A few weeks ago, Mike and I hosted a yard sale with a few of our neighbors! It was a lot of work, but so worth the time. The things in our garage were piling up so much that we could only fit one car in it! So we began “Operation Get Mike’s Car Back Into the Garage.” Furniture took up most of the space along with a bunch of other random things – items we wanted to sell at our yard sale, but also all the things I told Mike to just shove outside in the garage (the best clutter closet) right before people would come over during the cold winter months!
Once we started seeing signs of spring (SO late this year), I contacted our neighbors and we set a date for the “most epic multi-home yard sale ever” … which ended up only being three houses, but still mildly epic. We are so grateful for wonderful neighbors that have turned into friends!
Again, it was a lot of work, but it sure was worth it. So much so that I wanted to share with you a few reasons why it would be a great time to have a yard sale!
1. Declutter Your Home
There’s no time like the present! It feels so good to go through and purge your home. Especially of the things that are just collecting dust or taking up space. I spent a few hours going through the boxes in our basement and found many items that I forgot I even had and brought them upstairs to use them. It’s a sometimes draining process, but honestly, it makes sense. “Stuff” can feel really personal sometimes, or to some, it’s the “but what if I need it one day?” And then for others, “just get it out!” Regardless, it’s good for us to take some time to sort through everything, and then all the things that are going on in our hearts because of it!
2. Make Money
That’s right! This year, the funds from our yard sale went to a “house fund,” which has allowed us to purchase a few items that we wanted or needed, but didn’t have the extra moo-lah laying around. Maybe your funds would go to something that you may need or want for the house that suits you now, or maybe toward a project (for us, it was the backyard). Maybe you’re just struggling to make ends meet and need a few extra dollars for groceries or want to fun your kid’s new hobby. We had a big yard sale at church a few years ago to raise money for our new building and I’ve known some to raise money for an organization or mission trip. Whatever the reason, a yard sale is a great way to earn some extra cash (literally – my yard sale does not take credit cards).
3. Meet Your Neighbors
You’re probably like, “Kristin, I knew you were going to bring it back to this.” AND I AM! Guys, this is such a great way to meet people that you may never have met, specifically your neighbors. I met 2 brand new neighbors that moved in over the winter, 1 that is moving in soon, 5 that live on the same street but a different block, and a bunch that just live in my town. If this kind of situation stresses you out, ask a friend or family member to come sit with you and help navigate the conversations, because they can be awkward, but they can also be awesome. I’m not trying to make something out of nothing here – just that these small interactions have the potential to be life-giving and community building. I’m not saying have a yard sale to meet your best friend…but, meeting your neighbors is a sweet byproduct of it.
A Few Tips I’ve Gleaned from Neighbors or Just by Experience:
- Be willing to make deals! Slash your prices if people keep grazing over an item. Be willing to negotiate. I hosted my first garage sale last year and I definitely priced everything too high. Lesson learned for this year! What I’ve learned is that selling something for half of what you originally wanted to list it as is better than getting nothing for it. 🙂
- As I mentioned above, ask the neighbors around you to see if they want to join in. Multi-home yard sales seem to draw more people in!
- Have a rain plan! Not only for rescheduling, but if it starts to sprinkle during your sale, how will you cover everything?
- Try to eliminate anything you’re not selling from people’s eyesight. If it’s in front of them, they’re going to ask! I can’t tell you how many people asked if I was selling my folding table that was holding all the things I was actually selling!
- Put as many items as you can up on higher surfaces, like tables or boxes.
- Be sure to have $1s, $5s, and a roll of quarters to start with so you can break change.
- Wear an apron or keep your cash close. I haven’t had any problems, but it’s just wise to be mindful. To log my transactions, I had a spiral notebook and would write down the number ($1, $7.50) and add it up as we went.
- Every so often, bring your bigger bills inside your house. (This was my husband’s idea – a great one!)
- Have a sign in your front yard, but also put signs out by main intersections, your street corners, or feeding streets to point them your way!
- Post your sale on Craigslist and/or Facebook Sale Groups (and to your friends!) I know some people like to put theirs in the paper. Include your hours, street name, types of items being sold, and if it’s a multi-home sale. If you add a few photos (which I’d recommend), you can expect people on Facebook to ask about the prices or dimensions. I sold things before I even had my first in-person customer!
- Have a tape measure on hand!
- Have an end-of-sale plan. Load your car up and donate it or find a donation organization that will come to you. It’s a very easy way to bless someone else!
- If there are items you’d really like to sell but weren’t able to sell at your yard sale, try posting them on Craiglist, Facebook Marketplace, or OfferUp. We listed most of our furniture and more valuable items (or items we didn’t sell at the sale). We had a ton of luck, specifically with Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp!
Have fun, meet your neighbors, don’t get too attached to your stuff, and make someone else’s day!
Do you have any yard sale tips or fun experiences to share? Comment below! We’d love to hear them!