People hold garage and yard sales all the time. But what happens when an entire community holds one? It becomes an event.
This certainly holds true for the West Seattle Community Garage Sale. What started as a community project with 100 or so coordinated garage and yard sales in 2005 has evolved into a 2016 event that featured 320+ registered sales scattered across the peninsula. At least 18 of those sales were benefit/fundraisers.
What do the rest of us do? We hit the garage sales!
The serious bargain hunters download the official map, plan their route and hit the streets early. Casual browsers like me have a leisurely breakfast, then we walk or bike through our neighborhoods to randomly discover the garage sales and their treasure troves.
You never know what cool or useful item you might find. There’s always lots of clothing, books, and knick-knacks. Steve keeps his eyes peeled for handy tools and this year he walked away with a power hand planer. I found an old brass urn that will make a great planter. But our most useful score of the day was a dozen wooden coathangers for a dollar.
Finding a cool deal is fun, but that’s not the only reason why I spend a Saturday roaming many garage sales. I enjoy meeting the people who live near me and getting to know my neighborhood. In short, this event builds community. I get to know my neighbors a little better as I chat with them in their yard or garage, and I learn more about my community.
I discovered that a neighbor several blocks to the north takes great pride in her garden and does lovely tile work. She created the tile inlay in her front gate and an outdoor tile table top. I met one of my alley neighbors for the first time. They were excited to be in the neighborhood because it was so walkable. A neighbor to the south, an Army veteran, proudly showed us his military issue ammo packs. And the stories go on.
I’ve already added next year’s West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day to my calendar and I’m looking forward to it.