FAIRBANKS, Alaska As weather warms and sights of green begin to return, many people use this time for spring cleaning and to unload some of winter's clutter.
Garage and yard sales have emerged in the Interior over recent weeks and will continue to sprout as the summer continues, as in years past. Restrictions have not been put into place at the local, state or federal level in regards to hosting yard sales. As they are hosted on private property, it is up to the owner or host of the sale to determine their own guidelines and restrictions.
When in doubt, City of Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly says to treat these sales as any other store that sells products.
"For folks that want to have a garage sale in their own, think of yourself as a retailer, because that is kind of what you're doing," said Mayor Matherly. "Retailers are encouraging people to practice social distancing on their site. They're also watching for cleanliness, and if you have a lot of products that are out, maybe you need to wipe some of them down before you put them out, especially ones that have been handled recently. Make sure you have some spacing of your tables, maybe open it up a little bit more, spread it out if you can."
For as many sale stands there are across neighborhoods in the Interior, are there are even more who attend as customers.
"For the shoppers that show up, I think you need to treat it also like it's retail," Mayor Matherly added. "Again, do your social distancing, wear your mask if you're going to be close to other people and do good hygiene."
While conducted on private property, owners can use their own judgement if consumers are not adhering to your specific guidelines.
"If you're hosting a garage sale on your property and people are making you uncomfortable; they show up, maybe they're violating your set of rules that you'd like to see, it is your personal property, it belongs to you, you can certainly ask someone to move along if you think it is best." said Mayor Matherly. "Maybe try to avoid heavy clashes, we want people to be respectful, but certainly if someone is coming up, not caring about things, they're not wearing a mask even though you asked them to, you can certainly ask them to leave. If it gets completely out of hand, you've always got law enforcement to help you if you need that, but I would suggest that we do this thing politely and be neighborly about it all. Be neighborly, be smart about it, and be respectful and I think that goes a long way."
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