July 23, 2024

Garage Sale Tips From Nancy…

My girlfriend, Nancy, whom I get lots of great ideas from and who is the go to friend when you want to know something, has written a post on garage sale prep. She is great at getting organized for a sale… Here’s Nancy!

For the last several years I’ve participated in various resale and multi-member garage sales. It is a great way to sell kids items such as clothes and books. My Mothers and More chapter recently took part in a large neighborhood sale. One of our members was generous enough to open her spacious garage to about 7 of us. (We’ve had other members do the same in the past and we’ve appreciated it) Our group does a 70/30 split with the group getting 30%. This sale was well organized and is an annual event. The woman who organizes it publicizes it well and has a map available at the entrance to the plan with participating house numbers and a general description of the things for sale. At one of our past sales the person hosting had the brainstorm to use her husband’s multi-fold ladder as a rack for the kids’ clothes. It was a great success and we used it at the next sale too. (Thanks Kristi and Damien)

When the sale was over everyone took what they wanted to keep for the next sale. We boxed and bagged everything else and dropped it at the Goodwill. Other times we’ve called the VVA and had them pick up the leftovers.

.I’ve taken the general ideas for tagging items from various resales I’ve participated in over the years. The best way to keep track of each person’s item is to have each individual tag their sale items with a 3 x 5 index card. You can ask each one to pick a color or use white. In the top left corner, have each person put their initials or name. In the top right corner put the size for the clothing or shoe item. In the center of the card put a very brief description of the item (this helps to find the right item if the tag falls off.) In bottom right corner put the price of the item. See example below.

NL Size 6x
Girls pink top with flowers


Secure the card to the item with a safety pin or with tape. Multiple items such as books may be bagged in a Ziploc bag and the card taped to the front. I usually tape the bag closed as well to keep kids from pulling out the books or pieces of toys during the sale.

During the sale anyone working can take the tag off and file them all together to be sorted after the sale. It works best to have one person hold the money but have anyone working able to take the money from the customers.

If an item’s price is negotiable and changed during the sale, be sure to mark the new price before filing the card away. Having several members working makes the day go a lot faster!

To prepare for the sales I’ve been in is a year round process. I have a 7 year old and as she outgrows a piece of clothing, I hang it on a plastic hanger (many stores such as Macy’s or other department stores will sometimes give away their plastic hangars) in a spare closet. Periodically I’ll tag a stack of clothes and put them in a large plastic tote. I do the same with toys, books and household items. If you do them in small batches it doesn’t get so overwhelming. When a clothing tote gets full, I’ll sort the clothes by size and alternately stack them, so I can just pull them out and hang them the day of the sale. For shoes, I attach them together with the elastic string that I save when I buy new shoes for my daughter. Kids’ clothes, books and toys are great sellers. Usually toddler clothes and baby items sell best. But you never know what will sell! One person’s trash is another’s treasure.

Honestly, we have a lot of members buy each other’s things. I love this since my daughter is one of the oldest in the group and we have mainly girls in the group. My neighbor likes to say it’s not a garage sale; it’s the trading of the crap. But hey it works!!!

More Tips? Check out!