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Displaying your garage sale items

Updated on November 28, 2012

Organizing your garage sale items

Organizing the many items for a garage sale can be a big task. Here are some tips and tricks to help get your items organized and your garage sale looking great.

A good rule in garage sale item organization is to keep small items off the ground. People may step on the items, especially if trying to reach an item near the middle. Also, items will be more prone to dust and bugs on the ground – even with a blanket underneath. Aside from the cleanliness issue, some people may not be able to bend over to reach the item of interest. So try to leave your smaller items up on tables, tall boxes, or shelves.

If you don’t have standard tables, card tables work well for placing items on. Also, tables can be made with plywood and sawhorses, chairs, or other items to balance the board on. You could even borrow tables from someone if need be. Also, large sturdy boxes can serve as tables for light weight items.

A tablecloth or sheet will give a nicer, cleaner appearance and will attract more attention. Tablecloths can usually be found at the Dollar Store.

As items are purchased, there may be bare spots left on the table. Be sure to fill those spots in as they become empty.

Clothing should be hung up if possible. A closet rod or shower rod secured to taller items can serve as a place to hang clothes. If you are not able to hang clothing, then keep it neatly folded on a table.

Organizing clothing by gender and size will help as well. Many people will not bother to dig through a box filled with random clothing items. Clothes should also be clean. Some people will even iron clothes to help with their appearance.

If you happen to have a mannequin, it can use that to display nicer clothing items or pieces of jewelry. I have a little mannequin display head that I use for jewelry and it works very well to attract attention. In fact, I’ve had multiple offers to purchase the head and wig.

Electronic Items

If you have electronics in your sale, keep an extension cord nearby, yet out of sight of customers. If there is a TV or radio, you may want to keep it plugged it to avoid answering the same questions as to how well it works. If you do keep a TV or radio on, be sure it’s on a neutral channel. Some people won’t stick around if a certain genre of music is playing (hard rock, country, rap, etc).

Security at your garage sale

Designate someone to watch and make sure nothing gets stolen. I know this seems silly at a garage sale, but it happens. Someone I know recently went to a garage sale where the owner’s dog was stolen! They later found the dog on Craigslist when the thief tried to sell the dog online. This probably isn’t a very common situation, but thieves could show up to your garage sale.

Keep your eye on cash the box. Some people may come in with others and use someone as a decoy to distract you while another steals. Also, stash away the cash in a secure location once you have collected a large amount.

Doors to the house or other off-limit areas should be locked and/or have a sign posted that the area is off-limits. If someone wants to try something on or use the restroom, have an alternate plan for them. Keep a mirror or other reflective device out (with a “Not for Sale” sign attached to mirror) so clothes can be modeled without having to enter your house. Let people know where a public restroom is should this situation arise.

If you have a security camera, or even a fake security camera, use it. It just may help deter a thief.

These are just a few of the basics to advertising for your successful garage sale. For information and tips on the basics of planning your garage sale, pricing items, advertising, or what to do with your leftover garage sale items, be sure to check out my other articles.

If you have any tidbits of advice about having a successful garage sale, please share in the comments.

Wishing you much success with your garage sale!


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    • lucille12 profile image


      3 years ago

      Garages get so cluttered because people sometimes just refuse to throw things out regardless of how silly the reason may be for keeping the item.

    • MopHolder profile image


      3 years ago

      If you will be using your garage a lot and know that you will be needing to access the things in it then a garage organizer that allows total access would be in order.

    • SunsetSky profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from USA

      Thank you! I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed it. I was prompted to write it after seeing some scary sales. It's amazing what a difference a little organizing can make.

    • Novel Treasure profile image

      Novel Treasure 

      5 years ago from US

      Enjoyed the hub. I think a lot of people who have garage sales don't take the time to actually organize. I can't tell you how many times I've been to a garage sale where the items are just haphazardly placed, not well marked, or just lying about. Voted Up.


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