Special Nonexistent Furniture

by Yvonne King

After spending over a decade in the fashion industry as a buyer, Yvonne King left it all behind to start a new life with her husband and son in Portland, OR. In 2011, they bought their first house and she promptly began writing her blog, Dress This Nest to document the transformation process. Through DIY projects and a lot of elbow grease, she uses her experience in fashion to inspire their 1930’s home.

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  • Photo: Yvonne King
  • Clearing out clutter and things you don't need is a surefire way to refresh your home and get a little cash out of it. In my hometown of Portland, Ore., garage sale-ing is somewhat of a sport. So naturally, I have a few tips that can take your garage sale from ordinary to extraordinary.
  • Photo: Yvonne King
  • In the old days, we would put an ad in the newspaper to advertise our garage sales. Today, we're lucky to have the convenience and ease of Craigslist.com, so take advantage of it! Post the date and time of your garage sale as well as some photos of the "bigger" items and your asking prices for them. This will bring some serious customers to your sale.
  • Photo: Yvonne King
  • Don't forget the change! Many garage sale shoppers will come armed with small bills, but not all customers will come prepared. Don't lose a sale because you don't have the change! I like to take out $100 in change. I usually ask for $40 in ones and $60 in fives. If you are selling anything for less than $1, you will also need to carry quarters. 
  • Photo: Yvonne King
  • If you don't want to spend hours putting stickers with prices on all of your goods, price whole categories for smaller items like clothes, books, and board games. Posting a price is always helpful to shoppers, especially if you're asking for less than one might imagine. In my experience, this hasn't deterred bargaining, especially toward the end of the sale.
  • Photo: Yvonne King
  • If you can organize your neighbors into having a garage sale on the same day, you can draw bigger crowds. In Portland, several neighborhoods host garage sales on the same weekend every year, so people are waiting for those sales! If your neighbors aren't available, hosting a multi-family garage sale can also entice shoppers. Tell your friends you're having a garage sale and invite them to bring their goods over, too. The more you have to sell, the more reason there is for shoppers to come.
  • Photo: Yvonne King
  • Host a bake sale at your garage sale. Garage sales are early morning events and chances are shoppers haven't had breakfast yet. Offering coffee and donuts for sale will not only make them happier shoppers, but if you work in a small margin, can also add a little extra money to your pocket. Lemonade and cookies also work well once your garage sale gets into the later part of the day. If you have school-aged children, this is also a great way to get them working on some math and business skills. Post that refreshments will be for sale on Craigslist to lure in the sweet-toothed shopper.

    Bonus Tip! After your garage sale is over, don't hold onto any items you were once willing to get rid of. Take the remainder of the items to a donation center. Not only will you be helping a good cause, but you will be freeing your home of clutter and you can even pick up a receipt for tax deductions.
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