Chasing Flags with $20 in Change in My Pockets: Community Wide Garage Sale Adventure

I’m gonna chase some flags
Got twenty dollars in change in my pocket
I – I – I’m hunting, looking for some vintage
This is thrifty awesome

When my Sister-in-law is in town, we always make a trip to a thrift store, resale shop, and/or garage sale. We are both that excellent mix of crafty and thrifty. This means not only are we out hunting for a good deal but also a good deal that could be redone somehow. That being said, it is safe to say that a quick trip really doesn’t happen.

Recently, we decided to make it an afternoon outing. After I loaded up my pockets with change, grabbed the last of the cash I set aside specifically for garage sales and an empty reuseable bag to carry stuff, we went to a local community wide garage sale. My niece also joined us and babbled as she was pushed in her stroller (or carrier depending on her mood) on and off for a good two and a half hours. Yes, we were out for that long and probably could have been for longer if we didn’t start getting hungry.

If you have never been to a community wide garage sale, it is pretty much what the name is – a series of garage sales throughout a community. Some are located in one place but most of the ones I’ve attended are throughout the area.  This particular area splits theirs into two weekends and honestly needs to do so. There are so many homes participating that the town has officially posted signs that limit parking to only one side of the street! The mailboxes of each place hosting sale as are marked with official neon pink papers which makes it easy to find from a far and then helps with deciding where to park. You just need to remember where you parked!

Our adventure to this one last year meant baby clothes for the SiL and vintage glass for me. Since I made a killing and found a ton of green glass last year, I stayed away from it this year. Well, that and I’m already rotating pieces in and out of display at the moment. She was still on the hunt for baby stuff and once again found a ton of stuff.

This year for our trip, and for this summer’s garage sale adventures in general, I’ve shifted my focus to vintage jewelry and purses. I’ve lucked out several times and this time was no exception. Our first stop had me asking “How much for the entire box?” instead of how much per scarf, and by scarf I mean the vintage nylon ones in both sheer and opaque. She said $10 and I agreed since we are talking a plastic shoebox filled to the brim and I got the box too.

I’ve learned two good tips this year about how to find vintage at garage sales:

  • Look for old furniture. If there is an ugly old chair like the one your grandmother had in her house, there is a good chance that sale will have stuff from that same decade and older.
  • Look for multi-family signs. I checked out two this summer where multi-family meant multiple generations of a family. Some people’s stuff were only a small amount within more modern items and would not have been enough for a standalone sale.
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