Skip to Content

How to Prepare for a Yard Sale

How to Prepare for a Yard Sale
It’s finally yard sale season! I’m typically the one doing the shopping, but this year I plan on having a yard sale of my own. My first yard sale was an absolute DISASTER! I remember I only had one table to place items on, so most items wound up on the ground on top of blankets I had laid out. I had no help since my husband had to work, and people were sifting through items and creating piles everywhere. Did I mention that it was cloudy AND it rained at one point during the sale? Yup. I hated every minute of it. In fact, I think it’s one of the reasons I didn’t have another sale for years.

But I also remember making a few hundred dollars from things we didn’t even use. It was a great feeling to get rid of clutter and be rewarded with extra cash. So how can you prepare for a yard sale and avoid some of the mistakes I made? Check out my favorite yard sale tips:

How to Prepare for a Yard Sale

Check your inventory

  • Is it in good condition? Do you need to wipe it clean? Make sure you prep your items before the sale.
  • If an item has seen any form of bodily fluid, it should NOT be sold.
  • Look through your media items that are for sale. Make sure they all have the proper disc, game or cartridge before you sell it.
  • Test your appliances prior to attaching a price tag. Make sure they are in working order and can be demonstrated to prospective buyers.
  • Check the pockets! I’ve found cash in some of our clothes while sorting.
  • Don’t give false advertising. If an item is not valuable, don’t pretend that it is an authentic jewel.

Check the weather

Trust me on this one. If there’s a chance of rain, believe the forecast and don’t take a chance. I had to learn the hard way! You can always set a rain date for your sale if the weather doesn’t look favorable.


I tend to join our neighborhood yard sale, so I’ve never had to do this. But if you plan on having a yard sale on your own, make sure to advertise. Craigslist, local Facebook groups, and the local paper are all great places to start. Also make sure to have bright signs guiding potential customers to your home. I think it’s a great idea to share some of the items that will be up for sale. This will entice people to stop by.

Gather supplies

Make a list of everything you’ll need. Tables, chairs, clothing racks, wire hangers, sticker labels, empty grocery bags and a fanny pack to hold your money (safer than a box). Also make sure to have a variety of dollar bills and quarters to give change to your customers when needed.

Enlist help

If you have kids, ask them to help out during the sale. If your spouse or a friend can join you, that’s even better. I was so overwhelmed when I did it alone, that I had a hard time watching people at the sale. In fact, I’m fairly certain someone stole a pair of shoes when I wasn’t paying attention since I don’t remember selling them, yet they were gone.

Have some freebies

If you have some items that you don’t feel are worth selling, place them on a table with a “FREE” sign. You’ll be surprised by how this alone attracts traffic, and you’ll also be getting rid of clutter.

Tip: Check your inventory regularly – especially if you have small children. Make sure they have not laid down a special stuffed animal or toy that is not for sale.

Have fun!

I know prepping for a yard sale can be overwhelming, but try to have fun the day of the sale. Play music in the background, enjoy the weather and get to know the neighbors. You can even have your kids sell drinks and snacks. Plus think about all the cash you’re making. 🙂

Have you hosted a yard sale recently? Got any tips or horror stories to share? I’d love to hear!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *