Some areas of the country are more garage sale-obsessive than others, with every community center, elementary school, church, and individual having one to raise money. If you live in a community like this, you may want to start keeping a garage sale calendar, a master schedule that will help you plan your shopping trips each week. It's a simple idea that can be really helpful in the long run and prevent you from panicking when it comes time to plot out your route!
Start by creating a large, single-month calendar and hanging it somewhere visible. The living room or family office is a great place to put it up on the wall; let your children decorate it if you want something a little more personal than just a giant date sheet. You want there to be enough room on a daily basis to mark down crucial information about various sales, and you'll want to leave some room on the border for if the number of garage sales on one day fills up.
Mark down community sales and make note of the most important information about them: date, time, location, and main items for sale, if those are listed. Scour the newspapers, flyers at your local grocery store, community center bulletins, and church announcements for any that sound interesting enough to visit. As soon as you hear about a new garage sale, go to mark it down, lest you forget the information before you have time to record it.
Keep smaller sales separate, though somewhere on the month calendar for reference. You may want to put them on sticky notes, or write them down in a different color, but distinguish them from the bigger sales so you know which are which when you come back to plan your weekend. Create a system of obvious marks for individual sales, community sales, and any other kind that seems to stand out in your mind.
Reference your calendar when planning your weekend route. Sit near the calendar and jot down the ones you've determined are the best for your purposes. Some weeks it may be different than others -- if you're looking for furniture, for example, you may attend different sales than if you're searching for clothing.
You can also use GarageSaleCow.com to add to your master calendar or to supplement it when you plan