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Yard Sale Hysteria

Oh my goodness, all I can say is that it was a tremendous success. I have no idea how many people came through… at least several hundred. Cars were parked as far as I could see in every direction. I’ll start in chronologial order…

Friday afternoon Erika, Chance, & Marla rolled into town with a trailer loaded so full I thought for sure Jed & Granny Clampett were on board. We managed to transfer as much “stuff” from the trailer into the already-packed garage as we possibly could, burning the midnight oil.



You name it… we had it.


See the lamps up there? I primed and painted them late Friday and prayed they would dry by morning. I’m telling you, paint can work wonders people… wonders! Look:


Saturday morning people started to show around 6:15. There was a dense fog and a lot of people. There were some serious yard salers out there, uncovering clothing racks and asking how many more minutes until the garage doors would open. All I could think was ‘how are we logistically going to do this?’… remember, there were 6 participating families and A LOT OF STUFF. We are already strategically planning better for next year.


We set up in every direction. We had tables in the garage, in the driveway, down the sidewalk and well into the front yard. It was a progressive yard sale, which made things a little more complicated, and easier for those thieves to get by without paying. We had at least 1 spotted thief and who knows how many more. And to make matters worse… the man came back for more later in the day. Marla and I set our hawk-eyes on him and he didn’t stick around long, we stared him right out of there. No words were exchanged but we were tempted to ask him if he was back to pay for the lamps, shower curtains, and jewelry that he left with earlier. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of him.

Ok, so there were a lot of people and it was a little chaotic at times.



A lot of the big stuff went pretty fast. After the thief left we called in “hired security” to watch over other electronics {and hospital dishpans}.


Just kidding. But we should have. Speaking of electronics… Marla and I were in charge of collecting money and somehow we got placed next to a large table of printers and a “mixer” none of which belonged to either of us. We were asked a lot of questions that we couldn’t answer about any of them. Here’s Marla and one man checking out the “mixer”.


The only “mixer” I am familiar with is used in the kitchen. People would ask, “how much for the mixer, does it work?” I’d look around dumbfounded thinking, “I don’t see a mixer!” Fortunately we didn’t sell it for $5. Come to find out it was worth a lot and went for $50. It was Justin’s brother’s and he was a big “discounter”. He & Dona had a whole trailer full of stuff that wasn’t marked that went really fast due to very deep discounts!

Marla and I handled check-out. Chance was our money-runner. He’d come by for gobs of cash, run it inside and deposit in a basket on top of the frige. Marla made me wait until the very end to count any of it. But occassionally she would offer glimmers of hope and say, “I think you’ve already got your camera!”

These girls are champion blog readers. They came the longest distance and didn’t leave empty handed.


Elizabeth {middle} & Vanessa {right} and I’m a sleep-deprived, mother-of-three, who just had a yard sale and I can’t remember the other girl’s name…? Y’all help me! The hairy man in the background is available Tommy, he wasn’t just here for free coffee… although I see he found it. He is safe and we allow him around our children. He’s growing out the beard and hair to play Jesus in the Easter pageant. Somehow he didn’t know we were having a yard sale and came by for some “fellowship”. To say the least, he was a little astonished when he got here, probably because he had to park 1/2 a mile away. He even bought Marla’s husband’s shoes while he was here.


Paiger found something she wanted to buy.


If there was an “employee of the yard sale” award to be given, Erika would be the recipient. She treated every person who came by her “table” like they were a client. This woman {and several others} left and came back for more later in the day. She helped them all with yardages, design advice and more.


The dogs kept guard and Eufaby {on the right} would go bonkers if anyone got too close to the gate. Like I’ve said before, she looks friendly, but she’s not. The chocolate lab is “Bird Brown”.


There was one very friendly canine patron, Sydney Ann… a “goldendoodle”. She was a cutie.


At the end of the day we were all plum {or is it plumb} tuckered out. Here we are {me w/JM, mom, Erika} wondering if someone is going to come over to rub our feet… no one did.


Since the weather was so nice we sat in the driveway ALL afternoon. It was a great day. We made lots of good sales, all got a good sunburn, and we all walked away with a big wad of cash. I’ll get my camera, Erika will get her nursery, Dona will get her sod, and Marla will get her groceries! 🙂


I was shocked that the black wicker chairs didn’t sell! There were several people who wanted to just buy one or two but I couldn’t let a matching set of 4 be broken up. I may just have to keep them for myself.

A huge thank you to those of you who came! It really was so much fun. A lot of work, but a lot of fun. I’m so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open. Hornet had a fever last night so on top of a long day we had a very long night.

I may just leave all that stuff in my garage… it’s already all priced for the next sale! I’m sure my neighbors would just be delighted!

Hope y’all had great weekends!

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  • Kate T.
    March 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Looks like a lot of fun! Congratulations on the upcoming purchase of your new slr!!!

  • Kara
    March 8, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Yee Haw! Momma gets her new camera! 🙂 Good for you Darby!

  • Becky
    March 8, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    congrats on “the haul”! you will have to take your new camera and take pics of erika’s nursery (which i KNOW we will all drool over! and how excited are you that she is expecting?? did she mention the truly heinous spelling job i did in her comments i was so excited…and i don’t know why?) anyway, so glad it was a success. you deserved it after all that work.

    and booooo to the thief. hiss, even.

  • Ashley
    March 8, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Darby, that makes me tired just looking at it. But, I am so glad you were successful! Enjoy the camera – several months later, I’m still trying to learn to use mine 🙂 Oh, and I am going to email you questions, as I am trying to price things now for my sale…

  • Anonymous
    March 8, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Take pictures of leftovers. Maybe the folks who couldn’t make it can buy it online.

  • Mandy
    March 8, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    WOW..what an undertaking…I am so glad it went well and that you will ALL get your desired items…awesome news about your new nephew/niece…I hope you get some r and r this week with your Mom….Mandy

  • Frugal Coupon Mom - frugalcouponmom@gmail.com
    March 8, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Your friend Marla is the spitting image of Ginger on Real Estate Pros https://tlc.discovery.com/guides/property/real-estate-pros/bios/ginger.html i thought you had a celebrity at your garage sale! I am glad it was a success…
    Talk to you soon! Ashley

  • Michelle
    March 8, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Congratulations! Wish I could have been there, looked like some great stuff AND I can’t believe that the chairs are still there!!!
    We just bought an SLR and I am learning but can’t wait for any tutorials on photography from you! 🙂

  • Erin
    March 8, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Wow! Great job!!

    “Jesus” was the funniest thing I’ve seen all day! 🙂 What a dedicated guy!

    I wish I lived close enough to buy those wicker chairs off you; SO glad you can get your camera!! Obviously well deserved.

  • erika
    March 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    It was only a success because we had “Jesus” there! Glad you caught me working it hard with the woman who couldn’t decide between the green silk and the plaid silk… I was even sporting a very serious face and a new green cardigan I got out of your left-over pile. 🙂 What a hoot! The whole weekend was a total blast! And as exhausted as I am, Chance and I just finished building and painting the fence that is on the right side of the house… holy smokes… I’m not gonna be able to move tomorrow! Thanks for having us! For the donuts, the laughs, and the hospitality! Can’t wait for the 2009 sale… Chance even had a blast!!! He was glad the trailer was (mostly) empty coming home.
    A special thanks to you and Marla for holding down the “Front Desk”- which is how I kept referring to it to everyone who tried to pay me.
    Love you sister!

  • Dianne
    March 8, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Darby, I am so happy you will get your camera. You sure deserve it after a sale like that!! Take all the left overs to Good Will and get a tax deduction. We have a rule at our garage sales…nothing comes back home. LOL

  • Elizabeth
    March 8, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Yard sales are such hard work! Glad it was a success for you and you’ll get your camera. What kind are you getting? I have a Canon Rebel and love it. I only wish I would’ve gotten it sooner

  • Beth G.
    March 8, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    YEAH! The thing about Tommy was SO funny!! He’s such a great guy. I am glad everything was successful and I am SO excited about Erika. Know that Natalie and I would have LOVED to have come if she didn’t live in Vermont and me in South Carolina. God Bless and I pray you have a restful week.

  • Shireen
    March 8, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    I know the girl whose name you can’t remember! Her name is Mandy! She’s the one on the far left of the three girls! WoW! I just SAW her at church, too! How FUNNY! AMAZING!

    You guys worked HARD, Darby! Good grief! It’s fun to look at that last picture and know so many of yall! 🙂

    Way to go, and glad you’re getting your new camera…praise the Lord, girl!
    Love you!

  • Shireen
    March 8, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    P.S. I just went back through all the pics, and I see Tommy, Mr. Available ;), behind the 3 Bham girls! 🙂 How funny!

  • The Harris Family
    March 8, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Enjoy that camera! Looks like you earned it! 🙂

  • Anonymous
    March 8, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    so if one wanted all four wicker chairs how much might they be?

  • Ashley
    March 8, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Darby~ what a great turn out! It actually looked like alot of fun! I’m glad you get your new camera! Wish I could of came. Oh, congrats on being an Aunt, so exciting! Take care!

  • Annmarie
    March 8, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Holy Cow!! That WAS huge!! Sure looks like you had fun and all that hard work was worth it. I”m getting inspired to purge, purge, purge myself! LOVE the black chairs and the little house lamp!? Well done, ladies!

  • meredith
    March 8, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Awesome!! I am so glad you all had so much fun and you even got to meet my Mama! She told she went and thought you and Erika were just “too cute!” We’ll definitely have to do some sort of blogger/stalker meet up soon! Get some rest!

    P.S. I ran into Tommy last week and barely recognized him!

  • Brenna
    March 8, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Darby glad yall had a sucuessful sale. That is exciting about your sister! I cant believe some one stole and came back for more. When I had my moving grage sale at Bama, I listed the time to start at 10am and people were so confused and one man said leave it to a college student to start a grage sale at 10am HAHA I also Had my dog out for protection since people were lining up at 9 while I was hauling things out of my house, I didnt even have a cash box so I hat to dump my tackle box and use that as my money area at the last minute. It was funny. Hope to see yall soon!

  • Anonymous
    March 8, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Let me know if you would like those chairs to be gone, I can take all 4. http://www.kristivill@aol.com

  • thesixkents
    March 8, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Great idea! Will have to wait until the weather warms up here in Vancouver though… I love that you bought something for yourself – if you’re anything like me, you’ve been spending every spare dime on your kids and forgetting to treat yourself ;-).

  • Hillary @ The Other Mama
    March 8, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Sounds like a lot of fun and I can’t believe you had a THIEF!! Who came back! The NERVE!! Please don’t tell me he took off with those beautiful white lamps!
    And that sofa perfect for a foot run didn’t sell? Shocking!
    So glad y’all had a wonderful time!

  • Sarah's Fab Day
    March 8, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Wow! I’m getting tired just looking at your pictures. Glad you’re able to get your camera and I’m shocked that the chairs didn’t go.

  • pve design
    March 9, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Whatcha gonna do with all the loot from the sale?
    Hey, check out my blog today….
    and so excited you are going to be an Aunty.

  • Debra
    March 9, 2009 at 5:17 am

    Great success! But aren’t you glad it’s over. You should post tips on a successful yard sale. We are planning a huge sale for July 4th weekend! Have fun spending!

  • Blair P. Dubak
    March 9, 2009 at 5:35 am

    Congrats! Looks like it was so much fun. hey, did Erika end up selling those paintings on the wall behind her? If not I might be interested!

  • Kellie
    March 9, 2009 at 5:52 am

    A theif – the nerve of him!!!! And Tommy – oh my goodness – that beard!!!!! I’m going to make some comments on FB!!!! He’ll make a great Jesus! Glad your sale was successful – I just bought a Canon Rebel and LOVE it, but like others, need some lessons on how to use it better! Our garage sales have always been VERY successful, but I think ya’ll took the cake on that one!

  • Melanie
    March 9, 2009 at 6:50 am

    I can't believe the wicker chairs did not sell. They would have been the first thing I looked for. It looks like the sale was a blast…you all get some much needed rest. I hope the fever & sickness is gone soon.

  • Sarah Armstrong
    March 9, 2009 at 6:51 am

    Darby – this is Sarah (Stone) Armstrong and I am a bit of a “blog stalker” with your blog. It’s is quite entertaining and your family is just beautiful! I couldn’t resist posting that I am really coveting your black wicker chairs! We just built a new house and are looking for furniture for our covered patio – if we had a way to transport them I would so purchase them!! 🙂

  • MyLittleHappyPlace
    March 9, 2009 at 7:09 am

    How Fuuunnnn!! Glad it was such a success (despite the Swiper!)

  • Kaysha Patel
    March 9, 2009 at 7:32 am

    A few comments…
    1) Your friend Marla looks EXACTLY like Ginger from Real Estate Pros…at first glance, I seriously thought Ginger was at your yard sale.
    2) Shame on that thief!!!
    3) Love, love, love that pic of Raiger.
    4) Those lamps look awesome
    5) I can’t believe the wicker chairs didn’t sell! I would scoop them up in a heartbeat!!

  • paula
    March 9, 2009 at 9:33 am

    looks like a smashing success.

  • Erin
    March 9, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Shucks. I missed it! If only I wasn't 1500 miles away, I would have bought the limey lamp & the citrus art. 🙁 I'm glad you had success, though!

  • vanessa
    March 9, 2009 at 10:18 am

    We made the blog! We had a good time and it was great to meet yall. Now seeing that barn painting, I am really regretting not getting it. Oh and your drapery lining I bought for $1 got made into 2 24×24 pillow forms, 2 15×9 pillow forms, 2 20×20 pillow forms and backs for all of those pillows! Best $1 ever spent!

  • Jennifer
    March 9, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    So glad it all went well and can’t wait to hear when you get the new camera!

    I can’t believe the thief had the nerve to return. Good for you for staring him down and out of there!

  • aedozier
    March 9, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Oh my goodness! Tommy T with a HUGE beard!!! He has always been one to give it his all.
    Looks like it was a complete success!!!! We are having one in April and I can only hope to have half of the success it appears you all had. I am in the market for an embroidery machine. Glad it went well!

  • andi
    March 9, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Man, I am sad I missed it!!!

  • ski
    March 9, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Did the fruit canvas paintings go?? I have been DROOLING over them!! Thoug I live WAY too far to drive down, I would LOVE to figure out a way to get my hands on them! 🙂 It looks as if you guys had an amazing turnout!


  • Abby Maddox
    March 9, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    SOOO happy it was such a success. I could hardly bare (sp?) to check the blog because I was so stressed by it all 🙂 Not sure how you LIVED it!

    Loved the Tommy is single shout out!

    I made the santa fe soup (from a couple of blogs ago) and it was a major success at our house. Thanks for the tip!

  • truthintersectslife
    March 9, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Absolutely fabulous! You are more fun than anything I could have found on tv to entertain myself! I had some catching up to do and loved the homemade tortilla strips idea too. Thanks for your comment today on my blog. Keep up the great work on your blog that touches lives in so many ways. Love u amy

    March 9, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Jon was seen at a fraternity party with 2 single girls…it’s been all over the news. I have admit, I watched their appearance on Oprah today and noticed that some chemistry was missing.
    Uh oh!!!

  • Kate@ Kids and Cocktails
    March 10, 2009 at 5:57 am

    I was going to totally get in the car and drive from Bham on Saturday morning, but we had a little incident with a desk and my 4 year olds head on Friday, so I had to miss it. Looks like fun!

    I can’t wait to have my own sale in a couple of weeks. I am in desperate need of a good de-junking!

  • Laura
    March 10, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Looks like so much fun! Wish I could have been there!

  • Lauren
    March 10, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Congratulations on the yard sale success! After seeing the kitchen table and chairs I wish I could have made it!

  • momof3girls
    March 10, 2009 at 9:39 am

    oh my goodness! That looks like you had a crazy worn out weekend! glad your sale was a success!

  • No.35style
    March 11, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    ohhh i see so much i would have liked! glad it was a great sale and everyone gets what they were wanting with the money! looks like a fabulous time..so fun!

  • Breen
    June 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm


    im having my first yard sale on saturday.. any tips? i have a ton of stuff. no way to display clothes (on hangers.. or haven't figured it out yet)… and its a neighborhood wide one. would love some advice!!


    ps. i love your blog. pictures. stories. etc.