Good Reads: Garage Sale Edition


You know how some people can go to a garage sale and find all kinds of good stuff to furnish their home? I am not one of those people. We went to a community garage sale this weekend and came home with nothing, but I did find a bunch of good reading to share with you today!

31 Days to A Better Dressed Nest — Nesting Place

The Things We Cherish, The Things We Throw Away — The Women’s Colony (about dealing with our parents’ stuff)

3 Sleep Strategies for a Well-Rested Mom — Simple Mom

Creating a Good Green Salad — from Make and Takes (my favorite salad? Baby spinach, grapes, and nuts. No chopping required!)

10 Ways to Feel Better in 60 Seconds or Less — Serene Journey

Can I Make a Starbuck’s Coffee Cake? — Mom Advice

The Procrastinator’s Party starts on Tuesday at The Inspired Room

Some of you asked about Tom’s diapers: we’re using bumGenius 3.0 pocket diapers during the day and prefolds with wool covers at night. (Love them both.)

So how about you? Do you have good luck at garage sales?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I think the reading will make your home less cluttered than the garage sale finds! : ) Thanks for sharing. I have some visiting to do!

    Am I the only one who has never heard of those diapers? It has been 24 years since I’ve had to buy them. Maybe that is the problem!

    mrs. e´s last post…Perfect Saturday

  2. Nope I don’t do well either. I don’t even go anymore. :o)

  3. Garage sales are not my cup of tea…..

    But I love some good internet finds, so thanks for passing these along!


    steadymom´s last post…The Gift

  4. In case no one has encouraged you in your cloth diapering efforts… Way to go! It is a formidable task but a worthy one!

    Thanks for these links. I love, love, love finding new blogs to peruse! I may never buy another magazine again.

    Emily´s last post…Potato Rosemary Bread

  5. I must say I have done great… I bought a juicer for $4 a few years back, its old but reliable and works a treat – apple, lemon and orange is my fave :) I picked up some great kitchen chairs for $10 each at another sale… I must say there has been nothing great lately, but then I don’t stop by nearly as often as I used to at garage sales… I have also sold some good stuff at garage sales.

    angelvalerie´s last post…on dreams and disappointments

  6. I’ve had some luck in the past with things that I wanted but didn’t need enough to justify going out and buying new. A filing cabinet, lunch box sized cooler for DH, insulated water thermos, plant stand, table for my laundry basket outdoors by the clothesline. I tend to stick to bigger things that I need rather than decorative items because I don’t like clutter. Oh, and I buy lots of books at yard sales :)

  7. Jessica L says:

    I’m with you Rachel. I can NEVER find anything at garage sales but my very good friend seems to find the best stuff (just never when I go with her – I’m starting to think I am bad luck!)

    If the money to time ratio just doesn’t work, please consider donating the items. I ended up donating much of our baby stuff to a woman who takes in foster babies. I did not make any money but I hope I spread a little good will.

  8. I’ve recently moved to a new town – I sold or donated most of my belongings, so the $3 vacuum cleaner was a find – that it works so well is amazing. Do I always have this kind of luck? No, but I do enjoy poking through the things at garages sales.

  9. Great links! Thanks for sharing. I’m the same way with garage sales.

  10. I switched to cloth diapers with child #3 thanks to BumGenuis and found the process not that difficult! And the diapers STILL fit my almost 3 year old, though he’s not using them anymore. Love them. I did usually use disposables for day trips and travel.

  11. Oh great links!!! Like I have nothing else to do but follow cool links!!! “Love the things we cherish” link… I live in mortal terror of sorting through my parents home, where they have lived and stashed for fifty, yes FIFTY years… imagine fifty years worth of junk mail and fifty years worth of nicknaks and magazines… As I write this I can see exactly where my stuff phobia comes from!!!

    se7en´s last post…Sunday Snippet: The Ten Commandments – A GiveAway…

  12. Oooo…fun links. Looks like a list of inspiration to me.

    (PS-Much prefer a thrift store to garage sales. All organized in familiar zones and easy to do a quick run through if you’re short on time!)

    Anna´s last post…Pumpkin, How Do I Love Thee?

  13. I think you are smart than rest of us, some of us (read: me) would buy sometimes because it is bargain, but not needed, just wanted when we see it. How are you doing with 2 kids? Curious to know. I am still getting hang of it with my 4 years and 7 month old, trying to get back to normal or find a new “normal”.

    Zengirl´s last post…10 Creative and Frugal hacks

  14. Talking about garage sales and decluttering, I’d like some suggestions from mothers on how to handle this situation. I have an 18 mo old son, and my mom who lives several hours away seems to be buying larger size gifts every time we see her. My husband and I have both commented that we feel we are running out of space and other ways to nicely hint that we don’t want more stuff. My parents are serious packrats as well. The problem I have is my mom seems to buy used things in poor condition. I shop at consignment sales for my son’s clothes and toys so I am not opposed to used items. This weekend we went for a visit and she bought him a large stuffed Elmo which he liked but smelled bad. She said she washed it in the washing machine. I think perhaps it was cigarette smell, not quite sure. Neither she nor my dad smelled it. She washed it again and offered to restuff it (I said not to worry about restuffing it). Even after rewashing, I noticed the odor returning. I find the smell gross and my husband said our son smelled like it/bad after hugging it a lot. She also got us a sort of Big Wheels tricycle with our college team cutouts scotch taped on (I think she thought those were cute). The bike was pretty worn. Now that these gifts are larger I can’t get rid of them without her noticing when she comes to visit. What should I do about this? She will buy very worn or outdated clothes and these smaller things I have just started donating bc she won’t really be able to tell. In August, she brought up the Little Tykes basketball set (in good condition but takes up a fair amount of space). Another example–books, she bought him a pop up Christmas book but every pop up was torn. I don’t want to hurt her feelings so I’m not sure what to do. To be fair, for Christmas and baptism I have said he doesn’t need anything and for these major occasions she has given to his college fund but she is still giving me large presents every time I see her. I do have a garage and basement and have just made a play room so I do have storage space technically but I don’t want to store stuff I don’t want. Also, I don’t like the idea of her spending money on these items and worse I feel guilty getting rid of them but I don’t want them either. Sorry this is so long. Thanks for your help/advice. I like your site.

    • Since she lives a couple hours away… maybe you could suggest that she keep some of the bigger items at her place, so your boy will have things to play with when you come to visit? It’s no fun always having to bring the toys with you when you come for a visit! And, if she’s storing them, it might cut down on the amount of big stuff she thinks she needs to get for him.

      As for the items that you just don’t want (ripped books, smelly used toys), I think it’s fair to take them home and then donate them on/get rid of them. If she asks “What happened to X?” you’ve got two possible ways of answering. Honest (which may be harder at first but will probably help nip the habit in the bud eventually): “We noticed it had a strange funk so we got rid of it.” White lie: “He wasn’t really playing with it, and it took up a lot of space, so we passed it along to another kiddo.”

      Or be proactive with the suggestions. My mom loves to garage sale, and would come home with random stuff we didn’t need. I started saying “T loves his duplo blocks and can always use more; if you see any at a garage sale…” and that helped direct her acquisitions.

  15. Living in a small town means on a “busy” garage-sale day you might find FIVE sales. Still, my 9yo daughter and I have fun garage sale-ing (spelling?) some in the summer. This Summer we found tons of great wooden frames to house kids’ artwork or a couple special things of mine (fabric from Malaysia/ art cards I like). I also like garage sales for skates and rollerblades in excellent condition.

  16. I’m not much of a garage sale girl myself these days. I am working on booting stuff out of our house this year.

    By the way, thank you so much for linking to my site! I really appreciate it!

  17. Heads up clutterholics! Oprah is airing a new hoarding episode tomorrow, Thurs. Oct 8., “Hoarders: A Family’s Secret Life Exposed”