Spring has just sprung and so the time is right to think about spring cleaning. Before bringing out the dust rags, buckets and industrial strength soap, take stock of the things you have-clothing, furniture, equipment, knick knacks, etc.. What items have gone unused in the last year? What clothing hasn’t been worn in ages?
This exercise gives you the chance to simplify your life, clear out the clutter and get cash for the things you don’t need or use. If the idea of having a garage sale sends shivers down your spine, here are a few tips to make the process easier:
Get all family members to participate, including the kids: From the attic to the basement, have everyone do a survey of his or her belongings and make a list (or pile) of the things they have outgrown, haven’t worn or used since last spring.
Get neighbors and friends to do the same thing: Misery loves company. If several families get involved then you can have a combined garage sale which will add to the supply of offerings and helpers. Your town may designate a specific Saturday or Sunday during the spring and summer months as “Garage Sale Day” when neighborhoods can have sales going on at the same time, luring more shoppers. If it doesn’t exist where you live, start the tradition.
Review items before the garage sale: Swap unused or slightly worn children’s clothes with neighbors who have children of various ages to get a new wardrobe for your child for free. On the day before sale day, price and coordinate items with neighbors and friends to organize sale categories and displays. Use different colored price stickers for each family’s things to make it easier to divvy up the sale proceeds at the end.
Be an organized team on sale day: Have people sign up for shifts during the day and one designated cashier with a cash box. (Get extra change from the bank.) Allow children to sell lemonade or refreshments on the side so that they can participate and earn money.
Make the most of leftovers: Items that didn’t sell can be donated to Freecycle (look on their site FreeCycle.org for a group in your area) or to another local nonprofit organization. Get a receipt for your donation indicating the estimated dollar value of your contribution, for tax deduction purposes.
Once the sale is over, clutter has been conquered, clothing swapped, items sold and donations made, your spring cleaning will be easier and wallet will be fatter!.