Style and Beauty

10 tips for organizing and prepping a yard sale

Getting ready for yard sale season? Here are ten tips, direct from professional organizers, sure to make your yard sale as successful as can be.

Photo: iStockphoto Photo: iStockphoto

Yard sale season is fast approaching, and we want to help make your experience as fun, stress-free and financially-rewarding as possible. Here are ten fantastic tips from Professional Organizers in Canada, all aimed at making your yard sale a success.

1. Advertise

Put out a free ad on craigslist one week before and create 8.5 x 11-inch flyers to distribute in a two block radius around your home. You could also create white poster boards to put up at intersections, using thick, block writing to indicate the date, time and location of the sale. Get the word out!

2. Make it a street party! Get other neighbours on the street involved so you can advertise a giant block clothing sale. Even better, this way you can all have fun and share the burden (and benefits) together.

3. Rain day? Make sure you've chosen another Saturday or Sunday as a back-up rain day if your original date is rained out. A light sprinkle shouldn't matter, but not many people brave thunderstorms for outdoor shopping. Give your yard sale its best chance at success.


4. Prep everything Have everything ready the night before so you are just putting things out the day of the sale. Make sure the items you plan to sell are in good condition. Your clothes, for example, should have no holes, stains or rips.

5. Bag it Make sure you have a good supply of plastic bags to package goods for customers. Most people will stop by unplanned and have nothing to carry their items back home in.

6. Set it up like store! Display your best items up front to lure the folks in, group like items together and create garment racks or a self-made clothesline. Put out a bookshelf for shoes, boots, purses and sunglasses and don't forget to colour block—use the rainbow as a guide to organize clothes aesthetically.

7. Price it right Pricing your items will take the most prep time and should be done in advance. Put stickers on hard items or coloured dots (with an easy legend) to save time having to write everything out. Alternatively, put a price on a box and mark everything in the box as $X. Remember to leave some haggle room. For popular or pricey items you can tape a copy of an ad to the item so they can see the value. Put on a fanny pack with change inside and be prepared for some friendly bartering.


8. Donate Set up a free box for stuff you just want gone. This helps customers feel like they're getting a good deal, too.

9. Call in favours Ask your friends to help out so you can take a break. They can watch your stuff and jump in when it gets busy! Make sure to do something nice in return, though—perhaps invite them for a fun picnic dinner afterwards?

10. Get the kids involved Get the kids to set-up a lemonade stand or sell some cookies, and tell them they can keep the proceeds. Or perhaps they could donate their earnings to a charity of their choice? It will be a great learning experience for them.

Marie Potter is the Director of Marketing of Professional Organizers in Canada. To find an organizer in your area please visit

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