Friday, June 22, 2012

15 Things Garage Sales and Writing Have in Common

Last Saturday, then again on Wednesday, I was part of my family's annual garage sale at my sister’s house.

As I sweltered in the heat, I realized that having a garage sale and being a writer have several things in common.

* Both require long hours of preparation

* Both take lots of hard work

* It helps to have a plan

* It’s good to be organized

* Marketing is essential

* More than one set of eyes and ears need are needed

* What you value may not have the same value to others

* Be willing to let go of what you no longer need

* Be willing to negotiate

* But be willing to stand your ground when it matters

* Everyone loves a bargain, but sadly a few expect it for free

* Time invested doesn’t always equal payback

* Being around people you like doesn’t seem like work

* Meeting new and friendly people is fun

* Knowing there are people who love to read books is gratifying

No doubt writing and garage sales have even more in common; maybe I'll save those thoughts for another day.

The garage sale was a success. Everyone involved made money. My grandkiddos were excited with their share of the loot, and I am tickled with what I made. It’s a good feeling to de-clutter the house a bit, make a tidy sum, see smiles on faces of children and adults who are going to enjoy possessions others have enjoyed, and to be able to donate leftover items to a charitable resale shop.

While the family garage sale was a worthwhile experience, I’m glad it happens only once a year.


  1. That's the trick - don't put it back it in the garage, attic, etc. Donate whatever is left (assuming it's in good condition, of course!) :)

    The last time my husband and I had a table at a flea market, I only had a few books to sell, but you know what? They all went. :)

  2. Isn't it funny how writers can see writing in EVERYTHING? I love that your brain was thinking writing when you were selling!

    And that the analogy worked SO well! ;-)

  3. But you can have that "fun" every Wednesday or Saturday, if you want. It doesn't have to be just an annual event. ;)

    Wonderful analogy. I don't think Hope Clark has ever compared writing to a garage sale. Well done.

  4. A garage sale is A LOT of work. I've done one and that was enough. I find fulfillment in giving it to the resale shop. I do enjoy attending garage sales, though. Glad yours was a success on many levels.

  5. Very interesting page today! Yep, a garage sale can be a killer...we say NEVER AGAIN, and then the next year my friends and I are at it again.

  6. Now I am imagining a virtual garage sale of writing. Tables piled high with articles on every subject. Short stories. A variety of genres. Published. Unpublished. Prices negotiable. Or maybe I'm just thinking of Amazon.

  7. Hi Madeline,
    That's great that all your books sold!

    Hi Cathy,
    Once I start thinking about writing, it sticks like a piece of chewing gum on the bottom of an old pair of sneakers.

    Hi Sioux,
    True. I could do it again, but oh the inhumanity.

    Hi Sally,
    Thanks. It is gratifying to know others are enjoying things I once enjoyed.

    Hi Claudia,
    I bet your garage sales are wonderful!

    Hi Val,
    Hehehehe. Yeah, there's that. Amazon is everywhere.


  8. As soon as I saw the words "garage sale" in your title, my heart did a little pitter-pat. I think I need to go garage-saling today. Thanks for sparking that idea.

    1. Hi Julian,
      You are welcome. Hope you get lots of bargains.

  9. Great post, Donna! I'm glad you did well at the sale!

  10. Wonderful metaphor, and what a great idea for a family get-together! Getting things cleared out leaves me feeling so renewed. Oops, there's another one.

  11. You are so right about both garage sales (and writing) being hard work. Great analogy!

    Critter Alley

  12. Hi Mary,

    Hi Tammy,
    You're right about how getting things cleared out is renewing.

    Hi Pat,


  13. I love garage sales and I love writing. Your article is right on. We're having a garage sale this weekend, hope I have as good luck as you did.

  14. Hi Janet,
    Good luck with your garage sale this weekend. I hope the weather cooperates.

  15. Good for you with your successful garage sale - I've never had any success with them. Liked how you tied in writing with garage sales!

  16. I love your list! And I agree it's very true. Glad you made a lot of loot :)

    Happy Weekend!

  17. Definitely a great comparison. Writing and garage sales are both terrific ways to purge. Purge out your feelings/thoughts or just purge out the pile of VHS tapes you'll never watch again-ever.

  18. Hi Lynn,
    I wouldn't say it was a huge success, but it was a relief to unclutter some of my stuff.

    Hi Carol,
    Thanks. Coming from you that's a great compliment. I love your Friday Top 10 Lists!

    Hi Jene,
    Purging through VHS tapes is a good idea.


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