How to organize a yard sale

There are many ways to organize a yard sale.  You might find that this way takes less time and energy  to set up.

Get  number of boxes or bins to collect your items .  Mark each container with a price $1.00 $2:00 $0.25 $0.50 $5.00 etc.  As you are collecting your items for the sale decide how much you will sell the item for  and put the objects of the same price into the same box.  You are pricing items as you sort them so there is less work to do later.  How much should it sell  for?

Yard Sale

Easy Way to get Ready for a Garage Sale


  • 2/3 of the original price for brand new or barely used items
  • 25% – 30% of the original price for the older items

Have a separate display areas /tables for each price grouping.    Place a sign on the front each of the table explaining everything on this table costs _______.  You are finished and ready to have a great day.

If you want to do a little more work to ensure that you get the right price for each item  you can  use stickers.  They are easy to find at a dollar store.


  • use tags one colour per price group.
  • red for $10.00, blue for $5.00 etc.
  • place a colour coding sticker on each item and when the person buys it you know exactly what to charge.
  •                 or
  • if the garage sale is for multiple families or multiple family members give each group their own colour  then you know which cash box to put the money in. Make sure to never leave the money unattended.

To ensure you get the sale have change.


  • have $25 in change
  • $20 in $1, $4 in quarters, $1 in dimes and nickels
  • keep money in waist pouch so it can;t be stolen

Sometimes a garage sale seems like a great way to make money.  Make sure you are the type of person who likes to barter and is not offended when people tell you that something is not worth the value you have placed on it.  It takes time to set up and clean up from a garage sale .

Timeline for a Preparing for a Yard Sale

  • sort, clean, price                1 – 2 days
  • advertising                           2 hrs
  • arrange and display wares  4 hrs
  • get change                           1 hr
  • tag sale itself                       1 or 2 days
  • take unsold items to charity  3 hrs

Garage sales can be a fun way to get rid of your clutter, make some money and meet people.  If you feel you don’t have the time, energy , a good location, great items for sale or don’t like bartering you may want to donate your items to a charity and spend the day doing something else.

What is your best tip for making a yard sale a success. 

POC Gold LeafJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

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  1. I would say from experience that unless you have large items such as major appliances or furniture in good condition, you’re not likely to make hundreds of dollars. And like Julie says, don’t be offended if someone offers you less than you think something is worse – you’ll be kicking yourself if it’s still there at the end of the day. $1 is better than no dollars!

  2. It is a lot of work to run a garage sale, or as they say here in CT, a tag sale. I appreciate your pricing guidelines. I always feel that is the hardest part. I think advertising your sale in advance can be helpful. I’ve also found that some items sell better in other venues, such as designer clothes and handbags. So keep the garage/yard sale for things that won’t sell elsewhere.

    • It is a bit more complicated to sell things than people think. There is always a best place to sell an items but then you are take items to multiple locations which takes time. Gargae sales can be fun and exciting but they are not for everyone or for all items. Thanks for your comments.

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