Here are my top tips for having a successful garage sale.
(1) Create a “holding area” for everything you want to sell weeks in advance, and start placing things in this spot.
(2) Clean all items and price them for a quick sell.
(3) Bundle cords or sets of items.
(4) Place ads in your local paper and on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Craigslist to get the word out in advance.
(5) Apply for a permit from your city, if required.
(6) Make signs to place around your neighborhood the day of the sale.
(7) Have a fanny pack ready to use for your money so it will be with you at all times.
(8) Have change on hand for buyers with large bills.
(9) Start early and get rid of EVERYTHING!
(10) Load up what’s left over and take it directly to your local donation center.
Your job now is to keep your home clean and keep the clutter, both inside the house and out, to a minimum! If you’re not up for a garage sale of your own, you can always make donations, most of which are tax-deductible and great for the charities.
Q: We have a fireplace in our family room. The inside bricks are light-colored, almost white. I would rather paint them black so they don’t show and have to be cleaned all the time. What kind of paint should I use? Will it be safe to use for fires during the winter? – E.W.
A: Use paint made for fireboxes. It will be called high-temperature paint and you can find it at a well-stocked paint store, or perhaps a fireplace supply store. Make sure to repair any mortar issues before painting or using the fireplace. If you haven’t had your flue inspected lately, do so. Other than that, you’ll be cozy this winter and happier with the looks of your fireplace.
A Super hint
If you’ve ever needed to square up the corner of a frame, tile or piece of wood for a project and you don’t have an actual square to use, use the corner of a table, cabinet door or some other known 90-degree angled object.
I don’t have a “work truck,” just a regular SUV. When I get a load of rocks, mulch or firewood, I have to get out a couple of old sheets and try to cover the back of my car so it won’t get filthy in the process. The CargoSock prevents this! It’s made of industrial-grade plastic, is easy to install, requiring no permanent changes to your car, and even has a clear “window” so you can still see out the back – unless you’re fully loaded with materials – and it stores flat in your garage when you are not using it. It even has a flap at the base so unloading stuff won’t scratch up your rear bumper. Check it out at www.cargosock.com.
Got a question or a handy tip? Visit www.thesuperhandyman.com. Those of general interest will be used in future columns.