Garage sales and I have a love/hate relationship. I love getting great deals. I love browsing through people's junk in the hopes of finding that one great item. I love making money on my junk. I HATE planning, setting up and having a garage sale.
My mom loves them. I mean really, really loves them. As a kid, I can remember she and my grandmother having garage sales every summer. And now that grandma is gone and I'm grown, we have one every year. Don't get me wrong, I love it when it's over and I have a few hundred bucks in my pocket. But I despise the process.
Over the years, we've become garage sale pros. We've learned the hard way what not to do and what makes our life easier. I'd like to share some of that wisdom with you...
Don't wait until the week of your sale to start planning. Decide on a date and begin collecting things around the house that you want to sell. Every year, we have our sale during the citywide garage sale in our town. It's always at the end of April or first week of May, so we essentially plan all year. I keep a tub in my craft room and drop stuff in as I clean or re-arrange my house. Once that one is full, it goes to the garage and I start on the next. The last couple of weeks before the sale, I do a quick run through of cabinets, drawers and closets and make sure there's nothing else I want to get rid of. After all, the point is to get rid of stuff and make money! It makes me no money sitting in my closet.
No matter how valuable you think your stuff is, other people will not feel the same. Remember you're selling used items to folks looking for bargains. I can only speak for myself, but a lot of my garage sale purchases aren't because I really need the item, but more because I think it's a great bargain. Also, make sure you price everything ahead of time. Customers don't like to have to ask for prices and usually they won't. You will miss out on a lot of sales if you don't price things ahead of time. If you're having a multi-family sale, remember to color code your price tags or put your initial on each tag so you can keep track of sales.
Advertising is your best friend. No one will come if they don't know it's there. Before the sale, take out an ad in the newspaper for your sale days and utilize social media. You can advertise on Facebook, Craigslist and Twitter. Send a text to all your friends and let them help spread the word.
On the day of the sale, be sure to put out bright, legible signs. Make sure each sign has your address and dates/times of your sale. You should plan to put a sign at your house (on the mailbox or by the curb), at the entrance to your neighborhood or the end of your street and one or two at a main intersection close by.
No one wants to shop in a messy, gunky garage. Set up tables and place like items together. Don't pile things on top of each other and try to arrange everything neatly. Try to keep everything on the tables, but if you have to put items on the ground, aim for bigger items. This will keep your patrons from having to crouch down and dig through boxes on the ground. Put "teaser" items outside so they can be seen from the street. Many people will drive by and look before coming in, so you have to catch them with your set up.
If you have things in your garage that aren't for sale, make sure they're covered or out of sight. Years ago, my dad purchase a brand new weed eater and decided to sell the old one in the garage sale. My mom ended up selling the new one for dirt cheap. That did not set well with the padre. Needless to say, after that, we learned to put away things that weren't for sale.
Checkout can be a giant mess. In year's past, its been feast or famine at our sale. You may have no one in the garage, then BOOM, twenty people are ready to check out. If you have a good set up, this will go smoothly.
At your checkout table, you want to have bags and/or boxes, a calculator and a money bag with change. When we run our sale, one person bags and calls out prices while the other writes it down and tallies it on the calculator. If someone gives you a large bill, it's wise to leave it on the table until you count their change back so there is no confusion or accusation from the customer.
Since we all accumulate junk (way too much of it, too!), a garage sale is a great way to earn some pocket change and de-clutter your house. If you do it right, your sale will be successful and fabulous!
So, I know shaker cards have been around for a while. But, for some reason I never cared about them until now. I have become obsessed with shaker cards. I am not sure why but I just love them all of a sudden! I bought a bunch of micro beads on clearance at Michael's, so I'm ready to make a whole slew of 'em!
When I made this card, I hadn't yet accumulated all my beautiful micro beads, so I used my hole punch and punched a ton of holes to fill the "window".
I'm really happy with the way it turned out! I cut "Thanks" using my Silhouette Cameo. I used a fancy font, then welded the letters together.
For the window, I used acetate paper. I found a really good deal on this through Amazon. It's by Grafix and you get 25 sheets for about 10 bucks with free shipping if you're a Prime member. Love this stuff! You can buy it here:
Have you ever made a shaker card? If so, I'd love to see it! Please share!
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Meal planning is a challenge for me. I don't know why I struggle so much with it, but it just drives me up the wall! I know that when I do plan our meals we eat better, lose weight and save money. It's a goal of mine to plan our meals for at least a couple weeks at a time, but right now one week is an accomplishment for me.
Sooooooo..... I decided one way to get inspired was to make a fun meal planning sheet. I love bright colors and especially rainbows. I printed several of these and am going to take them to work tomorrow, log in to Pinterest and plan away!
I thought I'd share it with you guys and hopefully inspire you to plan too!
You can download your FREE printable meal planner HERE.
I saw a card on Pinterest a while back and I loved the style, so I decided to use that for inspiration. Sadly, I didn't pin the card so I can't share the inspiration pic with you all.
Until a few weeks ago, I hadn't been crafty in a few months. I decided I was ready to play with paper again and I'm working on building up my stash of cards. I like to have cards on hand in case I forget a birthday and need a card right away... or just want to drop a note to a friend.
As you can tell from the pic, the front of the card is basically a half sheet. I designed it on my Silhouette, cut it, then added the flowers.
I cut the flowers in a couple of different sizes and layered them with foam dots. I added enamel dots to the center of each flower. I made the enamel dots myself and I'll post about that soon so you do it too!
I'm really pleased with how this turned out. It was fairly simple and I think I can easily make several different cards using this style as a template.
I don't know about you, but I have a frequent visitor at my house that I not-so-lovingly call "The Clutter Monster". He shows up more often than I'd like and stays way too long. He comes out late at night, when I'm asleep and leaves piles and messes everywhere. We've never actually seen him, but I know he's there...
We moved to a new house a little over a year ago. The home we lived in previously was awful. We lived there way too long because we are in debt and the rent was very cheap. We kept saying that we'd move next year, then we never did. Last February, we were told our landlord had sold the property and we had 4 weeks to move. Cue panic mode!!!
We moved into a duplex and we love it here. It's not huge. It's not fancy. But it's just right for the two of us. We have a garage, I have a craft room and we love the neighborhood. These are all things we never had before.
I say all that to say that since we've moved, I have really worked on making our house look nice. At the old house, I cleaned (until the year I got meningitis!), but it never looked clean because it was just old and ugly. It became such a chore because I just hated the way it looked. Here, it actually looks clean and shiny when I dust or sweep, so I actually enjoy it.
I believe dirt and clutter are two different things. You can dust, vacuum or scrub all day, but if you have clutter strewn about, your house won't look clean. Clutter sneaks in a little at a time for most people, until you have a pile of miscellaneous crap and don't know exactly how it got that way. I think the kitchen is the worst place in the house at accumulating clutter. Mail, small appliances, vitamins/medications, cups, dishtowels and much more seem to like living on the counters.
Here are a few ways I've discovered that help me keep my kitchen looking tidy, even if I haven't just cleaned...
1. Keep your counter tops clear of unnecessary items.
For a long time, we had a coffee maker on our kitchen counter. I NEVER use a coffee maker; my husband used it maybe once every 3 weeks or so. Every time I cleaned, I would have to move it to clean behind and dust it because it wasn't used enough. I finally took it off the counter. It's in an easy to reach place, but not out where it takes up counter space or has to be cleaned all the time.
If you make coffee every morning, it makes sense to have a coffee maker on your counter. But a food processor? A waffle iron? Unless you use these items frequently, put them away. I promise, you'll love it!
2. Have a place for EVERYTHING.
One of the biggest reasons for clutter is that some things don't have a "home" and we end up laying them down on any horizontal surface that's close. This is especially true for circulars, mail and paperwork. If you can, sort your mail over a trash can and immediately discard anything you don't need. Then, head to a shredder if any of it needs destroyed. After that, immediately take the items that need action to their home. If you don't have a spot for mail, go make one right now! I normally pay bills at work on my lunch hour, so I put the mail straight in my work bag and handle it later. If you save coupons or sales flyers for later shopping, you could buy a wall organizer or place a cute basket somewhere and stash them there. Whatever you do, don't start a stack. Stacks become piles, and piles are what you find in pastures when the cows digest their food!
The same goes for kitchen items. Make sure you have a spot for everything, so when you're putting things away, it's a quick and painless process. If you don't have enough cabinet or drawer space in your kitchen, try storing larger items in another room, a closet or even the garage. My mom has shelving in the garage for things like crock pots, her large roaster and cake plates that she doesn't use often. If you store them in their box or clear plastic bags, you don't have to worry about dust or dirt accumulating.
3. Reduce, Reduce, Reduce!
If you're like me, you have, at one time or another, bought that adorable pink spatula because it's so cute and you just can't live without it, Once you start using it, it's crummy and you never use it again, but can't part with it because you paid good money for it. Honey, you gotta let go!
This has been a hard one for me. I love kitchen gadgets and have bought many in my time. However, some of them have turned out to be junk (Anyone remember Eggies from TV? Yep, I bought 'em. And they were awful.). No matter how much you paid for something or how much you love it, if it serves no purpose, get rid of it. Your time and peace of mind is much more important than that stinking pink spatula.
Go through every drawer and cabinet and remove every item you never use and toss, sell or donate it. Then, take out the items that you only use a couple of times per year and find them a new home. This will help free up the prime real estate in your kitchen and make clean up and organization easier. If it's easy to put things away, you'll be much more likely to do it on a regular basis.
4. Pick up after yourself.
Sounds simple enough, right? Not quite. Unless you were born Martha Stewart (love her!), it doesn't come naturally to have an immaculately clean house at all times. I can be a real slob. I won't allow plates with rotting food or gross trash to lie around, but I sure will pile up my shoes by the door or leave my towels in the bathroom floor. It's much easier than actually picking up after myself. BUT...someday, I eventually have to pick it up anyway. If you get into the habit of always putting things back where they go, your house will be much more peaceful and tidy.
Earlier today, I went to return a cup to the kitchen from this morning. Instead of putting it straight into the dishwasher, I caught myself sitting it on the counter closest to the door. Then, I realized what I was doing. I actually counted, and it took me about 4 extra steps and maybe 10 extra seconds to put it away. If it were that easy, why didn't I put it away? I was being lazy, plain and simple.
Purpose in your mind to start a habit of putting away everything you touch. It may take a few weeks for it to become second nature, but it will. Just stick with it.
5. Have a nightly routine.
After a long day at work, going to the gym, maybe doing some laundry, then cooking dinner, I have no desire to clean my kitchen. I want to leave everything where it is, plop down on my couch and have some quality time with my DVR. What will happen if I do this? The next day, I'll have a sink full of dishes, junk on the counters and we'll end up having Taco Bell for dinner...again. And then I have overspent my budget, broken my diet and had bad food.
A clean kitchen provides a welcoming environment for food prep and cooking. I am a poster child for this. Often in the past, I have left the dishes for the next day, then don't want to do them, so we end up grabbing something cheap, quick and unhealthy. This has done nothing but make us fatter and shrink our bank account. When I started working really hard on a nightly routine, cooking became less of a chore. Cleaning became faster and easier. And...I actually stuck to my meal plan and lost weight! Imagine that...
Even if your routine just consists of one or two things, once you start, you won't regret it. Trust me!
I am by no means an expert on these things, but I wanted to share what has worked for me.
Ok, today isn't his birthday. It was March 4th. And, for the record, I don't speak Spanish...not even a little.
I have a habit of giving people nicknames. I am not sure when it really started or why. My husband, whose name is Charles, has about 12 names I call him at various times. (They're all nice - I promise!) Several years ago, I started calling my dad padre and it stuck. I don't call my mom madre, though. I call her Daisy, yet her name is Barbara. There's a story behind that, but we'll save that for another day.
Back to the card....
The first card I made with my Silhouette was a box card. I downloaded the file from svgcuts.com. I haven't used it since and that was over a year ago. I really like these cards just because they're fun, so I decided to pull it out for him.
I used various scraps of paper for the card, so I honestly couldn't tell you who makes this paper.
Isn't it festive?
Look at the above picture. Do you see anything that doesn't belong?
Look very closely.
The navy balloon on the left is a bit of a mess. When I was making the card, I wanted every balloon to be a different color, but I didn't have one single piece of patterned paper in navy. So, I pulled out my trusty white gel pen and made my own. In person, it blended in pretty well but it seems to really stand out in the picture.
I used an old stamp I have by The Paper Studio. I really like the swirly letters, but I'm a little sick of it. I guess I might have to buy some new stamps. Oh, darn! I just hate shopping for crafty things.... said no one, ever!
Have you ever made a boxed card? I'd love to see your pics if you have.