Omaha woman gets creative with her annual garage sale amid pandemic restrictions

Published: May. 7, 2020 at 5:56 AM CDT
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Garage sales usually pop up everywhere with spring cleaning around the house but like many other social activities, it’s important to put health first. One woman is not letting COVID take away one of her favorite times of the year.

Robin Mersereau has fostered many children on top of her raising her own son. She understands how important secondhand and lightly used items can be.

“It’s a fun way to interact with your community and there are great deals. I hate to pay full price for anything,” said Robin Mersereau, an Omaha resident.

But when COVID threw a wrench in her treasure hunting plans she worried traditional garage sales would not be safe.

Our sister station, WOWT 6 News asked Nebraska’s Governor to address those concerned about hosting or attending.

“I would say that’s up to the person to decide if they want to have it, if they do they need to follow the same social distancing guidelines that everybody else is doing,” said Governor Ricketts.

Essentially treat it like a business. He suggests limiting crowds, roping off items to prevent touching, and making sure people spread out.

Mersereau found a way to get around all of that.

“I missed the garage sale so much I thought this would be a fun way to still have it,” said Mersereau.

A virtual garage sale.

“It’s like permission to be nosy,” said Mersereau.

She turned her yard sale into a social media post and let people barter, borrow, and pick what they liked.

“It’s just a fun way to enjoy the things that we normally would enjoy just in a safer method,” said Mersereau.

Trading off secondhand goods has also been a learning curve to make sure she isn’t passing on germs – or even a virus --with items. She uses a professional steamer and Clorox wipes to sanitize everything before setting up a location where she can do a socially distanced drop off.

Driving around Omaha, it’s easy to notice that few garage sales are happening right now. They are allowed, as long as you follow social distancing rules.