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5 Steps to a Better Yard Sale

A few weeks back we hosted a yard sale and I was determined to do it right.  It took a little extra time and effort, but the end results were worth it, so I wanted to share what I learned about setting up a successful yard sale.

Presentation is everything.  My job is creative and visual so of course this was a detail I didn’t want to neglect, but having a nice setup really does make all the difference.  Think about it, when you spot a yard sale, are you inclined to stop if everything is thrown in piles on a tarp on the front lawn, or if everything is nicely organized?  Rolling racks are a great way to showcase clothing, and you can find pretty inexpensive ones at Target, Walmart or Amazon, but you can also get creative, like using two ladders and a piece of PVC pipe.

Don’t overwhelm.  Since we moved into our house a few years ago, I’d been saying I was finally going to go through all the boxes of clothes from storage and see what I could put out to sell, but this year I finally followed through.  Initially, I wanted to just put out everything and see what would sell, but in the end, I weeded through and pulled out the things I thought might go first — you can always put more merchandise out later.  I read a great piece of advice that really resonated.  If you have five minutes to stop on your way to work and you drive by a yard sale, you’re going to stop at the one that looks manageable, rather one that’s going to take time to sift through.

Again, presentation is EVERYTHING.  I was so disappointed to realize though that so many of those pieces — beautiful items like J. Crew blazers and Free People dresses, smelled musty and was wrinkled from being boxed up for so long. I don’t want to buy something that looks and smells like it was rolled in the ball in the corner of the basement, even if it is a bargain.  Things that I could get away with, I just spritzed with a little wrinkle release spray, but anything that was more valuable or really needed it I tossed in a Dryel bag and it was ready to go in 15-30 minutes.  The Dryel bags saved so much time and made everything ready to go to their new homes.  And with that…

Details matter.  Sure, you’re getting rid of your old “junk,” but small efforts like wiping away dust make a big impact to a potential buyer.  I also kept an eye out for any stains that needed to be spot treated – Dryel Stain Remover pens are awesome for this.

Think outside of the box.  We organized our yard sale on a day we knew a lot of neighbors were also having yard sales, and we knew it was going to be a pretty hot day.  We bought cases of water and snacks (we had chips and candies) to sell.  Not only did people appreciate having a quick snack to grab during their treasure hunting, but it also was an easy way to make a little more money than we would have otherwise.

Create an ambiance.  We noticed people lingered a little longer when we had music softly playing so we hung our bluetooth speaker from a tree and put on a playlist of feel-good classics, like Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, and The Beach Boys.

A big thanks to Dryel for helping to make our yard sale experience a success and giving me the freedom to let go of some things that had been cluttering our home.