May 16, 2008

Get your stuff out! Garage sale tomorrow!

Read this today regarding the value of trees:

Trees worth $5.7 million a year to Indy, study says

Study details the economic value of trees and the need to plant more

As a push to plant 1 million new trees across Indiana nears its halfway mark, a new study shows that trees provide an annual $5.7 million benefit in Indianapolis alone.

» Intercept 318.9 million gallons of rainfall a year at an estimated savings of nearly $2 million, or about $17 per tree, in storm-water handling costs.

» Cut electricity use by more than 6,447 megawatt hours, worth $432,000, by the shading effect of trees in the summer, which helps keep homes cool.

» Remove 1.5 pounds of air pollutants per tree, valued at $212,000.

» Increase property values and provide other benefits worth $2.9 million or, on average, $24 per tree.

Read More at the Indy Star:

Not mentioned in the article is that neighborhoods with more trees have less vandalism. Trees slow the cold winter winds. And best of all trees have a positive effect on people - they make us feel happy and connected with nature, they reduce stress, they help us recover from illness faster, and they restore our spirits.

Plant a tree this weekend!


May 13, 2008

This Saturday, May 17th, is the neighborhood yard / garage sale. Ads in the Indianapolis Star start tomorrow, May 14th, and run also on Thursday, May 15th in the print addition.

The online addition will carry info about the garage sale through the weekend.
Remember, while this is a neighborhood wide garage sale, you will host your items in your garage, front porch or in your yard.

Try and be outside by 7:30AM. Big buyers are early birders.

  • Have calculators, pens, newspaper to wrap breakables, boxes, and bags handy.
  • Have plenty of change and one dollar bills on hand.
  • Set up a secure area for your sales transactions to enable you to keep a close eye on your money box.
  • Inform your direct neighbors that you are having a garage sale. Offer to rope their yard so people don't park on their grass.
  • Have extension cords plugged into outlets so that electrical items can be tested.
  • Plan to set an inviting mood by playing soft, easy-listening music.
  • If you are short on help, consider wearing a 3-pocket apron or a fanny-wrapper purse, so that you can keep your money near you while you mingle with your shoppers.
Below are some tips and a couple of hyperlinks you should in preparation for Saturday!

From the Fun Times Guide to Yard Sales:

If You've Had A Yard Sale Before...

tennessee-yard-sale-in-2002.jpg Think back to what went wrong and what went right at your previous yard sales. Make mental notes of things you want to do at this year's yard sale, based on what you've learned from previous ones.

And if you want to do it even better the next time, then take the time to jot down some notes, and make a point to save any items that you can reuse at future yard sales.

For example, I've probably hosted a dozen or so yard sales in my lifetime, and I have one large Rubbermaid container that contains all my "necessities". So, whenever it's time to have another yard sale, I just drag out that one bin and everything I need is right there.

What's inside:

black sharpie markers flags, pennants, balloons
blue painter's tape staple gun
coin box waist aprons with pockets
leftover posterboard any old, leftover signs
clear see-thru page protectors notepad of all my notes & a pen
mr. clean magic erasers

Prepare Your Individual Items For Sale

mr-clean-erasers.jpgThis year, I found a lifesaver... it's called the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser!

Those little white cubes worked "magic" for cleaning things up a bit. For the yardsale, they worked best on hardbound books, removing soot from candle jars & candle holders, and cleaning out all the tiny nooks & crannies on plastic things like coolers, chairs, handles, lids, etc.

Also helpful were Lysol Cleaning Wipes. I used those to wipe-down practically everything I was selling.

As a result, many of the items I was selling looked much newer than they actually were!

Decide What You're Going To Do With The Dog

The the dog lover in me agrees with The Queen of Yard Sales:
Although you may have the friendliest dog in the world, it's best to keep them away from your yard sale. Some people are afraid of dogs or are allergic. The day of your yard sale may be the day that your friendly dog, unaccustomed to the excitement of all the people, may decide to take a chunk out of the toddler that pulls on his tail. (Or jump up on customer and get mud on a customer's pants - but hey, I swear it wasn't my fault - that customer shouldn't have come to my yardsale until I was officially opened!) It's also for the dog's safety as well, since cars will be coming and going from your driveway."

tenor-dog-on-garage-steps.jpgAt first, I gave my (very shy) dog room to roam back & forth from the kitchen to the garage -- up to a certain point where I'd strategically placed tables to "block off" the back of the garage. But after awhile, I decided this was a bit confusing to him, so I let him hang out in the house alone. If your dog isn't particularly comfortable entertaining himself in the house alone, you may want to try a crate or kennel instead. (My dog would've done just as well inside his crate.)

Read more yard sale tips here:
Good tips!