How to hold a successful garage sale

Clearing your home of clutter or old and unwanted items is an important task when you’re planning to sell or move house, but it can be also be a great way of simply freshening up and re-organising your home.

If you hold a garage sale after the clean up, you also have a chance to make some extra money and have a fun day with family, friends and neighbours. If you don’t know where to start, the key is planning and preparation. Here are our five tips for a garage sale.

1. Decide on a date
Choose a Saturday or Sunday, three to four weeks ahead. You need time to collect, clean up, arrange and price items. By deciding on a date in advance, you also have a deadline to work towards. Make sure the date does not clash with any major local events or sport activities, and that helpers are free to assist on that day. 

2. Start Collecting
Begin sorting through your home for goods you are willing to sell, including everything you want to get rid of. You will be surprised - your junk can be another person's treasure. Remember, though, that some items may need to be cleaned or repaired to ensure a good price. It’s important that you tell as many neighbours, friends and family as possible that you are having a garage sale, as they may have some items they want to sell and may be willing to help out on the day. 

Shutterstock _217839946_selling_declutter_clothes
Selling your old things can really add up and is a great way to declutter

3. Spread the word
Advertise in your local paper two weeks before the day, but don’t forget to use social media (many neighbourhoods have their own Facebook pages) or websites such as gumtree.com.au. Facebook has recently launched its ‘Market’ in Australia aimed at helping people find things for sale locally. Ask local shops and supermarkets if they allow signs in their windows, and consider community notice boards.

Also place signage on the corner of your street and main road, either the evening before or early on the morning of the sale. Often your local real estate office will be able to help you with the supply of pointer signs because agents are frequently asked to help their clients with garage sales. Remember to keep all signs and advertisements brief - the day, date, start and finish time and your property address is all that is required.

4. Be prepared
Make sure all items are clearly priced with stickers before the day. Keep pricing simple – saves having to do a lot of adding up on the day. Have plenty of change available, including small change and notes. Money belts are useful for collecting cash or you can use a till as long as it is never left unattended. It is also a good idea to have a calculator, pencil and paper, bags, boxes and newspaper to wrap valuables. And don’t forget to have drinks and seating handy for you and your helpers – it can be a long morning! 

5. On the day
Don’t be surprised if you find serious buyers knocking on your door an hour or two before start time. A good ‘official’ starting time is 9am, so that visitors won’t disturb you too early. During the day, remember to keep your house locked at all times, and ensure you have a secure place inside your home to put cash as it accumulates. State a clear finish time so people are not coming too late in the day. 
After the sale has finished, donate leftover items to a local charity. By being prepared you will be able to relax and enjoy the day, ending up with a clean house and little extra cash at the end.

Have you ever held a garage sale? Share your experiences. 

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