How to Plan a Successful Pre-Move Garage Sale

A garage sale is a smart way to clear out your home before you move.

Having a garage sale before you move is a win-win situation. You get rid of stuff you don’t want to bring with you to your new home and you make some extra cash to help cover the moving costs.

There’s no reason not to have a moving sale. We’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to make your pre-move garage sale a success!

Pick a Date and Time

The first step to hosting a successful garage sale is picking a time and date. You’ll probably want to stick to either Saturday or Sunday, since that’s when most people are free from work.

When determining the time frame of your garage sale, try to leave a large enough gap so that people have ample time and opportunity to peruse your items. Choose a relatively early start time and try to keep the sale going for as long as possible.

Double Check with City Hall

While, chances are, you’ll be all good to go, it’s still a good idea to double check with your local city hall before your garage sale. Some towns have ordinances about selling things on private property and may make you require a permit. Just in case your town wants you to have a permit, check in with city hall a few weeks before your sale so that, if you need one, you’ll have plenty of time to get it.


If you want to have a successful garage sale, you won’t be able to rely simply on foot traffic. Now that you’ve picked out your time and date, you’ll want to advertise your sale as much as possible!

The old school method of flyers and poster board are a good start. You can show off your design skills with your flyers, and you can park your car on a busy street with a poster board sign in the rear window, advertising the sale and the address. You can put up signs and flyers across town, stapling them to telephone poles and adding them to local bulletin boards.

Social media is a great place to advertise your yard sale as well. In addition to local Facebook marketplace groups, you can update your status, tweet about it, and mention the sale in your Instagram stories. You can also use websites like or to get the word out.

Decide What You’re Going to Sell

There can’t be a garage sale if you don’t know what you’re selling. Take a day (or two, depending on how much stuff you have) to figure out what you want to sell. If you’re not the only person in the house, make sure that you’re not selling one of your roommate’s or family member’s belongings without explicit permission.

If there are multiple people in the house, each person should be made responsible for going through their items and deciding what to sell themselves. This will save everyone the stress and potential anger if someone’s stuff is sold without their consent.

Set Reasonable Prices

Everyone who hosts a garage sale is trying to get some extra money out of it, but you have to remember that while your stuff is, in your eyes, probably all amazing. everyone might not see it as such. Plus, everything is used, so don’t expect people to pay retail prices for your second-hand items.

As you set the price, be mindful of change. It’s a good practice to either price items by the dollar, or by the quarter. It’ll be much easier for both you and your customers to avoid having to deal with pennies, nickels, and dimes. That’ll just take your time and attention from other customers.

Offer Bulk Pricing and Be Willing to Negotiate

The art of haggling could have very well been perfected at a garage sale. Some people hate it, while other people get a thrill out of it. No matter how you feel about price negotiations, be willing to listen and adjust your price.

Now, not every person trying to negotiate prices will be reasonable. Someone might want your priceless (in your eyes) toy for a ridiculously low price, like a dollar. Know when to stand your ground, but think about whether you’d, alternatively, like to lug that item to your new home.

At the end of the day, everything you don’t sell will either need to be donated or packed away and moved with you. Keep that in the back of your mind as you negotiate prices with customers to ensure success.

Be As Organized as Possible

Depending on how many unwanted items you have, you might end up with an overwhelming amount of stuff you’re trying to sell. If this is the case, keep the vibe of your pre-move garage sale stress free by keeping everything organized.

Keep similar items together. All of your clothes should be displayed together, ideally on a rack. Your appliances should all be together. Have a section for your electronics and entertainment. All toys should be in a toy box.

Every home is different, so there’s no universal map to organizing your garage sale, but try to keep everything feeling as clutter-free and sorted as possible.

Have Bags Ready for Newly Purchased Items

This doesn’t mean that you need to go out and purchase bags specifically for the yard sale, but having some kind of bags ready, even if they’re used plastic bags from a grocery store, is a great way to streamline your garage sale’s efficiency.

Having the bags ready will also encourage people to buy more, since they have a reliable way to carry their purchases home.

Offer Complimentary Refreshments

If you really want your pre-move garage sale to go above and beyond, think about providing complimentary refreshments. Even if it’s just cans of soda and/or water bottles, this will give passerbys a reason to stop at your sale and browse.

Also, since you’ve already offered your potential customers refreshments, they’ll be more willing to buy something. It’s a great opportunity to encourage people to look through your items, and it’s one of your last chances to be nice and neighborly before you move away.

If you follow those steps, your pre-move garage sale is sure to be a raving success!

If you’re in the process of moving and haven’t yet settled on a specific moving company, consider Liberty Moving. We’ve been helping people move since 1939, and our entire team is specifically trained on how to efficiently and professionally get you into your new home. Click here for a free moving quote today!