Putting on a yard sale can be a tremendous task. Some people take weeks, even months, to get prepared for a yard sale event.
But let’s say you aren’t interested in doing that. You don’t have the time to plan, organize and execute a yard sale — or at least you don’t have much time at all.
With that in mind, here’s a guide to make a yard sale happen in seven days.
The scenario is a typical one: You have been thinking about hosting a yard sale and suddenly the fates align, and you realize that next Friday you have the opportunity.
Here’s your timeline to get your yard sale up and running:
FRIDAY (Seven days from the yard sale)
- Find an empty room (garage, basement or guest room) and clear out some space. You will use this area as your collection point.
- Search through your storage areas and find unwanted items. Since this is a storage area, you’ll know all these items are essentially “ready to sell.”
- Instruct other family members to find their own unwanted items from their rooms.
- You serve as primary sorter. Sort items of value into piles or boxes: 50-cent items, $1 items, $3 items and $10 items. (Try to keep all like items at the same price, such as clothing items and DVDs)
SATURDAY (Six days from the yard sale)
- Search your own household areas (kitchen, your room, living room, etc.) for unwanted items.
- Locate suitable display tables. You can contact friends, use your own or rent them. You will need a table for each price category you have.
- Clean any items that need cleaning.
SUNDAY (Five days from the yard sale)
- Mow the lawn today, rather than the day before your sale. It gives your lawn time to “prepare” for a trampling. Work on making the outside of your house presentable. Consider where your tables will be set up.
- Test electronic items.
- Look for instruction booklets and original boxes for items.
- If needed, coordinate a babysitter for your yard sale days.
- Scout around for some more items to sell.
MONDAY (Four days from the yard sale)
- Survey your items for sale and write up a classified ad. Start with your coolest items first, then list other items that bring in the crowds, such as clothing (include sizes and brand names, if possible).
- Make signs to promote your sale. You will want to post them on the turn-in to your street (both directions) and on two other intersections that lead to your house. That means you should create six signs (again, two for each posting area).
- Make up price signs rather than individually pricing all items. The quick way to price items is by pricing in the “Everything on this table is $1″-style. You need to make price signs for each of your price categories.
- Individually price the few items that need special prices.
- This is it. Your chance to discover even more items to sell! Did you look in the shed?
TUESDAY (Three days from the yard sale)
- Reread your rough draft for the classified ad and place it.
- Prepare some food for the big day: Make some baked goods to sell; Purchase a few cases of water and soda; Unthaw some hotdogs in the fridge. (You can make a killing on food on a hot day!)
- Go out an post your signs.
- Check the weather forecast. Determine if you’re likely to have nice weather and whether you should cancel or not.
- Get some of your basics around: Get some grocery bags, clean up your lawn chairs, check your grill, find some old table cloths, find a cash box.
- Look for even more items to add to the sale. Surely there’s something else? Maybe a quick survey of the kids’ rooms.
WEDNESDAY (Two days from the yard sale)
- Check your classified ad and make sure it looks nice. Check to see if your signs are still up.
- Get your cash for the sale. We recommend $40 in tens, $40 in fives, $20 in ones and $10 in quarters.
- Clean out your cooler to store drinks.
- Put your tables in place on the front lawn. This will let the neighbors know where the sale is happening.
- Have you looked everywhere for extra items to sell? What about in the car trunk? Or in those storage bins hidden in the corner?
THURSDAY (One day from the yard sale)
- Put tablecloths down.
- Attach price signs to each table.
- Prep your large items to move out front. You can leave them in your backyard until morning.
- Just before nightfall, set up your tables.
- Wrap tables in tarps to protect them from the night’s dew.
- Put ice in cooler.
- Drop kids off at babysitter. Or at least prep them for taking them to babysitter.
- Go to bed early.
FRIDAY (Yard sale day!)
- Wake up early, eat a big breakfast.
- Pull out large items.
- Unwrap tables.
- Bring out food supplies.
- Turn on stereo for some nice background music.
- Open up your yard sale, rake in the dough.
SATURDAY (Yard sale day — Part 2)
- Make more money!