Each year around this time, we will do a thorough spring cleaning of our home, gather all our unwanted belongings that are still in good condition and host a garage sale to get rid of these unwanted stuff. Our kids will look forward to having these garage sales because it is a once a year only event which allows them to raise some pocket money from the sales proceeds. I love it too because it gives us a simple way to declutter our home.
If you like the idea of holding a garage sale of your own, this guide may come in useful…
Gather Enough Items to Sell
If you are planning a garage sale, you’ll want to have sufficient pre-loved items to sell to make it worth your while. Hence, you will need to comb through your whole house each year to find your unwanted stuff. And the best time to do it is around December. Why? Because regardless if you are holding a garage sale, you’ll still need to pack, clean, your home to prepare for Christmas and the New Year. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.
Combing Through your Home for Items to Sell
For me, this is the most painful part of the whole process. It’s tedious and boring but once you get through this phase, the rest of the process should be much easier and sometimes even fun. Here’s how I do it…
Identify My Unwanted Items
When scouring through your home, room by room, decide on the spot if an item is indeed unwanted. To be efficient, you need to be decisive. Don’t spend your time mulling over whether to keep or do away with an item. Instead follow this simple rule – if you have not used it in over a year, you can probably do away with it. And if you get overly sentimental over discarding anything, remind yourself that decluttering will become extremely difficult. You certainly will not want a cluttered home for Christmas.
Once you decide that an item is unneeded, determine if it is still in good condition. If it is, you can resell it. If not, dispose of it.
While going through your stuff, there will be things you do not need but cannot currently dispose of. Pack them up properly and keep them in your storeroom. Be sure to pack them systematically and label them for easy retrieval in future. If your storeroom is not large enough you can get some cheap storage space from this Singapore Movers website They also provide great packing tips here.
Organise and Set a Price for All Items
After gathering all the items you intend to put up for sale, group them systematically based on item types e.g clothing, handbags, footwear, kitchenware etc, for easy retrieval on event day itself.
While grouping your stuff, also decide on the price tag for each item as well as its baseline price (i.e. the minimal price you’ll accept). Yes, knowing your baseline price is important because you’ll likely have a few bargain hunters, that day, who will haggle with you. For the less expensive items, I usually split them to 3 bundles, $2, $5, $9 group. Somehow when items go for below $10, they move faster. Yes, I could have priced my last group at $9.90 but then, I’ll need to have lots of coins for loose change. Too much of a hassle for me.
Lastly, you may also want to determine what your potential best seller items are and split them into two piles, one for display in the morning and the other, for display in the afternoon.
Promote the Event
For your garage sale to be successful, people must know about it. You can place a classified ad on the Straits Times as well as promote it online on Facebook as well as your favourite online classified ad sites.
And if you have an active Carousell account with lots of followers, you can post the garage sale there too.
To catch people’s attention, you’ll need to highlight (in your ad) a few attractive items at steeply discounted prices. Go through your list and decide which ones you can highlight
I usually leave the online promotion task to my kids. They love doing it as they get a sense of satisfaction seeing people respond to their ads. It makes them feel like successful business people.
Laying Out Items on Event Day
Event day itself is fun especially for the kids, so do get them involved. However, the whole family will need to be up early to lay out all your items before the first guest arrives. Laying out should now be easy because you have done the required pre-work i.e. you should have already organized and tagged all your items.
Layout your $2, $5 and $9 piles near the entrance and all your other stuff neatly and with their price tag clearly visible.
Remember your best seller items? Don’t display them all; leave some for the afternoon. You’ll always need good stuff to attractive people to stay and browse through the rest of your items. There’s nothing more disappointing than to arrive at a garage sale only to find that everything of value has been sold.
Donate All Leftover Items
No matter how well you plan your garage sale, there will be leftover items. Remember, your objective is to declutter so don’t store them back in your home. Instead donate them to your favour charity. Not sure who to donate to? This article by Honey Kids may help.
That’s it, my simple guide to planning and hosting a successful garage sale. Why not try it for yourself and let me know how it went by commenting below.