Archive for November, 2012

Yesterday, I promised to post about some of my more recent finds on Craigslist in my post about Craigslist.  Here are four finds from Craigslist:

1. The mattress/boxspring and the Pottery Barn Kids and Company kids quilts on Thing 3’s bed — found on Craigslist.

2. Thing 2’s Mini Boden monster shirt (worn for our outdoor family photo shoot).

3. Pellets for our pellet stove–we found a local supplier who would deliver to our driveway.

4. My daughter’s (Thing 3) chaise lounge (last year’s Christmas gift)–also from Craigslist!

These are just a few of my Craigslist finds. Have you found anything fun or interesting on Craigslist? Any great deals?

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Is Craigslist a viable “option” for bargain-hunters? How does it compare to yard sales?

I would put Craigslist in a similar category to “online yard sale groups on facebook”. The one advantage of the facebook groups is you can sort them by your town, while often Craigslist ads encompass a MUCH larger area.

Advantages of Craigslist:

1. You can search for JUST WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR with their search box!
2. Lots of ads and options to choose from.
3. Broken down into categories (for searching).
4. Reasonable prices, and the option to “haggle” for a lower price when you contact the seller.

Drawbacks of Craigslist:

1. Important to meet in a safe location. NEVER, ever, ever meet someone at your home to purchase something. If you are meeting someone to buy something, make sure it is in a public place and that someone knows where you are going and when you will be back. Better to be safe than sorry.
2. If you are selling on Craigslist, you typically get a lot of spam emails.
3. Some sellers do not put photographs, so you may be “surprised” when you actually see what you are purchasing—I recommend asking them to email you pictures before you drive to buy something.
4. You may have to drive further to purchase something (which means you must factor in the price of gasoline into your “bargain price”).
5. Prices still tend to be higher than traditional “in person” yard sales.

I have and will continue to use Craigslist. Tomorrow, I will post some of my recent Craigslist bargain finds! Craigslist is a wonderful resource for bargain hunters, for job hunting, and for selling your own items! It is not a substitute for “real” yard sales, but it has its own niche, and is not intended to be a “yard sale”, per se. Enjoy hunting for bargains (or jobs or other things) on Craigslist!

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I really wanted to wish my readers, whoever you are, a Happy Thanksgiving.

My three loving and lively children are SO excited. For them, Thanksgiving is an extended vacation from school and lots of fun times playing with their cousins and exploring the woods in the country.

And, since this IS, after all, a yard sale blog, I will start out a tiny bit ON TOPIC.  Below, is Thing 3 modeling her Thanksgiving dress—she loves the turkey. It is a bargain dress from a yard sale—I paid $1. It should be a hit when she wears it tomorrow.

However, I’m not naive or dumb enough to think that all of you will enjoy Thanksgiving. Frankly, Thanksgiving is not up there on my own personal “favorite days of the year” list. It involves long road trips with children. And mostly, the holiday entails sitting and eating all.day.long.

Not to mention, that some of us have relatives we like more than others. . .and some of us tend to feel a bit claustrophobic at large family gatherings with a combination of the ones we like. . and, well. . the ones we “love in the Lord”. .or “love because they’re family”. And we tend to seek out a quiet place, sometime through the day, to be alone for a few moments. Just being honest, here—KEEPING THINGS REAL. I know some of my readers will feel this way. . .and in all the cheery Thanksgiving wishes and posts, they’ll feel a bit sarcastic (if they’re like me) and as if no one actually understands how they really feel.

Thanksgiving is a reminder to some of you, of loved ones lost, loved ones whose company you loved and enjoyed, who you used to celebrate with—and these memories can cause great sorrow, remembering past Thanksgivings. Children are often torn between two or three or four families, due to separation and divorce.  Sometimes they have to choose which parent to spend the holiday with. That has to be so difficult, and hard, and sad.

What about going back to families where growing up was painful in other ways, due to growing up in a family filled with strife, violence, alcoholism. . or other awful things? The joking around the table often covers hearts that are still holding pain from the times when they were young and innocent and hurt. And now, they are forced to fill plates with turkey and smile ruefully across the table at people who failed to love them properly when they needed it most.

For some, Thanksgiving is a painful reminder of what they ARE NOT or DO NOT have, as family members thoughtlessly wound you, asking things like: “Haven’t you found a job YET?” or “Any new prospects in the dating realm?” or “Are you planning to start a family soon?” People forget that jobs and spouses and children and success are not always as easy to come by as they seem.

I pondered all of these things, and more this week. Then, it occurred to me, that if we choose personally to make Thanksgiving about giving thanks, we can find moments of true joy in the holiday, no matter what the circumstances. Giving thanks in what we do have. . .in the food on the over-filled plate in front of us, in health (if we have been so blessed), in our vehicles which transported us to these family gatherings, in the roofs that cover our heads each night, in the fact that we have the freedom to celebrate and give thanks.

And so, tomorrow I will give thanks for my husband . . .for my beautiful children (even as they test my patience during the 3 hour drive). . .for my God, who is still beside me and loving me, even when I don’t understand His ways. . .for all the gifts that I have and value and hold dear.

And, in closing, here is Thing 2, wearing with pride his Pilgrim hat from school.

For all of us, may tomorrow be a day filled with thanks!

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My daughter has 3 (yes, THREE) pair of UGGs. Two of these pairs are boots, one pair is shoes—they are all different, and they are all from yard sales! The two better pairs, Thing 3 (my daughter) only wears for special events, for a few hours at church, or for pictures.

The first pair is like new. They are UGG “Honey B” shoes, and retail for $40 on the UGG site. I purchased these for $1 at a yard sale.

The second pair is for PLAY, around the house. They are NOT in as good condition as the first pair, but are still soft and warm. Thing 3 loves the comfortable feeling of these boots. They are the pink “Erin” boots that retail for $50 online. I got these free at a yard sale—the lady who was selling them just threw them into the bag with a few other items I was purchasing as a bonus!

Finally, the third pair is the pair Thing 3 wears with a lot of her fall and winter outfits when going out. These are the more neutral chestnut-colored “Boo” boots, retail $60 online. I paid a bit more for these than I would for most things at yard sales, but they were like new (when I bought them) in the original box—I paid $15.

Once, an older lady who did not know me well commented (when she saw Thing 3 wearing her UGG boots) that she could not believe that as a parent I would spend/waste so much money on a clothing item for a baby. Little did she know how very LITTLE I paid. Side lesson: Never judge!

As a bonus, after Thing 3 is done wearing all these UGGS this year , I plan to resell them on Ebay where I will make a huge profit—I will get close to retail for the nicer pairs. I will probably get $20 on Ebay for the more worn pink pair, as well. UGGs have great resale value online, even used ones. So, if you like UGGS for your children, watch for them at YARD SALES!

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One of the questions I get asked most often is where I find yard sales and how I plan my weekly yard sale routes.

I start find yard sales/planning my yard sale route on Friday morning. If you want to get to the most yard sales, and do it intentionally (to find the best bargains), you can not just drive around and hope to see yard sale signs, or pick up a newspaper on Saturday morning. You will waste a lot of time that way!

There are a number of websites people use to find yard sales, but I have found it best to stick to a very simple system:

1. I look in our local newspaper on Friday morning. I never actually purchase the (paper copy) newspaper; I go to the newspaper’s website. You know what your most-read local paper is–some areas may have two or three popular local papers. Find their websites, go to the classified section, and look under “garage/yard/rummage sales”.  If, for some reason, you cannot gain online access to these advertisements, you will have to purchase a hard-copy paper.

2. I look on Craigslist. Often, people do not want to pay for a newspaper advertisement, but will post a yard sale on Craigslist because it is free. Go to your local area/city. There is a garage sale section (under the “for sale” section). I am in a larger area, so I narrow my choices by searching. I first search for the terms “neighborhood”, “community”, and “development”. Sometimes I search for “multi-family”. Then, I narrow those selections by area/location. I also search using the name of my town and nearby towns.

Next, I copy and paste the ads of interest to a Word document. I then sort them further. I will discuss in more detail in the next “informative” post what types of yard sales I prefer, and how I sort them.

Finding the best yard sales, I have found, is as easy as searching your local newspaper ads and Craigslist.

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I have a new header on my blog! And, it fits my theme!

This is not a typical “yard sale related” post. Tomorrow, I hope to post about how to find the best yard sales, in order to plan a great yard sale route. Today, I will digress. . .I promise I will mostly stick to my theme, but every so often, I am sure I will post something a bit off-topic.

When I started this blog, I knew that I liked to write. I knew that lots of my friends have asked me about how I find such good deals at yard sales, and I knew that I could (hopefully) help them out with this blog.

However, I am fairly new to WordPress, though I have dabbled in it a bit before, and I am NOT creative or artistic in ANY way when it comes to designing things. In fact, I am not even a crafty person. Example: Pinterest depresses me, somewhat, because I know I will never be THAT creative–ever.

I knew that unless there was some type of “design a blog header for dummies” option, I wouldn’t be able to do this. So, I chose a  WordPress theme with a rather picturesque header of a bridge over water—which was peaceful looking, but completely unrelated to my theme.

Last week, I somewhat desperately asked (on Facebook) for someone to guide me through creating an appropriate header. To be honest, my expectations were low. I didn’t think anyone would respond.

But, to make a long story short (I know people don’t have long attention spans when reading blog posts), someone offered to not only help me, but design my header for me. . .and gave me detailed instructions on inserting it into the proper place in WordPress.

So, you know who you are. . .Thank you again!!! And, I hope this week that somehow, in my own way, I can also do something meaningful for someone. Because, in the larger picture, NONE of us really know what may be going on in another person’s heart and life, and how much one kind act might mean.

Have a great Monday!

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Decorating with yard sale items is actually fun! We bought a house last year in this (expensive suburban) area (those of you who live here will totally “get” the expensive part).  It was a great deal— FOUR bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms,  a basement (FINALLY, no more toys everywhere!), and a family room where we could put a pellet stove to save on heat.

However, it was very ugly inside. For some reason, the previous owners painted the interior with some odd colors. Our first step was to repaint most of the house. For those of you who are bargain-minded, I found much of the paint at Lowes (“oops” paint that was returned) for $5 a gallon! Of course, that wasn’t enough to cover the whole interior, so we did end up buying additional paint to finish.

Here are two “before” pictures of the living room:

So, after painting the living room, we decorated and furnished it MOSTLY with all YARD SALE items. Some items were from Freecycle and Craigslist. Let me take you on a tour, and tell you what I paid for my yard sale decorations and furnishings in our living room.

Below is our “new” sofa. This is part of a 2 piece set. We got this on Freecycle. It is a “This End Up” sturdy wooden sofa (retail $620). We paid NOTHING for the sofa and loveseat set. The cushions were ratty, so we bought new cushions on Craigslist for $40. Total spent on sofa/loveseat–$40.

Throw pillows were free. CURTAINS on window were $5 from a yard sale–still in the package. They were BRAND NEW, and the retail price on the package was $150.

Mirrow on the wall in picture above and below was $5.00. It is nice and solid and of beautiful quality. Chair in picture above was $1.00 from a yard sale (but we have since moved it upstairs–we bring it downstairs for extra seating when company comes). Magazine rack/end table in picture below was $5.00 at a yard sale.

In the corner of our living room, we have a beautiful floor lamp, that came with 2 brand new shades. This lamp was $11 at a yard sale. I looked it up online, and it is a $200 floor lamp when bought brand new!

This sofa on the opposite wall coordinates nicely, and was FREE from Craigslist (it is a sleeper sofa, that pulls out to a double bed!). I bought the white crocheted throw pillows for $3 (total) at a yard sale.

This artwork on one of the walls was $2.00 at a yard sale. My husband found this, and we both loved it. It is a beautifully framed picture of Savannah, Georgia.

On the far wall, sits our matching This End Up loveseat from Freecycle. The pillows were $.50 total at a yard sale! We have had the beach painting since we first got married, but the mirrors on either side were $1.50 each from a yard sale. Beside the love seat sits an authentic LANE Cedar Chest from 1949 with the original paperwork still inside–yard sale price $10!

Finally, we have our coat rack in the corner. Although we do have a coat closet, the coat rack is easy for the children (and us) to access for everyday use.  We paid $5 for the coat rack, $3 for the little decoration with the mirror, and $5 (total) for the authentic framed Hawaiian prints on either side–all from yard sales!

Thank you for visiting our living room–almost entirely decorated with yard sale items! I hope to share the other rooms in our house with you, and my other great yard/garage sale finds; as well as tips on how YOU can find such great bargains.

Do you have rooms you decorated with yard sale items? Feel free to leave a comment below to share.


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