Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2013

Capstone Advisor

Jim Shahin, Associate Professor

Honors Reader

Robert Lloyd, Professor of Practice

Capstone Major

Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism

Capstone College

Public Communications

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Film and Media Studies


I decided to write a longform, magazine style article about yard sale culture in America, especially as affected by the Great Recession. I wanted to humanize the devastation wrought by the economic downturn through my in-depth examination of the emotion and meaning involved in—and inherently a part of—yard sales. My story explores an important social issue through the personal lens of the (sometimes agonizing) choices we make as we decide what to keep and what to let go when a life transition spurs us to host a yard sale. It also reflects on the catharsis that can come from seeing a fragment of one’s life become part of someone else’s and demonstrates how yard sales connect people in various ways.

Along with researching, reporting, and writing this story, I also created a designed spread of what the piece would look like if it were actually published in a magazine. Finally, I created a web component for the project that utilizes a trendy web design technique called parallax scrolling. My spread can be viewed in printed PDF form and my website can be viewed at

I found that the Great Recession affected yard sale culture in several ways. It increased the number of sales, bred more professional resellers, and brought an extra poignancy to the process of letting go.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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