Moving from one home to another can be a stressful process, and trying to pack all your belonging into boxes and bags is tiring and time consuming. While there's no way to completely remove the hassle of moving, you can reduce clutter and make a few extra dollars to help pay the movers by throwing a yard sale before you leave your old home. Selling off old clothes, toys, furniture, cookware and décor that you no longer use will reduce the amount you have to pack and move, and earn you some extra income. Use these simple tips for throwing a yard sale, and make your moving day a little easier on you and your wallet.
Before The Yard Sale
A yard sale will only be effective if people in your community know it's happening. A few days before your sale, put up flyers in your neighborhood, talk to your neighbors, post information online and even consider placing an ad in the local newspaper, letting everyone know the date and time of your sale. If there is a university in your area, be sure to put up a few signs near the campus, as college students are frequent buyers of discounted furniture for dorms and apartments. While throwing up signs on your street corner the day of is certainly the easiest option, you won't attract nearly as many potential buyers. Don't let your items go to waste and end up having to pack them or throw them away.
In order to get the best price for your items, take a day or two before the sale to research what your pieces are worth. Browse the internet for similar furniture pieces, handbags, shoes and other items you're selling, and ensure you and your future customers are getting a good but fair deal. If you can't find any information on an item you're selling, it's often recommended that you price it at 25% of the original cost.
Finally, you'll want to start checking the weather about a week in advance to try and plan around potential storms. Aside from very light drizzle, you won't want to throw a yard sale during unfavorable weather, as many potential buyers won't want to stand outside in it, and won't show up.
The Best Time to Throw a Yard Sale
Even if you're moving during the middle of the week, you should always host your yard sale on the weekends. Far more people will be off work and driving around town on Saturday and Sunday. Also, don't throw a yard sale during extremely late or early times. Mid-morning through midafternoon is the best time to catch as many people in your neighborhood as possible. If you plan in advance, try to host your yard sale in the fall, as many students visit yard sales looking for furniture and accessories as they decorate dorms and apartments.
How to Throw a Yard Sale
Once the day of your yard sale has arrived, keep these tips in mind to ensure your sale runs smoothly and effectively.
- If you're selling more than a few boxes of items, or will need to move large, heavy items, ask friends and family to help you on the day of the sale. You'll need enough people to move items into and out of your yard or driveway, and you'll want more than one person keeping an eye on your items throughout the day.
- Properly displaying your items can make a huge difference in the amount of people that stop to browse your sale. Avoid folding and piling clothes in boxes. Instead, hang them up where shoppers can see each piece. Set up décor and collectibles on tables, and allow shoppers to clearly view particularly interesting items. You'll also want a table and chair as your "cashier's desk," where each transaction is processed.
- For small, inexpensive items, create a special "sale" or "bargain" section to entice buyers. While the items may have been very low priced to begin with, the added interest of a bright orange sale sign can often convince even wary buyers that they want or need the particular item.
- Arrange the items you're selling so that those in the best condition are closest to the street. While many people do buy worn items at a yard sale, the newest, most desirable items will catch more peoples' eyes. Just be sure you keep a close eye on them as well.
- Set up your cashier's desk or chair behind all your items, so everything is within sight at all times. Also, don't leave the money unattended at any time. Keep it in a wallet, bag or belt clip so you won't lose track of it.
Now that you've got the basics for throwing a yard sale, you're ready to rid your old home of items you don't want or need, and free up boxes for your favorite possessions. Use the extra money you make to help absorb the cost of hiring a professional mover, or put it towards décor for your new home.