Forty Before Forty Item #25: Bye Bye Baby Toys

A few days after I posted my Forty before Forty list Alfie pointed out that if I want to do all those things before I turn forty I'm going to have to check things off at the rate of almost one per week. Yikes! I've acknowledged beforehand that it's highly likely that I won't get to every single item, but I figure I've got a decent shot at completing at least 80 percent of that list, so I'd better get cracking.

Last weekend I got the chance to cross out item #25 on my list: clean out the kids' old toys. For far too many years I've been hanging on to way too many books and toys that the kids outgrew ages ago: Play-Doh sets, board books, puzzles, sand toys, ride-on cars and more. I already did a major toy donation last year, but it still wasn't enough.

Luckily, our city hosts a city-wide garage sale every two years; everyone who signs up gets their address added to a list of participants. On garage-sale day, hordes of people show up with maps in hand, hopping from garage sale to garage sale in search of a bargain. It's an easy, effective way to get traffic.

Unfortunately, it rained cats and dogs on the day of the sale.

The kids and I had prepared for days before the sale, sorting out things that needed to go, pricing them, storing them in the garage. No way I was going to let all that effort go to waste! We set the bikes and sturdy items on the lawn, put up a couple of umbrellas, moved most of the stuff onto our porch and set up shop.

You know what they say; if you build it, they will come. And come they did: those few, intrepid bargain hunters who didn't let the rain stop them. Obviously the rain decreased our audience considerably, but it also hacked down the competition. When we asked our customers how the other garage sales were doing, they said most people didn't even bother to set up.

We ended up making $169, far more than our tally 2 years ago when we made $55, but not as good as the first time we participated (over $200). I think we could have made more, had I not been so desperate to clear out our stuff. I sold bikes, a Little Tykes car, Tonka dump trucks, a carseat and a scooter for $5 each, 6-person camping tents for $37 (1 was brand new!), and our entire Play-Doh collection for $10. I made a lot of people very happy! And there was still a ton of stuff left unsold.

We donated most of the stuff left over, but I did hang on to a couple of things that I stubbornly refuse to let go off for peanuts. I'm hoping I can sell them on Craigslist, but I think I've cleared the kids' playroom sufficiently to be able to cross out item #25 with a clear conscience.

Anyone want to buy an Adams Trail-A-Bike for $50?

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