items displayed outside in anticipation of a garage sale

Garage Sales and Clutter Control: Finding the Balance for a Tidier Home

Raise your hand if you’ve ever held a garage sale or even multiple garage sales.

Kudos to you for following through with the monumental task of collecting up all of your stuff, finding a day in your schedule that worked to have the sale, then enduring hours of haggling.  

After all was said and done with the actual garage sale, you then boxed up all of the stuff that didn’t sell.

I’m exhausted just typing out all of those steps!

But what’d you do with the boxes of unsold stuff then?  

Did they just sit in your home until the next garage sale?  

Did that next garage sale ever happen?

On the flip side, have you ever planned to have a garage sale, and kept mounds of stuff around  to sell, but the garage sale never actually happened?

Turns out, you’re not alone, my friend.  

This happens all the time.

What’s that? Our best intentions to have a garage sale turn into clutter.  

And the clutter holds us back from doing or having what we truly want in life.  

All of the stuff you’re keeping in anticipation of having a garage sale is most likely cluttering up your life.

So before you decide to have a garage sale, think about this: is it really worth your time to do everything you gotta do in order to have a successful sale?

Your intentions of having garage sales is good, but may be contributing to your overall lack of organization

Take an honest look at your things.  How much would you pay for the item at a garage sale?

If the entirety of all that you’ve decided to sell is less than what you’d consider it’d be worth it on a good day, then maybe you’d be better off donating the stuff instead and taking the charitable donation tax-write off.  

Because time is money!

For me that number has to be north of $250.

But that’s because what I know to be true in life is this: what you expect will sell right away at a garage sale never actually does.

It’s true!  

The stuff you almost tossed into the donation pile is what gets snapped up faster than a hot Krispy Kreme donut.

Calculate if Having a Garage Sale is Worth it

The first step in deciding whether or not to have a garage sale is to calculate if it will be worth all the work to sell your items.

Because it take a lot of time and planning to put on an effective garage sale not only the day of the actual sale, but also:

  • Getting a permit from your city to hold a garage sale
  • Figuring out how and when to advertise the garage sale
  • Setting everything up on tables
  • Pricing items and
  • Making sure you have money to make change, to start.

Effective Garage Sale Planning

If you decide that yes, you do want to have a garage sale, then this is what you have to do:

1. Pick a date.  NOW.  and keep checking to make that date works.  Consider the weather too and maybe even pick a back up date.

2.  Check with your city to determine if you nee to have a permit to hold a garage sale. Some do and some don’t, so you’ll need to call City Hall and get guidance and next steps from them.

3. Corral all of your stuff in one area of your home.  

Don’t let items live out and about with everything else.  

It’s just clutter at this point if that happens.  

Get it all in one place and out of the way.  

It’ll make setting up for the sale a lot easier.

3.  Make a plan for what to do with anything that doesn’t sell.  

May I suggest scheduling a donation pick up with the fine folks at the day after your sale?  

If it didn’t sell, let it go.  

It’s simply not worth it to keep trying to sell stuff that no one wants any more unless you’re running a professional garage sale business.

Which I’m guessing you’re not actually aiming to do.

What if Holding a Garage Sale isn’t Worth Your Time and Effort?

And of all of the garage sales I’ve ever had, I know that it was only worth my time once.  

So for me, I’ve decided to never have a garage sale again.  

The time and labor involved with the garage sale was worth it in the moment, but not something I wanted to do again.

I personally decided that there are better uses of my time and that devoting the required time and effort wasn’t balanced out by the income a garage sale might generate.

Does that mean that I donate or give away all of the things I no longer want/need?  Nope.  

I’ve just figured out a better way to sell my unwanted items.

An Alternative to Holding a Garage Sale: Sell Your Stuff Online

Instead of hoarding items for an eventual garage sale, sell your items online for more money and less hassle.

This guide tells you everything you need to know, so give it a read.

It comes with worksheets to breakdown the process into easily manageable steps that will get your unwanted items out of your home with cash in hand.

Watch this video

So, what do you think?  Will having a garage sale help you get organized?  

Or could it sabotage your organizing efforts?  

I dig a little deeper into this issue in this video.

Watch it and get some great advice before you decide to have a garage sale.

Garage sales: Clutter buster or clutter magnet?

Over to you!

Before you start getting all hands-on with the garage sale preparation, take a second to think if it’s really your thing.

Deciding if going through the whole garage sale rigamarole is worth it for you is a smart move.

It can save you a bunch of time and keep you from dealing with unnecessary headaches.

Ask yourself the real questions: Does this garage sale idea match up with your goals? Will the effort be worth the results?

By thinking this stuff through, you’re not just ticking off steps – you’re making a game plan that fits your lifestyle and schedule.

In short, this whole thinking phase before your garage sale isn’t just some boring step. It’s you getting real with yourself. So, enjoy the moment, figure out the details, and when you step out the other side, you’ll be ready to kick off the next part of your garage sale adventure, or not.

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