How To Prepare for a Yard Sale

dolls and clock by wagon wheel

So you’ve noticed all the things sitting dormant in the basement, your kids’ room, the attic, or the spare bedroom and have finally had enough. You have uttered the magic phrase: “That’s it! We are getting rid of all this stuff!” What is the next step? A yard sale!

Now the question becomes: how do you prepare for a yard sale? It might seem a bit intimidating because of all the planning and organizing to do. But with a little help and research, you can learn how to get ready for a yard sale in an easy, hassle free way.

The Pre-Sale Checklist

Set a date. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? It’s important to choose the date of your yard sale carefully for a number of reasons. First, when it comes to how to prepare for a yard sale, you want to pick a date that won’t come in conflict with any major holidays or town happenings so you’re sure to get plenty of foot traffic. Secondly, keeping an eye on the weather is crucial! Yard sales depend on being outside, and no one is going to come in inclement weather. Aim for the best seasonal weather possible and hope for the best! That’s why so many sales are held during summer.

miscellaneous yard sale objects

Once you’ve narrowed down a date, an important step in how to prepare for your yard sale is to make sure what you’re doing is legal! Check out town permit laws to see if you need to buy a permit prior to the sale. If you do, it’s not a difficult or expensive process, thankfully. While you might be able to apply online, you can easily go down to your town hall where they’ll help you get what you need.

Okay, so you have a place, a date, and the permission to do it. Now it’s a matter of how to get advertising ready for a yard sale. Social media is going to be your friend here. Write about it on Facebook, Twitter, whatever platform you use most often. Post on an online service too! The internet is great, but handwritten signs are still a go-to for a reason! Create some flashy, neat signs to hang around the neighborhood. Make sure it’s colorful and clear. You might have some great ideas for how to prepare your signs for a yard sale but there’s no point in making a sign if no one can read it! If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could even advertise in your local paper!

There are smaller things you’ll want to prepare for too. For instance, you’ll want to have various denominations of cash available to be able to make change. It’s also a great time to reuse the plastic grocery bags you’ve been saving to be able to bag customers’ things when they make a purchase.

Organize Everything

Next up is something very important: you need to sort through your stuff. If this sounds like absolute torture, it doesn’t have to be. Be strategic with your sorting. Organizing is key in getting ready for a yard sale. Make piles. Designate an area for each type of item – electronics go together, furniture goes together, miscellaneous has its own place, and so on. Eliminate things that are damaged or too worn to sell too. There are certain yard sale “no-no’s,” after all – certain items you do not want to resell, mostly because of health or safety issues. Some of these types of items include mattresses, bike helmets, clothing that’s in need of repair, anything dirty, broken electronics, etc. Clearing out what shouldn’t be sold is just as important as organizing what you are selling and is essential in how to prepare for a yard sale.

After you’ve sorted everything into their respective piles, you need to decide on a price list. At first, this can seem incredibly intimidating and overwhelming. How do you know what your items are worth? Are you asking for too much? Too little? Do some research. It’s a huge, helpful part of how to prepare for a yard sale. Also, browse products online to see what those items are selling for… then price yours lower. If you can, go to someone else’s yard sale to see how their prices compare.

You’ll need to make price tags or labels so that the prices are obvious and not confusing. You can put prices on each individual item, or you could have some sort of pricing system. For example, you could color code your objects with stickers and have a chart displayed for buyers to cross check themselves so they can get ready for the yard sale. And be prepared if you need to haggle! Know ahead of time how you are going to handle negotiators. Set ground rules for yourself. Don’t be caught off guard!

Sale Day

blue broken couch against pink wall
When the day of your sale arrives, there are several things to keep in mind when it comes to the final steps in how to prepare for a yard sale.

First thing, you’ll need to remember to put out your signs and get everything into place in an orderly manner. You don’t want prospective buyers to feel overwhelmed when seeing your sale. Allow room for people to walk without bumping into something. Plus, another tip for how to get ready for a yard sale is that you should have a protective cover ready or available in case it decides to rain. It’s always a good idea to be prepared with a space to move things to if that happens. Also, be forewarned that many guests arrive promptly at the starting time or even early so they can be sure to see the best selection. So, get set up early. You won’t want to be setting things out and unable to pay attention to someone wandering through your sale.

This leads to another point: safety – for you and your possessions. It’s always best to host a sale with a friend or family member. That way, there are always extra eyes on what is going on around you and if someone needs to take a break, for whatever reason, your things aren’t left unattended. It’s also a wise choice to double-check that your house is completely locked up as well. Homes can be targets for theft when everyone’s attention is on what’s happening outside. The same goes for the cash you have on hand. It should never be left out of sight. It’s best to entrust one person with the money at all times. Keep it in a container or a bag for easy access but make sure it’s out of view as much as possible.

Our last piece of advice for how to prepare for a yard sale is bringing the right attitude. As guests arrive, be positive and inviting! Greet people and chat if they are interested, but don’t badger them to buy either. A smile goes a long way. Chances are buyers will have a bunch of questions for you about your stuff – how old is it, are there more, where did you get it, and so on. Engage and be kind, whether you know the answer or not.

Preparedness is Successfulness

Being prepared and super organized doesn’t guarantee you the biggest yard sale payout on record – but it helps. It eases your mind and boosts your confidence. It shows professionalism to your potential buyers, which goes a long way. Being prepared is being successful! Oh, and let’s not forget maybe the biggest piece of advice we have for how to prepare for a yard sale – have fun! In the stress and busyness, remember to enjoy yourself and think of how great it will feel to declutter your home of things you no longer need!

For help or advice with your sale, contact Yard Sale Radar today!