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Give Old Items a New Lease With a Garage Sale

Look around your house or garage and you will find a lot of junk waiting to become another person’s treasure. It was easy to use garage shelves as a quick place for storing unwanted items. A good way to get rid of extra stuff is with a garage sale. Most people dread having a garage sale because of the work involved with pulling things together. Do not let that deter you. There are ways to have a successful garage sale if you remember three key elements: prepare, organize, and market.

Remember the Five Ps

The phrase “perfect planning prevents poor performance” is not just for business. You should also prepare for your garage sale. Schedule the date in advance, and make sure there are no major conflicts with your personal schedule, or major events in the area that could impact the amount of traffic you attract. You can also ask a few neighbors and friends if they want to participate.

Start thinking about the items in your home and/or garage that you want to sell. Also, decide how you will advertise the garage sale. Check local newspapers and the cost for printing flyers. Some newspapers offer free ads or for a nominal fee. Get the details, such as deadlines and word limit, which you will need when it is time to place the ad.


You can have a sale that represents the clutter on your garage shelves which prompted the sale, or you can have a well-organized event. The latter will help items stand out and sell faster. You should sort items into groups. For example, put kitchen and bathroom items in one group, electronics, garden tools, and clothing in separate groups. If you are hosting the garage sale with neighbors or friends, use colored stickers to price each item. This will make it easier to sort out the dollar amount each person will receive.

Most people want a deal, and will expect discounts on items they think are over priced. Leave some haggle room, but price your items to sell and set pre-established price limits. Have one area designated as the cash register area. This can be a small table close to the garage, with a calculator and money box.

Marketing Maximizes Results

Place ads in the newspaper the day before and the day of your garage sale. Include the address, cross streets and hours. Also, mention special items such as antiques or baby items. Put balloons and arrows on signs leading into your neighborhood. Use garage shelves to display some of the sale items. Have a bargain table where everything is under $5, and set out items that will catch the attention of passers-by.

Take leftover items to a thrift store or donate them to a local charity. Whatever you decide, do not put unwanted items back on your garage shelves; move forward with a better storage system.