We started at 4:00 a.m dragging out our horde or yard sale treasures from our filled to the gills garage, basement and the Curly Girl’s bed room. After weeks of washing and ironing clothes, scrubbing toys, and stuffed animals, washing donated dishes and more, it was wonderful to start getting everything out and ready to insure yard sale success!
Reed placed stakes about three feet apart and tied rope between each stake to serve as a clothes line for the enormous amount of clothing we had for sale. I used the cinder block wall of my herb garden to stack books and DVDs. We had several tables, but still needed to borrow more from neighbors.
We had a LOT of stuff. Way more than it seemed like while it stacked to the rafters in my garage.
I had sweet neighbors come to help set up and take down after we were done. My family pitched in by doing all sorts of things. I don’t know what we would have done with out them. We thought if we started by 4:00 a.m. we’d be ready to open shop by 8:00 a.m. We weren’t. We wound up leaving several boxes in the middle of our yard that people had to go through on their own. Nobody seemed to mind.
My talented son in law, Austin, live streamed the yard sale on his Minecraft site. He had created a icon for Parker that was available for purchase with a small donation. The icon would go from being a chick to exploding into a huge firework, one of Parker’s favorite things ever.
Bottom line: WE MADE OUR GOAL! Between our internet donations and the actual yard sale revenue we will be able to give Parker the opportunity to participate in Now I Can.org and the intense physical therapy they offer. We even have enough to cover the cost of fuel for the three weeks worth of trips to Provo and back. That might sound inconsequential, but our gas budget is set at slim and finding the money for transportation was a concern.
For those of you who donated time, talents, financial support, items to sell, incredible EPIC signs, and prayers, thank you. Often parents of medically fragile kids with special needs will get a bit worried about how they will provide for their children. I can honestly say that Parker has an amazing support group that loves and surrounds him and has helped us to make sure he has everything he needs from meds to durable equipment to therapy.
I’ve sworn to my family that this was my last yard sale. I’ll keep that promise.
I promise to take LOTS of pictures as Parker participates in Now I Can. I feel as though it not just a victory for Parker, but for everyone involved in making this opportunity possible.
I don’t know the proper words to use to thank those who believe in Parker and his potential enough to donate everything from a bike (by the way Shelby, have you received any of my emails?) to the therapy needed to be able to ride that bike. I just know that this Mother’s heart is full of gratitude and humility.
For those of you who may be thinking of hosting a yard sale for your medically fragile child, here are a few of my best hints:
- Pass out flyers in your neighborhood explaining what your goal is, as well as the date and time of your event.
- When offered something always say yes, even if you have no idea what you are accepting. It’s amazing what people come to yard sales looking for. My Dad donated old movie screens. My neighbor the biggest framed, dead spider I’ve ever seen in my life. Each of these items went in the blink of an eye. I’ll never forget the look in the eye of the kid (or the mom) who bought that framed spider. heh.
- While I spent hours and hours and hours washing and ironing clothes and putting them on hangers, it was time well spent. We sold so many items of clothing and I had so many people tell me how much they appreciated the fact that the clothes were fresh.
- It only take a few minutes to throw a load of stuffed animals in the washing machine. They come out looking brand new and they sold like hot cakes, where as before they just sat.
- Set up like items with like items. We tried to make a ‘living room scene’ with our furniture just like they do in the stores to give shoppers and idea what things could look like.
- When something sells, fill in the hole. We had a couch on the sidewalk. It sold in minutes. I replaced it with chairs. They sold in minutes. Then a desk. Then a coffee table. You get the picture.
- Have a central check out.
- Take a deep breath and carry on when you open a bag and the first thing you pull out is a pair of thong underwear. ha! There may be (and was!) some really terrific stuff further down in that bag.
- Keep your prices low. It’s a yard sale. People are looking for bargains. I’ve talked before at my surprise at the giant hike in yard sale prices this summer. I was tempted to bring my prices up to match, but remembered how I felt seeing such high prices and chose to try and make this a win-win situation for everyone. I can’t begin to count how many people thanked me for keeping my prices reasonable. I believe that what you send out into the universe will come back and re-visit you. I saw Moms who were trying to outfit their kids for school so thankful for .50 name brand sweatshirts and $1.00 like new jeans. I did ask (and got) $5.00 for the True Religion jeans we had and other expensive name brand jeans. I charged $1.50 for other name brand tops from places like Banana Republic that looked like they had never been worn. I asked between $5.00 and $10.00 for shoes and nobody blinked an eye.
- Make GREAT signs. My sweet friend let me borrow hers and just change the dates. She used old political advertising signs, which I thought was a tremendous idea because they already came with the metal things to stick in the ground! The Blue Eyed Girl simply freshened them up and changed the date and address.
- Remember all the people who have helped you with your yard sale, and when you have the opportunity pay it forward to someone else who is hosting a yard sale to raise money for their kid. I think most of us could find a few things that we could donate that we aren’t using anymore.
I was worried that I would have bags and bags and bags of clothes left. I didn’t. By keeping my prices low, people came up with arms full of clothing. If my prices had been higher they would have only picked up one or two items.
I contacted Savers to pick up any left overs on Friday. However I had a friend who is also hosting a yard sale for her daughter come and pick everything up to use in her sale. There was still a lot of good stuff left. And it makes me feel good that it will be going to help someone else. Which reminds me. I need to call and cancel the Savers truck.
Again, thank you so much for your love, support and belief in this little guy’s potential:
Anyone else planning a yard sale this year?