family

Garage sale kid’s project

There’s something about a Garage sale that gets kids excited. Unless of course they are being dragged to one for shopping purposes. My kids ask for a garage sale most years actually. I think they figure it is a get rich quick idea. In reality it’s often a lot of hard work. But here is what happened when my guys held a garage sale.

I have never been a fan of garage sales. From the time we had our first sale back in the 80s I developed an extreme distaste for these seasonal events which we, as a family who lived very close to the poverty line, heldĀ far too often. From the time I was a tween, we would hold a garage sale a season. I can still recall the sickening sinking feeling I would have every year when we trotted our old stuff – knick knacks and broken toys, old clothing – to a table near the curb outside our apartment building and sat there as people pawed through our old items and left muttering “nothing but junk.”

It always ended up being a whole lot of work for little or no money and it always left me feeling sad for my mother every time someone rifled through her once treasured belongings and declared them useless.

Many years later, my husband and I held a garage sale when we moved to London shortly after our wedding. That Saturday morning it poured and I think we made about $40. That event did little to change my mind.

So when my two darling daughters began asking a couple of years ago if they could have a garage sale I was firm and unwavering. Now way. Too much work Too little money. Fast forward eight or more birthdays. Add four more Christmases (read 85,000 more Polly Pocket and Lego bits about the house) and I finally broke down.

About three weeks ago I decided it was time the girls were an age, five and seven, where they could actually put some creative spins on the idea of garage sale. So three weeks ago we started collecting old toys and old boxes and we turned our house on its ear, deciding this sale would be a fun family project.

First we gathered the items, then my daughters began painting the boxes to put books and toys in. They painted small figurines to sell and they baked cupcakes, they mixed lemonade and set up the stand and then they fashioned very elaborate neon signs for our neighbourhood. Last weekend the sun shone bright the entire day and we trotted some of our children’s memorabilia and baby toys to the driveway.

The garage sale grannies started arriving before we even had the lemonade mixed. Picture an adorable seven-year-old walking up and down the area in front of our home hollering like a circus barker: “lemonade for sale.” The girls even chose a charity to give half the profits to. It was a great and fun family project and in the end we put our own family spin on garage sales.

Garage Sale with Kids

Now I am not about to host a garage sale once a year or anything. But I will consider hosting one with help from the kids next time they ask. We cleared some items away and made some money. And more importantly the kids had a lot of fun doing it.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.