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The thought of putting together a garage sale can seem quite daunting. There are so many things to think about in order to do it well.
But it really doesn’t have to be so hard. With a little strategic planning, you can put together systems that will work for you year after year.
And I totally get it if that even sounds stressful. But you’re in luck!
Tons of people, like me, have gone through all of the trial and error for you. And we’ve documented our findings online via Pinterest, Google, etc.
So all you have to do is look through our tried + true recommendations and cherry pick what will work best for you. Easy-peasy right?
This process often starts in the Spring when you are doing your spring cleaning, but you can start any time of the year that you get in the mood to declutter.
My favorite resource for decluttering and purging is “Your Home Uncluttered” – it makes the process so simple!
Don’t rush the process. There are a lot of steps and we don’t want you to feel overwhelmed.
I recommend making yourself a timeline starting with spring cleaning and taking you through the weeks leading up to prime garage sale season for your area.
Traditional guidance is to hold your garage sale in early spring. However, I hate that advice for two reasons.
1 | It doesn’t give me enough time to prepare
2 | It always rains
I prefer late summer when it’s not quite so hot, but still less likely to rain. And that way I’ve had plenty of time to get ready.
You should just pick the best time for your schedule and area. And make sure to follow the tips I have for your below. Good Luck!
MUST KNOW GARAGE SALE HACKS
PURPOSEFUL DECLUTTERING \\
Over the course of the next few months take some time each week to go through your home room by room. You will want to have 4 boxes clearly labeled: SELL / DONATE / ORGANIZE / TOSS.
Carefully work through each room, starting with surfaces, and do a deep clean with your goal being to purge as much as possible.
You are seriously multitasking here: spring cleaning, decluttering, organizing, minimizing, prepping for your garage sale AND getting your feng shui on! You will feel amazing when this is over!
OK, so you’ve gone through your first room and you have 4 boxes full of stuff. Toss/recycle everything in your “TOSS” box. Make plans for how and when you will donate your “DONATE” box. And set aside the “ORGANIZE” box for just a moment – you will organize as soon as you’re done with this step.
Grab your “SELL” box, go through and price everything now. It’s really a pain to go through and price the whole lot at one time while you are dealing with the other logistics of preparing for your garage sale.
You will need some supplies for this step. We bought a super cheap tagging gun on Amazon for tagging clothing. This is a fun job for kiddos if you trust them to be careful!
And we already had a stock of fluorescent colored dots in our office; we used these to price all of the individual items. Finally, we used large colored index cards to make signs for items like books, CD’s, DVD’s, etc that were all priced the same amount. That way we didn’t have to price these items individually – time saver!
If you want, you can buy some larger craft tags and make cute, detailed labels for a handful of nicer clothing items. This can also work for accessories and baby gear.
Price low – you really don’t want to lug all of this stuff back into the house. The clutter will clutter your mind – no fun!
I recommend that you price low enough that 75% of people will just buy without a second thought. But leave a slight buffer for those garage sale regulars who insist on haggling. Pricing at $0.25 increments makes it easy for most buyers.
Organization is everything. If you drive by and you see a bunch of old junk strewn about and boxes overflowing with items, will you stop? No freakin’ way! 😉
Make sure that you have enough space for shoppers to comfortably window shop and thumb through items of interest.
Display everything in a manner that makes it both easy to clearly see, grab, and closely examine each item. If it takes too much effort they will just pass.
DO NOT put out boxes of clothes, books, CD’s, or any other item that might be tempting to put in a box. Nobody wants to rummage through your boxes.
Display items naturally. Bring out a small bookcase to display your books, maybe you can even sell that! Bring out a CD tower to display those, maybe you can even sell it! Hang clothing on a rolling rack and divide by size and gender. Even better, label the size with special dividers.
The better you present your items, the more people will want to stop and buy them.
SMALL APPLIANCES \\
It is likely that you replaced the small appliances that you are trying to get rid of long before this garage sale. So they may have been gathering dust for some time.
Make sure to clean everything so it looks nice. You also want to check to make sure each item is in working order. It’s a really good idea to have a long extension cord hooked up to an outlet and/or fresh batteries on hand so customers can try these items.
GRAB BAGS \\
This is actually one of my favorite tips for a number of reasons. First of all, I used to LOVE garage sale-ing with my Mom when I was a kid because I always wanted new toys!
Now that I’m a mother myself, I love it for a different reason. Oh, the toys… They are everywhere and have overtaken my home. All the junk toys that you get from the school toy box, the dentist, birthday party gift bags, the quarter machines, Halloween, festivals, etc. They’re everywhere. And this is a brilliant way to get rid of them!
As you go through the kid’s playroom and/or bedrooms don’t just toss these items. Put them in a box of their own. And when it comes time for the sale, put the kids to work creating grab bags.
They can add 10 toys to a brown lunch bag, slap a cute label on it, price it at $0.05 or $0.10 and sell them to kids at your garage sale.
The kids will love it and their parents will be happy to pay such a low price to get something to keep their kids from begging for other higher priced items. It will also keep the kids busy while the parents shop your sale.
You will want to make a trip to the bank before your sale so you can get cash for change. Make sure to get a number of small bills and a variety of coin rolls.
You can find cheap cash boxes on Amazon so you can keep your money well sorted and easily make change. Make sure to also have a small calculator on hand or just use the one on your phone.
You may also want to buy a cheap ledger pad for tracking what you’ve sold and for how much. This is really helpful when you are separating out individual earnings for various family members or for multi-family sales.
ACCEPT CREDIT/DEBIT \\
Did you know that you can now accept credit and/or debit from the convenience of your own home? No strings attached!!
Square is simple to use and it’s FREE! You can sign up for free and get a free card reader that plugs right into your phone! They just charge tiny fees per swipe, but it’s totally worth it when you are selling a large ticket item to someone who doesn’t have cash. And now they can buy it because you accept credit! Yay!
OFFER BAGS \\
Another best practice is to have a stash of plastic grocery bags available to offer to your customers. This way they can easily transport their purchases, even if they are walking or biking around the neighborhood.
HOP ONLINE \\
You MUST advertise your sale online! Prime posting real estate is Craigslist and it’s free to post! Make sure to identify the types of items that you will be selling and you can even highlight special items with photos!
This will not only notify people of your sale and location, but it will get people excited about your offerings. This can really be the key to your success!
You need some serious signage for your garage sale. Make sure that your signs are brightly colored and they must, must be easy to read. Even from afar.
Signs with arrows and your address can really help!
You can “weather-proof” your signs by covering them neatly with clear packing tape.
Make sure to position them at each cross street near your home as well as the main intersection(s) leading to those cross streets. It’s also a super good idea to put your signs up the night before so you can catch those early birds!
These are just a few suggestions that have worked well for us, many of which I identified from doing just what you are doing now…looking online! SO make sure you don’t stop here. Check Pinterest and Google for other awesome tips, tricks, and hacks to make your garage sale successful!
And please, please feel free to share your garage sale tips in the comments below!
And don’t forget to check out all of my favorite things on my recommendations pages for the best of everything to make your life easier whether it’s parenting, budgeting, family living or blog related. Thanks again for visiting…I hope to see you again soon!!
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