Ultimate Garage Sale Checklist

If you’ve decided to throw a garage sale, you probably know that there’s a lot of planning that’s involved for a successful sale. Moreover, you probably know that following a timeline and remaining organized is essential to avoid forgetting something. Knowing where to start though, can be tricky, especially if you’re new holding garage sales. But, don’t worry. We’ve put together the ultimate garage sale checklist to help you run a successful sale at every step of the way.

Preparing for the Sale

Up to Six Weeks Out from the Sale

– Choose the sale date

– Research and purchase any required permits

– Research any regulations regarding yard sale signs or other marketing

– Go through your home to gather yard sale items for sale

– Conduct some market research to help you determine proper pricing

– Research online sites to determine proper pricing for hot-ticket items

– Start saving shopping bags and boxes

– Rent tables, if you don’t have enough of your own

– Research credit card payment options, and order one if you think it’s right for you

Two Weeks Out from the Sale

– Find the best spots in the neighborhood to advertise your sale

– Make your yard sale marketing signs. Make sure to purchase thick poster board and markets,   and duct tape or wooden stakes so you can fasten your signs

– Purchase your pricing supplies (think: neon price stickers and a fine-point marker)

– Clean/wash your yard sale items on an as-needed basis

One Week Out from the Sale

– Put out your yard sale marketing signs

– Put out a yard sale advertisement in your local paper, on Facebook and on any community apps

– Price all of your items. Consider keeping a running book of prices too, just in case a sticker falls off

– Decide on a plan for unsold merchandise so you’re not scrambling after the last day of the sale

Two/Three Days Prior to the Sale

– Consider the layout for your sale

– If your sale is in your garage, make sure to do these things:

  • Move non-sale items out or mark them with “Not for Sale” signs.
  • Set up your sale tables by item type
  • Reserve a few big showy items for the driveway to attract customers
  • Set up small, expensive items in an easy-to-watch area or by the cashier’s table, if    you’re having one
  • Set up a table or box for shopping bags and newspapers so customers can wrap fragile items
  • Clean out the garage

– Start setting up your sale items

– Go to the bank to get change for your sale

  • Make sure to get 25-50 $1 bill, at least one roll of quarters, dimes and nickels, and a few packs of $5 and $10 bills
  • Set up your credit card payment machine if you ordered one

Day Prior to the Sale

– Hang or place yard sale signs on your yard to advertise the upcoming sale

– Rope off areas where you don’t want to have customers going

– Charge your cell phone

– Set up your cash box

– Set up all remaining items and tables

– Move non-sale items away from the sale area

The Sale

Morning of the Sale

– Finish any last-minute set up

– Keep your cellphone on your person at all times

– Arrange items in a way that’s easy for customers to browse

– Consider putting large furniture or other hot-ticket items near the street to attract foot customers

– Put smaller or more expensive items near the checkout table to make sure none slip out of your site

– Put your collected boxes and bags next to the checkout area so you can wrap items up for customers after they check out

After the Sale

– Clean up any messes from the sale

– Return any borrowed tables

– Take down all of your yard sale signs

– Gather your leftover items for donation or resale, whatever you’ve previously decided


Use this checklist to get yourself set for your upcoming garage sale. Remember, staying organized and being prepared is key for your sale’s success.