Create a wish list
The Fire Finance team maintains a list of items needed around their home.
"We keep a simple notebook and pen on our kitchen counter," they said in an online interview. "When we need something, we write it in this notebook."
Not every item on their wish list falls into the must-have/must-buy category. After a one-week cooling-off period, they evaluate each item based on need vs. want.
"We wait and see if we can really do without it," they said.
Get out the maps
After sorting through the weekly list of yard sales, the husband-and-wife team spends time mapping out the shortest route, with the help of Google, Yahoo! and AAA.com. This step saves time and gas, they say. They use the mileage estimate provided by the online trip-planning services to eliminate sales that are too far. (They will, however, travel 50 to 75 miles if a garage sale advertises a big-ticket item from their wish list.)
Pack your bags
The duo packs power tools, a rope, paper towels and a measuring tape. These items are used for disassembling, cleaning up, carting away or measuring purchases.
And you might want to pack food: Well-fed shoppers make smarter decisions.
This last Saturday I had my annual garage sale to get rid of everything I had previously bought at other garage sales or clothing and articles that the family deemed unwanted. I don’t hold them more often because of the work involved in getting ready for one. Washing clothes, making signs, dusting off that old antique couch that we were going to re-upholster one day -- it takes an effort to hold a successful garage sale.
I also don't have them more often because my husband would have a heart attack if I were to more frequently put him through the torture of seeing perfectly good clothing that my daughters decide they don’t want anymore.
It pains him to see these things being sold for pennies on the dollar that we originally paid for. He relives with each sale the fact that at the time life couldn’t go on for my daughters if they didn’t have that new blouse or purse.
Actually, my son did some torturing of his own this time around as he put some of his video games up for sale because he grew bored of them. It didn’t help the matter any that he went out later that evening and bought another game with the earnings from his sale.
We also sold a few bikes that were used a few times but mostly sat collecting dust in storage. It was an unsuccessful attempt at exercising as a family that lasted all of one week. I hope at least that the people who bought them will actually ride them.
(Not affliated with Garage Sale Professional)
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Celebrity rock couple Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, facing a new life as "empty nesters" with their children off on their own, are holding a $1 million garage sale to clean out some of their rather upscale clutter.
More than 600 lots of memorabilia, jewelry, costumes, paintings, and furniture from their Gothic-style house in Beverly Hills, their Malibu home and their British mansion in Buckinghamshire will be auctioned on November 30 and December 1.
The sale, to raise funds for the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Foundation, includes a gilded Buddha statue, a walnut parquetry inlaid games table, and the couple's Louis XVI-style master bedroom set.
But it also includes such items as a pair of Ozzy's trademark sunglasses, the all-terrain vehicle he was seriously injured while riding in 2003, his son Jack's black leather bed, and gowns worn by Sharon and their daughter, Kelly.
The two younger siblings launched their own showbiz careers from the MTV reality show about the family called "The Osbournes." The eldest daughter, Aimee, refused to take part.
Sharon Osbourne said it had taken her and Ozzy, who married 25 years ago and are listed as one of Britain's richest couples, nearly a lifetime to collect all of these items.
"Both Ozzy and I have very special memories of each and every item ... It is like giving up a part of us, and we hope each and every item finds a very special home," she said in a statement.
Ask Felix who had the best garage sale in town Saturday, and he would have pointed his tail at Kim Brown's house in The Lake subdivision.
The curious cat, who Brown admitted had used up seven of his nine lives, paced up and down the cool cement garage floor as he helped shoppers pick out clothes for their toddlers.
Coordinating the sale with her daughter Aimee Hamilton, Brown said early Saturday that sales had been brisk since the pair opened the garage door for business a mere 36 hours before.
"The pile was three times as high on Thursday," said Brown, pointing to the rows of clothes neatly arranged by size and gender on long tables. A family could walk in, outfit their youngster and be on their way in just a few minutes. "We have five kids in the family that are 8 years old and younger, so we have a lot of kids' clothes."
Brown, who has participated in the citywide garage sale for five of the last six years, recognizes many of her repeat customers.
"I didn't have a sale last year, and one woman came by and cried. She said I had been outfitting her children for the past few years," Brown reflected, as she ran her fingers down the spine of her black-and-white family cat.
Mary Bauercamper examined a pile of girls' clothing while her husband, Scott, held their baby daughter Emma against his shoulder.