Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

Friday's Column On Monday
What An Exhausting Way To Make Money

by James Glaser
April 4, 2011
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Exhausting is the perfect word to explain how much work it is to put a Yard Sale together. Wanda and I have been working on doing this past Saturday's sale for weeks. No, really, for weeks. At first we started off slowly just having a place where we could put things for the sale as we found them. As the sale day got closer, we spent more and more time going through everything we had.

If you want a good sale, you can't just find the things you want to get rid of, but you have to clean everything, find all the parts to some, and then the hard part, you have to price everything. On top of that there is advertising, signage, and figuring our where in the yard you are going to do this.

We used our car port, and I put up peg boards with hooks along one side, built a large saw horse table, and backed up both pickup trucks to the edge of the concrete. After filling the car port we had to put our for sale rugs on a parking slab we have, and the cart filled with free things was out on the lawn.

All day Thursday and Friday I was moving things out there, and Friday evening we were out until late setting everything up. At 6AM Saturday morning we were setting out the last things, and at 7AM our first "Yard Saler" stopped to buy. About noon I was finished, but Wanda got a second wind from somewhere, and so we stayed open. Good thing she did, as we sold another coupe of hundred dollars worth.

After last year's sale we took everything unsold and gave it to a church relief shelter in town. So, at noon I filled the truck up with a bunch and headed off there. When I got back Wanda had made a few hundred dollars more in sales and people kept coming as we started boxing up everything we were saving for next fall's sale.

I think what we are both working towards is the day we don't have enough stuff to even think about another yard sale.

At last year's sale, a mob came before we even opened, and that rush sold most of the stuff. This year people came in dribs and drabs. Once in a while a dozen would come at once, but mostly it was one car in and one car out. It was nice, because we got to meet neighbors, talk to people, and have a pretty good time. Anyone who bought at least $5 worth of things got a homemade chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookie. Or if you brought your children, they all got a cookie, too.

We did have fun, and we did make some money, but now we are both shot. Everything is packed up in boxes, but it is still out on that car port. We are getting our storage building moved this week to a better spot on the back edge of our property. So we decided to wait for that before we put everything away. That was not a hard decision. Sunday the two of us were pretty wiped out, although somehow Wanda did plant two flowering shrubs and a bush she bought. I watched her through the window, but her example did nothing for me, and I will admit I was a slug all day. Thankfully that planting ended Wanda's spurt of energy, and I didn't have to feel guilty very long.

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