Your Best Spring Cleaning Tip: Garage Sales

Garage sales.  As the old saying goes, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” And what’s a better way to purge the no longer used items and make some quick cash than holding a garage sale?  Let’s talk about maximizing your sale to make the most money!Here are some great tips:

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Advertise and they will come
Simple enough, right?  This part does require pre-planning.  Start placing signs around the local area around a week from the sale.  Make sure that you are legally placing them and you remove them when the sale is over.  In our social media world, there are plenty of neighborhood and groups in your local area that will help draw in the crowds by posting the details of your sale.  Talk about it with neighbors and friends and ask them to spread the word!  They may know somebody who is looking for exactly what you are selling.  Don’t forget to be specific about what will be included in your sale!  Nursery furniture, baby swing, infant clothes, and home furniture sets (all in good condition) are a big plus!

Make it an event
If you live in a neighborhood or community, draw interest to see others want to participate.  The more people involved will drive more traffic to your sale, too.  Get the kids to help by setting up their own table to make their own money!  They can sell toys no longer used or even sell doughnuts or lemonade.

Big ticket items near the curb
price tagDo you ever wonder exactly what people are looking for when they slowly drive past your sale?  Give them eye candy by placing items closer to the road that will lure them in.  An electric saw, lawnmower, or baby crib are great items to get people out of their car and see what else you have!  Think about organizing to mimic how you would see it in a store and creatively display everything!  You may want to create a reading nook with that LazyBoy chair and end table that you have been chomping at the bits to get rid of and pairing it with crates of $1 books.  Set up pack-and-plays and strollers for parents-to-be to test out. It makes for an easier sale!

Be open to negotiation
moneyMany people will agree that the trickiest part to holding a sale is pricing.  Here is my rule-of-thumb: Price fairly on low-ticket items (approximately ⅓ of what you originally paid) but mark big ticket items just a little higher.  Buyers tend to negotiate on those to feel like they walked away with a deal.  It gives you a little wiggle room to work with in case they do.  But also be willing to accept other offers.  After all, your goal is to rid of as many things as you can!  Make a list of the things that you don’t want to take below a certain amount but everything else is negotiable.

Have on hand…..
You want to be prepared for the unknown to keep from scrambling.  The most useful items are plenty of coins and small bills (especially $1’s), a calculator, several pens, a notepad (for documenting items and sell price), extra price tags, an apron (for holding the money), a radio for background music, and cell phone (you never know).
Be sure to have a friendly demeanor to everybody who walk up to check out your stash!  Greet and say hello.  If you aren’t busy, be sure tell everybody thank you for coming by (even if they didn’t buy anything!).  Who knows?  They may return to buy the one thing they saw and can’t live without!

Give it away
When the sale is over, call a local charity that will accept your unsold items.  Many of these will come pick up your donations to sell for their cause.  Make sure that the charity is legit and be sure to grab documents for a tax deduction!

For more home and community tips, follow my blog at https://erinnewmanfinehomes.wordpress.com!
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Daydreaming of a Vacation?

Planning the Best Summer Vacation Ever

It’s only early spring but there are plenty of reasons why you should already be thinking of summer.  If you are like lots of families, the beach is what you think of when you plan your getaway.  But there are lots of other places that get people out, too!  Here are some of the best tips to plan a trip to remember.

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Be an Information Gatherer

Think about what kind of vacation you want.  Touring a new city?  A relaxing beach trip?  A weekend at the lake?  Maybe two weeks on a cruise in Europe?

Whatever your way to un-wind is, start gathering information with reviews and suggestions from friends and family.  Social media is a great place to start!   After all, people you know will give you their most valuable (and honest) opinion.  If you want a family-friendly beach, make sure there are plenty of activities for those rainy days (ie: movie theatres, indoor putt-putt courses, outlet shopping).  If you’re thinking of exploring a new city, where are the best hotels and restaurants?   You get the gist.  It’s all about doing your homework before arriving into town.

Book Early

The best places to stay book up early.  It’s just a fact.  Check out VRBO for renting condos and homes during your stay if you want more than a hotel room.  Even if you don’t book early, you may be able to find great deals for owners who want to rent out their space for weeks that aren’t booked.  If your trip will require flying, check out sites like Skyscanner which will keep tabs and alert you on the cheapest fares.  Make reservations at hot restaurants that tend to book up during peak seasons.  A little planning will go a long way on the wallet and your time!

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Join the Party

Many families use vacations as time to be together.  But if you’re up for it, consider inviting along another family (or couple) that enjoys the same activities.  This will not only help with defraying expense by splitting the cost of renting a beach house but you can rotate cooking meals.  If you’re traveling with kids, you can also trade off babysitting with date nights.  The more, the merrier!

Make It Educational

Even if your beach trip was designed for relaxation, explore the local area with a tour with a lighthouse or visit a Civil War fort.  Even a ghost tour will give you a little history of a time long gone.  For kids, there is nothing more valuable than seeing places that they have read in their school textbooks.  Don’t forget to take pictures of them to share with their class in the fall!

Do Something Memorable

One of the best parts of traveling is doing something that you don’t usually do.  Maybe parasail or take dinner cruise to look for dolphins.  This can even be eating food that is beyond your comfort zone (fried octopus, anyone?).  Even if you are staying right here in the U.S. ( or your own state), it doesn’t mean that you can’t explore different tastes or experiences.