Storage Woes? Here’s How to Set Up a Summer Garage Sale

by Ben SanfordJuly 9, 2018

Trade the Clutter in for Cash This Summer

If you did your spring cleaning in March and are suddenly realizing that your house already feels cluttered again, then it may be the perfect time to start thinking about a summer garage sale. With the kids home from school and temperatures above 80 degrees in many parts of the country, even a small amount of clutter can feel stifling.

The first step in giving your home some room to breathe is to pare down. If you have items laying around your house that take up space – things you haven’t used since before you did you spring cleaning – it’s definitely time to start a “sell” pile.

Items that you don’t need in the summer months but may still want for winter, such as heavy winter coats and holiday decorations, need to find an organized place in your home, out of sight. Between some updated storage options and a low-key garage sale, you’ll have your home feeling organized and clutter-free so that you can enjoy your summer in peace.

garage sale tips

Sort Through and Reorganize Your Current Storage Solutions and Catch-Alls

Before you begin organizing your summer garage sale, sort through your whole house to make sure that you aren’t forgetting about any hidden messes. Any drawers, boxes, or containers that serve as catch-alls should be emptied out and reorganized. As a rule of thumb, anything you haven’t used in 9 months is usually safe to be discarded. Make sure you have an organized place to store items that this rule doesn’t apply to, for things like important documents.

Even if it feels redundant, it can be useful to take everything out of a drawer before putting it back in an organized fashion. As you organize your closets, shelves, cabinets, and drawers, be careful that nothing is overflowing or too full. If your closet or storage units are too full, invest in new storage options or get rid of even more things.

Pick an Optimal Date for Your Garage Sale

After you’ve put together a collection of items to sell, you’ll need to choose a date for your garage sale so that you can begin planning logistics. Summer is a great time for yard sales, garage sales, and sidewalk sales because people tend to be out and about in the neighborhood when the weather is nice.

The second Saturday of August is National Garage Sale Day, so there will inevitably be lots of folks out looking for some treasures on that day. But when the weather is nice, you’ll most likely draw a crowd no matter what day it is. Choose a weekend so that people don’t miss your sale because they’re at work.

garage sale tips

Get the Word Out

The more people who stop by your sale, the more money you’ll make. Don’t be afraid to make some posters about your sale to hang up around town or take out an ad in your local papers. As the date of your sale approaches, put signs up on either end of your block to attract traffic that may otherwise miss your home.

You can also use social media to help get the word out about your sale. Post pictures of hot items that you’ll be selling in order to get people interested in your sale. Create an event on Facebook and invite friends and family so that they have all of the details. You can start posting about your sale a few weeks ahead of time, but really kick up your social media posting days before the event so that it’s on the front of everyone’s mind.

Price Your Items to Sell

Pricing your items is an important part of making the most of your sales. If you price your items too high, people won’t buy. If you price too low, you’ll be selling yourself short and won’t make the money you’re hoping to make. Label every item that you’re selling with a price sticker so that nothing is up for debate.

Before your sale, visit some other garage sales in your neighborhood to get a feel for how items are priced. If you are up for haggling, price your items 10% higher than you hope to sell them for. Create bins with a set price for books, magazines, and records so that you don’t need to use price tags that may damage glossy covers and paper goods.

Don’t price items based on sentimental value; think of your sale items objectively and really base your prices off the quality of the good.

garage sale tips

Donate Items You Don’t Sell

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t sell every item — after all, not every used household item is worth buying. Whatever you do, don’t bring unsold items back into your home. Instead, box or bag them up and bring them straight to your local Goodwill — or if it’s an item in really bad condition, then take it to the dump.

Regardless of how much money you make, you’ll be coming out on top because your home will feel more streamlined and clean. Take a deep breath, knowing that you have more space to relax in this summer without the stressful clutter.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.

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