Have a garage sale this weekend! Trust us; it's easier than you think.
By Serena Norr
Maybe you’re in the process of moving and need to get rid of some junk or you’ve been living in your home for awhile and notice that you surrounded by stuff you never use. You know exactly what we mean: old knickknacks, clothes with tags on them and your old blender from the 1970s. Clearing up the junk in your life is one way to declutter your home; not to mention it will make you feel better. But before you drop off your stuff to your local Salvation Army or pass your items along to a friend, consider squeezing one last dollar (or two) out of them by having a garage sale. As the summer is winding down (sad, but true), garage sales are a great way to get rid of your unwanted baggage aka junk and make a small profit in the process. Here’s how to get organized and throw one this weekend.
1. What to Sell. Before you create the buzz about your garage sale, you will need to know exactly what you are selling. Going from room-to-room, make a list and collect the items you no longer need or want (most likely you know what these are). You can also make a list of items that you are thinking of selling but aren’t 100 percent sure of. If possible, pack the ‘to be sold’ items together in boxes or garbage bags for the big day.
2. Signage. If you have a sale, you will need to tell people about it. Word-of-mouth may work in small communities, but to really get the word out you will need signs. Enlist a crafty friend to help you create colorful posters stating the date, time and your address as well as alternative date should it rain (after all, Mother Nature can be a fickle one.) Don’t leave any of these details out – or people will not know where to go. Your sign should also list (briefly) what you will be selling such as books, antiques, baby clothes, etc. You don’t want to make the list too long, but if you have a rare or valuable item such as a 1950s Mickey Mouse doll or a slightly used Mac laptop definitely list them. Hot items like that are sure to draw in an excited crowd.
3. Post. You should post your sign one week before your sale. Any earlier and people will likely forget about it, not to mention your sign may be torn down. Post your signs everywhere in your neighborhood and think outside of the box. Ask your local coffee house, library, theater, grocery store or community garden if you can post your sign there. You may also want to place an ad in your local newspaper to get the word out.
4. Internet. The internet is yet another useful way to get the word out about your sale. Post the information from your sign on a local list serve or on Craiglist. Be careful about posting your address and phone number on Craigslist, though, but rather, write your email address so that interested parties can contact you directly.
5. Get Organized. Now that your neighbors are counting down the days to your sale; it’s time to solidify your list. If there are items that you are questioning such as sentimental items that you want to keep but is taking up space, then consider storage. Do one more assessment of your home and really try to get rid of your old stuff, consider them useful, but no longer useful to you. Two-three days before the sale, get all of the items together and start labeling. [We would advise labeling before a sale because many people are die-hard garage sale enthusiasts who will show up right when your sale begins (if not earlier).] This will also enable you to have your pricing figured out so that there is no uncertainty the day of. This is also helpful if someone is helping you with your sale – enabling you both to be on the same page and not making up prices throughout the day.
6. Check it Twice. The day before your sale, make sure everything that you want sold is packed away and that everything is labeled and ready to go. Also, make sure that you have your table ready and food for the day of your sale. Trust us, standing outside exchanging bucks will surely make you hungry.
7. Take Care of Yourself. Make sure to get enough rest the day before since you will likely be on your feet and outside for five or more hours. On the day of your sale have a hearty breakfast and begin setting up your items at least 30 minutes before the sale – like we said before, people will come early and they will be ready to shop.
8. Be Flexible. Try not to be too firm on your price (unless there is a reason) and be open to negotiating. Sometimes taking five bucks off your asking price will enable you to get rid of more stuff.
9. Enjoy Yourself! You worked hard to make this day happen, take it all in and be happy that your old items are now finding their way to a new home.