The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!: The VNA Rummage Sale

It's beginning to look a lot like fall outside; the leaves are turning, air conditioners have been turned off, and Halloween decorations are going up.  Every time a season changes I find myself saying "THIS is my favorite!", but I really think that fall may take the cake.  Pumpkin and apple flavored everything, that crisp fresh air, getting to pull out my favorite sweaters...I love ALL of it!  The beginning of October and the season bring another one of my absolute FAVORITE things, the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) Rummage Sale.  I took Friday off of work this last week to spend three full days shopping this sale inside and out, and I'm so excited to share my finds with you!  But first, for those of you who are seriously missing out and don't know what I'm even talking about, here's the skinny on the host, the Visiting Nurse Association, and the sale!

The Visiting Nurse Association is a non-profit that provides home health and hospice care, adult day services, and community wellness programs in Morris and Somerset County NJ.  Their mission is to "provide their services to all those in need, regardless of their ability to pay or insurance coverage."  Twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring, the VNA holds a huge rummage sale, where the proceeds go towards home health and hospice care to families in need, along with other wellness services not covered by insurance.  Volunteers begin collecting donations at the rummage sale site a month prior to the sale date; people drive up with car and truckloads of items to donate!  The sale is organized into categories that are divided by tents.  For example, there is a tent for Kitchen items, a tent for boutique clothing items, a tent for sports equipment, etc.  They seriously get SO MANY items to sell!  The sale runs Friday to Sunday, and good thing, since it's almost impossible to go through everything in just one day!

This year I decided to take off of work to attend first thing Friday, aiming for the better selection of items.  I also ended up going later in the day on Saturday with my honey, and then returned Sunday with my mom and stepdad.  Each day was a different experience, with great finds along the way!

Inside the Boutique Clothing tent on Day 1.
MUD.  And it was just day one.
Chairs Chairs Chairs galore!
My honey, the undercover bookworm :)
Some helpful things to note about the sale, and some tips I think may be useful :)
  • The sale is rain or shine.  Seriously.  Friday was an absolutely miserable day: cold, windy, and downpour rainy. Saturday was the aftermath; even muddier than they before, damp and chilly.  None of this stopped anyone from coming out! Come prepared for whatever weather, and don't wear any shoes or clothing you don't want mud on!
  • If you're considering shopping for clothing for yourself, layer up!  Mirrors are hung up in clothing tents, so if you wear tight fitting lower layers, you have the ability to try on clothing before you purchase.  I wore skinny jeans and a cami every day, and simply layered thermals/fleece/my rain jacket on top.  Other women did the same, and some would even drop their pants to their ankles to get an idea if a skirt or dress really fit.  I shared a mirror with a lovely woman on Friday while trying on items; we ended up picking out items for each other and asking each other for opinions on what we were buying!
  • Keep your eyes peeled at all times.  Sometimes items get placed in a tent or location you wouldn't expect.  For example, there was a section of leather shoes, bags, and boots in the Vintage tent - I spotted a newer pair of Frye booties, and an Isabella Fiore handbag there, though I would think they would be in the Boutique Clothing tent.  
  • Save room for Sunday!  To clear as much of their inventory as possible, each tent has a different deal on the last day.  Tents with smaller items sometimes have fill-a-bag deals, where you can stuff a brown bag with whatever you can for $10 or $15.  Other tents are 50% off.  I made out like a bandit on Sunday!  
  • and related to those notes...don't hesitate to go through tents more than once!  You can easily overlook something and spot it the second time around.  It works out even better when you come across it on Sunday...that's how I came to own this Valentino blazer....for $25 :)

That's also how I got this chair for my little vanity table for $6 instead of $12!

I really made out like a bandit this sale!  Here are a few of my other favorite finds:

The cutest mid-century kitchen canisters; and they stack! Set of 3 for $12.
My haul from Boutique Clothing!  Highlights were the turquoise Tahari dress for $8 and the 90's does 50's floral dress for $5.
The VNA Rummage Sale is really something not to miss.  If you missed this fall's sale, join me in May for the spring edition!  I'll be sure to post reminders well in advance!

How have you been spending your fall?  Did you attend the rummage sale?  Anything else fun going on?  Let me know in the comments below!

Until the next adventure...xoxo, Bettie


  1. I used to work at Cocoluxe, a bakery in Peapack... we would always brace ourselves to be extra busy the weekend of the VNA - so many people come to town for it, and want coffee or pastries afterwards!



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