Garage Sale or Bust: How to Declutter Your Home Before Moving

There are few things I love less than garage sales. We all grew up with those Saturday lemonade stands next to a few homes selling eclectic items. Now it’s your turn to be the host! Here’s our guide to a successful sale.

Garage Sale or Bust: How to Declutter Your Home Before Moving

Are you moving homes soon? The best thing you could possibly do is get rid of that excess clutter ahead of the move. The less you have to move the cheaper the process will be and the better you will feel. iMoving is here to help in the process with our simple declutter checklist.

“To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.” - Marie Condo

Reasons to declutter:

  • Respect for your space
  • Decluttering encourages gratitude for what you have
  • Increases your productivity in your space
  • You will have an easier time finding the things you need
  • Less stress in your daily life
  • The less items you have, the simpler it is to organize the home

Your Number 1 Decluttering Guide:

Whether it is a garage sale, online sales of items, recycling, or donations, no matter how, the more clutter you remove now the better off you will be! Check out our maser decluttering guide:

Out with the old, in with the new!

1. Facebook / online sales of items

Listing your big and electrical items as well as valuable clothing or shoes can bring in an additional stream of income as well as contribute to your minimalism efforts. The facebook marketplace tool works surprisingly well for sales of items in your area.

2. Second hand clothing donations

There are many organizations such as Goodwill that would love your clothes. As well there are many second hand stores popping up across the country that you can get cash or store credit for your pre loved items.

Not only does contributing to secondhand clothing stores help lessen pollution and our overfilled landfills, it also saves valuable resources from going to producing more clothing. There are many wonderful reasons to donate or sell off your old items. 

While packing up your home and preparing for your move, put these items aside and get them ready to take to the second hand stores and after that to a donation hub. 

Garage Sale Galore

There are few things I love less than garage sales. We all grew up with those Saturday lemonade stands next to a few homes selling eclectic items.

Now it’s your turn to be the host! Here’s our guide to a successful sale:

1. Plan ahead with the neighbors

  • A neighborhood sale is likely to bring in more potential buyers than just one stand alone garage sale. See if anyone else in your neighborhood is keen to join the efforts to declutter.
  • Sometimes the neighborhood association puts on these events. Try and talk to the local leaders to see if you can get a date on the calendar. They tend to advertise the sale, saving you time and effort.
  • Double check if any neighborhood permits are needed to host such an event.

2. Choose a date and time

  • Choose a day that most people are off work and happy to be outside enjoying the sun!
  • Make sure you check the weather ahead of time so that you aren’t expecting people to come out in the rain.
  • Double check your event time doesn’t collide with any other big events in the area such as sports events or parades.
  • Usually the most popular day to throw a garage sale is on a Saturday morning.

3. If you are going at the garage sale game alone, ensure to put up signs as much as possible ahead of time. 

  • Put signs around the neighborhood, next to the schools and kindergartens, at the post office, grocery store, and at all the other local spots that families are likely to see.
  • Ensure proper signage the day of the sale so that no stragglers get lost on the day of.

4. Take a stock inventory of your home

  • If you are planning to move, this is a critical step that shouldn’t be overlooked anyhow, so go ahead and get it done. Even if not, having inventory will help give you a broader picture of how much excess you truly have.
  • Inventory is a key step that can be done by going room to room and tallying the number of items you own.

5. Prepare your sale area

  • It could be actually inside your garage, or spill out onto your driveway for better visibility, but no matter where you choose, ensure to have lots of tables and ways to organize your items clearly. No one like sorting through a pile of junk!

6. Prepare pricing

  • Get ready to bargain your socks off
  • Despite the fact that most items will change in price, it is best to label everything at the same time to avoid confusion for your potential buyers and for you to know potential earnings and where you can be lenient on the pricing.
  • We would recommend getting stickers at your local drug store to put on each item or tie on tags that you can write in amounts. This could be a great job for the kids to keep them busy!
  • Think about choosing an hour when you agree to cut the prices in half due to the sale ending soon. It’s better to get rid of some clutter at the end at a cheaper price rather than keep it around because you don’t want to part ways over pricing.

7. Advertise advertise advertise!

  • Some people like to do this in the local paper or in the school email alerts, but whatever you do, don’t just rely on signage or you will likely be wasting your day.
  • Ask friends and family to post online about your garage sale and tag your area.

8. Money handing on the day of:

  • Get a fanny pack! Ok so the kids might laugh at you, but you’ll have the last laugh as you’ll easily be able to make change and accept cash simply.
  • Prepare small change ahead of time to avoid getting stuck with a $50 and no $1’s.
  • Make a sign of the best way of online payments. If you are comfortable with it, put your email or phone number up on the wall for simple Zelle transactions. This way even those who come unprepared without cash can benefit from your sale.
  • If you sell a big high price tag item, take the money inside to a safe place as things are likely to get lost on the day of if there is a lot of human traffic and it would be a shame to lose funds.

9. Make it appealing

  • Add a lemonade stand, or some refreshments to entice more people to join in on the fun

10. Think about having a FREE box

  • Put inside all the items you are happy to part ways with but maybe aren't in selling condition.

11. Have a plan of where to donate items after the sale

  • Not everything is bound to be sold, so plan your donation ideas ahead of time. It could be a short drive and drop off to Goodwill or maybe a connection with a local church that is planning a big sale.


Depending on your advertising methods and items brought in, a garage sale can be a great way to make a few extra hundred bucks!

Definitely! Bring out those old pieces and put them on an organized rack! Hopefully someone your size will wander in! You can always drop them off afterwards at a second hand store, but at your sale you have the right to ask whatever price you feel.

No! The more the merrier! You are all bound to have different items at home and therefore the more sellers you have in one area, the more people are likely to come by. Its enough that every home in the cul-de-sac advertises to their personal friends and family, and that might already bring through more traffic than you had planned.

Set a time and date ahead of time and put up signs around the local area. The more signs you have, the more likely you are to bring in traffic.

It’s up to you, but usual hours on a Saturday are around 9am to 7pm. You don’t have to sit there the whole time of course, but ensure you have your kids or friends ready to step in when you need food and bathroom breaks throughout the day. Make it a fun day!

Final Words

Enjoy the process of getting rid of clutter. As hard as it is to part with old items, you are making space for better things. Enjoy your garage sale time outside, invite friends and family to stop by and make a fun day of it! iMoving will be happy to help assist moving the remaining items to wherever needed!

Rachel Kaplan

Rachel has spent the last few years writing for moving companies while actually moving across the globe. After many years of moving between many states in the US, she moved abroad to try the remote work life. She’s a pro at moving all her things with her dog and hundreds of plants. Thankfully she’s a minimalist so moves aren’t too much of an issue.

Get all moving services you need in one place

Shop Our Services