Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Stuff. — Lessons Learned from a Failed Yard Sale.

on August 9, 2013

I’m not really a good yard sale person. I like the yard sale. There are some great finds and good deals.  I think I like the idea of being a yard sale person. But I’m probably really more of a poser when it comes to the sales that take place in the yards.

I do get up early on Saturdays, so it is not about the sleeping-in-late thing. No, truth is: I just don’t feel a lot of motivation, nor do I have the time,  to get up and into my car and drive around to look at other folk’s … stuff.

Because. I have enough … stuff … of my own.

Even too much …  stuff.

Which is why we decided to have a, very uncharacteristic, yard sale of our own.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t do too much to prepare for this event. I went through closets and drawers and pulled out things that haven’t been worn or used in the past two years, or maybe four years. Alright, some things might have been more like 8 years.

It didn’t turn out the way we planned or expected. Good thing it turned out to be ok in the end.

We put up a couple of signs. And carried the goods down to our living room the night before.

And then.

It rained. I mean, poured rained. Thunder and lightning rained.

And my living room was full of … stuff.  And this … stuff  … stayed in my living room for a whole week. A Week. Seven days.

You know how I feel about clutter. And if you don’t, you should catch up and read that blog link there. Catch up.

To summarize: clutter makes me a little crazy.

But, I survived.

And the next week, we moved the … stuff… out to the driveway early on Saturday morning.

We had exactly six people stop by our yard sale. Six.

But I learned a few things along the way that I thought I might share with you.

Because that’s what I do here on MommyVerbs. I share. You are welcome.

So…here we go…Lessons Learned from a Failed Yard Sale.

1. Check the weather before you decide to hold a yard sale. Or. Check the weather before you drag a ton of … stuff… down to clutter up your living room for a whole week.


The stuff. The stuff that lived in my living room. For a week.

2. When carrying boxes out to the driveway, check to be sure there are not heavy objects piled between the piles of sheets. Things might slide out and land on your little toe. Heavy things. Heavy things that you are pretty sure break little toe bones.

This happened.


Ok. I’m not sure it was really broken, but it was bleeding. It did hurt so bad that I thought I might throw up and I’m not sissy like that. On the plus side, I got out of carrying the rest of the…stuff…outside.

3. When your kids decide to ‘build’ a lemonade stand, the neighborhood kids will come. And when the neighborhood kids come over, you may very well be kidsitting all of the neighborhood kids for free for many, many hours. (Good thing I really like these neighborhood kids. Good thing they are good kids, too.)


I really do love these neighborhood kids. They are good kids. But I’m watching them. Like Roz on Monsters, Inc. Always watching. Because one day, they are all going to be 15 and trouble. Together.

4. When your kids decide to ‘build’ a lemonade stand, they may make more money than the whole yard sale. Because they are cute. Yes, but that’s not why. It’s because they are ruthless, ruthless salespeople who nag and cajole and guilt people brilliantly into giving them money for lousy, sour lemonade that has been sitting out for too long. Brilliant.


They made over $30 bucks at this little lemonade stand. Afterwards, I had to sit X and Y down and talk the biz with them. They had high labor costs due to the before mentioned multitude of neighborhood kids. They’ll need to work on that for next time.

5. Have alternate activities available for the times when no one is coming to your fail of a yard sale, to keep the multitude of neighborhood, profit-drinking kids occupied appropriately.

I'm serious. How can I make some money off of this Connect Four Savant of a kid?! Hit me up with your ideas!

I’m serious. How can I make some money off of this Connect Four Savant of a kid?! Hit me up with your ideas!

6. Most important lesson…We did sell a few things. But not really from the sale happening in the yard. Nope, we started taking pictures of some of the big ticket items and posted these on facebook. Then people called or texted or messaged and bought those items that were for sale. If only there were a market like that…some place where you could take a picture of an item, write up a little description of it, then post it online with a price for others to view and buy.  Hmmmm…I may be on to something here. Maybe I’ll ditch this whole full-time working Momma and part-time health coach and blogger gig and start up something that can help other failed, poser yard sellers.  Hmmm….maybe I’ll call it something like … Mommy’sList. What do you think? Kinda catchy, huh?! Stay tuned on this one…

And one final lesson learned this day:

Don’t schedule your annual family portraits on the same day as your yard sale. You and your kids will be tired. They might be pills. Cute ones, with cute smiles, but still pillish.

The Mighty Z-Fam, wilting a little on the photo shoot walk.

The Mighty Z-Fam, wilting a little on the photo shoot walk. Picture courtesy of FiftyCentLove Photography-who is awesome and pretends…and somehow makes us believe that we are not only superheroes…but also supermodels. 🙂 


10 responses to “Stuff. — Lessons Learned from a Failed Yard Sale.

  1. Lead Our Lives says:

    Smiling… You have great stories! 😉

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Thanks! This one was fun to document. And because you were the first reader, I’ll totally cut you in on the MommysList idea…there are probably investment opportunities there. 🙂 Or maybe I should call it something like … oh, I don’t know… MomBay or something like that. Thoughts? 🙂

      • Lead Our Lives says:

        Kinda like mommyslist! A great way to localize the trading, selling or giving of gently used things no longer needed by the owners, yet needed by others…and let’s face it, moms are the ones who clean out the kid’s closets, toys, and other stuff! No cut needed! Launch away and be…successful! 😉

  2. janicedoty says:

    I understand completely about yard sales!! My house is at the bottom of a LONG driveway so no one ever shows up!
    I’ve started doing “online yard sales” via Facebook and that seems to be much more effective!

  3. I’ve held a few yard sales…epic failure (unless you count getting the front flower bed weeded that one time…) I have tons of baby stuff. I give up – it’s all going to a good home for free! Hubby delivered 5 bikes last week – it took him 6 hours to do it…but they’re gone…and I hope to get rid of more before the space they occupied (for far too long) gets filled again. Wish me luck!
    p.s. Word of advice…milk the toe…shh…;-)

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Hahaha about your flower bed weeding. Too funny. We actually did get a lot of things done while outside not selling things, too. I cleaned out my car and cleaned up the garage. At least that was time well spent!

  4. […] Stuff. – Lessons Learned from a Failed Yard Sale. ( […]

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