How to Plan a Successful Garage Sale Before Moving

Sarah Robinson
How to Plan a Successful Garage Sale Before Moving

Packing isn’t usually something most people look forward to. While you can’t avoid it, you can certainly make the process easier on yourself! It all starts with making sure don’t spend time (and money) packing and moving things that you don’t really need to take with you. One of the easiest way to get rid of all your unwanted things is to have a garage sale.

Ideas on How to Host a Successful Garage Sale

Garage sales might seem like a lot of work, but they’re pretty easy when you take the time to do some planning beforehand. The key is to start planning early on, so you aren’t scrambling to organize a garage sale right before your move date.

Best Time to Have a Garage Sale

Garage Sale

When it comes to garage sales, it’s all about timing. (There’s a reason winter garage sales aren’t super common!) Late spring to early fall is the ideal time of year, so aim for this timing if possible. As for the day of the week, you’ll have better luck with foot traffic on days where people aren’t at work, so it’s best to stick to weekends. Both Saturdays and Sundays are good options. If you schedule it on a Saturday, you have the option to extend it to Sunday if things don’t sell as quickly as you expect.

As for the time of day, it’s always best to start early. If you’re having your garage sale during the summer months, it will be much cooler in the mornings. It’s best if you can avoid being outside during the hottest hours of the day, and you’ll get less people stopping by if it’s too hot out. Even if it’s not super hot out, people tend to like earlier sales so they can get some shopping done before moving on with their day.

How to Organize a Garage Sale

Sort your stuff

Once you’ve decided on your date, it’s time to think about what you’re actually going to sell! Treat this as part of your pre-move decluttering process. Grab a box and go through your home one room at a time. As you go through your things, think about how often you use each item. If you haven’t actually used something in months (or years!) then it’s time to toss it. While you’re bound to come across a few things that you’ll just need to toss, there’s a good chance that most of your things can be sold. People will buy just about everything from old electronics and clothing to furniture and trinkets. You can always donate or recycle anything that doesn’t end up selling.

Get the word out

Garage Sale Poster

The next step is to let the world know what you’re up to! Most people make signs to post around the neighborhood. Make sure you include all the important details like where it is, date, hours, and include a short general list of items you’ll have for sale. This helps people decide if your sale is worth a visit. Many people won’t want to take a chance unless they have some idea of what kinds of things you have for sale. This is also a good time to prep your on-site signs. These can be larger to catch the attention of people passing by and make it easier for people to find your sale.

You can also create an online ad to post on community message boards, free online classifieds, and on social media. Social media is especially great for spreading the word—you’ll reach more people when you get your friends to share your posts across their networks too.

Gather your supplies

Think about what you’ll need to properly display all your goods. Gather up any portable tables or lawn chairs to set up your sale. If you have a bunch of clothes to sell, try to borrow a garment rack to hang them on. You’ll also need stickers, tags, or tape in order to attach the prices to all your items.

You should also make sure you have some cash on hand in order to make change. It’s a good idea to get a mix of smaller bills and coins ready to go. Pay a visit to the bank before sale day to get this part sorted.

Sort and price your items

Price Sticker

Sort your items into categories first. It’s easiest to group like items together, like clothes, books, kitchen goods, decorations, etc. Once you’ve grouped them, you can start pricing your items. Try not to overprice things in the hope that people will end up paying more. People like to negotiate, but you also need to be realistic about how much people would actually pay.

Get organized

ceramic bowls

 

Try to get everything sorted ahead of time. This means putting all the grouped items together in boxes so they’re ready to go, hanging up any clothes, and having all your signs and supplies ready. On the day of the sale, all you should need to do is lay everything out and get it set up.

Sell, sell, sell

Customers at yard sales are always going to want to bargain with you. Just expect it to happen. Remember, the goal is to make it easier for you to get rid of the things you don’t want to move, so don’t get hung up on price. Consider how much of a hassle it would be if you have to get rid of it yourself—it might be worth it to accept a lower offer just to get it off your hands.

Make a plan for things that don’t sell

Man Buying Clothes

Realistically, you’ll probably end up with a few things that don’t sell. You can always gather up everything and drop it off at a local charity shop. This is also a good time to deal with all the other things you couldn’t sell to begin with. If you've got a large amount of stuff to get rid of, it might be worth looking into hiring a junk removal company to clear everything out.