What to do several weeks before your garage sale

A successful garage sale requires a minimum of 3 weeks to get ready. Longer would be better and less stressful.

Check each item

Several weeks before your garage sale find a comfortable spot, put on your favorite music and spend some time checking each item you have gathered for your garage sale. As you go through your items, refer to the following best tips to save you time later and help make your garage sale a success.

Clean and repair items

If you were buying something from a garage sale, you would more likely buy it and pay a bit more if it was clean, tidy and in working condition compared to something that was dirty, messy or not working or needed repairing.

Decide on the prices

You should decide on the prices for each item now. Refer to the best garage sale pricing tips for a guide.

Record your items

If you are going to record your sales or have a group sale and want to record you individual sales, start recording the details of each item and sequentially number each tag to match the number to your list. Refer to the Inventory/Sales Record template as an example on what should be recorded. Some benefits of recording your items are that each time you make a sale:

Find any original boxes, instruction manuals or warranties for electrical items

If possible, include the original box or packaging and find any instruction manuals or warranties because it will make selling the item easier and you can ask for a higher price.

Group items so they are easier to handle and won't get separated on the day

Store all your items in labelled boxes until the garage sale

Sort and pack your goods into labelled boxes like Tools, Kitchen, Kids, Clothes, etc. Keep these boxes for after the sale to pack the left-overs. (Hopefully there won't be any left-overs.)

Learn from the competition

Go to other garage sales to see what you like and dislike about their layout, their arrangement of goods, their signs, etc. Note what works and doesn't work. Go early in the morning and again just before closing to see what sold and what didn't sell. Ask them for advice or what they would do next time.

Start planning the layout

Imagine how you might lay out all your items for sale to work out what 'table area' you will need. Then see if you have enough tables, trestles, boxes and planks of wood/plywood between saw horses. If necessary, arrange to borrow some from family or friends.

Decide on your decorations

Decide on how you want to decorate your garage sale. For example:

Include this theme in your flyers, ads and signs to stand out from everyone else.

Organize some sheets to hang on the garage walls

These can cover shelves or garage items you don't want included in the garage sale. These also provide a clean backdrop for your table displays and also enable you to pin up clothes, signs, etc.

Depending on the weather at the time, be prepared for a stinking hot day or rain

Have on hand some inexpensive plastic table covers, cheap clear plastic drop cloths, tarpaulins, umbrellas, tents, shelters or canopies for protection from the sun or rain. You don't want the day ruined/cancelled by a sudden light shower of rain.

Check where you will be having the garage sale for hazards

Remove or fix any hazards that could result in accidents or injuries. Look carefully for low branches, cracks in paths or the driveway, loose rocks, etc. Check if your garage floor gets slippery when wet. A safe area can prevent costly accidents later.

There have been reports of people going around garage sales and deliberately having a claimable 'accident'.

Plan what you will do with your unsold items

You will have leftovers and you won't want to drag them back inside after your garage sale ends. Donations are welcomed at charity thrift stores, some shelters and even some nursing homes. Contact your local ones to check what they will and won't accept and how and when they accept drop-off's. Refer to for donating tips.

Prepare some of your own plants to sell in your garage sale

Plan how you can keep customers at your garage sale

Don't forget that you are now a 'shop-owner'. Not only do you need to attract customers to your 'shop' but you need to think how you can keep your customers at your garage sale rather than flying in, having a quick look then flying out without buying anything.

If people are eating, drinking, talking, browsing, haggling, sitting, they're staying; and if they're staying, they're more likely to find things to buy.

How about a t-shirt?

Special t-shirts help to motivate your "staff" and also helps buyers feel comfortable knowing who to approach when ready to buy. The t-shirts below come other colors and a range of styles.

"Garage Sale Staff" in range of colors and styles T-Shirt
More at the Best Garage Sale Tips Store

by Horseshoes3
Garage Sale Chick shirt
Garage Sale Chick
by chicktshirts8

And what about a money apron?

"Garage Sale Staff" apron in range of colors and styles
"Garage Sale Staff" apron in range of colors and styles.
More at the Best Garage Sale Tips Store

Yard Sale Chick apron
Yard Sale Chick by dustin1175
garage sale addict apron
garage sale addict by insanitywear
Buy our $h*t apron
Buy our $h*t by tvtedesigns
For Sale By Owner apron
For Sale By Owner by ToucanIsland



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