Wednesday, May 24, 2017

HOW TO HAVE A GREAT GARAGE SALE: TIPS AND TRICKS FOR A SUCCESSFUL SALE


Since I was a little girl, my family has held fairly regular garage sales.  My sister and I used to fight over who got to take the money when we were little (now I hate that part!), and I can still see in my head the precise tally columns my Dad would draw up to record everyone's earnings and keep them separate so we could see how much money we made.  My Mom would cover all of the tables with a tablecloth before we loaded them up with merchandise (I don't go that far...) so things would look nice.  Even now, we still hold a garage sale about every other year- and I'm a regular garage sale shopper- so I consider myself a pro at how to run one!  Here are my best tips for how to have a successful garage sale so that you can put a little extra change in your pocket (or fund a vacation, redecorate a room, or cover an unexpected expense if you're really serious!) while getting rid of things that you no longer want or need.



CONSIDER THE TIMING OF YOUR SALE

When choosing a date to hold your sale, check the calendar to make sure there aren't other big events going on that might interfere with your traffic.  You're off on Memorial Day weekend and want to have a sale?  Great, but so is everyone else and they're likely headed out of town.  Make sure there are no big games that weekend that people will be out all day on Saturday for. Also, think about when people get paid.  There are a lot more people out and ready to shop the first weekend of the month after payday (and maybe the 15th, too).  Lastly, I'm torn on neighborhood sales.  Depending on where you live, they can bring a great amount of traffic.  However, the one time that I participated in a neighborhood sale, it was the worst garage sale we've ever had.  I'm not sure if there was too much competition and people were waiting to see if there was something better at the next sale, or if we were too far back in the neighborhood, or what, but we've always had the best success when we hold our sale on our own terms.

ADVERTISE YOUR SALE WELL

We live in a busy area, so I don't need to do as much advertising as someone is a lower populated area, but these tips still apply to everyone.  I have never put an ad in the newspaper for a sale.  We put out signs and use Craigslist.  I think about some key intersections around our neighborhood, and make enough signs to blanket those areas.  I certainly make them for the nearest mile intersections around our home, and usually make a few extra for other intersections another mile or so out, and a sign for each entrance to the neighborhood, so usually that means I have 6-8 signs.  When we're ready for the sale to start, my husband goes out to put up the signs.  I LOVE doing it this way because a) no one knows about the sale until we're ready to open, so b) we don't have early birds knocking on our door super early or digging through things and asking questions while we're trying to get set up.  Signs are definitely our main form of advertising, but for our last few sales I also put an ad on Craigslist.  I snap a few wide shots of the sale on my phone, then take a few minutes to put up the ad just after we've opened.  Again, I don't post it until we're up and running so that we don't have people there before we're ready.  You will probably want to include a closing time if you post an ad online.



MAKE LARGE, CLEAR SIGNS

For garage sale shoppers, there is NOTHING more annoying than puny signs with a tiny address written on it!  Seriously, I can't tell you how many times I spot a sign while driving, turn on the street where the sign is and try to read it as I'm driving by, and the address is written about one inch big with a ball point pen.  Then, I might just wing it and try to find the right house while cruising the neighborhood, and there is never one more indication of which way to go.  I can't tell you how many sales I've given up on like this and left to find another one.  I want my signs to be big and bold and clear, and frequent once a shopper turns inside the neighborhood, easily directing them straight to my door.


Here's a sample of our signs.  I generally like to use a bright colored poster board, and a BIG marker, and make the letters and numbers even bigger.   Most of my signs are on hot pink posterboard with thick, black marker.  Obviously I changed our address and wrote the name of our neighborhood at the bottom, but you get the idea! I don't even bother writing out "GARAGE SALE" sometimes, I might just write "G SALE"... the ADDRESS is most important thing to make big and clear.  People who are out looking for yard sales will know what your sign is.  Also, don't bog down your sign with items at your sale (Furniture! Baby clothes! Toys!)  or a long list of times.  Keep it short and simple.  We put our signs out and take them up every day at the opening and closing of the sale.  If the signs are out, we're open.  If time allows and your sale is on a weekday, try to stay open through the evening rush hour.  You'd be amazed at how many people will stop at your sale on their way home!  If you live deep in a neighborhood, be sure to put up some directional signs through the neighborhood to point shoppers exactly to your sale.


One more thing to consider with signs... make them sturdy!  We're in Oklahoma and the wind can wreak havoc on a wimpy sign.  We usually use a wooden stake, then another wooden cross piece at the top (a 5 gallon paint stick works great).  I fold my poster board in half and cut a small piece out of the middle top fold to slip over the top of the stake, then use the staple gun to attach the poster board well to the stake and along the cross piece.  We usually have good luck with our signs holding up well, and most of the time I can even throw them in the attic and re-use them for another sale.  Lastly, you might send someone to check once or twice through the day to go out and make sure your signs are still out and visible.  One time we noticed a huge dip in traffic, and after going out to check signs a few of them were missing.  No wonder!




PRICE EVERYTHING

Other than poor signs, my other pet peeve as a garage sale shopper myself is when nothing is priced!  I hate having to ask about every little thing I'm interested in, and if the sale is busy whoever is running it cannot be giving prices and checking people out all at the same time. I price EVERY item in my sale.  Now, there are a few general prices that I'll post, like "Adult Clothes-$2 each unless otherwise marked" or a box of like items ".25 each" but I try not to do too many of those.  It makes it easier on the shoppers, and easier on the person who is adding up the merchandise if each price is on the item right in front of them.



ARRANGE YOUR MERCHANDISE NEATLY IN SECTIONS

First of all, make sure that you have space to display your merchandise.  Canvas neighbors for tables and/or a clothes rack to borrow if you need them.  We often use a sheet of plywood and sawhorses for a makeshift table when needed, or I've even grouped tv trays together to have a space to set things.  If you have a lot of children's toys, considering anchoring a tarp on the lawn and spreading the toys out over the tarp.  And, if you have a lot of clothes to see, try your hardest to hang them up on something, they will sell so much better than piling them all in a box or in piles on a table that will be a disaster 30 minutes after the sale starts.  My Dad rigs up a galvanized rod with simple wire hangers on each end of the pole that we hang from the garage door track- it makes a great clothes rack!

Try to group like items together as well.  Put all of the artwork together, linens, lamps, kitchen items, picture frames, books, etc.  If your sale is well organized people will hang around and look longer. Try to have EVERYTHING out on display. There are always die hard shoppers that will dig through every box, but there are even more people that cruise through for a quick look and won't touch a box full of items.  You've lost sales if they can't see all of your merchandise!


Also, if someone else is helping you run the sale, one of you should walk around periodically and straighten the merchandise. You want your items to look just as appealing later in the day as they did when the sale started that morning, and it's easier to see what's there if the tables aren't a mess.


Provide a designated check out area, and a hold area for items that people want but who are still shopping (near you at the check out if possible so you can keep an eye on it and no one pilfers someone else's pile...I've seen it happen!).


CONSIDER A HALF PRICE SALE

I don't generally advertise this during the sale (I want as much profit as possible), but there's always a point on the last day of the sale that we say "Everything is half price!"  I even have little "1/2 PRICE" tags that I have my husband go and add to the signs, just to attract more people back to the sale.  Whatever is left at the end of the sale will be loaded up to be donated to a local ministry, so even if we sell everything at 1/2 off for the last few hours of the sale we seem to get rid of a lot of the leftovers and earn even a little more money rather than having things still sitting there at the end of the day.  I'd rather have something for that lonely coffee mug than nothing!  ;)



GIVE KIDS AN OPPORTUNITY TO EARN MONEY

Obviously kids can clean out their toys and earn a bit of money, but a "concession stand" is a great way for them to earn some extra cash, too!   Bags of popcorn, popsicles, fruit snacks, peanut butter cracker packs, and cold bottled water or pop are some ideas for good things to have on hand.  I make my kids repay me for the cost of what they sell, but after that the profit is all theirs.  Food and drink items can really pay off with hungry, thirsty shoppers around!



A FEW OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

*Start early.  Dedicated yard sale shoppers are out early and if you're not open when they're driving by your neighborhood, you've missed a good deal of traffic.  We usually aim for 8 a.m.

*Be sure to check to see if a garage sale permit is required in your area.  In my town, I'm able to call the city the day before (or even the morning of if it's a weekday) and get my permit over the phone.  They add the fee to my water bill and give me my permit number to post right then and there.  Easy.

*Have a small amount of change to get started.  Early in the day you'll probably get a lot of big bills, so have plenty of 5s and 1s to make change.  You'll get more of those smaller bills as the day goes along, but I usually try to start out with around 20 ones, 4-6 fives and tens, and just a few twenties.  It never fails that someone early in the day will want to pay with a $100 bill.  You'll need a few dollars worth of quarters and other small change, too.  I always write down how much change I start with, then I know at the end of the day how much we've made after I subtract that amount.

*If there are multiple family members or friends contributing to your sale, they will need to add their initials to their price tags on their items so you can keep track of their money.  In an instance like this, I usually don't label or keep track of my items that sell, but I do have a note pad to write down the amounts of items that sell that belong to someone else (my kids are always very interested in their tally columns!).  After I've tallied and paid everyone else at the end of the day, whatever is left is my profit.

*If someone makes an offer on a larger piece and you're not wanting to meet that offer yet, take their phone number so you can call them later if the piece doesn't sell for the price you want.  Be sure to write down the item they're interested in beside it, I know from experience in the midst of the hustle it's easy to forget those details!  Also, if someone pays for a larger item and wants to come back later to pick it up, get their phone number.  We've had this happen in the past and the buyer never came back, and I had no way to contact them.

*Be careful with your money.  Wearing a pocket apron for the money is a good idea.  Never walk off to help someone and leave your money box sitting at your checkout table!  It's awful that we even have to be aware of things like this, but just be conscious and smart.  Several times through the day we will remove most of the bigger bills from the change box, leaving just a bare minimum to make change.

*Recruit a family member or friend to help the day of the sale.  You'll need help, it's safer, and it's nice to be able to rotate for breaks and meal times.

*It's helpful for your customers if you have a stash of bags to carry out their merchandise after they've paid.  Start saving up those plastic shopping bags or extra boxes that might accumulate.

Alright, hopefully you're all set to have a stellar sale!  Let me know if there's anything I've forgotten, or if you have a great tip I didn't cover.

P.S. The pics from this post were from my last sale about three years ago, but I'm preparing for another garage sale sometime in the coming months, I'm just not sure when it will be yet.  If you're local to OKC and are interested in coming, shoot me an email at dimplesandtangles(at)att.net and I'll let you know when we have a date!  



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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

MINI HALL NOOK MAKEOVER


I'm so excited to share this tiny little hall nook makeover with you today!  We have a little cut out nook in the hall that goes to the Master Bedroom, directly across from the Powder Bath.  For the 10 years that we've lived here, I've never quite been totally happy with it.  Several years ago I made a decent effort with some gold stripes (that went away when we re-painted), but honestly it's usually more of a dumping spot for random accessories I'm not using at the moment.  You can't really see it from the front door or main part of the house, so it's been an "out of sight, out of mind" kind of situation.

lady bust, snake plant, pagoda prints, hall nook

The shelf is an odd trapezoid shape which makes arranging things on it tricky, and the "back" wall which seems like it should be the focal point is half the size as the side wall where it feels like something more substantial should be hung.  Really, just hanging something on one wall or the other always felt unbalanced and never looked quite right.  I think I was on to something when I had the striped walls and used a trio of watercolor prints on both walls, but I moved those to the Master when I created the gallery wall around the fireplace.  So, for the past few years it's just felt like a misfit space.

I was recently introduced to Shelby Dillon Studio, and as soon as I saw these fabulous blue and white pagoda prints, I new I had found a solution for my problem nook area!

Shelby Dillon Studio, Blue and White Pagoda Prints, Hallway Nook Styling, lady bust, marble tray

These are prints of Shelby's beautiful original handpainted artwork. This is one talented lady, there's such a large variety of prints of her work to choose from.  There are four pagoda designs available to pick and choose from, or you can choose the set of all four.  I received all 4 designs, and although I just used 3 here that fourth one will go in it's own special spot.  I can just see all four hung in a grid over a console or dresser, though, or as a focal point on a smaller section of wall space... so pretty!

nook, lady bust, marble tray, pagoda prints, shelby dillon studio

I've been cutting my own mats for years, investing in a mat cutter has saved me so much money!  The frames are 12x18 and the same plastic ones from Michaels that I used for my botanical wall and bird prints, I just sprayed a few of them gold for this project.

pagoda, blue and white prints, Shelby Dillon Studio, lady bust, marble tray, mother-in-law's tongue plant

As far as accessories go, I've always had a difficult time arranging things on the trapezoid shaped shelf.  If I filled out the back section it seemed weird to have the front jutting out with nothing on it, and if I tried to fill in most of the space that always seemed off too.  But, I found the perfect solution with this round tray!  Where a rectangular tray would never work here, the round shape defines a space for accessories and offsets the odd shape of the cabinet.

snake plant, round marble and brass tray, lady bust, island moonlight candle

From the moment we bought the house, I envisioned a bust in this space, so my lady fit right in.  The snake plant (also called Mother-in-Law's Tongue) is perfect to add some life and greenery to the spot, they can survive in low light spaces and a virtually impossible to kill!  I have three of them around the house- love them.   Has anyone tried the Island Moonlight candle from Target?  I've bought several of them over the past few years, it's almost identical to the pricier Volcano candles that are so scrumptious from Anthro.

Now this little space makes me happy every time I'm headed down that hallway!

blue and white pagoda prints, snake plant, styling, woman bust


SOURCES: (some affiliate links used)
Pagoda Prints  ||  Frames- Michaels with Gold Spray Paint, Similar Brass Frame with Mat  ||  Mat Cutter  ||  Round Marble Tray  ||  Candle  ||  Lady Bust  ||  Similar Glass Knobs
Paint Colors:  Cabinet- SW Tricorn Black, Wall- BM Manchester Tan at 25%


Thank you to Shelby Dillon Studio for providing product for this post.



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Monday, May 15, 2017

HAPPENINGS ON THE HOMEFRONT...



Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all enjoyed your weekend!  Today I'm catching you up on a few things that have been happening around our home lately.  We're rapidly approaching the end of the school year (6 more days!) which adds plenty of events to the calendar as we wrap up the year.   I think we're all ready for a change of pace, although with camps and church activities and other commitments summer brings it's own form of busy too!

(this post contains some affiliate links)

BIRTHDAY GIRL

My daughter turned 14 last week.  14!  My baby!


Any gift that keeps her active or busy outside is a winner.


A few of her favorites tucked inside her gifts from the family party... Funyuns, a fresh pineapple, mint gum, and cheese dip ingredients!  ;)  Snacks and quality time are definitely the way to this girl's heart.


Our immediate family celebrated on her birth date, but the extended family gathered last weekend at our home.  The weather was gorgeous and we set up on the patio.  We added a folding table and pulled chairs out from the dining table to seat all 15 of us, and I bought some simple canvas drop cloths to cover both tables for a uniform look.  I've already used them on several occasions, so having a couple of clean, extra drop cloths around is coming in handy!


I wanted to point out the centerpieces to you also, they were so easy and so cute!  I just discovered these spools of paper at Hobby Lobby.  The patterns are similar to printed scrapbook paper, but on a long roll like ribbon!  I simply used some Mason jars and wrapped the appropriate length of paper strip around them, then used tape to hold it in place.  With a few sprigs from bushes in the yard and one bunch of flowers split up, I had 10 of these in a flash to line down the center of the tables.

I love the paper ribbon because you can customize the length needed and it's super easy to affix with tape.  Again, similar to ribbon but much easier to work with for certain jobs.  There are the patterns that are available at my store currently, I think I need one of each!  Wouldn't that plaid be so cute to use at the holidays?  If you want to keep an eye out for them, they're in the scrapbooking department, and they do go 50% at times so keep an eye out for that or use your coupon. 


The best thing about hosting parties is continuing to use the flowers around the house for several days after it's over!  Actually, these would make great little favors to send home with your guests if you wanted to.


WOOD TECH

It has a fancier name now than when I was in High School and it was just called "shop", but my son has been in Wood Tech for the first time this year and loved it!  Wood Tech 1 is only one semester, but he's excited about taking WT2 for the entire year next year.  Their classes recently entered some of their work for display in a project fair at the mall, and both of his pieces earned enough points for a blue ribbon!  I'm so happy for the lifelong craftsman skills that he's learning (I'm sure it's in his blood), and that he enjoys doing it!


WEEKEND PROJECTS

Between Mother's Day, baby showers, and church, we didn't have time for a lot of projects, but we did spend several hours on Saturday cleaning out beds, transplanting some things, and getting new annuals planted in the front of the house.  I'm still shopping for a few new larger bushes and will show you the finished product when we get everything in place.


 If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram (stories) you saw that our entire family gathered at my parents' house Friday evening to give the gift of labor for Mother's Day.  They recently ripped out all of the old landscaping from the front of their house in order to totally start over.  They had everything purchased and ready to plant, and after a few hours of work the 11 of us had it looking great!  Click over to FB here if you'd like to see snippets of our progress.  They'll still add some mulch and a few other things, and then they're starting over with grass, too, but the beds look fantastic!


SAY ANYTHING

My daughter received this game for her birthday, and it's really fun!  I would say it's best for teens and up.  It's good at fostering some creative answers and intriguing conversations.  It's been interesting to me to see my kids' sense of humor really come out as we play.


MOTHER'S DAY

After a fantastic morning with our church family, we enjoyed the rest of the day with takeout meals, lounging, playing games, and doing a bunch of nothing!  I sure am thankful for these two kids and it's a privilege to be their Mom.


After a "normal" photo, I asked for them both to give me a kiss on the cheek... easier said than done!


I asked for one pair of these cute earrings, but received 3 fun colors!  And they didn't break the gift giving budget... they got three pairs for about the same price that one of this pricier version would cost.  I've linked available colors online, sadly I don't see the yellow ones online any longer but they might still be available in store.  I thought they might be heavy but they're really pretty lightweight. Looking forward to wearing these with casual outfits this summer!
*EDITED:  Rats!  These were on sale at the time I wrote this yesterday, but it looks like they're regular price again.  Still not bad and I bet they'll be on sale again, I'll keep an eye out and let you know!



Alright, bring on the band concerts, recitals, graduations, final exams, and 6 more days of sack lunches to make!



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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

DIY TEACHER GIFT IDEAS


Unbelievably, my kids are down to 10 school days left for this year!  As we near the close of another school year, I thought I'd share a few DIY teacher gift ideas if you're looking for something to put together for your crew.  I prefer to give teachers gifts that they can actually use and enjoy in their home or are geared to their interests or personality.  Since I WAS a teacher, I can say that I definitely loved receiving those types of gifts more than the typical "teachery" gifts (notepads-or anything- with apples on them, things for the classroom, etc.).

I know I just said I don't like to give things for the classroom, but I think this is an exception!  What teacher wouldn't want to be ready to kick off a new year with a cute, fresh new lunch box and tumbler for all of those brown bag days?  I recently found some cute lunch bags at Marshall's, TJ Maxx, and Homegoods.  They serve as their own gift bags stuffed with coordinating tissue paper.   I also included a new drink tumbler and a gift card for a summer treat or a day they might get to sneak out for lunch.  (Note: My kids are older now and we don't actually do teacher gifts anymore- maybe we should- but I actually just gave these gifts to the sweet ladies who work with my husband for Administrative Assistant's Appreciation week.  They loved them and I thought they would make great teacher gifts as well!)


One thing I always loved receiving from my students was a Christmas ornament.  Some of my favorites still hang on my tree to this day and I can remember each child who gave me those ornaments.  These mirrored starburst ornaments would be a fun activity that your child can help with, and a set of 6 or so would make a lovely gift.  Your child could even get a little more creative with painting the wood if desired.


Pick up a succulent and plant it in a pretty bowl. Similar bowls are easy to find for just a few dollars at World Market, Target, Walmart, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or Homegoods.  I also love to use teacups and saucers for little gifts like this- load up on random sets at the thrift store and you're all set!


I usually make up these potpourri bags around the holidays,  but who doesn't want their home to smell lovely all year long?  They would be cute to use as a base to tie a gift card to as well.


This cute little chalkboard garland could be used at home or in the classroom if the teacher wishes.  It only costs a few dollars and a little bit of time to make.  It's fun to personalize for celebrating holidays or birthdays.


This stenciled door mat is perfect for your teacher's porch!  See a simpler version here for an even quicker project.


Who wouldn't like this cute pom pom basket?  Pom poms are so easy to make (tutorial here) and you could add them to any size or style of basket.


Lastly, I mentioned the succulents, but I also love giving a live plant, such as a fern, pretty hanging basket, or even a topiary for the teacher to brighten up their porch or patio.  I hope these ideas get your creative wheels turning for your teacher gifts this year!





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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

MY FIVE FAVORITE PAINT PROJECTS



Welcome to My Five Favorites today!  Pam from Simple Details, Lisa from Shine Your Light, Kris from Driven by Decor and I are all so excited to share our favorite paint projects with you today.  We're so happy to have Kristin from Bliss at Home joining us as our guest host today.  Let me tell you, Kristin has some serious style and I've enjoyed following along as she settles in to her new home, and checking in on her current One Room Challenge living room and entry way project.


*Some affiliate links are used in this post for your shopping convenience.  I may earn a small commission through these links at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for supporting Dimples and Tangles to keep great content coming!





My #1 choice was a no brainer today.  I'm still totally in love with the painted gingham walls in the powder bath.  In fact, exactly one year ago I was sweating out finishing that whole project... see all of the Powder Bath room details and sources here.





This has been one of my most popular projects, and one of my favorites as well!  Something about those stripes just catches your eye and makes a statement.  I did this project 3 years ago and I'm just noticing a few spots that I need to touch up on the paint, so I think that's pretty good since they've been outside all this time.





When this stencil didn't pan out for my powder bath walls like I had originally intended, I had to find another use for it.  It made the cutest personalized doormat!  These are really fun to make as gifts, too, for a new neighbor, teacher gift, or you could even whip one out for Mother's Day!





A "signature" piece for me that I did over 4 years ago, and I still love it just as much now as I did when I first painted it.  








Technically, this isn't a paint project, but it's in the same family so I'm calling it close enough.  My Dad made this armoire from scratch, and we've had it for over 20 years.  For years in two former houses it lived in our living room and held our tv, but since we've lived in this house it's been in our bedroom and is now used for storage (ever wonder where I keep all those pillow covers and fabric?). The craftsmanship is perfect and we could never bear to get rid of the piece, but I was over the orange-y tone.  While I didn't want to paint it, I did want to alter the color and gel stain was the perfect remedy.  It was a fairly easy process (not a complete refinishing job) and I didn't even move it out of the room to do the work.  I'm so happy with the darker tone to the wood.

I couldn't stop at 5, because I think these fun little makeovers are worth an honorable mention!








I originally made them for my chandelier but they're currently in the hall on some faux sconces that I put together.  





How about you... what's your favorite paint project?   Be sure to stop by and see what these lovely ladies are sharing as well!






Missed any previous My 5 Favorites posts? Catch up here!

My 5 Favorite Tips for Organizing Your Home
My 5 Favorite Home Decor Accessories
My 5 Favorite Ways to Decorate for Spring
My 5 Favorite Pillows
My 5 Favorite Ways to Decorate an Outdoor Space
My 5 Favorite Fabrics
My 5 Favorite DIY Projects
My 5 Favorite Ways to Use Mixed Metals
My 5 Favorite DIY Artwork Projects
My 5 Favorite Tabletop Accessories
My 5 Favorite Recipes for the Holidays
My 15 Favorite Favorites- Holiday Wish List
My 5 Favorite Organizing Tools
My 5 Favorite Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day
My 5 Favorite Thrifted Finds
My 5 Favorite Ikea Products



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