Why I’m Not Having A Yard Sale This Year

About a year ago I went through a little change of heart when it came to having a yard sale.  Really, the change of heart was more about the things I was bringing into our home.  And embarrassingly enough, it came on after watching a weekend marathon of the show Hoarders.  Most of my married life I’ve been attempting to cute-en up a space {many times because we keep ding dong moving} so that has required me being on the lookout for a few items here and there to decorate with.  However, I’ve found that I’m a little addicted to tchotchkes and set arounds and gee gaw and little junk or whatever you want to call it so if I don’t watch it, I can have an abundance of cute, $3 thrifted candle sticks and apothecary jars that I simply don’t need.  I got in the habit of purging once a year and having a big, lots of work yard sale telling myself that I was breaking even.

But I wasn’t.

So to remedy myself, I’ve told myself that I cannot have a yard sale.  Since that was the part that always took away the guilt of buying that $2 item that I wasn’t sure I could use, taking that option away really made me think thrice about if I REALLY needed to spend the money.  Because if I couldn’t use it, I made myself give it away back to the Goodwill–oh the PAIN!

So, I’m reporting back one year later to tell you that I’ve noticed a little difference in my habits. I don’t go thrifting quite as often and, when I do, I rarely buy something small.  Our home is feeling a little lighter but it’s still a constant battle to keep it less cluttered.  That part is always hard for me–I feel like I should be able to de-clutter and it stay like that for a few years.  But that’s not how it works.  Plus, as you de-clutter your tolerance for clutter goes down so then you notice it more.

I still have the urge to have a yard sale every now and then, and I LOVE yard sales and don’t think there’s anything wrong with them–have your yard sale, but for me it was a crutch that led to more buying and I’m kind of glad I don’t have to plan one this year.

What about you, are you planning a yard sale this year?

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  1. My one attempt at having a yard sale failed big time, but I still love going to them! However, I too am trying to be more mindful of the things I buy. I noticed when we moved that a lot of the stuff I bought at yard sales the summer before was still sitting around in the attic, waiting for me to transform it. I ended up donating most of it. Yikes!

  2. I’m definitely having a yard sale this year. I’ve purged so much in my house that it has to go somewhere…and that somewhere is to someone willing to pay for it. I’m considering it my reward for a job well down. What doesn’t sell gets donated.

  3. I do small purges throughout the year that really don’t accumulate to much. I donate it to our local Mission store, which always makes me feel like I’m helping others out. I agree that having to get rid of stuff makes me think twice about buying anything in the first place. I only have one son and I can’t imagine the stuff that comes with multiple kids!

  4. I no longer have yard sales (we call them “Garage Sales”) because as a seller on eBay and Etsy, I find I can make MUCH more money perusing other people’s garage sales and selling THEIR valuables!!! I usually make less than $100 on my own stuff… I feel better donating my junk (er…, valuables) to our church rummage sale or Goodwill and taking the tax deduction… That way I feel like it’s a big “circle”. How green!!!

    One other comment on thrifting… Of course, since I sell most of the stuff, it doesn’t end up cluttering up my house (I’ve got plenty of other stuff for that) but I feel a small sense of satisfaction that I spend most of my money in Salvation Army’s or Goodwills where it will do some good…

  5. I do not do yard sales. I bag up items regularly for our local charity shops. I make sure the items are in good shape and I try hard to make sure sets are packed together (so they can be sold together- suits, dishes, etc.). This includes furniture and other items that I could have gotten good money for. And I don’t feel guilty about it. On the contrary, I feel really good about it because this is part of our charitable giving.

  6. I’m not having a yard sale, but have come to a similar state of mind when it comes to purchasing from them. The new rules? I must absolutely love the item. I don’t buy small stuff unless it’s small enough to be an embellishment. I’ve gotten rid of tons of stuff and I feel more free. I also go for the larger statement items that can be quickly integrated into my home. No more buying things that I might be able to do something with some day. If I ever do need that thing, I’ll buy it then. Thanks for a great post.

  7. I would love to happen upon your yard sale! Oh it’s so much work. My husband hates it when I decide to purge in this way. He would rather me give it all to Goodwill or some other organization to sell, and take the tax deduct. Thanks for sharing, have a great weekend.

  8. I totally agree – and have to remind myself how much I dislike “doing” a garage sale when it is midnight the night before and I have spent the last 3 days trying to figure out if I should sell something for $3 or $5, knowing the first person who wants it will offer $2. Cost benefit analysis tells me that my time is worth more than the frustration and preparation. We have become big donators of our unwanted stuff.

  9. Yard sale, thrift store, something! We’ll be giving a lot away and I’ve already started selling some things in anticipation of our big move. When we get our things that have been in storage the past 2.5 years and what we have with us all delivered stateside, there will be another big purge, too! It’s amazing how much we’re willing to part with when it hasn’t been in our sight for some time!

  10. I donate inexpensive items in good condition to a church thrift store that I like to support. Nicer items are cleaned and shined to be sold at our local consignment store. I almost always sell the things I bring in and usually recoup more than the yard sale or thirft shop price. I make enough each year to support my estate sale habit! I’m sure with your good taste you would too!

  11. Yard sales are a lot of work when you have little kids and I never make very much $. So now i just donate to Goodwill.

  12. You read my mind! I, too, was inspired by Hoarders and wrote about it here:


    While I haven’t planned on selling things in a yard sale – we don’t make much money in my area for some reason (my mom has made $2k before in her area), I often hang on to things thinking that I’ll sell them at our local resale place or on eBay or Etsy (craft supplies).

    Suddenly I realized that it takes a lot of time and effort to take pictures, list them, and ship if it sells or to take things to the resale place. And if it doesn’t sell, I’m out money on eBay and Etsy.

    I finally got OK with the fact that the money has been long spent. And my local nonprofit donation service picks up on my front porch once a month. Slowly but surely decluttering and going for a cleaner, more deliberate style.

  13. We usually have at least one yard sale in the spring/summer. We actually do pretty good on toys and general household items. I find my children’s clothing doesn’t sell as well as they are much older now. So those get donated to local charity. This year I intended on putting any money made at the sale towards my daughter attending Kids Camp with her church group.

  14. Nester there is a great blog I think you should consider looking at called The Zero Waste Home. It seems a bit extreme at first, but I LOVE this approach. I also have a couple of posts on greener and more minimal living. I have really purged a lot and my home just feels fresher and more organized. Things like beautiful plants stand out more. Blessings, Steph.

  15. Where we live now, the sorts of things I’ve sold in previous sales, and have actually made money on, aren’t really in demand. I gave away several boxes of odds and ends to the church sale, and sold a couple of larger pieces on Craigslist. I made more money with less effort that way. What is it about an empty garage that makes me want to buy stuff, instead of just parking my car in there? It’s really nutty, I’m going to try not to think about it.

  16. Oh. My. Goodness. I go through the same cycle every 1-2 years. (GW>garage sales> too much “stuff that i am sure i can fix up”> family threats to put me on hoarders> me forcing myself to part with my treasures at my garage sale> UGH it is a vicious cylce i go through and i am also struggling to stop my thriftng habit so i REALLY appreciate your post today and am thankful to know that i am not the only one.

  17. DE-CLUTTER is my word for this year! I’m working on it, but I’m beginning to agree with Andrea: it does take a long time and lots of effort to list everything on eBay/Etsy/etc. I’m ALMOST ready to take everything to auction and see what I can get. You’re very fortunate you’ve had this epiphany (and acted on it!) when you’re young. :-)

  18. I have never had a yard sale before but am seriously thinking about doing so when the weather gets a little warmer here. We have SO much stuff that needs to go! I’ve donated tons to friends or my sister but we are still left with endless amounts of furniture & whatnots in our tobacco barns. I might change my mind but as of now I want to try it at least once. And it’s always the Hoarders marathons that get me motivated too!

  19. I’m having one this year, but perhaps my last. I love doing yard sales for the social vibe since I do them with friends, but it’s better to just not have so much stuff. I’ve been watching “Hoarders”, too, and have been thrifting less. I also just got really pissed off at Goodwill for telling me that some beat-up djimbe drums were worth $600 when I had tracked them down from the drop-off location. I love to thrift and yard sale, but I am trying to make sure I only buy things that I really love and will use without a complete overhaul.

  20. No more yard sales. I promised myself after this past summer’s yard sale, I would no longer have them. They are so much work. Now, I bag unwanted/unneed items and take them to Goodwill. Less work and hassle.

  21. Christy B. says:

    We had a yard sale for the first time last year, and though I enjoyed the money that came it, I hated the bargaining with people, and the waking up early, and not being able to go around to other yard sales (it was for the community). So we just went back to what we do every year, which is donate to Goodwill or Amvet every few months and write if off on our taxes.

  22. Nester, This post and the more recent one above (on getting the ‘right message’ from blogging) are truly probably my two favorite blog posts I’ve ever read by you. Wow Nester ~ you’re growing up! ;) Sweet Momma, you are such an inspiration. Thank you for both of these messages. I don’t have a bunch of “stuff” and don’t bring a lot into our 1100 sq. ft. home of 6, nor do I covet what others have, but indeed do try to learn a take-away from each post I read. Lately, though, it’s all felt a little blase. And yet, here are these two amazing posts. Thanks for keeping me in the game ;) Even if the game is just for fun! Blessings ~ [used to be “the roost’er” — haha! Now more just Me] ~ Karin :) Oh, and Nester? Thank you for going to Tanzania. We have a kiddo sponsored there. He shares our family’s name and the name of a famous singer. ;) Tell him hi if you meet him ;)!!! God bless, seriously.

  23. I soooo loved this. We had a yard sale once when we moved and it was so much effort for so little return really. And the thought of *collecting* enough stuff throughout the year to have enough stuff to sell is such a burden. Now we keep a running donate box and out it goes when it is full. It really makes me think twice about bringing stuff into my house. Whatever comes in needs to stay for a long while!!

  24. Kim Porter says:

    I do not like having yard sales. I hate spending my Saturday morning making $ .50 on something I paid $5 for . I just took a big box to our local thrift store, most of the items still had tags on them from the same thrift store. It definitely made me think about buying things that I don’t really need. I like how your blog has life lessons and it’ s not just about pretty pictures. :)

    Kim @ mylifeincolorblog

  25. I do not having yard sales anymore. Done a few and I just can’t stand haggling over the price of a dollar item. The work alone to collect and set it up is exhausting. I do purge at least 2-3 times a year. Take everything we don’t need anymore to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. I do ask my friends if they want to re-purpose any of the items first. It feels soooo good to downsize. The first time I watched Hoarders – Buried Alive I was in shock. The next day, I cleaned and organized my craft room. It was a “get off the couch and fix it” moment. I can’t watch that show too often because it makes me nervous watching the people pick up trash and not know whether to throw it away. Thanks for such great posts!!!

  26. Oh my goodness, I totally feel your yard sale crutch. This year I’m donating rather than selling and it does hurt so much more! (Including silly thrifty clothing choices). Glad I’m not the only one ;)

  27. I have a basement full of garage sale stuff. You’ve helped me change my mind about keeping it to sell. It’s really just gotta go. I blogged about it and mentioned your post here: http://www.notjustclutter.com/2012/03/27/get-rid-of-your-clutter-with-garage-sales/

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