Tuesday, September 02, 2014

From Yard Sale to iPad Mini

Back in May, we had a yard sale.

In fact our entire community had a marketplace event where businesses had sidewalk sales and residents could register their own yard sales.

The city promoted it and provided maps listing each yard sale.

I planned months ahead of time to possibly maybe participate in the event.

But I didn’t want the pressure of HAVING to do the yard sale in case I didn’t get my act together and actually dig out and organize all the stuff we wanted to sell.

So I didn’t register with the city.

As the days got closer to the sale, we decided to motivate the girls by saying that if we made enough money, we’d buy an iPad Mini for the family.

That put McDaniel and Ellie into HIGH GEAR!!

So much so that I found myself saying things like,

You can’t get rid of Bali! 
You’ve had her since you were 3!”

#big ballerina doll
Bali is a ballerina doll that you could slip over
your feet to dance with.

ballerina doll #lifesizeballerinadoll
She used to scare the holy heck out of Monte. 
There were just too many memories attached to her. 

McDaniel liked to “watch” TV with Bali and sometimes she just stayed all night on the couch, 
legs crossed, arm propped up on the side of the sofa. 

Monte would come downstairs for breakfast 
and stop dead in his tracks every time 
thinking someone was in the house.

And sitting on our couch.

In a sparkly ballerina outfit.

Sometimes we’d just hang Bali up on a hook in McDaniel’s playroom. She had a handy loop at the base of her neck for just such a purpose.

But when you’d walk into the room, with her big ol’ head slouched over and her legs dangling…

well, it was worthy of a gasp. 


So Bali got pushed into the attic closet. Which is where McDaniel pulled her from and shoved her into a bin marked, “Everything’s $2.00!”

Didn’t seem like enough for a bigger than life doll with such startling capabilities.

Luckily, she didn’t sell!

But now I can’t remember if she went back into the attic closet 
or if Monte won and donated her to Goodwill.

Apparently, it meant a great deal to me since I can’t remember.

Then Ellie pulled out this to sell.

“Not Prayer Bear!"

Prayer Bear
It’s a prayer bear made by a lady down the street.
There are scripture cards in the front pocket.
The lady down the street gave this to Ellie when she was little along with a bag of costume jewelry to play dress up with.
close up of prayer bear wearing dangling earrings
Ellie made the prayer bear fancy.

Ellie started right away with dressing up Prayer Bear. See the cross necklace and dangle earrings?

I knew right then that Ellie had her very own sense of style.

Just like I did with McDaniel when I found all her stuffed frogs 
on her bed staring back at me wearing fake mustaches.

When Ellie saw my resistance, she quickly agreed and kept the bear.

I know, I KNOW! I wasn’t helping!

The day before the event, I went to a website to get some advice on pricing and displaying our items for the sale.

I got some great tips!

Like putting all our American Girl Doll clothes by outfit into ziploc bags and pricing them per bag. I did that for all our Build-A-Bear clothes too.
(Which we had a surprising amount of, to Monte’s dismay.)

Another tip was to group like items such as stuffed animals into a bin with one sign that says:

“Everything $1.00”.

a bin of stuffed animal frogs
McDaniel had a thing for frogs.
With or without mustaches.

frog coin purse

We also got the tip to put a FREE bin right by the street to draw people in. I put the ugly pillows from our sectional in the basement that were still in great shape but just too firm and unattractive for my taste. I also put random little toys and some home decor that I would’ve donated anyway.

The girls made a big pitcher of lemonade to offer our customers. Unbeknown to us, the girls slipped out a “TIP” jar and they raked in the cash!

The day started out chilly and overcast with a few scattered sprinkles.

We put out little signs at the end of our street and block and we had customers before we were finished setting out all our stuff.

wordy yard sale sign
McDaniel got a little wordy with her signs.

long-winded yard sale sign
My sign said:  YARD SALE with an arrow pointing to our house.

Our first patron was a well-dressed guy in a nice car who bought a bunch of the American Girl doll clothes and the cigar box purse that I took to the Kentucky Derby over 10 years ago. He also pointed to the book page wreath I made and asked,

“What is it?”


We never went more than 15 minutes without a customer for 6 straight hours.

And when we did,

Monte made the girls pretend to be customers, picking through our stuff to entice others driving by to stop in

because that stuff must be good!

2 girls shopping at a yard sale
The girls pretend perusing.

2 girls looking at an item at a yard sale
We sold that trampoline chair for a friend. Ellie
really wanted to buy it. But what is the point of
clearing out if they want to drag stuff back in?!

At the end of a very long day, we had enough money to mostly buy an iPad mini!

An iPad Mini

An iPad Mini on a table

The best part is that the girls don’t fight over the computer anymore for homework.

The only con is that now Monte plays soccer every night after work 
and does a lot of nodding 
and fake conversation responding 
while playing.

Hey, wait! 

Maybe I need him to teach me how to play now that college football has started…!


  1. Oh yard sales are so much work and so much fun all wrapped up together! EVERY time we have one I am so exhausted by the end that I say never again. Until the next one... It's so hard to get rid of things that have memories attached. I am trying to be better and have managed to rid ourselves of quite a bit of "stuff" over the past couple years. Our daughter and son in law have an i-pad and love it. I have a cheaper knock-off version. Maybe it's time for another yard sale! Good to see you back here : )

  2. I loved this post, Karmen! I'm too sentimental for my own good when it comes to the children's things but I can part with just about anything else with no problem. That's awesome that you made enough for the mini! You have me thinking now :)

  3. I have never had a yard sale. I have been to them but never thrown one. We tend to just give the good stuff away and the other stuff goes to goodwill. I am terrible when it comes to knowing what to charge for things. That is awesome though that you were able to make enough for something fun and it cleared out the house a bit!

  4. We use to have yard sales a lot when my kids were young...and each one had a great story. Thanks for sharing yours on the Thursday Blog hop!


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