Our Garage/Moving Sale

Moving is truly the best way to declutter. When it came down to packing everything we own, there were some, well, a lot of times where we’d stumble across some items we completely forgot about. Sometimes it was like Christmas morning, like when I found a $50 Walmart GC in an envelope somewhere. Other times, I would look at an item and wonder why the heck did I buy this?

I ended up starting a garage sale pile while packing, not thinking much of it. However, the pile grew until four of our kitchen cabinets were full, as well as a few large boxes. Crazy…

Since it is the Fall in a college town, we decided to schedule the sale on a bye week for the football team, which was last weekend. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, and we were happy to see that quite a few people showed up to our little sale.

Check out the before/after of the sale! We were super stoked to make over $300 in  just 4 short hours. :-)

If you’re new to garage sales, here’s a few tips I’d like to share based on experience. :-)

A few days before:

  • Advertise on Craigslist and your local paper. Consider starting your garage sale earlier than most, since the early birds are the ones with the major money. :-) We started ours at 7, but people showed up at 6:30 while we were setting up. Yes, coffee works miracles!
  • Purchase garage sale pricing labels and signs at the Dollar Tree. WAY cheaper than Lowes or Wal-Mart! Don’t wait until the night before, especially if you think it will be a major garage sale weekend, because Dollar Tree sells out fast!

The day before:

  • Price your items. You don’t want to worry about this when you’re setting up that morning, because people like to show up early and it’s best to be organized and have the price tags on there already.
  • Put out your garage sale signs and write the information BIG and BOLD. If you’re using posters as signs, get a bright colored sign! You want to grab attention as people are driving by!
  • Go to the bank and get money for change. Get a few 20s in change too, just in case the big spenders come. It’s also nice to buy a counterfeit pen for those 100s and 20s. You really just never know. 

The day of:

  • Set up everything neatly and in categories. It helps to have everything sorted so people who know exactly what they’re looking for can find it! I can’t tell you how many people said our garage sale was the cleanest they had seen that day! :-)
  • If someone haggles (within reason), go for it! Do you want this junk back in your house? No. I like to think of garage sales like someone is PAYING YOU to get rid of your junk. Trust me, you’ll probably end up giving to Goodwill anyway if it doesn’t sell and with that, you end up with nada.
  • A couple of hours before the garage sale is over, mark EVERYTHING down that you still have.
  • An hour before it’s over, mark down again.  (And just to note, towards the end, we started giving away stuff for free with purchases. I didn’t want to make the Goodwill trip, so I kept thinking, these people are doing us a favor by taking this crap.)

Any other tips you have for holding a garage sale? :-)




  1. Grrr… this makes me want to have a garage sale! We donated/sold most of our stuff on Craigslist when we moved… why we didn’t have a garage sale, I don’t know. Maybe when I re-accumulate we’ll use these tips! :)

  2. We’re moving soon and I want to have a garage sale beforehand. Did you already have the tables? Garage sales seem like so much work; it seems easier just to donate everything but it looks like it was worth it for you!

    • We purchased a folding table at Target, and we borrowed tables from family too. If you don’t want to buy a table or if your family doesn’t have any that you could borrow, ask some party places if they rent them out. I know of a local place that does this for $10/table, which isn’t too bad.

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