It has been two months since I have written, but I am back in action and ready to go! I have been so busy these last six weeks preparing for a massive yard sale. My husband and I decided about six months ago that we would start living more plainly. What do I mean by that? Mostly, we would be eliminating all the extra stuff from our lives….
Did we really need three sets of dishes? Four cake pans…. thirty plus regular glasses. Honestly, as we started purging things, I began to feel more free. We decided to have a yard sale to rid ourselves of what was weighing us down. The 1,400 square foot house we loved was filled with every day, normal American clutter. All together this sale took six weeks to plan and execute. Here is how we managed to make almost $2,000 in one weekend selling all of our unwanted/unneeded things.
SEVEN STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL YARD SALE:
1. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! This is the most important part of a yard sale. Don’t plan it in one week, plan it weeks out. This will leave you with the right amount of time to go through each room, the garage, the attic, the basement and so forth. We took six weeks to plan out our sale and we could have easily taken another two!
2. PRICE EVERYTHING: As you go room to room, be prepared to spend hours pricing items individually. I would say I spent somewhere around 15 hours pricing every item that went into our sale. I had free things that got marked as such and items starting at five cents.
3. HAVE AN ASSORTMENT OF PRICES: Don’t be that person who has a garage sale and everything is outrageously priced. Nobody wants to pay top dollar for your used stuff. Granted, there are times when things should be marked accordingly (furniture, tools, items never used). Our most expensive item was priced at $50. It was a new set of pots and pans that had only been opened so that people could check them out. They were still wrapped and in the box.
4. SIGNAGE: We live off a very busy, high traffic road. We put two signs going down each side of this road plus arrows leading onto our road. We started the first set of signs about 15 streets away and one more in the middle. We used the same signs, with the same wording, and same colors so people would know it was for the same sale. People commented on how they felt like they had to stop because our signs were so good!
6. VARIETY: Due to the fact that we were trying to become minimalists, we had such a great variety of things. One of the few things we didn’t have, that people like at yard sales is kids stuff. SInce I couldn’t provide that, I brought in outside resources. I had a friend who put her kid stuff in so that I could essentially complete my list. Things that I found sold the best: tools, kitchen gadgets, office/party supplies. The variety portion also made it super awesome because we separated each section into different tables. When people asked if we had _____, we could direct them to a certain table!
7. ADVERTISMENT: Between social media, Craigslist (CL), phone apps, and other means, advertising for your sale should cost you little to nothing. A few days before our sale I posted on CL and Facebook, made and posted signs, and used word of mouth. I also downloaded an app on my Android called Yard Sale Treasure Map. It was $1.99 and I am not sure if it actually helped, but for the cost, it was worth trying out. Most people said they had seen our signs on our road and came because of them, but this was because we talked with them about what brought them here.
My mother helped out a ton at our sale, while my husband did most of the heavy lifting. Every person who came we talked with, asked if they were looking for anything certain, and were willing to give multiple discounts to people who spent more! On the last day we did a buy more, save more program. We told people to fill a bag of clothes or books for $1. We were willing to negotiate any of the leftovers during the last few hours because we didn’t want to have to haul it to the junk yard or Goodwill. At the end of the weekend, the stress was totally worth the $1800+ we made!
If you are thinking of having a sale of your own follow these guidlines to make the most out of what you have. Plan away, tag as many things as you can, and just have fun! Our house is much less cluttered now, which is fantastic because I have less to clean now! Good luck!