Lighten Up photo collage
Lighten Up! Garage Sale

Each Spring Carleton College students donate unneeded items to the Lighten Up Garage Sale. Students donate a variety of items including: clothing, winter apparel, small dorm room furniture, household items, books, bedding, sport equipment, and other fun things!

In 2023, the sale kept 23 tons of potential waste out of the landfill, including $4,000 worth of school supplies for local families, and raised $31,000 for local partner nonprofits.

The proceeds provide essential funds for community non-profits and also serves as an excellent lesson in “green” living and waste management.

June 2024 at Carleton’s Laird Stadium

Thursday June 20: 7:30am to 3pm

Friday June 21: 7:30am to 3pm

Saturday June 22: 7:30am to 12pm (Bag sale day)

Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is the sale?

  • Carleton’s Laird Stadium (Enter at north end)
  • Thursday June 21: 7am to 4pm
  • Friday June 22: 8am to 6pm
  • Saturday June 24: 8am to 2pm (Bag sale day)

I’m a student. How do I donate?

Who can shop at the sale?

  • Everyone! Community members are encouraged to shop.
  • Carleton Students: Be on the lookout for notices about pop-up sales during the school year.

How do you pay?

Cash, check (with ID), or credit cards 

How is the sale set up?

Everyone must enter at the north end of the stadium. Check-out is at the south end. 

How do you use the Ikea bags?

When you enter the sale, you can buy an Ikea bag for $2. Shop with it, then keep the bag or return it during checkout to get your money back.

What items are at the sale?

  • Gently used clothing 
  • Bedding
  • School supplies
  • Kitchen cookware
  • TVs and electronics
  • Books
  • Household items, decorations, games
  • Fans, lamps, small appliances
  • Small furniture

What happens to unsold items?

At the end of the sale, local end-sale vendors come in to reuse the remaining items. Local high school thrift shops reuse the clothes, quilters reuse the bedding, local crafters also reuse clothing, E-waste and metals are recycled, and the remaining items go to nonprofits like the Epilepsy Foundation and Disabled Veterans. Please email lightenup@carleton.edu if you are interested in being an end-sale vendor.

What is the mission of Lighten Up?

Lighten Up is a community-focused event with the dual purpose of waste diversion and supporting the local community.

The proceeds provide essential funds for community non-profits and also serve as an excellent lesson in “green” living and waste management. The 2023 Lighten Up Sale raised funds and resources for Northfield Union of Youth, Project Friendship, Special Olympics, Growing Up Healthy and Operation Backpack. We couldn’t do the sale without the hard work and dedication of our community volunteers. Each community partner provides 30 hours of volunteer work each day for the three weeks prior to the sale.

In addition to the community benefits, Lighten Up helps Carleton move towards its sustainability goals. Lighten Up manages 2.5% of Carleton’s total waste stream by diverting up to 30 tons of student materials from the landfill.

Contact lightenup@carleton.edu with any further questions!