garage sale & cottonwood

Yep, we did it; we had our first garage sale ever! It was a solid day’s work, but I think it was worth the effort to de-clutter our house and make a few extra bucks.

Sitting around watching people rummage through our things and negotiate deals, I thought up ten pertinent things for anyone wanting to host their own garage sale. I referenced Restored Style, too.

Top 10 Thing (I learned to do) for a Successful Garage Sale

1. Signage – I would make the signs first!  I love art and drawing, but I waited to make my signs until Friday night at 11 pm, making them a little less appealing to the eye. Next time, I would make them first. Also, put yourself out there on Craigslist and in the local newspaper to get even more people at your sale.

2. Have a friend – I had my spouse, and honestly would have thrown the stickers out the window, if he wasn’t helping. The prep work can get long and tedious, but it’s more doable with a friend. It’s nice to have someone the day of the sale, too. To help stay close to the cash, answer questions, make lunch or get drinks, and make sure no one is stealing. We lost one portable mouse when we only had one person watching the sale. 

3. Price to sell – Sometimes the price we think is super reasonable is outrageous to the buyer; it’s not personal, just the way it is. Make sure you make adjustments to your prices throughout your sale. We reduced prices on items if we saw a lot of interest (items being picked up, etc.) but no sale.

4. Buy Prefab Stickers – I bought stickers that were pre-priced and blank stickers at the Dollar Tree. They worked perfect and were a lot less work than putting every number on each item. Also, work with quarters and dollars. Anything worth less than 0.25 cents, I put as free. It’s just easier to deal with than having nickels, dimes, and pennies in your cashbox.

5. Clump like items – When setting up your garage sale, people like the department store feel. Kitchen items on one table, electronics on another. It’s also easier to monitor. I would put the more pricey electronics on a table closer to where you are sitting.

6. Bags – Have a couple of plastic shopping bags available for people that buy multiple items. If people know they can walk away in one trip, they are willing to buy more goods.

7. Negotiate and Bundle – Be willing to negotiate; it’s a garage sale, and the items made it outside your home for a reason. Let someone enjoy your goods. If they want it for $3 not $5, I say sell. Also, let your spouse or friend know which items you won’t budge on. I had a couple of BCBG and J.Crew dresses priced at 20.00, which was my lowest price and Paul knew it. Otherwise, if you notice a person interested in a couple items make an offer. (Watch American Pickers, Frank’s the bundle master!) They come to your garage sale for a deal and a couple dollars off two items is huge! Be willing to be a salesperson.

8. Weather – Watch the forecast! This I know personally. Friday afternoon when I was setting up for the sale, I didn’t check the forecast, until there were thunder clouds rolling in; we had to move everything we set out into the garage. Also, in Dallas, I will schedule my next garage sale in March or April. This weekend, it was already in the 90’s, and humid! It was already hard for individuals to handle being outside for too long.  

9. Get Cash – I went to the bank prior to the sale and withdrew $70.00; $40.00 in $5.00, $20.00 in $1.00 and a roll of quarters. This was really nice to have to make change.

10. After Sale – Assess what you have left. I put my items in three categorizes.

  • Craigslist – Items that I think could still sell to the right buyer.
  • Donate – Things that were just not that great to put back into the house! De-clutter! We itemized our donations (use garage sale prices) for tax purposes.  Every little bit helps!
  • Store or Reinvent – This is a hard category. Try your best to really assess and reassess what you bring back into the house.  We had all but a basket left after our sale, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

I think this does it for the start of my de-cluttering adventure. It’s honestly so nice to start working towards being a little bit of a minimalist.

After all of our work, we made it to the annual Cottonwood Festival, which is just down the street from our house. It’s artist from all over the US coupled with live music. It’s cheap, fun entertainment.

I actually sprung for some artwork, too! Two prints; one for our kitchen and one for our entry! Maybe it was the extra cash from the garage sale that make me say “let’s?!?” But I’m really happy we got some solid art.  It was great to talk with the artist as well. He explained his thoughts on each piece, which was an extra special touch.

Sunday, I was able to frame it, and the husband hung it! It was a great team effort!

Otherwise, I’ll leave you with this lovely picture of the ducks at Cottonwood Park… they were enjoying the festivities as much as we were.

I hope everyone else had a productive and satisfying weekend, too!

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