You never quite understand just how much stuff you have until you get ready to move. With storage containers, cabinets, closets and shelves, it’s amazing what you can amass over the years. You’ll likely discover you don’t use or want half of it, so how do you get rid of it? Throw a moving garage sale. It’ll reduce the sheer amount of stuff you have to move, while lining your pockets with a little extra cash.

When should you throw a moving garage sale?

The best time is during late spring or early fall, as it’s not too hot or too cold. Depending on your moving date, that may mean having your moving yard sale several months out from the actual day. That’s one reason why planning ahead is a smart thing to do.

Stick with a Saturday if you can, as most people are off work and game to get outside and do some spending. This way, if the sale is a little slow (or if things are still selling well come the end of the day), you can always run it again on the Sunday.

Be sure to start early in the morning, too. Not only will it be a little cooler out, but all the hardcore garage sale bargain hunters tend to be out scoping for deals super early.

What do you need for a moving garage sale?

First, check if your city requires a permit for having a sale. It’s not a common thing just yet, but more cities seem to be using this tactic. The last thing you want is to be all set up, only to be told to shut it down (or pay some sort of extra fee). Thanks to the magic of the internet, some city websites let you get a permit online, rather than in person (or by phone).

Next up, gather your supplies. Tables, shelves and blankets are commonly used for laying out items. Corrugated boxes are a great way to group items together, giving people an easy way to sort through all the stuff you’re offering up. You could even keep a few boxes to the side for people who end up buying a lot of merchandise from you.

TPC Tip… use colored labels or colored masking tape to create a pricing system for your moving garage sale.

Finally, consider some refreshment. Supermarkets offer samples not only to get people to buy a product, but to relax them and make them feel more at ease, so they’ll spend longer in the store (and of course, spend more money). Some iced tea or lemonade may be all it takes to turn your yard sale into an absolute smash.

How should you prepare for a moving garage sale?

Go through your entire house, room by room, before you begin packing. Look for the things you don’t use, don’t wear or just don’t like anymore. Now is the prime time to clear out anything taking up space, as once you move, you’ll likely let that stuff hang around for a few more years.

TPC Tip… unsure if something is sale-worthy? Add it in. There’s always a buyer for weird, rare, retro or obscure stuff.

Sort everything into categories. Keep clothes in one area (hanging them up is a great way to get rid of old hangers you don’t want), stack books and DVDs together, and arrange electronics, sporting goods and dishes in places they can be easily examined. People gravitate to cleanly grouped areas, and that always leads to making more money.

If you’re moving long distance, take a good look at items that may not travel well, may take up too much space in a moving truck, or may cost less to replace than to ship. It may benefit you to sell them off now.

How do you promote a moving garage sale?

Good old street signs will never go out of style. At least a week before, place them at the end of your street, the edges of your neighborhood, and the outside of your sub-division. You’ll give potential buyers the biggest chance to see your signs, and create an easy way to find your house.

Also, advertise your sale on message boards and online selling sites. Plenty of people like to plan out what garages sales they’re going to hit ahead of time.

How should you price a moving garage sale?

Price things to move. Don’t go too high, even though you know people will haggle. You’re likely selling older or used stuff, and even if it’s pristine, people want a deal—it’s a yard sale after all.

Try out bulk pricing, especially for clothing, books or DVDs. Your stuff will look like even more of a bargain, upping the likelihood that everything will get sold.

Be sure to price everything ahead of time. Using colored stickers with pre-printed prices on them will make the act of selling go much faster. Actual selling systems have been shown to motivate people to buy more while also negotiating less.

And be sure to have a plan for what you’ll do with the money being handed over to you. A money box kept in plain sight can be easily lifted when your back is turned. You also don’t want to carry hundreds of bucks on you all day. Don’t forget to have change for bills!

What should you do with stuff that doesn’t sell?

If you want to get rid of it quickly, donate it all. If you’re willing to put in the time, use online auction sites. There are even online sites that will actually buy stuff from you. It all depends on the effort you want to put into it.

Throwing a moving garage sale is a great way to generate some cash while reducing the amount of stuff you need to move—just make sure you plan things out in advance. For quality moving supplies, and moving tips that’ll make the big day run more smoothly, you’re in the right place with The Packaging Company.