The weather is warm and yard sale season is upon us! "Hurrah!" shout those of you who always seem to find something good. "Whatevs," says those who of you who don't. But wait! Perhaps you aren't looking for the right stuff? Here are five items I always seem to find at yard sales, that are super useful for many family homes.
1. Rugs. Rugs are notoriously difficult to sell secondhand, which is why you will see plenty of them around at yard sale time. Head out for a few Saturdays, you are bound to find a new rug for the kids' room for under $30. I found one recently, a 5x7 foot 100% wool rug for $5! It had been passed over by others because one small corner was a little frayed - a problem easily solved by tucking it under a crib.
2. Baby gear. Babies need so much gear and for such a short time, everything bought new ends up looking practically new still once they are done. Save money for your new nursery budget by scouring your local yard sales for the gear you need. Not sure what gear to consider getting secondhand? Check out this post for a few ideas.
3. Dress up clothes. Costume jewelry, hats, old bridesmaid dresses, low-heeled dress shoes: these exist in abundance in yard sale-land, and no one would love them more than your four-year-old daughter who is crazy about dressing up. Haven't got a dress-up box? Put one together, starting with this list, and a fist full of quarters, which is probably about all each of these items will cost.
4. CD players. Given the opportunity, kids love to listen to music, and they love to dance. Remember back in the 80s and 90s when you hoped and wished and dreamed for a stereo so you could boogie all on your own? Now that everyone's passing them up for MP3 players, for just a few dollars, a yard sale-found CD player can transform any kids' bedroom into their own disco. Just be sure to test it before you take it home!
5. Outdoor play equipment. Especially easy to find at the end of Summer, when Moms and Dads are getting ready for the Winter snow, outdoor play equipment can be snatched up at yard sales for a fraction of the price of buying it new. If it's looking a bit shabby, never fear, a fresh coat of paint will do the trick - much like the Little Tikes playhouse above - found for $30 secondhand, now looks better than anything you could find in the store! (For this and more playhouse makeovers, check out our roundup of them here.)