Getting Rid of Things Pt.1: Garage Sale

On today’s blog post, I wanted to share one way I was able to minimize some of my clothing, shoes, and accessories. This is thru a garage sale. My friend Cynthia lives in a prime location, meaning visible to many passerby’s and cars. She had been wanting to host a garage sale for many months now… and we finally decided on a date.

Prior to the date, we were slowly putting things away in boxes and doing research on how to have a successful garage sale. Granted, this was our first garage sale EVER. I wanted to share some of the tips we learned thru research and from the experience we had.

Tip 1: Advertise your upcoming garage sale on Facebook, Craigslist, etc.

Tip 2: Organize your inventory. For example, have dresses hanging in one rack, mens shirts in another, accessories all in one table, and so on. This makes it easier for the shopper to browse and to know where things are at.

Tip 3: Clothing racks are very useful, however, if you use hangers…make sure they are the cheap kinds (for example: wire hangers from the dry cleaners) because some of the customers WILL walk away with your hangers.

Tip 4: Talk ahead of time with your friend, or whoever is selling with you in the garage sale, on price points. Are they selling to get back what they spent? Or are they selling just to get rid of items? The answer to these questions will help on how to price items. I was just selling to get rid of items, so I was pricing dresses and skirts at $2 or $3/piece.

Tip 5: Mark your items with price tags or have a sign on the table or rack with the prices of the items. Cynthia had bought stickers with prices on them..and we stuck these stickers on each item.

Tip 6: Have change with you. At least, $15 in one dollar bills.

Tip 7: Have a small pouch on you at all times. Keep your cash there with a small calculator. My friend Mau, on our second garage sale, brought  waist aprons that we can tie on and keep change and other little items within our reach. That was super helpful!

Tip 8: Hydrate and take breaks. Standing and talking to people all morning is hard work. Don’t forget to drink lots of water, eat, and sit down for a few minutes.

Tip 9: Wear a hat! On our second garage sale…I got burnt! I bought a hat from one of the item’s my friend was selling but my arms, chest, and legs got burnt. With that you should also wear sunblock. You definitely need the sun protection, especially during the hot summer months.

Tip 10: Don’t be afraid to sell those oddball items! The things we thought would least likely be bought, were the first ones to sell. For example, my Yelp Life gloves that had cut-off finger tips, which I got for free at a Yelp event…those sold for a dollar! One dolla…Make me holla!!!

I hope you find these tips helpful and may we continue to minimize our belongings.


Current Project: Simplifying my Wardrobe

This past weekend my friend and I had a Yard Sale for the very first time…and I am glad to say we had a pretty good turnout.

Since then, I’ve been inspired to simplify my wardrobe. There are blogs, videos, and books about minimalism or having a capsule wardrobe*… and I am challenging myself to accomplish that daunting task.

You see, I’m one of those people who like to hold on to things…excuses like, “maybe i’ll lose weight again..” or “I had this since middle school..” turns me into a mini hoarder.

Currently, I had labeled a box “memories” and placed clothing there that have sentimental value. I also took an empty bin and filled it with clothing and other items for me to sell on the next Yard Sale.

A small box for memories; A large bin for yard sale. #minimalism #journeytominimalism #wardrobecapsule

A photo posted by Sharon R (@islanderinheels) on

Eventually, my goal is to (a) have 30 pieces of clothing for “All Season”, ten pieces to add to that for Spring/Summer, and another ten pieces for Fall/Winter. That will leave me with a total count of 50 pieces of clothing. OR (b) just have 30 pieces for each season and remix everything for the following season. Regardless, my goal will be to have less than 100 pieces of clothing. Preferably, under 60.

Once I tackle the clothing part…my next task will be SHOES. I’m planning to embrace this mentality with everything: clothing, shoes, bags, and makeup….I’ll keep you updated on the progress. Here’s to a simpler life that will help make your home less cluttered and your money used for more of life’s “essentials.”

*Put simply, it’s a way of minimizing your clothes into a small collection that easily mixes and matches.

Pocket Wifi

Pocket Wifi has got to be one of those things that you would consider a life-saver.

Previously, I did a blog post on apps that require data and how you could use those apps without being afraid of coming home to a ridiculously expensive cell phone bill.

Interestingly, a country that is known for its cutting-edge technology, wasn’t so wifi friendly. Especially when it came to free wifi at places of businesses. We rented a pocket wifi device at the airport, and this helped us traverse through unknown territory.

A few things you need to remember when renting a pocket wifi:

  • Have a credit card. Although, your debit card has a Visa logo, it doesn’t work as a credit card. The company we rented our pocket wifi’s from required this.
  • There is a mobile wifi router rental agreement that you have to sign, so plan to take a few minutes at the rental booth. We had to run to our train station because we didn’t realize how long the process would be. I would at least plan for 30 minutes – 1 hour. Especially when traveling with a group.
  • Keep your passport handy for they will need it to identify you.
  • Don’t lose anything. They give you a small bag that will house the charger and the pocket wifi.
  • Don’t forget to return at the same kiosk (we rented ours in the arrival terminal of the airport.) My brothers remembered to return their’s since they took the train back to the airport the same way we arrived, however, my husband and I decided to take the limousine bus back to the airport which drops you off directly at the departure terminal. Because of that, we completely forgot to return our pocket wifi until we were near our gate, and had to mail it back. They charge a fee to your card, for not returning it on the date you said you would, but upon receiving the pocket wifi they refunded the fee.

A few things to remember when using the pocket wifi:

  • Don’t upload videos using the pocket wifi because you will drain, not only the battery, but also the ability to keep your speed connection at 4G. I made this mistake and had to deal with 3G for the entire trip..which isn’t so bad, but when you’ve gotten so used to 4G…there’s no going back.
  • If you have a long day planned, keep the charger with you and have a standby battery pack. Unfortunately, with constant use, it goes for eight hours but very hardly anything longer than that. We almost didn’t have a way to find our way back to our hotel at 11:30pm. Thank goodness for taxi cabs.

I hope our experiences with the pocket wifi will help you on your next journey. Happy Travels!

Travel Apps Part 1: Preparing for the Travel

For any minor or major traveling, there is always researching and planning to be done. I do research on my laptop and on my iPhone. This blog will have a two-part series of apps that I use for traveling. The first part will be preparing for the travel and the second part will be regarding the apps that I use while I’m at my destination.

I use several apps to prepare for my travel. A large part of it are airline apps. I downloaded apps of airlines that I either A) am a frequent flyer of or B) an airline I flew on and really loved. So for airline apps I have: United, JetBlue, and Southwest. The United app also allows me to watch movies directly from my iPad or to check email while in flight.

However, aside from the airline apps, I also fancy using Kayak. I actually prefer the app rather than going online and visiting their website. I find their app to be user-friendly and free of clutter. It also helps me find the cheapest airfare, regardless of what airline I choose to use. Another nice feature of Kayak is the price alerts. It alerts you when an air ticket at a chosen destination is within the price range you selected. For example, if you are looking for a $300 ticket to Hawaii from San Francisco. You can put those choices on price alert and you will receive a notification if there are any airlines offering that fare, or lower, to your chosen destination. Nice, right?!

After booking a flight,  a hotel, and perhaps a car rental, it would be nice to have all confirmation details in one central location. For that, I use World Mate. You can see all your upcoming trips, but also your past trips. It helps you book a hotel from the app directly, or to make a limo reservation. The free version of the app is supposedly going to expire soon, so I downloaded the paid version. I don’t find myself using this app often, but I like how I can keep tabs on my past trips. It always brings a smile to my face when I think back of those past trips.

I also check on the exchange rate of the foreign currency in the country I’ll be visiting versus the almighty U.S. dollar. I travel with a tiny bit of cash for small shops and for tip money, but I prefer to pay with a Visa that has no foreign transaction fees tied into it. And, it’s always nice to know what you’re going against. So for that, I have a Currency app.

I also do research on hotels, activities, and restaurants. For that kind of inquiry, I use Trip Advisor. Trip Advisor is like the Yelp for travelers. Reviews and ratings from other fellow travelers to help narrow done the best hotels, activities, and restaurants within your budget at your future destination.

Last but not least, traveling wouldn’t be as fun without the local interaction you’ll be making. So, I find it useful to learn a few words or phrases in their language. A Translator app is crucial when traveling to a foreign country to say a greeting or to ask for something in their local tongue. I highly recommend a Translator app in addition to your pocket-book of phrases or your cd/podcast of the language you are trying desperately to learn.

So, this is what’s in my arsenal of travel apps. I hope you found this helpful, and if there are any other apps I’m missing out on…do share about them.