SAUK RAPIDS -- Julie Braun has had a busy 12 months.

Braun founded Smart Organizing Solutions, or SOS, in June of 2019, tackling residential and office de-cluttering projects, home downsizing efforts, and garage and estate sale as a one-woman operation out of her home.

Business picked up. Braun outgrew her garage and hired four employees. And, more and more clients began asking her to help them sell their unwanted items online, inspiring her create SOS Treasure Chest, a Facebook page for people to post, buy and sell used merchandise.

Now, Braun is opening her own SOS Treasure Chest resale store inside a large rented warehouse at 24 7th Street North in Sauk Rapids.

“My clients just really like that I sell stuff for them,” she said. “I’m as busy, if not busier, with this side of my business.”

Braun’s store will feature a wide range of secondhand merchandise, particularly antiques and collectibles. When it comes to inventory, Braun selects carefully.

“If an item is in good condition, and we feel it's something people will be interested in, we'll sell it,” Braun said. “Otherwise, it’s going to be donated or placed into the free box. We are pretty picky.”

What are people purging from their homes?

“Lots and lots of collectibles,” Braun said. “People who are downsizing – their kids and grandkids don’t want their collectibles. So, like their teacup collections or their sets of china. We have a lot of furniture right now, like tables and desks. We have toys and vinyl records. We have a lot of fabric, and an old singer sewing machine.”

Braun meticulously researches the value of each item and sets prices at roughly 75-percent of current value.

“We want to move items,” she said. “And, we’re willing to negotiate.”

SOS will hold its first sale, which will include a semi-load of antiques, Thursday and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. She intends to hold two-day sales in July and August before increasing her open hours in the fall.

Braun says face masks and hand sanitizer will be available for customers.

To learn more, visit the SOS Treasure Chest Sale Facebook page.

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