I read an article recently that addressed how to discern your usable, sellable yard sale stuff from stuff that should really be trashed. The article was designed for re-use people wanting to make money from a yard sale, talking about presentation, quality of items, promotion, etc. In the tips, there was mention of how to determine if an item belongs in the trash or not, but, I find fault with the idea that broken beyond repair is trash. Sure, there are some things that just don’t fly – used underwear, sticky odorous clothing, soiled mattresses, BUT, there are items some people consider truly trash junk, yet other people do have a need for.
Not everyone can re-use, re-purpose, up-cycle & salvage creatively, but there are PLENTY out there who can & are always looking for components for projects! I’m not saying hold onto your broken chairs, china, ripped curtains, salvaged refrigerator drawers & half-burnt kitchen utensils in the hope of making a few bucks out of it at your next yard sale, BUT, if you’re going to put the same amount of energy putting something in the trash & hauling it outside as you would throwing it in a free-or-close-to-free box for a yard sale, why not?
Following are just a few examples of stuff many wouldn’t consider yard-sale worthy, yet, my fiance´ & I have found success with (at least OUR version of success…):
Plastic Food Containers (clear/non-clear)- I was cleaning out some cabinets a few weeks before our last yard sale & found a cache of plastic food containers (like butter, cream cheese, etc) that I just wasn’t using. I could have easily thrown them in the recycling, but, I know how handy it is to have clean containers with lids for crafts, nuts/bolts & what-not. The ladies who found them were thrilled!
Shoes in various stages of used: Someone gave us a huge bag of shoes a week before our last yard sale, so we threw them in with our yard sale boxes. Some of the shoes were in great, almost ‘new’ shape, but there were a few pairs where if I had gone through them prior to our sale, I wouldn’t have put them out – and, yet, they all sold. Kind of icky to me personally, but the people who picked them up were happy for their find at 50¢ a pair.
Lamps and/or Appliance Parts: I have a thing for lamps. I can’t help it. As a result, I find I’ve needed things like a shade adaptor, or some other various item that attaches to the lamp. Odd pieces for many people, sure, but, exactly the sort of piece most people would throw into their junk/discard/trash pile. Thanks to those who’ve thrown them in their misc. junk yard sale boxes!
Rusty toolboxes & ‘a bunch of old tools’: Short of rust as a result of acid, my fiance´ can make even the most scrap-yard worthy toolbox usable & functional. Where I used to leave these in the trash, now I pick them up!
Scrap Wood: I don’t care if it’s an odd shape, angle, scrap cut from other scrap, pressure-treated or whatever – I’ll work it in. I like to paint, glue, hammer & nail things for my version craft/art/amusement, and I am now delving into whittling.
I guess my point is, if you are planning a yard sale, don’t be so quick to throw out that box of odds & ends & ‘what-is-it?’, if you have the space. You may not exactly make money off of it, but you may very well make someone’s day!