Organized for Life: Minimize! Socialize! Revitalize!

By Deb Powell,
Healthy Planet Columnist

Signs of spring and summer besides flower gardens, convertibles, and farmers’ markets, are yard sales, backyard BBQ’s, and vacations! These last three years were pretty stressful for many and void of our usual communal needs, so let’s get some of that community spirit back!

Make up for those lost times by connecting with family, friends, neighbors, and yes maybe even strangers. Here are some tips and ideas to help you live and love again.

Yard Sales
Main Goal: Minimize/Simplify! (not make money)

If you have any notion of setting up a yard sale, and you’ve been following my articles, you should be better organized now so a sale will be much easier, and can bring in some money. Some items are worth more than others, so research them to know their value, keep them separate, and price them fairly. You won’t get rich, but if you’re going to give things away for pennies, unless you really like doing all this work, you’re better to just donate the lesser valued and sell the higher priced items other ways. (online, privately, groups, auctions…)

Urban vs Rural: Know your customers

At urban yard sales, high end brands can fetch premium prices as people are shopping for unique or ‘almost new’ items like furniture, art, technology, and designer everything.

At rural yard sales, people are looking to find deals on everyday items like housewares, books, clothes, and sports equipment, so lower prices are expected.

  • Advertise and have sales with neighbors or groups
  • Post ads by modern and old school ways
  • Be creative, funny, and legible
  • Be clear with address, date, and time
  • List some items
  • Put signs up the night before
  • Target specific groups if lots of same items (kids’ clothes to young moms’ groups)
  • Hang clothes on hangers if possible (pick out the best, if too many they lose value)
  • Have lots of change, small bills, credit/debit, and bags
  • Organize in groups of similar items
  • Don’t put everything out (it’s overwhelming if you have tons of stuff, pick out the best, tell people you have more if there is something specific they’re looking for)
  • Display variety of really good items out front
  • ⮚      Bundle stuff, it looks like a better deal ($1bag vs. 25 cents each, and it sells faster)
  • Plan an inside location for bad weather or post a rain date. The long weekend in May is the first weekend for yard sales in cold climates but if the weather is nice sooner go for it!

Get rid of what’s left! Don’t bring it back into the house!

Social Time
Who doesn’t like having fun! A casual backyard BBQ can be the best place to get with others. It’s okay to ask guests to get in on the fun by bringing a food dish, alcoholic beverages, lawn chairs, games…

  • Invite around ten people (better visits)
  • Supply main dish, non-alcoholic beverages, dishes, cutlery, glasses…
  • Notify neighbors (or invite them)
  • Accommodate sleepovers or arrange rides
  • Cut grass at least two days before
  • Have your house clean (especially kitchen and bathrooms)
  • Play a variety of background music (or none)
  • Keep pets to limited areas

Be honest about how you want to spend it. Will it be: busy, quiet, close, far, adventurous, or relaxing? Maybe doing something you’ve always wanted to do like; attending theatre, bungee jumping, or water skiing… What time of year do you want to take this break or will you take more than one? Do you just want to stay home and do nothing?

 Staycations can be great too as many people have never visited their own areas or even other parts of their countries. Here in Ontario, Canada, we have a program called ‘staycation tax credit’. Check your local area for residents’ benefits.

Start with what you want to do most then plan according to your budget. Remember to rest and relax at least some, as we shouldn’t need a vacation from our vacation… that’s the whole point…

Join us next month for organizing for the summer, and more…

For organizing questions and feedback (only), email me at debmag04@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you