How to Prepare for a Garage Sale

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  July 29, 2011 — Leave a comment

The much-anticipated garage sale is tomorrow! Y’all, I am so ready. I’m not the kind of girl who is okay with late nights spent frantically sorting and pricing, so being prepared well in advance was important to me. I’ll be sleeping like a baby tonight dreaming of the millions of dollars I’m about to make.

I started, of course, by gathering all my crap. This was easy because I already had a room full of junk. Having an area to stage everything was a big help.

I worked one piece at a time, moving items that were priced and ready to sell to the front of the room and items that were going to stay to the back. Once I got through all the stuff that was in here I went on a hunt around the rest of the house, searching one room at a time for items I no longer needed or wanted.

The key here is that I did a little bit every weekend. I worked in short bursts so that I wouldn’t get overwhelmed. In the end I was left with two piles of items to sell.

Millions of dollars worth of stuff just waiting to be sold. Ha!

I’m really proud of my pricing system. I printed various denominations on green fluorescent stickers from Office Depot. This both marked items as mine (as opposed to my sister’s, who we’re having a joint sale with) and prevented me from having to write out every. single. price.

I set up a little table to be my pricing station and spread out all my little sticker sheets. My stickers read 50¢, $1, $3, $5, $7, $10, and $15. I also used these little merchandise tags (also from Office Depot) for items that weren’t exactly sticker-friendly (like blankets and towels). I just stuck the sticker on the tag and, if I thought it would help, I used a pen to write a brief description of the item on the backside. These tags were also really helpful for tagging teeny tiny items, such as earrings, and could even be used to tie the earrings together. I kept a roll of string and some scissors nearby for tying linens into a bundle (I’m selling two sets of bedding), and plastic bags and a sharpie for bundling groups of items (ex: bag of fabric scraps for $1).

I also gathered a bag of stuff that’s free. These are items I don’t want anymore but can’t imagine anyone actually buying (bath scrubs I never used, stuffed animals we caught in parades, etc.). If I can send this stuff to a better home instead of a landfill I’ll be stoked.

Since we’re moving the whole operation over to my sister’s place, I used boxes to corral everything as I sorted. We moved everything the same way that we sorted and priced it: a little bit at a time. Nick’s loaded his car up with stuff twice this week and dropped it off at my sister’s after work. As of this moment only a small pile of larger items to stuff into my small SUV remains. Totally manageable for bright and early tomorrow morning.

As far as advertising goes, we settled for just an ad on craigslist. I think my sis might make a few signs for the neighborhood.

The biggest challenge of this whole thing has been gathering tables. I was going to sell that small black folding table I used as a pricing station, but I now recognize its value as a display space. We’ll also be using a dining table and bookshelf that are not for sale and Nick thinks he might be able to borrow one or two folding tables, but finding a place to display all of our wares is definitely going to be interesting.

This is the first garage sale I’ve had as a full-fledged adult and I’m really excited to see how it goes! Any tips from the wise?

P.S. If you’re in the Baton Rouge area and want to buy my stuff, or just say hello, we’ll be in the 400 block of Laurie Lynn Drive in Baton Rouge from 9-2 tomorrow. 

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap

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