Shopping trip to Arizona’s largest and oldest garage sale.

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If you are ever in Phoenix Arizona around February then look up and visit the Jr league’s once a year sale. This thing is huge and they have been doing it for decades, way before I was born, 82 years in fact.

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All the money goes back into programs for the community. Donations are taken throughout the year from people who live here and at the end of it all there is one giant junk sale. Junk to some, but treasures to others. I have so much fun at this yearly sale. I try to get there early, but I always end up behind some long line.

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The first year I attended I noticed everyone bringing in their own bags and things to shop with. I forgot about that but had my kids with me, so extra hands help a lot with this sale. Once in we just grabbed a couple large baskets on one table to use like a shopping cart. When everyone gets through those doors, it a mad dash to their favorite areas.

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I was trying to be smart this time and brought a list of things to look for. On my list I had one bed (crossing my fingers on that one) some frames to redo some art in, pots for my garden, hardware of any kind for the furniture I like to redo and some tiny glass items to do some terrariums I saw on YouTube. First place I headed was straight to frames.

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I saw this and almost went off my list and bought it. It made me laugh, such a whimsical little photo of a dog…so cute. But I walked away from it. Remember, I just got rid of a bunch of clutter, don’t need to add more.

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Alright, I think I am doing pretty good taking a list with me. Should pat myself on the back for that idea. Now I was on the hunt for things for my garden. Here in Arizona, the heat can get so bad that pots fall apart easily. It’s either that, or they aren’t being made like the good old days. Things seem to fall apart faster now days. Someone is making a lot of money off of this planned obsoletes. Greed is a terrible thing and this poor planet of ours is suffering for it. This was a pretty pot, and it was ceramic, hopefully it will last.

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Then I saw these, but there was a woman looking at them at the time, so I waited a bit.

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The woman walked away, guess she didn’t want them after all. I have been to enough of these sales to know that if I had showed interest, there is a very high percentage, that she would have grabbed them all. Even if she really didn’t want them, just so no ones else could get them. Yes, this happens a lot. One time I was looking through a pile of things and a woman got really aggressive. She started crowding me and grabbing things before I could look at them. Finally I stopped and watched what she was grabbing. It was bags of silverware. I was looking for bags of molds and things to do art projects with. I stopped looking for what I wanted and started looking for silverware bags and when I would find them I started handing them to her. This shocked her I guess because she stopped and just stared at me while I handed her a bag and didn’t keep it for myself. After that she let me have my space and watched me while I grabbed silly little bags of mismatched plastics looking for vintage molds. Later that day, I asked my husband why do you think that woman wanted all that silverware. He said she was probably looking for actual silver, you can melt that down and get money for it. Anyway this woman in the photos left those pots I wanted, so I went over and grabbed two. I left one, just in case she came back and decided she wanted one after all.

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Then I headed over to the hardware table, which, lets be honest…it’s a pretty boring table. There were lots of men at this table, not writing this to be sexiest but hey, where are the women who like to build?. I know you are out there.

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I found what I was looking for. It was amazing to me that with all those people in line in front of me, I was still doing pretty good finding everything on my list. I got inside pretty late, yet here I was finding some great bargains and all things I needed. Everything was half off the ticketed price. This whole bag of knobs was only $2. Knobs can run that much by themselves and I got this whole bag for the price of one. You can always paint over old knobs if you don’t like their designs.

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Look at this, how smart are these people? Seriously, why didn’t I think to bring a trash bin like this. I had a giant bag, you know the kind you buy in Mexico. Those shopping bags from Mexico are great. At least I remembered to bring a bag this time. Oh, and their Christmas shoppers. Look what they have in that trash can…gotta love our a Holiday buyers.

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Oh my gosh, I forgot to put one of these on my list. My daughter has been looking for a chandelier for months now. This looks like it would have been fun to upcycle too. Oh well, next time I will for sure put that on my list.

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Uh oh, I was getting distracted and almost forgot the most important thing on my list…a bed. So I headed over to the furniture section, which should have been the first place I headed to.

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The thing about the furniture section is that you have to get there early because this is the section where everything goes fast. Look at these table and chair sets. Remember, everything was half off the already discounted price. You can buy a whole table and chairs set for under $50. This is the perfect sale to come to if you are starting out with a new home or apartment. Furniture can be so expensive and not really made well, it’s ridiculous.

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Then I found another item on my list, a bed. The slip said full sized but it looked a little bigger. I am no expert when it comes to furniture sizes so I took their word for it. If you want to buy a piece of furniture you have to grab the slip off and you have 30 minutes to buy it. But before I bought this piece I went looking around for my husband to ask him to look over and see if it would work and all the pieces were there. That 30 minute clock was ticking away so I had to hurry. I had the slip in my hand and went searching for my husband in a sea of people.

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Meanwhile over at my bed there was a crowd forming. The bed was only $12.50 after all, and beds run $300 and up at the stores, so this was a pretty big bargain for a complete set. The crowd forming called one of the volunteers over and everyone said they wanted to purchase it, so who should they talk to. The volunteer saw the slip missing and told everyone someone has the slip, if they don’t buy it in thirty minutes it will be put back up for sale. Now I was really in a hurry to find my husband. I finally found him and when he was checking the bed out for me, a woman was getting really aggressive with him being there. She was telling him that the piece was already sold. She was actually waiting for it to be re- ticketed. I walked up and asked my husband if everything was there, then the woman got really close to my face and said in a mean way “ You can’t buy this, someone already bought it” and this was right in the middle of me asking my husband a question, she interrupted me. I just ignored her rude behavior and continued asking my husband if all the pieces were there and then that woman still looked at me and said that same thing again like I was stupid for wasting her time being there, so finally I answered back “I know it has already been sold, I’m the buyer, I have the ticket” I will never forget her glare as she walked off. Sometimes people can be so mean and to think that I was actually waiting for an answer from my husband, on whether or not the bed would work, and if not, I was going to hand her the slip, I really was…geeze.

So I bought the bed and just used the rest of my time looking over things I really did not need, like these pretty cups with birds on them. I didn’t buy them, I put them back. I thought they would be pretty pots for some of my transplants I like to give out.

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Or this pig platter, didn’t buy this either but thought it was adorable and it would have been pretty hanging up in our kitchen up north at Our Little Red House. We are also de-cluttering up there too.

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Okay, this is where I went off my list and finally caved. Come on, seriously, do you blame me?. I mean, look, it’s a big box of Christmas ornaments.The holiday section is always my favorite section to look through. There was someone already there, but they were looking for Christmas balls and I was looking for wooden ornaments.

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You know I love my wooden ornaments. So I grabbed a basket and started looking for new ones to add to my collection. I do believe at the end of my life, if I keep this up, I will have a whole museum full of these ornaments.They make me smile.DSC_2837.JPG

Then there was Halloween, look at these cute pumpkins. I am missing the holidays right now.

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By the time I got to clothes, my camera battery ran out, so sorry. I can’t share the beautiful vintage dresses and gowns they had for sale. My daughter would have loved looking through their vintage clothes section. I look for vintage wool coats to make tiny stuffed toys with, and that’s only if there is damage in the coats. Everyone seemed more interested in all the jeans. Jeans were normally $5 a pair but remember everything was half off so that is cheap for a pair of jeans, especially if you have kids to clothe.

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So there it is, the largest and oldest yard sale in the state of Arizona. Hope you all enjoyed this little shopping adventure with me. Here are just a few of the smaller items I purchased, or as they like to say now days…my haul. Have fun out there shopping yourselves, and please try to be polite. We don’t need anymore YouTube footage of people fighting over material items. Happy junk hunting everyone.

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