In the tradition of deal seekers and women who just can’t take the stuff piling up in the basement corners for one more day, it’s time to join the noble Saturday morning pursuit of garage sale season. We have a short time between the cold months to clear the clutter and set up shop in our garages and driveways. I’ve helped with a few garage sales over the years and held my own and there are several points to remember to make sure it all runs smoothly.
How to Prepare for a Garage Sale
Pull everything out of cupboards and closets — just don’t do it all at once or your house will look like the day after a frat party. Start with one cupboard in one room and sort through every item to see what’s broken, what you use regularly and will keep, and what Aunt Millie gave you for your 7th birthday. Check anything that’s broken to see if it can be repaired or needs to be thrown out. Set aside items you don’t use and that are in good shape to sell.
Join a Team
Do you have enough to hold your own sale? If not, join with neighbours and friends and hold a multi-house or street sale. Chances are you’ll get more traffic and have higher sales. Decide where your profits are going: Is it to save up for a family fun day, or to donate to a favourite charity, or to support your pie addiction?
Place An Ad and Make it Good
Once you’ve taken inventory of the items in your house that can be sold, choose a date for the sale — do a sunny skies dance — and place an ad in the local paper. List your big-ticket and interesting items, and make your ad entertaining enough to draw crowds. Besides the ad, place bright posters around your neighbourhood that make it clear where to find you.
Gather Your Supplies
There are items you’ll need to run a successful sale, so you won’t be left scrambling. Gather boxes for moving items, one or more strong tables, a portable clothing rack, signs and poster boards, price stickers, pens, a cash box, and cash — change and small bills are always useful. Keep camp chairs around for when traffic is slow and coffee to stay fuelled. If you’re feeling neighbourly, make a large carafe of coffee for your customers.
Label and Organize
Don’t wait until the day of the sale to set up your tables and price what’s for sale. Be fair in your pricing and remember that half the fun of garage sales is in the bartering. Make sure things are clean and organized or risk earning the reputation that you live in a dump.
Smile and Have Fun
Stop stressing! Don’t pretend you’re not having panicky thoughts RIGHT. NOW. This is a garage sale, not a grade 13 physics exam. Go to bed early, get up even earlier, caffeinate, and enjoy the sale. Nobody’s going to buy from Grumpy Cat.
dCongratulations! You cleared out the clutter from your home to make room for things you value and you survived running a garage sale. Any items that are left over can be packed up and donate to local and national non-profits at Value Village where they’ll get a second life, unless you want to do it all over again the next weekend.