As the San Francisco Bay Area’s most trusted source for garage cabinets, we’ve seen some incredible transformations in clutter levels from garage sales, but we’ve also seen our fair share of discouraged homeowners left with mountains of junk after unsuccessful garage sales. Today, we’ll share our four favorite tips that we’ve seen local homeowners use to declutter their home in anticipation for their new garage cabinets.
Planning the Perfect Garage Sale
Compile the Inventory
We like to put this point before even planning the day, simply because many homeowners don’t leave themselves enough time to properly bring together the wares they plan to sell through the garage sale. While this part may seem like an obvious step, it is easy to lose track of how much time and effort it takes to repeatedly ask and answer: “Would anyone actually want this?” and “Do we still want this?” Here are our tips for compiling your inventory:
- Go room-by-room, starting with the area you want to declutter most
- Sort into three piles: Keep, donate, and sale
- Set up piles of sale items into rough type and breakability to later optimize table displays
- Get the keep and donate piles well out of the way before you begin sorting sale items
- Prepare tables and displays before the date whenever possible, saving precious sale time and effort on the big day
Pick the Date
The biggest mistake amateur garage salers make is to pick a poor date. Don’t pick a date a month in advance, only to regret doing so if the weather is poor; instead, pick two consecutive weekends as potential dates to have a Plan A and Plan B, then use advanced weather forecasts to determine if Plan A is a go. Regardless of the date you settle on, don’t wait too long and miss your window for advertising the sale. Follow these date-related tips for general success:
- Piggyback off of larger community sales that can drive traffic to your sale, regardless of weather, whenever possible.
- Know the submission date to make it into the Friday and Saturday newspaper and have your date selected the night before. Many garage sale regulars and hopefuls read the paper to find the weekly sales; you definitely want to be in it.
- Do some research on the standard for local sales, such as are there sales on Sundays, do many only do certain hours on Saturday, and is Friday an option?
Market Your Sale
As mentioned above, a simple community ad in the local paper can drive tremendous traffic to your sale, but only when done correctly. Never make the mistake of simply saying “Garage Sale, (address + time),” instead, you want your ad to give some teaser samples of big-ticket or popular items you’ll have for sale. Consider mentioning the following whenever applicable:
- Tools and yard equipment
- Large furniture
- Clothes (gender and age range are a plus)
- Anything for children
Additionally, you’ll want to apply this same principle to your signage and digital marketing. While digital marketing may sound intimidating, a simple post on Craigslist can go a long way (remember to refresh your post regularly to avoid it getting buried). Other social media aspects to consider are local Facebook groups, personal social media accounts, and neighborhood social media outlets, such as Nextdoor. Remember this: Clearing out clutter in anticipation of your garage cabinets requires marketing to succeed.
Determine Pricing Early
There are two basic ways to do pricing for a garage sale: Specific price tags that prompt exact sales or negotiations that are customer-initiated or no pricing, which will lead you to say “make me an offer” about a thousand times. While either tactic will work, it is important that you pick one early and have a game plan based around it. Who will handle pricing negotiations and how engaged will they be? If the answers to these aren’t immediately clear, then you may want to price everything ahead of time; for those brave enough to engage every interested visitor to the sale in conversation can exceed pricing expectations by forcing customers to offer blindly before buying. In either case, get to know the items you’re selling to have a rough idea as to how much you would accept for them. Just remember, you’re not trying to keep anything at the sale, so don’t be stingy or you’ll be left with clutter to put away (again)!
Find Your Solution
The garage cabinets experts at Garage Solutions are ready to help your family take back your cluttered space with innovative garage storage and cabinetry solutions. We have the tools necessary to keep your tools and toys well within reach, off the ground, and looking great. By clearing space with a garage sale, you provide yourself the perfect opportunity to install organizing garage cabinets that you’ll enjoy well into the future.
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