Organize a Garage Sale in 3 Steps

Organize a Garage Sale in 3 Steps

Take your garage sale from idea to reality with our 3-step method and tips.

Step 1: Make the Cut
First and foremost, it’s time to declutter and determine which items you’re willing to sell. While every garage is different, here are our favourite methods for tackling step one.

Price immediately: When you find a garage sale-worthy item, price it right then and there. Stickers are classic and simple, but avoid using them on items like books that can become damaged. Hang tags or clothespins with pricing written directly on them make nice alternatives.

Use boxes and bins: Set aside a few empty boxes and bins, each representing a different category — such as holiday decorations or sporting equipment. When you find something worth keeping, simply toss it in the appropriate container. Later, they can be directly set on shelves or used to organize items into smaller units.

Stick to your guns: Repeat this mantra: "When in doubt, throw it out." If you haven't used it in the last year, to the garage sale it goes.

Tip: Have a tough time letting things loose? Work with a partner who can offer an honest opinion.


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Step 2: Add Easy Organizers
Now that you’ve decided what to keep versus sell at your garage sale, incorporate new organizers to help you stay on track with on-going clutter control.

Pegboards: Inexpensive and easy to personalize, pegboards can be added to nearly any wall. Purchase a variety of hooks and bins to hang from your pegboard, and you can easily store items like tools, sports equipment and cleaning supplies.

Shelves: In a tight space like a garage, organizing is essential. Include shelves where you can. Set storage containers with drawers on top of your shelving, and you’ll make items like extension cords and extra seeds easy to access.

Shoe Organizers: Hang a few shoe organizers in your garage and use the pockets to store anything from small pieces of hardware to gardening tools.

Step 3: Prepare for Your Sale

  • Prior to your sale, collect as many bags as possible to be used for purchased items. You’ll also want to have newspaper or packing material for fragile goods.
  • Find out where you can hang signs by looking into local laws, then position them around your neighbourhood.
  • Make sure signs are legible and consistent. Drive past them to ensure they’re easy to read.
  • Advertise your garage sale in a local newspaper or a free online service.
  • To increase the buzz around your sale, try teaming up with neighbours to host a larger garage sale that attracts more buyers.
  • Before selling items — especially electronics — make sure they work.
  • Wash all clothes before putting them out for sale, and check each garment’s pockets for valuables or forgotten money.
  • Lay out your sale based on categories like kid stuff, clothes, electronics, books and garden tools.
  • Make sure price tags are easily visible.
  • Be ready to sell! Make sure you have a pen, notepad, change and a calculator on you at all times. An apron can help you juggle these items.
  • When it comes to items you just really want to get rid of, consider setting up deals like “fill this bag for $5.”
  • If selling electronics, run an extension cord to your sale so you can plug in electronics to prove they work. Batteries are also important for many games and cameras.

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