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Yard Sales. I literally loathe yard sales, garage sales, estate sales, you get the idea. My mom’s family on the other hand, LOVES yard sales. Which is likely where my personal hatred for yard sales began. As a child, you would really rather be doing ANYTHING on the weekend besides selling all your stuff for 25 cents. First, we had to clean out our entire closets, then the garage and the rest of our (in)valuable possessions. Stay up late on Friday placing small stickers with tiny prices on each item. And then, as if staying up late wasn’t enough, you have to wake up at 4 am to get everything outside and setup for the professional 'yard-salers' that arrive pre-sunrise. I don’t even remember if I got to keep my own earnings, or if I even sold anything at all. A lot of my childhood is like that…a big blur.

Fast forward 20 years…

Tyler and I are taking a Dave Ramsey course, Financial Peace University (FPU), through our church. I’m trying to rid myself of $40,000 of student debt in less than 15 months…ambitious, I know. BUT it’s possible and I’m making progress each day. Part of our debt snowball plan (see: FPU class lingo) included a yard sale. Yard sale. I cringed.

I knew I had stuff I could possibly sell, but would it be WORTH it?! Would it be worth the flashbacks to my childhood of haggling over $.50 cent items?! ….really, just take it.  Would it be worth scouring the house to find anything we could sell and then trying to figure out what it’s worth to OTHER people?! This proved to be a challenging task. And would it be worth waking up at 5am on our only sleep-in day to maybe sell some things?! 

The answer was an astounding YES. And while it took a lot of motivating self-talk the week and night before, we did it. And it was SOOO worth it. Not just because we literally sold out of items, but because we actually had a lot of fun.

Tyler and I rounded up a few big items and a few small ones the week (and night) prior to the sale. We thought about how much they were worth to us…and then usually had to cut that in half if we were realistically going to sell it at a yard sale. We got up early Saturday morning (okay maybe we were still 30 minutes late) and headed over to the church parking lot where the yard sale was happening. We set up all of our stuff next to our FPU classmates. I was even selling a table and bench so we used it to put all of our items on, then sold that too.

                                                                 Managing our inventory and sales department!

                                                                 Managing our inventory and sales department!

There are about 10 families in our FPU class…4 showed up for the yard sale (including us). We all still had A LOT of stuff to sell. Between the 4 families we had over 12 tables of items! Come on yard sale professionals! Come buy our stuff! And they did. They bought EVERYTHING that Tyler and I brought. And most of the other families were close to selling out too. Between the 4 families we made over $950. Not bad for a few hours on a Saturday morning.

This was an encouraging testament that if you plan and prepare and you SHOW UP…you will be rewarded for your efforts. Showing up was essential to making money that day, but how many times do we plan to do something and not follow through? How can you reap the benefits if you do not show up? Maybe you even had good intentions and did all the preparation, but didn’t have the stamina to follow through…only those who show up and follow through will reap the rewards of their hard work.

Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard does not plow after the autumn, so he begs during the harvest and has nothing.

                                                      Church contributed with a post-yard sale nap/snuggle session.

                                                      Church contributed with a post-yard sale nap/snuggle session.

The money wasn’t even the best part. I had the best time laughing and fellowshipping with our FPU friends. We feel so blessed to have found a group of supportive people that are constantly working to lift us up. Surround yourself with positive people and you will see a change in yourself. Jim Rohn said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This makes sense according to the law of averages. Look around you…are you impressed, inspired, supported and encouraged to be your best self around your five people? If not, maybe it’s time for a change of scenery.

Adrienne Dorison