Monday, February 6, 2012

Prepare for Your Spring or Summer Yard Sale Now

I have friends who always say they want to have a yard sale but they say it is too much work and they just don't have the time to prepare for it given what little money they usually make.  Well, I'm here to tell you that you can cut the work down to hardly any effort, only give up one day - the day of the sale - make a little cash and STILL be able to donate the left overs to charity.  Everyone wins!!  It's really very simple.

First, get some price stickers if you really want to save time, then one day while in front of the TV, during the commercials put your initial on each sticker if you are going to have more than one person in your sale.  I highly recommend this because you'll have more stuff to sell which will attract people and you'll be doing it with a friend which will just be more fun!  I got the above stickers at a dollar store.  If you have more time, you could make your own by writing on painter's or masking tape...but if you do this, you really need to write the prices as your are putting the tape on your sale items.

Next, you'll want to have some big storage bins ready.  These are pretty cheap and something that can be used over and over.

Now you start ridding out....but this can be done slowly, over months in a just a few minutes at a time!  For example, If you are working through the book 1 Year to an Organized Life with us, each month you are cleaning out a room of your house.  As you do this, take your pile of stuff to these bins, grab your stickers, price the items, then place them in the bins to store until the sale.

In this bin, I see 4 different days of "work" for a total of about 2 minutes each time.  I see shampoo and conditioner that didn't work out for me taken from the bathroom (yes, this and body lotions and soaps sell....everyone wants to try something but not pay full price.  If it is really old and gross, please just throw it away though!) I see a bowl that no one used from the kitchen.  I see a key rack that I tried to use for another purpose that didn't work out, and I see a few items of clothing I pulled out of the closet one day while standing there trying to decide what to wear.  In less than 10 minutes over the course of 4 different days, I've got one bin half full ready for my yard sale!!

When I'm done adding PRICED items to the bin, I put them back into a closet that is downstairs that never gets used.  Maybe you keep your bins in the garage.  You can see the stickers in the top bin waiting for my next pile.  Then when it's time for the sale, that morning you pull out all of your bins, set up some tables and maybe a rack if you want to hang some clothes and you are ready for your sale and a day of hanging out with the BF who is doing the sale with you. Don't forget to have plenty of change available.  BUT we're not done there!!

As soon as the sale is over, grab a pad of paper and a pen and some garbage or shopping bags or old boxes.  Now, as you place items in the bags and/or boxes that didn't sell, write them down on the piece of paper and put a tick mark after each item named as you put it in.  For example:
sweaters IIII
pants III
shoes II
skirts IIII
Repeat until all items are boxed or bagged.  DO NOT SIT DOWN!!!  Load these boxes and bags into your car and head straight to Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift store, etc to donate these items to charity.  Be sure to ask for a receipt if you are wanting a tax deduction.  When you bring your receipt home attach it to the list you made.  Then look up online how much you are allowed to claim for each item you donated and total it.  This document is now ready for your files for your next tax return.  If you aren't concerned about a tax donation, simply bag and box your sale left overs and drop them off at a donation center.  

Your yard sale day is now over, you've cleaned out unwanted items from your house, you made a little cash, you hung out with a friend, you donated the leftovers to charity bringing nothing back into the house, and maybe got a little tax deduction too.  All for very little effort!!  Give it a shot, I promise you, it is not bad at all.  I used to do the big push right before a sale cleaning out the house in one or two days, spending hours pricing stuff, then being so exhausted from all of that, that at the end of the sale we would drag the stuff into the garage and say we would donate it another day, then it would sit there and it was just awful!!  My friend and I did a yard sale this past spring just as I described to you.  We both made hundreds of dollars, cleaned out our homes, and still donated some things to charity.  It was great.  And right now....I'm working on my next sale!

Until Next Time.....

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