Is your house feeling cluttered? Do you have items you no longer use, or wear, or need stashed in closets and storage? A yard sale could be just the thing to help you declutter and get organized. If you're ready for a good sort-out, here are some tips for before, during, and after your garage sale to make it go smoothly and help you have a good time in the process.
Sort and price.
Organize all your items into groups: books, clothing, furniture, kitchen supplies. Then, put prices on everything. Will you have a $1 box? A 50-cent box? Get those labelled and fill them up.
Hang your nicest clothes on a clothing rack to make them easier for customers to go through.
Date, time, and location.
The best time to have your yard sale is on Saturdays, usually starting at 8 a.m. Expect the most traffic between then and about 11 a.m. Sundays are not the best day for sales, so use it as a second day, but not your main selling day. If you live in a rural area, consider teaming up with a friend who lives in town to ensure you get more traffic and sell more items.
Get a group together.
Another way to bump up your chances of heavy traffic is to join a planned neighborhood sale or to invite neighbors to join you and have their own sales. Yard sale shoppers like to have multiple sellers in one area as they don't have to travel as far and are more likely to find things they want.
Put up signs to guide people to your sale. Brightly colored poster board with thick, dark lettering displaying the date, time, and address is crucial to your success. Plus, NextDoor, Facebook, and Craigslist all have places to advertise to people in the area as well as those who aren't in your immediate vicinity.
Staff it right.
Running a yard sale without help is sure to leave you in a frenzy, especially when a rush of customers hits all at once. Be sure you have a partner to assist with bagging purchases, making transactions, and rearranging items as the day goes on. Plus, you'll need someone to relieve you for bathroom breaks!
Arrange your items.
Use tables so people don't have to bend down, and hang clothes so they are easy to sort through. Bigger items can line your driveway or walkway, encouraging people to approach. Be sure your items are organized and clean — and the front of your home, too. People will judge whether they want to buy from you based on their first look at you and your items. As items sell and holes appear in your arrangements, continue moving your belongings around to keep the area looking tidy.
If someone's taking a large amount of stuff off your hands, give them a deal and round down when you're adding up. After all, you want to get rid of it! Be prepared for hagglers, too, and know how low you're willing to go on your items.
Keep a stash of shopping bags and small boxes on hand so it's easier for buyers to purchase more than just what they can hold in their hands.
If you're selling large items like furniture and you have the bodies and the vehicle to move them, offer to deliver for a small additional fee, or for free if you see your buyer wavering.
Keep the change.
You'll want lots of small bills (and possibly coins) on hand. Don't be surprised if the first couple of buyers hand you a $20. If you can take a credit card through Square, do it, and accepting PayPal or Venmo for larger purchases will be helpful. If you do decide to accept these alternative payments, be sure you put up a sign that advertises your flexibility — you could draw in shoppers who might not have stopped otherwise.
If you have room to haul everything back inside, try posting items on Craigslist, NextDoor, or in a curb alert or Marketplace post on Facebook to see if you can get rid of them that way.
Get it outta here.
You're tired of even looking at the leftovers and want them gone? Load 'em up and head to the nearest thrift store to donate them and be done with it!
If your remaining items are nicer things that you still want cash for, try a consignment shop that will buy them outright from you (rather than giving you a percentage when the items sell).
Did your yard sale leave a lot of empty space in your home? Or maybe you need even more space for the items you want to buy next? Either way, let's talk about rightsizing and getting you in the home that holds all your treasures the best.