Garage sale safari: spring cleaning with a twist

Annual Glebe Garage sale in Ottawa

Spring is definitely in the air, with the blossom showing nicely and leaf buds starting to unfurl.

Annual Glebe Garage sale in OttawaIt might make you think about having a spring clean and a good chuck out, maybe even a garage sale to get rid of the stuff.

In our village, that makes us think of going on safari!

Why? Well, it doesn’t involve the plains of the Serengeti, just Keyworth, in the wilds of Nottinghamshire, and an idea we ‘borrowed’ (okay, stole) from the village of Capel le Ferne in Kent.

It’s simple. The idea of the garage sale safari is that as many people as possible in a community hold a garage sale on the same day.

Anyone who wants to run a stall outside their own home makes a donation and is included on a map, which is sold to show shoppers where to find each stall.

Funds from stall registration and map sales go to a charity, but stallholders can then choose to do what they want with the rest of their profits.

pictures of a garage safari - stands outside peoples' homesIn Keyworth, we are on our fifth annual garage sale safari, and it’s proving as popular as ever. For us the tag is very appropriate, as we’ve been giving the funds raised to Friends of Kadzinuni, a locally run charity which supports a community in Kenya with education, healthcare and farming projects.

Some stalls raise money for other good causes and, of course, it helps folk to turn their unwanted items into cash.

The old saying is true: one person’s junk is another person’s treasure, so we’ve also done good work keeping useful things out of landfill.

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It helps the environment in other ways, too. Because stallholders don’t need to drive anywhere, it’s a lot easier and greener than a car boot sale, and most people choose to walk between stalls or park up and walk.

Surprisingly, when we do surveys we find that the thing people value the most is that it gives them a chance to meet their neighbours. That pleases us no end!

Now, five years on, we find that we’ve created a local phenomenon. Lots of other communities have decided to have their own garage sale safaris, and the movement seems to be spreading.

This year, we’ll be holding ours on Saturday 6 June from 10am until 2pm. If you live in the area, why not come along and grab a bargain?

Find out more:

Man dressed as a giraffe holding a sign for garage safari saleKeyworth’s next Garage Sale Safari is on Saturday 6th June. Funds from stall registration and map sales go to Friends of Kadzinuni.

About Tracey Lloyd

I’m an environmental educator in Nottingham with a wonderful community allotment to play in, called Windmill Community Gardens. I teach people how to grow, cook, eat and preserve their food in low energy and low cost ways, as well as having a lot of fun making useful and beautiful things with junk. My lovely husband and kids just about tolerate my tendency to hoard waste items for future projects! Photo by Jonathan Cherry.