Garage Sale Tips: The Guide You Need to Organize a Garage Sale

A garage sale is a great way to help declutter your home and make a little money while you are at it. Here are the best tips to organize a garage sale for your home.

What is one of the top things that might be keeping you from loving your home?

The answer:


With a family of 6, I have a constant battle against clutter in our home and sometimes it feels like we are losing that battle. Yet the longer I own our home, the more I realize that organizing and minimizing clutter can make a big impact on whether you love your home.

The guide you need to help organize your next garage sale.

One of the most motivating ways for me to get the kids (and myself) to get rid of things is to sell it at our yearly rummage sale. There is a little more motivation for them to get rid of an item when they know there might be a monetary reward.

Other ways to reduce unwanted household items and clutter:

  • Selling on marketplace or craigslist
  • Flea markets
  • Selling on Amazon or Ebay (or other online sales apps)
  • Donating the items

Why Should You Hold A Garage Sale?

You might be wondering, “Should I hold a garage sale or is it too much hassle? Maybe donating everything is the way to go.”

If you would prefer to eliminate clutter by donating it, that is great! The most important thing is to remove anything you do not love or need from your home.

However, here are a few reasons you might want to hold a garage sale:

  • You have a lot of stuff to get rid of all at once
  • You would like to make a little money from the items you are getting rid of instead of just donating them
  • The time to set up your garage sale and sell items is something you are willing to invest to make it happen.

If you have a lot of items to get rid of, then having a garage sale is the easiest way to make a little cash.

How Should You Arrange Your Garage Sale Items?

Through my experience holding and visiting garage sales, rummage sales, and yard sales, I have found that there is definitely a right and a wrong way to organize them to make the top sales and get rid of the most items.

So how do you avoid the pitfalls of the chaotic sale and set your summer garage sale up for success?

Here are a few tips I have learned throughout the years that have increased my garage sale revenue and traffic and contributed to successful sales.

Tips to Help You Organize a Garage Sale for Success

1. Take a tip from stores and organize like items in groups.

Try to organize items in ways that make sense, keeping in mind the ideal customer for each type of item you are selling.

For instance, at a recent garage sale I sold all of my baby and maternity clothes and most of these items were set up inside the garage. You could always tell which customers didn’t have kids. They were the ones who, at the sight of all of the pastel baby colors, did an about-face and high-tailed it to the other end of the driveway.

In order to attract those customers who weren’t interested in baby clothes, I set up my garage sale with distinct areas for each customer in the hopes that everything would be easy to find for the right person.

Tip: Set up kids toys away from breakables and at ground level. Every kid that comes to your sale will be playing with them. Keep them in a place that is safe and visible so no one/thing gets damaged.

2. Take pride in the presentation.

Hanging clothes and shoes for sale at a garage sale

Let’s face it. An item is a lot more pleasing if it is, first – visible, and second – visually appealing. Using vertical space (i.e. garage walls, ladders, boxes) can help display items in a more unique manner that may catch someone’s eye and hook them in for the purchase.

Organization and presentation does matter.

Use hangers to hang clothes.

Fold clothes on tables so that they are more visible.

Use tables to carefully display items.

Tip: If you have some plywood lying around from, let’s say, a DIY project, slap it onto a couple of saw horses to create an extra table. Make sure you screw the plywood down so that it doesn’t slide off and hurt anyone.

3. Organize kids clothing by size and gender.

Items organized on a table for a garage sale

For me, one of the biggest deterrents at a garage sale is a table heaped with a mound of mixed sizes of clothes.

I don’t have time to look at each tag to see if it will fit my child. After about the third or fourth attempt at finding something, I give up and leave to find a sale with better organization.

Make sure that you take the time to fold each article of clothing and arrange it by type (ex. pants, shirts, etc.). Each size should be clearly marked and the table labeled to indicate where one size ends and another begins. This will help your customers find what they want easily and will hopefully get them to purchase more.

4. Put prices on each item.

Clothing with garage sale stickers

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I know you will probably hate me for this, because setting up a garage sale is time consuming enough. However, it is so important to label EVERYTHING!

Nobody wants to ask you how much an item costs every time they are interested in something.

Is this the fastest way to organize a garage sale? No. But it will help you sell more items.

If you really don’t want to label everything, create a generic pricing sign for like items. However, make sure the items are all of similar quality. If there are a couple of items that you want a different price on, mark these individually and make a note on the sign “unless otherwise marked.”

Another fast way to organize a garage sale is to create a bag sale for certain items that you want to get rid of quickly.

Supply the size of bag that you want them to fill and post instructions. Ex. Fill a bag for $10.

5. Don’t overprice!

Price stickers with markersDo your research. That baby outfit you have been treasuring for the last 10 years and finally agreed to part with, is probably not in style anymore and won’t fetch a very high sum.

Those pants with the holes in the knees aren’t worth $2.00, no matter what you paid for them when you bought them.

Make sure you are pricing things reasonably. If things seem too expensive at a garage sale, your customers won’t stay very long and may not buy anything.

There are two methods I use for determining a price.

  1. See how much it would cost to purchase it brand new, assess the wear on the item, and mark it down accordingly.
  2. Think about what I would pay for a similar item if I were looking for it at a garage sale.

6. Organize garage sale items in between rushes.

Take the time during the lulls in customers to refold clothes and rearrange items. If a table is looking a little sparse after items have been purchased from it, move things around to fill in the empty spaces.

There have been many times that I have moved an item from one place to another and it gets purchased shortly after. Now, it may have been that the right person came along at that time, but it may have been that the item was more visible and appealing in its new location. Either way, it was purchased, which makes me happy.

7. Plug It In

If you have something electronic that you are selling, plug it in if you can. People like to see what an item looks like powered on and that it works.

8. If you have nice weather, use that outdoor space.

Utilize the outdoor space as much as possible

If it doesn’t look like you have that much stuff, cars will drive on by. They won’t even know that you had the perfect pink polka dot purse for sale or the tricycle for their son, because they didn’t even come over to see if you had what they needed.

If the weather is nice, make sure to take advantage of all of the outdoor space. Move a couple of tables and all of the larger items out on the driveway and entice those cars to stop.

9. Create a free box

If you have items that you don’t feel like selling, but want to get rid of, set them out in a free box. You will be surprised at what others will use.

10. Be ready with bags and change at check out.

Toy cash register, notebook, and bags for garage sale organization

Save up grocery bags and small boxes and have them ready for your customers at your garage sale. I recently figured out a neat way to roll my bags and stick them in a dispenser.

If you are selling anything fragile, it is a good idea to have a few newspapers available to wrap the items in as well.

Make sure you go to the bank and get enough small change for your sale. It always feels a little awkward to stand around and wait for someone to run into their house to get you the change you are due. Avoid making your customer uncomfortable by being ready with enough coins and small bills.

Note: I borrowed my kid’s toy cash register for a fun and useful money storage.

11. Use great signs to direct them to your sale.

Garage sale sign

You can have the most organized garage sale in the world, but if you don’t use signs to direct traffic to your house, or your signs aren’t visible from the road, you won’t sell very much.

When making signs, keep in mind that they need to be visible from a moving car. Make sure to use bright colors and large lettering. Also, make sure the arrows are pointing the right direction.

Put the signs on the busiest streets closest to your house to draw people in.

Results When You Organize a Garage Sale

Of course, the whole purpose of having a garage sale is to get rid of the stuff you don’t need and make some money in the process.

Hopefully these tips will help you be successful in getting rid of the clutter in your home. Decluttering is a very important part of having a home that you love.

Want to remember these tips for later? Save them to your favorite organizational board on Pinterest.

11 tips to help you organize your garage sale and; sell more stuff: labels and hanging clothes

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