Well, it is officially spring time and so starts the “cleaning season”. Something that could help with that is a garage sale. There are a lot of good reasons you may want to hold a garage sale. Some of the reasons you may want to consider include: 1) To get rid of things you no longer need. 2) To de-clutter your home because you want to make your home feel more spacious. 3) To make room for new furnishings.  4) To de-clutter your home to put it on the market. 5) To make some extra money. You can probably think of other good reasons, but these are some of the common ones. But, before you hold a garage sale there are some important things you should consider:

1) Check with your homeowner’s association and local government to see if you need a permit or license. Some areas have restrictions concerning the type and number of signs, and the number of garage sales permitted per year. Some cities also have laws on the books regarding where signs may be placed.

2) The more people who show up to your garage sale the better, so make sure you advertise using a number of methods. Here are a few suggestions: newspaper, free classifieds, community website, signs, postcards or door knocking to neighbors, tell your friends, family and co-workers, Craigslist, Facebook, etc… You may want to see if your neighbors also want to hold a “block” garage sale to attract more buyers.

3) When you put your signs up you may want to consider adding a balloon to each sign to help draw attention to the sign. If you use a box for your garage sale sign, make sure you weigh it down with rocks so that it doesn’t blow away. You should check on your signs at least once per hour to make sure they’re still up. Sometimes these either blow away or are removed by others.

4) Make sure your garage sale signs look good, the lettering is large enough to be seen, and are legible. All of your signs should look the same so that people can easily follow them to your garage sale. There may be more than one garage sale happening in the area. And keep your sign simple: it should include a) Garage Sale or Yard Sale b) Address c) An arrow pointing the way

5) Make sure you have enough signs to place a local intersections leading to your home, as well as a few key high-traffic intersections further out. Remember that you will need at least two signs for each four-way intersection.

6) Move your cars to another area of the community, as long as that is allowed. You want to make sure that there is enough room for multiple cars to park in front of your home or nearby.

7) Expect people to come by early. Be ready for them. Make sure everything is labeled and that you’re ready to go.

8) If you have pets, keep them away from the garage sale. Your dog may be friendly, but some people are afraid of dogs, and some are allergic.

9) Place the price on each item ahead of time with removable stickers. Remember that people are looking for a bargain at garage sales. Place the price on the top of the item instead of the bottom. Otherwise, you will spend most of your time answering the question, “How much is this?” If you are selling items that are all similar, such as books, you can place one sign that says, “All books .25 cents each.” or “Anything on this table .50 cents.” And as a general rule, the larger the item, the larger the price tag should be. Otherwise, people will have a hard time finding your tiny sticker. If you choose, you can create a chart, e.g. “Blue stickers .50 cents” “Red stickers $1.00”, etc…

10) Display items in an orderly fashion. If possible, display each item individually instead of in boxes that people have to dig through. Also, make sure you wipe down all items. If an item looks dirty, the buyer will probably want to pay you less for it. You may need to rent tables if you don’t have enough for all of your items.

11) Stop by your bank the day before your garage sale. You will need plenty of change. Make sure you have enough smaller coins, quarters, and fives. Keep the bill denominations and coins in separate compartments to avoid accidentally giving the wrong change. A money-box, multi-pocket apron, or fanny pack will all work. Make sure you tally the items yourself. And if you have any items with lids or drawers, make sure you look inside to make sure there isn’t anything tucked away inside that the buyer forgot about.

12) If you are selling any items that require electricity, make sure you have easy access to an electrical outlet. You may want to have an extension cord available just in case.

13) Place larger items closest to the street to attract more buyers.

14) Anything in your garage that is not for sale should be covered. Otherwise, you could have people trying to buy things that you don’t want to sell.

15) Arrange the table where you will collect money closer to the street. You don’t want buyers to forget to pay for their treasures. It will also make it easier to answer questions from people driving by.

16) If possible, have at least two people at the garage sale. The more eyes on your items them better. And, it will make it more fun.

17) Have wrapping paper, newspaper, paper or plastic bags, or something to wrap items that are fragile.

18) Consider having some relaxing, easy-listening music on in the background. It may cause people to hang around just a little longer.

19) To save difficult issues later, post a sign that says, “All sales are final.” Then, take a picture of the sign so that you can show where it was displayed.

20) People go to garage sales to obtain a “bargain”. Be prepared for buyers to want to haggle over the price. Think about what the least amount you will take for each item before you put them out for sale. If it’s early in the day you may want to tell buyers searching for a better price to check back with you later in case it doesn’t sell.

21) Remember to remove all signs once your garage sale is over. It’s a good idea to write down where you placed each sign so that you remember where you put them.

22) Thank each buyer and leave them with a smile. Have FUN!!