To start with, in my defense, I had a LOT of storage space in my house!! (I just have to get that out of the way before I reveal much further!)
You see, For the last number of years, as the kids cleaned and purged through their bedrooms, I’ve been known to say “just put that in storage for the yard sale”. But the thing is…the yard sale NEVER happened!
That is until I was ready to move, and the three overpacked storage rooms were suddenly overflowing with items revealing my absolute shame and a sudden realization that MAYBE I WAS A HOARDER ALL ALONG!!!
The yard sales are now over and I’ve moved to my new home…and since I’ve been through not one but THREE, I have a bit of advice for throwing a moving sale of your own!
Step 1: Make Space!
The first thing I did was completely clean out the garage to make room for all of the items I needed to put in there! Basically, I didn’t want piles of things throughout the house as I purged through rooms…and having a space to put everything, allowed me to purge without feeling like I was making more of a mess in the process!
Step 2 – Rent Tables!
Once the garage was cleaned out, I contacted Glow the Event Store and rented 6 long tables to place in my garage…two along each side, and two down the middle. On the actual day(s) of the moving sale, I pulled the two center tables into the driveway to make more room for folks to move around (but had it rained, it just would have been a tighter squeeze!)
Step 3 – Start Packing and Purging!
With the garage cleaned and tables in place, I began packing through my house. I boxed the items I wanted to keep, chucked out any garbage or anything with broken or missing parts, and gathered the things I no longer wanted that were in good condition…placing the items on the tables in the garage. Doing it this way made it soooo much easier as I had a place to put the items I no longer wanted…without de-railing my packing in any way. It felt like I was making fabulous progress as I went along with my purging and packing!
Step 4 – Organize and Layer (ie, MERCHANDISE!)
Years ago, working in retail, this was my FAVOURITE part of the job…making things look good by displaying them appropriately. AND, with so much to sell, I quickly reached I needed to organize things or it basically all looked like JUNK! So, placing some shelving on the tables to give a little height, I was able to layer and organize while breaking things into categories such as; Household, Tools, Toys, Sports Equipment, Children’s Books, Adult Books, Decor, Music and so on…
Step 5 – Advertise on Social Media!
About a week prior to my moving sale and leading up to the actual date, I began to promote the sale on Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace…also, sharing to my Facebook and aking my friends to share with their friends to help spread the word. As for the details, I made up a quick ad about the moving sale giving all of the information (address, date/s, and time/s). Then, along with the advertisement, I also listed some individual items (the pricier of items such as furniture). With each individual listing, I also mentioned the yard sale details in the description. For the most part, the larger items were purchased online before the actual moving sale but some of those folks also came back for the big event! As well, on the day of the sale, I kept posting on FB Marketplace during the “lull time” with some of the items I was selling that were laid out on the tables…to entice folks to come to the sale. And, I did a few videos on Instagram and Facebook stories to remind my friends (while keeping myself entertained!)
My two advertising mistakes (ie, don’t do as I did).
Mistake 1: I completely forgot to put signs on the light posts around my street to catch any “drive-bys”!!!! On the second weekend of my yard sale, I remembered and got quite a bit of drive-by traffic! (Which really had me kicking myself for not doing it sooner!)
Mistake 2: I was too late to advertise on the “Buy and Sell” facebook groups that are in my area because you have to JOIN the group and be APPROVED to the group before you can post your sale…and I didn’t get Approved to post my advertisement in time. SO…make sure you do a little research for “buy and sell” and “garage sale” groups in your area and ask to join well in advance of your yard sale!
Step 6 – Enjoy the People!
Early Birds: For starters, I didn’t anticipate the EARLY BIRDS! The first weekend of my sale, I advertised for 9:00 and folks were WAITING FOR ME to open the garage door!!!
Kids: There’s nothing cuter than a kid standing in front of you with a loonie, hoping to buy a $5 item! (Obviously, I lost money on cute kids but it was worth it!)
Friends: Lots of friends popped by to visit and offer encouragement providing the PERFECT time for you to grab a bathroom break!
Thieves: YES…I had people steal from me. Two incidents that kind of took me off guard. In the end, they really didn’t steal that much but it did make me question mankind for a moment. Then I thought, if folks need to steal at a yard sale, chances are they really needed the item more than I needed the money!
Folks with Amazing Stories: I met lots of wonderful people over the three days I hosted sales but the person who had the biggest impact on me was a veteran who was there to purchase my wheelbarrow. After he paid for it, he told me how he was turning it into a bicycle for a disabled child…and the piece would be auctioned off next summer to help raise money for veterans living with PTSD. I promptly handed him back his money and wished him well. I can’t wait to see what they do with my old wheelbarrow and hope it makes some great money for a wonderful cause.
Step 7 – Give the Remainder to Charity
When all was said and done, after three days of yard sales, I packed up the remaining items and gave the rest away. In my case, I phoned a charity that did pick-up service as I had about 20 boxes and 30 bags plus quite a number of larger items that didn’t quite fit in either. There are a ton of charities that will take your items so do a little research ahead of time and if you want someone to do a pick-up…make sure to schedule it well in advance as there are limited days available. I was happy with the charity I chose as they’re dear to my heart, unfortunately, the fellow driving the truck was incredibly cranky and made for a bit of a negative experience…but it was a hot day, he was on his own, and he wasn’t anticipating me having as much as I had to load on his truck. I helped him load it all through his crankiness and grumbling and he left without so much as a thank-you…so I’m a little annoyed to be honest…but I really and truly don’t want it to impact the charity so I’ll keep the name to myself.
Step 8 – BUY NEW THINGS!
You may have a different goal for throwing a moving sale than I did, but for me, I decided that I was going to spend any money I made on NEW THINGS for my new apartment. (Maybe Step 1 should actually be “Make a Goal for the money you’ll make!”) In total, I made around $2500 and could have made more if I did it over a few more days but with the actual packing and moving plus construction that was going on in my place PLUS the fact that I work full time…I just couldn’t give it any more attention than I had! However, knowing the money was going to new things kept me super-motivated through the process. I’m now the proud owner of a brand new mattress, a beautiful ottoman for my living room, four fabulous stools for my kitchen, great new additions to my patio and a fantastic console table for my TV!
Step 9: Thank-You
A huge thanks to my friend Laura, her daughter Jenna and my brother for helping me out, to my folks for keeping me company and bringing me lunch…and to everyone who came and purchased items at the sale or online…it really was lovely to meet and spend time with each of you.
Disclaimer: Most especially, a MASSIVE THANK YOU to Glow the Event Store for sponsoring this blog post and providing all of the rental tables for the duration, that made it SO MUCH EASIER to organize and throw a moving sale! While this post is sponsored by GLOW, all opinions are definitely my own!