Garage Sale Tips (When in Doubt, Throw it Out!) – Part 1

It’s a pretty sure bet that I’ll ever become famous by starring in an episode of “Hoarders”.  Clutter makes me feel anxious and unorganized; if anything, I live by the opposite rule – “when in doubt, throw it out!”

One of my favorite ways to get rid of unwanted belongings is to team up with neighbors, friends or family members and have a spring garage sale. If you’re thinking about having a garage sale, here are a few tips to get you started:

Sort and Gather

Go through your belongings and start gathering the items you no longer want, use or need. Use a critical eye when deciding what to keep and what can go; if it’s something you haven’t used in the last year, it may be a candidate for the ‘purge’ pile.  Start several weeks in advance and dive in, one closet or room at a time and working your way through your house, garage, attic, basement, and tool shed until you have picked and sorted through every area.

Garage Sale Tips


My best advice is to price as you go!  Don’t wait until the week before the sale (unless you’ve carved out a solid couple of days before the sale to price it all at once!)  Every item should be priced individually, especially if you’re partnering with a friend or neighbor – add your initials to each price tag if this is the case.  I always use masking tape and permanent markers to price my items – it’s inexpensive and it sticks to almost anything, unlike some more expensive adhesive labels.  My only caveat to using tape would be if you plan to set things out in direct sunlight – the heat will melt the adhesive off the back of the tape and you’ll end up with a gooey mess. For those items in direct sunlight, switch to paper tags that are attached with string.

Determine the dates of your sale and the hours of operation

I’ve found that sales that are held during the school year are more successful than ones held during the summer months. I always start the sale on a Thursday, and it is always the most profitable day.  I’ll usually plan to be open Thursday, Friday, and a half-day on Saturday, but the majority of sales usually occur on Thursday.  Check the garage sale listings in your area to find out when most sales are held.  Plan to open a half-hour earlier than most other events in the area; hard-core garage sale-ers will hit your sale first before making their rounds.  Staying open late doesn’t always generate enough sales to be worthwhile.


Next – Part 2 – Advertising and Other Garage Sale Tips

Garage Sale Checklist

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