Yard Sale Tips: Making It A Fun Family Project

Involving the entire family in your yard sale will make the event fun for everyone.

Whether you're thinking of holding a yard sale to get rid of the clutter around your house or to make some extra money, involving the whole family will make the event fun for everyone.

When you plan the date of your sale, make sure you're thinking of everyone's schedule. If you want your high school senior to take part in the sale, don't have it on prom day. If your children are involved in sports or other extracurricular activities, make sure that the sale date doesn't conflict with any tournaments or recitals. Not only will that make your child unavailable, it will also add stress to the day for yourself. But don't forget to think about the adults as well. If you know that you have to give a big presentation the third week in June, don't even think of having your yard sale the previous Saturday.

Then it's time to gather all of those things that are just gathering dust around the house. Going through closets and drawers and basements and garages can be fun with the right attitude and a little motivation. For motivation, think of something you would like to buy with the money you might make, or think of a favorite charity to which you would like to donate the proceeds. Think of your search for items to sell as exploring. What forgotten treasures will you find? If the thrill of the hunt isn't enough for some of your family members, have to contest to see who can create the biggest pile of things to sell or who can find the oldest toy.

Making sure that everyone has a job to perform from planning through sale day is important because the more involved family members are in every aspect of the yard sale, the more they will take interest in it and enjoy working towards it. When it's time to set prices, let everyone have a say. Be realistic about what will sell, but don't undervalue your children's former prized possessions. The entire family can also get involved with the set-up of the sale. Kids can be in charge of making signs to put around the neighborhood and for the sale tables. Everyone can pitch in to set up tables and arrange the things you're selling.

On the day of the sale, give the kids a chance to sell their own items. At the very least, they should have a table that they're in charge of for the sale. Give them nametags, so they're just like real salespeople. If they're old enough, your kids can take in their own money. Even if they can't collect the money themselves, keep track of your children's sales with different colored price tags so that they can see how much money they've earned. Everyone will feel good about the responsibility your children are showing, and they'll appreciate the rewards of their hard work.

Kids can also have their own part in the yard sale by selling refreshments. Who can resist cute kids selling 25-cent brownies? Maybe they'll want to go for the traditional lemonade stand or sell cookies. Making the food and drinks can be a fun family project in its own right, but if you find that you don't have time while getting ready for the sale, kids can also sell cans of pop, bottled water or prepackaged snacks. If your customers are hungry and thirsty, they won't care if the treats are homemade or store-bought.

With all of this planning and preparation, everyone should be excited on the day of the sale. Make sure they stay this way by keeping the mood fun and light. Play some music. Make up games for the kids, perhaps seeing who can arrange the nicest display or who can help customers the quickest. Let everyone have breaks, even if it means asking a friend or neighbor to cover the yard for a while. And at the end of the day, relax and celebrate. Treat the family to dinner at a restaurant or stay home for pizza and a movie. Talk about what you enjoyed about the day and start planning next year's sale!

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