Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yard Sale Checklist

Since having a booth at Rockin' B Antiques, I am apt to purchase a little more at yard sales than I might have in the past.  I have realized that I need to become more organized in my yard sale expeditions.    After making a few easy changes, it's clear that most of these improvements would have been nice even when I was shopping just for myself.

My determination to become more organized began on a thrifting trip when I kept thinking of things I wish I had brought along.  On that trip I bought several things that were fragile and I had a hard time keeping them safe.  At one point I needed a tape measure.  I got hungry because I was gone longer than expected. My phone died.

On the next trip I remembered to pack those things, plus pen and paper.  I used the pen and paper to jot down everything I could think of that would be useful to have or do.  I'm sure I'll come up with a few more things as time goes by, but so far, here's my list:

Things I Need to Do in Advance -
  • Have my phone charged.  I might need to call my dear hubby to bring the truck and pick up something really big.  I keep hoping that will happen.  We need a couple of larger pieces for the booth.
  • Get Cash - plenty of small bills and change
  • Put gas in the car.  Fill 'er up!
  • Have a list of yard sales that look promising.  Early in the week, I check listings for estate sales.  An estate sale has to be close by and look really good. They aren't my favorite way to thrift.  Their prices tend to be higher than yard sales and they are crowded if you go on the first day. On Thursdays, I usually look online for garage and yard sales.  I look on Craigslist and on the local papers online listings.  I copy and paste the ones that look promising.  My list is my guide for which direction to head.  I don't always adhere to the list.  Last weekend, it took hours before I got to the first one on my list because I passed some wonderful ones on the way and of course I had to stop!  Not only do I have a list of sales, but I also map out how to get to them.
Things To Have in the Car -
The things I take with me in the car don't take up much room.  The boxes are the largest things and if need be, they could always be tossed to make room for a large item. 
  • Phone 
  • Cash
  • My list
  • Pen and Paper with clipboard - I like to write down what I bought and how much I paid as I go.  That's mostly to help me with pricing for my booth.  I can also jot down notes (such as things to add to this list!)
  • Map - even though I have a map to the sales on my list, it's easy to get hopelessly lost in a large, maze-like neighborhood that I may have stopped by on the way - I'm thinking a GPS might be a handy thing to have.
  • Water and snacks - it needs to be something easily portable and not messy.  Apples and bananas are my top two choices.
  • Damp washcloth in baggie -   On a few of the hot summer outings lately, I have gotten so sweaty glistened  so badly that I needed something to wash up with.  Even as it gets cooler, I'll continue to take it with me for those times I might pick up something that is sticky or dusty.  Baby wipes would also work.
  • Measuring tape - very helpful to see if a large item will fit in my car
  • Screw driver, pliers - It could come in handy for taking something apart
  • Camera - who knows what photo op I may come across

  • Boxes for containing small items - I prefer 3 or 4 boxes that fit inside of each other.  

  • Tote bags, towel bags, sacks, and plastic bags are very useful, not only for holding items, but also for packing breakable items.  I have a few sacks I've sewn myself from old towels.  Those are great for holding and cushioning breakables.  The bags take up less room than the boxes. If you have a small vehicle, you could take only these and leave skip the boxes.
  • Bungee - I haven't needed this lately, but it could help to hold something in place

  • Booth price kit - I have packed an old makeup bag with extra price tags, string and tape. Many of my yard sale purchases go home with me for a clean up or fix up (or to keep). But, there are plenty of items that I buy that are clean and in great condition - like the beautiful wicker table that I was afraid to bring home for fear one of my cats would use it as a scratching post.  They can go straight to the booth.

More Posts about Yard Sale Shopping:
Yard Sale Shopping Tips  - great post from The Yard Sale Queen
How to Prepare for a Day of Thrifting - from Apron Thrift Girl

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