Collections are more effectively displayed when grouped together and artfully arranged. These assortments of loved items can be displayed as the main focus of a room or tucked away and arranged in small, unusable spaces to create interest.
- In this picture a collection of pigs sleep continently in the window nook of a sunny kitchen, adding the owner’s lively humor to her home décor.
- Classic car prints, purchased at a garage sale in Michigan for three dollars apiece (sans frames) , capture the nostalgia of the twenties and thirties and the grandeur of the era when the automobile was king. The pictures set off a narrow area that is nestled behind a banister and previously only displayed the unsightly wall switches.
- Collections can even be a mismatched assortment of items in varying hues of a favored color. On this coffee table a collection of items use different shades of green as their common denominator.
Selling used goods from a driveway, a garage, a yard, or the interior of a home has been referred to as a garage sale, yard sale, or tag sale. Typically these events are held to get rid of unwanted household items with the secondary benefit of raising money.
I contend that every sale should be approached in the opposite way because people are usually motivated by positive results. Therefore creating abundance should be the primary goal. Along the way, the process can even be enjoyable, cathartic, or rejuvenating.
- The benefit to purging a home is often seen as much as it is felt. When a homeowner bites the bullet and does a thorough organization and purging of their things, magical things happen. Their home is organized, soothing space is created, and the overall feeling of orderliness takes over. The results are often tangible. A feeling of well being pervades the home, inviting inhabitants and visitors alike to a warm and inviting welcome.
- Setting up the sale should be viewed as a study in creativity. People like to shop, and tend to buy more items when they are surrounded with interesting items that are beautifully arranged. Take the time to arrange furniture in rooms, and make attractive table arrangements. The time spent doing this creative arranging is rewarded by a more profitable return for your time.
- The actual sale should be a festive, friendly occasion. Friends are a great help and often will bring their own things to sell at the sale. A community effort is a lot of fun. Helping hands reduce the burdens involved with running a sale alone and there are more people to assist customers and keep an eye on the merchandise.
The entire process from start to finish can be truly cathartic…and profitable.
Every woman needs a Diva Lair; a place that is liberating and individual, a haven where womanhood is celebrated and energies are renewed. A place that revives the reckless and carefree spirits of youth. This amazing breathing space offers a haven, a feminine sanctuary, that embraces and protects from the chaos outside . . . if only for awhile.
The actual size of the space is irrelevant. Some women etch their signatures throughout every facet of their homes; simple exquisite touches that delight the soul . . . when least expected. While others create a space, a nook, a room . . . that is wholly theirs.
In my mountain home I have created a “Diva Dressing Room.” It is exquisitely mine, and belies the rough beauty of mountain living. Its walls are carved out of a former bedroom, and they shelter my daywear, evening attire, bobbles, jewelry, and even a delicious dabbling of Sex in the City shoes.
In my beloved lair I surround myself with things of beauty, most of which have been collected over the years from consignment and thrift shops, garage, yard and tag sales. Every corner is filled with vintage clothes and perfume and a nostalgic assortment of effects reminiscent of bygone eras.
Excerpt from Barb’s soon to be released book;
From America’s Decorating Diva
Despite raving fans on both sides of the frugal fence, the popularity of thrift shopping, or thrifting as it is referred to by frugal aficionados, is soaring. With the downturn of the economy, shopping for used items has become the new black. Yes, it is in vogue . . . even chic. It is also undeniably green. No more trees cut down, sheep sheared, or plastic is manufactured. In addition, the concern over sweatshop employment has little to no justification when shopping for bargains in the thrifty aisles of this nation’s secondhand establishments.
Used treasures, despite where they are merchandised, fall under the general category known as thrift. However the shops that carry these secondhand goods are as diverse as they are numerous.
The adventurous throngs that shop for recycled bargains are divided into two categories; thrift store aficionados and the more discerning consignment and antique devotees. Bona fide consignment or antique buffs seldom venture into thrift shops and have little inclination to sift through stacks of secondhand effects to find their holy grails. By the same token, thrift shop groupies loathe the thought of paying the historically higher prices demanded at the more trendy consignment or antique shops.
The difference between these two thrift venues typically lie in the quality of merchandise found in each establishment. Both consignment shops and antique stores demand higher prices but their goods are generally superior in quality and their stores are typically merchandised beautifully.
Picture compliments of www.FunFindsAndDesigns.com
Come on, Celebrities Holding Garage Sales?
And, here I thought that this Thrift Talk Diva had the corner on making good money with my fancy “Diva Sales.”
Whether their sales were held to make money or donate to their favorite charity, more and more stars are putting their used items up for sale. Yikes! Little did I know that I was going up against the likes of Tori Spelling, Scott Baio, Teri Hatcher and Pamela Anderson.
OK, so maybe I’ve been snookered and outclassed. I would imagine that my stuff is pretty paltry in comparison to their stuff. But, I still have a bit of a time wrapping my mind around celebrities hawking their junk just like the rest of us.
Well, why not? After all, I have yakked for years about the benefits of holding tag sales and purging homes of unwanted things. And I do love the thought of a good yearly cleanse, because it is the only purge that I know of that is capable of making a fast buck.
But I still find myself asking, “Why would outlandishly wealthy celebrities hold yard sales?”
So I’ve been doing a little bit of celebrity snooping, and, voila, I am now Diva Detective. I’ve found that most stars sell their items through auction houses, but a few actually worked their own sales right out on their very own driveways, albeit with professional agent assistance.
Some pocket the money but others donate their funds to charity. Scott Baio’s sale raised funds as well as awareness for mandatory newborn screening in all fifty states after his daughter tested positive for GA1, a metabolic disorder. Fortunately, she is fine, after it was discovered that her results were a false positive.
Teri Hatcher raised $20,000 for her favorite charities through an invite-only, $50 entrance fee, yard sale.
And Pamela Anderson was reported have sold one of her homes with all of the contents, donating the proceeds to PETA.
So what’s the difference between their yard sales and mine? So okay, the autograph signings are probably a draw. And, maybe their furnishings are a tad more elegant. And then there are the gowns, and the jewels. Hmm…
You have entered into a wonderful gathering place designed to unleash the Diva Spirit, highlight talents, push creativity to its limits, and explore the wonderful, zany world of thrift and frugal decorating. The possibilities are limitless. An endless supply of bargains and choices are at our disposal, and that is what makes the journey along the tattered highways of thrift so compelling.
This site was designed as a place to share garage sale tales, learn where to find cheap deals, understand the difference between vintage and antique, experience the thrill of thrift store treasures, become skilled at fixing broken parts, and discover the secrets that can turn a frumpy house into a fabulous home.
On a larger scale, this site is a place where women can converse with one another, share their experiences, and have a voice. In addition, you will learn about my journey through the thrift world as well how to create a home that honors the Diva in all of us.
Thrift Talk Diva
The Warrior Spirit within…
Why I Call Myself A Diva
When I was growing up in the fifties and sixties, I was caught in the middle of two ambiguous eras where strong female role models were just becoming the norm. However the movement toward a more independent, self-actualized woman was beginning to percolate beneath the surface. This trend, interestingly, was reflected in the fashions of the day and nudged along by the ever-progressive motion picture industry. Here, among the drawing boards and fabric bolts of Hollywood design studios, life began to imitate art when Marlene Dietrich created a furor wearing pants in the 1930s film Morocco. Garbo soon followed suit, and the rest was another cornerstone in female history.
But the Diva who really touched my soul was Katharine Hepburn. Throughout her film career Kate maintained her fierce independence, took full ownership of her controversial label, was quick to challenge convention, and loathed labels and inequity.
When asked, in an NBC interview, why she wore pants the outspoken actor proclaimed, I just had good timing. The times fit me. Pants came in, low heels came in, and the terrible woman came in…who spoke her mind.
Kate extolled with feisty abandon her beliefs in education, in human sexuality and birth control and applauded women’s rights. Katherine Hepburn was a Diva. A warrior. A woman who savored the moment and danced to her own rhythm.
Although growing up in the shadows was the norm for my generation, strong, vibrant and daring women were emerging. Jacqueline Kennedy epitomized the strength of the sixties woman and was indeed a soldier in both fashion and fact. Gloria Steinem, despised and revered, was and is an unquestionable testament to the pursuit of the feminine.
These women were a few of the many role models that nudged me away from the security of a predictable life and comforts of a mundane existence.
During those exciting yet turbulent years, women burned their bras as a symbol of a female society unwilling to be harnessed to an outdated plow. The movie industry, quick to imitate life, awakened that restless seed within me as I passed from the spring of my youth into the summer of my adolescence.
I was mesmerized by movies that influenced the wide-eyed teen that I continued to be. But it wasn’t until the eighties that I began to see the seeds of the strong, warrior female emerge.
Movies like Beaches and Steel Magnolias are still apologetically referred to today as “chick flicks”, ignoring or diminishing the power of their titles or the mettle of their characters. To me, these films captured the Diva character, embracing and intertwining the beguiling spirit of the feminine with the resolve of the warrior.
We need to recognize and honor the fact that heroes are not singularly made on battlefields or boardrooms, heroes appear in the bedrooms of the sick and within the written words of children’s storybooks. Heroes are the women who went to the factories when the men went to war. The silent combatants were the women who were the gatekeepers of the underground railroads.
Yesterday women sheltered the persecuted, today they shelter the abused. Heroes are the women who entered the male bastions and broke the glass ceilings.
Some women find their paths early and lead rich, full lives. Others discover their missions latter and revel in their new-found bliss. And some fallen warriors never open themselves up to life’s possibilities.
In reflecting on our unique and individual journeys, I am reminded of Viking runes; the smooth and ancient hieroglyphics said to foretell ones cosmic direction. There is one stone in the bag of 27 fortuitous messages that is blank. Although that rune is disappointing when first received, it is the most powerful and promising of all the runes. It is said to be the pregnant rune . . . the harbinger of all possibilities. In choosing this rune the Diva Warrior learns to honor the power of the unknown, and develops the courage and faith necessary to step into the void.
I never attended a garage sale until I began my secondary career as a thrift diva. But once I got started, I realized that they are one of the best ways to find bargain pricing on just about anything you need – as long as you aren’t in a hurry to find it!
That’s right. No other source, not even Goodwill, the Salvation Army or your favorite flea market sells stuff as cheap as people who are purging, cleaning out closets, moving or settling an estate. Which is why garage sales are always on my “hot list.”
Granted, if you’re shopping for a specific item, you may not find it on any given day no matter how many garage sales you hit. But, then again, even if you don’t find what you came for, chances are you’ll find something else you can use at a price that’s negligible – sometimes even free!
Beyond that, garage sales are a blessing for those with babies and small children. Why? You can stop the constant “baby needs it” cash outflow by letting other people’s kids be a steady supply of new-to-your kids toys and clothing.
Here are eight of my best tips and tricks for garage sale success:
1. Timing Matters.
- Most garage sales occur on the weekend starting on Friday, as early as 8:00 a.m., and run through Saturday or Sunday. (Although not as many are held on Sundays.)
- Early birds have been known to show up an hour and a half early (yes, at 6:30) so if your heart is set on an advertised item, plan to arrive early. However, be courteous. If the sale is not open, wait in your car. Don’t knock on the door at 6:00 in the morning. (The sellers may have been up until 3:00 a.m.)
- When shopping garage sales go on the first day. The good things will go first and prices can still be suprisingly low.
- Estate sales are often houses full of items. Since the merchandise is usually better quality, it will also be more expensive. You will find better bargains if you wait until the end of the last day.
2. Shop late and bargain to save money.
- Most of the time, the better deals are found at the end of the sale when sellers are faced with the prospect of hauling their stuff back inside or to the thrift store drop-off center.
- Bargain harder at the end of the day when there is less opportunity for the seller to get asking price.
- Basically prices are always negotiable at garage sales. You may not get it, but it never hurts to ask.
- Buy multiple items to get a “bulk” rate.
- Early in my thrifting “career” I snagged a sterling silver butter dish for $5. Strangely enough, many sellers do not price items, seem indifferent to how much money they make, and will essentially let you name your price even early on in the sale — so aim low.
3. Plan your route to save time and gasoline.
- Pick one promising sale to visit first, and plan the rest of your stops to flow out from your first stop.
- Shop at Subdivision Sales. Homeowners band together to offer house-to-house sales all on the same day. What a boon!
- Look up sales online in advance, but be aware that many people only advertise garage sales via signs posted around the neighborhood and on major streets the morning of the sale. So anticipate that whatever the route you’ve planned – you’ll likely end up with a lot of small detours.
- In the height of the garage sale season, plan to visit only one general area each week. Driving ten miles out of your way for one sale that may or may not be any good isn’t a productive use of your time or gas money.
4. Choose your neighborhoods wisely.
- For the discerning shopper, patronize the upscale neighborhoods. Yes, they might be a little pricy, but that is where the nicer things are found.
- A good rule of thumb is to haunt the middle class neighborhoods. They typically offer the best ratio of good stuff to good prices.
5. Choose your sales wisely.
- Moving Sales are the best places to get deals because people are limited by time deadline and how much they can move.
- Estate sales are best for higher end items, but you’ll pay higher prices as well.
- Ordinary garage sales are a crapshoot.
- Cruise the Internet and pick out the best ones by reading the ads on Craigslist, although I’ve found that you never know until you get there and take a look.
- To save time, simply cruise by uninteresting looking sales. You might miss some good things hidden in boxes, but at the height of the season, there are so many sales and limited time.
- If you’re looking for a specific item, like an antique dresser, you can try emailing and calling all the people who have actually posted ads in advance and seeing if anyone is selling that item. If so, they might be willing to set it aside for you until a certain time (say, 8:30 for a garage sale that starts at 8:00).
- Set a budget before you head out the door.
- Avoid buying things just because they are a great deal.
- Be honest with your time and talents. For example, unless you love to refinish furniture, you’re unlikely to suddenly take up the hobby and that shabby chic chair will be collecting dust in your garage for quite a while.
- For sales with unpriced items, make sure to ask about prices before you let yourself get attached to things.
7. Shop with a friend.
- Be careful not to compete with them for every thing you find . . . you just may loose a friend. Rather, consider someone with strengths you lack.
- If you aren’t good at bartering . . . bring someone who is.
- Bring someone who knows more about an area (furniture, glassware, jewelry) than you do.
- If you drive a small car, enlist a friend that drives a pickup truck!
8. Loose the great expectations mentality
- There will be days when you don’t find anything you like or can afford.
- You are under no obligation to stay any length of time at a sale. There are too many out there to waste time at a sale that has nothing to offer you.
And now, let the garage sale fun begin!!
When you’re planning a garage sale spend some time deciding how to price your items. Garage sale pricing is an art form . . . one that takes some planing and a realistic evaluation of your inventory.
When pricing keep these rules in mind:
- If your merchandise is priced too high, it won’t sell.
- If it is priced too low, the money you make won’t be worth the time you spent setting your garage sale up and selling for two or three days.
Here are some guidelines that I’ve developed, based on my experience and tips I picked up from traditional retailers:
- It’s hard to say what a used item is really worth. Whatever you decide on, leave room so that you can come down 25% to 50% and still make a profit.
- Try to think of the type of buyer that would be interested in individual peices and how much they’d be willing to pay.
- Be creative with pricing. . . Go WILD. I’ve used the “buy one, get one free” promotion to move smaller items or common things like clothing or plastic containers.
- Announce ’blue light special’ on certain items that might not be moving.
- Mark things down as the sale progresses.
- Go for the unusual. Tell your next customer that they’re the 25th shopper and entitled to a 25% discount. You’ll find that others will chime up and ask for the discount. Tell them that it will apply if they buy 5 or more items.
- Start an email sheet to inform your customers of your next WILD sale.
Price it higher if:
- It is the first day of your sale
- You are willing to keep it
- It has real collectible value or is vintage or antiques
- Know the value of the item at auctions like eBay
Discount your pricing if:
- It’s the last day of your sale
- You are relocating and holding a moving sale
- The item isn’t selling or is an item that doesn’t sell well at yard sales
With the downturn in the economy, thrifting has become the new American pastime allowing you to incorporate cheap but chic decor and fashion into your life. Across America hundreds of thousands of treasure seekers attend garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales, flea markets and estate sales to pick through other people’s stuff to find BARGAINS. This grass roots phenomenon has been compared to the modern– day gold rush as evidenced by the ever so popular Antique Road Show.
- You save money: buying reusable, quality products is less expensive
- You conserve natural resources: decreasing energy and raw material consumption helps the planet
- You eliminate waste: sensible consumption frees up natural resources for other worthwhile purposes
- You help others recycled clothing and household items are also sent to developing countries
- Customers also benefit by getting access to quality used goods at a great value.
- The poor and indigent benefit from food and shelter
- Customers also benefit by getting access to quality used goods at a great value.
- The poor and indigent benefit from food and shelter
- Individuals in developing countries around the world can now create their own marketplaces in which to conduct commerce.
- As a result, other individuals in these countries have a resource where they can find used, affordable merchandise.
To The Planet
- We’re doing our part to save our planet from the 20-billion pounds of used clothing and textiles tossed into landfills each year.
- One thrift store chain (Savers) and its recycling program alone prevented 280 million pounds of unsold merchandise from ending up in landfills last year by reselling to domestic and international people in need.
- Can you believe that the average North American throws away 67.9 pounds of used clothing and rags into the garbage? This results in over twenty billion pounds (or more than 9.09 billion kilograms) of used clothing and textiles tossed into landfills each year. When you donate to or shop at thrift store, increase the re-use of goods and help the environment. So says Don Ruehs Start you own High Profit Thrift Store http://startthriftstore.com/index.html