Off-Topic: Garage Sales

9 Jul

I get a new glimmer in my eye every summer: it happens the first time I see a handwritten sign taped to a telephone pole: “Garage Sale: Fri/Sat 9-4:30”. The sexiest words I’ve ever read. Besides being the most fun, garage sales are a collector’s dream, not to mention a home away from home for cheapskates. As both a cheapskate and a junk collector, I treat yard sale season as a holiday.

To kick of this summer of scouring my neighbor’s backyards and garages, I thought I would post pictures of just a few of the treasures I have happened upon in years past. I’ve found beautiful scarves, furniture (my couch!), fabric and old books aplenty. In fact, I have to look pretty hard around my house to find something that I actually bought new. Here are some of my fave finds:

Costume jewelry galore

Costume jewelry galore

Wooden magazine rack. Homemade?

Wooden magazine rack. Homemade?

Old nature guides.

Old nature guides.

For me especially, it’s hard not to get carried away at these glorious events. Having a list of things to look for helps, but you should always leave room for a few exceptions. I will pick up glass slides anywhere I go. A friend of mine has a weakness for old albums and in fact gave me an Jack Lalonde exercise record, which I love working out to, mostly because ol’ Jack assumes everyone listening is a housewife and often exclaims, “Your husband and kids are going to be so proud of you!”.

These sales are good places to look for quirky gifts if you know what you’re looking for. I suggest writing down ideas in a gift journal to keep you thinking about the things your loved ones would like. Do this for a little while and you will notice that great ideas catch your eye when you are out and about. Here is a list of gift ideas to look for at garage sales:

  • picture frames
  • vintage dishes and vases
  • costume jewelry
  • old picture encyclopedias (for collages)
  • vintage luggage
  • kitschy coasters and salt and pepper shakers
  • scarves
  • men’s money clips and cigarette cases (reuse them as business card holders if they don’t smoke)
  • sturdy wooden furniture
  • old Lionel Richie cassette tapes

…and much much more! I will keep you posted (literally, ha!) on all my super finds this year.


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