Posts Tagged ‘practical’

Putting it up for sale

Posted: September 13, 2011 by Nerdy Woman in Practical Ideas
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yardsale1Maybe I haven’t fully embraced my nerdiness. My mom showed me how much nerdier I could be as we prepared for a yard sale labor day weekend. Whenever we get together, there is lots of laughter and thankfully, we are able to laugh at ourselves. I’m hoping if she reads this, she won’t mind if I let you all in on the fun.

A little background info: at the beginning of this year, we downsized from and lost about 1/3 of the space we had for storing stuff. After 14 years in the same home, we’d accumulated a lot of stuff. Mom and sis came to help and took home truckloads in anticipation of a yard sale at some future date. In the past few weeks, I’ve been decluttering and adding more.

yardsale6Mom, sis, bro-in-law, and bro live together in a large home with a yard just made for yard sales. It’s about 75 miles from where we live, so stuff had to be hauled out there to add it to the inventory that was cluttering their home. I’m sure we kept all the neighbors awake as we packed and repacked Mom’s truck at least three or four times to fit more stuff in it, laughing every time we discovered something else that just had to go. Have you ever seen a chinese puzzle box? How all the pieces fit together with precise engineering? That was Mom’s truck on Wednesday night. We finally rolled out at 1 am, my laptop case riding on my lap because I had nowhere else to stow it.

In anticipation of the possibility they’d have to run this yard sale without me, Mom had made inventory lists of every item they had at their house. That included about three hundred books. By title. She wanted to send me the lists so I could price each item. I tried to convince her she could do this…

The next morning, we unloaded the truck then headed to town. First stop, Michael’s Craft Store for poster board. Debate over most eye-catching color. Since new traffic signs are fluorescent yellow, studies have probably shown that to be noticeable. Next stop, Home Depot for paint sticks so our signs won’t be floppy, super fat Sharpie markers, and plastic drop cloths to cover everything at night.

Home again, I start measuring and marking poster board to be cut into fourths, putting Nerdy Girl to work with the scissors. With fat marker, I make signs. Lots of signs, leaving space for directional arrows that I’ll add while out putting signs up.

Pressing bro-in-law into service, taking hammer, nails, clear packing tape, and a stepstool, we go to put the signs up. If it’s a wood telephone pole, the paint stick is attached across the back and nailed to the pole. If it’s a steel pole, the stick is attached vertically, then we tape the stick to the pole.

Now it’s time to start setting up the stuff. First, we need tables. We don’t want to put everything on the ground, right? We start hauling stuff out of the house and Mom worries we don’t have enough tables. She talks to a neighbor to get contact info about a local source for renting tables. It took some doing, but we convinced her that would only cut into profits and that people won’t expect everything to be displayed on tables as if this were a Macy’s sale.

My job is the books. We’ve done this before so placement is easy. Boxes and boxes and boxes of books. Several boxes of Christian books were originally organized alphabetically by title and the boxes labeled for online sales. So I line those up first. I don’t expect people notice or shop as they would at a bookstore, but it will help me to find a book quickly if someone asks (believe it or not, they do).

yardsale3Placing books along the porch and walkway, I group by category: fiction, children’s books, antique books, etc. Meanwhile, Mom is neatly folding and stacking clothes that Nerdy Girl outgrew a long time ago. Days before, she’d washed everything so nothing smelled like long-term storage.

Books are ready to go except for removing box lids. That will be Nerdy Girl’s job just before the sale starts the next day at 8 am. So I move onto craft supplies. Fabric together in two big plastic storage containers; skeins of yarn also require two containers; notions like thread, trims, etc. are all in smaller, clear storage containers.

So what else is for sale? Anyone interested in a pair of authentic wooden clogs? I bought them for Nerdy Girl when she was in 2nd grade, doing a report about the Netherlands. They fit her then and she wore them to school that day.

A couple of nice Day-Timer binders. Leather. Expensive. From back in the days when I was trying to be better organized. Shaped cake pans from when Nerdy Girl was little and I made special cakes for each birthday. Cake decorating supplies to go with those pans.

You get the idea. Lots of not-so-typical yard sale stuff. Nerdy stuff? I don’t know. It seems that whatever interests I had over the years, I had to get lots of stuff to do it. Even if I’ve not gone nerdy to the max, I’ve learned to do more with less.