Is your home is overflowing with toys, children’s clothes, and other things that you’re not using? What about your friends, neighbors, and other family members? If yes, this is a perfect time to start thinking about a multi-family garage sale! Garage sales are on the rise partly because it’s a way to make money from things that are no longer needed.
A garage sale can be a good way to simplify and let go of clutter. Here are five simple steps you can take to help you organize a family garage sale:
- Invite several families to participate. When you have more items to sell, especially larger size toys, furniture, and tools, this can attractive to buyers and draw a crowd. If no one on your block is interested, invite other families and decide on the location with respect to street traffic.
- Set the date. Give yourself one month (or more) to get ready for the sale. Begin the uncluttering process and then select the items that will be sold. Price items the week before the sale, place signs the night before (check to to see if you need a permit), and plan on a very early start on the day of the sale. You can often advertise your sale on some of the online garage sale sites, too.
- Encourage your kids to choose 10 items each to sell. Your children will profit in many ways, including learning to declutter (deciding what to keep and what to let go of) and learning how to handle money.
- Keep your pricing simple. Not sure how to price everything? Typically items are priced at 25% of their original value, so use that as a benchmark. You can write the cost on colored dot stickers and place them directly on each item. Buy your stickers from office supply stores, Target, Walmart, or local dollar store. Also, think about having a “Free Box.” This is a box that has items you definitely want to be sure are off your hands at the end of the sale.
- Donate remaining items right after the sale. You have already let go of the items by offering them for sale. At the end, if there’s anything left, donate them. You can take them to your local charity off or schedule them to be picked up. Remember that you can itemize and list the items (for tax purposes), using the free, online program, ItsDeductible (by Intuit).
Garage sales take time and energy, but partnering with other families makes it fun and helps everyone earn an extra dollar too!
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I’ve often expressed how much I dislike doing laundry. There are so many steps to completing the process that it’s just a thorn in my side. I would love to find an exceptionally smart person who could figure out how to make doing laundry happen all in one step. If you’re out there, please contact me. Stat!
In the meantime, there are a few things I do to make doing the wash go a little more smoothly. For example, I try to consistently wash smaller batches of clothing. This helps me to wash, dry, fold/hang, and put away everything. Of course, it does help to have an organized laundry area.
Here are three ways things to keep in mind when organizing your laundry room:
- Keep supplies close by. If you have to go searching for laundry supplies, this will definitely slow down the process. Instead, keep your detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, and anything else you use for laundry (like baking soda or vinegar) next to your washer/dryer. If you have the benefit of a larger laundry room, consider mounting your ironing board/iron to a wall (of the back of the entry door). If you use a hand-held steamer instead, store it on an easy to reach shelf.
- Store supplies on your walls. You may not want to keep your supplies stacked on top of your machines, particularly if you have top loaders. Installing shelving or cabinets above or next to your washer/dryer will keep supplies within reach for adults and out of reach of children. Not sure whether to use open shelving or cabinets? That depends on whether or not you want see everything. Cabinets can give you a neater look because you can close the doors. But, if you already have a door that closes off the entire laundry area (like I do), having cabinet doors may not be needed.
- Make it easy to fold or hang clothing. A hanger holder will be very helpful for clothing that needs to be hung until you can get them to your closet. Mount it near your dryer so that you can quickly and easily hang clothing. If possible (i.e., if you have front loaders), install a shelf right over the washer and dryer so that you have a place to fold clothing.
Anyone who lives in a small space will appreciate today’s article by guest blogger, Sarita Peresada, Senior Designer at Vastu Home Furnishings & Design Services. She shares the top three things you should consider when selecting furniture for your small home so that it doesn’t look cluttered and cramped.
Furnishing a tiny apartment or house is no easy task. You need to think about how you want to live in the space and what your needs are for the different types of furniture, including seating, tables, storage pieces, etc. There are three essential rules to consider when choosing furniture for small spaces:
1. The first essential rule is FUNCTION. In a small space, there is literally no room for furniture that doesn’t serve a specific function. It is best to choose pieces that are functional for how you want to live and, if possible, serve more than one purpose.
For instance, in a studio apartment, your space would best be used if you choose a sofa that converts into a bed instead of trying to fit both a sofa and a bed in the space. There are plenty of cleverly designed, multi-functional pieces of furniture available on the market today.
Another example of a great multi-functional piece is a bedside or living room side table with a single file drawer for hanging files. I love that people without the space for a home office can stylishly incorporate a place to keep their important documents without sacrificing style.
2. Second on the list is SCALE. This one is pretty simple and the easiest to follow, I believe. It’s a simple rule of keeping the size of furniture appropriate for the space; and small spaces need smaller furniture. Too often I see that people have tried to make a giant, over-stuffed sectional sofa fit into a small apartment living room and have no space for anything else. Sure, a great big sofa that can seat all ten of your closest friends is ideal, but it just isn’t practical in a small space. In fact, too big furniture only makes a small room feel even smaller.
3. The third and final rule to keep in mind is VISUAL WEIGHT. This is another simple rule, and is closely related to scale. Basically, large or dark colored pieces of furniture are visually “heavy” and make a space feel smaller than it actually is.
One good way to take up less visual space in a small living room is to use a clear glass coffee table rather than a wood table. The eye can see right through the glass coffee table to the floor, and the more floor space that is visible in a room, the bigger the room feels.
Have you implemented any of the three essential rules? Leave a comment to tell us how things worked out and post your pics!
About the Author
Sarita Peresada is the Senior Designer at DC furniture retailer and design firm, Vastu. She began her professional career at a government contracting company, and it was in this job that Sarita realized her desire to express her creativity. She enrolled in an interior design program and landed a position as the Design Assistant at a remodeling firm.
After experiencing both the structural and furnishings side of interior design, Sarita knew that her passion was in furnishings and decorating. Her search for the ideal position led her to Vastu, where she was taken under the wings of owners/designers, Eric Kole & Jason Claire. Today, Sarita is a successful interior designer who has designed numerous spaces for clients in the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area.
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“The laundry room is a busy place — the typical U.S. household washes nearly 400 loads of laundry per year — so it’s important to have a clean and organized space.” [Tips for Designing and Organizing a Laundry Room · THE ASSOCIATED PRESS via the New York Times · December 14, 2009]