Clearing Out The Clutter

No one wants to do all the work to get ready for a garage sale and then have tables full of unsold items to bring back inside when all is said and done. Try these steps to get organized, get selling and get rid of your clutter.

Woman having a garage sale

Everyone plans a garage sale in hopes of selling everything they price and place out on their tables. It never seems to be that easy though, and the last thing you want to do is lug back inside everything that you neatly arranged along the walls of your garage. Follow these tips to get the most out of your time and hopefully fill your wallet with a few extra dollars!

Find out about community sales

Many neighborhoods and communities either have citywide garage sale days or hold subdivision sales. Some even host sales in a large venue where you can rent space and sell your own things among many other sellers and buyers. Holding your own sale during this time can greatly increase your success. There will be more advertising, more traffic and more of a chance that your tables of items will be emptied!

Thinking about selling your things for charity? Here's how to organize a community fundraiser >>

Advertise effectively

Whether you are having your sale on your own or joining a neighborhood sale, make sure you advertise in the correct places depending on what you are selling. If you are getting rid of a lot of baby items advertise at your local preschool or daycare if possible. If you are planning to sell home goods try a church bulletin or local paper. On the day of the sale make sure your home is highly visible to potential buyers. You can never have enough signs and balloons, especially if you are not on a main road.

Price realistically

We know they are your things and may have sentimental value but try to look at everything you are selling through the eyes of the buyer and how much they would be willing to pay. Not everyone is willing to barter for prices so if your items are overpriced they may walk away from your sale before even looking at everything. If you are willing to negotiate on certain items let buyers know it and if you aren’t willing to budge, stand firm on your prices. If it reaches a late hour in your sale and you just want to get rid of things, putting out an "everything is 50% off sign" is a great way to get sales moving.

If a garage sale isn't your style but you still need some extra money, try some of these ideas for making money from home >>

Organize strategically

Having too much or too little out at your sale can either overwhelm or underimpress prospective buyers. Make sure you have a decent number of tables, spread your items out so that shoppers do not have to dig through piles to find what they are looking for and make sure prices are highly visible. If you have more items than you have room for, store some under your tables, refilling table space as you sell items and have more space.

No matter how you prepare for a garage sale, taking the extra effort to get organized and prioritize what you want to sell and how you want to sell it will be well worth your time!

Watch: How to decorate with recycled items

Learn how to reuse items when decorating. This can be both green and budget friendly. On SheKnows.com How To, we learn the art of using off-the-wall items to giving your space that extra pop.

More on organizing

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Tags: garage sale

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Comments

Comments on "How to have a successful garage sale"

Valerie August 09, 2012 | 4:41 AM

Price things accordingly is great GENERAL advice, but it's vague. If you don't shop at garage sales or thrift shops how would you know where to start. Ditto for advertising -- good vague advice. Yes you need to advertise, but what makes a good ad? Or a good sign? For more specific advice about how to have a successful garage sale, visit http://garagesalefinder/tips/topics/sellers/

Hannah August 08, 2012 | 1:55 PM

Great tips! I desperately need to have a garage sale. It's very important to price things right. I think a lot of times people UNDER estimate what someone will pay for their stuff. My philosophy is to start a little high and if someone offers you less, either take it or bargain a bit :)

Helen August 08, 2012 | 1:22 PM

You are absolutely right that pricing things accordingly is the key to having a successful garage sale. As someone who has had dozens of garage sales over the years, I can tell you that the most important thing is to have fun. Don’t let your business instincts ruin what should be a relaxed and low-maintenance event. When it’s all over, I pack up everything that doesn’t get sold and haul it down to the Salvation Army. Like I said – having fun and not taking things too seriously is what it’s all about.

Anne Marie August 08, 2012 | 12:41 PM

I like these tips for optimizing garage sales! Your old and unwanted items that are sitting around are worth money, so I think selling these things at a garage sale is better than donating them. When it comes to advertising effectively, social media is also a good way to get the word out. I also agree that it is important to look at the items you are selling through the eyes of the buyer so that you price them accordingly. When I really want to sell something and get it off my hands I go with a low price or the best offer.

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