Thursday, April 11, 2013

Garage Sale Prep: Creating a "Tool Kit"

I mentioned in my April Organizing Checklist that I needed to start planning for a garage sale. The weather is finally starting to warm up around here--which always gets me in the mood to start cleaning things out. So I thought I'd share with you the process I go through when preparing for one of these ever so exciting events.

Garage Sale vs. Donate

Before I get started, I thought I'd discuss a bit what my thoughts are on selling your items in a garage sale versus donating them. 

I don't have a garage sale every year. However, since my kids refuse to stop growing, {sigh}, I am finding myself with LOTS of "stuff" that we don't need anymore. I typically will try and sell larger, more valuable items online, such as through Craigslist, just because I tend to make a little more money that way. That works fine if there are just a few items. However, as I mentioned before, we have accumulated quite a bit. I am also trying to be better about logging what I donate (I will talk more about this in a future post) because you can actually get a decent tax write off if you are diligent about it. 

So why go through all it takes to have 

a garage sale?

The main reason I have decided to take on the task of holding a garage sale, is because I have lots of projects that I'm hoping to complete (Surprise!) and I could use the money from the sale to put towards some of them. :) Profound, I know.

***One item I do not even bother trying to sell is adult clothing. This I either give to Goodwill or sell to a consignment store. I have just found that it really doesn't sell. Kids' clothes often will so those I sometimes try. But the other is just not worth me.

Okay, now that I explained the reason, I am going to try and explain the early planning/preparing I do.

{I have to also mention that I do keep a large bin in my basement storage room for ongoing items throughout the year that I know I want to sell.}

The first thing I do is choose a date. When doing this I make sure it isn't a holiday or other significant event for my family and consider the typical weather at that time. I also talk to friends to see if anyone is interested in joining me as well as ask neighbors if they would want to do a sale at the same time. People are much more likely to come if there are several sales in one spot. Lastly, I figure out what I can do with my kiddos---since little ones aren't the best at helping at garage sales. Just sayin'. :)

Now I'm ready to start collecting and preparing my items. To help me with this process, I have created a sort of "Garage Sale Tool Kit" complete with supplies found mainly at my local Dollar Tree. Yippee! :)

  1.  First item: a container of some sort to hold all of the essentials. I got this at the $ tree but any container would do. I did choose one with a large handle so that I could carry it around my house easily.

2. Colored stickers and a notepad (both of which I already had). The Dollar Tree (along with Walmart) actually had stickers with prices on them. However, I have decided to take a different approach. I have made a key assigning each color to a particular price. The white stickers are for specific prices that I will write and if there is no sticker it means you have to make me an offer. As the sale gets closer I will make a large sign to put out for everyone to read what each color means. Until then, I just figured this would be less time consuming on my part.

3. Colored "starbursts" from the Dollar Tree. Thought this would be good for labeling tables/bins.
4. Sticky notes for jotting down any info needed for an item.
5. Scissors and markers---do I need to explain?

6. A variety of bags. The snack and sandwich bags are for small pieces that need to be kept together (hardware, etc). The larger bags are for larger items.

7. A calculator and a notebook--for keeping track.

8. Another item that isn't shown here, is a cleaning rag. Typically things you decide to sell, are things that haven't been used for a while and have often times accumulated a little dust. FYI: Things will sell much better if they are clean.

So there you have it. All of my prep items put together in one "portable" spot. 

Now it is time to take it around to each room and purge. Come on, 
it feels really good. If you are having a hard time getting rid of certain items,  here are 10 questions from Home Your Way, to ask yourself about getting rid of clutter.

Okay, ready? Let's get started!!

But before we do.....

  1. Are you a garage sale lover or hater?
  2. What types of things do you do to prepare for a garage sale?
  3. Do you have a hard time getting rid of things? If so, what holds you back?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Pin It!


  1. I have a love/hate relationship with yard sales- I love going to them, I hate setting them up... but I'm having one this spring, and am grateful for your list, simply to keep in in my mind, the need to prepare early. And yes I know it's a tough call for donation vs sale, but I spent money on these things, and I'll donate what doesn't sell... Thanks for the list!


    1. Thanks Marissa! I totally feel you on the love hate thing with garage sales. They can be a lot of work but like you said, you paid good money for your things and hope to get a little from them. I personally LOVE the feeling afterwards when everything is either sold or donated. It is so freeing once it is gone and out of sight!

      Thanks for stopping by!




Pin It button on image hover