101 Things: At Home

If the idea of longer, warmer days has you reaching for the tongs, it’s time to get your grilling game on before the season is in full swing.



As the resident expert in the art of the haggle, I turned to my husband, Doug, for his tips in running a garage sale (and scoring a little spending money). If your household is in need of a purge as much as mine, read on and start gathering up the junk. —JESS BENNETT

1. The best day for garage sales? Thursday by far, followed by Friday. For whatever reason, in this community, Thursday is the big day for garage sales. So try your best to hold your sale on these two days. If you have to hold your sale on Saturday, make sure your ad reads that it’s a one-day-only sale. Sundays just aren’t big days for garage sales.

2. Advertise your sale with different media. Different people learn about sales from different sources. So just because you like to read sale ads in the paper (highly recommended), be sure you also explore the free listings on Craig’s List or garagesalefinder.com. Web ads also let you post photos of your treasures and place a map to your sale.

3. Many people respond to a well placed sign at the end of your street. Make sure it’s legible, clear and easy to read quickly from a distance. Simply the words “Garage Sale Today” with an arrow and a matching sign in your yard is enough to entice garage sale die hards. White and bright colors with large, bold black lettering is best. Remember to take your signs down when the sale is over.

4. Do your neighbors like to hold garage sales too? Why not team up and hold your sales together? You can split the cost of advertising and more people will show up to visit multiple sales than just one.

5. Price your items. No one likes to ask how much something costs. So price everything and price it reasonably. It’s OK to accept less. Remember a big part of the reason to have a garage sale is to get rid of stuff. So take those reasonable offers. And get rid of stuff!

6. Early birds, those people who show up before you even open the doors, have money and want to spend it. So don’t make them wait. If you’re ready early and can accommodate them, let ‘em in. They’re the best buyers and chose your sale first. So sell to them!! And since they’re shopping early, there’s no reason to take less money for your items. They’re accustomed to paying full price as an early bird.

7. BONUS TIP for shoppers: If you really want good deals, it helps to shop on the second or even third day of a garage sale. While all the best stuff may be gone, it’s still possible to find what you’re looking for. Sellers are often anxious to get rid of stuff as the sale draws to a close, especially furniture and large items.