I wrote a post a little before our garage sale and figured it would be good to recap everything and our overall thoughts about the sale.

Before The Sale

A couple weeks before the sale, we systematically went through the house from top to bottom, through all drawers, closets and boxes to locate anything we thought we didn’t use or want anymore. Even though we thought we found everything, it seemed like there was always something else to add to the sale. It’s amazing the amount of stuff you accumulate over the years.

We did the same in the garage. Went through all the totes, boxes, and cabinets. By this point I had to start leaving one of the cars in the driveway so I had a place to collect all the garage sale items. We also tossed out the idea to close family asking if they wanted anything sold that we could put it out for them. More on this to come.

Once we had everything together, it was time to price the items. We found these cool little labels pre-printed with prices at the dollar store which really came in handy. They also included some blank ones so you could write in your own price. I also prepped the main “Garage Sale” signs we picked up at the dollar store with our address and dates/times of the sale.

We didn’t have enough tables so we were lucky enough to borrow a couple from a friend. It made set up much easier as we could set them up in the garage prior to the sale.

Our village requires a garage sale permit. So after going down to the village clerk and forking over $10, we were good to go. There are a few rules in our village: signs need to come down after the last day of the sale, hours are only between 9am-6pm, limited to 4 sales a year, and signs must display address, times, and dates of the sale. There are fines here for not following the rules. Check your local village/city for requirements.

Our sale ran just a Friday and Saturday. On Wednesday I started posting the sale on Craigslist and then each day from then through Saturday. I also posted it on Nextdoor. If you’re not familiar with Nextdoor, it’s kind of a social network for your neighborhood. Check it out and see if your neighborhood has a following.

Day OfThe Sale

The weather on the two days of the sale was great. It was hot, but I’d rather have heat than rain. I posted the sale on Craigslist as soon as I woke up. Afterwards, I took a ride and placed the signs in areas/intersections closest to our house. I put one at each intersection north and south of our subdivision entrance. Then another at the entrance and yet another at the intersection leading to our house.

Since we had quite a bit of stuff laid out already on tables it made setting up easy. We only really had the bigger items and items which went under the tables that took most of the time to put out. We started setting up in the driveway only about 20 minutes before the start time (9am) and had managed just fine.

I was a little worried in the week or so before the sale that we didn’t really have that much stuff to put up for the sale. I was wrong. The pile that accumulated in the garage actually was pretty sizable.

We set up chairs in the garage “behind the scenes” and waited. We had some traffic on Friday pretty quick. We did go with quite a few gaps between customers, however. The days went by more quickly than we originally thought. So much so, we ended up extending Saturday to 3pm instead of 1pm like we did on Friday.

After The Sale

We only made about $130 from the sale. When you take out the supplies and the permit, it was really closer to $110. Not enough that it was really worth all the time and effort. If we could have topped $250 or more, I would have considered doing another one. But not for that.

Right after the sale I began to put things into piles which I knew we would end up donating. I immediately put those in my car and we dropped them off over the weekend so they were done and gone. My daughter ended up taking a few of the items as she just moved into her first apartment. There was also other family items we were selling for someone which didn’t sell which we gave back to them to decide their fate.

In the end, I suppose it was good because we were able to purge a good deal of items out of the house and garage which freed up some room.


  • Don’t underestimate the emotional factor. Be prepared to part ways with items you might be attached to. My suggestion would be, if you feel even the slightest hesitance, don’t sell it. But otherwise, come to terms you’ll be selling items which you likely have tied to a time in your life or an experience.
  • Use social media. I posted on Craigslist a few days before the sale and then each day from then until the last day of the sale. I also posted on Nextdoor.
  • Use signs at key intersections and at the entrance to your subdivision and again leading the way down the block or at turns to your house
  • Don’t spend a lot on signs! The dollar store has pretty decent signs that can be used over and over again. They also had some sweet label dots with prices already printed on them which made things much easier when pricing all the items.
  • Unless you plan on having another garage sale, donate what’s left. And don’t forget to get a receipt so you can claim the donation on your taxes.
  • Have a price on everything so people don’t have to ask (or not buy it because they are too shy to ask).
  • Put as much on tables as you can as well as hang all the clothes possible. It makes for a nicer presentation and is easier to set up.
  • Don’t forget the permit if one is required.
  • Have plenty of change, as well as one and five dollar bills.
  • Be prepared to haggle. It’s a garage sale after all.
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