Tips for planning and organizing a garage sale

What generally sells best:

  • Children’s clothes
  • Tools
  • Sporting goods and exercise equipment
  • Bicycles
  • Electronics
  • Toys
  • Kitchenware
  • Empty bottles of all kinds
  • Furniture
  • Children’s books
  • Gardening equipment
  • Costume jewelry
  • Linens (in good shape)

Go through your house room by room and ask the following questions:

  • Does this add value to my life?
  • Can I use something else if I didn’t have this anymore?
  • When was the last time I used/wore it?
  • When am I realistically going to use it again?
  • If it’s broken, why haven’t I fixed it?

How to let go of sentimental items:

  • Take photos of yourself holding or wearing the item.
  • If it can be easily replaced for less than $20, let it go.
  • Pack it away and if you haven’t used it by the next community-wide sale, put it out then.

Get organized:

  • Group things by category, such as collectibles, tools, furniture, sporting goods, decor, linens, kitchen electronics, books, toys and framed photos.
  • Price everything. Dollar stores sell price stickers to make the job easier.
  • Use tables – customers will appreciate if things are at eye level. Ask friends and family if you can borrow folding tables, clothing racks, boxes, carts, etc. for the day.
  • Designate a “free’’ box.
  • Stock up on bags and boxes.
  • Save change and small bills.
  • Have a plan for stuff that doesn’t sell.

The day before:

  • Stop at the bank and get a selection of $1s, $5s, $10s, and $20s. Gather all the change you have saved.
  • Plan your layout, then set up as much as possible the night before. Plan to leave open space around areas where people will linger. Put things up front that will draw people in.
  • Get your directional signs ready.

The day of the sale:

  • Get up early and have everything ready by 7 am.
  • Place your directional signs (don’t forget to take them down after the sale!).
  • Be friendly.
  • Be flexible with pricing – remember, your goal is to get rid of as much as possible!

If you’ve been through this before and have advice for other residents, please leave your tips in the comment field below!

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