Prepping for a big move? A garage sale could be the perfect opportunity to clear out forgotten, unwanted or less-used items, making packing, moving and unpacking quicker and less stressful. And not only will an effective garage sale help you declutter, you'll also get some extra cash out of it—also useful during a big move!
So without further ado, here are our 10 expert tips for hosting a successful garage sale.
Step 1: Clear out the clutter.
Start prepping for your garage sale by collecting all potential items, and don't leave any corner of the house unchecked. Closets, garage, basement, attic, bonus rooms—all could potentially contain items for your garage sale menu. And although it might feel tedious, the more thorough you are, the less you'll have to haul on moving day!
Step 2: Sort it out.
Once you've gathered all potential garage sale items, it's essential to sort through your collection. As you sort, double check to make sure you didn't accidentally throw in items you actually intend to keep or that don't belong to you. Also discard of anything that's broken or not valuable. While one's trash may be another's treasure, no one wants to purchase that TV from the ‘80s.
Step 3: Organize and categorize.
Now that you have your garage sale lineup, it's time to organize. Separate items into categories to make finding things easy and efficient—for you and your shoppers. Once everything is settled, create an item list to track your inventory.
Step 4: Set the date.
You can't have a garage sale just any day of the week! Compare your calendar to your community's calendar to find a day that works for everyone. If you live in a community with an HOA, you'll also want to check whether they allow garage sales and on what days. Generally, however, Friday and Saturday are recommended—especially during morning hours. For an added touch, schedule your garage sale at the beginning of the month to line up with end-of-month paydays!
Step 5: Spread the word!
Now that you've got your inventory and an official date, it's time to spread the word. Post your garage sale announcement to local newspapers, newsletters and community boards. Use Facebook groups, Nextdoor, Craigslist and other local networks to promote and spread awareness of your garage sale online.
Step 6: Make sure the price is right.
Leading up to your garage sale, it's important to price items accordingly to ensure they'll sell and for the best price. Websites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are useful for comparing how much other people are selling similar items for.
Step 7: Gather some helping hands.
Ask family members, friends and neighbors to help out the day of the event to make your garage sale as successful as it can be. Offer helping hands a table of their own so that they have the opportunity to sell their own items and make a little profit. Also have refreshments, snacks and lunch prepared for your helpers!
Step 8: Set everything up just right.
A perfect garage sale is not too crowded or too empty. It's important to find the right space to make your garage sale look organized, welcoming, uncluttered and fresh! Make sure to keep similar items in close proximity to one another and don't overcrowd tables. Get creative with how you display items for sale and try to make a setup that creates an inviting flow for shoppers.
Step 9: Lights, Camera, Action! Be the star of your garage sale!
It's time to host your garage sale! Be a charming host by welcoming everyone that stops by. Make sure to answer questions, be flexible and help point shoppers in the right direction. Have signs directing visitors not only to the garage sale but also to the different categories of merchandise you're offering. By having everything well labeled (including prices), fewer people will have questions that distract them from shopping. You can also make life easier by having change ready at checkout for breaking up large bills. While all the hustle and bustle may feel a bit overwhelming, you can make it better by being a delightful host and fostering a productive environment.
Step 10: Sit back and relax!
And just like that, your garage sale is over. With hard work and a bit of luck, you've hopefully had a successful and profitable event, with the added bonus of a clutter-free house and a feeling of triumph! Help yourself out by putting any garage sale earnings toward your upcoming moving expenses. Then make sure to find a new home or donation center for all your leftover items. Items of lower value can be donated or thrown away. And with higher-value items, it's worth seeing if you can find a buyer online. Finally, feel proud that you're one step closer to completing your moving process!