We often hear the phrase “Spring cleaning”, but personally I’m more of a “Fall cleaning” type of person. Once the weather starts cooling down, I’m all about organizing and tidying up our home. One of our favorite ways to declutter at the end of the summer (and make a little bit of cash) is to have a garage sale. My daughter and I are obsessed with garage sale-ing, so we’ve kind of got it down to a science. I’ve made a list of several garage sale tips that have helped us have a successful sale with minimal stress.
My Best Garage Sale Tips
Pick a Date, Time, & Location for Your Garage Sale
Living in Texas, it’s obvious that you don’t want to have a sale in the middle of summer if you can avoid it. However, if that’s the only time that works for you, you’ll be surprised how many people actually show up. Just make sure you have a fan and a cool beverage to keep customers hydrated! If you have a choice, the best time of year to have a garage sale is early Fall or late Spring. The days of the week where you will see the most traffic are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
In addition, you want to have a prime location. If you live on a county road miles away from the city or in an apartment, you might want to look into hosting your sale at the home of a friend or family member. Multifamily garage sales are even better because there’s something for everyone! Another great idea is asking neighbors if they’re interested in having a block garage sale. Our neighborhood did this and my daughter and I found some great stuff. We also had fun walking around and meeting and talking with all of our neighbors.
Garage Sale Planning & Prep
Planning ahead might be the most important part of all. There are many things you can do ahead of time to make the sale go smoothly. The first thing you need to do is contact your city to see if they require a permit to hold a sale. Then, you need to gather all of your supplies. You will need tables, blankets, or shelves to display all of your things. You will also need change (I recommend having at least $100 cash in twenties, tens, fives, and lots of ones!). Something else great to have is a stash of grocery bags or boxes so your customers can carry their items easily.
You will also need signs. You can find relatively inexpensive pre-made signs at your local supermarket or dollar store, but you can also get creative. One idea is to cut a neon colored poster board into fourths. The more signs you can put out the better, but don’t forget to pick them up when your sale is over!
Set the Scene for Your Garage Sale
A lot of times people drive by a garage sale, take a quick glance, and keep on driving if it doesn’t look appealing. (I’m guilty of this.) It’s a shame because there are probably a lot of hidden treasures in boxes or at the back of the garage. To avoid this, try to make everything look as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Display nice clothes on a rack or a table, lay out toys on a blanket, and try to put the best stuff closer to the road. After you’ve had some traffic, you may have to reorganize and clean up a little, as things can get out of order pretty quickly.
Advertising Your Garage Sale on Social Media
It’s 2021…even with things like garage sales, you can use social media to your advantage. The day of your sale, post all of your big items on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. You can also take pictures of your driveway/yard and post them on Marketplace as well as local garage sale groups. This is a great way to reach people who are looking for a specific item. Another easy way to advertise using social media is to post on your neighborhood Facebook Groups so that your local friends and neighbors can stop by.
Get the Kids Involved
What’s better than getting the whole family involved? For littles, an old-fashioned lemonade stand is a great idea. Your kids get to learn the value and reward of hard work and your customers get a refreshing beverage—it’s a win/win. You can also let your little ones help you count change or bag up items for customers. For older kids, ask them to go through their old clothes, books, and toys. In exchange for helping, they can keep a portion of the profits.
Make it Fun
Although having a garage sale can be exhausting, it can also be a lot of fun! It’s a tradition for our family to get coffee and donuts the morning of. We always invite our friends. Many times, they end up staying a while to converse after buying a few items. You can also meet and talk to all kinds of people at your garage sale. It’s a great way to brighten someone’s day.
What to Do with Leftover Items at your Garage Sale
At the end of the day, you’re likely to have items left over. Luckily, there are many nonprofit organizations in Collin County to donate your leftover items. Some local favorites are GraceBridge in Plano, foster closets at Gateway Church in Wylie and Revolution Church in McKinney, or your local women’s shelter.
What are your best garage sale tips?