The kids are out of school and what better time to clear out the clutter and make some money. You have the kids to help and what better enticement for them then the chance to earn some money, right? The trick is getting it done right.
I know you are already stressing about the amount of work, right? I have several piles going in the garage with stuff I would like to sell BUT the reality is, it never happens. Then it gets donated to church rummage sale or to the local thrift store. The thing is, I didn’t get rid of the clutter, I simply moved it to another part of the house. Not making any money and creating more of a mess in the garage. I have finally faced the facts – I don’t have the time nor the energy to do a yard sale, sell on ebay (been there done it and it was a pain!) so I just donate to a good local cause. If this is you, it is okay for admit it – it is the first step to getting rid of the clutter.
If you are going to have sale – pick a date (several months from now) how about just before the kids go back to school. This way they will have some of their own money to shop with, sound good? This gives you a goal.
Now, set up several boxes to collect items for the sale. Plastic tubs are the best because they keep the bugs out while you are decluttering. I prefer boxes so whatever doesn’t sell can just go to a local cause. BUT if you are going to save things to sell at the next one……..plastic is the way to go.
Okay, you have decided to have a sale, gathered your items and now comes the tough party – PRICING! We have heard the tales of those who make thousands while most of us scrape by with a hundred or so (more if we are lucky), the key is finding way to price which works for you.
I like the color dot idea because you can grab them at the dollar store and it takes the stress of out individually pricing things. Create a poster with a key showing what each dot means, price wise, such as a green dots equal one quarter, yellow dots are fifty cents, blue dots are a dollar, etc. The advantage of this method is, it is easy to slash prices at the end of the day, since you can just change the key for what the dots mean. If you want, you can add these sticker to the item as you go through your home decluttering, so you don’t have to have a marathon session for pricing right before the sale.
The key to a successful sale or event is advertising. I can’t tell you how many “garage sale” signs I pass and the information is so small you can hardly read it. Either make bigger signs OR use arrows. I actually found an amazing sale with just arrows pointing at every corner on the “garage sale” sign. It was tucked away but people were finding it because of the signs. Okay, enough of my soap box. LOL
Try to coordinate with other families in your neighborhood, if possible, to all have your sales on the same day. The more sales, the more people will come to all of them. This will also help you commit to a deadline for your sale, since others are also participating, which can be a good motivation factor.
Now, spread the word far and wide. Some of my favorite inexpensive methods include ads on Craigslist, large colorful signs on major roadways, and notices on community noticeboards, such as in your local grocery store. If you do a community yard sale, maybe invest in a classified ad in the newspaper. Social media is huge so they will get you some customers too BUT don’t rely on just it for your foot traffic. .
The key to keeping your sanity during all of this is be organized about the process. I know it sounds crazy because if you were organized – you wouldn’t need to de-clutter and have a sale, right?
During the whole process keep your two goals in mind as you prepare: #1 – make some money, and #2 – get rid of clutter.
You won’t be able to do a sale on your own and it is more fun, if you enlist helpers for the day. Give each helper a specific task, including directing crowds, answering questions, making sales, and taking payments. You may also want someone to help with entertainment, such as keeping nice music going, passing out (or selling) refreshments, etc. Having some cold water or cookies are always a good way to make some quick sales AND get the kids involved.Make sure you have lots of small bills and change.
Part of the fun of garage sales for those buying is scoring a deal and bargaining. Be ready to haggle and cut deals, since your goal is to get this stuff out of your home. Throw in freebies, or buy one get one half of deals, anything to get the stuff out of your home. Don’t wait till the end of the day to haggle – be willing to do it all day long.
The truth is, you won’t sell everything. Make arrangements for a charity to come pick up the rest, or drop it off yourself directly from your lawn at the end of the sale to the charity of your choice. Remember we are clearing clutter!
A long post but hopefully a helpful one! Share your best garage/yard sale tips with us. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!