How to Set Up a Successful Garage Sale in 10 Easy Steps


A garage sale is a great way to get rid of items you no longer need. Regardless of if you’re moving, want to reclaim more livable space, or are trying to make a few extra dollars, hosting a sale is easy and can have a lot of benefits. To help you get the most out of your efforts, here’s how to set up a successful garage sale in 10 easy steps.

1. Have a Goal

Having a successful garage sale sounds pretty straightforward, but there are several factors that should be considered before your big day. Think about what sparked the motivation for a garage sale in the first place. Was it to get rid of excess clutter around your home? Was it to prepare for an upcoming move? Are you looking to make a little extra money from unused items? Or are you simply looking for a way to give back to your community?

Each of these motivating factors can lead to drastically different plans for your garage sale, so consider what your goal is before you start gathering and pricing your items. For example, if you’re simply trying to get rid of some excess clutter, you may have a variety of items with lower price points. If you’re trying to make some money, choosing high-quality items that are in style will give you the biggest return. Of course, you can also host a mix of items for all types of shoppers to enjoy.

2. Choose the Right Date

Another key component of planning a garage sale is choosing the right date. Oftentimes, homeowners hold their yard sale over a long weekend, or from a Thursday to Monday to give plenty of people with varying schedules time to stop by. Consider choosing a non-holiday weekend, as many people go out of town when they have school or work off. Mild days in the spring or fall allow for optimal outdoor shopping weather.

3. Start Gathering Belongings

Once you have all of the logistics settled, it’s time to start gathering your belongings. You may already have a stack of items you wanted to get rid of, but now is the time to go through each room and get everything together. This also gives you the perfect chance to reorganize your kitchen, try out a new basement layout, or revamp your entry way. The earlier you start, the less stressful this process will be. If you have things in a self-storage unit, you may want to go through those as well.

For the biggest impact on your home, consider using the box method in each room. This involves going through each of your items and deciding whether or not you want to keep it, sell it, or move it to storage. It’s a great way to assess unused items and give yourself more livable space in your home while also increasing your garage sale inventory.

4. Consider Pricing

You can do this step at the same time you’re gathering, or after you’ve finished getting everything together. Either way, the pricing is a key component to a successful garage sale. When price tags are too high, you might not get any interested parties. When price tags are too low, you lose out on extra cash. This is where you garage sale goal will come into play—do you want to get rid of as much as possible for as little as possible? Or would you prefer trying to turn as big of profit as you can?

When pricing, you should also consider the age of the item, the condition it’s in, and whether or not it’s considered an antique or collectible.

5. Organize and Arrange

Now comes the fun part—organizing your inventory. The way you set up your belongings can make an impact on how successful your sale is, so try to be strategic. Think about the layout of a store when you enter. Women’s clothes, men’s clothes, and children’s clothes should be arranged in one area within their own sections. Kitchenware or cookware should be together, entertainment items can go on another table, and décor should be neatly arranged separately. Creating sections allows shoppers to browse your selection based on their needs. Plus, the more organized things appear, the more appealing they can be to potential buyers.

6. Showcase Accessories

When arranging your items, don’t forget to showcase any accessories you may have. Rather than throwing them all in a bowl, consider organizing your earrings, rings, or other jewelry in a way that’s easy to see. This can increase the likelihood that something catches the eye of a passerby without them having to put in much effort. Arrange shoes nicely underneath the tables and make sure you have a mirror available for people who need it.

7. Make it Budget Friendly

If the goal of your garage sale is to make a few extra dollars, don’t spend money trying to perfect the set up. Rather than purchasing price tags, you can make them out of masking tape and a marker. Use your own hangers to display clothes, but remove them during check out. Have a few bags on hand if needed, but ask your customers if they need one before assuming. There are several ways you can host a garage sale without having to spend your own money, so try to make the most out if.

8. Advertise Strategically

Another important factor of holding a successful garage sale is advertising. In order for people to purchase your items, they need to know they’re for sale in the first place. You can post ads on your local Facebook groups, hang flyers around your neighborhood and in community centers, and announce your garage sale on your social media. There are also several websites solely dedicated to advertising yard sales that may help you spread the word. If you’re not comfortable posting your address online, stick to traditional advertising methods or have people reach out directly for the details. Word of mouth advertising can also help, so tell your friends to spread the word. Finally, on the day of your sale, put out balloons and signs so that people driving by can easily see you.

9. Set Things Up in Advanced

Although you may think that you can get everything set up in the morning before your sale starts, that’s usually never the case. Reduce the stress by setting up well in advanced. You can park your car outside of the garage and slowly begin to set things up as you price them, which will make the whole process a lot more enjoyable. Doing this in advance also gives you plenty of time to reorganize as you continue to add things.

In preparation for your first day, make sure that you have some essential supplies such as chairs, a calculator, hand sanitizer, music, some bags, a receipt book, sold tags for items in your garage that you won’t be selling, tape, drinks and snacks, and a cash box, swipe, or sign for Venmo payments.

10. Make Alternative Plans

Although everyone hopes to get rid of all of their belongings during a garage sale, you’re likely going to end up with a few leftover items. Go back to your goals of why you held the sale in the first place. If you simply wanted to declutter your home or prepare for a big move, you may just want to take the remaining items to your local donation center. If you’re trying to earn some extra money, sort through your items and set aside anything that may be of value. You can always try selling things online, as the audience may be bigger. However, you should weigh the effort it takes to post, negotiate, and eventually handover the items you’re selling with the return. A few hours of time each week for only $10 or $20 may not be worth it in terms of time or money spent on gas.

Hosting a garage sale is a great way to get rid of things you no longer need. However, just because you don’t use something often or it takes up a lot of space in your home doesn’t mean you need to sell it. For items that you still want around, but don’t necessarily have space for, utilize a climate-controlled self-storage unit from The Lock Up Self Storage. We offer a variety of self-storage units in varying sizes to help keep your belongings safe, accessible, and in good condition. With flexible leasing options, you can use our self-storage for as long as you need, regardless of if it’s short-term or long-term. Our facilities are protected with top-of-the-line security features like perimeter alarms, gated access codes, and 24/7 CCTV. To learn more about our self-storage units at The Lock Up, give us a call today at 1-866-327-LOCK or stop by one of our locations for a tour of the facility.