Our dirty little secret!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I cannot believe I am going to show/tell y'all this. You might have guessed over the last three and half years of reading my blog (no one has really read it for that long) that I am a bit of a perfectionist. A bit of a neat freak. Seriously, I used to alphabetize my medicine cabinet. Well, not anymore! I have relaxed a lot in the past few years. But this....this is just really too much....

THIS is our garage....



Pitiful isn't it? I am so embarrassed right now. Truth is, we need to have a garage sale because except for the bikes, almost of all of this going. We have been in this house for almost 2 years and we have never parked in the garage. We keep meaning to have a garage sale but our street and sidewalks were under construction. Now it is too HOT!

Dave is in charge of the garage (and he will probably kill me for posting these) but I thought it would be a great motivator for "us" to spring into action and sort/donate/sell this stuff. He needs my guidance on this project and some spare time. And he has had neither. Over the last year I have donated a TON of stuff. We still have a bookcase, a desk, rugs, Christmas decor, a GORGEOUS antique table, some decent artwork, and toys, etc. I seriously need to do something about this mess because I cannot even get to our deep freezer through all of this stuff!

I would love to hear your tips on hosting a garage sale. We have only ever had one and I think it was 1998:) Help!


  1. Thanks for sharing. I feel better now:) Definitely wait until the weather cools off before you deal with this!

  2. How about posting some of the art work and stuff on your blog? I bet you would have some takers.

  3. LOVE the title. no words of advice from me. I have been meaning to have a garage sale for 3 years!

    I say don't do it in the summer, do it in the fall.


  4. Oh I LOVE that! It makes me feel soooo much better about our garage!


    I only had one garage sale, years ago, and said I would never do it again but I really need to!

  5. This makes me feel so much better...We're not the only ones with a dirty little secret (or two).

    I was just sitting outside while Emma rode bikes with her neighborhood friends. I was uneasy because I had so many chores that I felt I should have been doing but, instead, I was just sitting on the curb watching three sweet little girls play.

    Finding a balance is hard to do as parents. I never seem to stay on top of it all anymore, actually haven't for a long while. My mom always tells me the house will be standing long after the kids are grown and gone and to stop worrying about it. She's tells me to just enjoy them while they are little and, as much as I hate a mess, I know she is right.

    So, in this final week before Pete arrives home with our newest daughter (from China), I'm really trying to use whatever time I can find to get a jump on organizing. Once there are 6 kids here, I'm sure we will have even more dirty little secrets!

    Though we have a great neighborhood yard sale a few times a year, I rarely participate. I just don't have the time to price and organize things. I know the only efficient way for me to get rid of the clutter is to give stuff away. I still love the idea of a yard sale and I hope you have good luck with yours.

  6. I can totally relate! We can't park in our garage during the summer time! There is stuff everywhere!

    I haven't had very good luck with garage sales in the past. I felt like it wasn't worth my time in the end. I would probably put your good stuff on Craig's List or E-Bay and donate the rest!

  7. oh... but we do put stuff on Craig's list sometimes.

  8. My garage is full of boxes, since we are in between moves. However, that's a lot of stuff, if you haven't touched it in a year --- donate it.

  9. you've inspired me... I have to do this in my attic, but the heat is just too much for me. In the fall.... in the fall.... ;). I can't help with the yard sale, I have tried but am now a fan of Craigslist. I don't like people coming to my home, and I only do it when my husband is here, but I just sold a crib for $75.00 that someone offered me $10 for at a yard sale.

  10. I have perfectionistic tendencies too but they have lessened since having children. We all need a place to just let it go...mine is the trunk of my car -- yikes!

    Your human. Do you have any home decor consignment shops you could take your table, artwork, and christmas decor? That way you don't have to determine a price, tag it, and sit in the hot sun hosting a yard sale.

  11. Take photos and put the furniture on Craigslist. Its the best way to sell stuff! That way you can do it at your own pace too. And its free.

  12. I have been a long time reader and I don't believe you. That must be your neighbors house because there is just no way it is yours!

    Seriously I will feel better when you show the after pictures and everything is neat and organized...because that is who you are.

    Honestly, we have been in our house three years and just got around to organizing our basement last weekend so I get it. It is a two or three weekend job!!

    Have fun cleaning!


  13. OMG!!!! 1st: I can't believe that is YOUR garage!!! 2nd: I can't beleive you posted it!!! LOL... LOVE it!! I wish we lived closer, we could do it together! Love you!!

    No garage sale tips. I can't stand having them. Of course, our fire was a natural "garage sale" ;)

  14. right back at you!! I keep giving stuff away, I did have a sale last fall, and I keep throwing it away....it is growing when we sleep I think!! It drives me CRAZY, but you are right it is just too darn hot to do anything outside...espeically the garage.

    I really do feel better:) Thanks

  15. Oh my goodness! I thought you took pictures of my garage! We too need to have a garage sale and put Christmas decorations and baby clothes in the attic. Our new attic is so much smaller so Jeff laid new/more floors and now it's too hot to get out there and work. So I guess we'll have a goal for fall :)

  16. What is it with us perfectionists? I'm in clean out mode. If you want encouragement, I can do that! I highly recommend the book "It's All Too Much" by Peter Walsh. He gets into the psychology of why we keep the junk, etc.

    As far as the actual sale goes: CRAIG'S LIST!!! List your high ticket items and then list your garage sale too. You can set a date, the garage sale date, and say that things can be "viewed/purchased" on that date, first come first sold.

    Hope you are doing well! Stay cool and have a great summer!

  17. Kim- I've never loved you more!!!
    I cannot even tell you how big a smile you put on my face when I read your post.

    My tips- phone a friend to help keep you on task, use color coded stickers & easy to remember prices and be sure to have great signage.

    Good luck-

  18. Oh thank goodness...I am so glad your shared this...I feel MUCH more "normal" now! Isn't it amazing how much stuff we accumulate?? I agree...too hot to tackle right now, sadly it will still be there waiting for you when it cools down! xoxo

  19. I think everyone has a hidden stash. Yours just happens to be really big. I think it makes you more human.

    You just need to purge it. It is like a monkey on your back and it is weighing you down.

    Give yourself about 1 hour each morning to organize it. Before you know it, it will be done. Then wait until it gets cooler for the garage sales.

    Garage sales are not too good around here for making money but if you say you are donating the money to something, maybe you'll make more. Get the kids involved too! Once you have gotten rid of all/most that stuff, you'll feel better and know you did something good. Besides, you'll be able to open the garage door again!!!


  20. I think everyone has a hidden stash. Yours just happens to be really big. I think it makes you more human.

    You just need to purge it. It is like a monkey on your back and it is weighing you down.

    Give yourself about 1 hour each morning to organize it. Before you know it, it will be done. Then wait until it gets cooler for the garage sales.

    Garage sales are not too good around here for making money but if you say you are donating the money to something, maybe you'll make more. Get the kids involved too! Once you have gotten rid of all/most that stuff, you'll feel better and know you did something good. Besides, you'll be able to open the garage door again!!!


  21. Thanks for sharing Kim! I have no clue on the garage sale. Sorry.

    Also - headed to the dr today and she actually "heard" me out about the possibility of Adrenal Exhaustion. Thank you SO much for sharing that post and the updates. Even if it's not what I have, it was certainly an eye opener. I am just NOT sure that I can have the will power (like you) for the diet that it will take. She mentioned MANY of the things you mentioned cutting out. I am most nervous about caffeine and gluten. YIKES! Thanks again for always sharing things with us!

  22. Wow, I'm really so surprised! I'm a neat freak too but my basement is a mess. Shut the door and out of my mind it goes!

  23. LOVE IT..
    you are tooo funny..
    Have a great week.

  24. If anyone can pull of a garage sale it would be YOU! Sorry I missed you this time on my trip to Texas. I am going to have to schedule a trip to see my friends in Houston. Texas is just such a BIG state! xoox

  25. We must be related! Our basement looks identical. My husband has insisted that we have tag sale this summer.

    We've had great success with selling higher end items on Craigs List. It took very little effort and they sold within days. We sold our Audi in only a matter of hours.

    Good luck ~

  26. Oh how I can relate. Craigslist the items you wish to make any money from and donate the rest. We usually call 1800 got tr@sh and they come and load up a truck for a hundred bucks. I miss parking my car in the garage...my seats are HOT in the sun. Good luck!

  27. GASP!!
    no, just teasing but seriously i think seeing this garage of yours makes me love you even more
    what a riot!

  28. We moved and had this horrible garage for a few weeks.


    This is the garage cleaned up!


  29. Whew -- feeling so much better about our garage! Plus, we have a basement and an attic full of stuff! My goal for the summer was to clear out the attic and I am maybe 1/2 done, but am now occupied with puppy training - oy!! Like to visit garage sales, hate to have one, so no advice here. Good luck!


    P.S. I've been reading since you started!! :)

  30. No.Way!!! Is that a HIGH CHAIR I spotted!! Whoooa Nelly! I'm going to jump in an say GARAGE SALE all they way. Tips:

    *Definitely have several helpers, include the kids and Dave*

    *List in local newspaper-reference if early birds are welcome or not

    *Awareness is the key-make signs outta neon colored poster boards, add balloons and post at Major intersections near your home w/catchy phrases like "follow these signs to great bargains" that will tweak their interest after seeing several signs...curiosity usually kills the cat or in this case....brings the bargain hunters

    *Be sure and cover the items in the Garage that are NOT FOR SALE

    *Be prepared to negotiate on some items

    *Have cool drinks on hand to sell for little extra's

    *near the end of the garage sale, drop the prices and......

    *Sit back and grin and watch as People PAY YOU to haul away your stuff!!

    *If all this sounds like a bit much I suggest like the others above "Craigslist" the items or just have a BLOGSALE!!

    Any of Kate's too small clothes in those boxes :)

  31. Well, I want to thank you for sharing..... because it just makes me feel better to know that our garage is not the only one that is overflowing with stuff.... we are working on it too. But your home is so orderly, clean, neat, beautiful, and peaceful that it just really encourages me to know that you have at least one area in your life my friend that resembles mine. hehee
    We have been wanting to have a garage sale to raise funds for Isabella's adoption fees but still have not gotten to it... we donate so much but it goes to a thrift store that runs orphanages in Malawi so it is a great cause.
    love you,

  32. haha! we just had a yard sale and am now donating the rest. My garage will finally be clean, yeah!

  33. #1 advice for your garage sale: have the proceeds go to charity. We have a garage sale every year for our LIVESTRONG challenge team cancer sucks. People are less likely to nickel and dime you if they know all the proceeds are going to a worthwhile charity. Having a mini bake & lemonade sale during your sale is also a fun way for the kids to get involved.
    You can list your garage sale for free on craigslist. Just list the day before and morning of sale with your street address only. The bargain hunters will find you. You can list some of your better items on the craigs list to get more attention.
    Other than that, have a good night sleep, rest up and have fun! You will feel so good cleaning out the junk. Best of luck!

  34. You've been in your house for 2 years?! Thats gone so quick!!

  35. Snekcip has great ideas...just a couple of pointers to add...

    *make sure your HOA is notified [ours must approve them before anyone has one outside the twice yearly sale our subdivision has]

    * make sure you have a city permit if yours requires one and know where you can legally post signs [we live N of Dallas and our city workers will take signs if they aren't in the correct spots then come by the sale to make sure the permit has been obtained. Our city doesn't charge for a permit but requires one]

    * Have it on the closest Friday/Saturday to a payday [1st or 15th]The few times we have done our 'hood sale we were cleaned out by 11 am on a Friday.

    *list the dates of the garage sale on Craigslist if you have a garage sale and choose not to post individual items on CL. If you have an HOA and they have newsletters produced, list it there. You know your neighbors are dying to see all your stuff!

    *make a table with a sign such as "all items on this table are $xx each" and you can avoid having to price every.small.trinket.

    *get tool aprons from HD or Lowe's that tie around the waist for Dave & the peanuts if they help--and a cute one for you that has front pockets--- to keep your $$ close to avoid theft. Make sure you get small bills to make change. Our first attempt at a garage sale and someone cleaned us out of our small bills b/c we didn't have enough. We also did not take anything larger than a $20.

    Have fun!

  36. Shame on you! Ha. Just kidding...everyone has a junky place. We had a whole junk room in our basement and a junk drawer in kitchen!

  37. Looks just like my basement and we just moved in! We also got rid of lots of stuff before we moved! Guess it happens to the best of us! I'm sure you will find a way to sell or donate all of your goodies. Just remember the saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure" (not implying your stuff is trash:) hope your summer is going well!,

  38. This picture just made me smile. I have one just like it!

  39. First of all, you know Mr. Jeff would hyperventilate if he saw this!!!:) Of course, no one can believe this is really your garage! You are too funny!!!!

    Well, you know I loathe garage sales... With your really beautiful things, that are worth something, I recommend Craig's List. It's easy, and you will get what you want out of it!!!!

    I love this post!!! Way to keep it real Kim!


  40. So funny that you use to alphabetize your medicine and yet this is your garage! Love it! My tip: Take it ALL out of the garage....make piles for it. Only put back in what you want to keep. (Not that you asked for my tip, but we just recently cleaned ours out!) Hope you will share the AFTER pictures!

  41. Well, now I can SMILE with every one too-
    that looks like a couple of my closets my husband is a pack rat i would throw every thing or give it away
    So He wins!
    Dontcha think it is because we simply buy things we really do not even need!
    My child is grown and gone from home at least you have 3 peanuts so what do I do NOW get off this COMPUTER and get productive in organization HA HA
    Dont worry you will have that taken care of this fall, Ms Kim No DOUBT!
    Your House is SPOTLESS though~
    Hope you are feeling better as well as Will too!
    Thanks for giving us a SMILE!

  42. Definitely too hot in Texas for garage sales this time of the year!!! It's just a garage...and it's just "stuff"...no worries:)

  43. Oh Kim. This is not the Kim I know and love. LOL> ha ha ha. I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around this garage when I can still see your perfectly arranged storage closet in Va. in my mind. I know you and I know you will feel so much better when this looks perfect!! Give it away, have a yard sale or something. Just get rid of the darned stuff. xo

  44. good morning precious friend.
    i'm at work today & just now pulled up the comments over at chatting at the sky & saw your note!
    OH MY GOODNESS>...i wished i'd have known what was going on. i would have prayed for you.
    i am SO sending you my cell #.
    you are in the dream culdesac!!
    ps-i'm glad everything is ok....you are loved!

  45. Hi, I've been reading your blog for awhile but haven't commented until now. (sorry for being a creeper!)

    The best garage sale advice I can give is to hide the items you don't want to sell. I helped my mother with a garage sale a few years ago and people were literally CLIMBING to the back of our garage to get to our family keepsakes, Christmas decorations, even our second refrigerator! Some woman even got really angry when my mom told her that our old dollhouse (handmade by my grandfather for my sister and I)- which was buried under a tarp, in the back corner of our garage- was not for sale. People are vultures! If we do another garage sale, I'd probably just bring the keepsakes inside for the day. Or better yet, close the garage door altogether and just have the sale in the driveway.

    Also, we kept all of the money inside with the door locked. We each kept a few singles in our pockets for quick change, but if anyone paid with big bills we just went inside. We both felt much safer that way!

    I don't mean to scare you away from having a garage sale, though. It's a great way to clear things out. Our garage was waaaayyy worse than yours, and now we can actually fit 2 cars in there. It's a 3 car garage, so we clearly still have some work to do... but hey, progress is progress, right? :)

  46. I am not exactly the one to give advice since i never hosted a garage sale but from what my friends have told...they always like to have it when its not very hot and put flyers up in their neighborhood.

    Good luck...Cant wait to read about how it goes.

  47. OH... you have made me feel a bit better about myself! LOL

  48. Oh let me at your garage! That would be one great garage sale! My biggest advice is to advertise, put an ad in the local paper,put it on craigslist, and have lots of signs pointing people in the right direction. Have lots of tables at your disposal and get the garage sale stickers, makes it much easier to set up. And if you have some higher ticket items make sure you put that in the ad ( or on craiglist ad give the price of it and a picture as well, that is how I sold my big ticket items last week. Spread the word to your friends, they are likely to be your best customers, give them a preview the night before if you want! I would love to go to your garage sale!!!

  49. I'd love to read all the comments, I am sure there are some wonderful ideas, but I don't have time to read all 48 of them!!
    Is there a local family who is fundraising for an adoption? You could donate all your things to them and THEY could sell them and raise $ to bring home a child!! I am quite certain you have many beautiful and valuable things in that garage... it would be cool to know it helped bring a little one home :)
    I want you to know that seeing this makes me feel SO much better about my little stashes ;)

  50. ha. looks like our garage. We needed to have a yard sale as well, but didn't have the time etc.. Our solution was a family that was fundraising for China agreed to come over and take it all off our hands to raise money for their China adoption. We were thrilled and it was a Win/ Win! (THEY had the garage sale! :)

  51. Let me start by saying that yes I have been following your blog for 3 years - basically since just before Kate came home!!

    You have been so inspirational to me and I must say that I am sooo glad to see your garage - I think everyone has one room or closet in their house like this - I know I did until our street just had a street sale 2 weeks ago. It makes you feel so good to get rid of all of this stuff!!

    I love that our street has a sale instead of just our house - advertise it and put up signs!! Anything that doesn't sell goes straight to garbage / donations etc...

    We have some people in our area that run auctions - they will come to your house take everything and give you a flat fee for it! Sometimes they pay quite well!


  52. Aaaahhh! You should call one of those organizers who comes to your house and helps you purge, assign need, etc. and gets things in order. I've used one for my office and she was a Godsend!


Thank you for your kindness.