How to Organize and Make Money in One Weekend With a Garage Sale

The weather is getting nicer out and that means one thing…garage sales! A garage sale is a great way to make quick money in just one weekend! This how-to guide will help you from the beginning to the end and have cash in your pocket.

As we have been discussing more of a minimalist lifestyle, it is time to part with items that we do not use that can make us money.

Read one step at a time. Complete it. Then, come back to read the next one.

Organizing for a garage sale can be overwhelming, but following this guide step-by-step will make it a flawless process.


1. Set-up Your Space

If you are holding a true “garage sale”, the first step is to make sure your garage is ready. If you are holding it in your driveway or yard, mow the lawn and spend some time making sure the outside of your house is presentable. I have driven past a lot of garage sales because of the lack of curb appeal. If the outside of your house looks like it is taken care of people will feel like the items have been taking care of as well.

Look around your house and get creative with tables or different ways to display your items. One way to set-up your garage sale is to have designated tables all ready to go in your garage. This will help so much with the rest of process if you start with the tables set-up over decluttering first.


2. Declutter Room by Room

The second step to organizing a garage sale is to declutter each room in your house. Depending on the size of your house, this step might take longer than one weekend. As you are decluttering each room bring the item(s) right to the table of the room you took the item out of.

For example, I have a collection of mugs. Everyone who knows me knows my obsession. I have tamed back after watching a TED talk on how collections can cost you money. How much is one mug though right? When I get new mugs, I do like to get rid of some older/used ones. I would bring the mug I was selling directly to the table labeled kitchen items. I would finish decluttering the kitchen and bring items to the table then move on to step three.


3. Pricing & Labeling

Garage sale goers are looking for a deal and you are looking to make money. Pricing your items to sell is important as you are trying to get rid of them. As you are pricing, think as if you were the buyer at another garage sale, how much would you pay for the item you are pricing? I would not spend more than $0.75 for a mug at a garage sale.

There are so many different ways you can label your items for a garage sale. The most common are dot peel stickers you can write on the price, peel and label the item. Amazon is full of different stickers for garage sales. I like the ones that have prices already on them because it eliminates the step of writing the price over and over again. Most prices at a garage sale all have the same range and you want to make sure you have a lot of those stickers.

If you have items in boxes on your driveway you can do two things. One simple way is to just label the outside of the box with how much each item in the box is. Another unique way to spice up your garage sale is use chalk to place the price on the driveway outside the box. If your garage sale goes for the weekend and it rains or gets dewy, make sure you remember to touch it up in the morning before the sale.


4. Signs For Your Garage Sale

You can be savvy and use poster board and markers you have lying around your house. However, you have to keep in mind that people that are driving by are your biggest advertisement. This kit on Amazon is amazing and has everything you will need for your garage sale.

If you live on a busy road you have an advantage over people that live in neighborhoods. If you live in a neighborhood you will have to be strategic with your sign placements. Make sure you always have a sign on a street with a high volume of traffic, the more people that drive past your sign the more chances of someone coming to your garage sale. Make sure your signs are placed in many different spots and give clear direction on how to get to your house.


5. Advertise

As soon as you know the date and times for your garage sale, start advertising! There are so many free ways to advertise for your garage sale. Craigslist is the first place I would start. Start your ad with just the dates and times. This way you feel committed to the sale and people can plan their routes. Then as you finish up decluttering and you have your sale set-up you can upload pictures. Do not upload pictures of your tables with all the items, that just overwhelms people. Take pictures of your “big items” and make a killer description of how much more you have, they will have to come to see. is a website and app you can advertise for free on. The app plans out different routes and provides the garage sale goers with guided driving directions to the sales. You can upload pictures of your big ticket items and is simple to use.


6. Get Change

This one step is often forgotten in the hustle of getting the garage sale ready. Take a break, you deserve one! Get into the car and take a ride to the bank. You will want to have a variety of bills and change. Have about $100 in change:

I have plastic bags saved up for taking my dog for walks. Make sure you can provide our shoppers with a bag for their purchase.

Better yet use PayPal to collect money for free from your customers by selecting family and friends. You can also use services like Stripe, Apply Pay, and Venmo to make it more convenient for your customers. 


7. Rise & Grind It’s Garage Sale Time!

Make yourself a nice cup of coffee and head out to your sale. Do any adjustments and last minute re-organizing of your items. Greet your customers when they approach your house. Try to make connections with people, they will be more willing to buy from a friendly conversation. Ask if there is anything in particular that they are looking for. Maybe they say something you have and are willing to part with for a price. Let shoppers know you are willing to negotiate prices they see. You are getting rid of these items for a reason. It is better to lower the price and sell it than losing out on a sale altogether.


8. Clean-Up & Donate

When your sale has come to a close, start boxing up your items that are left for donation. Don’t second guess on bringing items into your house. The only time it might be worth keeping an item that didn’t sell is if you know you can sell it on Craiglist or eBay for a quick profit. You were selling everything for a reason, to organize and minimize. Pack up the car and bring the items to a local Goodwill. Keep your receipt for tax season.

Do you have kids that could make some money at this sale? Have your kids set up a stand to sell lemonade or food. Some of the garage sale goers have been out all morning and would love a bargain for a drink and something quick to eat. Start your young entrepreneur while they are young. A lot can be learned by running a simple lemonade stand.

How do you prepare for a garage sale? What is the highest amount of money that you sold at a garage sale?