As spring evolves, many homeowners start to think about having a yard sale to get rid of unwanted goods and unneeded items. If you’re an old yard sale pro, this might not seem like any great feat to you. However, if you’re new to the process, it can feel a little overwhelming and foreign. Luckily, it doesn’t need to. If you’re planning to have a yard sale this spring, here’s your guide to getting it done like a boss.
Keep vs. Purge: That is the Yard Sale Question
The key to a successful yard sale is having good things to sell. Yet, before you can lay it all out on the table, you’ve got to decide what you’ll keep and what you’ll purge. This is the toughest part of the process for many people.
If you have a tough time letting go of things, you’re not alone. In fact, there’s a psychological phenomenon called The Endowment Effect that says people attribute more value to the things they own, simply because they own them.
Once you understand why you’re so attached to that sweater from 1997, you can start making smarter purging decisions. Here are a few quick ways to decide whether to get rid of something, or not:
When did you use it last? If you haven’t used, worn, or unfolded it in a year, it’s time to sell it.
Is it in good shape? Items that are worn-out or damaged can get tossed out. If something just doesn’t fit you or doesn’t get used, on the other hand, it’s a great yard sale candidate.
Do you own a better version of it? Do you have five black windbreakers? Did you recently purchase a new phone or computer? If you’ve replaced the item you’re holding in your hands with a newer or more useful one, it gets its chance at the yard sale.
As you go through your closets and rooms, keep two piles: one of things to keep and put away, and another of things to sell at your upcoming yard sale.
Tips for Sorting Yard Sale Items
If the thought of going through your whole home and organizing things into piles freaks you out, take a deep breath. There’s a method to this madness. Here are a few tips for sorting your items that will help you stay organized and sane throughout:
Move room by room. Keep yourself on-track and prevent overwhelm by moving intentionally. Start with low traffic-rooms like guest rooms and spare bathrooms. Then work your way toward your everyday areas.
Sort by category. Keeping the buyer in mind, sort items according to how you’ll arrange them on the yard sale table. Group similar items together like a retail store with clothing, toys, kitchen areas…etc.
Price items as you go. If you’d like to save yourself a step down the road, price your items as you organize them. That way, you can just hang, arrange, and sell them when it’s time to put your yard sale on.
Be ruthless. Lose the sentiment when it comes to purging your belongings. For questionable items, put it in the yard sale to see if it will even sell. If it doesn’t, then decide to keep or donate.
Tech Options for Getting Rid of Unwanted Items
Have a few items you want to sell but don’t want to be haggled down to a few measly bucks at your yard sale? Consider utilizing technology for getting rid of them. Here are a few easy options:
OfferUp allows you to snap pictures of items and sell them locally. Easy to use, safe, and perfect for making some extra money, OfferUp is a de-junker’s best friend.
You can tell from the name that Letgo understands The Endowment Effect fully! As the app name would suggest, though, it’s time to let it go. Much like OfferUp, Letgo allows you to list items you don’t want, set a price, and sell them to local buyers.
Craigslist is tried and true when it comes to selling items online. Offering separate sales categories, the platform allows you to list everything from home goods to free items and sell them to buyers in your area and surrounding cities.
Getting Ready for Your Yard Sale
Once you’ve come up with some items for your yard sale, it’s time to prepare. Here are a few things you’ll need to get ready for the big day:
- Petty cash for change
- Measuring tape for furniture dimensions
- Fold up tables for displays
- Pricing stickers
Don’t forget to come up with a few folding chairs to sit in and anything else you’ll need to be comfortable outside during your yard sale.
Pro-Tip: Wardrobe boxes left over from your move are a perfect way to display and organize clothes. This will convey added value to the buyer vs. clothing piled on a table.
Advertising Your Yard Sale
The final step in putting on a killer yard sale is advertising it. Luckily, this is also one of the easier steps. Depending on where you live, you’ll have several options:
- Take out an advertisement in your local newspaper
- Print flyers and stick them up around your neighborhood
- Put an announcement up on Facebook to alert your friends and family
No matter what you do, be sure to start advertising at least a week in advance, so die-hard yard sale devotees have time to fit you into their schedule. It’s also a smart move to include the categories of items at your yard sale to draw buyers in. “Baby items, DVD’s, Women’s Shoes: Size 7”
You can also use Craigslist to advertise your upcoming yard sale and target buyers interested in specific things you are selling. Be sure to upload enticing pictures.
Pro-Tip: Extend your reach by sticking flyers in high-traffic areas like parks, coffee shops and college bulletin boards. ( College kids are prime targets for second-hand home furnishings and household items)
What to do After Your Yard Sale
Once your yard sale has wrapped up, you’ve got nothing to do but kick back and count your money! If not everything sold, now is a great time to donate unsold items or throw away anything that’s not worth donating.
While there are many ways to declutter your home for spring, having a yard sale is one of the only options that allows you to make money and get rid of junk all at once.