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?