Spring cleaning has come early this year – probably because Dallas went straight from fall to spring, completely skipping over the winter weather that makes you want to hunker down and nestle in with your stuff.

As we prepare for a garage sale, I’ve discovered a few nuggets of advice and refined some processes, which I hope can help you.

  1. Allow time to prepare for a sale. Don’t throw things together on a Thursday and think you’re ready for Saturday. You don’t want to make a heat of the moment decision on ditching Aunt Mildred’s wedding dress in favor of more closet space, only to regret it later.
  2. Prune your house one room at a time. Don’t allow yourself to get too overwhelmed or squirrel in an area.
  3. Be thoughtful – and truthful – in your evaluations. That thing that you’ve been nagging your husband about using/not using/being an eyesore/disliking/reminding you of his ex-girlfriend? Not your place. You can certainly ask about items one by one – but don’t hide your things in favor of dumping his. Be fair!
  4. Advertise in advance, in multiple places, several times. For this sale, I’ve utilized Facebook, Nextdoor, Craigslist, and signs up and down the street. I’ve not overposted on social media, but I did tease the event a week in advance, and remind about it once the Wednesday before, then posts the evening before and morning of.
    1. Do be careful to note in your posts whether or not you’ll be monitoring comments or accepting cyber offers — then stick to the plan.
    2. When advertising, be sure to highlight the variety of items you’ll have for sale. If you find that your pile consists of only Uncle Rufus’ extensive snow globe collection, it may be wiser to consign or enlist a specialist. If you can gather a few of your friends together to empty their attics, list your event as Multi-Family.
  5. Plan for a wide enough time frame to allow for maximum traffic – and maybe even build in a half-off special in that last hour. 8a-2p is our target time frame, which allows for the early birds, the neighborhood walkers, and the last minute deal diggers.
  6. Price your items at the price you think you’d buy it at a garage sale, then take a little off. You want your sale to be lauded at the place where great deals were had (and friends are called to come shop, quick!) – not the one that haggled over every dime. Don’t cheat yourself – no doubt you have cool stuff! But if you’re just going to donate or throw away your unsold items, you really don’t have room to complain about someone wanting to give you a dollar.
  7. Make a deal and have fun! Look – garage sale throwing isn’t brain surgery. This is supposed to be a low-stress way to make some money on stuff you don’t need anymore. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Happy selling!