March 29, 2010

The Joy of Garage Sales

As I was walking Jo-Jo (the doggie we're sitting for this week) around the neighborhood today, I could smell it in the air - the scent of unwanted items being cleaned and prepped for Garage Sale Season. 

I for one am awaiting this season impatiently, as this year I will have far more time to peruse these mini bazaars.  It's always interesting to see what your neighbors have amassed over the years.  When you think about it, garage sales give us a peek into their lives, too.  That deck of cards with the Eastern Airlines logo on them - why do they have them?  Where were they going, and was it for business or pleasure?  And, since it's Eastern Airlines, they've obviously had these cards for a looong time - why did they choose this year to finally get rid of them?  Do they need the money?  Did they run out of room?  Am I nosy for thinking these things?

My mom and dad in-law are having a sale of their own this year, and I'm helping out.  My sister's family had one last year that I did with them and we had a ton of things that we sold.  It was amazing, seeing all of the items that we managed to discover in our basement.  It felt really good to be rid of all that clutter, and surely we'd be good for at least a couple years before we'd have enough for another sale.   Au contraire!  I can't believe the pile we have set aside already!  Where does this stuff come from?!?

I'll tell you where it comes from - mainly, other sales and junk shops!  It's a cycle that can't be broken, I'm afraid.  Because like many garage sale-goers, I believe that there's nothing like that Holy Grail find.  You know what I mean - I think all of us that frequent garage sales or junque shops or antique stores think that we are going to uncover a long-hidden or forgotten Picasso sketch that someone's Aunt Mildred just happened to have stowed away in her attic trunk from her days as a barmaid in Europe - that Antiques Roadshow-type moment when the appraiser announces that the seemingly worthless trinket you've brought for inspection is worth $580,000.  But of course we'd never sell it - the sentimental value is priceless.  Yeah, RIGHT!

I don't plan on getting rich from my eagle eye, but I do love finding items from the not-so-distant-past that I would never find anywhere else, like an ugly vase that I could care less about, but that has an old Prange's or Kresge's price tag on it (yes, I'm weird).  Or greeting cards that can be repurposed.  Or old labels and stickers.

This garage sale season, I'll keep my eye out for things that you need too - what are YOU looking for?  :D


  1. I'm always on the look out for paper items. I bought some Christmas labels that found their way into several projects. Of course you got to be careful that you have enough of something to finish the project. Old record albums seem to be catching my eye alot lately too.

  2. Me too, Eric! I love it when I find old letters or labels! With ATCs, it's easy to have enough for a project. :D

    I picked up some old 45 rpm record sleeves a while back an used them in a card I made - they look so ancient now, don't they? Oops - I just dated myself. :D

  3. I'm getting soooo antsy for the garage sale season to begin in earnest! Lemme attem!

  4. I never know what I'm looking for, but I know it when I find it! haha!! seriously, whenever I try and look for specific things, I can never find them, so I just "look" for whatever is interesting-- when I shop that way, lots of stuff catches my attention.

  5. That's a great way to go 'saleing', Jennifer! I can't look for specific stuff either, and the same goes for antique stores and estate sales. Besides, the unexpected is what makes it so fun! :D