Throwing the Best Garage Sale

Even though spring cleaning was a few months ago, summer is still a perfect time of the year to relieve some of the clutter and also make a little extra money at the same time.

A garage sale gives you the opportunity to turn your unwanted “stuff” into cash, while also clearing out the disorder that comes from having things taking up space in your closets, garage, and “junk” room. (You know the one—the room that started as a junk drawer until it migrated and took over.)

If you’ve never had a garage sale, or you’re just interested in picking up tips for your next one, here are what you need to consider:

1. Find the Best Date and Time
One thing you want to do is check in advance (at least a week) to get a general weather forecast. There’s no point in scheduling a sale if your weatherman is predicting a torrential downpour.

Generally, most people schedule their sales for Saturday mornings so that more people can attend as opposed to having it during a workday. If you have a lot of stuff to sell, you may want to have it over two days if you can (meaning a Saturday and Sunday). You also want to get the sale done early so you miss the heat of the day. Ideally, a 6 am to noon sale works best.

2. Advertise
The earlier you can advertise your garage sale, the better. Many people wait until the night before to put out signs. This is fine, but you want to do a little advertising earlier in the form of social media posts.

If you’re a member of an HOA (homeowner’s association) that has a Facebook page, post about your sale. Also, send out tweets and Instagram posts to try to get the word out. (NOTE: Many neighborhoods host “community garage sale” days where everyone in the area is encouraged to hold a sale. This can help bring in traffic, but the downside is that you have more competition.)

3. Declutter
Now you’re going to need stuff to sell. The best thing to do is get a box and go room by room through all of your belongings to find things you don’t want or need anymore. Have your kids do the same thing with their toys. As you put the items into the boxes, you can also keep tape on hand, so you can price them as you go. This way, you won’t have to go back and price everything later on.

4. Stock Up on Change
One of the worst things is to have someone want to buy an item and you not have enough change to cover the sale. Pick up at least $20 in quarters along with a mix of ones, fives, and tens. (If you can get about $100 total in change, you should be set. Remember, you can always re-deposit what you don’t use when you’re done.)

If you’re ready to get your house clutter under control and make some money at the same time, then a garage sale is definitely the way to go. If you’re left with a lot of stuff at the end, I always suggest just taking it out to your vehicles and donating it. If you can’t get the sale, at least someone may be able to use it and you can pick up a tax deduction in the process.


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Mom, parenting, summer