If you aren't up to speed on the art of garage sales then I'll share with you a little bit of my experience.
#1. Where do I find them? - Of course you could just drive around and look for signs but if you really want to plan our your journey then it's best to try a few resources first. Out in my small town area we have a local paper and people post some in the Classifieds....so you can check the newspaper. I like to do a search on Craigslist as well so see who posted there. There are also websites like Garage Sale Tracker and Yard Sale Search which can help you find sales close to you. I LOVE Community/Neighborhood sales so always keep an eye/ear out for those. It's an easy way to cover a lot of houses without a lot of driving.
#2 - When are they held? - Most garage sales happen on Fridays and Saturdays which an occassional roll over into Sunday. Believe it or not Friday garage sales are pretty common and can be busy so, if you don't work during the week, don't shrug off Friday as a day to go hunting. It can be one of the best days of the week!
#3 - Is there a best time of day to go? - That depends. If you are looking for anything specific you want to get out there as soon as they open. A lot of sales start at 8am, sometimes 9am. Bargain hunters are out early so don't miss out on finding that perfect item because you slept in. If you are just out to browse and find a few bargains then head out whenever your heart desires. A lot of sales will close up in the early afternoon (2-3pm seems to be fairly standard) so watch the weather (they may close up early if it starts raining) and hop on out after lunch. Close to closing time people are more apt to make a deal (they don't want to box their things back up) so you can haggle a price down more later in the day, if you so desire.
#4 - What can I really find? - A LOT! My husband jokes with me, when I mention hitting garage sales, and asks me "What? Are we low on junk?" Ok, yes, it's true...you can find a lot of junk out there. It really is amazing the stuff that some people put out, thinking someone else will buy it. One man's trash is another man's treasure....but sometimes one man's trash is just trash. That being said, I have found some amazing items at garage sales. Some items are like new (some brand new) that people just don't need anymore! In fact, the high back, swivel, wood bar stool I'm sitting on right now is a part of a pair that I picked up at a sale a few years back. They are perfect and I only paid $25 for the 2 of them! Garage sales are an amazing place to find baby/kid items so if you are in the market head out and stock up!
Here are just a few of the items, in varying categories, I've picked up in the last couple weeks (some just this morning!)
Arts and Craft Supplies! - If you are a crafter, and/or do them with your kids, it's a great place to find supplies. I bundled these items together and picked them up for $2. The Portfolio folders are new in plastic and are even on my daughter's school supply list.
Clothing! - On the whole, adult clothing doesn't sell quite as well as kids clothing but it's out there and I always take a peek. Even when it's really hot outside, I try to open my mind and look at the coats and sweaters.
I found this Gap shirt for only .25!
And this sundress for .50!
Holiday items - you can ALWAYS find holiday items at sales. You may not be thinking about Christmas or Halloween when it's 90 degrees out but you should. Last Christmas I realized that I didn't have any festive paper napkins on hand and I refused to pay $5 on some at a store. I found this large (there's probably 30 in there at least), brand new package for only .50! I just stashed them away with my Christmas items and I'm all set when December rolls around.
Kitchen and household items - Another common group of items are household items. Dishes, plastic containers, utensils, candles, knick knacks...you name it! If you are just starting out and need to set up an apartment this is definitely the way to go! I found these like new springform pans for only .50 each (I see cheesecake in my future) and the loaf pan for $1. These are all things that I've been wanting to add to my kitchen so I'm thrilled!
I also purchased 46 wide mouth mason jars for only $2! You can easily spend $15 on a dozen of them so this was a huge score. They did not have lids so I will have to purchase those but I'm really happy with them. I see some Pinterest ideas take shape right now, lol.
Storage Items - It makes sense...people are selling there things, so they don't need as many containers to store their stuff in! These are my treasures! I paid $5 for all the drawers below.
And I paid only $2 a piece for these 96 gallon Rubbermaid, snap top storage bins. You could easily pay $15 or more for the same bins at a store so this was a heck of a deal! Always check to make sure there are no cracks and that the lids close.
And how can you resist this guy?!? Only $1 for a 13" tall Godzilla! Seriously! He's awesome!
Of course, there is so much more out there so have fun hunting! Honestly, if you haven't been out garage sale-ing before, now is the time to start!
Love and the thrill of the hunt,