Clean your house and earn money with a garage sale

With a few simple strategies, you can turn your unused and unwanted items into cash by planning a great garage sale. Clean items, rate them to go, and throw away anything you don’t want to put back in your home for free.

Be ready

Consider having the sale near a common payday (the first or 15th of the month). Avoid timing your sale on a holiday weekend or during a busy community event.

Walk through each room with a laundry basket and grab what you no longer need.

Neat and tidy items will sell faster than ones where the buyer has to do extra work.

Choose a place, such as a basement or guest bedroom, as your resting area. Organize by function: kitchen, clothes, books and music, toys and tools.

Use pre-printed price tags or ink the price on painter’s tape, which won’t leave a mark.

Have these essentials on hand on sale day: tape measure, tape measure, calculator, extension cord, and batteries (so shoppers can make sure items are working).

A day or two before the sale, get plenty of small bills and coins from a bank. Keep money for change in a tackle box, cupcake tin, or fanny pack.

Pin up

Make your signs big, bold and easy to read. Use words like “HUGE sale TODAY”. Tie balloons to your mailbox, gate, or other highly visible spot near the street.

Follow local ordinances and include grocery stores and cafes in your plans. Garage sale signs should include directional arrows, cross streets, and time and date information. If you have children’s toys or clothes, post a sign near the play areas.

List your sales on, a site that helps people plan their purchases by finding sales on a map. Post your sale in the Garage Sale section on Craigslist, referencing special items in the appropriate categories.

To sell

A garage sale is a job for at least two people. One person should handle the cash register while the other helps load vehicles and answer customer questions.

Have plenty of grocery bags and boxes handy. Rubber bands and string are useful for bundling loose items.

Fill a basket with $1 to position it near the cash register. Likewise, prepare a “free with purchase” box and include small stuffed animals, children’s books, bouncy balls and other items that younger shoppers might enjoy.

Place large eye-catching objects near the road that will entice people to stop.

Group things together as they are in department stores, with sections for household goods, media, clothing and toys.

Adult clothing can be the hardest thing to sell, but it has a better chance of moving if you sell it well. Use a clothes rack or hang clothes on a clothesline or ladder.

Cover tables with colored plastic and place items at eye level for quick sales; Avoid placing objects on the ground. Create varying levels on tables using supports, such as small covered boxes. Pitch changes force the eye to stop rather than just scan.

Use vertical space. It gives the eye something to see beyond the tables.

Display the jewelry on fabric or a blanket. Keep anything of value near the cash register.

Put baby clothes and toys near the bottom of the sale. People will have to walk past everything else to access these hot items.

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