Monday, July 7, 2008

Garage Sale Heaven

What is it about Ohio that makes garage sales so popular, compared to California, where we previously lived? Well, certainly the culture is less showy and less status-conscious. One finds far fewer expensive cars, and I would venture to guess that the average Ohioan tries harder to avoid credit card balances. Whereas in California it was more common to unload unwanted goods at the local Salvation Army bin, here in Portage County, Ohio, a garage sale is the way to go. They are so commonplace in the summer, that if one were so inclined, garage-sale shopping could become a weekend hobby.

Our one-income, growing family couldn't survive without two things - Super Walmart and garage sales. During the past three summers, we've scored big at various garage sales, Boy Scout rummage sales, etc. We've found well-kept children's puzzles and books, large plastic lawn toys, well-made, gently-used shoes, and various sports equipment, among other things.

Besides books, I especially love toys that spark the imagination, through pretend play. Last weekend we found a new-looking Little Tykes mail box, made with heavy, durable plastic construction. May I just say that my boys have been in heaven, with their new treasure? I set up a mail center with various sizes of paper, stamps for pretend postage, envelopes, colored pencils, and a mail-oriented word bank, posted on the wall. Oh, my, they've had a good time!

The kids and I originally set out to get doll toys for Emily Rose, since so far, she has only a small doll car-seat thing, and a doll stroller. She doesn't play with dolls much, and I thought with more props, she might feel so inclined. We scored! I was specifically looking for a doll crib or bed, but found instead, an old-fashioned baby carriage, also made from heavy-duty, durable plastic, much like that used for lawn toys. It is sooo cute! It fits two dolls, and is fashioned in the recline position; she can use it as a bed, or push it around as a carriage. My sweet Rose looks so adorable pushing it around, with a satisfied, loving-mom look on her face! Boy, I love garage sales! We paid only six dollars total for the mailbox, carriage, and a mini-soccer goalie net, which will be great for the backyard.

Let's hear about your recent garage-sale treasures! Does your town have a lot of them as well?


Danielle said...

Garage sales are quite popular in our neck of the woods too... The treasures you can find are simply amazing. Especially books or toys that have only been used in a single child family! They are practically brand new. You can pay a dollar or 2 for something you would pay $20 for in the store!

Fern said...

I love garage sales. Where we used to live, north of Cincinnati, there was a wonderful Goodwill store that got fantastic donations -- I shopped there exclusively for the time we lived there. Up here I haven't found a replacement, yet, but I had great luck at a garage sale a few weeks ago. I got the big Dora castle with all the people and accessories, plus a floaty swim thing for Janie, and something else I can't remember, for $20. The castle has been a big hit with everyone.

I had found the Hasbro Rose Petal Cottage on clearance last winter, and it has a mail slot. The kids had a little pad of card stock and used that as their mail... I recently found small square superhero stickers at the dollar store, which look just like the superhero postage stamps we had been using.