The temperature is warming up outside and Connecticut residents are ready to open the windows and welcome spring. Nicer weather also encourages spring cleaning. What better way to rid your home of unwanted stuff than with a garage sale? By having a sale, you will have less clutter, less to clean and more money in your pocket. Everything you need is right under your roof. Here are five tips for having a successful garage sale.
1. Permits: To hold a garage sale in Connecticut, you may need to get a permit. Permits are handled at the local level. Each town sets its own regulations and they vary widely. Whether selling in Bethel, Wilton or Darien, each location has different regulations. Check your local ordinances before diving into the planning process.
2. Promote: Placing an advertisement in your local paper is a good place to start. If having a Saturday sale, run the ad on Thursday and Friday. Check local grocery stores, libraries and other places of business for bulletin boards. Make all announcements legible, simple and clear. Post signs around town a day or two before the sale. Use permanent, wide markers in a plain font on sturdy cardboard or foam core. Include the date, hours and address. Test out the sign from a distance, making sure it is easy to read. Also consider promoting online with Craigslist, Twitter and the local Connecticut Patch free online classifieds.
3. Plan: Put items in the original box with manuals if you have them. Cut out store advertisements if an item is relatively new and tape it to the item with the store’s sale price. Have at least one table of interest for men. Arrange a table for children, with items they can play with and touch. Have an extension cord on hand and batteries set out for buyers to check electronic items. If selling furniture and linens, leave any drawers open and use them to display sheets, tablecloths and towels. Hang dresses and coats on hangers.
4. Price: Be objective when pricing. Sentiment is not what people want to pay for. Put a price on each item, unless the price is the same for all items on a table. Include a sign stating that all sales are final. The Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries have a booklet that can help you determine the cost of each item based on donated items. If you are still in doubt, mark items at 25 percent of what it can be purchased for in stores. Leave yourself several weeks to go through all belongings in your house, garage, attic, basement and shed to ensure all options are covered.
5. Partner: Give your helpers assignments. Decide who will do the negotiating, handle money, answer questions, greet and rearrange displays as items are sold. Be sure to have important items on hand including a cell phone, calculator, pen and paper, change as coins and singles, grocery bags and newspaper for wrapping fragile items. Be aware of your money box at all times or wear an apron with pockets. Have snacks and lunch planned ahead for yourself and workers. A small cooler that holds drinks will prevent you from having to run inside.
When the sale is over, take your signs down from around the neighborhood. Pack up the items that did not sell and drop them off at a charity of your choice. Goodwill, Salvation Army and VNA Thrift Shops are three charities in Connecticut that will take the items that do not sell.
Goodwill – Torrington
1849 E Main St
Torrington, CT 06790
Hours: Mon to Sat – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Pass along your belongings to new homes by bringing them to the Goodwill in Torrington.
Newtown VNA Thrift Shop
45 Main St
Newtown, CT 06470
Hours: Wed – 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Sat – 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Newtown’s VNA Thrift Shop will accept clothing, furniture and housewares. Bring your remaining sale items here to support our local nurses.
1235 Farmington Ave
Bristol, CT 06010
Hours: Mon to Sat – 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Salvation Army will be more than happy to take any remaining items off your hands.
For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSConnecticut.com/YourHome.
Paula Moliver is a noted designer with a specialty in all things related to fiber. She spins and dyes her own yarn and is skilled in weaving and needle arts. She has been widely published in noted magazines including Arts & Crafts, Better Homes & Gardens and the Decorative Painter. Paula is a regular educator at New Pond Farm. She resides in Connecticut. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.