Do you brake for yard sales?
Do church basements filled with tables get you excited?
Is the best part of dropping things off at the thrift store the chance to go inside?
If you answered no to all those questions, congratulations. You have no hunting-gathering tendencies, and that's good. You probably also have a clean house, unless your shopaholic tendencies manifest themselves elsewhere, like at the mall. Besides, yard saling and its relatives take time, and that's not something in large supply, for some of us. It's not a required activity.
But it's also a less pointless one than some would have us believe. Yard saling doesn't have to be about packrattiness, excess and coming home with other people's silly rejects. It can be part of a reasonable plan for living on less, re-using, re-cycling, re-sponsibling.
Some people come home from yard sales with trunkfuls of good finds. Others are lucky if they find an occasional CD they like. If you go to yard sales but don't find much, here are a few things to watch for.
This stacking rack folds flat--good for small spaces.
a) A lot of smart people point out that if you have fewer things in the first place, you will need fewer thing-holders. Instead of a whole closet organizer system, for instance, you may be able to get away with a rod and a shelf.
b) You can improvise a lot of thing-holders, when you do need them. I've used all kinds of cardboard boxes as drawer organizers, magazine files, and so on.
After I bought two Kangaroo Keepers earlier this year, I agreed that the advertising was overblown on the supposed usefulness of all those little pockets. But as I said in that post, I ended up using the large one as a cosmetics and hairbrush holder in a drawer (practical for me because I don't have a lot of that stuff), and the small one in my pocket-lacking purse (without stuffing anything in the pockets).
I bought a whole lot of brand-new little jars at a yard sale. I never liked those traditional tall thin spice jars, so even when I had some, I never remembered to put anything into them. It was easier to keep herbs and spices in their plastic bags, or in the Ziploc system I tried for awhile. But since I had an available drawer, and because these squatty little jars were easier to fill than the tall ones, I figured that they would work in our kitchen, and they do. I even manage to keep them alphabetized, more or less.
6. Less-fancy office supplies My three-ring Daytimer came from a fill-a-bag rummage sale. I haven't been looking for binders lately, but there are lots of them out there. If you hit the right sale, you can even find packages of things like binder dividers or page protectors, because somebody bought too many of them.
7. Small fashion accessories. Some people shuck their least-favourites at the thrift store, others go to the trouble of putting them out for a yard sale. Scarves are what I usually look for (because they don't get worn hard, or they might just need hand-washing); but you can also do well on purses (depending on condition), wallets, belts, and so on. .
9. Mr. Fixit's contribution: Golf clubs. And other sports and exercise gear.
10. You were waiting for me to say books, weren't you? Well, of course. But it helps if you can narrow down what you want. Like cookbooks, or guitar music books, or how-to-fix-things books. When you find a book in your area, it's even better than something completely random.
A little random is fine; it's the spice of yard saling. But having a plan makes it make more sense.