Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

Garage Sale Tips and Donating the Leftovers…

Want to have a garage sale?  Or maybe you just want to do some Spring cleaning and donate your items to families in need.  Read on because this post is for you!  I have a few tips for having a garage sale and a few places for you to donate household and clothing items (besides Goodwill).

I had my first garage sale last year.  Everyone kept saying oh its so much work.  Yep it is but as a stay at home mom I don’t have many options for making a bit of extra spending money.  So last summer after recently moving I went through EVERY box in our storage room.  Exhausting! But it was good and fun.  We made a few bucks and moved out some stuff.  Here are a few things I learned.

Advertising…

Last year we put an ad in the paper and we didn’t think it was worth the money.  Craigslist is the best advertising mechanism.  I also belong to some Facebook swap pages and garage sale pages.  Those are great ways to advertise as well.  Don’t forget to put out lots of signs!

Neighbors…

Ask your neighbors.  I love going to neighborhood sales even if it just a few houses next to each other.  Neighborhood sales always help pull larger crowds.

Pricing…

Price your items to sell.  On larger items you can put it at the price you want or a few dollars more, with the idea that people will ask you to go lower.  At first I thought I wouldn’t haggle but really I would rather have it gone than haggle over a few bucks.  However if there is something really nice that I know I could sell say on craigslist for a certain price then I am not as willing to go super low.  Also I make sure and price things on the .25 so making change is super easy.  Make sure you have plenty of 1’s and quarters.  When it comes to clothes I enjoy going to sales that just say $1 clothes or $1 for pants .50 for shirt.  Some things might be worth more and some less so I figure it evens out.

Children…

Last year I thought I could manage my boys while having the garage sale.  Luckily my mom said no you can’t and came to help out.  Whew.  It wouldn’t have been fun at all to try and keep the boys busy and focus on the sale.  The boys did sell some fresh popped popcorn and ice cold water for a little extra cash.  The boys did object at first to cleaning out some toys however I told them if they sold some toys and I would give them some money to buy a Lego set they had been eyeing.  Worked perfectly.

PicMonkey Collage

Donations…

So you have had a wonderful sale made some cash BUT you still have items leftover.  If your husband was like mine this year he said “This is not coming back inside” so then where is it going?  Or maybe you would rather not have a sale and just donate your items to one of the many amazing programs and ministries in your community.  Goodwill is great but I love to find worthy programs.  In my previous life (before being a mom) I graduated with a degree in social work and worked in a lot of various social service agencies.  I love to find ways to help other families and I love to help amazing programs.

I also want to say, please sort through your clothing before donating items.  Every program sorts through clothing for clothes that are stained or have holes in them.  Especially smaller programs that takes them a lot of time and man power to do that so please make sure what you donate is in good condition and if you have a few extra minutes it also helps to sort them by size and gender.   And these programs are always looking for volunteers!

1.) Zion Lutheran Church Clothing Closet…

Their main focus is helping refugees and homeless individuals/families.  Have you ever spent time with refugees?  I love working with refugees.  I love their deep desire to do anything to give their families a better life.  Most of them have fled persecution and come here with absolutely nothing.  The Zion Lutheran Church also serves homeless individuals and those that have just fallen on hard times.   My friend who organizes the clothing closet said they had a refugee boy come to VBS with shoes in horrible condition and mud caked all his feet with sores all over.

What donations do they take… Clothing all sizes, shoes (they have a big need for shoes), furniture (they can pick up), and they are always looking for volunteers.  If you want to donate items please drop them off at Zion Lutheran Church 4300 Beaver Ave. M-F 9-3pm phone 270-8142.

2.) For Kid’s Sake Closet…

A friend of mine told me about this new ministry to serve foster care families and children.  Kerri Clark started the ministry after being a foster parent herself.  Imagine after taking the leap of faith to be a foster parent anxiously awaiting that call… “We have a child for you”  you agree to take the child but its one year old and you don’t have a crib, diapers, clothes, car seat – nothing.  What do you do the child will be there in 40 minutes.  Kerri quickly realized that when foster children get placed with a family they come with NOTHING.  No toothbrush, no diapers, no clothes but what they are wearing (if those fit).  I used to work for a shelter that took in children immediately removed from the home and I can attest that fact.  The ministry is housed in Ashworth Road Baptist Church 5300 Ashworth Road.  This is their Facebook page.  If you are interested in donating items to this amazing program you can drop items off Monday-Friday 9-2pm at the church.  You can call them at 657-7771.

They are looking for anything a child would use age 0-18 years.  Clothing (they will take some adult clothing if it is youthful looking), car seats (not expired), shoes, sports equipment, bedding, cribs, baby gear, even things like a prom dress.  Kerri shared that one girl was moved to tears to find a prom dress with their help!  They will also accept financial donations as well.

3.) Hope Ministries…

I love Hope Ministries because of the variety of services they offer and their mission.  They take everything!  They sell their donations in order to fund their ministry.  They don’t take any government funding.  Here is a list of in kind donations they accept.  There are several places you can drop off your items including their Encore Thrift Store located at 4640 Merle Hay Road.  Check out their website here to get a list of places to drop off your donations.

Do you have any garage sale tips or places you love to donate your items?

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2 Responses to Garage Sale Tips and Donating the Leftovers…

  1. Angela
    Angela July 1, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    This list of ministries is super helpful! Thanks for putting it together.

  2. Jenny July 2, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    I really appreciate this list! I think it will help me let go of things I have but don’t really use (but I may need SOMEDAY!….) knowing they will go to ministries that use them to help people’s physical needs as well as spiritual. Thanks!

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