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Hosting a Garage Sale

April 7, 2017 / moving-organization

Garage Sale

It’s springtime and that means moving season is upon us! A garage sale is a great way to get rid of unwanted items and make money at the same time. Follow our tips to a successful garage sale and you’ll be well on your way to a clutter-free home.

Find Stuff to Sell

Go through your home and decide which items you no longer need or want. We’ve compiled tips on the most effective way to declutter.
In the days leading up to the sale, look over and clean all the items. Clean items will show better and you don’t want to forget to clean out those pant pockets!

Enlist Some Helpers

Get your neighbors involved! Hosting your own sale might be your preference, but a block or street sale is an attention grabber. When bargain hunters hear there are several houses involved, they’ll show up in droves.

On the day of the garage sale, ask friends to help by putting their own stuff up for sale and volunteering to help the day of. Not only will this double the selection of items for sale, you’ll have an extra pair of hands to help.


There are two schools of thought on pricing – price a little higher in anticipation of haggling, or pick a reasonable price and stick to it. While many people enjoy negotiating, some will walk away if they feel items are priced to high. Just remember to pick a reasonable price – you want to get rid of it! A good rule of thumb is to sell items for one-half to one-third their original price.

You also want to price items with round numbers–25 cents instead of 15, $2 instead of $1.80. This way, you’ll avoid juggling loose change and making math errors when calculating totals. Plus you can save time by buying the pre-priced stickers.

It’s best if you price your items individually rather than group them into boxes with one price sign. As the garage sale progresses, people will get the boxes mixed up and you’ll have a hard time keeping it organized.

Advertise your garage sale

Get the word out – use free classified adds such as Craigslist and Kijiji, post on Facebook, and hang paper signs all around the neighborhood. Do a Google search with the name of your neighborhood – there may be a community website where you can post. Also, libraries, grocery stores and other shops may still have notice boards.

Remember to include the date, start and finish times, address and a few details of what’s for sale.

Garage Sale Layout

Keep things organized and arrange them well – categorize your items by “departments” to make searching easier. Men’s, Women’s, Kids, Housewares sections makes your garage sale easier to navigate and increases the likelihood shoppers will find something they’d like to buy!

  • Organize your goods neatly. Instead of throwing books into a box, line them up on a bookshelf for easy viewing. Hang up clothes on an old shower rod instead of piling them in a box.
  • Place hot ticket items near the end of your driveway to lure in customers. If people driving by see something that catches their eye, they’ll stop to look.
  • Put batteries in remote controlled items so shoppers can test it out, and have an electric outlet available so customers can plug in lamps, kitchen gadgets etc before they buy.

Don’t let rain deter your sales efforts. If you own a portable gazebo, set it up out front, or hold the sale in an open garage.


Liven up the atmosphere with some upbeat music. It will make the time go faster, put shoppers in a good mood, and draw attention to your sale.

Snack Table

If you are feeling especially energetic, set up a concession stand to sell coffee, water, and treats. This will encourage shoppers to stay around and browse a little longer (hopefully increasing your sales) and it’s a great way to get the kids involved. They can manage the snack station and feel apart of it all.


Instead of putting all your money in a tin, use an apron with deep pockets so you have cash on you at all times. Have lots of small bills, loonies, and toonies, to make change for customers. Wrap up breakables in newspaper and provide bags for easy transport.
As the day winds down, don’t be afraid to lower prices or offer everything half off.


You’re going to have leftover stuff. You can just put it all on the curb with a free sign, or consider donating the remaining items. We have compiled a list of Charities that will pick up items from your home.

Garage sales are a lot of work; you’ll probably spend several hours organizing and pricing items, writing ads, and getting your supplies. But after it’s over, you’ll hopefully have a wad of cash instead of piles of stuff you don’t want, which makes it all worthwhile.