The month of May can be deceptive, tricking you into believing that there is tons of time ahead to have a garage sale. A blink later August rolls around, and there, on the other side of the vanished-too-soon summer, you have the feeling that time is running out. So, you have one last chance to go all out to have a really successful garage sale.

It doesn’t take long to disgorge junk from the shadows — junk you don’t need and wonder why it’s still there. I’m talking about digging everywhere: the loft in the garage, the slightly musty recesses under the stairs, the dead zone corner under the kitchen counter where old pots and small appliances go to die, the drawers of shame in that never-used desk in the basement, the linty cupboard above the washing machine. I am talking everywhere. Go all out until you hear an echo.

It’s amazing what you find, and it’s oh, so cathartic. Some of it you might actually be able to sell.

Give me plusses, you say. OK. Forget the wonderful fact that you are finally achieving some Zen in your home. A bigger plus is that you are cleverly giving yourself permission to move ahead in life and giving yourself a reason to put new energy into your old stuff. Give yourself an incentive that is specific — a week’s groceries or gas money not dinged off your debit card for one day.

Another plus: it gives the kids something to do. Kids now have the attention span of a goldfish before they need to bow their heads in reverent praise of their electronics. Helming a garage sale teaches them valuable communication and bargaining skills that’ll serve them well later in life.

Garage sales give you a chance to catch up with neighbours. We are all in desperate need of more social and less rush, rush. Isn’t that what it’s all about — savouring summer before September pulls into our driveway?

Let’s bring a little therapy to your home.

Stephen Ilott is a professional home organizer with and author of “The Domestic Archaeologist.” For more information, visit or contact him at or 416-460-8098.