More than 100 Kensington households participate in effort each year
By Dave Fidlin | SDUN Reporter
The annual Kensington Garage Sale, an event designed to give residents an opportunity to part with unneeded belongings and meet with fellow neighbors, is returning for its 14th year from 8 a.m. to noon on April 21.
Participants can sell items at their homes, creating a neighborhood storefront feeling.
Local Realtors Afton Miller and Linda Artiaga started the organized garage sale with the intent of creating a community event that drew people together. Miller and Artiaga operate their realty business through a Coldwell Banker office on Camino del Rio North. Miller has been the organizer since the event’s inception.
“It’s come to a point where there actually has been pent up demand for the sale,” Miller said. “We get people asking about it at the beginning of every year.”
Miller said there are 1,500 to 1,600 homes in Kensington. On average, 120 to 160 households participate in the garage sale.
“It creates a lot of community spirit, which is exactly why we set out to do this in the first place,” Miller said. “Some of the people go to the sales looking for good deals, while other people simply use this as an opportunity to talk to their neighbors. It’s turned out to be a lot of fun. There’s quite a bit of energy.”
The demand has become so great that some residents make it a habit to arrive well before the official 8 a.m. start time.
“We’ll have some people showing up as early as 6:30 that morning,” Miller said. “Some of the people will start putting their stuff out around that time.”
Miller and Artiaga provide the marketing muscle behind the community event. Their efforts include publicizing it with signs and fliers.
Miller said to look for signs along Adams Avenue and throughout Kensington as a guide for participating households.
“Really, the best way to find out who’s participating is to simply walk up and down each street,” she said. “You can’t help but notice it if you’re in the area.”
Miller said each household keeps the proceeds from the individual sales. In years past, some participants use the proceeds from the sale to benefit a particular cause. Miller said she encourages the philanthropy, but does not directly advertise any such efforts in her marketing materials.
“It doesn’t seem to matter what the economy is …” Miller said. “The participation level, in terms of the people selling and the people buying, has always been pretty strong.”
Participants such as Louise Guarnotta and Gayle Trempe have been selling at the community garage sale for many years. Guarnotta, who has been participating for 12 years, said, “It’s so much fun and it’s a great way to get a little money for my junk. We enjoy going around, seeing what everybody else has, sometimes it’s just an opportunity to trade treasures with people.”
Trempe, who has been selling for four years, said it’s a great way to have a garage sale without paying for an ad. She also said, “it’s just a fun neighborhood activity where you get to see lots of people and it’s an enjoyable day to clean things out.”
Miller is spearheading a similar effort in Talmadge on May 19.