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  • Writer's pictureKathy Condon

Garage and Estate Sales Dot Palm Springs Neighbors

Bougainvillea Red Flowers at Base of Palm Trees
View while exploring Garage Sales in Palm Springs

In case you haven't heard, many Palm Springs, California, residents hunt for the perfect accessories for their homes at garage and estate sales. More than one person has arranged her Friday and Saturday morning schedule to stop at sales, trusting she might find a unique treasure.

Palm Springs Estate Sales Defined

Palm Springs is relatively a new town, incorporated in 1938; it is only 84 years old. Thus, it has not been long since these magnificent homes' original owners passed away. Now their heirs may have settled in other parts of the country. The burden of keeping up an estate that may once have been their family home is more than they want to handle in their lives.

With objects chosen from the homes that are meaningful to them, heirs are often left with a house stuffed with things and memorabilia that have no intrinsic value to their modern-day family. Thus, they bring in a professional estate agent to handle the items. Tattoo Mark is an active estate agent who regularly handles sales in Palm Springs.

Experience has revealed that early looky-loos are not allowed. So, if you want to be one of the first to peruse the items, you probably will have to stand in line for a minimum of ½ hour, but more likely an hour for the more prestigious homes. If the sale advertises it will start at 9:30 a.m., that is when the doors open and not earlier.

Tree designed on metal for entrance door
A Residential Door Discovered While Going to Garage Sales

Once you are allowed in, the fun begins. As a lover of art, my first trip through the house is to check out the art. I have found art is one of the first things people look for, so if you see something, be sure to immediately take it off the wall and claim it as yours. Usually, there is a spot where you can put your chosen items together until you are done "shopping."

If you are looking for a particular item for your kitchen, you might want to head there first. Rooms that are not to be accessed are marked off with tape. But otherwise, you are allowed to wander through the entire home.

This is important. If you see something you want or haven't made up your mind about, keep it in your arms. Many people are following you that might find the item you wanted is perfect for them or a friend, and it will be gone when you go back for it.

Take the time to peer into the backyards, even if items are not for sale there. Again, it is your chance to see some of these beautifully manicured yards with pools and unique spa designs.

With decisions made, gather your purchases and proceed to checkout. Cash is king at these sales.

Garage Sales Weekend Fun in Palm Springs

Garage sales typically occur when the house's cupboards and the garage are getting too full of items one does not need or want anymore. Items usually are smaller in size than objects found at estate sales.

Two Yucca blossoms in full bloom.
Yucca Plants in Palm Springs Neighborhood

When I arrived in Palm Springs, my early Saturday morning activity was to explore our many garage sales. A local friend enjoyed researching, so she would discover the locations and put them on a list for our morning adventures. Eventually, she even had the list numbered, so we didn't backtrack.

In the beginning, I was setting up my condo, so I needed everything. We would meet at 8:00 a.m., and we were off, armed with water bottles and our hats. I remember running across a waffle iron and immediately purchased it for $5 because I missed the one I had left behind.

As a jewelry lover, sales with an array of jewelry were always dangerous for me. Like most women, we have to have the right jewelry with the right outfit—just like men need the right tool to make or fix something.

If you are looking for glassware at reasonable prices, garage sales will help you quickly be able to tick things off your list. You might even find a match to a set you already have so you can replace that broken glass.

Tiny dog in a woman's handbag
One of the Visitors to Palm Springs Garage Sales

How do I control the urge to buy stuff?

It is easy to get carried away buying things because they are very inexpensive, and they are calling to you to say, "Buy me!" Thus, I have come up with my guidelines:

1. It has to be arty.

2. It has to be a step up from anything I presently owned. An example, I had a stapler but found an executive stapler that exuded class.

With a condo well-furnished now, I rarely stop at a garage sale. However, I watch the ads, and if an estate sale is in one of our exclusive areas, I will often go. For it is the only way that we will have an opportunity to see some of these stately homes and gardens.

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Kathy Condon is a freelance journalist and travel writer. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guide. Her book It Doesn't Hurt to Ask: It's All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News Facebook Instagram

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