5 Wonderful Lessons Garage Sales Teach Our Kids

We recently participated in a multi-family garage sale held to raise funds for a fellow homeschooler who fell gravely ill with meningoencephalitis. While this dear little boy is thankfully now out of the woods, we still wanted to help with the expenses his hospitalization and continued treatment racked up.

My own family is no stranger to garage sales. We’ve held at least one every year and also regularly contribute to our church’s annual (now biannual) yard sale. There are obvious perks to holding garage sales. For one, you get to de-clutter your home. For another, you get to earn some money. If you involve your children, you can be sure that they benefit from the experience in many wonderful ways.

What are our young ones’ expected takeaways from doing garage sales?

  1. Material things are temporary. They get broken, lost, or outgrown. With garage sales, they learn to choose to not to be too attached to their possessions. They can be grateful for their time with something, but once it’s no longer useful to them, it’s time to let somebody else enjoy it.
  2. Value is twofold. An item’s worth goes beyond the price tag. They learn about cost depreciation and going rates in pricing, but they also learn to attribute appropriate value. Heirlooms, things of profound sentimental value, and other important items stay in the family. Everything else is dispensable.
  3. Pre-loved is a green choice. It’s best to keep your stuff away from the landfills. Your things are better off being reused or repurposed.
  4. A de-cluttered home feels lighter. Things can crowd them and weigh them down. Lessons in minimalism are best learned while young. They equip children to make smarter choices – wisdom beyond their years.
  5. Garage sales are Business 101. They involve the fundamentals of business, from organizing to pricing, to marketing, to mental math, to negotiating, to customer service, to teamwork, etc., and general life lessons about responsibility, safety, preparedness… And if your garage sale is actually for a cause, then there’s also the lesson of charity.

In a nutshell, a garage sale is a great idea, the benefits of which, are magnified when children are involved.

Do you like holding or going to garage sales? How do you feel about buying pre-loved items? Let us know in the comments.

How to Effectively Transition into a Prepper

Inuit elders warn that the earth has shifted. They say that that their sky has changed. The sun and moon rise from different places than they used to. The sun is higher and warms up more quickly, giving them longer daylight for hunting.

They say that the Sun, the Moon, and the stars have all changed, affecting not only the temperature, but also how the wind blows. This makes it hard for the Inuit people, who inhabit the northern regions of the US, Canada, and Greenland, to predict the weather, something that is essential when living in the Arctic.

This warning happens to coincide with all the recent extreme weather events as well as the increased activity happening in the Ring of Fire, including the frequency of active volcanoes going berserk and large magnitude earthquakes occurring along the Ring of Fire.

This portent of doom and gloom, unscientific thought it may be, has definitely caused some disquiet to those living in the area. Californians buzz about the San Andreas Fault, which could unzip all at once with “The Big One”, making the entire state fall into the ocean.

Closer to home, we brace for the havoc that the West Valley Fault is expected to wreak. I live in Marikina so you can probably understand my concern. The experts say that the fault is ripe for a serious quake.

It doesn’t help that oarfish have been washing up ashore. Japanese myth has it that this “sea serpent” is a messenger from the sea god’s palace and is a herald of earthquakes.

Now, I listen to what the scientists say, but I’m not one to dismiss what the indigenous peoples and the animals are saying either. In this case, however, all parties are warning of impending catastrophe.

We could leave, of course, settle elsewhere, but we’re reluctant to disrupt our lives for a disaster that may or may not happen. And where would we move, anyway? Is there a place that is truly safe? So, we’ve decided to stay put, but we’ve also chosen to prepare as much as we can in the event that a devastating earthquake does occur.

We’re putting together an emergency earthquake kit, which includes:

  • Food and water (canned fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish; crackers and other packaged snacks with a long shelf life; camping food, etc.)
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Candles and matches
  • Portable radio (better yet, get a flashlight radio – we won one  at our church’s Christmas raffle, and it’s really nifty)
  • First aid kit (include dust masks)
  • Rescue tools (wrench, hammer, crowbar, rope ladder, fire extinguisher, etc.)
  • Miscellaneous supplies for comfort and hygiene (sleeping bags, pillows, toiletries, wet wipes, paper towels, garbage bags, disposable plates/cups/cutlery, busy bags for the kids, etc.)

Of course, there are other things that need to be done. We need to train the kids on what to do if the quake strikes, identify safe points in the house and other places, fortify the house against intense tremors, etc. In short, it’s time to channel the preppers.

If you’re interested in learning the ways of preppers or survivalists, the following are some manuals, beginner’s guides, etc. available for free on Kindle at the time of this posting. You can get some good tips from the LA-specific manual as well.

Be it a looming earthquake, a supertyphoon, or even a zombie apocalypse, it’s good to be prepared. Are you the type to be ready for any eventuality or do you prefer to simply wing it?

*This post has affiliate links.

Sour Days: Pack Rat Forced to Declutter

Things around here have been on the sour side lately. I know I was supposed to just post about the sweet stuff, but this is related to the whole blogging endeavor. There was a recent decree to get rid of all the garbage that was accumulating in our pathetically small space, so with reluctance from me and copious tears from Marguerite, we got rid of several Pringles cans that were going to turn into this (although ours would have been a small toy sorter – LPS, My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Jewel Pets, Lalaloopsy, etc.) or this, a rather pretty (I thought so anyway) fabric kite that I had sewn with my own hands (it was declared, nay doomed, by the declutter villain to remain flightless because of some principle about aerodynamics), the beginnings of a cardboard dollhouse, the beginnings of a recycled mirror using faux wrought iron frame like this, bags of used wrapping paper and gift bags that we’d been slowly recycling (we hadn’t needed to buy gift wrap at all, thanks to that bundle), the black beret I’d bought in Paris (because it wasn’t doing anything except gather dust bunnies), fabric scraps that were going to be used for various crafting and upcycling projects… Aargh, it literally pains me to go through this list so I’ll stop. I could put the mess away, and sometimes, they are properly stored, but the kids usually take some of the materials out, especially Marguerite who’s super imaginative and finds ways to have fun with all kinds of junk, and we all just get so tired of putting them away again that they’re just gathered on some surface until the next time (probably ten minutes from that time) we need them. So good luck to all my future upcycling, recycling, and crafting blog posts; they’ve been thrown out alongside the clutter.

I admit that I do tend to be messy. Growing up, I had maids to pick up after me and until now I’m still learning that all those household chores won’t be magically done for me. When we moved to this space, I curbed my creative recycling compulsion because it would have caused an issue with people who don’t share the same convictions about reducing, recycling and reusing. However, when we started this blog, I thought it was understood that I’d expect certain liberties about crafting materials and recyclables (you know, clutter) because I’d be posting about these projects. Now, I’m clearly disabused of this notion.

I’m unhappy about having been forced to give up the clutter. It makes me wonder about values and sacrifices, when two sets of the former are unsynched and when the latter are made grudgingly. So, in effect, the lesson in waste reduction I was hoping to instill in my kids turned into waste itself and got thrown out with the rest of the “garbage”. Sigh. I’ll probably post this, but I won’t be promoting it in social media.

Look, I’d already taken a picture of the cardboard scraps I’d used for the dollhouse in prep for that blog post. The structure was already built; it was just a matter of decorating and furnishing it. Hopefully, it was found by somebody who’d bother to finish the work.

DSC_2964

Order in the Home: Solution to T-shirt Drawer Chaos

BEFORE-AFTERThings must have certainly come to a pretty pass when you think T-shirt (or sock or underwear) drawers are meant to be messy, like it’s a hard and fast rule. To have an organized T-shirt drawer is to go against its very nature. To keep a T-shirt drawer consistently tidy is simply messing with the universe. Well, you probably can keep your weltenschaunng intact as the following tip isn’t going to reform the slovenly members of your family, but it will keep their T-shirt drawers neat much longer than you probably thought possible.

It’s really very simple. The solution would have been pretty obvious, but if you’re like me, I tend to be set in the ways I grew up with. Being practical is not something that comes naturally to me at all, so I have to be shown a better way for me to see the wisdom in other options. This time, the inspiration came from Darkroom and Dearly.

My husband would have a conniption fit at the quality of the pictures I’m posting here, but all I had access to when I organized our chest of drawers was our tablet, so please excuse the grainy pictures. I think you can get an idea how vastly better the new folding and storing system is than the old one.

T-shirt drawer

Is this something that you’ve been doing all along? Do you have a different yet also effective way of organizing your T-shirt drawer? Comments are much appreciated!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...