While a child may not appreciate having their birthday party turned into a garage saling trip, some of your like-minded older friends might really enjoy the excursion. If you've got a friend whose birthday is smack dab in the middle of garage saling season, why not throw them a saling party? (Just be sure that if you ask them about that, you make it clear you won't be going out on a boat!) If you're not sure how to get started, here are some tips and ideas to help you along.
Whoever is attending the birthday party should bring a small amount of money for the birthday boy or girl to spend over the course of the day. The nice thing about a garage sale party is that items can be more than half as expensive, so you can either give the same amount of money you would have paid and get them twice as much, or give them a smaller amount and still give them a quality item! Frugal friends who have summer birthdays may enjoy using garage sale parties as a way to keep from spending too much money in hard times.
When you head out, stick together. Take one car if you can, or two cars at the most. If someone needs to leave early, you can make an exception, but otherwise you make parking more difficult and miss out on the good times in the car! Plan a few fun activities for while you're driving. Also, make sure to bring a mapped route of sales you'd like to hit. This prevents aimless wandering; plus you can choose some sales that you think the person your party is for will really like.
Add a challenge to the mix if the party's feeling a little slow. Choose an item that everyone has to search for, with the winner getting a prize. Or, come up with a scavenger hunt list and give an award to whoever can check off the most items by the end of the day. Of course, help the birthday person along!
When everyone starts to get hungry, pull over in the shade for a nice meal of their favorite foods. Ask surreptitiously ahead of time to see if you can't get them to spill what their favorite easily-packable dishes are, then have all the partygoers pitch in to make it happen. You'll save money on food and have a great picnic!
After the party, have a relaxing activity planned, such as stopping by a bar for chips and one drink, or going to a movie. A long day of garage saling will have all the guests tired and ready to do something besides be on their feet!
Should you make the garage saling party a surprise party? All signs point to no -- not unless you're absolutely positive that the birthday boy or girl will like it. That's the problem with all surprise parties, really: you can inadvertently ruin someone's special day. However, if you do keep it a surprise, make sure you find out ahead of time if they already have plans...then thwart them!
If you need help finding listings so you can plot your party route, trot on over to GarageSaleCow.com, where we've got tons of garage sales listed in your area for free!