So you want to have a yard sale?

You have been on an organizing adventure, or you have a lot of items that you have been putting aside hoping to have a yard sale, either way you need some help. This post will give you some of the ins and outs of having a successful yard sale.

Before you start the preparation for your yard sale, you need to pick a date. Here in Monson, they have a town-wide tag sale. This is a wonderful time to get involved, because there will be many peoplcemetery chair countryside emptye out that day, and the advertising will already be partially done. If your town does not have a yearly tag sale, you will want to pick a date where you know that you will see some traffic. You also will want to have a rain date, just in case your first day gets rained out. Give yourself the best opportunity to sell your items and see the most people.

If you don’t have the ability to have a yard sale, you can always ask a friend if you can add your items in with theirs. You can also do a virtual tag sale through Facebook or another sale website. (I will get more in to this subject further in this post.) There could also be opportunities within your own town to participate in a sale at a different location. This will require some more legwork on your part, but you will see lots of different people that you might not see if you tried to do it from home.

Once you have your date and location picked, the first step is to separate all the items that you are going to want to put in your sale. I know that this seems like the obvious step, but there are a lot of benefits to doing the separation throughout the year. Every time that you are taking on an organizing project, you should be pulling out the items that you would like to sell. You can see my post about Organizing 101, here. This will keep you from needing to scour the house for the things that you wanted to sell.

If you have been pulling the items and putting them aside, you will need to inventory everything and see what you are trying to sell. Are some of these things beyond sellable condition? The way that I think about it, is that if it is something that I would not purchase myself because of the condition, then I wouldn’t put that in the sale. If you have items that are damaged, the best thing is to find a place that you can recycle the things that don’t work.

You can check out this website for recycling resources in Massachusetts.

MA Recycling and Waste Management

This website is a wonderful resource for state regulations and finding out more about the recycling options that you have in your area. If you can recycle it, please do.

After you have separated the items that need to be donated, recycled, or thrown away, you will need to sort through the things that you are going to be selling. This does not need to be an intense process. You can have basic set of categories for each area of the house.

  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Living Room
  • Seasonal
  • Bedroom
  • Clothing
  • Toys and Games
    (These are just a small selection of the options that you have for your sale. You can be as detailed as you would like, but as a general rule, I like to keep things simple so that you won’t confuse the people who are coming to your sale.)

Sorting all of your items will also assist in the next steps. After you have sorted your items, you have the option of inventorying everything that will be sold. I have done this in the past to track everything that I have, but also to be able to price the items before I even had my tags.

One way to tag your items for sale, is to color coordinate them. You can separate each category by color and tag the items accordingly. This will make things easier to track, and you can see exactly what has been sold. Another tip, is to make sure that you price the items to sell. Unless you know the true value of an item, price things so that they will move quickly. You don’t want to be left with most of what you trying to sell.

(A quick note. I know that colored tags don’t seem completely worth it, but they really will make life easier. If you can’t find the circular color coded tags, I have a link to some here. You can find these very easily, but Amazon has some good options. )

You can put together a kit for your yard sale with some or all of the following items:

  • permanent markers
  • pens
  • plastic bags (for people to take their items)
  • packing material (for fragile items)
  • poster boards (to make signs)
  • tags
  • a notebook or excel spreadsheet
  • lawn stakes (for hanging up signs)
  • strong tape
  • scissors
  • change ( around $100 should get you started)
  • somewhere to keep your money
  • folding tables
  • tarps or blankets (to display your items on)

This kit can easily be stored in a bag or a cleaning product organizer like this one to assist you throughout the day. It’s easier to have them put aside ahead of time so that you don’t need to search for them when you should be focusing on running a successful yard sale.

When you are finally setting up your tag sale, you’ll want to remember your categories. Each of those will dictate how to best display everything that you have to sell.

brown fedora hat in selective focus photography

Displaying all of your items in the categories that you set, will not only help you, but it will also be more appealing to the buyers that you have visiting your sale.

Let the sale begin. Throughout the day, you can mark off items that are being sold, and if the price has changed because of discussion and flexibility. Remember that you are trying to get rid of the items, so be open to haggling. By the end of the day, you should know which items you have sold, and have a tally of the money that you have made. Be sure to consolidate where you can throughout the day to make cleanup at the end of the day less daunting.

Once your sale is done, you will need to see what items you have left and decide if they have enough value to try and sell them through a different method. If they do not, it is time to donate the excess items. The other items can be sold on sites like;


Some things to remember about these types of sites is that you are trying to get rid of these items. You don’t want to change your prices just because you are putting them online. It is a virtual tag sale. If you have something that does have great value, it might be a better idea to have the item appraised rather than throwing a random dollar amount on it. I do not suggest posting items on ebay to sell unless you have a large amount of antique items. These items would take up space in your home for longer, and unless you are truly diligent with posting, it could become more trouble than it is worth.

After you have done all of this, if the item still has not sold, it is time to think about whether or not you truly need to make money off of this particular piece. There must be a reason that you need to get money for it. Do you need to make a price adjustment? Is it truly worth that much? Are you willing to put the work in? These questions will help you decide if you truly have to have money for this item or if you can just part with it.

I hope that his post has helped you get motivated, get moving, and get a yard sale together. Please contact with questions or to start your intake call with me.

Keep Moving Forward







3 responses to “So you want to have a yard sale?”

  1. Linda Samuels Avatar

    We just had a tag sale this past weekend and it was great! While our town doesn’t have an yearly tag sale like yours (so cool!), we did have A LOT of tag sales going on last weekend because of the great weather. That was definitely an advantage for all of us. Shoppers enjoyed going from house to house looking for “finds.” We were able to refer shoppers to our friend’s house and visa versa. A lot of things sold. But the items that didn’t sell were immediately donated that night to Goodwill. I found out that Goodwill was open until 8pm on Sunday night. By the end of the weekend we had made some money, cleared out our garage, and felt a whole lot lighter. It took effort, but it was well worth it and we had a lot of fun in the process.
    One other tip, don’t underestimate the power of good signage. Keep it simple (less info the better), large and readable. And be a good neighbor by removing your signs from around time when the sale is over.


  2. Janet Barclay (@JanetBarclay) Avatar

    I think the most important thing to remember is that the main goal is (usually) to get rid of stuff, so be flexible on your prices. Better to take a lower amount than to get stuck with the item and have to take it to a donation centre!


  3. Sarita Cassano Avatar

    Some really nice stuff on this web site, I like it.


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