Friday, October 17, 2014

How to Have and Organized and $uccessful Garage/Yard Sale

So this summer I had a huge baby/kid/come buy all my shit garage sale.

I have had some sales in the past and none of them have been very successful. I made a lot of mistakes with the first few sales that resulted in low turn out. Low turn out means less money for me and more things I have to store for the next sale or donate. But this sale was a smash success and it was due to several things I did differently.

Picking a good date is important to drive foot traffic. Our city has subdivision yard sales on certain dates through the year. Since we aren't part of any subdivision, my best bet was holding my sale the same weekend of the closest subdivision sale near me. It would ensure I would have a lot of traffic passing by my street. Which leads me to my next point;

Advertise! Advertise! Advertise! 

Getting the word out is the way to get people to your sale. Use every medium you can think of to spread the word. Since I knew the subdivision a few streets over was holding their annual sale (see point 1.) I placed the bulk of my signs in that area. I made sure to have a sign on every corner leading to my street with arrows pointing the way. I also placed signs on the main road through town, listing the times and place for my sale. Since I had my sale on a Friday and Saturday, I placed the signs the Tuesday before. If you get sturdy signs (mine were just poster board and a stake, so that when it rained on Friday, they didn't hold up too well) you can have your sign out for a week or more ahead.

Also, think outside the box! I am member of a few Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade groups. I followed their rules for posting and posted the time and date of my sale two weeks before the sale. The week of, as I had everything set up, I took photos and posted them to the site, as a preview. I also posted to Craigslist as well, two weeks before and then a few days before with photos. 

Let everyone know what you have. On all my signs and all my postings online, I made sure to list the sale as a kid/baby sale. I listed the sex and sizes for the clothes I had, listed the bigger ticket items, like a play kitchen and easel, as well as specific items that might be harder to find at a sale - baby carriers, breastfeeding supplies, bottles, etc. I also had a lot of brand name clothes, so I made sure to note that on my listings as well.

I like the comfort that having a garage sale provides - some shelter from the weather, a place to organize - but if you have everything in your garage, it might not invite people to come and take a look. So utilize your garage to highlight your stuff. I placed bigger ticket items outside and gave people a glimpse of my sale. It also gave people a safe distance to look at the sale in case they didn't want to come into the garage right away.

This is also a great way to have kids get interested. Having toys at kid level helped keep them occupied while their parents shopped. I priced them low enough that it would encourage kids to leave with a few as well.

Instead of pricing everything individually, have a master price list. I tried to streamline the list as much as possible: tops, bottoms, swimsuits, dresses and PJ separates were one price, while jeans, jackets/hoodies, outfits and footed PJs were a different price. Also try and keep your prices even dollars so you don't have to deal with change.

Display the sign where everyone can see.

Clothes that were just a little too worn all went into the free bin. I tried to have clothes that were just slightly stained in the bin. Clothes that I might pay a quarter or .$50 for at another sale went in the bin and I encouraged everyone to look and take something.

The biggest compliment I got was how organized I was. Seriously, everyone that came to my sale complimented me on my organization. One woman even took a photo to show her daughter just how to set up. lolz

I sorted each table into boy or girl clothes, then into sizes and then seasons. I made sure to post signs telling people what sizes were where. I separated the clothes into winter and summer to make it easy. I also grouped outfits together, pairing tops with bottoms so that when you bought two, you ended up saving money. I did the same for the PJs, keeping the sets together but marking down the price.

I also had the smallest sizes on the tables in the front, working up to the bigger sizes on the tables in the back.

As you can see in the driveway photo, I tried to group items together. Toys were grouped in a separate bin, as was stuffed animals and baby dolls. I also grouped onesie sets together and put them in a ziplock bag with a flat price. I did the same for burp cloths and receiving blankets. I also had bags of play food and a bag of play pots and pans grouped next to the play kitchen.

Have a hanging rod for clothes that can't be folded. It will take space off your tables, giving you more room for outfits and it will allow more people in your sale to look both at the tables and the rack.

Since I had put signs up around town, people knew I was having a sale. When I was setting up on Thursday, I had more than one person drive by "just to look." When people wanted to buy something, I told them that was fine but I didn't have much change. I didn't want to discourage anyone from buying but I also wasn't planning on having my sale until the next morning. I sold half my big ticket items the night before my sale even "started."

Also know that people WILL COME EARLY. If you really don't want anyone at your sale at, say 7 am, then advertise that your sale starts at 8 am and be prepared for people to show up at 7:30. You can always post on your signs and online postings that you prefer no early sales but people might not honor it.

There are two main reasons to have a sale - make money or get rid of your stuff. I would say that my sale was 50/50. I wanted to get rid of all the baby and kid things I had but I didn't want to price things so low that people would be turned off. If you price too low, people might think that all you have is junk and they won't buy anything. But if you price a little higher, people are more interested and want to make you an offer. It is up to you to accept their offer or not. I am not a fan of negotiating, so if someone offered me a price that seemed fair, it was more likely that I would accept.

I had a busy day the first day of my sale. By the afternoon on the second day, things had slowed down and the idea of packing everything up seemed daunting. So I slashed prices, updated my posts online to let everyone know everything was 50% off and made deals left and right.

I had paper sacks ready to go for people to use. I also gave away more than one hanger. It was a great way to get rid of all the plastic hangers you get when you buy an outfit in the store.

This is probably the biggest tip. I dedicated the entire week before my sale to set up. By having it in the garage, I was able to set up the tables and keep them that way until the sale was over. Every night, after the kids were in bed, I would sort and organize clothes. I was also able to guess how many tables I needed but in the end, I could have used two more. I was also able to call someone on Tuesday to ask to borrow a table instead of Thursday night.

I also washed every.single.bit.of.clothes before I sorted and organized them but you can probably skip that step if your clothes haven't been in storage for long. Thursday night did end up being a bit long for me, I went to bed too late, setting up still, so never underestimate just how much time you need. Give yourself just one more day to set up.

~OTHER TIPS~DONATE OR STORE THE DAY AFTER - as you are breaking down tables and packing up, sort your clothes to donate or to store as you go. Take the donate bin to the donation spot that day.

HAVE MUSIC - it seems to set the tone for a pleasant day and helps the time pass. I just wouldn't play death metal.

HAVE DRINKS OR FOOD - if the kids were older, I would totally let them set up a lemonade stand and let them go. But since TGD can't read or math yet, it wasn't an option this time.

START WITH LOTS OF CHANGE - you will get more as the day goes on, so you might want to only get a few bills in each denomination to start, but I would get at least $150 in change ($60 in $20, $50 in $10, $20 in $5 and $20 in $1)

BE FRIENDLY BUT GIVE PEOPLE SPACE - as an extrovert, I want to be welcoming and chat up everyone but I never wanted to give people a hard sale for a 9 month footie PJ. Mostly I just followed the lead of the other shoppers and had a great day. I met some people that were totally cool chatting me up for a while and it was nice.

Hopefully following all these tips, you will have the best and most organized sale ever. With just a little planning, you can maximize your sales and get rid of all your stuff.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Snack Stations {Update}

You can see the original post {HERE}

Children are bottomless pits that seem to need food every hour. Or at least they complain they need food every hour. And I am lazy. I don't want to have to slice an apple every few hours so the two trolls that live with me will stop whining about food.

I've had these snack stations for a while but with The Good Daughter in kindy (OMGFTWBBQ!!!), I've had to update the snacks and keep them filled more often. Both she and The Good Son are allowed to eat anything in the fridge station without asking but there is a 2 piece limit on the pantry station.

So just what do these things contain? Just take a look and then join me on the lazy mom couch. I have wine.

This station is limited to two per day since they contain:
~fruit snacks
~fruit leather
~animal crackers
~goldfish crackers
~raisins (one kid likes them cold and one likes them room temp. freaks, I tell 'ya)
~granola bars

On Sunday, after grocery shopping, I load the box up and it should last all week and then some.

As part of our school routine, TGD gets to pick out one snack to take with her to school the next day. Pulling out the box and letting her choose is less work for me and leads to less fighting b.c TGD can have some independence. What did I say? I am L A Z Y

This is the fridge station. You can see it in action here.

I try and keep drinks in here for the kids. This week The Good Husband, bless his heart, bought shitty Horizon milk. I try and have organic juice boxes.

I also keep the cold snacks in reusable snack bags. It seems to help encourage the kids to eat the veggies and fruit I keep in there when they are in fun bags.

The fridge station contains:
~baby carrots
~snap peas
~cheese sticks

Again, every Sunday, I slice veggies and fruits and fill the box. This box tends to last longer since they mainly eat out of it on the weekends. 

So snack stations = lazy parenting FTW

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Good Son Turns 2

So, The Good Son turned two over the summer. We had a cake and ice cream party. I have heard that the second kid always gets the shaft. 

Sorry about that kiddo. 

Actually, I try and alternate having one "big" party for the kids and this year was The Good Daughter's turn. Since TGD's birthday is at the end of June and TGS's is just two weeks later (to the date) AND 4th of July is squeezed between the two, I was a little over party planning. 

I know, I need to get my head checked.

I still managed to make a cute little set up for TGS, though. One of his first words was "car" so that dictated the theme.

Another shitty frosting job on the cake, but it was cute nonetheless.

And I created a banner and cars from generic clipart.

I wanted something colorful and bold for a boy.

I mean, look at that face.

Happy Birthday, Buddy!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

~FREE PRINTABLE~ Summer Planner

Oh, I don't know why, but I've always loved the idea of summer, and sun, and all things hot... 

Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle but put me in summer and I'll be a ... happy snowman!!

If you are a mom of young kids, you just said that above in Olaf's voice. And now that song is stuck in your head. You're welcome.

Just like with my Winter, Spring, and Fall Planners, you can use this planner to keep track of everything you want to do or make in the summer.

Get it HERE!

You can check out my Pinterest boards to get ideas for Independence Day/summer activities.

Our summer is actually kind of crazy this year. Having two kids' birthdays back to back and kindy starting this fall, I am in DO ALL THE THINGS!!!!! mode and this has been a great way for me to stay on top of everything. And thanks to global warming, the weather has been abnormally cool, so we can do things instead of just stay in the house watching movies all day.

How is your summer going?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Good Daughter Turns 5

So The Good Daughter turned 5 last month. 5!

It's trippy to me that she is now the age that I can actually remember being and its weird to think of what little snippets will actually stick to her grey matter.

This year she wanted an ALL THE FUCKING PRINCESSES!!! GILTTER!! PINK!!!1!1!!ZOMG!!!! party. Not being a fan of the mass produced disney stuff, I bought a party pack from Etsy, gillter-bombed everything and went typically nuts in the way I do for birthday parties.

Pink and purple were the dominate colors.

I made some turrets out of cardboard so if you squint, you could image you were walking into a castle gate.

A glitter sign welcomed everyone to the Royal Celebration.

Treat Bags greet guests on the way in so they don't forget to take them home with them. The bags were filled with princess candy, mini paint Tangled palettes, stickers, pencils, a notepad and bubbles.

I made centerpieces with all of the princesses. And I will say that finding something with all of them - Jasmine and Tiana, included - was kinda hard. TGD specifically asked for those two and I can't blame her. I Tiana is my second favorite princess (best dressed princess overall) so I'm not shocked TGD loves her too.

Ariel and Cinderella, all glittered up. Glitter, AKA the herpes of the crafting world, was a huge mistake. I am still finding glitter in the dining room a month later. I ended up with glitter in my hair, people.

Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, AKA the boring ones. The glitter did look cute.

Belle and Rapunzel, AKA the best princesses. Rapunzel got extra glitter.

Jasmine and Tiana, AKA TGD's requested girls. Tiana got some extra glitter. Two colors, too, natch.

More princesses and a pink castle cake.

I also made some construction paper turrets and pink chocolate stars.

Castle cake using one 9x13, one 8 inch round and 5 cupcakes with 3 sugar cones covered in pink chocolate.

I really need to work on my frosting skills.

The obligatory food photo. I wanted to keep the menu finger foods/tea party. Stuff that was light and you could pick up easily and not too messy. This year we had (starting from the window and working forward) cocktail weenies and meatballs, Cowboy Sushi dip with crackers, chips and french onion dip, chips and guacamole, veggies and dip, fruit and dip, tea sandwiches of ham, smoked cheddar and mayo, cucumber and cream cheese, and turkey, brie and pear, and BLT tomatoes.

Instead of making Cowboy Sushi, my most popular dish, I decided to make a dip out of it and save myself a ton of work. I threw all the ingredients (subbing dill relish, drained very well, instead of whole pickles) into a bowl, added a packet of green onion flavored powdered ranch dressing mix, and blended it until combined. I lined a mold with plastic wrap, spread the dip into the mold and refrigerated overnight. Easy.

Outside I decorated our official birthday party tent with more pink and purple princesses. The centerpieces were also out here.

And we got a princess castle bounce house.

Which The Good Son loved more than anyone. Even me, who jumped in that thing with him for an hour.

We also had some wading pools for the kids, since both kids have a summer birthday and they can get seriously hot outside. But look at that cutie!!

TGD had an amazing time too. This is how you can tell anal retentive tendencies run in my family. That is a present from my mother, a present of princess (Rapunzel and Belle) dress up clothes, in princess paper WITH Jasmine and Tiana. WIN!

Overall, TGD had an amazing time and ate entirely too much cake.

I love you, my fierce one. Here is to another great year!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

All Natural DIY Kool-Aid

Two things motivated me to create this super delicious drink: 1.) Summer feels like it is almost here and there is nothing more summery to me than eating some watermelon; and 2.) My kids turn into raging assholes when they consume red dye. Think of the Hulk after a 3 day coke/PCP bender. That shit ain't pretty.

So I limit their intake of the liquid red devil but damn it if the kids didn't score some off the neighbors like some cheap crack and they have begged me for it ever since.

Lucky for my little beasts, fresh, local watermelon hit the market the last few weeks and I have been turning it into this DIY All Natural Kool-Aid alternative. And the kids can't get enough. I can't say that I blame them. 

There is nothing better for a kid than drinking some sugary sweet drink outside before running through the sprinkler. The only thing better, they will learn in 13 years, is the sweet taste of that sugary drink with some vodka. Yum!

This is super easy to make too. Just throw everything in a blender and let it liquify. Then strain and serve with some ice (and booze for the adults). So easy I make this while I am cleaning the cutting board after chopping up all that damn watermelon.

I want to try strawberry next. We shall see how that goes.

4 cups chopped seedless watermelon
2 tablespoons organic sugar or preferred sweetener to taste
2 tablespoons lime juice

~Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until liquid. Strain through a sieve, discarding pulp. NOTE: You can also save the pulp, mix it with water or yogurt and freeze in pop molds.

~Serve over ice. Add booze if you are feelin' frisky. 

recipe by: The Good Wife

Thursday, May 22, 2014

~FREE PRINTABLE~ Spring Planner

A lovely reader was kind enough to remind me that I hadn't posted my Spring Planner yet. She was very kind when really she she had every right to call my out as the lazy, forgetful bitch that I am. 

That said, here is the Spring Planner. Spring is a wonderful time for me. The weather gets warm, activities start up around town and we can get out of the house. And my anniversary is in May.

So it helps me to keep track of all the nice, spring things I want to do. Recipes I want to try, things I want to do and make. Everything is right here to help me enjoy the season to the fullest.

You can download your very own Spring Planner for free

You can also check out my Fall Planner and Winter Planner

Get some spring ideas on my Pinterest board and also get ideas for Earth Day, Mari Gras, St. Patrick's Day and more.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Visual Spring Cleaning Guide - The Kitchen

By far the most labor intensive part of Spring Cleaning is the damn kitchen. There is in here.

It can be overwhelming. But remember, you don't have to do it all at once. You can break up tasks over the course of a week. It also helps to have a clean kitchen as a baseline. That's why weekly cleaning maintenance is important. This task would seem Herculean without a good baseline.

Let's do this, shall we?! 

1. Dust ceiling and corners of walls
2. Dust and clean the light fixtures
3. Wipe down walls, minding spots behind the stove and counter top appliances
4. Remove and clean all art and photographs from wall.
5. Remove all draperies, curtains, and blinds and wash or have cleaned
6. Wash all windows
7. Dust and clean the tops of the cabinets
8. Clean the inside of the oven  
~TIP: Use a natural cleaner like the one I have here.~
9. Remove knobs, burners, and burner covers and wash
10. Clean the fridge 
11. Wipe down and clean the small appliances 
12. Wipe off the shelves inside the cabinets
13. Dust and polish the outside of the cabinets
14. Wipe down and clean out any drawers
15. Clean the switch plates and outlet covers
16. Dust and polish the outside of the drawers
17. Clean the dishwasher by running an empty cycle
18. Wash the counter tops in your kitchen
19. Wash the sink
20. Clean the microwave
21. Dust and wash the baseboards
22. Sweep and mop the floors
23. Empty and wash out the trash can

Now don't you feel all better?