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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Yard Sales

How tidying up can be fun, profitable

With the rise of minimalism and Marie Kondo’s new Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” which stresses decluttering and organization, many people have begun to question the items and clothing they own. They can now ask the famous question, “Does this ‘spark joy’ in my life?” If not, Kondo advises how to get rid of those items.

While many people have turned to online marketplaces such as Davis’ “Free and For Sale” group on Facebook, an online marketplace for buying used items with over 40,000 members, some students have decided to use Facebook as a platform for advertising their own in-person sales. Since Kondo’s show, there has been a rise in sale posts that start with “Marie Kondo made me do it” or “this doesn’t spark joy,” partially joking, but very genuine. While there are subgroups such as “Clothes for Sale” and “Textbook Exchange,” it can often be daunting to post a large amount of items all at once or to organize pickups with a large amount of people.

Returning to the past, students have begun hosting yard sales, using social media to advertise their events and setting up on their lawn to sell a collection of clothes, baked goods, and a variety of other items. These events have also served as ways to engage with the community. As people walk by, chat, look at items and stop to hangout, these yard sales are a nostalgic return to the childhood excitement of finding items to cherish that other people no longer want.

Nadya Eddy, a third-year political science major, hosted a successful yard sale on her lawn that made almost five hundred dollars and plans to hold another one soon.

“I haven’t gotten rid of any clothes I’ve bought since 2015,” Eddy said. “I literally didn’t have any room, so I got rid of half of my closet. I’m a big Hayo Miyazaki movie fan, and I recently just watched “Howl’s Moving Castle,” and there’s a scene where the main character’s clunky hoarder house gets reduced to a little platform when he sheds his emotional baggage, and I felt like I could use some of that. I had the yard sale the next day and made $480 worth of my things.”

For Eddy, word about the event was spread through Facebook posts in different groups, by word of mouth and by people walking by her lawn, which is very close to campus and sits along a popular route for people to stop by on their commute.

Recently, another house had a yard sale titled “Go Yard or Go Home” that used Facebook to invite around 200 people, with the description inviting friends to share the word and invite everyone they know to join in for what was described as a “yard sale/ bake sale/ lawn party/ skill sharing for money (more to come on what this actually means)”. This yard sale took place across the street from the Davis Food Co-Op on G Street and served as a collective house effort.

Cielle Watjen Brown, a fourth-year wildlife fish and biology major, explained their yard sale was an exciting and social way to declutter and make money.

“What inspired the sale was that we have way too many things and no place to put them,” Watjen Brown said. “It went really well in part because we posted on social media and told a bunch of our friends, but a lot of random people came too. We all tried to contribute something, so whether it was clothes or chairs or fresh baked goods, we all had a part in it.”

Watjen Brown also took the opportunity to use the yard sale as gateway into entrepreneurship.

“Some special things about our sale was that it also served as the first time that my roommate and I sold our little granola business ‘Wake the Funk Up,’” Brown said. “We sold our choco-berry flavor and people really liked it, [so much] that we sold all of what we had available, and people even placed more orders for the future. We made some new friends who ended up staying all day and playing music with us towards the end of the sale and trying to make some tips, which was a great way to end the day.”

While these two yard sales differed in their planning and collectivity, they both were extremely successful in making money, decluttering and engaging with the Davis community. It seems that for college students, yard sales are not always the first option for selling clothes due to planning, organization, and the appeal of other options, such as bringing clothes to consignment stores or selling them online. Nonetheless, the yard sale has resurfaced as a reminder that decluttering can be an exciting chance to make money while having a fun event.

Haley Noble, a fourth-year communication and psychology double major, attended Watjen Brown’s yard sale and explained how it was more than just an event for buying clothes.

“I was invited on the Facebook page, and I had never been or heard of a house of Davis students having a yard sale before,” Noble said. “There were good clothes, great food and live music. It started to rain halfway through the sale, and they moved it to the porch until it stopped raining, which was exciting because everyone was having so much fun that they wanted to stay regardless. I bought some of their granola as well which was really good.”

Both Eddy and Watjen Brown plan to host other yard sales because of the popularity of their first attempts and their success may spark the idea for many other yard sales to come. As people walked away, they were heard saying, “This is such a good idea. We should really do this.”

Written by: Rosie Schwarz — arts@theaggie.org


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