To garage sale or not. That is the question. Many professional organizers, myself included, are not big fans of hosting a garage sale. The reason is the huge amount of preparation work involved, and there is often very little financial gain. However, if you have the time, go for it! If nothing else, it’s a fun way to spend the day meeting people and haggling over prices, and most importantly, it’s a great way to downsize your stuff.
My cousin lives in Hammonds Plains, and his neighbours are very organized. They have a community garage/yard sale every year at the end of May. He managed to put about $600 in his pocket this year. An excellent return on the investment! I believe that community garage sales are best. Because multiple people participate and spread the news, there is an opportunity for more potential buyers.
Should you decide to hold a garage or yard sale, here are a few tips from my friends at Downsizing Divas. They are the queens of knowing how to unload your stuff through garage sales, estate sales, antique stores, and more.
- Just because you think something is trash doesn’t mean someone else won’t think it’s a treasure. I worked with an estate sale company last year, and they sold boxes of old screws, nails, etc., for $25 per box. It looked like junk to me, but apparently, it was not junk to someone else.
- People come to yard sales for a bargain. Be prepared to negotiate and remember that you are trying to get rid of your stuff, so getting any amount of money for it is better than keeping it. You might even give away an item for free if someone purchases a related item. Everyone loves a BOGO sale.
- Ensure you clean all your items as best as possible and organize them by category. Try boxing up similar items and selling them for a fixed price instead of pricing them individually. Folding tables are your friend for display purposes. You can rent them if you don’t have any or buy them at your local home improvement store.
- It’s best to price items in advance. A system of coloured stickers can work nicely. For example, yellow stickers mean $1, blue stickers $2, red stickers $5 and so on. If you use the colour coding system, you can create the stickers on your printer with the dollar amount already on the sticker. You might decide to organize your tables by price point instead of category.
- Involving family members can be good fun. And children can learn negotiating tactics and money-handling skills.
- Load the remaining items straight into your car and deliver them to the nearest charity at the end of the day. Or call a local charity well before the yard sale and request a pick-up when your sale is complete.
And finally, here is a motivational quote from the founder of the minimalist movement, Joshua Becker, ask yourself, “If I owned less stuff, how would my life be different?”