So now these garage sales are no longer about just cleaning out the garage. Kay Dobe made about $600. "But I had larger items," she said. "I had furniture, larger items." Dobe will use the cash to help pay her bills.
People are giving up things they love. For Kathy Glover, it's her favorite gadget -- a robot carpet cleaner. "My Roomba. My vacuum cleaner. I have an upright, and I need the money, so there are things I have to part with."
For Glover it's a Roomba, but at Cervenka's, it's about saving her home where she's raised her 16-year-old daughter. The first foreclosure letters have already arrived.
"This is just real, real, real hard for me to do," said Cervenka. "This is my life out here. I brought my life outside. My daughter's and mine."
She hopes the sale will help her make the next payment on her mortgage and its 18 percent loan.
"I had one guy who was an estates person," said Cervenka. "Looking for 'where is the gold jewelry' and I told him it's all been already turned in. That was the last mortgage payment."
By the afternoon, many of the nutcrackers were still around but Cervenka had some money in her pocket. She made $210.
"I need a whole lot more than that," she said. "If I could have sold my wood rocking chair for $650 I would have been right in."