It’s time to spring clean, but you just can’t get on the decluttering bandwagon. One of the hardest things about decluttering is the awareness of the money spent on getting all that stuff that now sits unused. For some people, the best first step to shedding the packrat habit is to pass along your no longer wanted items to people who do want them- and want them enough to pay you something for them (taking your guilt over money wasted along with them).
So let’s have a garage sale! Thousands of garage sales happen all year long, all around the country. Here are some steps to having a successful garage sale so you get the most money for your unwanted treasures. Keep in mind as you read that your main aim in having a garage sale is to get rid of all the items you decluttered, and NOT to rescue items or hold onto them for a bit more money (and storing them again, defeating the original purpose of decluttering your space home).
Getting Ready To Have a Successful Garage Sale:
Step 1: Pick a weekend you can dedicate yourself to your project. If Saturday day rains out, you still have Sunday. Advertise the sale with garage sale signs and tell your neighbors, put up signs on posts, at the local market, even put a short ad in the town paper with the location and dates. If you have specialty items to offer at the yard sale, such as nursery items or exercise equipment, add this info. Pick a time of year when it’s not too cold to go out.
Step 2: Get all your stuff together. Declutter everything- baby clothes your children are too old for, sporting equipment for sports no one participates in anymore, electronic equipment you have newer versions of. There are people out there who need these, and in addition to making money and cleaning house, you are helping people get things they need at affordable prices.
Step 3: Get your supplies together- tables, poster board, markers and pens, tape, aprons with pockets, a calculator, bags, and old newspapers to wrap up breakable items.
Step 4: “Hire” your staff: recruit your spouse and kids to help out, and if a neighbor has some great items to sell, they may want to join your garage sale and make it look fuller and more enticing to passersby, as well as providing an extra set of eyes.
Let’s Have a Successful Garage Sale!
* When you think about how to price garage sale items, think: items should be priced to sell (get them out!). Most people come to a garage sale with $20-30 to spend. Your goal is to get it, and if that means giving them deals (get 7 CD’s for $10) then do it. Start off at about the price you’d like to get, but be flexible since garage sale shoppers like to negotiate for better prices. As the day goes on, you can lower prices further to move the last vestiges of your clutter.
* Organize your items by category. Clothes on one table, electronics on another, toys on a third, etc. Display them attractively and keep one of your “staff” as the neatener…he can go around and rearrange areas that are messed up after shoppers rifle through. If the shoppers can’t see what’s for sale on a table because it’s a jumbled mess, they won’t know to buy it, and items that look sloppy look like junk- not appealing.
* Put a sign above a table with big letters telling shoppers what is there. A shopper on one side of the lawn may not realize you have toys until they see a sign saying “TOYS!”. Make sure people passing by or driving by can read your signs so they are tempted to stop by.
* Keep shoppers around longer by offering beverages- set up a water pitcher, coffee maker, cups, cream and sugar on a table and a wastebasket next to it for the empty cups.
* Since you want to clear out your other-people’s-treasures, slash prices even more Sunday evening to get everything out, even offer freebies (if you take these items, I’ll throw in that one for free).
Have a SAFE Garage Sale:
* Have water available outside (in case someone asks) because it’s probably not a good idea to allow strangers into your house. Also have a sign up letting browsers know the location of the closest public restroom. Keep your home doors closed to strangers for your safety and the security of your property.
* Designate one person you trust to be the money person, and to have small bills for change in a fanny pack or other safe money container. Don’t put the money in a register or anything that can be hauled off. Regularly take the money into the house once the “money person” is holding a large amount.
* Don’t continue the sale into the wee hours…you should be wrapping things up and putting things away once the light starts to wane.
Ready to have a profitable garage sale? Good, now go make some money!