Garage sale sign on the lawn of a suburban home overlay

How to Organize a Garage Sale Before Moving Cross-Country?

Posted in How-to on November 14, 2022

If you’re relocating interstate, you’ll likely want to get rid of some of your belongings before you go – and possibly earn some extra money in the process. One great way to do this is by hosting a sale – but how to organize a garage sale? In this blog post, we’ll provide you with valuable hacks that guarantee a successful outcome. Keep reading for more information!

When moving across the country and hosting a sale, the first thing you should do is start sorting through your belongings and decide what you no longer need or want to bring with you. You’ll also need to determine a date and time for the sale, advertise it, gather all of the essentials, and price your belongings. Finally, the day before the sale, you should set up tables and prepare a change for potential buyers.

How to Organize a Garage Sale – First, You Get Rid of Things You Don’t Need

Decluttering is a necessary part of preparing for a garage sale. Getting rid of things you don’t need before the move can free up both physical and mental space – not to mention to make unpacking after the move easier. However, it’s also a precondition to having a successful yard sale since it will provide you with insight into which of your unwanted items can be sold. So, how to do a garage sale? Start with decluttering.

Once you start downsizing for a move, don’t try to tackle everything at once – you’ll just get overwhelmed and give up before you’ve made any significant progress. Instead, when organizing a move, start with the easier items on your household inventory list, like clothes you no longer wear or a couple of junk drawers.

If you don’t have a last-minute move, try to schedule some time each week specifically for decluttering – even just an hour or two will make a big difference. On the other hand, if your relocation reasons demand you move promptly, set aside a whole day on the weekend to declutter your entire house from top to bottom.

Things You Are Not Donating Can Be Sold

When it’s finally time to move, you need to decide whether to sell or donate your unwanted items to the Salvation Army or some other charity. There’s no single answer that fits everyone – it ultimately depends on your individual circumstances. From clothes to books to furniture, it can be tough to decide what to sell and what to donate to those in need when organizing a move.

Of course, you need to consider how much extra cash you actually need – the more money you require for your long-distance moving budget, the more stuff you should consider selling. Just remember that whatever you do decide, there’s always someone who will appreciate your donation or find value in what you’re selling.

Set Prices While Gathering Items

You should set prices in advance. You’ll lose a lot of money if customers show up and you do not even know what to charge for a particular item. Therefore, make sure you place pricing on your to-do list. At the same time, avoid setting prices the day or two before the sale. Remember – proper pricing takes a lot of time, and if you rush things up, you may end up over or underpricing your belongings.

When you decide you want to sell an item, the best thing you can do is check its price at some of the popular online marketplace platforms. Still, keep in mind that potential buyers will be drawn to your yard sale for the potential of a good deal. Therefore, in order to get more money, it may be a good idea to set a lower price for at least some of your items.

Price tag prepared before long-distance moving
Objective pricing is one of the most important preconditions of a successful sale

Clean up the Garage Before the Big Day

So you can attract more buyers, make sure the garage is clean and prepared for guests. Note that an unorganized garage is not only not nice to look at, but it might even raise safety issues – so make sure everything is in its place.

At the same time, this way, you’ll also be able to tackle the difficult part of your move-out cleaning process. Therefore, when planning a move to another city, try to:

  • Move items you decided to keep – you can even stray packing them before the move (if you don’t intend to ease the relocation by getting packing services),
  • Invest in some storage containers – this will help you keep your garage organized,
  • Hang things up – install some hooks so you can get items off the floor and out of the way. This will make your garage appear larger and more spacious and make your belongings easier to spot,
  • Sweep and vacuum – keep your garage clean and dust-free before the buyers come.

A few successful garage sale tips can go a long way when it comes to reorganizing your garage before a sale – or any other time! By following these tips, you can declutter your garage, free up space, and make it more presentable for potential buyers.

How to Plan a Garage Sale? Make Sure You Set the Goal

Some people hold garage sales simply to declutter their homes and get rid of unwanted items. Others may be looking to save money to move in order to get the best cross-country moving services, or perhaps they are relocating to a smaller home and need to sell larger items such as furniture. The goal of the sale will undoubtedly depend on the reasons you decided to organize it in the first place.

A goal can help with planning and organization and can also help determine the price for items. For example, if your main goal is to simply declutter, you may be more willing to sell items at a lower price in order to get rid of them quickly. On the other hand, if making money is the primary objective, you may want to research prices and try to sell items at a higher rate. Remember – setting a clear goal can help you have a successful garage sale.

You Should Check the Competition – If There Is Any

Checking the competition will help you determine the best date and time for your sale – having less competition may attract more potential buyers. But not only that! By visiting some of the neighboring sales, you’ll learn what sells and what doesn’t, as well as how the prices for specific items range. To find out if there are any competing sales, you can search online or ask neighbors and friends.

Pick the Date That Suits You the Best

When is the best day to have a sale? One of the biggest factors to consider when choosing a date is the weather. You don’t want to have your sale on a day that’s too hot or too cold, or else people won’t want to come. You’ll also want to make sure that there’s no chance of rain since that would put a damper on things (literally). A mild, sunny day is perfect for a garage sale.

Another thing to think about before relocating to a new home is whether you want to have your sale on a weekday or weekend. Weekends are generally better because more people are off work and school and have more free time. However, weekdays can sometimes be better because there’s less competition from other sales. At the same time, try to have a sale at the beginning of the month, since it’s when most people get paid.

A calendar
The date of the sale can also affect the final outcome

Advertise the Sale in All the Right Places

Advertising must be put on your garage sale planner. The more people who know about your sale, the more likely it is that someone will stop by and buy something. So where should you advertise? Start with your local newspaper. Most papers have a section devoted specifically to garage sales, so this is an easy and effective way to let people know what’s going on.

Next – go online. Create a Facebook event for your garage sale and invite all your friends. Don’t forget about Nextdoor, either. It’s a social media platform specifically for people who live close to one another. By utilizing all of these different advertising channels, you’re sure to attract a good crowd on the day of your sale.

Don’t Forget to Make Physical Signs

One of the most important elements of marketing your sale is creating clear and eye-catching signs – they must be a part of your garage sale to-do list. These signs should include the following:

  • The words “garage sale” in big, bold letters – this will let people know what kind of event they are passing, even if they only catch a glimpse of your sign.
  • An arrow pointing to your location – you want people to be able to easily find your sale, so make sure your signs include an arrow or some other indicator that shows them which way to go.
  • The dates and times of your sale – if you’re only having your sale for one day, this one is easy. But if you’re having a multi-day sale, make sure each sign includes the days and hours that the sale will be taking place.
  • Your address – many people like to map out their route before they go garage sale-ing, so including your address on your signs will make it easy for them to add you to their list of stops.
  • Any special deals or promotions you’re running – are you giving away free coffee or donuts? Offering a discount for early birds? Let people know so they can take advantage of them when they come to shop at your sale.

At the same time, don’t neglect to post simple flyers around town – just be sure to check with your local laws about where you’re allowed to post them.

A young woman using a laptop
Advertising is all about getting the word out to as many people as possible

Stock up on Essentials

Make a list of the sale essentials, gather them, and store them together a week before your sale. These include tables you’ll need to borrow, a cash box, a calculator, pens, hand sanitizers, plastic bags, treats, and so on. Also, don’t forget about all the signs and price tags that will take time to make.

As for the tags, you can go with the cheap solution and simply make some from used paper bags. However, if you have a bit more time, you can create nicer-looking price tags for all or just some of the belongings you plan on selling. Take a look at the video below to see how to do it properly:

Ensure Everything Is Set up the Day Before

How to set up for a garage sale? The day before the sale, set up tables or displays so people can easily see what you’re selling. If you have large items, place them in an easily accessible area so buyers can inspect them before making a purchase. Additionally, don’t forget to get change ready – have plenty of small bills and coins on hand so you can make changes for customers. Here are some other valuable garage sale organization tips:

Check if everything is in a good condition

All products for sale must be spotless, wrinkle-free, and in good working order. Additionally, remember to put functioning batteries in everything that requires them. Not doing so can decrease buyers’ interest in your things and make earning money more complicated.

Arrange your wardrobe

Hang clothing where it will be visible. You can put out a garment rack if you have one, but also utilize the fence or thread a clothing line among trees or poles. Make an effort to arrange your clothing in full outfits – they will sell better this way. Additionally, you can label the goods with their sizes.

Organize items into groups

Next to the cash-out table, set up a space for small items like sunglasses, earrings, necklaces, and so on. On the other hand, sets of sheets and pillowcases should be bundled together with size labels on them (twin, queen, and so on). You can also benefit from placing clothing pieces into groups – it’s one of the most common garage sale strategies.

A Successful Sale Will Ensure You Have Money for the Relocation

Although top-notch long-distance movers don’t come cheap, they are your safest bet for achieving a stress-free move. However, a well-organized garage sale can help you reduce the impact of these expenses on your wallet. By selling a lot of your unwanted items, you’ll be able to hire cross-country movers who can help you move safely and efficiently. Therefore, make sure to use all of our garage sale organizing hacks and make your move to a new city a breeze.

Milly Andrews

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

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