When Life Gives You a Yard Sale, Operate a Lemonade Stand

As we get ready for our big move to Fort Campbell, KY, one of the big things we still needed to do was get rid of some of our excess stuff. I mean, who would have thought that travelling every few years would lead to us accumulating junk at an alarming rate? Since the girls always wanted to operate a lemonade stand in front of the house, we figured this was the perfect opportunity to combine the two. Both ventures went better than any of us could have expected.

Free Lemonade? Seems like an unsustainable business model…

If you ask my girls what my worst day of the year is, you will always hear the same response: Yard Sale Day. I cannot stand this annual or bi-annual event on Fort Huachuca, as the post seems to swell to three times its normal size and makes movement around the quaint base extremely difficult. The worst part is that visitors park on both sides of my small street, making it a one-lane trying to get out of my cul-de-sac. So, because Yard Sale Day just frustrates me to no end, we usually never leave the house, but always have a good set of activities planned to pass the time away.

Five years older, same low price

The first steps were to go to the store and pick up lemonade and a tip jar (basket). We thankfully had plenty of cups left over from past birthday parties and they used our old Brita pitcher to pour. After adding the sign at the top of their puppet theater, the girls were ready for their grand opening.

“But you did not say we had to help you with yard sale chores!”

Although I woke up at 0500 to start setting up for the yard sale, the girls got to comfortably sleep in until about 30 minutes before our customers were expected to show up. And as soon as they were up and dressed, the girls were both outside waiting for the morning rush… that never came.

Doing the niña dance. Doing the niña dance.

Although I tried to warn them, they did not seem to understand that the first hour was going to be extremely boring. People were going to sporadically drop by, probably looking for a specific item, then rush off to the next house before even looking at the lemonade stand.

And now we play the waiting game,..

It did not take the girls very long to get bored and ask if they could watch some cartoons while they manned the shop. I quickly obliged.

And business is booming!

But once the girls got their first “customer,” they stopped watching cartoons and really got into it. We conveniently placed the stand right inside the garage, so people had to pass by all of our wares in order to pick up a cup. Even people that did not purchase anything from us were lining up to get lemonade.

Smile, Gabby! Customer service is key.

And as soon as it started to get hot out, they got really busy, and the tips started rolling in.

Now they have got their system down

We went through both prepared pitchers pretty fast, causing me to rush inside to mix of the last of the lemonade before we closed shop. The girls also had a great number of their friends stop by, with some leaving with lemonade and as well as some of the girls’ old toys.

Country Time, this is all the job résumé that you will need from her

Eventually, they wanted to go play at their friend’s house, so the girls closed for the day and cleaned up the stand. By the time they got back, the yard sale had closed down and I had moved everything back into the garage.

“No, there is no minimum height requirement for lemonade.”

While the yard sale was a big success, we could not have imagined how much fun they would have operating the lemonade stand. We made $143 on the yard sale, while the girls made $29 in tips throughout the day, and had fun while doing it. And that money went straight into their College, I mean, Barbie Fund. Just goes to show that even on a hectic day where Dad has to “work,” there are still opportunities for your kids to get some quality playtime in.

“Goodbye! Bye now! Come back soon!”

Thanks for checking in on us.


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