Bargain furniture hunters, you DO NOT want to miss this. Every year Bainbridge Island’s Rotary hosts an enormous fundraising auction and rummage sale. The entire campus of Woodward Middle School becomes the site of a garage saler’s dream. Each classroom converted into a different section of a department store: housewares, artwork, clothing, lighting, small appliances. Outside, the parking lot is overtaken by a sea of second-hand furniture. Some of it is great, some of it is junk, but all of it is cheap!
This year’s sale is on July 2nd from 8am-2pm. You can arrive early, with the crowd that attended the previous night’s preview, and be swept up in the dizzy frenzy that ensues, or arrive a tad later, and stalk the site in a more relaxed state. I prefer the latter. I don’t like to see that ugly competitive side of people- the side that throws their body over some rusted piece of wrought iron garden furniture and yells “Me first!”. Getting there around ten ensures that there is still plenty of inventory left, but you only have to waste two hours browsing before they start slashing prices around noon. Truth be told, at that hour, a second wave of frenzy kicks up, and it can be just as nasty.
I have gone every year for the last five, and always come away with ridiculous finds at scandalously low prices. My first year, I spent a total of $30 and found a dresser, a loveseat (which I slipcovered), a custom ottoman in designer plum-colored velvet, a chandelier (which I spray painted white), and a bent wood wicker rocking chair. Incredible right?
I am gearing up for this year’s sale. A tip or two from a veteran: bring a tape measure, a camera to snap shots of things you want to think on for a few minutes, a wad of cash (it’s cash only), a car that is big enough to transport more than you think you’ll buy, and wear a pair of comfy shoes. Food and cold drinks are for sale in the school cafeteria. I can’t wait to see what I’ll find this time!