It’s June and summer yard and garage sales are getting into full swing. I used to love scavenging yard sales to find good deals on things I thought I needed, but after hosting and helping with the sales myself, I hardly ever recommend to others that they hold their own. Here’s why:
1. Yard sales are time consuming. Between the time you spend sorting out the stuff you want to sell, advertising the sale, marking prices on your stuff, and the time you spend the day of actually running the sale, the time investment may well be worth far more than the stuff you’re trying to sell. As the saying goes, time is money.
2. Yard sale success can be determined by the weather. Do you have a garage or other backup space you could actually move your stuff to if it rains? Yard salers often come out in droves when the weather is nice but often not as much when it’s raining or really hot. True, you can always postpone your sale, but this will only add to your time investment (see #1) and procrastination (see #4).
3. Yard sale preparations can take up a lot of space. If you’re trying to declutter and make space for your new organizing systems, where are you going to store all the yard sale items before the sale? Depending on how much decluttering you actually have to do, you may need to get the stuff out of your home in order to make space for the stuff you really want to keep to get organized. Is it more important to make money or is having your home be a warm, inviting, clean, clear and organized space a priority? Getting your unwanted items out the door and to a donation shop may help you realize your goals much more quickly.
4. Yard sales can lead to procrastination. Once people understand how much time and effort really goes into one of these events, some fall into a cycle of procrastination. They start saving things for the yard sale but keep putting off the yard sale because they aren’t ready yet, so the stuff just stays in the home. Instead of getting the clutter out of the house it gets shifted from one area to another in “preparation” for the sale. Plus it can lead to backsliding – the person decides “Maybe this [item I was going to sell] is really worth keeping,” and around and around in the cycle they go.
5. Yard sales lead to a trip to the donation shop at least 95% of the time. I have yet to meet anyone who sold everything at their yard sale – every single one of them still had to make at least one trip to a donation store after the sale was over – that is of course if they actually got rid of the stuff they didn’t sell at the yard sale. Another pitfall of yard sales is people not getting rid of the leftover stuff and it ending up back in the home, which only perpetuates the cycle of clutter.
If you’re really ready to move forward with clearing your clutter, I encourage you to get the stuff OUT of your house as soon as you can – whether that’s to a donation shop, a consignment shop, or in the trash or recycling – the more you can open up your space, the easier it will be to figure out the best organizing systems for you.
Are you hosting a yard sale this summer? Tell me about your experiences in the comments below!