When it comes to turning trash into treasure, there is no better place to start than a great yard sale.
And when it comes to finding a good yard sale deal, there is no better place to head than the 690 miles of deals stretching up and down U.S. Highway 127 in what’s known as the “World’s Largest Yard Sale.”
“Good Morning America” lifestyle anchor and self-described yard sale addict Lara Spencer headed there earlier this month when the four-day event kicked off its 25th year of selling everything from vases and lamps to furniture, knick-knacks and more.
Spencer , the author of the best-selling book, “I Brake for Yard Sales: and Flea Markets, Thrift Shops, Auctions, and the Occasional Dumpster,” brought along her partner-in-crime when it comes to bargain hunting, her mom, Carolyn.
It was the “I Brake for Yard Sales,” bumper sticker on her mom’s car and her mom’s passed-down passion for “sale-ing” that inspired Spencer to write the book and offer practical tips on how anyone can achieve blue-blood style on a blue-collar budget.
Here are three tips the mother-daughter decorating duo used to navigate the “World’s Largest Yard Sale” that you can use to find bargains in a yard sale of any size.
1) The early bird gets the worm – Hitting the road early ensures the greatest selection of merchandise. Spencer and her mom learned this firsthand when they landed on a deal of everything priced at just $5 at their first stop of the day near Chattanooga, Tenn.
2) Start at the furthest point of the sale and move backwards. Spencer and her mom were able to find the best deals by avoiding the crowds and avoiding traffic by starting at the northern end of the yard sale and traveling south.
3) Negotiate. Negotiating is part of the hunt when it comes to yard sales. Spencer and her mom scored a $30 lamp for just $20 by just asking for the lower price.
For re-decorators, however, the job doesn’t end once the yard sale is done. The real fun begins when you take your pieces that other people may consider trash and turn them into treasure.
Here are extra tips from Spencer’s book to help you complete your decorating treasure hunt.
Must-Have Pieces for Anyone Wanting to Redecorate:
Unique lamps – A great way to add color and interest to a room.
Mirrors – Lighten up a room and add glamour.
Dog statues – Big dogs, small dogs, foo dogs – they are truly every decorator’s best friend.
Original art – Value doesn’t matter. If you love it, buy it and retire mass-produced prints.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match different designs and styles.
Choose a “scene setter,” a single piece that can inspire the décor of a whole room.
Map out exactly what you need for each room before you start shopping.
Tips for Easy, Do-it-Yourself Design:
New knobs are a simple and cheap way to take an old bureau or nightstand and instantly modernize it.
Use glossy spray paint to hide a myriad of sins like watermarks on furniture.
Choose vintage lamps as a cheaper alternative to buying a new lamp. Just have the wiring checked, buy a new shade and new finial to make it new again.
Ask for remnant fabrics that are at the end of the roll and then have window drapes and pillows made from them.
When painting, always make sure you add a coat of primer before you paint.