With the cold and dark days of winter behind us, the appearance of spring provides us with the opportunity for a fresh start, whether that means deep cleaning the house; decluttering the garage; boosting curb appeal; or planning a garage sale. The latter offers a great way to declutter both your garage and house; making deep cleaning easier. Grab a box and go through every room. Pick up anything you don’t want or haven’t used in months and toss it in. Once you’ve accumulated enough stuff to attract a crowd, start planning for an awesome garage sale using the following tips.
The first thing you should do is pick a date. Make sure to keep an eye on the local weather forecast, ensuring the sale is held on a good day, and plan to start early in the day. Most garage sales run Friday and Saturday from 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Tip: You’ll get a larger crowd if there are any community sales happening in your area. Even Sale Saturdays at your local thrift store can attract more people to your sale.
Make sure you have everything you need at least a week before the sale starts. You’ll need chairs to sit on, a table to take payments and provide change, and plenty of flat surfaces as well as hanging rods to display the items you’re selling. You’ll also need price tags/stickers, a pad of paper (especially useful for multi-family sales), and a reusable cash envelope. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have fives, ones and at least twenty dollars in quarters. Don’t forget grocery bags.
Advertise Your Garage Sale
Create an ad on Craigslist and in your local buy/sell/trade Facebook groups. To create interest, list all the big-ticket items you will be selling, along with well-lit photos. Post your yard sale on Yard Sale Search as well. Because you can post these ads days, even weeks in advance, don’t include your exact address; just your cross streets.
Make signs to put up by intersections near your house. The signs should be big enough to catch the eye of passing motorists. Include exact dates and times as well as arrows to guide them to the right neighborhood/house. Post these signs the night before or, if you don’t want early birds, the morning of.
Organize Items into Sections
Set similar items together. Have a clothing section, home décor section, furniture section, hardware section, housewares section, appliance section, etc. Price as you sort. Display more expensive items near you. Keep movies, books, and CDs in totes or boxes labeled with the price for each. Keep small items that go together in small Ziploc bags with the price clearly written on them. Another good idea is to set aside a “free” box with little trinkets and toys.
Be Welcoming and Flexible
Greet people as they arrive with a quick hello to make them feel comfortable but also give them space to browse. At the beginning of the sale, don’t haggle too much. Plan to keep your prices firm the first couple of hours or day. You can become more flexible in the afternoons after the morning rush or on the last day. At the end of the sale, consider a set price for each bag filled, excluding big-ticket items.
Donate Leftover Items
Trust us when we say that you won’t want to take leftover items back into your house; where they’ll likely just be shoved into the garage or closets. Instead, donate them to an organization such as Dress for Success, which will give someone in need your business attire for job interviews. Gently used baby and kid items, toys and clothes included, can be dropped off at your local children’s home or family shelter.