Ok guys, this is a fun one! Have you heard of a garage sale scavenger hunt? This is the perfect activity for kids and adults to do together. It's fun to plan the groups so people get to be with a mix of different people. We've only done this as a family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins) but it would be a ton of fun to do with friends as well. This year marked the 2nd time we'd done this and there were definitely some trip highlight moments this time (ah-umm...a chicken).

There is plenty of summer garage sale-ing left, so hurry and plan this one!

(framed artwork find)

The Date: pick a Saturday morning. You'll meet in one location, receive your team assignments, and depart. We set a 2 hour time: meet at 8am, get back by 10:30am. (Pick someone or a group of people to assign the teams beforehand). We made sure to keep the kid to adult ration as equal as possible. 

The Tools: you can hand out printed newspapers, scour craigslist (ahead of time and write down places), use your phone and gps, or drive neighborhoods looking for garage sale signs

(My mom is rocking it!)

You'll find some awesome deals. I think this whole bag and clubs was $1!! You'll also find some random things that nobody even wants to swap for. Go into this activity knowing you'll be donating some things to your local thrift store.

(I think he was counting this for costume jewelry...and now my 6-year-old wears it around the house and thinks it's fun) 

The List: This year there was the adult list and a separate kid list. It's a lot of in and out of the car for the kids, but making it a fun treasure hunt makes it all worth it. The kids will be finding things along the way to keep them busy and excited.

Type and print the list ahead of time so when you meet in the morning, one can be passed out to each team.

*Important Rule: ONLY 2 items can be bought off the adult list per garage sale, 1 item per kid list. We had 16 items for adults and 8 for kids, so you'll be going to at least 8 garage sales if not more.

Adult list ideas:
something purple (or pick any color)
two matching bowls - the smaller the better
something out of the free box
a golf item
a tie
a framed picture or framed artwork
halloween decoration (or other holiday)
kitchen gadget - no silverware
costume jewelry
most unusual thing you can find
salt and pepper shakers
old book - 1960 or older copyright
8 track tape, album, or 45 record
article of clothing you would not be caught dead in
ceramic decoration item of any sort
something with feathers
something made out of wood

Kid list ideas:
hot wheels car (or something with wheels)
stuffed animal
action figure
ball of any kind
doll of any kind
children's book
one item of children's clothing


(cool new shades and an 8 track tape)

The Money: Each group got $20 and each kid got $5. You'll have to decide how to split this. 


(sock coasters, who knew!)

The Strategy: This is going to be unique to each group. Some will want to search garage sales in high-density people locations, but you might also want to venture to some spread out areas as well. In finding the items, you could take turns's all about teamwork.

For me, I want to waste as little money as possible on re-donation stuff, so I'm always on the search for useful + cool things to fulfill the requirements. Some others are out for the most random things ever. It makes for fun show and tell afterward!

("wouldn't be caught dead in it" find)

The Goal: To have a ton of fun! 

We all meet up for some easy lunch (pizza) after and have our things in piles by us. One person reads out each requirement and then we go around holding up that thing. We alternate with the kids holding up their things as well. It's fun to see the unique, quirky, cool, and fun finds. Sometimes we swap for things, sometimes we keep our things, sometimes we craigslist them, and sometimes we donate our things. 

This year my sister-in-law Sharlynn and I found the best "random thing." We bought a chicken! 

This little friend (who had 2 names while it was with us: Herb and Paprika) was 18 weeks old and going to begin laying eggs in about 2 weeks. We paid a hefty chunk of our $20 for her, but it was so worth it. Who brings a live animal home from garage sale-ing!? No one ended up being able to keep her, but she had a new home (via craigslist) by the end of the night. 

Here are a couple themed hunt ideas:
1. murder mystery story
2. things you would find on a trip from coast to coast
3. get items that lend to a story you have to make up about a person and their adventures, then tell that story at the end of the time
4. assign types of people to each group: preppy, granola, trendy, older, teenage, nerdy, etc.

I hope this gives you some great ideas! Good luck garage sale-ing!

I would love to hear ideas for things to add to the lists of finds!

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