Simplify Your Move with a Garage Sale

Judie Docs, Executive Officer – CSP, MCSP, CGP, CMP, MIRM
North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA)

Spring cleaning may be a cliché, but if you plan to move to a new home this summer, now is the time to clear out clutter. Some relocation companies charge by the number of boxes you plan to move. Moving unused items to your new home adds unnecessary cost. Consider holding a garage sale to significantly lighten your future packing load and earn some cash.  Here are some helpful tips for setting up a garage sale from start to finish.

Preparing for a Garage Sale

First, check with your local city hall to confirm permit requirements and determine if signage is allowed on public property—for example, telephone poles or street signs. Get to know these policies beforehand, so you know where to place and when to remove any promotional signage.

To attract people to your garage sale, make large, clear signs with bold black lettering displaying the sale’s dates and address, and do your best to secure them firmly to avoid littering. Start your sale early on a weekend morning to attract early risers. If you want to expand your reach, consider advertising your garage sale in a local newspaper (print or online) or taking advantage of free online classified ad platforms such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. 


Embark on a thorough decluttering mission, scouring your house, garage, attic, basement, and closets. One way to help you break down your stuff is to separate everything into three categories: items with potential resale value, items in good condition suitable for donation, and items ready for disposal. 

Setting Up

On the morning of the sale, get up a little earlier than usual and get to work setting up your garage sale. Do your best to set everything up to be as enticing as possible. For example, group all your related items together, such as kitchenware or old sports equipment.

Gather some extra bills and quarters to have change for potential customers and offer paper bags and newspapers for wrapping purchases. Remember, the goal is to declutter and earn some extra cash, not maximize profits, so clearly tag all items with reasonable prices. Also, consider setting up digital payment options, such as Venmo, Apple Pay, or PayPal. Digital payment options might make it more enticing for visitors to stop by.

After the Sale 

If you have unsold items following your sale, research local charities to arrange the donation of the remaining items. Some charities offer pickup services, especially for bulky furniture and appliances. Another option is to list unsold items on online platforms like eBay or Poshmark. 

By decluttering with a garage sale, you’ll simplify your move and earn extra cash. And on moving day, you’ll be grateful for the additional work you did ahead of time. To learn more about buying a new home or making your move easier, contact the NCBIA.   The North Coast Building Industry Association is your local not-for-profit trade association representing member companies involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of services available to help you in the future as well as more information on the above topic.   So, you can see it is for your protection that you use a NCBIA member. If you are unsure that your contractor is a member of the NCBIA or you are looking for a list of NCBIA members, you can visit our website at or call 440-934-1090.   We also have a job posting board (under the Industry tab).   

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