Where I grew up, garage sales were a once-in-a-while kind of thing. Both for the person holding the sale and for the one dropping by. Generally, the people we knew had enough space to keep all the junk they wanted, in whatever barn they wanted, for as long as they wanted. And besides, if you had the desire to get rid of your stuff, you could always give it away to a friend, take it to the dump, or give it to Goodwill.
Where I live now, garage sales are a way of life in the Spring and Summer months. Ads are put in the weekly papers and some sellers even list specifics of what they are selling. Those organized garage sale-goers make a plan ahead of time about which sales to stop at first and in which order. And of course, one must always arrive early--right when the sale starts, or even before.
I've started to think of it as not just garage sale-ing but garage sail-ing. Though I've never been sailing, it seems like one of those activities that would warrant an early wake-up. And then, of course, the boat/sail preparation... and then the actual time, the "adventure" if you will, of the sailing. Going from place to place driven by the wind--or, the best bargain as it were.
I have seen people as excited about garage sales as a person could be about a sailboat. Having not grown up in such a culture, there are times the idea of it all sets me to laughter. And there are other times that I can't help but get caught up in all the adventure. Going from house to house looking for something great, something great AND cheap. Oh how marvelous!
But, garage sale-ing for me is about the same as sailing. I'm not sure I truly have the umph to get out there and do it--too much time, energy, and, well, money. Even at a bargain, spending any money at all is more than staying home and NOT spending money. Though, there are times I can be persuaded to do it. Especially when I'm looking for something in particular and the thought of getting it at a bargain outweighs my laziness to go garage sale hunting for it.
Usually, though, I'm content to stay home and listen to the stories of garage sale adventure from the professionals. I'd much rather hear about the tales of getting a brand new dress, with the tags on, for $5 (haggled down from $8) than go through the trouble of finding that deal myself. I have a good imagination; I can live vicariously through their deals. It's good enough for me.