Monday, December 27, 2010

Confessions of a junk'n fool

Photos are from the 400 mile yard sale. One year Tisha and I covered the event for the Messenger. We traveled down US 68 in to Paris and hit nearly every sale along the way.
 This is my column that appeared a few weeks before the 400 mile sale
I have to admit that I am a yard sale junkie!
I remember back in the early 1970’s when (gasp) it was considered tacky to even have a yard sale, let alone be caught shopping at one.
But thankfully times have changed and some of the most elite citizens of society can be seen wrestling another shopper for a great bargain.
And if you think folks don’t get a little hostile when it comes to someone else getting in their territory at a yard sale, think again.
I have actually seen grown women in a hot game of tug-of-war over some item they both desired.
The rule of what is actually your domain at a yard sale is a spoken one. If you happen to put down something you plan to purchase, then you just lost that item. Every yard sale junkie knows that cardinal rule.
And you can bet there will be several others who have their eye on that very item you put back on the table, like vultures, they will swoop down and snatch that item up.
When I first started hitting yard sales, I didn’t know about the “put it down rule and you just lost it,” and lost out on some great bargains.
Now if I find something I know I can’t live without, well I hold on to it for dear life.
Old pros like me have learned to start scanning a sale while driving up to where it is being held. No kidding, as soon as you get near the site, your eagle eyes take effect and you can spot items even before putting the car in gear. Just don’t forget to put the car in gear before jumping out and racing toward the sale in a mad frenzy to beat that lady in the blue dress that is already walking toward your claim.
If you really have to have that item you can always resort to screaming, hey, don’t touch that bookcase, I have already decided that it is mine. That is if you don’t mind all the evil stares you will get.
Serious yard sale shoppers will stop at nothing to seize the deal of the day, so you do have to be prepared when you are going to a yard sale.
For starters you have to study the yard sale ads like you were going to have a final exam on them the next day. Then you have to circle in red the ones that sound the most promising. Next, especially since you may even have to take out a bank loan in order to gas up the car, you have to plan your route. Don’t forget to eat a good healthy breakfast before heading out because believe me you will need plenty of energy for a full day of running around to at least 20 yard sales. That is if you have done your homework and you have circled sales from at least five different county newspapers.
Now that you have the best laid plans mapped out you need someone to ride shot gun so you will have an extra set of eyes to spot the great deals, and you’re good to go.
A seasoned yard sale junkie will start out before the crack of dawn, so if you plan to get any bargains for your self you had better learn to wake up very early beginning on Thursday mornings
Every year I have noticed that there are more and more yard sale shoppers to compete with, so getting to the sale early is very crucial.
Home decorating items seem to be the first bargains to go and they are my absolute favorite. You can redecorate your entire house on even the tightest budget by shopping at yard sales. I happen to love good quality cooking pans, but could never afford their hefty price tag. Thanks to others who buy them and for some reason decide they don’t need them anymore I have been able to fill my cabinets with all different sizes of quality pots and pans, and some good baking dishes too!
After a long day of bargain hunting you can relax with your yard sale buddy and enjoy a cold drink and get a head start on planning your outings for next weekend’s yard sales.

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