A couple weeks ago I woke up early on a sunny Saturday morning to see cars and trucks lined up and down my quiet little stretch of paradise in Glenburn Township.
Was somebody getting married? Were the Kardashians moving in? With some investigation I discovered the crowd was in my neighborhood to battle over tchotchkes at a nearby yard sale.
Every May, I start to see individual and community yard sales pop up throughout the Abingtons. It’s a good time of year to get rid of your stuff while making a couple bucks and socializing with your neighbors. It’s especially fun when you make it a family project. Even younger kids can help by running a lemonade stand.
Here are some tips from hgtv.com to make your yard sale a hit:
Conquer your clutter. Put yard sale items aside all year long. Designate some boxes or shelves in a closet or attic, and discard any unwanted clothing and household items there. When you’ve collected enough, it’s sale time.
If you’re sorting through your clutter for the first time, break the job down into small, manageable tasks. Start with things you can easily let go of. Begin with one drawer or one cabinet at a time, then move on to the next. When you’ve finished an entire room, begin the same process in another.
Keep it clean. Once you’ve decided which items to sell, give everything a thorough cleaning. People don’t want to sort through someone else’s dirty, dusty toys and glassware.
Get the word out. When you’ve decided on a date for your sale, start advertising a week or two in advance.
Price it right. Decide how you’ll price things beforehand, and use color-coded stickers to make it easier to keep track of different-priced items. Be realistic about what people will pay. The primary goal is to get rid of your stuff.
Think like a merchandiser. Make a great first impression with a sale that’s well laid out and attractive. Big-ticket items, like furniture or baby strollers, should be front and center where drivers can easily see them.
Put something equally eye-catching at the back of the sale like a large painting, mirrors or a floor lamp. Keep reviewing things throughout the day. As items sell, close any large gaps by moving things closer to the street.
It’s all in the details. Try wrapping sets of baby linens or fabric with twine or ribbon. Display jewelry on custom card stock that matches your sale signage.
Tables everywhere. Don’t make people bend down to look at your things. Use regular tables for most items and low tables for kids’ items.
Hang them up. Hang your clothes on a portable rack to add a boutique feel to your sale.
Display in groups. Group similar items all together in one place so buyers can easily see what you have.
Follow the signs. Make sure people can find you with clear, consistent signage. Place signs at every entrance to your neighborhood, and include arrow signs at every turn. A large, simple “yard sale” sign with the date and an arrow pointing the way works best.
Make it fun. Create an inviting feel right from the start with colorful balloons on your mailbox. Provide some background music while people shop. To keep people shopping, set up a table and offer refreshments and small snacks.
Everything must go free-for-all. Have a box or two of free items at your sale filled with things you would typically donate anyway.
Teri Lyon is a mom, grandmom and freelance writer who lives in Glenburn Township with her cat.