If you’ve got kids, you’ve got stuff.
And lots and lots of it.
It’s no secret that having children, especially more than one, turns a parent’s home into an overgrown closet of, well, stuff.
But then comes a time when that stuff is no longer needed in the home because the kids have either outgrown it or decided playing the drums just wasn’t their passion in life.
Getting rid of it–or, finding an item for a good price in your time zone–can become burdensome at times, and end up spending years boxed up in the attic.
These are just some of the reasons why Nicole Faulkner, a Long Valley resident of 22 years, decided to help her fellow local parents with their stuff.
On Dec. 2, Faulkner opened a virtual yard sale on Facebook–completely free to join and peruse–so parents in her same predicament could either buy or sell their children’s used goods locally and without the hassle often associated with online buying and trading.
Faulkner invited 40 of her Facebook friends–also Long Valley parents–to her group on the social media site named "Long Valley Virtual Yard Sale." Ten days later, the group has more than 500 members.
“Times are tough, and even in Long Valley, families are feeling the effects,” Faulkner said. “For some, it’s not even a matter of not ‘wanting’ to spend full price for something; it’s not being able to do so.”
Pricing, along with helping neighbors was the impetus for creating the group, Faulkner said. The admitted frequent Amazon.com buyer has four children of her own, the three youngest as triplets.
“One of the gifts of tough times is that they often put things in perspective,” Faulkner said. “Whether it’s job loss, financial struggles, natural disasters, terminal illness … these events have challenged us at best, and at worst, brought us to our knees.
“It has touched my heart to see Long Valley rally and come together as a result of these challenges. This is just an extension of that–it’s community," she said.
Aside from starting her own certified life coaching business, Faulkner says she’s never opened a business or other venture such as this.
The best part of the group-wide yard sale, Faulkner says, is its convenience. Users can take a photo of their item, set a price, and post the information with a description and see if anyone is interested.
Because only Long Valley residents are currently involved, users will know they don’t have to ship or spend money on processing fees. Buyers and sellers are asked to set up pick-up and drop-off times and work out the details amongst themselves.
Of course, the yard sale is a two-way street, Faulkner says. There’s plenty of space for users to post ISO–In Search Of–queries if they’d like to find an alternative to the expensive sports equipment or baby room furniture.
“These are the practical functions of it, but there is also a sense of community and connection it fosters,” Faulkner said. “People recognize names–the parent of your child’s classmate, a friend of a friend, a local business owner, and they have an opportunity to help them in some way, or maybe even develop a friendship.”