmas. My dad would ask mom what she wanted for Xmas, and Mom would always say "a mink coat." So I'm going to wrap up one of the mink stoles for her as a gag gift this Xmas.

What's funny is there is a clip on the bottom of the end mink's face so you can clip the sides together - it looks like it's biting its tail!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 8:53PM
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