Local garage sale bargain shoppers have come to look forward to the annual Dieppe Drive Garage Sale.  Now in its twentieth year, Barb Wheler continues to organize and spearhead the three-block thrift sale.  This year the sales will begin on Thursday, June 2, and will run from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and open again on Friday at 10:00 a.m. and finish by 6:00 p.m. Each year approximately 15 to 20 homes on the block participate. 

Organizing a multi-block garage sale requires a large time commitment.  Barb Wheler along with her neighbour Karen Paul have worked together for 20 years to organize what has now become a much-anticipated sale.  Together they create and distribute posters inviting everyone on their street to join in on the annual sale. 

While Barb uses this time to declutter and reorganize her own household, she also creates space in her garage so friends and family can also participate in the event.  We asked Barb why she continues to organize the sale each year. 

“Well one reason is to declutter, and one reason is to recycle, and like they say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” said Barb. 

While garage sale season provides an opportunity to declutter closets and overstuffed drawers, Barb explains the annual sale has come to mean more including creating cherished memories. 

“It’s a lot of work but the fun part is socializing and visiting with the buyers and socializing with your family, it gets to be a family event, when my grandson was younger, he used to have a popcorn and lemonade stand out in the front yard at the same time,” shared Barb. 

We asked Barb how long it takes to prepare for the garage sale. 

“Probably about a week before, by the time you clean out your garage and set up tables and set up all the items, but all winter I’m accumulating things from my cupboards and my drawers and I’m pricing as I find things,” explained Barb. 

The consummate organizer, Barb is always thinking ahead. 

“I always think when I do this, that oh my god if I died tomorrow my kids would have a heck of a time going through my house so let's get rid of some of this stuff,” snickered Barb. 

The Dieppe Drive Garage Sale is also known to attract a lot of traffic. 

“One year we had a traffic jam on our driveway, people park their vehicles and walk up and down the three blocks of Dieppe and load up their wares, it’s just a fun time for everybody,” shared Barb.  

We asked the garage sale veteran if she had any tips to offer to first-time sellers. “Just look in your house you will find lots of things, the rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it in a year, you get rid of it, but I don’t necessarily go by that rule but if it’s some object or item you haven’t used in a while, get rid of it,” explained Barb.  

Decluttering and organizing have many personal benefits, they can provide a great boost to your mental health including creating confidence and helping to spur creativity but figuring out where to begin can often feel overwhelming.   

A simple tip that some experts recommend is giving yourself a 30-day challenge setting 20 minutes aside each day to declutter and by the end of the month, you will have dedicated 10 hours to reorganizing your space.  Another suggestion is to get rid of a few items each day for 30 days.   On day one you get rid of one item, on day two you get rid of two items, etc. and by the end of the 30 days, you will have tossed, given, or sold 465 items and they say typically people will feel less stress and more peaceful in their surroundings.