Feature

5 minutes in Brendan Moar’s garage

G-Online

Brendan Moar, host of Dry Spell Gardening and The Renovators, explains why you should get involved in the Garage Sale Trail.

GST-Moar-story

This Saturday, Brendan Moar will be getting involved in the Plant Sale at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney before heading home to see what's been sold out of his garage.

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Can you tell me about why you became involved the Garage Sale Trail?

I love the simplicity of the idea. Reusing and repurposing things is simple, fun, addictive, green, and a beautiful way to connect with people. It’s yet again, one of those very normal, oddly regarded old fashioned things to do that are good for the planet, humanity and your wallet – when set against an age of online connectedness, that in reality is anything but. And I love the way that this very human, physically face to face activity is enhanced and supercharged in a way by online social networking – that thing I’m oh so wary of!!

What advice do you have for people with a busy life like yourself, to make time for events like the Garage Sale Trail?

It depends if you’re a seller of a buyer. If you’re doing the trail as a buyer, it’s a simple matter of blocking out the day, but make sure you’ve got a plan as to where you want to go and what sort of area you want to cover. You’ll need some stamina, in the same way you need it if you’ve ever done the Saturday real estate crawl, searching for a new home in which to live. If you’re a seller, you need to be organised a week in advance with what it is you want to sell, who’s manning the garage sale and your payment system.

Last year, 14 councils were involved in the Garage Sale Trail, but this year that has nearly doubled. Why do you think the Garage Sale Trail has exploded in terms of numbers?

I think that the success of the previous two Garage Sale Trails have really got Aussies interested in this year’s project. As the biggest community-based marketplace it offers bargain hunters the perfect opportunity to uncover some fantastic finds around their local area.

People are also starting to become much more aware of the importance of sustainability and so this project offers an easy way of making a difference and fighting the cause!

What have you learned from the Garage Sale Trail program? What can buyers and sellers learn?

I think that this year participants are realising the value of the Garage Sale Trail website which gives sellers the chance to put their sale on the map and drum up interest in their sale! It acts as free advertising and gives shoppers the chance to map out a shopping route ahead of the big day! There’s even a leaderboard section on the website which tells you the most ‘liked’ garage sales and examples of featured items from various sales around Australia.

As a buyer, my advice to you is to ask a seller for their price without any sense of really wanting something – if it’s a good price say, sure I’ll take that off your hands!

How does the project promote sustainability?

A garage sale IS practicing best practice sustainability.

Is there anything different happening on the trail this year this year that hasn’t happened in the previous years?

This year it’s not just local households holding garage sales; makers and creators, local business, households, cultural institutions, charities and community groups are all getting in on the action. As a result, this year many people will notice a number of pop up shops appearing, giving a fresh approach to the traditional concept of a garage sale.

In your opinion, how is a garage sale the practical route to take when either looking for new things or getting rid of old items?

Garage sales are great way to get people in a community talking, connecting, re using, repurposing and recycling – all the good things!

Do you remember your first garage sale? Were you hooked after that?

I do, it was just a few houses up and I scored a set of seven stained glass windows that I keep traipsing from house to house. One day I will work out what the hell I’m going to do with them.

Will you be selling items? If so, can you give me some examples?

I’m hoping to. I will be at the Royal Botanic Gardens taking part in their Plant Sale in the morning so hopefully I’ll get time to be at our garage sale. There’s going to be a bit of furniture in our sale. Our house is bursting and it’s time to rationalise.

Some people have a hard time of letting go of items even if they are likely never to have use for them again. What advice do you have for those people?

Get a friend in who has no emotional attachment with said items and get them to do the dirty work. Just watch how quick they’ll get rid of them for you!

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To register your own Garage Sale, or to check out sales near you this Saturday, visit www.garagesaletrail.com.au.