Organization Tips: How To Organize A Money-Making Yard Sale

Tired of living with a house full of junk that you no longer use? Turn your unwanted used items into instant cash by using these tips to organize a money-making yard sale!

Do you have a ton of clutter in your garage or basement? Or perhaps your kids have outgrown some of their favorite toys? If so, it may be time for you to think about clearing out the junk and organizing a yard sale.

Yard sales are a great way to get rid of items that you no longer use. At the same time, you'll make a little extra pocket cash. If you're still iffy about parting with that old glass vase that you haven't used in 10 years, then think of it as a recycling program -- except you get paid for passing your stuff along!

A Neighborhood Affair to Remember. Neighborhood yard sales usually have a high turnout, because smart yard-salers would rather do one stop shopping than drive all over town looking for sales. If you live in a large development, consider sending out a bulk e-mail or a flyer to your neighbors announcing your intention to have a neighborhood yard sale. While everyone will set up shop in their own yards, it will still be a group affair attracting lots of buyers.

Advertising. If you plan to have a neighborhood yard sale, have the participating neighbors chip in to pay for a newspaper advertisement for your sale. Be sure to advertise any special items you will be selling, like baby items, furniture or antiques. Stop by your area supermarkets and ask to put up flyers on their community announcement boards. In addition, go to the dollar store to buy poster board and markers and make huge signs announcing your sale. Be sure to post signs along busy streets and at the entrance to your neighborhood at least one week before the date of your yard sale.

Where to find stuff. Planning for a yard sale is a great excuse to clean out your garage, basements, and all of your closets. Have your whole family assist you with this process. Popular yard sale items include baby care items, gently used children's clothing, toys, books, collectibles, holiday d├ęcor, glassware, CDs, DVDs, video games and furniture. Devote one room of your house to storing the yard sale items until the day of the sale.

Don't price yourself out of the market. Once you've found some items to sell, it's time to decide on how much you want to sell them for. Be very careful with this. Don't price items so high that potential buyers will just scoff at them. At the same time, don't price your items so low that you'll barely make a profit. Use your judgment when deciding on prices. Ask yourself what you would pay for this item, and then ask a friend what he or she would pay. Research what things go for by checking other yard sales during the weeks prior to yours, or research online at sites such as

Label items clearly. A busy yard-saler will walk right past your sale if you have a bunch of stuff laid out with no price tags. Be sure to label each item clearly with a price tag. If you have a large amount of a certain item to sell, it's perfectly acceptable to make one large sign that says "All Books $1.00", etc.

Cleanliness Counts. No one is going to buy your dingy bed linens or dirty old toys. Clean up plastic toys with disinfectant spray. Vacuum plush dolls and stuffed animals. Make sure used clothing is freshly washed. Dust off glassware and collectibles.

Presentation is key. Be sure to have enough tables to set your yard sale items on. Nothing is worse than a yard sale where all of the items are strewn about the driveway in disarray. It makes it difficult for customers to see what you have. Use picnic tables, card tables and benches to display your goods, and don't pile stuff on top of each other. If you have clothing items to sell, consider hanging them for display using a portable clothesline and hangers. Try to organize items by category. Example: Group all of your baby items in one area, books and CDs in another.

Offer a deal. Yard sales are about making money, but they're also about clearing out and getting rid of stuff that's taking up space in your house. If you have a huge basket full of stuffed animals, it's doubtful you'll sell them all. But, you can rid yourself of them by offering a free stuffed animal with every purchase. Or price them super low, like 25 cents each.

Prepare yourself for the early birds. If your yard sale starts at 8 AM, you can be sure that you'll start seeing inquisitive early birds at least a half hour beforehand. This is especially true if you have advertised that you have antique items or furniture for sale. Antique dealers come early and often stop by at the end of yard sales to try to strike a deal for any items you didn't sell.

Get ready for the hagglers. No matter how cheaply you price your items, you're bound to get some hagglers that are determined to get the best deal possible. You should use your judgment on this and be prepared to mentally set a bare minimum price for your items. If it is early in the day and a haggler is trying to get you to lower a $10 item to $5, think twice. You still have many hours and many potential buyers who may be willing to pay the full price. However, if it's late in the afternoon and you're starting to clean up, consider selling the item for a cut-rate price. You'll still make a few bucks and it will be one less thing you'll have to lug back into your house.

Or, don't lug anything back in at all. If, at the end of the day, you still have a lot of unsold items, consider leaving them by the curb with a sign that says "Free Items". You may wake up the next morning to find everything gone!

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