The coming of spring results in a beehive of activities known as garage, yard or barn sales. Spring cleaning usually means finding things that are no longer needed, clothes that have been outgrown, or just having the desire to get rid of some things.

These sales are so important for young families with growing children in this day and age. Raising a family costs so much and children outgrow their clothing so quickly. Prices for new clothes and shoes are so high. There are so many different things at these sales, you just never know what useful item you might find. Usually everyone can find something of interest that they just can’t pass up.

The first yard and garage sales actually got their start in the shipyards in the 1800s. They were called "rommage sales" where the shipyards would sell unclaimed cargo at discounted rates. They became popular in communities all over the country during the 1950s and 1960s. In my early years of marriage, yard sales had not begun in this area. We would attend household auctions and purchase boxes holding various kitchen or household items for a dollar or two. We didn’t have much money to spend so the auctions were a great help in setting up housekeeping. I still have a few things I use from those years!

On a recent afternoon of adventures with my granddaughter, we stopped at our local county home where a barn sale was being held. There were two buildings filled with items to sell, all donated by people in the community, and with all the proceeds going to help maintain our county home. There was such great support for the sale and for our county home.

These sales are a great way for many organizations to acquire funding. For the ordinary family, the proceeds from a yard or garage sale can mean extra money for a vacation, needed household items and much more. These types of sales are a benefit to both seller and buyer.

We also stopped at our local "Browse and Buy." I had some things to drop off, as I had often done before; however, I had not been in the store since it had moved to the current location. The store has lots of neat, clean rooms, all filled with quality merchandise of all kinds. The store is run by volunteers and the proceeds go to Community Hospice Patient Care. It is so interesting to just walk around looking at all the different items that are on display. There were many beautiful things! I was pleased to find a lid to fit my favorite crockpot, as the old one had been lost while on loan to someone. And, of course, I found a couple other items to buy. I just couldn’t pass them up!

These types of sales and stores are important to our community. Not only do they benefit organizations and people, they also provide a place for people of all ages to purchase items that they might not be able to find or afford elsewhere. Take the time to support your local sales and stores.