Get Your Garage or Yard Sale Ready Now

The “official” start of summer — Memorial Day — is now less than two weeks away! Longtime bargain-shoppers and declutters alike, however, know summer by its other name: garage-sale season.

We at the Organizing Blog aren’t going to tell you not to spend a sunny summer day perusing other people’s castoffs. There are tons of deals to be had! Our favorite finds include vintage bicycles, quality furniture and outdoor equipment — all scored at a fraction of their retail or auction prices.

But you likely have a lot of items like this (not to mention plenty of garage-sale staples such as CDs, small appliances, games, tools, clothing and glassware) that you just don’t use anymore — or never did. Now’s the time to start setting those things aside for your own sale.

You should allow yourself triple the time you think it might take to get your garage, yard or tag sale ready, according to The Spruce’s Do’s and Don’ts or Planning a Yard Sale. And if you start now, you can kick off summer with a few extra bucks in your pocket, and still host a holiday cookout, too.

Start with a good decluttering. Go room by room and closet to closet, and pick out the things that you haven’t used lately or just never found a place in your space and routine. Chances are good that there are quite a few of them, and they could all use new homes.

Sort those extra goods into bags and boxes; you can price and tag most items as you box them to save time later. Bulk items such as records, CDs, DVDs and magazines can go into boxes marked with a per-piece price.

Expect garage-sale shoppers to haggle, but price your merchandise to move; as much as you loved whatever it was when you bought it, you want to get rid of it now. If there is a particular item you want to mark with a non-negotiable price, put the price and “Firm” on the tag.

“Don’t price your goods based on sentiment,” The Spruce says. “The customers don’t care about your memories, and they’re certainly not willing to pay more to purchase them. If something is that valuable to you, maybe you should keep it.”

Move those boxes to the garage (or other staging area) as you fill them. Pick a day or two (and a firm time) to stage a sale, and start promoting it with advertising and signage. When the sale day arrives, you’ll be ready to put everything on display.

Contact to pick up the leftovers and anything else you might wish to donate after the sale ends. Most areas have pickups throughout the week, meaning that you can put the extras back into boxes and place the boxes on the porch.

Start now, and you’ll have extra money in your pockets and less clutter in your home!

Celebrate Earth Day the Ecofriendly Way

April 22 is Earth Day 2018! And while it is a challenge for every person to limit his or her environmental impact, there are plenty of ways you can help protect the earth this week and long into the future.

The Earth Day Network is concentrating on ending plastic pollution this year. Being petroleum products, plastics not only release greenhouse gases during manufacture, they also leach phthalates and other chemicals that are harmful to human health into the environment in use and after disposal.

The Earth Day Network asks individuals to calculate their plastic usage and participate in events that encourage people to reduce the use of plastics; refuse to use common items such as plastic straws, grocery bags and flatware; and reuse whatever plastic items they can.

When disposal of plastic is unavoidable and a sufficient waste-management or recycling program isn’t available, the network says, local citizens should get involved by launching community-led disposal initiatives and recycling businesses.

Every Earth Day, there are also plenty of opportunities to clean up local parks and shorelines, plant trees and protect wildlife habitats, and otherwise celebrate and protect nature. Simply search online for “Earth Day events near me” to pitch in.

Parents and teachers can get kids involved in Earth Day with special lesson plans, litter pickup and more. The Green Education Foundation suggests activities such as building a compost bin, fixing leaks and planting a garden for kids of all ages.

Looking for another way to keep the planet clean? Donate the lightly used clothing, housewares and plastic goods you no longer need to When you arrange a pickup, the items get resold and reused — keeping more junk out of landfills while helping fund veterans’ programs.

Whether you choose to celebrate Earth Day by turning off the lights, carpooling to work, cleaning out your closets or all of the above, your decision will contribute to the planet’s health. And every little bit helps!

Donations Should Be Somebody’s Treasure

One person’s trash is another’s treasure, as the saying goes—unless it’s just trash. When preparing charitable donations, “make sure what you donate is only clutter to you,” says Home Storage Solutions. “It defeats the purpose when we make a charity pay money to haul away our trash for us.” Turn ripped, torn and stained clothing into rags, and leave those damaged, broken and nonfunctioning appliances at the curb.

Fight the Chaos of Home Renovations!

While we’ve talked about summer being a great time to clean out closets, host garage sales, move, and even take some relaxing (and a bit stressful) vacations, there is one other very common activity or project that takes place in the summer: home renovations and remodeling. For many people, summer is a great time to take advantage of the good weather and make that much needed addition to your home, redo the flooring in your kitchen, or turn the garage into a dual purpose space for both vehicles and entertaining.

With remodeling, though, comes chaos and a mess. After you just spent hours—maybe even days—on spring cleaning, you’re inviting sawdust and messes to accumulate once again in your home. You may think that there’s no way to possibly avoid all of the mess that you’ll have once the remodel is over. While we can’t promise a pristine home, we do have a few tips to make your renovation experiences a little less stressful.

One suggestion we have is to take your renovation one room at a time. Some people like the idea of getting everything fixed up at once. However, doing that will not only lead to more stress and chaos, but it will also lead to a bigger mess and more displaced items.

Another idea is to keep similar items grouped and packed away together. For example, if you’re renovating the kitchen, have boxes or storage containers ready, and group all plates and bowls together in the box. This will make it easier to find things during the renovation, and it will also make it easier to move your items back into a room after the remodel is over.

And, of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you that if you find anything in preparation for the remodel that you no longer want or need, donate these items to us. If your possessions are small, simply put them in a box that’s clearly marked for donation. We’ll make sure they don’t take up space during your renovation, and they’ll find a place in a welcoming new home!