That Time My Daughter Talked Me Into Having a Garage Sale (Even though I knew better!!!)

That Time My Daughter Talked Me Into Having a Garage Sale (even though I totally knew better) at

It’s October December, and I’ve been meaning to write about the garage sale my 9yo daughter suckered me into having in August.

I’m sure I could turn it into a big long story, but in the interest of already not-so-perfect-anymore timing, I’ll just share.

She wanted to have a garage sale.

She thinks they’re fun.

I tried to change the subject.

Over and over and over again.

She kept asking.

It’s possible (or it’s for sure) that Mama hadn’t done a great job actually donating her Donate Boxes in a while, so there was enough to have a good sale.

Because her desire to have a garage sale made her want to declutter her own room, I gave in. I told her it was her garage sale, and she had to do the work. She could have all the money, but I wasn’t doing it for her.

Garage Sale Daughter at

Are you done laughing yet?


She really did do a good job, though of course, I did way more than nothing. It was a great learning experience in the end. We missed the newspaper deadline, and (as I TEACH in the series I’ve written about having a garage sale), we shouldn’t have. That’s the most important advertising venue in our small town. She wanted to have it that weekend anyway, and it was awful. We ended up doing it again the next week. Overall, she was pleased with the money she made, though I would have been severely depressed if it was me doing all that work for money alone (as opposed to life lessons for my daughter).

Garage Sale Boys at

But the biggest positive of having the sale (and what tends to be a big positive for having a garage sale) was that it forced us into finally getting rid of the bunk beds my boys had long ago outgrown.
That’s them. Holding clothes we found that had fallen behind the drawers. They had that bed a while. 

It’s funny, it’s cute. But it makes my Mama Heart want to throw a pity party.

The boys made a little money, their room is much emptier (and therefore slightly easier to keep non-disastrous), and someone hauled those beds off to be used again (after they repair the broken slats on the bottom bunk).

But don’t worry. My boys might not be toddlers anymore, but they’re not completely grown up:

Not completely grown up yet! At



That Time My Daughter Talked Me Into Having a Garage Sale (even though I totally knew better) pin at

$110 Bucks Worth of Clutter!!!

110 Bucks Worth of Clutter at
Nony here: I loved this email from one of you. I’d love to hear what you have laying around waiting to be returned! But first, if your name is Denise and you have three boys, check your email! Comment #17 on the Swiffer giveaway was chosen by You’ve got 48 hours to respond to the email I sent with your mailing address!!
Dear Nony,

Let me start by saying….I am really bad about returning items. I (or hubby) will purchase things, get home, find they don’t work for what we needed/don’t like it, blah blah. So I’m just like, Oh well. Put it over there and I’ll take it back when I go back to the store. Simple enough, right? Mm hmm. Except that it never fails I will forget. And go to that same store five times (or more) and come home and there the items sit. 

Unfortunately, I too suffer from “slob vision” so those items tend to blend in with normal household decor & items that are “supposed” to be laying around the house. (I mean, doesn’t everyone decorate the corner of their fireplace with a bottle of non-toxic mineral paint thinner?) 
So today, since I had to get out to deliver some papers to my youngest daughter at school, I decided to put a dent in the “Returns Basket” in which I had placed all of the items I came across while decluttering last week. I returned 8 items between 2 stores and the total of the money I got back was $109.95! 
$110 bucks! Worth of stuff! Just sitting there! In the way! Taking up space! For weeks! Some of it for months!! I have serious issues. (Yes, there are more items to be returned, but I have to locate the receipts as I declutter some more) 
This made my heart frown a little because twice within the last week, I told two of my kids “No” when one asked if we could go grab something to eat after softball practice and the other asked if I would bring her lunch (fast food) at school. Not that we are hurting, but I explained that I was trying to not spend any extra money on unnecessary things before next payday since just this month, we’ve had to make repairs on two cars, pay for my oldest’s college tuition, and found out my youngest needed glasses. 
So after making my returns today, I brought both of my girls lunch to school and when they smiled excitedly, that frown in my heart turned upside down!

What I’m learning (or really already know):

  • Clutter = hurt pride over people coming into my home
  • Clutter = chaos and angry household members
  • Clutter = having to say no when I should be able to say yes
  • Clutter = Guilt
  • Clutter = $$$ (in my case)

Thank you so much for your blog!!! While I already know the many ways clutter affects my life and family, reading your blog… 

  1. Gives me hope! When, for years, I have felt hopeless
  2. Has helped me find the humor, when, for years, I have only been able to find tears.
  3. Has taught me so much about looking at & working on myself! For the 1st time, (probably ever) I am no longer angry at my husband and kids. Yes, I still get annoyed that they make messes and/or don’t pick up after themselves. But the anger and the blame is no longer there. Because you’ve opened my eyes to the fact that I need to change my habits before I can expect them to change theirs. After all, they learned from the best! (there’s that dumb pride thing again)
A Fellow Slob (who now has a little less clutter and a few more bucks) - From Our Mailbox
Time Sensitive Deals: Schoola is offering 50% off EVERYTHING for a limited time (which means I don’t know when it will end) with the code FALLINGPRICES. Use my referral link to get $15 in credit. I’ll be honest, Schoola’s website and sizing and such confuses me a little, but with that credit and the 50% off code that you enter at checkout, you can totally score a deal for totally free. And I’ve gotten some things from there that I totally love. I get a LOT of my kids’ uniforms there. And the best part, they ALWAYS send a bag with pre-paid shipping for you to fill up with nice clothing you’ve decluttered. Send it in and designate your kids’ school and they’ll send a portion of the sales price for your items as a donation to the school when it sells!
Today only, Amazon Prime year memberships for NEW members only are $67. I have a post in drafts, almost finished, about how I use Amazon Prime to make life easier. I so wish it was ready. But if you have already decided on your own that you’d like to try it, today is a good day to purchase it. I’m not going to try to convince anyone, because my post will show you if it’s a fit for your family, and if it isn’t, no deal is a good deal. Here’s my affiliate link to learn more.

How A Busy Mama Crafter Is Whipping the WIPs (in 5 Steps)

{Editor’s Note:  Today we have a guest post from Emily Chapelle at So D*mn Domestic.  She has set up 6 different houses in 7 years of military moves so she knows a thing or two about having stuff, maintaining it and decluttering what you don’t need… even if she is a crafter with the corresponding crafter’s stash!}


You know what WIPs are, right? If you’re a crafter I know you do. Works-in-progress. Those half-done, almost-done, or barely-started projects we’ve been “meaning to get to.”

Whip the WIPs (Works in Progress) with

The problem is, when our craft stashes (not as trendy as mustaches) grow, WIPs multiply, and soon we’re spending most of our time managing, organizing, and digging through embryonic projects instead of actually crafting.

I can’t tell you how much craft stuff I got rid of when we moved into our new house in December. But it was at least three big boxes during my craft-area-focus day. Plus other random stuff I decided to declutter at different times. It can be bad enough when you’re a die-hard knitter or something, and the yarn piles up. But what about people like me (I know you’re out there) who are kind of a Jack of all trades?

ASCC pic 1

I have clothing blanks in different sizes from when I was doing toner transfers on T-shirts and baby clothes for my local La Leche League. Paint, blank canvases, paint brushes. Yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks. Embroidery hoops, embroidery thread, various sewing notions, and a rainbow of sewing thread. Scraps of fabric, clothes to upcycle, quilt batting, polyfil stuffing, 10,000 buttons, baby carrier hardware, and on and on and on….

We’re moving cross-country again in January. So we’ll be in this house just over a year total. I’ve decided to take this time to Whip the WIPs and get my craft stash under control. How am I doing it?

ASCC pic 2

  1. I got rid of the obvious stuff. The projects I didn’t WANT to finish anymore. The craft items that no longer sparked ideas of stuff I actually wanted to make with them. I donated so much stuff. Someone else can make all of that into something. It’s no longer my responsibility, and I’m glad about that.
  2. I realized the constraints of my time. Real life happens. Every day. And somehow I’m not sitting down to craft every day. If it were my main priority, it would happen. But it isn’t. I craft around once a week, and sometimes even less. So I might get 10 multi-weekend projects done in a year, and a few smaller ones. I don’t NEED materials for doing 200 different projects.
  3. I identified which WIPs were my priorities. Once I got rid of the stuff I realized I wasn’t ever going to DO, a few projects stood out to me as being more important to me than the others. These are the ones I’m making an effort to complete first.
  4. I set an expiration date. If I don’t complete those projects by the time we move again in January, I’ll realize an entire year went by without me making them priorities in my life. And it will be time to let go. And I REALLY WILL let go.
  5. I’m not buying more craft stuff. Really, until I have significantly cut down on my craft stash, I can’t justify buying more stuff. I don’t need to browse fabric stores and craft stores when I have so much I can work with in my home. So I’m just not. If I need something tiny to finish a project I have most of the materials for already, fine. But I’m not going to just buy materials for no reason, or for an inactive WIP.

Here’s to a crafty year, more actually-finished instead of in-progress projects, and a shrinking craft stash!


Emily Chapelle headshot Emily Chapelle has set up six different houses in seven years of military moves. She’s also the mother of two adorable curly-haired kids, wife to a Navy fighter pilot, and a former teacher, childcare provider, and nanny. Now she works from home to spread encouragement and inspiration to other homemakers with a no-nonsense attitude and lots of tough love. She blogs at So D*mn Domestic. Get her free eBook, Finding the Awesome: 3 Steps to Doing More & Stressing Less for more inspiration and guided, broken-down exercises to find your Awesome.


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