How to Prepare for Christmas with a Pre-Holiday Garage Sale

garage sale tips

Due to the generosity of family and friends, you can end up accumulating a lot of extra stuff after the holidays.

And whether it’s a gift that wasn’t quite right or unused decorations, a lot of it ends up in the trash can or donation bin.

One of the best ways to prevent items from going to waste as you prepare for 2017 is to do a pre-holiday purge. Basically, sell-off what’s currently cluttering your garage before you accumulate more stuff.

Here are a few garage sale tips to keep in mind so you can have a successful yard sale, even in the middle of winter.

Cleaning out your home

As a culture, we accumulate a lot of stuff over time. We inevitably develop sentimental attachments to objects.

So even when things break or  re no longer useful, we hang on to them anyways. However, that tendency can cause us to cram our homes full of clutter, and end up costing you thousands of dollars.

According to research firm NPD Group, the average American family has over $7,000 worth of “stuff” going unused in their homes. And that number does not include expensive items like antiques, electronics, or even furniture.

Instead of adding to the problem with more gifts and decorations this season, get ahead of the problem. Clean out your home and sell, donate, or trash the things you don’t use.

Then, when you clear out your clutter, you can sell it for cash and pay off your holiday debts.

Garage sale tips

While the winter is not a common time for a garage sale, it can still be a good way to unload your clutter.

A garage sale typically works best if you have a lot of stuff to get rid of, including larger items like furniture.

Promote your garage sale actively on Craigslist and social media. And don’t hesitate to ask your friends to spread the word.

Make sure you are very specific about what kinds of items you are selling, such as women’s clothing and shoes or sports equipment. The more information you provide, the more likely people will make the journey to your home. Even in the cold.

Alternative garage sale ideas

Depending on where you live and what you have to sell, a traditional garage sale may not work well for you. Perhaps there’s lack of foot traffic in your neighborhood, or no on is interested in what you have to sell. or

However, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with your clutter. Thanks to the internet, you can unload your unwanted items quickly and find customers who really want them.

If you want to skip auction sites and make things simpler, check out these resale options.

Resale locations

  1. ThredUp: If you have clothes or accessories that are new or gently worn, you can send them to ThredUp. Just request a clean out kit from the company, and they’ll send you a giant bag. Stuff it full of clothes, handbags, and shoes, then send it back to them. They’ll give you a cash offer right away for your items.
  2. Swappa: For old phones, tablets, or laptops, getting any money for them can be challenging. Swappa eliminates the guesswork by providing you with a quote for your items before you ever send in your item. As long as your electronic matches what you inputted, you’ll get the amount promised.
  3. Glyde: If you have video games, DVDs, or Apple products you want to unload, check out Glyde. You just input your items’ information and once a buyer purchases your things Glyde will send you the packaging to ship off your item.
  4. Once Upon a Child: Once Upon a Child is a brick-and-mortar secondhand shop for children’s clothing, toys, and baby gear. Bring in tubs of items and workers will go through your stuff, then give you a cash offer on the spot.
  5. Facebook: this is a powerful sales tool. Most towns and cities have local “Yard Sale” Facebook pages where residents can post items for sale to people who live nearby. It can be a great way to unload big items–like furniture–to people you know are close to you.

What to do with unsold items

If you use these garage sale tips and alternative selling ideas and have items left over, you can still put your clutter to work.

Clothing, kitchen items, furniture, and more can all be a valuable tax deduction. Donate to a recognized charity and get a receipt for your stuff to claim it on your taxes.

Some charities like Salvation Army, Purple Heart, and more will even pick up your donation directly from your home. Call your local chapter to see if that service is available to you.

Think ahead and prepare for the holidays

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by too much stuff during the holidays and rack up debt in the process. Plan ahead and stay focused to minimize the impact on your home and your budget.

Who knows, maybe decluttering your home and selling off your items can turn into a regular side hustle.

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