Top Tips for Throwing a Successful Yard Sale

Throw the best yard sale in the neighborhood with these clever tips.

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With some careful planning, you can declutter your home and get some extra cash. The first step is to go through your things and decide what to sell, keep or donate.

Conquer Your Clutter

One method that works well is to put yard sale items aside all year long. Designate some boxes or shelves in a closet or attic, and discard any unwanted clothing and household things there. When you've collected enough, it's sale time. If you're sorting through your clutter for the first time, break the job down into small, manageable tasks.

"It's not realistic to think you can tackle 20 years of clutter in one day," says Barry Izsak, CPO®, certified professional organizer and author of Organize Your Garage in No Time

Follow these tips to make the sorting process less painful:

  • Easy Does It. Make the unemotional decisions first. Start with things you can easily let go of, like 10 years' worth of magazines you've saved.

  • Start Small. Begin with one drawer or one cabinet at a time, then move on to the next. When you've finished an entire room, begin the same process in another. "This is the perfect time to ask yourself, 'What can I let go of? What can I live without?,'" says Barry.


Keep It Clean

Once you've decided which items to sell, it's time to break out the dust cloths and wipes, and give everything a thorough cleaning. People may shop yard sales for bargains, but that doesn't mean they want to sort through someone else's dirty, dusty toys and glassware.

"Having a heavy layer of dust on something is a big turnoff," says Betsy Pruitt of Belly Feathers. "If I see one item like that at a sale, it paints the way I see all the other items."

Get the Word Out

When you've decided on a date for your sale, start advertising on a week or two in advance. Make the most of your listing with these tips:

  • Tell Me More. Do you have a bunch of kids' items, furniture or vintage tools to sell? Whatever you've got, be specific so people have a reason to come. "Nothing makes me more crazy than seeing a listing for a multifamily garage sale with just the address," says Mandi Gubler of Vintage Revivals.

  • Picture Perfect. Entice potential buyers with photos of your best items.

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