To Garage Sale or Not

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 for often with 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 neighbors’ 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.  Not too bad at all.  Community garage sales are the best because it becomes an event and multiple people are putting the word out.

Should you decide to hold a garage or yard sale, here are a few tips from my friends at Downsizing Diva – 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 actually sold boxes of old screws, nails, etc for $25 per box.  Looked like junk to me, but apparently not.
  • 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 choose to give an item free with the purchase of some related item.  Everyone loves a BOGO sale.
  • Make sure that you clean all of your items as best as possible and organize them by category. Try boxing up like items and selling them for a fixed price instead of having them all priced 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 colored stickers can work nicely.  For example, yellow stickers mean $1, blue stickers $2, red stickers $5 and so on. If you use the color 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. 
  • At the end of the day, load the remaining items straight into your car and deliver them to the nearest charity.  Or call a local charity well in advance of the yard sale and ask them to come at the end of the day. 
  • 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?”

Leave a comment