Timeless Thoughts: Garage/Yard Sales

Timeless Thoughts

I’m excited and giddy for this first post for Timeless Thoughts, Tara’s and my new monthly linkup! It’s held every first Saturday of the month but you have two weeks to participate.

So – garage sales, yard sales, car boot sales – you are probably familiar with them. People selling their unwanted ‘junk’ for cheap prices. I’m not going to lie: this brings back ridiculously hilarious, terrible, and fond memories, all rolled into several weekend hours of ‘fun’.

When I was younger, my parents quietly referred to garage sales as ‘GS’, and said it meant Golf Shop, which was quite funny. It took a while for Brandon to catch on as he was really young. We went to a lot of garage sales up until I was thirteen or fourteen then we realised we probably needed to have a garage sale ourselves. :P

Locating the best garage sales

Garage sales were held at people’s houses, old school halls, or… people’s houses. This is by no means a guide – at all, hahahaha – but my parents hilariously judged the content of a garage sale not only by the content of the classifieds, but on how the house looked on the outside. It sounds a little mean, I know, but they weren’t expecting much from a rather empty yard, or a house that looked rather small.

You could often tell how popular a garage sale was by seeing how many people were outside the house. My parents liked those a lot. :P We went driving around local neighbourhoods seeing if there were any garage sales and sometimes went to five or so in one weekend.

Timeless Thoughts: Garage Sales

The fond memories

My parents were thrilled to find furniture in relatively good condition that could replace the not-so-great furniture that we had at home. That was the main thing they looked out for. My dad searched for electronics, vinyl LPs, CDs and the like. He was really, really into that stuff. I don’t deny that a lot of my hobbies take after his, and we have similar taste in music.

I remember buying my first ever album (with my own money) at a garage sale, and it was Oasis’s debut studio album Definitely Maybe. Other than that, I would look for toys. Oh man, toys. I loooooooved toys as a kid, though I will admit that I noticed a sudden drop in my liking for toys. I was really into dolls and Polly Pockets – I even wrote a ‘Things I Miss’ post about them – I wanted them for all my birthdays and Christmases, until one day I just flat out didn’t want toys anymore. I must have been about twelve years old when I stopped wanting toys.

I used to get a lot of books at garage sales. Because I loved books so much, I never liked to call them ‘used’ – I called them ‘pre-loved’. I built up a huge collection. I have since gotten rid of many of the books since I’ve read them at least three times over and didn’t care too much to read them again.

I loved jewellery from a young age so I also scrounged through people’s old junk to see if I could find any nice bracelets or necklaces. I was also very into making my own jewellery at the time so any little bits I could grab, like charms or chains, helped with my DIY hobby.

The terrible and hilarious, which unfortunately go hand in hand

I remember coming home to trawl through all the new treasures we found. I highly believed that ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’, so there were a few things which I was thrilled to get, that I couldn’t believe that someone didn’t want. My parents obviously thought the same. We came home with our car boot full of stuff, bags full of stuff, and only thirty dollars poorer. But we had like, a new table. Or a new sofa.

I think Brandon once stole some things from garage sales. Really small things like the trinkets I would want. I guess he didn’t think a dollar or so was worth it so he pocketed it instead. I sounds mean, someone was really just trying to make a bit of coin out of whatever he stole!

If I remember correctly, he bought a whole stack of Pokemon cards from one garage sale because he collected them at the time? Something in me tells me that he spent ages looking through some decks just to grab the rare ones. I don’t think my parents wanted to pay $5 for some hologram Charizard card, so we left, upset. I think I vaguely remember some older kid telling us that it was ‘worth heaps’ and he put that price on it. You know, back then, $5 was a lot of money…

A late ‘hobby’, once again

Pondering these garage sale adventures makes me laugh a bit, considering my Live simply posts and the fact that I now love to declutter and minimalise. I don’t even see that many garage sales anymore. The thought of going to a garage sale now makes me shudder a little bit, but it does bring back the fondest of memories.

Comments on this post

Ah, garage sales. We actually don’t have them here. LOL. We have a thrift store, but individual families hardly do garage sales. Now, everything is done online through Facebook group and such. What garage sales that do happen, happens on base as a community garage sale. Same thing off base.

I think it’s a good thing I didn’t have access to them. I think I’d have gone nuts buying every little junk I don’t need, haha! I mean, sure, if I can find something for a good deal, and it’s functional (ie: a book case), then that’s a win-win situation. But if I buy useless junk . . . that’s a totally lose-lose XD

One other thing — your bit about how you take after your dad and his hobbies made me smile, because I take after my dad in so many ways, too! He’s the one who got me into reading and computer stuff, so I thank him for all that! ^^ I think it’s great that your dad’s love for music and such passed onto you. :D

Ah yes, we have thrift stores too. I think garage sales are still pretty common here at community events. Second-hand stuff is still considered alright for some people.

I have learned the hard way that you can easily walk away from garage sales with a lot of junk! I just try to always focus on what I need – which stops me from buying anything I clearly don’t need.

I think that is the one thing that connects my dad and I! I definitely attribute a lot of my music tastes to his. He is into classic rock and old ballads and I wouldn’t like it if it weren’t for him playing all his favourite tunes and letting me borrow his discs and vinyls. :)

We never really did the garage sale thing, one occasion my parents helped my grandparents run one but I didn’t really want any of that – face to face customer service never was my forte :)

I remember my friends and I used to trawl through the All Classifieds and look at the animals on sale and all sorts of things that our parents would never let us go see/buy. Their parents loved going to the markets though so we’d go along and see what treasures we could find there (we were suckers for one shops lucky dip which, obviously, always had terrible things in it).

It sounds like it was a fun activity for your family and in the end you came out with some great stuff! I guess now it is all ebay and gumtree (and facebook I suppose.)

I did not like dealing with people face-to-face either, so I quietly browsed stores trying to avoid the shop owners!

My parents loved markets a lot especially when I was younger. I think they still do, though they don’t go as often anymore. I am very convinced that now they contain a lot of cheap stuff that is not worth my money. I loved those lucky dips though! Obviously a rip-off but I can almost liken the novelty to subscription boxes. We like the idea of getting surprises, but that’s it.

Now I realise it really was a good time for my brother and I as kids to bond with our parents. We don’t really get to do that anymore, haha. XD

Hurray for Timeless Thoughts!~

Wow, I haven’t been to a garage/yard sell for a decade or more! It’s always great to find some hidden treasures, one person’s trash is another’s treasure! When I see GS now, I just think about the Lexus GS line (too addicted to cars here).

It’s interesting when you find something about you matching your parent’s. I guess that’s where my take of cars came from. I remember the Polly Pocket days and its ads, p-p-p-p-pollyyyyy~ Your brother is nice for getting you a trinket even though it’s stealing XD. I already have a lot of stuff at home to begin with, I think not going to a garage sale would be better for me, even though there would be missed opportunities X’D.

I loved reading about this tradition and the good memories. :D They can be a lot of fun to look at items. My dad would often go to the more expensive suburbs in Sydney and look for the ‘Luxury Items’ that had been placed on the street for people to take.

My parents knew where the more expensive suburbs were too! They found some good treasures like our large television display unit. The guy delivered it to us for just $20.

I still go to garage/yard sales all the time around here. I’m glad that people continue to do them regardless. They just tend to do them in the summer time which is when it’s hot. Good memories are good memories regardless <3