Day 14: We Will Never Have a Garage Sale

Last year I saved everything I purged from the house. I put it in bags and bins so I could later sell it at an enormous garage sale in the spring. I kept everything on the 6′ table in the garage my husband uses for work, but only just a corner. Then a little bit more than a corner. Then, when I continued on with the project weekly, I used all of the table. After a couple of months, I used all of the table and started piling things on top.

In the spring time, around the time we were supposed to have the garage sale that would make us millionaires, we had a mild earthquake. The house was fine; a few pictures moved around on the wall. The garage, on the other hand, didn’t fair as well. Okay, it was my precariously stacked table of home goods didn’t fair as well. It all went down faster than a house of cards, which I quickly realized that week when I opened the garage to unload my latest pile of rejects. I did what anyone else would have done in my position. I tossed the new pile of rejects on top of the old pile of rejects now heaped on the floor.

And the next week, I added another pile.

And so on.

We never did have a garage sale. When my friend’s annual JDRF garage sale came around a couple of weeks ago, we donated most of it to the cause. We finally admitted that we will never have a garage sale and, even if we did, it’s not like it was going to usher us into early retirement. All that work for, what, $300? $400, tops. That’s less than the bail I would have to post after I punched someone in the throat for haggling over the price of used socks.

I argued with a man over the price of shirts the last time we had a garage sale. He wanted a ridiculous price, and when I told him so he replied that he needed the lower price to make a profit when he turned around and sold everything at the swap-meet. “This is not the Small Business Administration!” I snarled.

I packed everything up I would normally save for a garage sale. I drove to Goodwill. I gladly accepted my donation tickets for taxes, hopped in my car and didn’t give another thought to everything I left behind. It served us well, and will serve another family well, too.

We’re hoping to use our garage for parking cars one of these days–hopefully before spring.


You guys, Saturday sucked. My site was hacked again! Luckily, this time Zakary caught it before it got as bad as last time. If you google my blog name it says I’m a low cost supplier of erectile dysfunction medication. Yeah, right. I don’t give discounts! My garage sale story speaks for itself. If your willy is broken, expect to pay full price.

I’m paying to switch hosting providers and to have the damage the hackers did fixed. The site may act a little funny over the next few days during this process. I’ll keep posting and will let you know when everything is back up. (Heh.)


New here? For the next 31 days I’m living according to the famous William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” You can learn more about the project here, and catch sneak peeks of my projects by following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (I’m @pancakesfries).



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  1. Oh no! I didn’t even realize blogs could get hacked… I hope you can get it sorted right away. I can’t believe how funny you’re being about it, though. Broken willies… hahahahahahahh

    I’ve never held a garage sale either. My school has a “boot sale” at the end of every school year. A few friends and I usually team up at one table. I charge 10 baht for everything (30 cents) and give things away at the end. I just want to get rid of it!

  2. I don’t do garage sales. I did one about 4 years ago with friends. I didn’t make enough to make it worth my time and the effort of finding a place to store all the stuff I wanted to get rid of at the garage sale. I only e-bay or craig’s list things I can actually get some money for otherwise – forget it – too much work for no gain. It goes to Goodwill or for ladies and children’s clothes to the local consignment stores. I have made a bit of money with the children’s clothing consignment.

  3. Your erectile dysfunction disclaimer made me laugh! Pancakes & French Fries: No boner bargains here!

    I’m glad you donated your stuff. I think I’ve told you this before, but I use the VVA, you call them and they send a truck to pick up your donation pile, you don’t even need to be home. And they leave a receipt. I’m going to open my garage door and tell them to have it one day. We haven’t parked a car in there for five years.

  4. When I googled your blog it still came up as ED and my Norton anti-virus said the site had been compromised. . . so maybe it isn’t fixed yet?

    • No, like I said at the end, it’s going to take a few days for everything to get fixed. I had to pay to have the site files migrated to the new host, and then after that the technicians will fix the corrupted files. It’s a pain.

  5. I only have bad memories of garage sales, they are not worth the income. Last time, my husband was trying to sell several hundred cookbooks he had. Not one taker. Afterwards I listed them on Freecycle and they were all gone in half an hour.

    • That would tick me off. I would have gone inside and had my husband handle the exchange so I didn’t glower at the people responding to the ad!

  6. I had one garage sale, ever, which convinced me never to try one again. Overwhelming. And at the time, we were not early risers, so having to get up to set up made it worse. Plus we were in the midst of getting packed to move, which also did us in. Ugh. I think your goodwill trip was a very smart move.

    Also, that hacking business sounds terrible. Maybe you should look at it like an artist whose painting is stolen. I mean, wouldn’t it be sort of a compliment if someone broke into a museum to lift your landscape painting? I realize the carryover to a blog getting hacked doesn’t quite work, but looking on the bright side, i guess.

  7. Great reminder. I just can’t stand saving stuff for some future date, but my bin in my basement is currently overflowing. I think it’s time to make a run to my neighborhood thrift store!

  8. You, my Lady, CRACK ME UP!!!!!! I love laughing first thing in the morning at your little quips and hillarious humor! “Everything is back up” Bahahahahah!

  9. BWAHAHAHAA! Gurrrrrl … you are unbelievably whitty!!! I LOVE your posts and the references in them:) It makes my day, to read about organizing junk drawers & cabinets, all that much more to look forward too! So sorry to hear about the blog being hacked πŸ™ Hope all goes well in transition to your new hosting site.

  10. I’m with you, Jules.

    I convinced my mom to have a garage sale recently and it was a failure. We made enough to cover lunch for the five of us, provided we were all willing to eat at the cheap taco place (um, which we were, of course).

    I remember garage sales being so much better, but all we seemed to have was serious hagglers and people looking for something very specific that we never had. I’m not sure if we had a bad day or if things are changing. From now on we’re just taking stuff straight to Goodwill.

    From now on, we’re going to Goodwill immediately and refusing to feel bad about it.

  11. I love this. I know that I will never have a garage sale either, so I happily just donate the stuff. Usually, just having the extra space back in my home is worth it.

  12. I laughed out loud at your comment about not making enough bail. I feel exactly the same way about hagglers who come there and expect to get it all for pennies because they want to resell it. Ah, thanks for the laugh!

  13. Two years ago I had my first garage sale and made almost $300. Last year I had more and better stuff, I planned better, etc. and made less than $200. I was about to kick out of my backyard several people who were either scoffing at MY stuff or trying to get it for 5 cents. At the end of the day I still had tons of stuff for Goodwill. Since then I decided I won’t waste my time and nerves on garage sales for a while at least. I’d rather have Goodwill sell my things for a good price and do something good with the money.

  14. The last time I had a garage sale with friends, we were getting bored and I ended up buying more of their junk than I sold of mine. LOL No More Garage Sales!!!

  15. DYING here, “If your willy is broken . . . ” hahahahahaha! Thank you SO much for the laugh (our two cuties have the flu, so it’s needed).

  16. Yes, I too, quit having garage sales when I realized how stressed I became over someone stealing a 10 cent item. I started a somewhat annual event at my church called a “garage free,” where we all get together one Friday evening and sort/arrange as if we’re having a garage sale and then on Sat. morning, we put it all out for free. The looks on the faces of the people were priceless when they realized they could just take the stuff. I realize some people will just take it and re-sell it themselves, but I figure that’s between them and their Maker – I did what I thought I should do. On the other hand, we have had precious people who obviously needed the things try to make us take money for it. So, I choose to look at the bright side and forget the rest. (Everything else goes to Goodwill!) Love your post!

  17. I had my last yard sale ever this year. I had saved all this stuff, and temporarily lost my mind when I decided to try to sell it instead of follow my normal habit of donating it. $109 later, I decided to totally was NOT worth it. Here are my new rules:

    1) Stop treating shopping like a hobby (shockingly, this is actually working)
    2) If I find myself in Target, buy only what I need (deodorant = yes, new serving dish = no)
    3) Reevaluate on a regular basis – toss in bag, toss in car, toss in donation box.

    So far (since June), it’s working. We’ve never “made” more than $170 at a yard sale, and it’s too depressing to sit there all day, looking at the stuff that you paid $$$$ for, only to hand it over for $0.25. Better to have that $$$$ in my bank account, and less junk in my house. πŸ™‚

  18. Wow! I just found your site! Loved this post. I, too, hope to park my car in the garage one day. That’ll have to be after I clear the clutter from my hobby room. In fact, tomorrow, I’ll be putting a huge dent in it by taking a group of French exchange students with me to go scrapbooking. I’m letting them have all…and I mean all…of my scrapbooking stuff…happy to know it’ll be somewhere in France, far, far away from my humble home.

  19. I΄ve just found your blog, and had a good laugh! I too have often thought of having a garage sale with all the junk in our double garage, where of course they cars have no space!! But putting 3 or 4 bigger pieces for sale in “Gumtree” and having to discount from the quoted price, I too thought that it was better to give to Goodwill and let them help needy people. Too much work for not much money! I too hope to be able to park our cars in the garage in the near future.

  20. I’m with you on this one. I used to do garage sales because I thought I should try to get something out of our castoffs but I always HATED every minute. I decided that donating my things to a charity was a good way to support them. Now I donate everything to my aunt who holds twice-yearly garage sales to raise money for my cousin who is a missionary. We are blessed financially so it feels good to let go of my stuff and know that someone else is being helped by that.

  21. “That’s less than the bail I would have to post after I punched someone in the throat for haggling over the price of used socks.” You made me laugh out loud! This is so true. I live in an apartment and was saving a bunch of “good” stuff to sell on Craigslist (as if I can only give my “bad” stuff to Goodwill.) Finally, after like a year, I admitted to myself I was never going to sell it and donated it all. Why is it so hard to stop lying to ourselves?

  22. I love that you made an SBA reference. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen in any other home-related blog post! (Said by a small business dork) πŸ™‚

    I have given up on yard sales. I tried one last fall. It was NOT worth the PITA that it was to us. I prefer to just donate. Large items that can score us more than $100 go on Craiglist. The end. πŸ™‚

  23. I no longer sell at garage sales – too much work in gathering, sorting, pricing, moving out to sales site, haggling with the same people you have in your neighborhood( or asking me, very middle aged woman, if I have any maternity clothes)and then, finally, packing up the remains to GW.
    Hours worked/$=pennies per hour. (Minus bail $, of course)
    Just easier to gather items, take a quick photo, and drive to GW & get tax receipt.
    This is what works for my situation.

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