“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
We often think of that old adage in terms of business or work, but the same philosophy holds true when I plan out my yard sale and thrifting trips. (No, I don’t take this little hobby seriously or anything, do I? ;))
Many people ask me how I determine where to go yard sale-ing and how I plan my route. They don’t know where to start looking. With a little planning, you to can be on your way to becoming a “Professional Yard Saler.”
For years, I was very intentional with my planning in order to maximize my time. This isn’t “how” I yard sale, but what I do the day before to ensure success. Now, I am a little more relaxed in my approach because I vowed I would not buy any more furniture until I deal with the pieces awaiting painting in my attic. I’m yard sale-ing a bit more recreationally this season until I clear out my clutter.
Yard sale days vary greatly by region. Many states offer Thursday as the big yard sale day and they go all weekend. In the SE, they are primarily on Saturday mornings from 6:30-noon. When I first moved, that saddened me to no end, but now I am grateful because I’m not tempted to take longer than I am supposed to.
- Buy or Borrow a Newspaper – The day before your yard sale adventure, buy a paper and map out the route you want to take. (Yes, I admit that I get so excited from the thrill of anticipation to see which neighborhoods are featured.)Driving around looking for signs wastes time and money on gas. Also, this will help you browse for those hard to find big ticket items that are on your “Want” list. I am looking for a trampoline right now. Typically, I will not just happen upon one at a yard sale, but if I check the paper, it may be listed and I will make sure that I am at that yard sale first in the morning. Are you looking for furniture? Then browse the sales that list furniture or “whole house clean out” or something like that. In some highly populated areas, you may happen upon enough sales in a morning to make it worth your while, but if you have strategic things you are looking for, this is the way to go. I have many fine memories as a young mom with the paper and map laid out in front of me. Yes, it was one of the best ways I saved money back with many small children and I was going to rock the Family Manager role to the best of my ability. As you get to know every little back street in your area, you will begin to see that there is a pattern of where the best sales or neighborhood sales tend to occur. Some families hold annual sales and I score treasures every year. Either they have my decorating taste or where the same sized clothes as myself, my hubby or the children and you can be assured that I prioritize going every year. Kind of like one of my beloved traditions.
- Check Craig’s List – With the boom of the internet, more and more savvy people are adding their listings to Craig’s List, and yet it can be a bit overwhelming at first glance.
- Garage Sale Tracker – I often have people ask me to start a directory for all the thrift stores that I have gone too. Guess what? Someone else did that for me. I was recently introduced to this site, and I can’t wait for you to check it out. When I shared about my recent thrifting on vacation, what I didn’t state was that we went to about four other locations from the phone book only to have wasted our time in finding out they were closed. If I had known about Garage Sale Tracker, it would have been my first stop before wasting way so much time, gas and frustration. With Garage Sale Tracker, you can find flea markets, thrift stores, garage sales, yard sales in real time.
This site , along with their Iphone app, is something I wish I had invented. I see this site as being the “Go To” site for thrifters. Yes, I mourn the fact that I didn’t think of it first, but I am glad that someone made this a reality. If there weren’t ten other reasons why I “needed” an Iphone, this app has just put me over the top.
They let me know about their I-phone giveaway, for people like me (and if you already have an I-phone, no worries, it’s a $199 gift card to the Apple Store. How cool is that? 😉
Here’s what their site says, “Our official iPhone app is finally out — and we’ve been working hard to ensure the app is unlike anything you’ve ever used to find garage sales. We are even giving you a chance to win an iPhone just so you can use our app! Could we be any MORE helpful?
Go check out their giveaway, but also browse around and find your local consignment and thrift stores. I thought I knew ALL the ones in our area, but I was surprised to find two new ones.
Do you have any other ways that you seek out the best garage sales and thrifting excursions?
Thank you for all of these tips. I got a lot of good advice and plan to use it! Appreciate it!
Great tips! I love the garage sale tracker idea. That makes it much easier.
Thanx for these great tips, ’tis the season, isn’t it?
Thanks for the advice! I’ve been checking out Craigslist for the sales. I purchased some new Pottery Barn bedding at a sale. I’m now looking for bedside tables! Also, I’m a decor nut!
Hubby and I get up an hour before the farmers market opens on Saturday mornings and just drive around looking for yard sales. Might not be efficient, but its fun (sort of the thrill of the hunt) and gives up a chance to talk (we leave the kids at home with my Mom).
Thanks for the Garage sale tracker link!
Great tips! I agree about planning. I like to use a newspaper and a map so I can plan the most efficient route. Garage Sale Tracker is intriguing! Going to check it out…