Tales of a Tireless Mom: "One Man's Trash..."

How a simple yard sale can be a great experience for kids.


They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and nowhere is this more evident than at the ever-popular yard sale.

But if you really want to see your castoffs make one’s eyes light up then invite a child to help you work it.

This weekend we took part in a Neighborhood Yard Sale. There were four families who organized their “treasures,” made signs and set up tables on what turned out to be a beautiful fall morning, all in hopes of unloading some unwanted things and making a few bucks.

As Andy had to take Ben to Basketball practice, I had two little helpers in Georgia and Quinn.

Make that one helper and one little thief.

Georgia immediately went into shopkeeper mode and began organizing items on the table. She carefully priced out everything from candles to Christmas decorations, furniture to baby toys.

The deal we had made was that she would take a portion of whatever money we earned so she went from 2nd grader to human calculator in mere seconds. It’s amazing what kind of mathematical Olympics kids are capable of when there is a payout involved.

As soon as people started showing an interest in our table, Georgia proved to be a chip off the old block. She talked up the shoppers and offered to show them other things they might be interested in.

At one point, I heard her giving reviews of some DVDs that a man was going
through (he bought six of them). She even made correct change!

Three-year old Quinn, on the other hand, was a menace. Like most children, as soon as he saw old toys that hadn’t played with in years he became completely enamored with them.

He caught sight of a toddler walker that doubles as a baby bike and decided that he had to ride it. He then found a cheap, plastic dump truck that he pushed back and forth across the street, ignoring any traffic that might be coming our way.

Every time I would put one of the toys back into the pile, he’d catch wind of what was happening and repo the stupid thing.

Needless to say, both are still in our possession. AWESOME.

Of course, my main motivation in having the yard sale was to get rid of things that were taking up room in the attic but what Georgia got out of it was so much more.

A cross between a weekend job and trip down Memory Lane, she loved the whole experience and it was really fun watching her in action. She was so helpful that I even let her keep a pair of gaudy earrings “for when she grows up and has pierced ears.” A small price to pay, I suppose.

There’s talk of a follow-up sale and when it happens, I’ll make sure to have my star salesperson by my side. But if you’re looking for an old plastic truck, keep right on walking past our table.

Something tells me that not even Georgia will be able to sell that.


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