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.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Finance Lender Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (
  2. Personal LoansFixed rates from 5.49% APR to 14.24% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 4.98% APR to 11.44% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of December 21, 2017 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 4.98% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.34% plus 3.89% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates range from 4.99% – 16.24% (4.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates shown are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.39% - 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.98% - 14.24%1$5,000 - $100,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.99% - 16.24%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
5.99% - 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.25% - 14.24%$2,000 - $50,000Visit Earnest
Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print, understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.