How to Organize a Garage Sale

Knowing how to organize your garage sale will mean the difference between making a little money – and a lot of money!

A garage sale is a perfect way to add some extra resources to your vacation fund, clothing fund, summer activities, or extra cash to go toward usual expenses. Garage sales are a great way for the family to clean out the clutter, make a little extra money, and have fun together.

How to Organize a Garage Sale

How To Organize A Garage Sale


Sort your items for sale into categories. If you’ve already chosen what you want to sell, it is time to sort it. Set up an area to go through everything and stage it into categories. Simple ways to sort is to have an area just for clothing, toys, electronics, tools, books/videos/music and housewares. Almost everything could be designated into one of these categories. Then you can go through each category and sort even further. Once you have everything sorted into areas of like-items, you can move onto the next step.

Select reasonable price points for individual categories instead of each item. Pricing every single item in your yard sale with a sticker is exhausting work that often results in more headache than it is worth. Unless you are hosting a family or community sale, and have to keep track of individual sales for handing out money at the end of the day, it is easy to simply create a price for categories. For example, you could advertise that all kids shirts $1, pants $2, and so on and so forth. A good pricing guide is to discount the item by a minimum of 60% off original price unless it is a costly electronics item. If hosting a community sale, keep monies separate or tag individual items {so that you can save sold item tags, to know where money is split at the end}. If you have damaged, worn, or extremely low-cost items, I suggest setting out a box marked ‘free’. It’s a way to give back and donate, and might attract people to stop and browse that would normally drive on by.

Set up tables and racks for the sale. For most success, you need to know how to organize a garage sale – for the most sales. That means putting your sale items up at an easy level for customers to look at and sort through. Tables and racks make a difference. Putting items in boxes on the ground that require your customers to bend or stoop, is less likely to encourage them to purchase. Nobody likes bending over or squatting on the ground to look.

Enlist volunteers. Get everyone in the family involved in making eye-catching signs, advertising {social media is great at spreading the word}, folding clothes, sorting items and even helping answer questions on the day of the sale. Having a garage sale solo is tricky, since there will be a point in time that you’ll need to step away from the area. Plus, it’s also a great excuse to visit and connect through the day. 

Have change available for early day transactions. In all of your pre-sale organization, make sure you have plenty of cash on hand for giving change. Keep some safely locked away indoors, but start the day with enough to give change to the first few customers. Make sure to have plenty of singles, five dollar bills and some quarters and dimes if you have lower priced items.

Have bags and boxes available for customers to take purchases. Don’t forget to have something for your customers to use to take home their great finds. Plastic grocery bags come in handy for times like this, as do all those gift bags that you collect from birthdays. 

These tips for how to organize a garage sale will keep you on the right track to making a great amount of money in just a few hours.

Have any other garage sale organization tips to share?



  1. These are great tips! If I’d followed some of these, maybe my first garage sale wouldn’t have been my last!

  2. I haven’t done a garage sale in ages! I’d love to have one for some of the things I’ve held on to in storage. Great advice!

  3. These are great tips! We just had a yard sale and it was SO helpful for decluttering, FINALLY getting rid of those things we’ve been hanging onto, and for a little extra cash for the farmers’ market!

  4. Ugh, the words “garage sale” are bad words for me. LOL. Although I know we have tons of stuff we need to get rid of, just thinking about a garage sale really stresses me out. haha.

  5. Great information. We had a garage sale not too long ago, it was awful. Hardly anyone showed!

  6. These are such great tips. I have never thought about sorting the items. I am sure it would help people quite a lot. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I have not had a garage sale in so long! I enjoy them, but they are hard work. Great tips!

  8. These are all great tips and useful for someone who is having a garage sale. I have never been organized for a garage sale before simply just tossed it together. I bet doing this would make it be much more smooth flowing and successful!

  9. Awesome timing! We’re having a sale next weekend! It’s so hard to prepare, but your tips are super helpful.

  10. I know it isn’t easy to have a garage or yard sale. I have done it a few times. Anyone who isn’t following your tips would be totally insane if they are trying to have a garage sale another way!

  11. It can help if you announce a policy that there will be no negotiation. Otherwise, visitors often assume that they can buy items for only a fraction of the listed price!

  12. These are excellent tips! We do a lot of garage sale shopping, and I can seriously tell you if it’s not organized we don’t spend much time there. And therefore we don’t spend money. having it organized by categories is a HUGE thing. And not having to dig through boxes is another big one for me.

  13. These are great garage sale tips. I am planning on having a garage sale later this summer. It is a great way to get rid of things.

  14. These are wonderful tips. I have always hated doing garage sales but I think I might give it another try.

  15. wow! what great tips! I never had a garage sale but I love to go to them. I have found some really awesome things there. My mom used to take me and my brother when we were kiddies and now as adults we love them.

  16. Great tips! We’re having a sale on the 18th. I’m looking forward to purging some of this clutter.

    For small kids toys (cars, kids’ meal toys, little figures) do like to put out a big box with a price written on the side. The kids at least seem to enjoy sitting down and poking through looking for treasures, and it keeps them in one spot while their parents have time to look around.

  17. Thank you so much for these sensible and useful tips. We are planning on having a garage sale later on in the summer and I look forward to it after reading your post. Thank you so much.

  18. I like these tips…thanks for sharing! I have never ran a garage sale before….but I have been thinking about it. Your tips will definitively come in handy should I decide to run one 🙂

  19. Great tips! We love having garage sales. When the kids were little they would “advertise” the sale by standing on the edge of the yard with balloons and wearing funky outfits.

  20. Great advice. I need to purge from our house and much of it would be useful to someone else. I think I would ask my daughters if they had anything they wanted to include in the garage sale. Then a single event could help a few of us.

  21. Great tips that I used for my last sale. Advertising is key – the one thing I didnt do in past. Had continuous flow of people & made good money. Pricing at give away prices important. If you have alot of items you can make money on volume. With stores having sales, garage sale prices need to be low.

  22. From a very lucrative one I had last Summer I learned that advertising well is key. Very important to have “spotters” watching people browsing. I had expensive items stolen so wont happen again. I suggest having a small gift for each buyer. As I am a baker, I put out free samples of my goodies.

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