Planning a garage sale is all about the prep

As I mentioned in a previous post, we are planning a garage sale at some point in the not so distant future, which means it’s time to get to work with decluttering and prep!

The best way to get the most out of a garage sale is to make sure you take the time to totally declutter as many things as you can. The more detail you can put into decluttering, the more stuff will leave your house afterward. And the more ‘wow’ feeling you will have once it’s all done!

Before the day

Grab a box and pick a corner of the house to get you started. Grab things from that area and create a pile of stuff to sell. Check over the items for damage, completeness, and cleanliness. If need be, take a couple of minutes to give things a quick wipe, or place sets in bags to keep things organized. As you make your pile, or at least before you add items to the box, put a price sticker on the items. The best suggestion is to use painters tape or you can place some scotch tape under the sticker (so that your price sticker doesn’t ruin the item). Once the item is priced, place it in the box, and then when your box is full, tuck it away in a garage sale pile for the big day. I love using boxes for this because you can stack the boxes on top of each other as you go through the house. It takes up way less floor space than piling all the items loosely together. Go through your ENTIRE house!! You won’t regret it when it’s all done! If you end up with a bunch of little items that you are not sure are worth selling, why not create a “FREE” bin. No need for multiple trips to a donation center before the day, simply try to get rid of as many things on the sale day as possible.

Look ahead to the weather. Just because you have decided to have a garage sale does not mean you need to pick the date super far in advance. Look ahead to the weather on the Monday before, and see if it looks like it will be nice on the weekend. If it looks like rain, it might be a good idea to hold off another week. Of course, there are always those fluke days where there’s no chance of rain, then a torrential thunderstorm strikes – but let’s hope that’s not the case. You could try to plan for it by setting up some tarps, or trying to set up tables inside your garage so that people are either shaded from the sun or rain while they browse your lesser than fav possessions. At the end of the day, it’s probably best to do your best at watching the weather and waiting for a nice weekend forecast. Once you pick the date, start advertising!

Make sure to advertise more than you think you need to. Even if you’re on a busy street, it’s a good idea to put the word out there. Use bright coloured signs (use the same colour on turns leading to your house – even if they can’t read the address on the sign, at least they can follow the colour, and perhaps the words GARAGE SALE!) Don’t rely only on people driving by, post on social media, tell friends, even tell friends of friends. Just get the word out.

On the day

If you’ve been to a lot of garage sales, you probably know a few tips on what makes items sell. I actually love it when items are priced, visible, and where like categories are together. The first point takes me back to the beginning of the post. The more time you can spend really going through your stuff and pricing it ahead of time, the fewer questions and less confusion on the day from shoppers. Take your time, and if you’re unsure, look up other items like yours to give you a better idea of what others are asking for the same item. As you’re setting up tables or displays, try to make sure everything is as visible as possible. This will include things like hanging clothing for sale or maybe using a real shoe shelf for selling shoes. Put out extra tables or even picnic blankets on the grass to be able to spread things out. It’s nice to walk up to a garage sale and be able to browse without digging too much. Most people want to connect with your stuff (and you want that too, because then even more stuff will sell!) If you take the time to categorize your stuff, it might be easier to have a shopper offer to buy all of the items from a single category.

Also, make sure to have a few supplies handy! Have a marker and good post-it notes, so you can mark large items with a sold sign. Have some paper handy if you want to track how much money you’re making as you make sales. Have some cash on hand – this is key for making change. Most people will pay with 10 or 20 dollar bills, or with coins; being able to provide change can make or break a sale! You may want to consider wearing a waist pouch or an apron so that you have the money on you instead of in one centralized location. Make the day as comfortable for yourself as you can. Set up a shady spot with a plan for the sun moving. Have water and snacks on hand for the day – make sure you stay hydrated and eat at least a few snacks to keep your energy up. It will likely be hard to take a break unless you have some helpers – in which case, make sure they have water and snacks too!

After the day

Arrange a pick up from a local organization. Some organizations will have a truck that can come to your house to pick up many items for donation. Call and make arrangements for them to pick up either the evening of the garage sale or the following morning. That way, you are not left with your leftovers and the possible feeling that you could repurpose or just keep your stuff! You already decided to part with it, so part with it!! It also may save you many trips back and forth to a donation center, depending on how many and what things are left.

Hopefully, these tips can help you get rid of the stuff you no longer want AND make you a little extra cash!

Thanks for coming home!

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