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As the weather gets warmer, and spring cleaning is underway, many people turn to selling household items they no longer find useful at garage sales. Spring garage sales can be a great way to find items to decorate your home and stay within your budget. Read more to find out how to make the most out of your  outings and what information you need to know to feel confident in your garage sale hunt. Armed with these tips, you’ll be sure to stretch your dollar further and make your home uniquely yours.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!

Perhaps the most important tip to garage sale hunting is to plan ahead! You may be on the lookout for a new coffee table on a budget and think you don’t need anything else, only to wind up bringing home mismatched tchotchkes, paintings, dishes and no table. Not only is it a good idea to take an inventory of the things you already have so you know what you need, what you need more of and what you don’t need, it’s a good idea to have a grasp on your personal interior decorating style so that you’re not making purchases you will later regret. Remember, if an item is only one dollar but it is something you do not need or can’t find a place for—it’s a waste of money.

Measure areas where you might want to add furniture or art work. You don’t want to spend money on a great find only to bring it home only and discover it is too big for the intended space or worse, won’t fit through the door or hallway.

Be sure to inspect the items you are interested in closely. Don’t overlook pieces that may only need a little cosmetic work, but make sure that each piece works (check electronics to make sure they are still in functioning order) and doesn’t need any costly repairs.

Plan Your Route

Planning ahead doesn’t just include knowing what you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend. It’s also important to do some online research and plan your sale hunting route. Several websites like Garage Sales Tracker, Yard Sale Search, and Craigslist are great places to find out where garage sales are being held in your neighborhood and at what times. Some listings will even tell you what items will be for sale so you won’t waste precious hunting time driving to a yard sale that isn’t offering what you are looking for. Local newspapers, apps like Nextdoor, and coffee shop bulletin boards are other good bets to find sales in your area.

Don’t Forget About You

Planning your trip involves making sure you’ve covered all your personal needs while you are out for the day as well. Make sure you bring a tote bag, backpack or small boxes to hold your small finds whether you are walking around or to store properly in your car. Pack a water bottle, tissues for any spring allergy or bathroom emergencies, hand sanitizer and baby wipes. Items stored in garages or sheds for a long period of time can be covered in dust, grime or cobwebs. Baby wipes are useful in wiping clean your newfound treasures before packing them into your car or bringing them into your house. Lastly, don’t forget to bring a snack so you don’t accidentally make a purchase (or miss a great find) due to low blood sugar. And always bring a tape measure.

Enjoy the Experience

Go into the experience with an open and creative mind! Instead of looking at something for what it is, try to picture it for what it could be. You can paint pretty much anything and you can always turn kitchen tables into coffee tables or plates into wall art. Use your imagination and you can turn someone else’s trash into the statement piece that brings your whole house together.

However you choose to make your home your own, Ned Stevens is here to help you keep it looking and functioning at its best. You take care of decorating the inside and our team of professionals will make sure the outside is protected with proper gutter and deck care. Call us today to set up an appointment!

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