Yard sale is finished. Now what?
The big pre-move yard sale was last weekend, scheduled for three days (Friday-Sunday). We had gone through every room, every closet, the garage, the detached wood-working shop…all of it. I placed an ad in our local paper, and their online publication; and I created a Facebook Event. Price tags were ready, and a list of pricing for various items, or groups of items, was ready.
Thursday was the prep day when everything that had been gathered up was sorted into relevant sections. Price tags were added to items, or index cards for sections like books or CDs were taped to the tables, indicating the pricing for those sections. The last thing we did on the prep day was to put signs out at strategic intersections, as well as a sign for our front yard.
Side note: the sign for the front yard actually brought in people who said they HAD to stop when they saw the sign in our yard. I hand-lettered all the signs and all but the one for our yard were pretty generic. But the one for our yard was unique. One side of the sign said “BEST JUNK EVER – STOP HERE!” While the other side of the sign said “Classy Crap This Way….” That side was adorned with the drawing of a crown and an arrow indicating our home. This is a picture of the sign that was my inspiration for ours. Thanks to Jennifer Allwood for the inspiration!
We knew the weekend forecast was for rain every day, but Friday was just sprinkles now and then. We did a brisk business on Friday and sold quite a bit. Pre-sales of a few select items had also been good. Then Saturday and Sunday were both rained out. Honestly, it was a good thing Saturday was rained out because we both needed that day to recuperate from the previous two days. I spent some time on Saturday listing various items on Facebook Marketplace, and ended up selling several items, the last of which is being picked up today
What Worked and What Didn’t
Looking back I think the ad we paid for in the local paper likely didn’t bring us much, if any, business and was not a good use of time or money. The Facebook Event and Facebook Market place are tips I would recommend using if you decide to try your hand at a yard sale.
Signage at strategic intersections also brought in lots of traffic. But don’t just use poster-board. Go to a local copy store and purchase corrugated sign boards and the wire stands that the boards attach to and then go into the ground. Those are sturdier and will stand up to weather. I used the thickest Sharpie, and colored highlighters for accents. All the signs still looked good even after the crazy rain we had during the weekend.
Be sure to get plenty of money to have on hand for change. We had $320 to use for change, in denominations of $20s, $10s, $5s, $1s, and quarters. It pays to have the change on hand.
We had bottled water on hand, and the buyers appreciated being able to get a cool drink in the humid weather we had on Friday.
Afterward, tie up loose ends.
Immediately after your sale ends, take down any signs you have posted around your neighborhood and other locations. Update any online ads and events if needed; and remove items from your driveway or yard before closing your garage door. Sort remaining items into what can be sold, donated, or tossed. Count your cash, subtract costs for things such as signs, and determine your profit. Last, if necessary, quickly sweep your garage to avoid tracked in mud or dirt.
What to do with the leftover stuff.
Toward the end of your sale, begin offering grab bags with assortments of items for a deeply discounted price. You can also begin to offer items for free that you see aren’t going to sell. I had a huge amount of costume jewelry and begin discounting the pricing in order to sell more of it. Whatever you do, do NOT bring unsold items back into your home! The whole purpose of decluttering and a yard sale was to rid yourself of unwanted items. Don’t make the mistake of bringing anything back inside. We are still working on clearing out the garage and tossing some items. These boxes will come in handy for moving.
Here are some options for getting rid of what’s left:
- List items on Facebook Marketplace
- Sell items on eBay
- Sell items on Craigslist
- Contact local shelters and charities to see what needs they have (tax deductible)
- Donate items to Goodwill (tax deductible)
Finally, there are organizations that accept unsold yard sale items. For example, the Salvation Army not only accepts your unsold items, you can schedule a pick-up for those items online. To make the most of this option, go ahead and schedule a pick-up for the end of your yard sale so that you don’t have to deal with getting items back into your garage!
Habitat for Humanity ReStore accepts unsold furniture, tools, or appliances. The ReStore resells these items to the public at a lower cost and uses the profits to fund Habitat for Humanity projects. You can drop off items at the ReStore closest to you. Be sure to read their policies.
Big Brother’s/Big Sister’s, the American Kidney Fund, as well as Vietnam Veterans of America also take donated items. There are lots of options, so you can pick the charity closest to your heart and donate there.
Now that we have the yard sale behind us, we have a short punch list of items to address with this house, and we will then be ready to put a sign in the yard! Can I tell you how excited I am to be almost finished with the hard work of getting this property ready to sell? Now comes the fun part….finding our new casa! I hope you will be part of our journey….
Every week I will be sharing our moving/downsizing journey with you, and lessons learned along the way. I’m honored that you are coming along on this journey with me, and I hope you will tell your friends to follow along too.
Helping you create a beautiful home is what @Home With Sunflower Designs is all about. Each week we offer suggestions on ways to add beauty and simplicity to your surroundings, so that you and your family can enjoy your home. Until next time… #livecreatively!
Sunflower Designs helps you create a beautiful home one wreath and one space at a time.
Ann Bryant, Owner & Designer
Follow our blog @Home with Sunflower Designs at www.sunflowerdesigns.biz