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Garage Sales: Are you merely buying clutter at cheap prices?

by respaced on May 10, 2010

It’s now garage sale season. I have mixed feelings about this because while they can be great places to find fixer-upper items for DIY projects, they can also be a source of cheap junk for your home. How often have you bought something at a garage sale because it was cute or worth a lot of money or “useful” or simply cheap? I have fallen prey to these excuses myself.

So here’s what I do so I can enjoy garage sales without filling up my house with clutter:

1. I only hit the garage sales once a month or less. The less you go, the less opportunity you have to buy, the less stuff you will end up with.

2. I decide on a budget and stick to it. I bring my allotted amount in cash. This forces me to really think about what I am buying and cuts down on the impulse grabs.

3. When I see something I want, I visualize where it will go in my house. I get specific, so rather than seeing it merely somewhere in the living room for example, I visualize it on the end table next to the side chair. If it is a tool or craft supply I am eyeing, I try to envision it in a certain drawer or cupboard. This keeps the object from winding up as clutter in that dark hole known as your garage.

4. I make sure I can use the item within one week at the absolute latest. Stuff that you buy because it may be useful “some day” will never get used. If you buy something that requires a bunch of other parts to be complete or steps to be finished, it will probably never be used. Trust me on this.

Following these steps keeps attending garage sales fun while avoiding an influx of cheap clutter. What’s your outlook on garage sales? Useful resources for DIY projects or lawns full of nicely organized junk?

Garage sale image courtesy of Placentia, Calif. (“a nice place to live.”)

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