Bargains all around the block in Farmington's Charleswood neighborhoodThey thought, maybe, if the date were pushed back a week, the weather might be a little warmer. After all, everyone knows good weather is the key to a good garage sale. Ah, but Mother Nature can be fickle sometimes. Like last week, when the residents of the Farmington’s Charleswood development decided to have their annual spring garage sales. Mother Nature cooperated on Wednesday, but by Friday, not so much.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
They thought, maybe, if the date were pushed back a week, the weather might be a little warmer. After all, everyone knows good weather is the key to a good garage sale.
Ah, but Mother Nature can be fickle sometimes. Like last week, when the residents of the Farmington’s Charleswood development decided to have their annual spring garage sales. Mother Nature cooperated on Wednesday, but by Friday, not so much.
But that’s okay with Charleswood resident Heidi Davis. Wednesday was a great day for her garage sale. She was going to start her sale at 4 p.m., but when Davis started putting things out around 1 p.m., the shoppers arrived in droves.
“It was just wall to wall packed for a while,” Davis said. “It was by far the busiest day so far.”
Davis was one of 24 homeowners in the neighborhood who had confirmed she would have a sale. The Charleswood sales are held twice a year — once in the spring, once in the fall – and they are always organized by someone living in the neighborhood. Lori Hoffmeister organized one of the first neighborhood garage sales by making more than 300 flyers and dropping them off at every home in the development.
These days, things go a lot easier. Charleswood has a Facebook page and many of the residents get messages through that. There’s also an email list that neighborhood event organizers use for planning the garage sales.
For a long time, Hoffmeister said, the spring sale was held the third weekend of April, come rain or shine. After more weekends of rain than shine, though, organizers decided to wait until the fourth weekend, in hopes of finding better weather.
Hoffmeister is something of a professional garage saler. She grew up going to and holding garage sales with her mother. At a fairly young age, she started to appreciate the treasures that could be found in someone else’s garage, and she started to collect her “someday” things. She bought all the essentials she could use later in life – including a whole bunch of clothes for little girls, just for the day when she’d have a daughter. In retrospect, her plan was somewhat flawed, because she wound up having only two sons.
It seems the collecting of goodies caught up with Hoffmeister after a while. She enjoys the thrill of finding good deals at garage sales, but she’s thankful for the semi-annual sales in Charleswood, because she’s got plenty to get rid of. Hoffmeister found 160 dresses in her walk-in closet. Her sister convinced her to get rid of 130 of them.
“I’ve been saving some of this stuff since I was 20 years old,” she said, surveying her garage Friday. “It got to the point where I would watch Hoarders and be like, ‘Oh, I am near that and I need to stop!’”
But that’s part of the fun of garage sales, she said. For as much as Hoffmeister has spent at garage sales over the years, she’s likely made as much, if not more, on her own sales. She’s not sure which part she likes better, either – finding new treasures cheap, or selling her old treasures later. It’s all part of the process.
“You really just recycle stuff,” she said. “There’s always stuff.”
Davis has only held a sale once before as part of the Charleswood event. That was a fall sale a couple of years ago. Most of the time, she tries to get out and do some shopping, but this year, she was ready to get rid of some of her own stuff. Most of her sales came by way of things her daughter had outgrown.
“The Christmas stuff doesn’t seem to be moving this time,” Davis said.
Apparently, the Charleswood sales seem to have generated some kind of following in the garage sale world. In visiting with people who came through her garage, Davis met a couple of women from Goodhue and LeSueur.
In years past, both Davis and Hoffmeister said, the Charleswood garage sales have numbered as many as 50 at a time.