Web Site: http://yellowribbonknits.blogspot.com
Posts by hboos:
The Low Stress High Profit Garage Sale
1. Plan Ahead - set your date at least 2 weeks in advance and STICK TO IT. Do not fall into an endless cycle of postponed garage sales. Consider holding a Friday/Saturday sale if possible. Friday and Saturday shoppers tend to be a whole new crowd and you benefit from a fresh wave of shoppers each day. Sunday sales are usually low so salvage one day out of your weekend and stick to Friday-Saturday. Follow all the rules by getting a city permit or checking with your housing office to sign up for their garage sale schedule.
2. Find a Friend - like at the gym, you can motivate each other to get prepared and stick to your date. Choose to hold it at the house that has the most furniture to avoid hauling too much or find a friend nearby (next door is perfect) and eliminate hauling altogether.
3. Open every closet - check everywhere for items to include in your sale and begin washing items /collecting missing pieces early. If you are going through the work of a sale you may as well get serious about getting rid of some stuff.
4. The price is right - try to consider what price you are willing to pay for an item at a garage sale. You may get more for certain items on eBay but if you were willing to go through the work of posting it – you would have done it already. Pricing high to leave room to barter can deter most shoppers. Price it right the first time and be firm can be more effective than pricing high to haggle. If you find pricing is too much of a hassle. Make a $1 table or a 50-cent bin (great for stuffed toys) and price the higher-end items individually. Same idea works with clothes. If someone does want to haggle try not to get stubborn over a dollar here or there remember you are trying to GET RID of items first and make money second.
5. Be Prepared - Head to the bank the day before and make sure you have plenty of change for “the kitty” quarters and dollar bills are essential. Make sure you have AT LEAST $30 in dollar bills and $5 worth of quarters to make change with. Count this “kitty money” and record it before your sale so you can subtract it later for your total sales. For a garage sale a fanny pack is the perfect place to hold the kitty safe and still have easy access. You don’t want to be stuck at a table all day when people are asking questions and you want to reorganize that pile of jeans you had folded so nicely. I know they are goofy looking but trust me.
6. Advertise for FREE - post your sale on local websites, Craigslist and Facebook for FREE. Post a week out and the morning of if you can remember. Don’t know what sites the regular garage “sailors” use? Stop by a few sales and ask them.
7. Signs are crucial - Good signs will not only lead folks from your postings to your sale but will also attract local traffic. A good sign features your sale address in large print and the dates. Arrow signs can point traffic in any direction. If your signs are well-made you can save them for next year or sell them at the end of your sale.
8. Start Early and End Happy - there is a wave of early shopper and you want to make sure you catch that wave. Don’t wait until morning to set up your tables. Have them set up the night before so you can open the garage door and drag them out in the morning. As soon as the heavy lifting is done send your hubby out to set up the signs (don’t forget this part) and grab Starbucks! You may even have people knock on your door. Don’t get mad if early shoppers knock on your door or come while you are setting up. These are the die-hards. Ask them to wait until you get set up.
9. Large items to the curb - unless rain is a concern get as much as you can out to the curb. This creates the impression that your sale is larger than it is. Many drive by garage “sailors” judge a sale by its curb. Make sure they see what you have to offer. Don’t be in a hurry to haul large items back in the garage or rush people to pick up items once they are sold.
10. Clean = Cash - increase your organization to increase your cash. A cluttered sale is a huge turn-off. If you put out boxes of stuff and expect people to go through it and find all the pieces to a toy or kitchen appliance they will expect to pay much less than if that same item is sitting clean with its attachments/cords/pieces in a zipper bag taped to it. Nobody wants to pay to “take a chance” that your item works or has all the parts so make it obvious that it has been well cared for. Have an extension cord nearby where shoppers can test electronics and appliances.
11. Time is money - your shoppers will spend about 5 minutes browsing and if they don’t see anything they like, they are GONE. Make it easy for them. Sort adult and children’s clothes by size, place toys and games lower where children can discover them. Keep kids occupied with a small box of free items/toys that they can explore while their parents shop. Place books on a shelf where they can be seen easily.
12. Keep them looking – The day will go by faster for you and if they stay a few extra minutes and discover another treasure in that time, bonus! You don’t need to be a pushy salesperson but it is nice to ask what they usually look for at sales. You’ll be surprised by the answers. Stockpile your grocery bags ahead of time to use for the sale. If you notice a woman with more than a couple items already, offer her a bag so she can keep looking with both hands and without feeling like she needs to hurry so she doesn’t have to hold all this stuff.
Fe-BREW-ary Teas that will convert you from Coffee
Five years ago I was seduced by three magic words, “Wanna Cuppa?” Ok I guess it was two words but they were equally irrisistable. I have enjoyed my occasional Starbucks but my limit was always one. More than one cup and I got jittery and sleepy. I know it’s weird. Caffine just wasn’t my friend. So I would enjoy the odd Caramel Macchiato and Vanilla Latte with friends but that was the extent of my hot beverages.
When a client invited me to stay and “have a cuppa” after signing some Real Estate papers at her home one evening – she didn’t mean coffee. She made me the most devine cup of Twinings English Breakfast with a touch of cream and sugar and I was HOOKED! I usually didn’t get too personally involved with my Real Estate clients but I could not resist her tea and eventually (after her transaction had closed) we developed a strong friendship and I attribute it to her fabulous tea.
I am not a tea expert but I am a tea lover and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you. My Valentines treat to you since it is still FeBREWary.
1. Patters have evolved since your grandmother knit. Check out this and other fabulous and easy patterns available for FREE on Ravelry.com.
Burberry Inspired Cowl
2. After the Zombie Apocalypse knit items will be in high demand plus sharp needles will offer protection from hungry zombies.
3. Knitting is a great way to actually use that algebra your teacher said you would need some day.
4. You can knit while watching Army Wives OR Magic Mike but don’t kid yourself – not much knitting will happen if you are watching Magic Mike.
5. You can turn “hurry up and wait” into sit back, relax and knit when you take your project with you to your doctor appointment or any other appointment at a military base.
6. Everyone needs an excuse to buy one of these gorgeous yarn bowls from: BlueRoomPottery
7. Every expecting mom you meet will invite you to their baby shower the second they learn that you knit.
8. The immense feeling of accomplishment you feel when someone asks, “Where did you get that?” and your answer is, “I made it!”
9. It is hard to snack with knitting needles in your hand.
10. You can knit all year to practice your patience and determination so you will be ready for that big weight-loss challenge … next year.
My son is the luckiest 6-year old I know. He doesn’t have all the newest toys and has never been to Disneyworld but he personally knows Santa Clause.
No really he does. He has even stayed at Santa’s summer cottage in Montana. I bet you didn’t know Santa had a summer cottage I Montana did ya? Well according to our family Santa story he does.
Russell is a nice rather hefty fella who lives in a tiny town in the far northeast corner of Montana. He has a long white beard and winter employment as one of the highest-paid Santa’s in the US. He also happens to live next door to my Sister-in-law and her family.
But we have our six-year old convinced that he really IS Santa and he spends his summers in tiny Peerless Montana where no one can find him and he can relax all summer. Our story is great since Russell really leaves around Thanksgiving and returns after Christmas. We never have to explain why Santa would be sitting around Montana when there is so much work to do.
When our son was first born the population of Peerless exploded as my family from Canada all descended on the town to visit us. Santa even let most of them stay in his cabin and took one afternoon to get his costume on and take pictures with all the kids.
This has been a fun way to make Christmas special for our family as we never know where we will be or who we will be spending it with. I think our son feels better knowing that if we decide to stay at Grandma’s Christmas eve instead of driving to Aunt Helen’s then we can shoot a quick message to “Russell” to let him know.
Now I need to brag a little bit. With this story we have explained to our son that it is very important that we keep Russell’s true identity a secret because if all the kids knew then too many people would find him and he couldn’t have his vacation in the summer. He would have to move away and find a new summer cottage. And in his six years he has never told a soul.
Does your family have a clever Santa story that helps your kids get through the holidays? How have you made the best of a deployment year?
Do you remember when you were 4 and struggling with a sibling over control of the yellow Crayola? What was your first response? Hopefully you didn’t smack them and most likely you ran to Mom or Dad and tattled. It’s in our nature to tattle I think. Well just before writing this I tattled and boy does it feel good.
I don’t want to get into the gnarly bits of my annoyance with a certain Program Manager who didn’t feel like taking a well meaning and valuable suggestions from me. Short story short. I thought I could walk into my ACS building and obtain a list of lending closet items available at the installation that I’m moving TO. Bwahahaha. Nope. I can’t believe I had the gall to assume that might be possible. So when I suggested that having lending closet lists available to outgoing families would be a huge benefit and I was met with silence on the other end I knew the rest of the conversation was not going to go well.
I think that my issue is not with this Program Manager really. OK maybe a little bit. But I think in all honesty – I am a bit narcissistic and I think my ideas are awesome. It bothers me if everybody else doesn’t too.
But thankfully I have ICE. ICE is that final bit of satisfaction when you have become overly frustrated with the system. You can fully explain yourself without interruption and know that someone WILL read it and possibly someone will answer for their bad behavior if deemed necessary. I LOVE it. Let’s face it – some of my ideas are duds. Radar overlay for GPS? why would that ever be handy when driving through a rainstorm?
We all have these moments of inspiration about how to change the “system.” And many times they come to us when we are uber-frustrated and ready to rip someone’s head off. Instead – ICE it. Share your frustrations and ideas with ICE. Sometimes it is the only way to open an ear to the challenges we face. Most of the folks who design and run these programs for us don’t have the valuable perspective that we do. I believe they truly do want to make the best use of government money to help us with our move, our childcare, our medical needs etc. but they just don’t know exactly what we could use.
I used to feel bad about putting in an ICE comment. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble. First of all, ICE is not just for nasty-grams. I put in a very nice comment about the game warden that found my dog when she got out. You can use it to praise as well. Secondly, by putting your comments on ICE, you have the chance to change the programs in the future for yourself and others. If we don’t speak up then there is no way that we can affect positive change in out services. I challenge you TODAY to put in an ICE comment. Good or bad. Think of a great idea that could really change your lives and put it out there.