Calling All Hoarders

In America, summer is the time for traditions like BBQ, fireworks, and trips to the beach. One of my favorite summer traditions is going to yard sales. Yard sales (also know as garage sales, stoop sales, tag sales, estate sales etc…), are a great way to buy household or personal items for a cheap  price. So far this summer I bought myself a new summer outfit, a new pocketbook, some vintage earrings, gifts for my cousins birthday, and a bunch of books to read at the beach all for under 10 dollars.

You must be wondering why I am sharing my shopping exploits on a environmentally themed blog. The answer is easy, yard sales are a great way to extend the life of household items.  Instead of sending unwanted items to the landfill, yard sales allow the items to find a new home (and also allow the seller to make a few extra bucks).  Of course, not everything sold at yard sales should be reused. When shopping it is important to consider sanitary issues before you decide to bring something home. Some things, like clothes, plastic toys, and jewelry can be cleaned at home while items like makeup, mattresses, and  stuffed animals can’t.

I usually find out about yard sales through my local paper in the classified section or by going onto Craiglist and clicking on “Garage Sale” under the section titled “For Sale”.  Many people don’t place advertisements announcing their yard sales and instead rely on posting signs on cars parked on main roads. If you are looking for furniture or antiques it is important to start  earlier in the day rather then later because you will be “competing” against  professional dealers. 

There are a series of large scale yard sales that take place every year.  A few coming up in the upcoming months of July and August include the 100-Mile Yardsale, the Fifty-Mile Garage Sale on Route 90, the Antique Yard Sale Trail, Bargains Galore on 64, Highway 127 Corridor Sale, Highway 141 Garage Sale, Lincoln Highway Buy-Way Yard Sale, and the U.S. 12 Heritage Trail Sale. I have never been to any of these sales, so I can’t give an opinion on the goods available at these events but I can say that I have heard that there are people who make vacations out of attending them.

One last important piece of advice I would give to any person planning to yard sale is always think twice before you buy something, even if it is extremely cheap. If you end up buying something you don’t like at a yard sale you can’t return it like at normal store, which means it will most likely end up in the trash or landfill. If your not sure about an item, leave it for someone else who is more likely fully appreciate it. 

Happy sale- ing!

Sign via Shutterstock

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

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