It’s yard sale season, and this year’s bounty will be tremendous.
Many people spent the pandemic cleaning out their houses, in hopes of being allowed to have a giant sale at some point. Now that sales are allowed, organizers are struggling with the question of whether they’re safe.
In Hartford, Supervisor Dana Haff was asked about whether he would run the townwide garage sale on the weekend of Aug. 8 after Warrensburg canceled its giant sale. He noted that nonessential gatherings of up to 50 people were allowed.
“I have never seen more than 50 persons milling about any particular sale,” he said. “Besides, the Constitution safeguards our right to peacefully assemble and the Declaration of Independence declares our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
For some people, happiness is searching for used goods to buy cheaply and repurpose into something beautiful.
“I will be exercising my freedom by trying to find a good sale of antique oil lamps,” Haff said.
Others are welcoming the idea of getting rid of their antiques.
Matthew Heath, who runs Glenwood Manor Antiques in Queensbury, had planned to liquidate some items at an antiques sale in Washington County this weekend. But that was canceled because of concerns about crowds spreading coronavirus.
“The county shut it down with 48 hours’ notice. I had to scramble,” he said. “It was a real blow. But I will get rid of this stuff.”
So he decided to run a yard sale at his house, with buyers making appointments Friday so that there would not be a crowd. The sale is open to the public on Saturday, but everyone has to wear masks.
“I put that right in the ads, that masks are required,” he said. “I just want to be cautious. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for anyone getting sick.”
Five large buyers made appointments Friday for individual searches through his items. The private sales made them feel more comfortable coming out to buy, he said.
“With the pandemic, I figured I had to start thinking outside the box,” he said.
His wife was eager to join in, getting rid of children’s toys and other items. As for his antiques, many sold for four for $1.
“Nothing’s sadder than putting it out to the curb,” he said. “Even if it’s four for $1, I’d much rather it be repurposed.”
Others are also trying to avoid hauling out bags of garbage.
“It’s a way to sell what you don’t use or need for other people,” said Megan Morehouse of Glens Falls. “It’s something to do (with all the stuff).”
Of course, setting up a sale is much harder than filling bags of garbage. And sales usually don’t bring in much money. But it feels better to sell something for a quarter than to throw it out, people say.
“I love doing it,” she said.
Morehouse’s sale is going on this weekend at 276 Warren St., Glens Falls, from 11 a.m. Sunday to “whenever.”
Thoughts of COVID have crossed her mind, but she has decided not to worry about it.
“Some wear masks, some don’t,” she said. “I’m not worried about the virus at all.”
After months of isolation, it can be nice even to see strangers, as long as they wear masks, some sellers said.
“Honestly it’s nice to meet new people,” said Alyssa Lord, who held a sale in South Glens Falls last weekend.
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