From dainty crockery to metres of dress-making fabric, Penny Unsworth has never had so many mismatched objects clutter up her house.
Ms Unsworth, a member of the Country Women’s Association’s Bayside branch, has been preparing for the group’s first garage sale for charity – and the goods just keep on turning up at her home.
“When I go out, I don’t know what I’m going to find on my doorstep,” she said, laughing.
“We’re really excited about it.”
The association’s Hampton garage sale is one of 8000 scheduled for Saturday across the country – including more than 1600 in Victoria – as part of Australia’s largest not-for-profit jumble sale.
Now in its fourth year, hundreds of thousands of bargain hunters are tipped to trawl through backyard sales held simultaneously for the annual Garage Sale Trail.
Schools, households and various community groups are selling more than 1.5 million items – including a pregnant alpaca and hovercraft in Tasmania – all in the name of reusing and recycling goods.
The event’s co-founder Andrew Valder, said the sale promoted awareness of waste management.
“Sustainable living starts at home,” he said.
“One garage sale on its own doesn’t make much of a difference, but imagine if every garage in country was involved – that’s a whole lot of difference.”
But it is not all about second-hand goods – many sellers are spruiking plants and handmade crafts, as well as sausage sizzles and music.
Mr Valder said Garage Sale Trail, which began in 2010 in Bondi, was more than just a treasure hunt.
“It’s not just that you go and buy some nondescript second-hand item – you often find out the story of the stuff you’re buying and that sort of makes it much more powerful than it otherwise would.”
To find out what’s happening in your neighbourhood, check out https://www.garagesaletrail.com.au
This article originally appeared on page 18 of The Saturday Age newspaper on 25 October 2014.