How to Plan a Successful Yard Sale Without Driving Yourself Crazy

In Declutter, Removing Clutter by KristyLeave a Comment

Preparation for Yard Sale

You can declutter your entire home and make some extra cash with a yard sale and some careful planning. First you have to sort through your belongings and decide what to sell, keep, or donate.

Mastering Clutter

In order to make sure you will have enough items to sell, one method that works well is to put all yard sale items aside all year long. Designate an area in your home and place any items that you decide to sell in this area. When you have collected enough items, it’s time to start planning for a sale. If you haven’t decluttered in a while or this is the first time, break down this task into manageable tasks.

If you try to conquer many years of clutter in one day, you will overwhelm yourself. Think about it. You didn’t collect all this stuff in just one day. No, you collected it over a long period of time so you should plan to spend more than one day to sort the clutter. Tackle the unemotional decisions first. Start with items you can easily get rid of. Also start small. You should pick one room to start in and then a drawer or cabinet within that room. Then move around the entire room until it is finished. Continue to the next room and repeat the process.

Clean It Up

After figuring out what your are selling, it’s time to clean the items. I like to use handy dandy disinfecting wipes. Layers of dust and dirt are big turnoffs at yard sales. Think about how you would feel if you saw dirty products at a grocery store. You wouldn’t buy it would you? I certainly don’t buy dented cans and smashed containers when I am at the grocery store. People are shopping these sales for bargains, not because they want to rummage around someone else’s dirty, dusty unwanted items.

Spread the Word

After deciding on a date that works best for you to host the sale, start advertising two weeks in advance. Be specific with your ads. List whatever you have to sell so potential buyers have a reason to come. Entice buyers with photos of your best items.

Set Up Day of Sale


Decide how you will price things in advance, and use color-coded stickers to make it easier to track different-priced items. Be realistic about what people will pay at your sale. Just because you spent $80 originally, doesn’t mean you should list it for that price at your sale. Value decreases over time and you shouldn’t expect to get your money back at your sale. Price to sell because the goal is to get rid of it. Also prepare to barter with customers if necessary.

Organize like a Merchandiser

A well planned layout is attractive and makes a great first impression. The customer’s value of your items will rise if they see you really put time and effort into your sale. Big-ticket items such as furniture or baby strollers should be placed front and center where people driving by can see them. Put something equally eye catching at the back of the sale like a large painting, mirrors, or a floor lamp. Strategically placing these items near the back of the sale entice buyers to wander around your sale.

People will not stop at sales that look picked over, so review things throughout the sale. As items sell, fill the gaps and wholes by rearranging and move things closer to the street. You want to keep the appearance of being well-stocked. Thoughtful touches help your sale stand out. Try wrapping baby linens with twine or ribbon, or display jewelry on card stock that matches your sale signage. This makes your items seem more special and raises the chances of selling that item.

Use tables and avoid forcing customers to bend too much. Use regular tables for most items and shorter tables for children’s items. Hang clothes on a portable rack. Group like items such as lamps, purses, or picture frames together so the buyer can easily see what you have to choose from.

Hang SignageYard Sale Signs

The day of the sale is when you put of your signage. Make sure the signs are clear, consistent, and concise. Placement is Key. Signs should be placed at every entrance to your neighborhood and include arrows at every turn. Don’t clutter your signs with the address. Keep them simple because dr
ivers will not have time to read a cluttered sign. A large, simple “Yard Sale” sign with the date and arrow point the way is ideal.

Make it Fun

Create an inviting feel right from the beginning. Attach some colorful balloons to your mailbox. Play some music while people shop. To keep people shopping, offer refreshments and small snacks. Greet your customers. Be friendly, kind, and smile when appropriate.

During the Sale

Everything Goes

Have a box or two of free items that you were going to donate anyways. Customers like this because they don’t expect to walk away with items for free. It also means you have one less item to carry to where ever you plan on sending your donations. Pick a time to reduce prices to 50% off. During the last hour of the sale, offer everything for free. People will most likely take things that they might not have bought otherwise, which makes cleaning up at the of the day a lot easier. Hopefully, you won’t have many items left to donate.

Can you think of any other yard sale tips to add? Please leave them in the comments!

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Kristy is a lifestyle blogger wanting to make the world a better place by offering help with financial issues (debt and saving money), clutter, and making healthier choices. She also writes about life advice and her own personal experiences. She believes together we can make the rest of our lives the best of our lives.