Kids Helping at Garage Sales

Last week, we talked about helping children to let go of unused or outgrown belongings.  If you were successful, you may have found that you created quite a pile of belongings for them to either donate or put out for a garage sell.  This up and coming weekend has many in our communities starting to pull out tables and stickers to price.  So we thought why not include your kids in the process!

How to Start

Gather the Items

If you haven’t already done so, go through each room and create a pile that is garbage, one that could be donated, and then a pile of items to sell.   Don’t forget a room!  Closets, attics, basement, pump houses, and garages can be full of items.  Don’t think that people won’t buy your belongings.  You would be amazed what people might want, and if they don’t then you can haul it off after the sell is over.

This is a great opportunity to talk to your children about making money from selling belongings as well as  encouraging them to give to others.

garage salePrepping for Sale


After you’ve chosen your date, you can start to spread the word.  You can place an add in the paper or online.  It’s amazing how many group pages you can find on facebook, created specifically for your community.  We found Lewis County Baby and Kids Site, Lewis County Furniture and Home Decor for Sale/Wanted, and Lewis County Area: Free, Wanted, For Sale as well.  There are so many, for examples: sports equipment, farm equipment/supplies/livestock, antiques, and more.   Craig’s List is also a great way to post about your garage sale too.   Make sure that you list the date of your sale, as well as location, and time.

“I saw ALL of your signs!”

IMG_5713[1]This is one of the most important things.  A small little paper, being batted around by the wind and possible rain, may do you little good.  We found that having a large sign, and a lot of them, makes a huge difference.  We used boards cut to  2′ x 3′ and some 12″ x 24,” and painted them white.  We simply placed the word “SALE” with an arrow on them.  Then put them at the head of each road to guide people there.  The days of the sale, they were set up in the mornings and taken down each evening.  We heard more people say “The saw the signs,” over reading about it in the paper or online!  The nice thing about these signs too, is you can use them for years to come.  These particular signs are twenty years old and are pulled out for any garage sell we hosted or for friends that needed them too!

Have the kids help paint the boards and the arrows.  They can even come along with a parent to set them up!

Garage Sale Essentials

IMG_5686[1]Stickers for Pricing

This particular task is great to include the kiddos.  Especially when it is for their own items.  They can decide how to price things, with guidance of course as well as putting each sticker on their own belongings.

Bins and Boxes

These can be very handy when you have a lot of things that are the same price.  Put a sign on the bin or write on the box the price you would want per item ($.10, $.50, $1).  Have your kids help sort the toys according to what each bin is marked at.  These worked great for all those toys that manage to make it home from McDonalds, the fair, school, as well as old stocking stuffers, cars, stuffed animals, barbies, and more.

Tables and Placement

Having table space makes it easy for browsers to look around.  You can use your own, borrow some, or make them.  One way to create more table space is by setting two tables three to four feet apart, lengthwise, then bridge the gap in between with a board that is about the same width of both tables.  You can also use sawhorses with a board on top to make a large table.  Table clothes can help to make the display look a little more put together, as well as conceal any items not included in the garage sale below.

IMG_5688[1]Now that you have your tables set up, call the kids back out.  This is another task where they can help! Have them pick a spot to put all the toys that are for sale.  Some kids may love setting them up to be displayed.  We found that they even gave pointers as to what level they should be placed… So kids coming in could see them.  Their sales skills are already blooming!  

Don’t Forget the Change

Find a money box or deposit bag to use.  Make sure to have fives, ones, quarters, dimes, nickles, and pennies.  Chances are you will get a lot of people that will bring large bills.  Periodically take out the larger bills or when you start collecting a large amount, and set it aside in a safe place.

If you feel your child is ready, have them help to collect the money and count change back.

Ask for Help

It doesn’t hurt to have more than one adult present to help out with the garage sale.  It’s nice to have an extra hand to look out for sale itself and your kiddos if they are outside with you.  That’s why having a couple families doing a sale together can help make it be a lot less stressful for both families.

Time to Conduct Business

When the big day comes, prepare to have a smile ready,  hear some low ball offers, see many things go, and even…. talk your kids through saying goodbye to some of their well loved belongings.  Yes, they still might want to hang on, and you may need to pull out some tips from last weeks blog post.  ( )

If they are still resistant, this could be a moment when you offer to match your child’s funds, or offer a reward with the earnings.  You may find that with a little bit of encouragement your kiddo may become a great salesman.  It’s also a great opportunity for them to count change, and add up how much they’ve made.

The most rewarding part is being able to free your house of clutter, and who wouldn’t want to cut some chaos out of their lives?  So if you are planning on having a garage sale, good luck to you Discover! friend!

IMG_5714[1]Discover! Crew Observations

  • Kids were somewhat resistant until they saw that they had money to spend.
  • Kids had fun when other children visited and played with them.  “The Perk” was that it relieved parents and grandparents a bit while they looked around.
  • Kids started demonstrating what the toys did while visiting children watched, which at times convinced parents to buy them.
  • Kids even went back into the house to grab more items to sell.  BONUS!!!!
  • Kids can help put things in the free box, as well as set up a lemonade stand.  If you have the time you can even make some cookies to sell!

Teaching The Little Ones to Let Go

SPRING-CLEANINGFor many, this time of year means it’s time to do some spring cleaning.  Emptying closets, putting away winter gear and pulling out the summer garb, and deep thinking sets in.  You may find yourself staring at the things that you haven’t used in months or years.  A list of people come to mind that could use them, or you may wonder how much money you could possibly get for your once treasured (fill in the blank).

Taking your items to friend, donating them, or putting together a garage sale all require time and patience.  No matter who you are or where you live there are nooks in every home where things sit and collect dust over a period of time.  Children’s rooms are no different. Most everyone, at some time in their lifetime, has gone through their belongings and rid themselves of items that don’t fit anymore or are no longer needed for that time in their lives.   What we take for granted is how healthy that is for us.  Learning to “let go” of stuff is a healthy habit for people to learn.

Involving-Kids-in-Daily-Cleaning-Chores-300x213Children learn their habits from those around them.  The way they treat their belongings, clean up after themselves, and eventually dispose of these items is also learned from their peers.  As adults we teach them how to take care of their prized toys, clean up with the multiple storage options we buy, and gently nudge them to donate/sale their outgrown toys to another kiddo that would love to play with them.

One sentimental blogger said that he would personify his belongings which made it hard for him to let go.  So when he started to get rid of things that he thought he could still possibly need in the future, for example his truck, he turned the tables and asked himself this:  “If my truck really were a living creature, it’s purpose would be to be used. Not to weigh me down. I realized I am disrespecting my things by leaving them laying around, dormant, trapped merely to serve my memories. They have a purpose that I’m holding them back from.” ~ Nicky Hajal

This advice can be easy for an adult to understand and try out, but how do you teach your kids to let things go?

pile_of_toysStart to Talk

  • Too much stuff can not allow enough room to play.
  • It’s hard to find the toys that you really want to play with.
  • Tripping isn’t fun!
  • “There are little kids that would love to play with the toys that you don’t play with anymore, and you feel so happy when you give.”  Share stories of toys you gave to younger kids when you were little.
  • It’s a sign that they’re growing up.
  • Have them pick their ten favorite toys that they love, and then let find ten toys that they don’t play with anymore.

Teaching them these habits will help them to continue to donate or get rid of things in the future.

family fun with cleaning upMake it Positive

One big thing you want to avoid is a negative experience.  There are several ways to do this.  When you are going through the process encourage them to talk about the space.  “Look at all this space, you could set up your hot wheels track now,” “Look, you have a whole cubby to put whatever you want in!  What do you think you can put in there?” Let them talk about what they can do differently in their room with the new available space.  Kids may be inspired to make their room more grown up, or the idea of donating may make them happy, and some might just love to spend the time with you.

toy storyLet it Go

There will be times during the process that they will cling to a toy that they haven’t played with in eons, and it’s your job to stay calm and walk them through a process of letting it go.   When they’re crying.. let them, sure it sometimes feels very sad to let go of something that used to be so fun to play with.  Explain that it will continue to have a good life giving the same pleasure to another happy kiddo and let them say goodbye and wish it a great life ahead.   You can do this with your own things too.  “Oh I love this hat… I wore it to Elsa’s and Jack Frost wedding, what a wonderful ceremony it was!  It’s such a shame I never wear it anymore!  I think I’m going to give it away to the little shop, where someone wonderful can wear it again!”  You showing this simple habit will be a great lesson, and is a truly good gift for their future.

Overloaded with Stuff

toy-donationWhatever you decide to do with your much loved belongings is up to you.  It may take time to build up a worthy amount of items to have a garage sale.  If you decide to donate your items there are many options.  You can ask churches if they or members of the congregation have specifics needs, local shelters (especially women’s shelters) welcome clothing and toys, and there is also a visiting nurses in Centralia and Chehalis.

Next week we will write something for throwing a garage sale with help from your kids.  Stay tuned!

Places to Donate

Visiting Nurses Centralia 222 S Pearl St.

Visiting Nurses Chehalis 749 Market Blvd.

Human Response Network (360) 748-6601

Salvation Army (360) 736-4339

Lewis County Shelter (360) 736-5140

Lewis County Women’s Shelter (800) 244-7414

Longview Housing Authority (360) 423-0140

Don’t forget to reach out to any church!



Mom! You Rock!

MomAfter much debate as to what we would talk about this week, it was decided that Moms needed to have a little blog post thrown their way.  At first we thought about a craft, but then again that would mean mom would have to supervise.  We didn’t want to add any tasks on top of your busy day, plus it wouldn’t be a surprise for you either.  So it was decided to take a different route.

I’m sure many of you have seen numbers of articles about parenting, activities to partake in, places to go, doctors to see, and countless other subjects.  On a rare occasion you’ll see some articles about stepping back, taking a breather, and being less hard on yourselves… As WELL as on the other moms around you.

One thing that is so true, and I’ve heard a local yoga instructor say, “No two bodies are alike, as well as no two days.  It is not a competition, it is not a time for you to judge, but a time for you to focus on yourself.”  Even though it can be very hard to do this, imagine how much better we could feel if we weren’t comparing ourselves to other people.

This picture popped up on Facebook, and I couldn’t help but use it for this post.

Making Comparisons

As our little ones come into this world, our lives are turned upside down to make adjustments to the schedule of a new precious baby.  Think of a purse that has been held upside down, and all the contents have been dumped out.  Some women would immediately pick everything up, and put it all back in place.  Another woman would possibly pick it all up at once and throw it in without a second glance.  Then there may be a woman out there reading this right now that is thinking, “I don’t carry a purse, so I wouldn’t have to worry about this happening.”  The point is woman are all different, and as we deal with any incidents (including parenting) we are going to react according to what we are most familiar or comfortable with.

Schedules, events, and daily activities are going to differ from one family to the other.   One mom may be great at scheduling.  She may thrive on having all her events properly placed on a calendar.  She is really good at it, and it may make her feel better about her day.   Another mom may find that a schedule just doesn’t suit her needs as a parent, and she enjoys spending her days with her kids and seeing what comes there way.  Either way… These women are awesome!

What one woman does will not be the same exact way you do it, and it shouldn’t be.  As the words above said we aren’t alike, no two days will be the same, nor should they be.  Just focus on the moment and do the best you can, confident in yourself as a mom.

Reaching Out

If you see a mom, that you think “I just wonder how she does that?” It doesn’t hurt to ask!  We have seemed to become more comfortable judging and not reaching out to one another.  If you decide to ask, you will most likely find her to be a woman that is doing her best to keep all the balls in the air like a juggler, and trying to not let one fall.  Or she might love to share information that helped her.  We all know that there is a mom out there that we watched and just wished we could be just half of the mom that she is to her kids.  Chances are she feels, or has felt, the same way about someone else.

Two moms connecting at the local Chehalis Mops group.
Two moms connecting at the local Chehalis Mops group.

Reaching out in your community is a great way to connect and learn about others and yourself.  Locally we have awesome opportunities for moms to meet up.  There are MOPS and local moms groups,  school PTA organization, and more.  If you are intimidated, find a friend to go with you, but go into it knowing that there is most likely a friend in there waiting for you to join her.

When things are looking bad… Remember… You can do it!

405455056a3ea3aada2a6fe0ca7f9916If we aren’t looking at other moms to compare ourselves to, we are looking at what we aren’t doing right.  We all struggle with wanting to do our best around our kids ALL day.  Well guess what…  We ALL aren’t going to be perfect.  We’re human, and again no two days are alike.  Life gets crazy, people get sick or tired, things get broken, food gets dropped or spilled, children will fight, and chances are Mom is bound to have her patience tested.

Understand that you will have a melt down, just like your little ones.  Take a breather… sit in the bathroom and lock the door.  Tell your kiddos, that you need to take a few seconds to yourself. Relish the time during their naps, so you can re-energize.  If it’s after nap time or they don’t take naps, find an activity that you know they enjoy doing  peacefully and let them do it to their hearts content.  Mine love to color or blow bubbles, so I let them have a good thirty minutes of that while I start dinner.  Which is my time, or I like to think it is!  If all else fails, everyone can have some room time, including yourself so you can get a break and come back with a fresh attitude.

Super Mom!

This is another little thing that we have seen pop up on the land of Pintrest, and we thought it was fitting!
This is another little thing that we have seen pop up on the land of Pintrest, and we thought it was fitting!

All these pointers may seem easier said then done.  There are moms out there that have expressed that they are afraid that their attitudes about themselves, or how they have behaved, will ruin their kiddos.  Just remember that your kids love you.  You are their super mom!  Not one that you have made up in your head as what you think a super mom should be or look like.  You ARE THEIR super mom, not like any other.

No two women are the same and no two days are the same.  You can only face your day as yourself and do the best you can.  Do so with confidence, because we know you can.



Some Inspirational Quotes!

  • “It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”  ~ Anonymous
  • “The moment a child is born the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother… never.  A mother is something absolutely new.”  ~ Anonymous
  • “If we are not a little bit uncomfortable every day, we’re not growing.  All the good stuff is outside our comfort zone.” Jack Canfield
  • “The most beautiful necklace a mother can wear is not gold or gems, but her child’s arms around her neck.” ~ Anonymous

We wish all of you mothers a wonderful Mother’s day, and we hope you enjoy your time with your children.  Happy Mother’s Day Discover! Moms!