This blog is called “Our Cozy House,” which is a polite way of saying that we live in a small house. Space is at a premium here.
I try to be super intentional about what we bring into our house, because we have little to no storage space. But no matter how purposeful I try to be, stuff somehow floats in. And multiplies in the night. And then before I know it, stuff is oozing out of every single solitary nook and cranny. Which drives me insane.
This is why I have garage sales at every available opportunity.
We had one just last weekend, as a matter of fact. Call it a natural by-product of spring cleaning.
My problem, and maybe you can relate to this, is that when surfaces and areas in my house are cluttered, I become immune to the piles and before long they seem normal. Natural. Almost invisible because you’re so used to them.
And soon I’m living in a house that could be on “Hoarders.” Not awesome.
The opposite of Hoarders is space. And THAT’S what I love. I love having space. It’s easier to breathe. Easier to clean. It’s really true when they say that the more you have, the more you have to maintain. I’ve been trying to explain this to my daughter lately. It’s soooo much easier to clean up when you have fewer toys.
Garage sales get me motivated to move stuff out of the house and so we can reclaim space. It makes me evaluate regularly what we should keep and what we can let go of. Often I find that items I felt were “must haves” a few months ago suddenly aren’t that vital to our survival.
Simplicity. For me, it’s all about simplifying my stuff, which in turn simplifies my schedule and my to do list, which simplifies my PEACE OF MIND and gives me space to breathe and slow down. And that’s my end goal.
So if you’re seeking space, peace, a simplified lifestyle, you might want to think about having a garage sale. Have one often. If you’re anything like me, you’ll soon start to realize that you don’t REALLY need all the things you’re hanging on to.
Here are a few tips for having a super stellar garage sale that gets rid of a ton of stuff. (And, hopefully, makes you some extra cash. Bonus!)
Half-Off or Fill A Bag Sales toward the end of your sale.
If your goal is to truly just get rid of stuff, this idea is a goldmine. Our sale last weekend was a multi-family, multi-day sale. We advertised that on Saturday all items would be ½ off, and we had huge crowds of bargain seekers. We cleared out a ton of stuff.
Another simplar option is a “fill a bag” sale. At our one day garage sale last fall, we were at the halfway point of the sale and still had loads of stuff. So for the last two hours, we brought out the plastic grocery bags and invited shoppers to fill a bag with whatever they could get in it for $1.
People went NUTS, you guys. It was like Black Friday crowds at our sale. We got rid of nearly everything. People love to feel like they’re getting a huge bargain.
You can do this however you want. Maybe you want to charge $2 or $5 a bag. Maybe you just want to do it for clothing. Whatever works…just keep your goal of getting rid of stuff in mind!
Hang up your clothes
Clothes just sell better when they are hung up. It’s easier for people to browse your inventory. It’s neater. It’s less work for you to maintain. It’s basically a win-win all around.
There are two great, easy options for hanging clothes at a sale if you’re short on clothes racks. If you’re actually literally having a garage sale in your garage, hang them from the raised garage door.
Another easy DIY option is to take two ladders, and then hang a broom or some other long piece of wood between them. Voila! A hanging clothes rack.
Since we had so much clothing, we did have to pile it on tables. I can say that the hanging items defintely sold better than the clothes that were on the tables.
Work with a friend…or five
We had six families involved in our sale last weekend, and one of the girls recently closed her kids consignment store and had a ton of inventory she was trying to sell. We had SO MUCH STUFF.
We ended up renting a large room at the county fairgrounds and split the cost six ways. The fairgrounds also provided all the tables, which was one less thing to worry about. We were able to be indoors, so we didn’t have to worry about the weather (which was great, because it snowed. In April.).
Setting up and tearing down is just more fun when you’re doing it with friends. And you can take breaks and rotate shifts easily. Or make a run for drinks in the middle of the afternoon. I totally recommend doing a big sale with friends if you can swing it.
Do you have any garage sale tips?