Remember last year when I had a garage sale and said it would be years before I had another one because they're so much work? Well I guess I have a bad memory because my family got together to host another one this past weekend. And this time I swear I'm not doing another one for years! The garage sale was successful, but boy was I exhausted by the end of the day.
But the good news is that I got rid of a lot of stuff and made a little extra cash. You can check out my yard sale hosting tips from last year here, but I learned a few additional things this year:
Get Motivated. I used the garage sale as motivation to spend a couple of weeks beforehand, working on weekends, cleaning out closets and our spare bedrooms purging stuff and making yard sale piles. This was great because it lit my fire to clean places like our often forgotten closet in the guest room. So now these "storage closets" which were really "old junk hoarding places" are organized and CLEAN! The key is to use the garage sale as incentive and allocate yourself plenty of time so you don’t burn out.
Of course what is much easier is keeping a yard sale/goodwill box throughout the year. In my basement I had a box for stuff I wanted to either donate or sell. As I no longer need things or replace stuff, I toss my too-good-to-trash stuff in the box for Craigslist selling or Goodwill donation. This box is great because it's already full off stuff I want to get rid of. Had I intended to do a garage sale earlier, I would have been stashing stuff here for a few months beforehand.
Price things to move. My goal for the yard sale was to get rid of as much as possible, the cash is just a sweet bonus. So I tried to price things at the cheap prices I like to see at yard sales. I let people haggle and reduced prices when people asked. There were a couple of items I stood my ground on, but I set a fair price from the start for them and eventually they sold.
Clothes and shoes sell too. I usually only shop for household items at yard sales, so I was surprised to see how well our clothes and shoes sold. I priced items at $1-$2 and made sure everything was neat and nicely hung on a hanger and they sold well. I also got rid of handbags like I promised back when I organized my closet.
Preparation is key. This brings me to my next point, the night before preparation was key. The night before, I got all of my stuff organized so it would be quick and easy to setup the next morning. All of my clothes were hung up on hangers and grouped into similar piles (t-shirts, sweaters, pants). I wrapped a rubber band around each group of hangers so the next morning I could just grab the pile of clothes and hang it up on a pole we had setup between two ladders.
Any household items or other stuff was grouped and boxed. I like grouping stuff by similar types of items (home decor, picture frames, tools, etc) or by price ($1 stuff, $2 stuff, etc). Either way, grouping items by how I intended to set them up on tables made it easier to get ready the next morning. Invest in preparing the night before to make things easier the following morning, especially when “early birds” show up even if when you specifically wrote “no early birds” in your Craigslist ad.
I’m happy I got rid of so much stuff at this yard sale, but this time I swear it will be a few more years before I recover enough to do another one. And hopefully since I got rid of so much stuff this time around, I won’t have a need to do another yard sale for a long time. Have you ever hosted a garage sale?