I know I have been MIA.  We have had a lot of family things going on, but I’ve still been working on my challenge to rid our home of 365 items in 6 months.

I’ve been sharing with you how I talk to myself about whether to get rid of or keep certain things.  Today I want to share about self-talk and yard sales.  Sometimes I’ll look at an item in my house and I just know that I don’t want it anymore.   Some part of my brain will often chime in saying, “I don’t want it, but it’s too valuable to get rid of.”  (I know you’re not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, but that’s how my brain talks to itself.)  Keeping an item because it is valuable is pretty silly if it is of no use to me.  If I feel strongly that the item is valuable and I must get money for it, then I will try to sell it.  When you have several of these items, a yard sale is a good way to get rid of them.

When planning a yard sale this is a very good time  to really look around the house and ask, “Do I really like this?”  Our church had a multi-family yard sale a few weeks ago.  I used this opportunity to look around at just about everything in our house, things I’ve owned for years and ask myself:  “Would I rather have this or $8.  Would I rather have that or $15?”  In any instance where I thought I’d rather have the money over the item, the item went in the yard sale box.

I gathered several boxes of items and priced them to sell.  I can’t believe I forgot to take pictures!  I was not going to count every single thing sold, but I was going to try to count some of it!  Here are some of the things we sold:

  • A coffee table
  • 2 chairs
  • 15 VHS tapes
  • A wooden tray
  • A trunk
  • A large set of dress-up clothes
  • A small bike
  • Raggedy Ann & Andy Shelf Sitter
  • A box of paper punches
  • A Gigaball


  • The remains of a craft kit
  • 2 Christmas stockings
  • A Santa Hat
  • A box of 6 kids’ books on tape
  • 2 artificial potted plants
  • 2 plastic baskets

Some things didn’t sell, but got packed right into a van and went off to charity:

  • 3 prints that I bought because I wanted the frames
  • Cozy Coupe
  • 2 computer programs
  • 4 glass light shades
  • 6 plastic wash tubs

So I believe just counting the few items listed above, that brings our total of items removed from house to 220!

Are any of you having yard sales this summer?  How do you determine what to keep and what to sell?


I thought I’d take a break from writing about Challenge 365 to share with you what is probably the best parenting idea I’ve ever had.

I’ve been a parent for 17 years and I have done a lot of good things.  Mostly because I copied a lot of smart and clever people.  But once…ONCE…I had a really great idea of my own that I encourage others to copy…

If you are a parent, you know that about 2 days into summer vacation your child will say, “I’m bored.”  And you will be incredulous because you know how lucky that kid is to not have anywhere to go or anything to do or projects or appointments or housework hanging over their head.  You will see that it is a sunny day, not a cloud in the sky and you will start to say things like, “How can you bored?!?!  It is a beautiful day!  Go ride your bike, get out the sidewalk chalk, go see if your friend is home.”

And thus the summer cycle begins.  Every time your child is still, they will say they are bored and expect you to come up with a list of ideas for things they could be doing.  Am I right?  You know I’m right.  You’ve done this before.  I’ve done this before!  But there is a way to break this cycle before it even starts!  It’s true.  I tried it and it works!  A few weeks before school is out (now is fine!), you have your child sit down and make a list of everything they like to do.  You know your child better than I do, so I will leave it to you whether a) it is a good idea to tell them why they are doing this and b) whether you need to trick them into doing this with something like reverse psychology…”Hey- I’ll bet you can’t come up with a list of 20 things you like to do!”_0014

I did this when my son was in Kindergarten.  I did not tell him why until he was done.  I just had him write things he liked to do outside, things he liked to inside, things he liked to do in his room.  It took a few days and he kept adding to it.  When he said he’d written everything he could think of that he enjoyed doing, I said, “Good!  Now I’m going to put this list on the refrigerator.  Anytime you tell me that you are bored, I’m going to tell you to look at this list.”


“Ball tag, lightsaber, race cars, math book, kitchen, look out the window, tinker toys, Don’t break the Ice (a game), drum (he has a set of drums in the basement), table tennis, legos, puppet show and I think the last one is Wii.”



“Water flowers, read, play Rescue Heroes, Lincoln Logs, cars, trains, chalk inside & outside, dry erase board, paint.”


And it worked!

The cycle was broken!  He’d say, “I’m bored!”  I’d say, “Look at your list!”  That was it!  Never once did I have to think up another activity or threaten, “If you’re bored I can give you something to do… go clean your room!”

You can thank me in September!  In the meantime, please share this info with other parents by sending them over here to my blog.  Thanks!