How to PREPARE for a Car Boot Sale! - 13 Helpful Tips

Very busy recently with clearing out some of our daughters things from our house while she was here for a short holiday from South Korea.

She was sooooo good about making decisions on the things that she had left behind in our Guest Room.

I should have taken pictures of the before but I didn't think at the time.

Anyway she had things in:
  • two sets of drawers, 
  • one hanging rail 
  • several bags and boxes piled up in another hanging area

Now she has things in:
  • one sets of drawers, 
  • half of one hanging rail 

Didn't she do well!!

She spurred me on so that I packed up quite a few things for the Church Car Boot Sale (as well as the things she was donating) and actually was able to go and help out at one of them.

Here again I should have got some pictures of the Car Boot Sale but hindsight is a great thing.

I do have some pictures of the things I decluttered and put out for the Car Boot Sale however.

Car Boot Sale

Before going to a Car Boot Sale it really is a good idea to be as organised as possible as well as making sure that the items you are going to sell are clean and not broken or chipped.

I was going with a friend but we were both taking our own cars and setting up our own tables.

# 1.   Make sure you go early, yes earlier than the organisers of the Car Boot Sale tell you to be there because the people who want to buy will come early and you really need to be set up first.

We parked the cars side by side and had our Church Charity Banner to tie between the two cars.

# 2.   If you are selling for a charity or special cause do make sure you have some kind of banner or sign up because some people will be a little more generous when they know the money is not just going into your pocket.  

Our church has been doing this for a few years now so we have a good banner and we also have some postcard sized cards with more info. printed for giving out.

I have two tables to take with me:  a large square one and a small, low rectangular one.

# 3.   Not everything you have for sale should be on the one table and two different heights is also a good idea drawing the eyes to look around more.

# 4.   A table always looks better if you have a cloth draped over it.   Yes you are selling things cheaply but presentation still draws people to look more closely.

Then I can also put some baskets on the ground too.

I put all the Dvds into one basket

I put all the books into one basket

I put small items that I could charge 20p for into a tin

I put items I could charge 50p for into a basket

# 5.   Not everything you have for sale should be placed on the table for everything to get moved around by the buyers as things will get hidden from sight and the tables will start to look very untidy very quickly.

# 6.   Putting similar items eg. the dvds into the same basket will draw the buyer to take a minute to look through each one.

# 7.   Smaller items are better in baskets, boxes or tins to have less items falling on the ground or getting missed under larger items and simply to keep the area neater.

I put all the clothes into one bag for carrying there and then they can be placed neatly on a table or hung up on a rail.

# 8.   Clothes should always be kept separate where possible so that people can spread them out and have a good look at them without hiding the other items for sale and a rail shows garments off better than having them all bundled on top of each other on a table.

I put all the kitchen, dining or ornamental things in one bag for carrying to the Car Boot Sale and then these would be placed on the table there.

I put all the candles into one lidded container

# 9.   Use sturdy plastic containers which can be placed on the ground giving another place for buyers to look instead of everyone at the same time trying to stretch over the main table.

I placed all the Christmas items in one bag together.

Yes I know it's only September but people are buying Christmas decorations already.

# 10.   Christmas items will sell at any time of the year but it is better to keep them to one side of the main table or on the smaller table so that they have a specific place and do not seem strange mixed in with other household items.

I had a brand new King size Sheet and a brand new pair of pyjamas to take as well

I had 3 large craft type bags and two handbags but only took this picture of 2 of the bags (all 3 large craft bags sold easily - should have asked for more money)

# 11.   Bags are always an attraction for the ladies to have a look at but remember to try to display them nicely and not just throw them into a bag or box as they are never seen to their best advantage in that way.

I also had a pile of hangers to use or to sell

I also made some notices on card to show the price of the items in certain containers

# 12.   Never go to a Car Boot Sale without some price signs.  People will buy quicker when they know the price (and maybe try to do a deal), whereas they may think twice about asking for the price of every object they are interested in.

All of this makes it easier for you to:

  •  pack the car to go to the sale, 
  •  unload unto the tables and ground for the sale, 
  •  pack the things away again into the same bags 
  •  lift the baskets back into the car.

Then of course when I got home again it was easy to unload the bags and baskets etc. into the garage to wait for the next one.

Of course there is the last very important thing that you must never forget and should have it prepared in advance.

#13.   Don't forget to have a float of money with you (and a safe place to keep it) to give 
your customers change from the nice large notes you hope they will be parting with 
and also of course to pay for your spot at the event.

A Car Boot Sale can be hard work but if you are friendly with the people who come to look around then they will be friendly too and make the event more pleasant.   Plus going with a friend means you can have a chat now and again and a break for coffee as you can take it in turn to look after both sets.
So it can actually turn out to be some Funwork instead of Housework for a morning.

The first time takes a lot of preparation but once everything is well thought out and good containers acquired each time afterwards is easier to prepare for and more importantly the prep time is so much shorter.

Then just think of the help this will be in decluttering and organising your home.


The Day my Best Friend Bit Me! - A Dose of Encouragement

When I was young and at primary school I was a "Tom-Boy", wanting to be active, out and about as much as possible and looking for company to play with.

My only sibling is my sister who is 10 years older than me so I didn't have her to play with and sometimes there were not too many other kids around.

I really loved the opportunity to play with the boy who would come to visit his grandparents across the street and the girls from the surrounding streets and stay out as long as possible.

But there were often times when there was no-one around to play with so I found a friend next door.

This friend was often around at the front of the house and he was very easy to chat to so I could go see him a few times a day.

His name was Tim and he was a black, scotty dog.

I used to go and sit on the front step of the house next door and pet him and cuddle him and chat.

He was so familiar with our family that there was never any barking at us just the tail wagging and little jumps of excitement when he thought any of us were going to have time to play with him.

photo credit - Pixabay

My parents were fine with me playing with Tim and knew that I was often on that front step.

I liked dogs and had wanted our family to have a dog as a pet but my sister did not like dogs so I had to be content with Tim next door.

Of course I took Tim for granted and thought he would always be there just when I would feel like going in through the front gate to play with him.

I was sure that he would always be happy to see me, ready to play 
and I would never be "not welcome".

Then there was that one day when I went through that gate and took the two or three steps to the front door to find Tim was lying there quietly not jumping up or wagging his tail at me.  I sat down beside him and put my arm around him but instead of getting the usual happy welcome I felt the pain shoot up my arm as his teeth clamped onto it.

I screamed, jumped up and ran out through that next door gate with Tim hanging from my arm but he let go before I got to our own gate.

I was sore, bleeding (although not too bad because he was an older dog and his teeth apparently weren't too sharp) and so confused that Tim had bitten me.

If I was looking for sympathy I had come to the wrong place because immediately I was questioned by my mother on what had I done to antagonise the poor dog - see how everyone loved him!

Well my arm was bathed and bandaged and I can't remember if I was told to stay inside for a while but I do remember that before long I was back sitting playing with Tim.

The neighbours talked with my parents and were concerned about what had happened and what my parents wanted them to do about Tim.  The result was that none of us wanted anything to happen to him because we all knew the situation had been my own fault.  Who would be so silly as to cuddle a dog that was asleep and wake him suddenly and frighten him especially when in the past few months some teenagers had often been teasing and at times kicking at him through the gate as they walked down our street.

I had not known that Tim, my usually happy friend, had become afraid of these teenagers and hence probably startled by me and reacted out of sudden fear.

Yes it wasn't long before I was back playing with Tim, he was still my friend and I forgave him for biting me but I think there was always just not exactly the same trust there as before.

He was still my friend and I forgave him.

Over the years I have seen friendships ruined over a hasty word, a sudden grumpiness, a searing hurt, a teasing jibe, when people just got so friendly and comfortable that they stopped thinking of situations from the other person's point of view.  Times when people got so careless and thought they could do or say anything just because they thought they were with friends.
Even if the friendships are not ruined they are marred in some way by lack of trust thereafter.

Sometimes we have been the ones to do the hurting and sometimes we are the ones who have been hurt but either way we need to try to consider how the other person felt, what may have been happening to them recently that we did not know about, who had been unkind to them, what had they heard recently, because something had caused a difference on that occasion.

There are two people in a friendship and also two feelings in that friendship and we need to remember to be considerate and kind, honouring the friendship and extending grace to each other in all circumstances.

It may not always come easy but oh it would be great if I could forgive others today as quickly as I forgave Tim.

It is not impossible to do.

As children of God we have the capability of forgiving because we have been forgiven and we have the greatest example of perfect forgiveness in Jesus.

Forgiveness. It is not impossible to do.

What about a letter, a phone call, a little chat?

The practical step needs to be taken to apologise and forgive.

And we can do it!


Grace 1 - The Discipline of Grace

Some time ago I decided to read

        "The Discipline of Grace" by Jerry Bridges

and I have been slowly, very slowly doing so because there is just so much to take in from each chapter.

If I waited until I had read the whole book the notes on it would be extremely long judging by the ones thus far so I've decided to put together here just the notes from my reading of the first chapter to give a taste of what this book has to offer.

Chapter 1

The Holy Spirit transforms us spiritually; we cannot do this ourselves. This is sanctification.
The Pursuit of Holiness is our cooperation and involvement in the sanctification process and it is something we need to be fully committed to.  This must be anchored in the Grace of God.

God's blessing does not depend on our performance.
God's grace through Christ is greater than our sin.
If God’s blessings were dependent on our performance, they would be meager indeed.
Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace.
And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.
Every day of our Christian experience should be a day of relating to God on the basis of His grace alone.
We are saved by grace but also each day of our lives we live by grace because we must look only to Jesus for God's blessings on our lives we cannot earn the blessings ourselves.

God's grace through Christ is greater than our sin.

Grace - God's unmerited favour to those who deserve His wrath.
Although saved we still sin; but we also still receive His grace.
We are neither blessed because we have done good enough to gain His favour or not blessed because we have failed to earn it.
 Our performance rating is not the important thing here.
The Gospel applied to our hearts each day frees us to be honest with ourselves & God.
We can admit we still sin and take responsibility for this instead of blaming our actions on the effects of others.

"So it doesn't matter how I live because God forgives me unconditionally" - no, this is not acceptable as it means that the truth is being abused.

We cannot allow others to lessen the value of the truth for all of us. So they need to be reminded of the Gospel.

What about those who struggle with the fact that we are still sinners and they think they are not committed enough? They also still need to be reminded of the Gospel because it does not pour on guilt but rather brings freedom from guilt to them.

We cannot allow others to lessen the value of the truth for all of us.

To live no longer for ourselves but for God is the essence of discipleship.
Love is what compels us to live for God.

So it is by the Gospel that we must be motivated to live a holy life and not by guilt or duty because it is through the Gospel that we will be conscious of His great love.

God's grace is greater than all our sins.
Repentance is one of the Christian's greatest privileges. A repentant Christian focuses on God's mercy & God's love.
One who draws on God's mercy & grace is quick to repent but also slow to sin.
Are we willing to rely on God's mercy & grace alone instead of on our performance, to boast in nothing save the cross?

If this encourages you to read the book you'll find it on amazon for kindle or in paperback.

I promise that later posts on this book will contain shorter notes on each chapter.  
See Links below:

Grace 2
Grace 3


Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 23

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 23 

This is probably the best known Psalm.

I see this Psalm as a Psalm of Praise

     1.  Extolling the Virtues of God

     2.  Stating the good things He has done for us

     3.  Telling God how we trust Him

     4.  Acknowledging that we know God provides everything for us

     5.  Exclaiming that we know the hope we have for the future

A Great Example.
David has given us this fine example of praising God.

You can feel the excitement over the fact that David realizes just what God means to him.

You can feel the excitement.

Not a Word of Thanks.

David did not even need a word of thanks in this Psalm because He is simply caught up in Praising God.

Complete Comfort.

That first verse gives us the complete comfort of knowing that God looks after us in everything so there is no concern for us to dwell on - a simple fact.

To Praise God 


not just to thank Him


to tell Him what He means to us


express how great He is.

We need to Praise God for Who He is as well as Thanking Him for what He has done.


The Day We Had to Say Goodbye - A Dose of Encouragement

Well our life here in Banbridge has changed once again.

For two weeks this year our daughter was home from South Korea and for the first of those two weeks our son was over from Leeds, England.  That meant we had a week in which the whole family (including our other son and daughter-in-law in Belfast) could do some things together, and we did have some nice meals and outings.

With visits there are all the hellos and hugs and lots of chat and catch up but there are also the goodbyes.  So it came that we first had to say goodbye to Jonathan and then last Friday it was goodbye to Linda.  Fortunately this time we have hopes of seeing her at Christmas for a quick visit back here because she really wants to be able to meet her nephew/niece who is due at the end of October.

This all brought back memories of another goodbye.

One which took place in February 2013.........

Our daughter Linda came back from university to live with us in September 2012 and all along we knew it was probably only for about 5/6 months while she decided what she wanted to do after completing her Masters Degree in Creative Writing.

Then on a Tuesday in February 2013 we drove her to Dublin Airport to fly to Dubai and then on to South Korea, where she was going to teach English in a school there for at least a year with the EPIK organisation.

Having had her with us for those months (after having seen her toddle off from our home in Belgium to university in Norwich in 2006 and then stay on there for a couple of years working and then another year at the university) our way of life did change somewhat from living as a couple who are very easy going with regards to when we do things, to three people in the equation of when we are going out, when we are eating, what we are eating, more detailed conversations and a lot more listening from us.

Now that extra dimension in the household had gone again.

Those last few weeks of her time with us had been very busy getting her visa organized, tickets, vaccinations, hospital appointments, dental appointments, shopping, going to certain types of  restaurants she may not have the chance to get to for a long time, visiting friends and family, saying goodbye to people at church, deciding what to pack and trying to sort out all her other stuff that will have to stay here (2 cases with a total of 30kg does not allow for much of her belongings to make the trip with her).

Then I was left with an empty bedroom to Spring Clean and find a space for all the bags and boxes she filled and left there.

If Fred did not work from home I think this would have been a very lonely time but as it was we just had to revert back to the way we were before she arrived, the way we had grown into since we came to Banbridge.

People may have said we should have taken the opportunity to make other changes then instead of going back to our old way.

Were we just going backward or should we have been determined to be different?

I think a lot of time could have been wasted in trying to

         decide what is best 
and analyzing it all about what we may have learned 
from the situation 
and how to use that insight to develop further 

when really we should just be living the way God wants us to live and doing each day what He prompts us to do.  I actually think the analysing and learning and insight bit sounds more like a business situation.

This doesn't have to be a mind changing event or life altering event, it is just something that happened on one day of our lives and was a sad occasion.

Today we are living another day in our lives in our walk with God

The following day, all the days in between and today we are living another day in our lives in our walk with God. There is no point in reading a lot into a situation just to have something to talk endlessly about but in the end do nothing anyway.

Everyone will view a situation differently depending on the type of person they are and how they see their relationship with God.  We cannot expect everyone to be the same as us or the same as others we have known.

We can only look at our own relationship with God and be prepared to make the small or bigger changes He wants us to make when it is right in His plan.

While Linda was back again this year she acknowledged that her move to South Korea had been the right move at the right time and spoke of how God had been helping her to grow in her faith even in a country where she does not understand a lot of the language.

We are thankful that she is happy there and we know that God has given her good friends and a good church family.

Even so it was hard again last week when we had to say those goodbyes again.

Some things change but some things don't - goodbyes are always hard.

But again I am reminded of the plaque we were given in 2004 when we were leaving Northern Ireland to go to live in Belgium

Yes the Lord is with us wherever we go, or wherever we stay 
and he is with you wherever you go or stay 
when you are a child of God, living each day for Him.

The important thing is that wherever we go 
we are living each day for Him.


Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 133

Each Sunday I choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 133

This is quite a short Psalm but very important to take note of God's command here.

This Psalm falls into three parts:

V. 1
This immediately demands our attention with the word "Behold"

V. 2
First picture to give a description of us dwelling together in unity.

V. 3
Second picture to give a description of us dwelling together in unity.

Behold how good and pleasant it is when people dwell together in unity.
Here is the statement that his short Psalm is all about.
The adjectives "good" and "pleasant" are used here to focus us in with easy, clear understanding and no-one could possible say they would not be happy in a good and pleasant situation.

First Description.
Another adjective "precious" is used here to describe the oil on Aaron which signifies an anointing.
So the dwelling together in unity will be anointed.

Second Description.
This illustration of the dew on the mountains reminds us that the blessing will be a daily miracle just as God provides the land with dew daily.

Life can be good and pleasant.

It is important to remember that 
none of this 
can be taken for granted.

We need to be dwelling in unity
and that takes a conscious effort because the devil will just love to throw in those small but annoying hurts to dissolve the unity of the believers. 


Christian Songs for Kids - Good News, Good News

Do you find it hard to get visuals and recordings for different kids songs?

I have always found this a problem so I am now sharing songs that I have used with children providing you with

(Powerpoint or Picture or details of how you can make one) 

(chords also available)

(mp3 or video or both to learn the song) 

Then if you would like to download the visual of the song there will be a link provided to my creation, or I will direct you to where else you can find it.   

This month I am taking the theme of


The song I have chosen is 

Good News

Another one that I learnt when I was a teenager and started to help with

This is a short but very to the point song about how salvation is the "Good News" for us.
In a few lines the gospel is presented and the song is so easy to memorize that children very soon have those words etched in their memories telling then that Jesus has died for them.

Of course they all love it when you get to the end and you shout out the word EXTRA.


I have the original fold over card visual which I bought from CEF many years ago and it is still used often in our kid's club in a local school.

Unfortunately I can not find it for sale on the UK CEF website now but a new version with a second verse is available on the US CEF site

More recently I made a powerpoint for projection

To Download a copy of this powerpoint for printing on  A4 card  or  Letter size



Good News, Good News,

Christ died for me.
Good News, Good News,
If I believe.
Good News, Good News,
I'm saved eternally.
That's wonderful, EXTRA
Good News

To Download a copy of these words with chords for guitar and piano 


Very simple for this song.

For the first section of the song we clap
(up to eternally)
Then we cup our hands over our mouth to be able to shout the word
EXTRA in the second part


For this song we have a sound recording and a video both shown below

I believe the Words are by O.G. Lewis and the song is in the public domain
but there is also a second verse which is under the copyright of CEF
More information can be found HERE  

I Hope you enjoy the song and this is a help to you.