How soon before my yard sale should I start collecting my items?

Organization is the key … right from the start!

In my early years of having yard sales, I used to decide on a date and then spend the next month trying to get everything collected and priced.  I was always rushed at the end and would most likely have to pull an “all-nighter” the evening before trying to finish.  It was exhausting work and the payoff usually didn’t match the effort.  All pain with very little gain.

“So, how and when should I start?”

Actually, you should never stop.  You are always going to be bringing new things into your home throughout the year and the time to weed out the old is not the month before you decide to have the sale.  Set yourself up a yard sale corner or other out of the way storage area for collecting saleable items all year long. 

Once you’ve decided on an area … decide how you are going to store the items until the sale.  You could use an empty chest of drawers (possibly found cheap at a yard sale) as a collection station.  However, when it is time for the sale, you’ll want to transfer those items into something portable.  You don’t want to be carrying items out one by one on sale day.  If you have a lot of items or larger items, large plastic bins or boxes are the way to go.

Another reason you should collect your items, clean, price and store them away is because of the “out of sight, out of mind” idea.  If you leave it sitting out, you may second guess your decision to get rid of it and end up putting it back.

Look at YOU … all organized and whatnot!

The best way to stay organized (even at this early stage) is to group all like items together.  For example, kitchen, small appliances, dishes, china etc … should all go in one bin or drawer.  Decorative items and collectibles in another bin, electronics … yet another, toys and kid items … you get the idea.

The purpose of this is so that on the morning of the sale … you can just grab a box and set its’ contents right out on the same table making it easy for your “customers” to browse all that you have to offer.  Another reason for boxing like items together is to free you up from having to think too much about where each item is to go as you are unloading your boxes.  Why?   Because you will most likely have “early birds” showing up before your sale is actually open.  You don’t want to turn these folks away … but, at the same time, you don’t want to have to stop because they are asking you questions while you’re trying to think of the best way to organize your tables.  Also, you may have a high priced ticket item that an early bird shopper is looking for and you’ll run the risk of them leaving because you can’t remember what bin you put it in.

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