An Organized Garage Sale

This weekend we had a garage sale. Garage sales are hard! But I am SO SO happy to be rid of our pile of extra stuff. I just finished dropping off our few leftovers at the donation bin, so I thought i’d sum up our how we made our garage sale as organized and painless as possible. A little planning ahead made all the difference. IMG_2350

  • Set up as much as you can in the house or in the garage the night before, so you just have to move things outside (at least have everything priced and grouped together)
  • Clean everything – dirty items will be a tougher sell
  • Decide priorities – make money or get rid of stuff? Although usually, lower priced items will move faster, which will accomplish both goals
  • Have a plan on what to do with the leftovers
  • Have plastic grocery bags or paper bags for customers
  • Have change, and don’t accept checks.
  • Advertise on craigslist, local newspapers (online listings & print), facebook, twitter, etc
  • Individually advertise large items on craiglist. We listed our washer & dryer, queen bed, and air conditioner. In the ad we just said that the item was out at our garage sale and listed the address. All of them sold.

    Giving shoppers ideas helps difficult things sell. Anybody want graduation robes?


    As soon as the craigslist ad went up, we had multiple people come by the garage sale to ask about it. Plus they bought other stuff!


  • Rigid & at least 11×17
  • Simple font, no fancy stuff
  • Include type of sale, address, date & time
  • Map out where signs would be best


    With no drive-by traffic on our street, we had to put up a LOT of signs. Making them all the same made it easier for people to find their way. (Sorry internet, I don’t need everyone to know exactly where I live so I blurred our address)

Pricing & Money
  • Price everything. A lot of people don’t like to ask about prices, so labeling everything will make sales easier (remember you can always go down, but not up in price)
  • Put price tag on top/outside of each item. The larger the item, the larger the tag should be.
  • Agree ahead of time if there are certain items that have a floor or firm price.
  • Keep money on your person or inside the house (not in a box where it could get taken)


    We had a $1 table, and a $0.50 table. This was one of the best things we did because it really simplified things.

  • Try to put smaller items on tables. No one likes to bend over to look at stuff on the ground. We made extra tables out of ladders and plywood.
  • Hang clothes if you can. We used ladders and a christmas light hanging pole.
  • Arrange like items together. Think about your display, and what would lure people into your sale.
  • Put attractive things towards the road (tools & furniture especially), just make sure no one walks off with them!
  • Be clear if you have things out that are NOT for sale and label them (tables, etc).

    Hanging up most of the clothes made them easier to see, and kept them neat as people looked through them


    Separating clothes by type helped to sell them too. Big labels made it easy to see prices so no one had to ask (unless they wanted to deal!)

Other Details

  • Play non-offensive music in the background (silent garage sales can be a little awkward)
  • Have an extension cord plugged in so you can plug-in any electronics that people would like to test.
  • Don’t let anyone in your house – to use the bathroom, to try on anything, or for any other reason.
  • Make sure there are at least two of you – so you can use the bathroom, etc, but also have back-up if someone is being difficult.
  • Warn you neighbors – so they can join in, or at least know you’ll be having lots of traffic (I live on a small narrow street – so advanced warning was appreciated!)

Start of Day 1 – We had a whole whack of stuff!


Start of Day 2 – About 2/3 of our stuff sold on Day 1


End of Day 2 – Everything left fit into the back of the car. Off to the donation bins we go!

Our sale went really really well. We got rid of practically everything, have a beautiful garage, met our neighbors, and made more money than we thought we would. Whew! Now for a nap!

4 thoughts on “An Organized Garage Sale

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