Miss A Columnist

Eugenia Orr has been expressing thoughts, ideas, and notions in the form of the written word for over five years. A local and nationally published freelance writer, Eugenia loves to convey messages about community, empowerment, beauty, and tranquility. Featured on the cover of N’Digo Magazine in 2008 as one of Chicago’s Top Interior Designers, Eugenia loves to help people live less stressful, more productive lives with beautiful, clutter-free surroundings. Her first book, Clutter Free Home Living (available on Amazon.com and iTunes) is a down and dirty guide to help people suffering from what she calls “clutteritis”. Eugenia firmly believes that everyone should live in a guest ready home and is on a personal mission to help rid the world of unorganized chaos.
Eugenia's writing abilities have been honed not only through published media, but through educational materials as well. A Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design solidified her passion of home and beauty. Having earned a Master's Degree in Urban Planning and Policy by completing a thesis on Faith Based Planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Eugenia is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Olivet Nazarene University. In 2012, she will earn a Doctorate of Education in Ethical Leadership after completing her dissertation research on Gentrification and Condominium Ownership in Bronzeville, Chicago, Illinois.
A south-side Chicago girl, Eugenia loves to spend time at home, reading, writing and taking in the occasional movie, when, that is, she’s not attending an open house, trade show or visiting clients.

Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

Looking to make a little cash as you de-clutter your home?  Well, don’t just throw stuff away, have a Yard Sale.  In addition to making money, your items are recycled to another person. If the goal is to make extra money, as well as de-clutter, add items that will draw serious buyers, so try to avoid sentiment as much as possible. Collectibles, such as Depression glass, baseball cards and Precious Moments™ can earn top dollar if in great condition.  Don’t get rid of everything, but don’t keep everything either.  When sorting clothing, items not worn in 2 years should be included in sale items.  Clean and repair items to earn top dollar.

Have you chosen a date and time for the sale?  Set a date, obtain a permit and start advertising. The City of Chicago ordinance limits 2 permits per calendar year, unless a third is needed because of moving.  In case of rain, the sale can be held during the next three consecutive days. Yards sales are limited to 3 consecutive days, 9AM to sunset.  Having a block sale?  Each home participating must obtain its own permit.  To obtain the required permit, visit one of the local 50 ward sanitation offices. While there is not a fee for the permit within Chicago, advertising is permitted only on the property where the sale is being held.  Place ads in newspapers, send out emails, pass out and post flyers on community bulletin boards.  Advertising is the key for a successful sale.  Note: Please check your local city/village government offices for information if you live outside Chicago city limits.

After sorting and organizing, the next step is pricing.  Use labels that are bright and easy to see.  Be reasonable when pricing items and don’t price according to how much the item was purchased for.  Remember, this is a garage sale and most items are used.  People are looking for bargains and you are looking to clear out in addition to making money.

On the day of the sale clearly and neatly place all items on tables.  Place big ticket and specialty items up front to draw buyers in. Display like items together, like books, clothing and furniture and use signs to label those areas.  Hang clothes up neatly and sort according to size and color.  Include a bargain table with 2 for $1 and buy one get one free, and throw items from this area into big ticket sales to get your asking price.

To keep track of paid items, buy a couple of rubber stamps and stamp the hand of each paid patron.  This way you will know if someone is helping themselves to your treasures without paying. In the event that everything is not sold, arrange to have a charity truck arrive at the end of the day for pick up.  Don’t bring those items back into the house! Don’t forget to set up a refreshment area, for buyers as well as for
you and those assisting you.  Happy selling!


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