A little preparation in advance will set you up for success!

The spring and summer months are a popular time for families to move into new homes.  One way to ease the stress of moving is to get rid of unwanted household items before you start packing. It doesn’t make sense to transport items or clothes you haven’t touched in years to your new home.  Not only is it a waste of time spent packing and unpacking, but it is also a waste of money because professional movers often charge by the size of the load they are transporting.

Even if you are not moving, “spring cleaning” is a well known term for a reason!  Many of us get satisfaction out of cleaning up and clearing out around this time of year.  Getting rid of clutter and unused items can really be calming.

One of the best ways to quickly get rid of unwanted stuff is to hold a garage sale. In one day, you can ease your burden and make some money for things you no longer use. As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

To hold a successful garage sale, here is a list of things you will want to do:

Go through your house, including the garage, attic, basement and closets. Organize things into groups: what you think might have value to someone else and would sell, what is in good condition but should be given away, and what is no longer useful to anyone and needs to be thrown away.

Communities may have differing rules about signage.  Find out if you are allowed to hang signs on telephone poles, light posts, or street signs to advertise the sale. Many communities have regulations for how far in advance you can hang signs, and when you need to take them down. If signs are allowed, make clear, readable signs that includes the times, dates and address of the sale, and attach them securely. You might want to laminate the signs to protect them from the effects of rain or other inclement weather.

Advertise your sale in your local newspaper, either in the printed version or on the paper’s website, or both. (Find local papers that allow free postings for residential garage sales!)  You can also post information about your sale on Craigslist, an online classifieds website where people can list items for sale for free. There may be other opportunities to promote your sale online such as community blogs or email listservs.

Let your friends know about it on social media. Post a status about your garage sale on Facebook and upload a picture along with it to advertise to your friends what sorts of things you are selling. Post a tweet advertising what where and when your garage sale is to let your friends know when they should stop by.

There are other social media platforms that you may find helpful in promoting your garage sale too.  Ask friends what has worked for them, or search for information online.

More helpful tips:

  • Start your garage sale early on a weekend morning. Bargain hunters hit the streets early, and you’ll miss out on possible sales if you set up late.
  • Mark prices clearly on all items and price things reasonably.Don’t get caught up in sentimentality — your object is to get rid of things and make a little money, not to score big profits.
  • Place all similar items together, and make sure all sets are contained in bags.
  • Have plenty of quarters and dollar bills on hand to make change and it’s helpful if you have plastic bags and newspapers available to wrap purchases.
  • After the sale, contact local charities to donate the unsold items and other things you’ve marked to give away. Some charities will send a truck by to pick up your donations, particularly large items like furniture and appliances. Remember to get a receipt from the charity so you can deduct the donation on your income taxes.

Weather you have a moving day soon, or you are just trying to de-clutter and simplify your life, get started organizing and gathering items for your garage sale now! You’ll be grateful for the extra work you did ahead of time.