Clear Out Your Home Before Winter

When temperatures plummet down below zero, North Shore residents tend to experience a little cabin fever. With the wind chill freezing your face, it’s understandable that people in Chicagoland prefer to remain inside as much as possible when the winter arrives.

 In an effort to avoid that feeling of claustrophobia, why not de-clutter your home before it’s too late. One of the best ways to do this is to hold a garage sale. You can get rid of all those toys, clothes, pots, pans and other items you never use, and maybe make a few dollars in the process. Keep in mind that you’re not going to make enough money to send the kids to college, but you could treat yourself to a nice dinner.

The first thing you need to do is make sure that yard sales are OK in your neighborhood. Some areas require a permit or have a limit to how many garage sales a person can have per year. Make sure that your plans match the law before you get started! If everything looks OK in terms of the rules and regulations, pick a date for your sale and get the word out. The sooner you let people know, the better the turnout might be. Utilize social media – Facebook, Twitter, and any other sites you like to spread the word for free. Also, put advertisements up at local North Shore grocery stores, community centers, and more.

Check the regulations regarding signage, and then follow the appropriate instructions before posting. Now that you have advertised a specific date for your sale, there is no turning back! Go through all of your stuff and figure out what you really need to keep. This can be difficult, because people get attached to their belongings. In fact, if you can do this with another family member or friend, it might be helpful to have someone that is less personally invested. Also, give yourself one item in each room that you are allowed to keep – even if you never use it. That way, you won’t feel like you’re giving up all of your belongings.

 In the pile of sweaters you can’t get rid of but never wear, give yourself permission to keep just one, but say “so long,” to the rest. Once your items are ready, it’s time to put prices on everything. True, you paid well over $100 for a lovely nightstand from that little Northbrook boutique store, but garage sale grazers aren’t going to want to pay top-dollar for items you are trying to discard. Also, be open to negotiations!

 The whole point of your garage sale is to clear out space, with making money an added bonus. If someone wants to give you money for one of your items, you should take it. At the end of the garage sale, you’re inevitably going to have some leftover stuff that didn’t sell. You have two options: shove the loot into your garage or storage space until you’re ready to have another sale in the spring, or give the items away to charity.

There are a number of local Goodwill donation spots in Northern Illinois, including ones in Arlington Heights, Mundelein, and Lake Zurich. The reason for the garage sale was to clear out some space, so why put it back into storage when you can donate the items to those that are in need?

By Zipporah Porton
Castino Painting and Home Services