5 Tips For A Successful Chicago Garage Sale

April 11, 2012 3:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

Whether you are trying to get rid of unwanted items or earn some extra cash by selling them, you will need to know a few things to host a successful garage sale. Now that spring is here in Chicago, a garage sale is a good way to kick off the hot months soon to come. Here are five tips that could help turn your old stuff into a pocket full of cash.

1. Collect Clutter Year-Round. When you come upon an item that no longer has any use to you, put it in a box and store it away. Once one box fills up, start another. Without much effort, by the end of a month or two, you could have accumulated a sufficient collection that’s ready to sell. Growing your collection throughout the year will eliminate the overwhelming process of going through everything all at once.

2. Have a Plan. Sales will only be successful with proper organization. A week before the sale, go through your home and ensure you have accumulated all items you want sold. Two to three days before the sale, price items and organize them into separate piles based on similar prices. Items within the same price range can be grouped together on sale day. The day before the sale, devote a few hours to final organization. If you’re in a new location or new to hosting a garage sale, start getting organized at least three weeks in advance.

3. Team Up. One of the best kept secrets for a successful garage sale is getting help from others, especially those who have done it before. It will help to recruit friends and family to team up with. They can help spread out some of the more menial, time-consuming tasks like folding clothes and labeling items. Multiple sales between neighbors is also a great way to accumulate more traffic.

4. Choose a Location. Buyers will not want to search for your sale. Make it easy on them by ensuring your location is easily accessible. If you do not live near a busy intersection or heavily-populated part of town, consider asking a friend to host your sale. Sales in the city are significantly more successful than those in suburbs. Cut your friend a portion of the profit to compensate for their help.

5. Timing. With the spring months bringing more rain, be sure to check the forecast in advance to avoid disruptive weather. The weekends are the best time to host a sale because that is when people have more time to shop and meander. Consider starting your sale on a Friday morning to avoid being overlooked by other sales happening in your area on the weekends.

These local businesses and organizations may be able to help make your garage sale a success:

All Seasons Movers
4553 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 338-1214

Hours: Mon to Sat – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun – closed

Call on All Season Movers to help you get your garage sale items from one location to another. If you decide to host your sale at a friend’s house closer to the city, these guys can make the process of transporting items quick and easy.

St. Vincent de Paul Center
2145 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 943-6776

Hours: Mon to Fri – 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat and Sun – closed

The St. Vincent de Paul Center will gladly accept donations of men’s clothing, winter coats, children’s books and sports equipment among many other items. 

StorageMart of Chicago
1015 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 787-0001

Hours: Mon to Fri – 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat – 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sun – 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Store your remaining items at StorageMart of Chicago. This is a great resource for holding onto those items that you may be able to sell at next year’s garage sale.

Related: 7 Surefire Home Staging Tips
Related: Improve Your Home And Get The Most Return

For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSChicago/YourHome.

Wendell Hutson is an award-winning journalist based in Chicago with 20 years experience covering the Chicago market. Hutson, a 2009 and 2010 A. Philip Randolph award recipient, which is sponsored annually by the National Newspapers Publishers Association, is a senior contributing writer for the Chicago Crusader, a 71 year-old weekly, community newspaper. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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