Newspaper Columns from the New Britain City Journal

Entries in tag sale (3)


Closets and dealing with loved ones things

Dear Les is More:

I do not have the time to clean my closet, but is there one thing that I can do now?

Thanks! Anne


Dear Anne:

Congrats on wanting to get organized. Yes, there is a very easy way to start. I want you to put a laundry basket on the floor of your closet. When you are getting ready in the morning or any other time and trying on clothes and you try on something you do not like, or does not fit anymore put it in the basket.  When the basket is filled, put in a large garbage bag, write down what is in there—and deliver to Salvation Army.  Keep doing this until you have the closet of your dreams. Good Luck.

Dear Les Is More:

My uncle just died and my cousins and I are responsible for all of his stuff—what do we do with it?


Dear Bill:

My condolences to you and your family.  I would go through everything and decide who wants it. Then, when you all have your items separated—then you need decide what to do with them. Pick a few of the pieces you love and he loved or anything you two shared. Next, I would do research on what you are left with, and decide if you want to sell it, donate it or pack it up and put it in your attic. If you pack it up for at least a year, it will hurt less when you are ready to let it go. Good Luck. Have an Organized Day.



Downsizing a home 

Dear Les Is More:

How can you become organized if your brain isn't?



Dear Maureen:

Our brain can be trained to be organized if you know the tools and tricks to do it. First, if you have a lot of worries that you think are cluttering your brain-then write them all down. Besides the worries, write down the ways you think you can stop them. If you worry about money, then do not spend as much and give to charity instead of shopping to you drop.

Then, take one step at a time. Want to organize your kitchen? Do it one drawer at a time. You did not just jump from the womb to walking-it took time. Allow yourself time to get organized and to not do it in one day.

Have an Organized Day!

Les Is More


Dear Les Is More:   What is a good way to start sorting through items when one is downsizing a home?

Thank you,



Dear Carol:  First, think of the new house and the day you are moving as survival and pack a survival kit.  This kit includes sheets for every bed and that will be slept in on moving night and enough kitchen items to make breakfast.  Pack these first and label them survival kit and have this the last thing you put on the truck and the first thing that gets un packed. Then, go through the furniture and pick out what you are keeping and what you are either selling or donating and put in one room.  This will be the room you are using as either donation or tag sale before the move room.

Then, as you pack belongings and decide what to keep and what to donate you just put it in the room.

Start with one room and finish that room before you move to the next room. Each person should have a survival kit of all their items they will need for the first week of living in the new house.

Remember, as you pack if you don’t LOVE it—donate it. This will be a perfect excuse to get rid of everything you don’t love and if anyone asks, “It must have been lost in the move.”

Have an organized day.


Tag sale survival tips

Did you ever look at photos in magazines and wonder where did d the homeowners put all of the books, china, exercise equipment---“the clutter” in the house? Everything might be hidden away in another room, or maybe the homeowners got organized and had a tag sale and now are celebrating being clutter-free.

If you live in a disorderly environment, your emotions can become unfocused and heavy.  However, if you take these important steps in three weeks you will be more organized, less cluttered, happier and a little richer. I promise you!

Three weeks before the sale:

Pick a date for your tag sale. Call your friends and family to tell them of the date and to get some needed assistance. Remember, do not have a tag sale over a three day weekend…everyone goes away.

Clean out a designated space to make room for the sale items.  Pick a room that will make it easy to bring items outside, or the day before the sale.  (I always go for the garage)

Start amassing your inventory for the sale. Stand in each room in your house and look at every possession your own.  What don’t you love? What have you kept because it was a gift, but you no longer want, need or life?  Move these items to the designated storage space and do not re-think your choice, or you will never be able to get rid of anything.

You may want to get each family member involved with this process, but if you have a “pack-rat” be careful of the “but I may need it someday” mantra.  Someday is today and you won’t need it.  Move-on to the next room while imagining your home clutter-free.

Two  weeks before the sale:

Call your newspaper for information on placing a tag sale ad most newspapers now offers both print and online editions.  Also, do an Internet search for other ad placement options.  Make your ad enticing with a list of your best items.  These items are going to bring in your customers.  Make large signs to distribute them throughout your neighborhood. (Be sure to remove them after the tag sale.)

Take photos of the large and heavy items you are selling and tack these to a bulletin board or screen.  This is an easy way to show your tag sale clients your inventory without having to move the heavy pieces outdoors.  Interested clients can then accompany a friend or family member into the house for a personal viewing.  If no one buys these items you can put them on craigslist after the sale.

If you are selling a lot of pierced earrings, attach them to a board or put them in individual plastic bags. (You can buy these at any arts and crafts store)

One week before the sale:

Continue collecting items.

Make sure your ad will be in the newspaper.

Go to an office supply store and pick up price tags or design them on your computer.  It makes a tag sale look more professional and you do not have to be asked a hundred times, “How much is this?”

With all of your items for the tag sale in one place, you will have to price them.  If you do not want to do individual prices for each item—then have tables for 1, 5, 10 dollars and even one table for .50 or 25. Cents.   People will want to negotiate for the lowest possible price.  Familiarize yourself with the market through on line auctions such as eBay.

Remember, to be flexible—you want to make money but you also want to get rid of everything.

The Week of:

A clean item is worth more than the dirty one, so clean, clean, and clean. Wash the glasses, polish the silver and dust the pocketbooks. Never skip this step. If you have an original box for anything you are selling—use it.

Group all of your like items together.  If you are like me, you have amassed quite a few of exercise videos and equipment. I use my exercise equipment everyday—they make sure my clothes are no one the floor.  Give yourself a break and sell what you don’t use, and invest in a good pair of sneakers for walking—they take up less space.

The Day Before:

Arrange table in an attractive display which will promote easy circulation for your customers.  Use tablecloths or sheets to make your tables look neat and tidy.

Park your cars off your street to allow more parking for your customers.

Your customers are the most important people of the day, so get them to browse and buy. Hire a babysitter for your young children (under 10) and hired the older ones to help you.   Have them make a lemonade stand and donate the proceeds to charity.  Have one person in charge of the money, including the cash box, another person to run errands, such as brining customers to see the furniture and a third to help load the items into the customers’ car.

The Day of the sale:

Get up early the day of the sale.  There will always be “early birds.” Even if your ad says no to the early birds there will be some.

Make sure you have plenty of cash on hand in singles and change.

Have grocery bags, tape, bubble wrap and boxes to wrap the items for your customers.

If you are selling anything electric, have an extension cord to test the items.

Put out coffee for your customers.  It will allow them time to linger and may keep them from leaving empty handed.

Dress comfortably and let the joy of the tag sales begin.  At the end of the day, enjoy the comfort of a less cluttered house and the beginning of a new more relaxed life.