1) I have a proposal for those of you who are local, like to swim, and would potentially enjoy getting kicked in the head by about a thousand other women at 6:45 AM on a weekend morning (ooh, am I selling this, or what?): would anyone want to team up with me for the Seattle Danskin triathlon on August 15? I’ve done very little pool training and zero open water swimming this summer, so I’d like to change my participation from individual to relay so I have a fighting chance at actually enjoying the event. You’d take the 800 yard swim, I’d do the bike and run. If you’re interested, let me know!

2) If you were about to embark on the effort of cleaning out your house and getting rid of some random crap—from kid stuff to exercise equipment to a couple pieces of furniture—would you bother with a garage sale? Or just haul everything to a thrift store and donate it? I haven’t held a garage sale before and don’t know if it’s worth hanging around the house all day making change and watching people sneer at my dusty unused Ab Roller.

3) Are you guys watching Breaking Bad? I can’t shut up about Breaking Bad. We just finished season one and I’m completely obsessed. Breaking Bad!

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Kizz
13 years ago

I can’t speak to the garage sale thing but I can say that Breaking Bad only gets better from there. Your obsession will not abate. Walter White is…unreal!

Ris
Ris
13 years ago

Garage sales are kind of time consuming (getting everything sorted and priced, sitting around in the heat while people poke through your stuff, etc) so I’d recommend posting big items on Craigslist and donating the smaller stuff or trying to pair up with a couple other households or a church/community rummage sale.

Sande
Sande
13 years ago

You have inspired me to mentally commit to a tri next June. I am due to have this baby in December, and what better motivator to take off the baby weight! Sorry though, I don’t live by you, but wished I did because you rock.

samantha jo campen
13 years ago

I’d do Craig’s List for the furniture and kid’s stuff. Donate the smaller stuff. But we have a bumpin’ CL out here so if you don’t get much action from it, a garage sale might be the way to go. It really depends on the type of stuff you have and if you want the money or don’t mind the tax dediction from a donation.

crisi-tunity
13 years ago

Oh. Garage sale opinion. My in-laws just had an epic garage sale in May where they got rid of about 25 years’ worth of stuff. It was an absolutely enormous amount of work, and they ended up clearing about $1200 (yes, they had that much stuff). But I didn’t think it was worth it at all, because my m-i-l worked for about a month straight to manage it, and she enlisted me, my fiance, her husband, her other son, and a few others to do physical labor in the sun for 10 hours while rednecks came and gawked at their stuff and tried to wheedle her prices down.

And they still had two garage bays’ worth of stuff to haul off to be donated.

Me, I would’ve donated the whole batch and declared it on my tax return.

Jas
Jas
13 years ago

If garage sales in Seattle are anything like the ones in Michigan, here are my recommendations:

1. Only run it for one day, because that’s all that anyone will come to anyway.
2. The only clothes that consistently sell are kids clothes. Don’t bother putting your stuff or JB’s stuff out there – take it directly to the thrift store.
3. Furniture goes fast, but if someone asks you to “hold” a piece while they go get their bigger truck/brother/son/whatever, don’t do it without having the cash in hand because most likely you’ll never see them again.
4. If you’re actually going to have the sale in your garage, make sure any stuff you’re NOT selling (such as bikes, tools, etc) are covered up or clearly marked as not for sale, because otherwise that is all anyone will ask about (“I’ll give you ten cents for that air compressor and all the fittings. What do you mean it’s not for sale?!”)

A
A
13 years ago

If you can hold out until tax time for the money, I would donate. Less time and hassle than a garage sale or CL (fewer weirdos, too), and you can claim value higher than what you would sell it for, too. It makes a big impact on my tax balance.

cindy w
13 years ago

My mom used to do semi-annual garage sales, and she’d usually make a few hundred bucks each time. But I usually find it’s not worth the time & effort involved. I’d sell the big stuff online (craigslist, whatever) and donate the rest.

Oh, and I remember this from when I lived in Seattle: the Salvation Army will come to your house to pick up your stuff and haul it away. They even give you a handy receipt so you can write it off on next year’s taxes as a charitable donation.

Michelle
Michelle
13 years ago

I’m a lazy garage saler and made a lot more than expected – if you truly don’t care about making money and just want it gone with a side bonus of a financial reward, put it out, enjoy a nice day outside chatting with people, and list the rest on craigslist/freecycle. Taking it to a thrift shop is way too much work – loading, taking, marking – and most thrift shops won’t actually take a lot of the crap you have.

Lorraine
Lorraine
13 years ago

I’m doing the full Tri in August, otherwise I’d do your swim. But come anyway…there are rest places in the water every 20 yards or so. And if I can do this event, I guarantee you can do it, and rock it Linda! There are 3 of us doing it and you’re more than welcome to come hang with us!

Annabelle
Annabelle
13 years ago

1) I would totally swim for you but I’m not local and I’m 8 months pregnant.

2) Garage sale it if you’ve got a lot of good-condition kid stuff (toys, clothes, books) and retro or designer or very good shape furniture. Skip it if you’re really hoping to sell the extra kitchen utensils and glassware and that 20-year-old couch or the kid stuff is too character-centric or totally trashed. The tax deduction is usually worth way more than your time for a whole weekend of freedom.

Kristen
13 years ago

I’m in Seattle too – all the kid’s stuff (and probably everything) would more than likely be snatched up on CL within a few days (or hours)…especially if you’re flexible about the prices and whatnot. The downside is, of course, the CL flakes.

I’m constantly looking for used toys/outdoor stuff for my daughter on CL and am always grateful to find nice things for a decent price where the seller doesn’t appear to be a serial killer, or can at least keep it in check while I’m there inspecting the goods.

Jean
Jean
13 years ago

Garage sales – giant pain in ass. I’d sell valuable stuff on craigslist, and donate the rest for the tax deduction!

H
H
13 years ago

Oh, Breaking Bad is AWESOME! I’ve been watching since the first season and it is one of my all-time favorite shows (that plus The Shield and Damages had/have me on the edge of my seat every week – RIP The Shield). As one commenter said, it gets better and better. You’ll love the twists and turns.

I’d sell the big stuff on Craigslist and donate the rest. I’ve had multiple experiences with garage sales and they are not worth it. Take the tax credit and donate.

Gertie
13 years ago

Big ticket items are worth a little time to sell, but the rest of the stuff I’d either donate (like to Ronald McDonald House) or toss via freecycle.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
13 years ago

WE LOVE BREAKING BAD!! It is the best show ever (other than Six Feet Under in my opinion). We are obsessed with it. We have watched it from the very beginning, isn’t it just awesome?

We have never had a garage sale. We just bring our stuff to the take it or leave it at our town transfer station. The thing that sucks though it we have to pay to get rid of the stuff. That is why our house is full of crap.

Sheryl
Sheryl
13 years ago

I do not love the garage sale. I really just hate selling stuff, period.

I’d donate. If you’ve got a lot of kids stuff, I’d look for a shelter or an agency that assists families getting into housing. If not, Goodwill it.

Also, I’m in Portland, and Portlanders love the free pile. Don’t know about your ‘hood, but I’ve put stuff on the curb with a free sign and it’s gone really quickly. Or put it on the curb, and put it on Craigslist and pull your ad when the stuff is gone.

JennB
JennB
13 years ago

Wish I lived closer, I would totally swim for you. I hate running.

And, I love garage sales. Keep it fun, have the kids sell their stuff and keep the money, get your neighborhood involved. I organize one for my town (I live in a very small town) in August, and we had a great turn-out we got rid of a whole bunch of crap.

I’m doing it again this year, 8/21, if any one’s in Vermont.

Liz
Liz
13 years ago

I’d craigslist the shit out of that stuff and then donate whatever doesn’t sell.

I’m resisting Breaking Bad in the same way I’ve resisted every single other good show/book/whatever in the past ten years that I will eventually stumble upon, start loving, and then all pissed that no one ever told me about it.

AndreAnna
13 years ago

Look for local women’s shelters who could use the baby and household items. Donate the rest. Garage sale not worth the hassle.

Think about it: Say you make $400. Wouldn’t you pay that NOT to have to deal with old people annoying you all day?

Kristi
13 years ago

I just had a rather large ‘donate’ pile sitting in my spare room and decided to have a spur-of-the-moment garage sale (READ: NO PREPARATION!) from 9-1 on a Saturday. Didn’t even really price things (put in piles by price) or advertise (a couple of cardboard signs on the street). Really didn’t have that much stuff at all! Made a quick $250 and donated the rest. Totally worth it for the cash :-)

Summar
Summar
13 years ago

Totally vote for garage sale! I just sold tons of baby stuff and furniture, etc, and made a couple hundred bucks in a couple of hours. Whatever doesn’t sell, donate… lots of organizations pick up for free.

jenna mccarthy
13 years ago

Okay after my last two garage sales–one where the guy asked “does this work?” of a staple gun, and AFTER I said “sure does!” he proceeded to punch the thing into his palm, maybe to prove me wrong? and the other where I sold a lady a friend’s stuffed, talking Mother Goose, after putting batteries in it to prove that it too worked, CAME BACK THE NEXT DAY ASKING FOR HER FUCKING DOLLAR BACK because it had STOPPED working–I’m going to have to suggest the thrift store option.

And on a semi-related note, my husband operates the Santa Barbara triathlon, so if you’re in the area last week in August I am sure I can swing you an entry AND find you a relay partner (that’s not me, because MOTHERFUCKER the ocean is cold).

Ruminate.

Sara
Sara
13 years ago

Breaking Bad is filmed in Albuquerque where I live and I see them filming all the time around the University area and downtown.

And yes it only gets crazier…

kirida
13 years ago

I would say donate to Goodwill. They have a great pricing guide for their donations and it’s quick and easy. If you have big items like couches, exercise equipment, etc. do not donate it on the last day of the last weekend of the month. We tried to donate two couches there and were turned away because this one location had already accepted TWO HUNDRED pieces of furniture.

Also, my friend did the swimming portion of the Danksin a few years ago after she had a baby. She was worried because she had heard that there’s a woman who always finishes last in memory of her friend, so she didn’t want to be the jerk who ruined a tradition.

Pete
Pete
13 years ago

Garage sales suck. You can usually make more net money by donating the junk and taking a write off.

L
L
13 years ago

I live in Seattle & last time I moved (April 2010) I hauled a ton of stuff out to the curb w/a free sign. Then posted on Craigslist “free stuff on the corner of XX NE & XX Ave NE: printer, copier, desk, toys, clothes, vases etc” & THEY WILL COME.

I left the post on for about an hour, then removed it. I didn’t give my exact address either…might be good if you can sort of curb the stuff between your & your neighbors houses…like I did.

Everything will be gone in a matter of hours. Everything.

Melanie
Melanie
13 years ago

We did a ‘name your price’ sale this spring (I’ve never had a sale before and did NOT want to price crap). We sold random kids stuff, a couple of pieces of furniture, and a few kids’ clothes. Made just over $300. We did one day only and just advertised on Craig’s list and at work. Totally worth it!

Jennie
13 years ago

According to my husband, who is obsessed with Breaking Bad, the show gets even better. He sometimes walks out of the bedroom, shaking his head after watching an episode and says, “I just need a couple minutes to process all that.”

Sharon
Sharon
13 years ago

I am a HUGE fan of craigslist for things worth $$, and freecycle for anything not sellable but still worth owning. That way you never have to put it in your car or haul it anywhere. It’s a bit time-consuming to be always checking e-mails, but so worth it. In the last 3 days I’ve freecycled 2 old (working?) printers, 6 boxes of various teas leftover from my pregnancies, logo-imprinted wine glasses from a local festival, an old rug, and a kids’ letter floor mat (well used, with some pieces missing.) Dude, people take this stuff and use it! And it’s out of my house and not in a landfill.

The craigslist onslaught begins next week…

Julie
Julie
13 years ago

In my experience, garage sales are a lot of work for not a lot of payoff. I’d recommend what others have said: sell the big ticket items one at a time on Craigslist, give away anything that could be useful to friends or charity, and Goodwill/Salvation Army/Freecycle the rest.

jen
jen
13 years ago

We did a garage sale before we moved and well it was sort of a pain in the arse but in the end worth it (hello extra money…the change adds up fast). People bought such random crap. That being said, after the garage sale, we hauled a lot of it off for donation and kept a few of the larger items and listed them on Craigslist.

I would suggest, if you can wait, to coordinate your sale with a community wide sale weekend, assuming of course they do that sort of thing in your area. I think we would have had a much better turn out if we could have waited for that weekend.

Other things you can do would be freecycle or simply set it on the curb. Seriously, on the large pickup weekend our city would do, nearly all of it was gone before the garbage people even showed up.

Christina
13 years ago

We did a garage sale last summer and horrific waste of time for the most part.

I did do Craiglist for some items that I felt were worth more and that worked out great.

We took the baby/kids stuff to Once Upon A Child and got about four times the amt. we made in our garage sale.

We generally take everything else to Goodwill and take the tax right off.

Christina
13 years ago

err I meant to write off.. am tired.

Anne
13 years ago

For the garage sale I say it depends on the tenor of your neighborhood. I live smack in the middle of Chicago and people are CONSTANTLY having yard/street/corner sales of all of their stuff, and it seems to work well. But we have a ton of foot-trafic everywhere, so that really, really helps. If most people have to drive to you and you have to pay to advertise and such it might not really be worth it, unless you REALLY have a lot of stuff. So then I’d probably donate it all and just take the tax write-off.

jen
jen
13 years ago

Oh and also I didn’t stay open all day, just 8 – 12. And I set up huge boxes of $0.25 stuff to reduce the time spent marking everything. I really only marked larger items.

wm
wm
13 years ago

for question 2, I’d suggest freecycle.org. It will be gone very quickly, you don’t have to cart it anywhere, and you might meet a few people in your community.

CC
CC
13 years ago

Garage sale = work
It’s best if you have a friend that also has a lot of items to sell so that you are not overwhelmed by the amount of time it takes to price stuff and get tables and clothes lines set up for the sale. Then having people try to bargain with you over 50 cents is also a headache. Kind of stressful.
Having said all this I plan to have one in November (when it’s cool) and I know I will probably clear about $300 but since I don’t work I figure every buck helps. Anything not sold will go to Amvets or Gospel Rescue Mission.

jolie
13 years ago

Dude. My husband got me into Breaking Bad this past season (I don’t even know what season just finished. Three, maybe?) And it is Crazy. Is it worth it for me to go back to the previous seasons? I might look for it on Netflix.

elisssa
elisssa
13 years ago

I’ve done a garage for the last couple of years in the Broadview area with a girlfrend and usually 1-2 other people. It’s a LOT of work. It’s only worth it because it’s an opportunity to spend a couple of days with a good friend. We would also list big items on CL for during and after the sale. My hubby won’t let me use CL anymore due to that tragedy in the Seattle area earlier this year. I would definitely only do a GS if you can team up with someone. Otherwise donate it all and save the time!

ZestyJenny
13 years ago

Breaking Bad is so. Awesome.

I am just finishing up season two and I have to wait for my huspand to get home from a trip to watch the last episode. I watched the second to last episode last night and it was so shocking at the end, I actually uncontrolably said outloud, “Oh SHIT!”

So much goodness in store for you! :)

Kim
Kim
13 years ago

Garage sale, eh.
Breaking Bad – HOLY SHITBALLS, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE HOW MUCH BETTER IT’S GOING TO GET.
I’m actually in a mild depression knowing how far away Season 4 is from now.
Walt! Jesse! Crytal Meth!!!

Andrea
13 years ago

1. I would love to dog paddle for you in the tri, but I’m in Colorado and thus cannot.

2. I had all these great plans for a garage sale this summer, but it’s just not happening. I’m going to sell the larger items on Craigslist (table saw, coffee table) and just haul the rest of it to Goodwill.

3. My husband and I are convinced that Breaking Bad is THE best TV series ever. Ever ever. Well, maybe along with Mad Men….

Lena
13 years ago

Linda – you KNOW you can do the swim. You’ve trained yourself to run _26 miles_ (I can barely run ONE mile). I’d swim with you but my bff already asked me (and thankfully, I have a great excuse – I’ll be out of the country hahahahaha)

sam
sam
13 years ago

Just had a garage sale for the fiirst time and my advice: donate that motherfucking shit. Because 150$. Assholes.

Melissa
13 years ago

Garage sales are not worth it. I’ve done two, neither of which made piles of money AND i didn’t get rid of the shit. So now I’m all about CraigsList. People will take/buy ANYTHING. I’ve sold furniture, and given away an ethenol still, and other furniture. It’s a garage sale without any of the hassle. Just make sure the hubs is home when people come pick up stuff, I feel safer that way. Donate anything that doesn’t go, get a receipt and report it as charitable on your taxes if its worth it for ya.

victoria
victoria
13 years ago

I obsessively watch Breaking Bad on DVD and On Demand. I can’t believe how awesome it is.

Bruja
Bruja
13 years ago

Agreeing with everyone else. Put it out with a “FREE” sign, call a charity truck for the kid’s stuff and/or if there’s anything left after putting it on the curb.

birdgal (another amy)
birdgal (another amy)
13 years ago

LOVE Breaking Bad! I resisted it for awhile, just like I did with Dexter, but oh man I am totally engrossed now.

I gave up on having a yard sale–it was just too much work. I found a good consignment sale where I could get rid of my kid’s clothes each season (not to mention toys, books, and maternity wear) and have been Craigslisting certain items that don’t sell (and donating the rest). Most of the non-kids stuff I’ve been donating, but I didn’t have quite as much of that. And, if you don’t think the furniture is worth much anyway AND you don’t want to have to cart it anywhere, put out a curb alert on the free section of Craigslist. I had an old couch, loveseat, and chair I needed to get rid of, so I had my husband and his friend bring it to the curb and then I put the ‘come and get it’ ad on Craigslist (w/a picture) and it was gone within an hour. It was AWESOME (and even awesomer b/c our new furniture was coming the next day! aiiieeee)

kalisa
13 years ago

Our first garage sale to sell off a bunch of baby stuff was thrown together last minute. We made $600. A few years later, we planned and organized another garage sale. We made more than twice that. Definitely worth the work.

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