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How to Gather Items for a Garage Sale

iStock closet organizeGarage sales can be great ways to earn some extra cash that you can use to pay off debt. Just a few hundred dollars may be enough to pay off the next bill in your snowball or avalanche. (To learn more about the snowball and avalanche methods of getting rid of debt, click here.)  Gathering up items for your sale is often the hardest part about hosting one. Here are some tips that will help you do just that.

Allow yourself enough time to go through your home. This way you won’t be rushing around at the last minute, or pulling things out during the sale, which can be disastrous. This is a common practice at yard sales. Those hosting a garage sale will ask the customers what they are looking for and then dive back into the house to find it. The outcome usually isn’t successful. The customer gets tired of waiting and leaves, items get priced too low in the pressure of the moment, you sell something that you later regret, or in the worse case scenario–you leave your sale unattended and exposed to theft.

Decide whether you want to do your garage sale prep in stages or all at once, and then set that time aside. You might designate 20 minutes each day or set aside a whole afternoon or two. Choose which scenario works best for you.

There are three different ways to tackle a space, to look for clutter and items that can be sold at a yard sale. The more items you gather, the more cash you will make.

You can start from one end of a room and work your way around, pulling things out, opening drawers, and throughly going through the space in a circular way. The nice thing about this method is that it offers minimal disruption to your home and presents clear goals. When one area is completed, you know exactly what to do next.

Another method is to start from the outside in by first clearing off and going through the surfaces of a room, such as the countertops, table surfaces, or anything that sits on the floor, and then work with the insides (inside drawers and closets). This method will yield you the big things first, since they tend to be physically larger. It is a great way to examine whether or not it is time to release some of your furniture! Plus, clean surfaces may give you both the physical room and the motivation to keep going.

The last method is a big one and takes commitment.  It works well if you have a lot of stuff and tend to collect duplicate items or items that you didn’t know that you had. It isn’t for the faint of heart, but it will yield the biggest results. Basically, take everything out of a space (such as a closet or section of a room) and move it to a central location (center of the room, spare bedroom, etc.). Then go through every single item, putting back only those items you will definitely be keeping. Everything else can go straight to the yard sale.


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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com