15 Garage Sale Tips Guaranteed to Declutter Your Home

When your home is cluttered, it can be difficult to know where to start. Having a garage sale is one of the simplest and fastest ways to get rid of the clutter and set yourself free from the graveyard of past purchases. However, running a successful garage sale is not simply a matter of throwing some things in your driveway and putting up a sign.

Decluttering requires that you put some thought and care into how you plan, execute, and follow through with your garage sale. With some good planning, hard work, and a little luck, your upcoming garage sale will be the beginning of a less cluttered, more organized home.

Here are the top garage sale tips for you to implement at your next garage sale to start decluttering.

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Sort Anything You Don't Use

The best way to rid your home of clutter is to collect and sort anything you haven't used in the past year. Organizing your items this way is one of the best decluttering tips, and is often used by professional organizers. Objects to look for are baby clothes, gadgets, furniture, and anything else you may have lying around that isn't essential. If you haven't used it in the past year, there's a good chance you never will, so it's best to just get rid of it.

clutter in a room to be sorted for garage sale

Advertise Your Garage Sale in Advance

It is so disheartening when you work so hard to plan a garage sale and then no one shows up.To encourage people to get excited and show up to your garage sale, it is important to advertise it in advance. You can do this by putting up flyers around your neighborhood, placing ads on Facebook or Instagram, or using online classifieds websites to post the details. Craigslist and Facebook marketplace have been the most effective in our experience. Include all the relevant information, such as the date, time, and address of your garage sale and even include a few stylized photos of the best stuff you have for sale.

successful garage sale

Organize Items Into Categories

Once you've gathered all the items you want to sell, sort them into categories. This will make it easier for potential buyers to find the items that interest them. It will also be easier to price and display your items for sale. Some common categories include clothes, toys, books, antiques, kitchenware, and household items. If you plan to have multiple garage sales, consider using heavy duty bins to sort and store the items. Label the bins and stack them for convenience. 

tidy garage sale sorting

Thoughtfully Price Your Garage Sale Items

Keep in mind that the goal is to declutter your home. None of your garage sale items should reenter your home. Of course, it is nice to make a few bucks selling your unwanted stuff, but getting rid of as much as possible is the primary focus. How do you strike the balance between making some extra money and selling as much stuff as possible? Price your items at about 50% of the original retail price to start. Label as many items as possible with prices so that you don't forget during the bustle of the garage sale.

garage sale pricing

Intentionally Display Your Items

Think about when you shop in a thrift store, and everything is strewn everywhere, making it difficult to see what is actually for sale. The same can happen at your garage sale if your items are not intentionally displayed in an organized and aesthetically pleasing manner. This is especially true if you expect to sell high-ticket items like appliances or high-end handbags and shoes. Place the larger items toward the back of the garage sale space and group like items together. 

organized garage sale

Be Prepared to Negotiate

When people shop at garage sales, they expect to get a great deal. It is common for your shoppers to try to negotiate pricing with you. Be reasonable and keep the end goal in mind- getting rid of clutter. Don't be afraid to walk away from an unreasonable deal, but be prepared to accept lower than advertised. The measure of a successful garage sale is the reduction of clutter, not necessarily how much money was made. 

people shopping at a garage sale

Have Cash On Hand

When people head out to garage sales, the first stop they make it to the ATM machine to grab some cash. The ATM dispenses $20 bills, so they will likely expect you to make change. Have smaller bills and even some quarters on hand to make change for potential buyers. It's a good idea to have at least $20 in small bills and coins, just to be safe. You can organize the bills in a cash box. If you plan to have a couple of garage sales, investing in a cash box is smart. Also make sure that you have either your phone or a small calculator on hand to ensure you are adding up prices correctly and giving back the correct amount of change.

garage sale cash box

Accept Credit Cards

In today's world, more and more people expect to use credit and debit cards or Apple Pay for everyday transactions. To attract as many buyers as possible, consider accepting credit cards at your garage sale. A simple device like a Square reader can transform your phone into a credit card reader. Set up a mobile payment system app on your phone, such as Square or PayPal Here, and receive credit card payments that will deposit directly into your bank account. 

accept credit cards at garage sales

Touch Up Your Items

During your garage sale, you may get a dozen people at one time who rifle through your items while deciding what to buy. And then you may have a 20-minute break. During the times when no one is there, tidy up your displays again and make them presentable for the next group of people. Do this at least a few times throughout the day to increase sales.

keep your garage sale tidy

Provide Great Customer Service

Greeting your shoppers, helping them to select items, and answering their questions will lead to a more successful garage sale. The longer shoppers stay and browse, the more money they are likely to spend. Garage sales are also a great way to get to know neighbors from nearby streets and neighborhoods.

neighbors meeting at a garage sale

Place High Ticket Items In Visible Areas

Your successful garage sale will be the most profitable when you sell your high-ticket items. Place these more expensive items in the most visible display area. Find a place where shoppers must walk by these expensive items and you have a better chance of selling them. 

high end garage sale items

Offer Some Extras

What makes your garage sale different and more special than the other dozen sales going on the same day? Offer a couple of extras to make your garage sale more appealing. Consider serving lemonade or offering water bottles if it is an especially hot day. You could hold a raffle where everyone who makes a purchase is automatically entered. If you are selling some large-sized items, you could offer free shipping within your community. Going the extra mile will help to attract more buyers and will also ensure that shoppers come back to future garage sales.

offer extras to attract people to your garage sale

Coordinate a Neighborhood Garage Sale

Large, coordinated neighborhood garage sales attract more people. Garage sale goers love to hit as many sales as possible within a small mileage radius- more time shopping and less time driving. Get together with a few of your neighbors or even your community center and organize a large garage sale. Events like this will sell more items and will also be a fun time to get to know neighbors.

large community garage sale

Go All Weekend

Successful garage sales start on Friday afternoon and end on Sunday afternoon. A weekend of selling can be exhausting, but the payoff will be big. The more days that you are open, the better chance you have of selling everything. Many successful garage sales advertise big items online, available for pre-sale showing. 

extend your garage sale to three days

Donate Unsold Items

Don't even consider packing the leftover items up and bringing them back into your home. Your home is decluttered, and it needs to stay that way. Instead, donate the unsold items to a local non-profit or a thrift store. If you plan to have another garage sale soon, you can pack them into your heavy-duty bins and store them in your garage until next time. Do not bring anything back inside your living space.

donate unsold items

If you are planning a successful garage sale in hopes of decluttering your home, proper planning is essential. Follow the tips above and use this convenient shopping list to make sure you have what you need to pull off the garage sale of your dreams. These items can be used over and over, so once you have them, you will be ready for garage sales for years to come.

Successful Garage Sale Shopping List:

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