My wife just finished putting on her third and last garage sale. She actually said that after the first one, then was convinced by friends to put on another one where she had a great time socializing with all of them, thus leading to the third.

by Eastlake Times via Flickr

The idea of putting on garage sales thrills some people, but for many people it’s a one-and-done process. It’s not what you might think for the most part, unless you’re one of those hoarders with hundreds of items that you’ve never even opened, or are lucky enough to have the Clean House people come to your house. Here are 5 things to know about putting on a garage sale.

1. It’s physically demanding. Unless all you’re selling are stuffed animals it’s going to take a toll on your body. Heck, even if you’re only selling stuffed animals it could be physically demanding. You’re talking about moving all sorts of heavy tables and chairs and after awhile even moving the light stuff on a consistent basis starts to wear on you.

2. You need to have a plan for what you’re going to do with the items that don’t sell. For most people, you will be left with more stuff than you sell, and you probably don’t want to take it all back into the house. The first two times my wife took everything and dropped it off at the Rescue Mission. This time she first called a local group that works with teens to help them make money, then took everything else to the Rescue Mission.

3. You need to mentally let go of your memories with your stuff. This is the toughest thing to do; trust me here. You may have spent $1,000 on that rug you got from India but you’re going to get offered around $20 for it if you’re lucky. The same goes for that family heirloom you’ve had since you were a child. Some people will bid outrageous amounts for your stuff, and I’m talking low. If you have an emotional attachment to it and think it’s worth way more, you might need an independent person to set your straight or confirm your belief.

4. Don’t break up a set unless it’s absolutely necessary. My wife’s friend had a large table with 4 chairs and the buyer only wanted the chairs. Luckily the woman offered a pittance that was easy to turn down (she wanted 4 dining room chairs for less than $10). When someone else came later he wanted the table because it had chairs that went with it. The proper way to handle something like this is to take the person’s name and phone number and if at the end of the day you couldn’t sell it as a set then make the call.

5. No matter where you are, you’re going to have long periods of just sitting around waiting for someone to come look at your stuff. Be prepared for that. Have a couple of friends come to hang with you for the day, or have some music going. Watching TV is a sign you might not be engaged in the process, and the same goes for reading a book. Otherwise, you want to be as lively as possible when potential buyers come so find ways to keep you alert and somewhat happy; it’s going to be a long day.

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