5 Reasons to Love the Garage Sale Trail

Trash? Or Treasure?

Last weekend was a special opportunity for those who have lots of junk lying around, or  just like a bargain. I fell into the former category, and used the Garage Sale Trail as an opportunity to rid myself of the aforementioned junk. Sure, garage sales have been around since… well, garages, but the Garage Sale Trail by simply getting people to hold them on the same day becomes so much more – whole suburbs turn into markets for the day! Whether you want to offload your trash, or find some treasure, here are five reasons you should get involved next year.

1 Reduce Waste: a ridiculous amount of stuff ends up in landfill, despite still being perfectly functional, or fit for re-purposing. Just because you’ve bought a new coffee table doesn’t mean you should dump the old one on the tip (or more likely, the roadside). Last year the Trail kept an estimated 55 tonnes of waste out of landfill!

2 Make some money: Sad to say, but eco-reasons don’t motivate a lot of people. On the other hand, money can make people do stupid things. In the process of getting rid of stuff we didn’t want, we pocketed over $400 cash. Not bad for sitting on the porch while people carry stuff away for you!

3. Find something special: “Love your shirt/bag/coffee table! Where did you get it?” If your answer is “Bought it online”, then that is one conversation with a short life expectancy. Isn’t it more fun to say you found it buried under a pile of stuff at a garage sale, then haggled until you got it for $5? Now that we’ve cleared out our clutter, we’ll definitely be out buying next year.

4. Get to know your neighbours: Living in an apartment block, keeping up cordial relations can be tough. At best, you might get a curt nod from a fellow resident in the hall, at worst, it can devolve to passive-aggressive notes in the common areas. For some reason, that’s all forgotten on Garage Sale Trail day! We got to meet some of our neighbours, chat about what’s happening in the street, and even invited a few in to our place for a party that night.

5. Good Karma: if the eco-benefits and community-togetherness aren’t enough to get you all warm and fuzzy, the sale can give you a chance to do a good deed for the day. Despite the money pocketed, the clutter cleared, and friends made, the highlight of the day for me had to be when a man speaking broken English, with a young daughter helping to translate, asked about a pile of old tools. I shrugged and said he could have them for $5 (someone else had said they might come back and pay $10 for them, but a bird in the hand… ). He replied and said “Sorry, I no work” and turned away. I quickly bundled them in a bag, caught him at the next corner, and handed them over wishing him a good day.

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