Friday, April 8, 2011

To Yard Sale or Not to Yard Sale

If you follow Dave Ramsey at all, you know he's a big advocate of yard sales. I am too--in fact we had a big one last fall (You can read more about that here, here, and here.). But is it always a good idea to have a yard sale? Recently my people have been giving some consideration to having another yard sale after reading the book Organized Simplicity. We have some things laying around the house and were trying to decide the best way to move them from our home.

Some things to think about before planning a yard sale:

- What is your time worth? Will the amount of time you put into planning and executing your yard sale produce a good return on your investment? When we had our yard sale we had just finished up paying off debt and were really trying to beef up our savings. It was well worth any amount of our time (within reason) to make a little bit of extra money to build up our buffer.

- How much do you have to get rid of? If you don't have much to put out, will you be able to make it worth your while? Perhaps you have several large/big ticket items, so not having to tote them to a drop off point would be ideal for you. However if you only have 20-30 small items, it may not be worth your effort (again, depending how much you need the money).

- Do you live in an area that gets a lot of traffic? One thing that made us consider doing a yard sale was the fact that we live in a neighborhood chock full of people who yard sale shop. Nearly every weekend there are families in our neighborhood having yard sales and they always get a lot of traffic. So, in our case, even if we only had 20-30 items, we could probably get enough traffic to sell at least half.

- Do you have enough storage space? Several frugal living blogs mention the idea of keeping a box in the garage (or other storage area) that you can place items in as you find them in your home. Then, approximately every 6-12 months you can put together a sale. Do you have enough storage space to keep your yard sale items?

My people decided not to have a yard sale. Quite frankly, the amount of effort that would have gone into it just wasn't worth it. We'd rather have all of the items out of our home immediately by dropping them off at a donation center/thrift store rather than have them take up space. In our last home, we had more than enough room to store items for an annual yard sale. Now, it's just not space we're willing to give up. In addition, over the last year we've really worked hard at decluttering our home, and so we don't have oodles of stuff to unload (thankfully!).

Minimal selection of items + Lack of storage space = Definitely no yard sale for us!

Have you had a successful yard sale recently or do you have plans for one?

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