Measuring Yard Sale Success


With our big move out of the city upon us, you can imagine it’s been hard to post! I’m sorry I’ve missed a couple of days, but I’ve been drowning in cardboard and doing battle with gigantic dust and hair clumps.

Did I lose any of you by writing about getting it on? I hope not, but if sex advice isn’t your thing, I promise to only post about naked fun on Fridays. That way you can skip that day and preserve your saintly opinion of me, or some of you can skip the rest of the week and just read the juicy stuff. Ha!

This weekend was illuminating. When you drive by a yard sale and catch a glimpse of pile upon pile of other people’s junk, please consider how much effort goes in to putting such a sale together.

Purging and prepping for our yard sale took an immense amount of time and energy. I’m mostly to blame, because I can’t do anything simply it seems. I wanted a quirky and fun yard sale – one that the neighbours would delight in and insist that their friends come to see. I wanted a yard sale that would inspire people to solicit my help in culling together their own piles of crap. That’s right, I wanted a yard sale to boost my ego.


I meticulously sorted things into categories so that all of the like items were priced ahead of time and boxed together for convenience. I delighted myself with my stroke of genius – I pre-packaged dress up ‘costumes’ for the low, low price of $5 a bag, and I brilliantly heaped handfuls or plastic toy junk into $1 brown paper surprise bags that were either gender specific or gender neutral. How smart am I??


I enlisted the girls in running their own lemonade stand, sure that their adorable-ness would draw a crowd eager to purchase our cast offs. I made craft kits, and stacks of similar magazines tied with pretty ribbon. I organized jewelry into tiny baskets. I drew up a plan for layout and bought cute aprons for us to carry change about.



We set up later than most yard-sale types prefer, this is true, but we advertised the time accordingly. Our wares were painstakingly laid out and then we sat back to enjoy the busy onslaught.

Pride is man’s folly, and Mother Nature had a lesson for me I suppose. A lesson in remembering to let go of control I think. With our moving day around the corner, this was a timely lesson for me. Saturday the rain fell with great vigor each and every time we tried to peel the plastic drop cloths off our tables.


By one o’clock we had made exactly enough money for two gluten-free pizzas for lunch. At one point, my mother had taken the baby for a walk in his stroller and then the rain came on with such force that I called her to see if she needed rescue. “No, we’re fine!” she replied merrily, “We’re indoors at a rummage sale at the church on Bloor Street.”



The girls did quite well with the lemonade stand. It would take a cold heart to drive by two soggy little angels trying to make the most of a crap-tastic day. It was like an adage come to life before our eyes. They were pleased with themselves indeed.

Rather than despair, I was able to reflect on how much fun we had setting up and getting ready. This is big for me, because such an epic flop would have sent me deep into the bowels of Grumpy-ville once upon a time, but my desire to model good behavior for my children offers new perspective.

I apologize to the second hand store that received boxes and boxes of soggy goods. I sincerely hope they were still useful. Also, I think it’s amusing that Sunday was a perfectly gorgeous day. Sigh…

Mother Nature and the Powers That Be had another trick in store for us. Our very last customer was a gentleman who took great interest in some bits of merchandise from our family business that Daddy set out in the off-chance that he could unload it. That very customer returned the next day and dropped a couple grand to help us get rid of some product, and thus our rained-out yard sale made a killing.

Isn’t life funny sometimes?

Mommy’s To-Do List – Week of June 17

Neon Toes

Ayla’s Neon Toes

Weekend Highlights

My favorite moments of this weekend are split evenly between events on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we spent a wonderful day being spoiled by Mama S’ mom, the kids’ Nana. She took us mamas and The Noodle out for lunch in the afternoon while the girls were at Muslim school, and then treated all of us to pedicures once the girls returned home! I haven’t had a pro give me a pedi since well before my pregnancy, and the girls had never had one at all, so it was a wonderful treat.

A little girl at the nail salon getting a pedicure

A little girl at the nail salon getting a pedicure

On Sunday we spent the whole day working together to continue with packing up the kitchen. Even the kids helped. We then enjoyed dinner together on our roof top patio. I think this space has been sorely underused in our time here. H & A build themselves an eating fort out of the awesome fort building kit they got for Christmas. This fort kit is one of the girls most-used toys. It’s a simple box of sticks that fit into little balls, and you build a structure that you then lay a sheet over. Mama S shot some beautiful pics of our happy monkeys with their dad.

A father poses with his three children

One of my favorite pictures ever.

VIP Tasks this Week

The Yard Sale!
Getting ready for Saturday’s yard sale is at the top of the list this week.

I need to finish purging the rest of the house to see what else we can sell

I also need to sort and price all of our items for sale, and take stock of everything we have to sell to decide how to lay it all out

I need to list the yard sale various places online. Where do people look for yard sale information?

It will be great help to have the girls making signs, pricing toys, designing lemonade stands, etc.

Maybe Mama S can bake her killer chocolate chip cookies to sell too!

Oh, and Daddy could build a cheery yard sale play list to attract customers.

We need to remind the neighbours that they very kindly are lending us their driveway, and we need to get them a parking pass.

I’ll need to hit the bank for change and small bills.

Yard sale people, what am I forgetting here??


Personal Goals

I want to get as much packing done as I can with a rambunctious baby who just wants to crawl and climb on everything, plus two little girls who may be good helpers, or may decide to try to kill each other.

I want to try to manage the incredible stress of moving with humor and grace. This is going to continue to be very challenging, I think.

I want to continue to post every day! You can’t imagine how hard this can be! I’m so grateful that my partners are so supportive and happy to wrangle Noah as required to help me carve out some writing time. I think I’m getting to the point where I’m going to need to map out posts ahead of time and just write in chunks to make sure the week is covered off. That in itself is very exciting.


Things to Look Forward To

Hanging With the Girls!

It’s their first week off from school, and I’d like to have some fun in the midst of all the hard work we have ahead. I’m sure there’s some emotional impact from leaving their friends behind and from watching us pack up their home (even though they seem relatively okay), so I need to keep that in mind, and tend to it accordingly. I think we’ll hit the JCC pool, Dufferin Grove Park, Smock, and probably our neighbourhood park before the week is done.

Patrick Watson!

Free concert on Thursday night for the Luminato festival! Now we just have to decide whether or not to bring the kids. I think it would be awesome to take them, and the stage is outdoors. Details are here for those of you who are fans.

The Yard Sale!

This could be super stressful, but I think it will likely be super fun if I can keep my head on straight. Usually the secret to my Zen state is to have the Noodle with me. Looks like I’ll be wearing him a lot that day, though Grandmere will be on hand to help too. Things really get done when the grandmas are around.

Happy Birthday Henry Hind!

I can’t believe that it’s been a whole year already since one of my besties had his first kid. We’re going to head from the yard sale to the birthday party on Saturday with the last ounce of energy left. They have a beautiful backyard, so it will be a great chance for the kids to blow off some steam after the yard sale.

How does your week look? I hope it’s productive, and filled with opportunities for fun and great photo ops. I’m always saved by list-making and planning ahead, and I’ve learned to add some me time to the to-do list too. I hope it’s a beautiful week!


Kisses on your nose,