If you’re having a garage sale, the last people you probably want to have hanging around are your kids. While you should be focused on wheeling and dealing with customers, they’re busy asking for juice boxes or demanding (read: whining) to know why somebody’s taking their stuff.
Instead of hiding your kids in the now-spacious closet or begging your spouse to take them to the park, get them involved in process and maybe teach them a lesson or two.
For older children:
- Have kids go through their toys, books and clothes and decide what they do not need or want anymore. (Note: Alternative questions in this process include, “Are there broken items that can be repaired?” “Could a sibling or other relative use this?” “Could we donate this instead?”)
- Discuss with children how much you should ask for items. Follow up with why do they think that much or would they pay that much. You may even let them keep some or all of the profits. Be careful as this could cause prices to be a bit overinflated, preventing sales.
- Use this opportunity to discuss the ideas of recycling, reducing and reusing. Just because we’re not using an item anymore doesn’t necessarily mean someone else can’t. And you don’t have to pay full price at the store for something to make it useful.
- If you are confident in their math abilities, let them run the change station for a bit – with supervision!
For younger children:
- Carrying and placing items can be just as fun as actually playing with toys. Our 2-year-old thought she was a big people moving boxes around the garage, “helping” carry – and sometimes hefting on her own – and deciding where things should go. Kids can also get items cleaned up and presentable for purchase.
- Every good garage sale needs a good sign. While you may have to do the heavy lifting of writing letters to convey details, kids can add a little sparkle and pizzazz to create that curb appeal.
- Bake cookies and have children in charge of selling them. A lemonade stand is also a possibility. Again, talk to kids about how much each item could go for. Lemonade at our sale went for 10 cents a glass or three glasses for 25 cents. We sold $8 worth of lemonade, donating half of the “profits” to our friends at the Champaign County Humane Society.
For more on the big people part of the sale, check out Rachel McMillan’s tips and tricks. And don’t forget to list your garage sale on the Chambanamoms.com Marketplace Garage Sale listings – it’s free!
Aubrie Williams is word nerd copy editor trying to make it in the world wide web. She is the managing editor of Chambanamoms.com, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.