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Care Shares Tips for Garage Sale-ing with Young Kids

CHRI Stuff (330 x 280 px).pngI've always loved going to garage sales. I don't need more random stuff in my house, but I have fun browsing and bringing home the occasional rare, amazing finds. Garage Sales are a sign of Spring, plus I get my steps in, so I'm all for it!

My mom and I used to go to the Glebe Garage Sale every single year and her sister lived in the neighbourhood when I was a kid so my love for it likely started then! But since having kids, I have been too intimidated to bring them. The idea of towing kids around, begging for everything they see - or bored, in the heat - just seemed overwhelming. However, now that they're 4.5 and 2 years old, I figured they can handle it (and so can I!) and that it would be a good experience. I love the idea of my son learning the value of money.

So, since garage sale season is here, I thought I would share some tips from our recent experience at the Merrickville community-wide garage sale in hopes it might put you at ease and feel more prepared to tackle it with young children.

1. Set the Expectation:

In the days leading up, I tried explaining to my son in ‘little kid’ terms what a garage sale is and how it is different than going to a store. I explained that we may come home empty-handed and that's ok, and that every house we visit will have different things for sale since these are items people have already owned and don't want or need anymore. I told him that if he sees something he likes, then he will need to decide how bad he wants it before walking away because the next person could snatch it up. While on the other hand, he doesn't HAVE to buy something he doesn't absolutely want to spend his money on.

So, I gave my son one of my old coin purses to hold the $2 in small change he decided he was willing to spend from his small piggy bank, and off we went.

2. Set the Rules:

I laid down 2 rules before we arrived at the garage sale... actually, it was more like three because the first, and most important, is that Mom has the final say on what we take home! 😊

Rule #1 Don't buy anything that is broken.

We are not bringing broken toys into our house. Just like we don’t keep toys that are too broken to play with, we don’t need someone else’s garbage. (Sorry!). Even though it is unspoken etiquette that broken kids’ toys should never be sold at a yard sale, it is something we see often.

Rule #2 No stuffies.

Nothing against families who buy second hand stuffed animals, but we just decided that if it cannot be tossed in the washing machine and sanitized, it's not something we want brought into our house. Bed bugs are not something I ever want to deal with so we have decided it is just not worth the risk of bringing bugs and unknown germs into our house. (This was a harder one from my 2-year-old to understand.) Besides, they have ENOUGH stuffies! Lol This is just a rule that we have set. Your family may be different.

3. Bring a Wagon

I debated bringing the kids in the wagon because I was worried about getting in people's way on the sidewalks and driveways, but I'm glad we decided to bring it! We noticed a lot of families doing it. It keeps the kids contained and a busy crowd, it prevents them from touching every toy they see, and we have somewhere to put our purchases!

The kids were such champs that day and we even brought home a couple of toys which they haven't stopped playing with! It's an experience they will remember, and I feel like I've accomplished something as a parent! (I will note this but I think it goes without saying: make sure you have lots of snacks, water, and sunscreen!)

A proud moment was when my son saw a table with a couple of Paw Patrol vehicles. He wanted the Chase truck but he already owns one so he decided to leave it for another Chase-loving shopper to find.

I figure the more my son understands the buying and selling of goods, maybe he'll be more likely to give up some of the toys he no longer plays with. Here's hoping! LOL But at the very least, it's helping him understand the value of things, that if you want something grab it before you lose your chance, and that it's okay to say No if it's not the perfect thing for you.

Happy Garage Sale-ing!

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