What I Look For at Yard Sales

This summer the yard sale bug has bit me. I guess I should say "us", because husband is totally in on it too. He'll tell you. Maybe it's because we're needing some things for our new place? Whatever it is, right now, I'm totally game for them. I mean, even our 2 year old is loving it. We'll stop at one and before we get back to the car she'll be saying "more, mama".

I'll be the first to admit that you definitely have to be in the mood to yard sale and yard sales can, without a doubt, be hit or miss. But if you have the patience, and are persistent, you can end up finding some really great things.

Things I keep an eye out for at yard sales:

+  Kid's Clothes - Since kids grow like weeds I have no problem buying second hand clothes that are in good condition. Just make sure you're not overpaying. Obviously, if you can buy it new for approx. the same price, then definitely pass (at least that's my rule of thumb). But, like I said, as long as they're in good condition & they don't smell (you'll know if they do), I always keep an eye out for kids clothes.

+  Furniture - If you're needing some furniture for your home yards sales can be a great place to look. I *tend* to steer clear from upholstered/fabric things, just because you never really know what's been on that fabric (am I right?). Plus, you could get it home and it end up smelling absolutely horrid. If I knew how to reupholster (I've really only done a dining type chair before) I would be a bit more open to the idea. But since I don't, I don't really venture into buying fabric pieces. That being said, never say never. Because if I found some completely wonderful, once in a lifetime, don't pass it up find, then I would.

Anyways, furniture. Look for it at yard sales. You might be surprised what you can find. And if you don't like the colour or finish remember that you can always paint it!

+  Dishes - If you're in need of some dishes for everyday use, serving, or just the occasional cute decorative ones, yard sales are a great place to look. Keep an eye out and you just might find some gems!

+  Books - This is essentially like going to a library except you get to keep the books. We recently went to a yard sale where books were 50¢ and kid's books were 10¢. That's hard to pass up. Especially if they're in good condition & you have a kid who loves to read.

+  Toys - Kid's toys can be expensive. Plus, much like clothes, depending on their age & stage they outgrow them/tire of them quickly. So why spend full price if you can find it second hand in good condition? I try and abide by the "one in, one out" rule, so if we find something new for E then we try and let go of something she already has and doesn't play with anymore. Because, let's face it, toy clutter can add up quickly if you don't stay on top of it.

+  Anything I can spray paint/update & up-cycle - If you're into the whole DIY thing and don't mind putting a little elbow grease into making something old new again, then yard sales are great places to keep an eye out for such projects. Think frames, lamp bases, mirrors, and (again) furniture.

+  Baskets - I am a big believer in baskets. I'm probably a basket hoarder, if I'm being honest. They're just so useful! That being said, they can be on the pricey side. So if I see any out and about when at yard sales, if they're in good condition, I'll grab them!

+  Unique vintage-y things - Yard sales can be great places to look for cute little decor pieces that you can use for styling shelves etc. Vases & plant pots are another great thing to look for and sometimes you can find some really unique ones. Don't forget, you can easily spray paint things for a quick update that is more your style!

These are just a few of my yard sale/thrifting finds!

Before you head out yard sale-ing:

+  Map out a route - Check the night before on local websites to see where the yard sales are at. Lots of times yard sales will be listed & people will be advertising their sale. This will give you an idea of where to go. Not to mention, I'm sure you'll see some on the way to your "route" that you just may have to stop at. And watch for whole neighbourhood yard sale days, I love those ones!

+  Grab a friend - It's always more fun to have someone tag along with you. It's also great because while one of you drives the other can keep an eye out for signs or look at see if the sale is worth stopping at (because sometimes you can tell from just driving by - no need for wasting time!).

+  Grab a coffee & snack - This is just an essential in my books. Everything is better when you have a coffee in hand.

+  Have an idea of what you're looking for - It's always good to know what you're looking for & to have an idea of what you're willing to pay the item(s). Although, some days it's fun just to look without an agenda!

+ Don't assume you'll find something every time you go out - Like I mentioned earlier, some yard sale trips are hit or miss. One weekend might be successful while a string of others may not be. If that's the case, try again another week and just know you're not going to find something every time you go out.

Hope that helps a little! Happy yard sale-ing!

What do you like to look for at yard sales?