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Posted in How-to on November 10, 2022
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

How to Have a Successful Garage Sale When Moving Across the Country?

Many people dread organizing a yard sale because there is too much work to be done – but there is no reason to worry. With our simple guide, you’ll soon discover how to have a successful garage sale that will help you reduce the amount of stuff you need to pack and move. We’ll share our tips on how to make the most of your yard sale when relocating long-distance, so read on!

In order to have a successful garage sale, you need to decide what you’re going to sell and how you’re going to price and advertise. Gather all the necessary supplies and place ads, and be sure to include all the relevant information (date, time, address). Finally, group items of similar categories together and make sure everything is set up the day before the sale.

Why Should You Learn How to Have a Successful Garage Sale Before the Move?

When it’s time to move, having a yard sale can be a great way to earn some extra money, especially if you’re on a low relocation budget. As you’re probably well aware, the cost of a cross-country move is high, whether you want to hire long-distance movers or move by yourself. However, if you opt to sell things you no longer need, you can rest assured that your finances will suffer less and, in return, your anxiety about relocation will lessen.

On the other hand, this type of sale will help you downsize for a move in no time, get rid of things you no longer want, and simplify unpacking after relocation. After you decide what to keep, all you have to do is plan the sale and watch your unwanted household goods go into the hands of those who need or want them.

However, one of the things to consider when relocating to a new state is that it takes some preparation to have a successful sale – but the better you’re prepared, the better outcome awaits. That being said, if your relocation reasons don’t require a last-minute move, there shouldn’t be any problems in organizing this type of sale.

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Set a Goal Before the Sale

If a yard sale is a part of your relocation day preparations, you need to find out what you hope to accomplish with it. Do you want to make some quick cash to pay for good white glove moving services? Do you want to get rid of as much stuff as possible when organizing a move? Only after you’ve decided on your goal can you start planning your sale.

Remember – a garage sale is a great opportunity to make some extra money, but it’s not going to be successful unless you have a well-made plan. First and foremost, you need to create a pile with items you wish to leave behind – and then sort it in order to decide which of these goods you can sell and make a profit.

There’s no shame in admitting that some of your stuff is just junk. If it’s broken, unusable, or you simply never use it, get rid of it! You don’t want to waste money on getting packing services for something that you’re just going to end up throwing away after the move. However, if some of your stuff is still in good condition and you think somebody else might actually want to buy it, then selling it is a great option – and the one that will help you make your move easier.

How to Prepare for a Garage Sale?

When you decide which items you’ll showcase, that’s when yard sale work truly begins. The first step is gathering the materials you’re going to need. You should:

Have all the right supplies

The things you can’t go without during the yard sale are boxes and tables. Make sure you have enough of them – the more, the merrier. Ask your friends, family, and neighbors to borrow some if you can’t find enough supplies in your home. It’s always better to have more than you need than not enough!

Grab the rest of the essentials

Gathering the things you need and putting them away about the week before the scheduled date should also be on your relocating-to-another-state checklists. Find a suitable cash box where you’ll keep the bills you’ll need for change. It can be an old toolbox or a craft box as long as it is sturdy and has shelves or dividers to keep the bills separate. Keep in mind that you’ll also need supplies such as a calculator, plastic grocery bags, paper clips, treats, and so on.

Remember the price tags

You don’t need additional expenses when you move to a new home, so choose low-cost tags to keep costs down. Buy stickers at a discount store, or use masking tape and a marker pen instead. You can even make DIY price tags! All you have to do is cut brown paper bags into pieces about the size of tags and poke holes in them so you can string them.

Check the Competitors and Pick the Best Date

Before you can hold your own, take some time to browse over other nearby sales. It’s one of the best ways to learn what sells and what doesn’t, as well as how to value everything you plan on showcasing. Go online and go through your neighborhood’s message boards, newsletters, and online applications like Nextdoor to take note of the phrases and sentences that caught your eye and prompted you to visit a sale.

You’ll also need to think about the most suitable date for your sale. Since most people get paid on the first week of the month and have more money to spend, think about holding one then. Additionally, note that the ideal days for a yard sale are typically Fridays and Saturdays.

Man at a yard sale before cross-country moving
Scheduled the date of the sale can significantly impact its success

You Should Price Items Before the Sale

Avoid setting prices the evening before the sale. The tension and the need to hurry will prevent you from making wise decisions. Instead, think about the pricing days before it’s actually scheduled. Additionally, when pricing, make sure you adopt a customer-centric mindset. People who visit garage sales want to find the best deals, even if an item may be completely new and still have the original tag on it. Overpricing your items, even when they are unused, can result in an unsuccessful sale.

How to Price Second-Hand Items?

Pricing second-hand goods can be tricky, but if you do your research and factor in all the necessary variables, you should be able to come up with a fair price that will attract buyers.

The first step is to find out the range of prices currently on the market. Checking online marketplaces, visiting local consignment shops, or other sales can give you a good idea of what kind of price range you should be looking at. When in doubt, set a lower price – it’s better to sell an item quickly than to wait forever for the perfect price.

Of course, it’s important to take the condition of your item into account when pricing it. Be honest with yourself about the item’s condition and adjust the price accordingly. Only once you’ve done your research and considered the condition of your item, it’s time to set a fair price.

Clothes set on a rack before long-distance moving
When setting the price, try to be as objective as possible

Garage Sale Organization Tips

When organizing the sale, you should gather all of the items you want to sell in one place. This will help you get an idea of what you have to work with and sort the goods into different categories. Common categories include clothes, toys, electronics, kitchenware, and so on. You can also create subcategories within each main category (for example, under clothes, you might have shirts, pants, dresses, and the like). This step will help make your garage sale more organized and easier for customers to navigate.

Here are some excellent garage sale ideas to consider when it comes to arranging all of your stuff:

  • Place the linens in sets – sets of sheets and pillowcases should be bundled together with size labels on them. You can also create sets of towels, including a washcloth, a hand towel, and a bath towel. Use twine or yarn to neatly bind all of the bundles together.
  • Display eyewear and jewelry – next to the cash-out table, set up a space for small objects like jewelry, sunglasses, and things alike. Sort items according to style so that more formal or child-friendly items are gathered together.
  • Carefully arrange your wardrobe – hang clothing where it will be visible. You can put out a garment rack if you own one, put clothes on a wall, or thread a clothing line among trees or poles. Take the effort to arrange your clothing in full outfits – this way, you’ll sell more of it.

Remember – if you’re planning on having a garage sale, then you need to get organized. This means showcasing everything clearly.

Object set for sale before cross-country moving
You don't want people rummaging through your stuff, so make it easy for them to find what they need

Make Sure You Advertise the Sale

Advertising the sale online a few days before and hanging posters in your neighborhood should also be a part of your to-do list. To make your sale stand out, give it a catchy yet straightforward name and let buyers know you’ll have in-demand items, such as children’s clothing or toys, specialized tools, craft materials, or collectibles. Include your complete address, the dates, and the time of the sale whenever possible. For a wider audience of buyers, make sure to advertise on social media and use websites such as Garage Sale Finder as well as Yard Sale Treasure Map.

Make Some Signs

Use heavy-duty tape to hang clear, weatherproof signs in your home’s yard. However, be sure to do your research before posting any signs because some communities have rules concerning how and where you can do so. You can also use chalkboard paint the day before your sale to create arrows leading to your home that say things like “Sale!” and “This Way!”

Set Up Everything the Day Before

When you’re planning a move to a new city, note that you’ll need at least a day to set everything up before the sale. Items should be covered with huge tarp or old sheets if they will be left outside overnight to keep them safe. Utilize the tables to make everything visible and prevent people from bending over to glance at anything. To modify the height of tables and offer extra focus points, use books or solid shallow boxes as risers. It’s a good idea to arrange items to resemble different rooms and group similar items together. Once everything is set up, all you have to do is wait for the next day to come, put a smile on your face, and get ready to negotiate.

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Use the Earned Money to Pay for Long-Distance Moving Services

With our garage sale tips, you’ll be able to earn extra cash and get rid of many unwanted items promptly. However, the best way to use this additional money is to secure professional help by getting a reliable white glove moving service. Hiring reputable white glove movers is the best way to ensure your belongings are properly packed and transported to your new home. If you wish to move efficiently, contact a white glove moving company, secure a relocation without any hassle down the road, and be prepared to enjoy all the relocation benefits that await.

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