While driving around most neighborhoods on a sunny, spring afternoon, you'll notice that garage sales are as plentiful as daffodils. And why not? Garage sales are a spring rite of passage for good reason. They’re a great way to declutter your house of extraneous items and turn your spring cleaning into an unexpected source of cash. Here are some tips for making your garage sale a success.
PUT A DATE ON THE CALENDAR: Nothing is more motivating than a deadline. Once you decide to go for garage sale gold, check your family calendar for a date when your whole family is free. Make sure you have enough time to clean out your closets and drawers before the big day, but don’t schedule it so far in advance that you have time to forget about it. After choosing the day, add an all-day appointment to your family planner for all family members, and don’t forget to add reminders!
SCHEDULE DECLUTTERING DATES: In addition to the date of the actual garage sale, schedule some family appointments to sort through all your stuff prior to your garage sale. After all, this is your big chance to turn your junk into someone else’s treasure, so let no room, closet, or drawer go untouched in your pre-garage sale sorting.
MOTIVATE YOUR FAMILY: Not everyone in your family is likely to be as excited about the garage sale as you are. To get enthusiastic cooperation for your efforts, give them a reason to feel invested in the project. Maybe you can encourage the rest of the family by telling them that all proceeds from the garage sale will go to a special family outing or purchase. Depending on how much you can sell, you might be able to fund a family day at the water park, a trip to the county fair, or a special dinner at your family’s favorite restaurant. Whatever motivates your family is the card you need to play.
PUBLICIZE: Put your kids to work making garage sale signs, and advertise in advance for your sale. You might have to add some markers and poster paper to your shopping list, but the kids will have fun on this part of the project—and your garage sale success depends on people knowing where and when to find your treasures!
GET NEIGHBORS INVOLVED: Scheduling several garage sales on the same block on the same day might seem like adding competition for your sale, but it can also increase publicity and draw out more treasure hunters for all! Bringing in additional families for a multi-family garage sale will add extra fun and more goods to pull people in.
KEEP THE KIDS BUSY: Prior to the big day, you need everyone’s help with sorting and organizing, and some kids will enjoy helping out at the garage sale, too. If your kids will need an extra diversion on the day of the sale, consider letting them host a lemonade stand or a candy stand in conjunction with the event. If other neighbors will be jumping on the garage sale bandwagon, all the neighborhood kids can get together to plan and implement an entrepreneurial side project.