Disposing of your unused or unwanted items is usually the first step in preparing to sell your home. Sorting through and discarding your stuff may seem like a gargantuan task. But with proper planning and organization, a great option is holding a yard sale. Although it requires some work, you could generate a good bit of pocket change in the end depending on your wares. To make sure you stay organized during the yard sale process, create a checklist of everything you need to do. Use the guide below to help you get started.
Sort and purge
Take it slow; it’s a marathon, not a race. Determine which areas you want to tackle first and earmark what remains in your possession, what you’re going to sell at your yard sale, and what you want to send to the dumpster.
Organize and categorize
Make it easy for your shoppers to rummage through your items by separating them into categories. The more organized you are, the more you’ll ultimately sell—it’s lost money if you don’t.
Separate by men’s, women’s, and children’s items, and consider using a rolling rack for suits, dresses, and other long clothing items like long coats.
- Hats, gloves, and scarves
- Tops (shirts, sweaters, and blouses)
- Dresses and suits
- Coats and jackets
- Shoes, boots, and athletic shoes
Place these items in easy-to-reach boxes, especially ones that can easily get dirty.
- Towels and sheets
- Pillows, blankets, and comforters
- Kitchen and cookware
Be realistic about your furniture. If it’s tattered, toss it; if it’s salvageable, sell it.
- Display a few pieces at the edge of your driveway to entice buyers to visit your sale.
- Place the remaining pieces in front of your garage or house.
- Merchandise groupings together to help sell them as a set rather than separately.
- Bring more valuable pieces to a consignment shop. Think twice before placing more valuable items on your yard sale table—bring them to a consignment shop instead, where you’re more likely to get a fair deal.
Athletic wear and equipment
It’s easy to accumulate athletic gear through the years, and a yard sale is a great place to unload them. However, be watchful of expensive items as some may be inclined to snatch them.
- Categorize and keep athletic equipment together, such as skis, boots, ski poles, or soccer cleats.
- Place athletic wear together in one area, on a table, or in shallow boxes for easier access.
Price to purge
That’s right—let it go. That’s why it’s on your driveway!
- Price per category, such as “ALL T-shirts $3.”
- Designate price by box: for instance, “Each item $5” or “Buy 2 Get 1 Free.”
- Consider color coding each item with a sticker to indicate what the price is.
- Simplify pricing by minimizing the number of price points you have.
- Use even dollar amounts to avoid needing coins, and have enough change for larger bills.
- Make your signs clear and precise to prevent a lot of haggling.
- Guard your money box!
Once you feel comfortable with a plan, determine the date you want to host your sale, usually on Saturday or Sunday. Don’t be alarmed if there are several others in the area on the same day as you—that’s a good thing as it will bring out more people.
- Determine your start and end time. The earlier the better, even 7:00 a.m., as antique and flea market dealers are out on the prowl very early trying to score the best items. Quitting time can be as early as 12:00 p.m., but most end between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
- Set a rain date if possible, either for the next day (Sunday for Saturday sales) or for the following week.
- Make your signs legible. This is very important if you want to maximize the foot traffic to your sale. Use a large-sized poster board (bright yellow is best), and write the date, time, and address in large print using a black marker.
- Place your signs within a two-mile radius near traffic lights, main intersections, and schools (you may need to check your zoning laws).
- Leverage internet advertising as most people search for yard sales on local sites, including social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Yard sales can be a great tool to purge and make money at the same time. Just be sure to keep all items outside, and do not let anyone inside your home to see an item unless you know them. Now go and make some money!