Moving Sale: The Ultimate Guide to Decluttering and Earning Before You Move

moving sale

Planning a move can be overwhelming, especially when decluttering your home.

But why not turn this challenge into an opportunity?

Enter the moving sale – your chance to earn extra cash while lightening your load.

This article will guide you through hosting a successful pre-move yard sale. From strategic pricing and effective advertising to creating an attractive display, we’ll show you how to maximize your profits and minimize stress.

So, whether you’re downsizing, upgrading, or simply looking for a fresh start, our winning strategies will help you make the most of your moving sale. Get ready to turn unwanted items into cash and make your move easier.

Why have a pre-move yard sale?

moving sale

Having a pre-move yard sale is a wise decision for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps you declutter your home before the big move. As you go through your belongings and decide what to sell, you’ll realize how much you’ve accumulated over the years. Removing items you no longer need or use can lighten your load and make the moving process much more manageable.

Another advantage of a pre-move yard sale is the opportunity to make extra cash. Instead of throwing away or donating unwanted items, you can sell them and put the money towards your moving expenses. This can alleviate some of the financial burden that comes with relocating.

Lastly, a pre-move yard sale is a great way to connect with your community and meet your neighbors. Yard sales often attract people from the surrounding area looking for bargains. It’s a chance to chat with your neighbors, make new friends, and create a sense of camaraderie before you leave the neighborhood.

Benefits of a pre-move yard sale

A pre-move yard sale offers numerous benefits beyond decluttering and making money. For starters, it allows you to recycle and repurpose items that might otherwise end up in a landfill. Giving your belongings a second life contributes to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Furthermore, a yard sale allows you to practice your negotiation skills. As customers haggle over prices, you’ll learn to hold your ground and strike a fair deal. This can be a valuable experience useful when negotiating in other areas of your life, such as buying a car or negotiating a salary.

Lastly, a pre-move yard sale can be a fun and nostalgic experience. As you sort through your belongings, you’ll find items that hold sentimental value or bring back cherished memories. Sharing these stories with customers can create a sense of connection and add a personal touch to the yard sale experience.

How to Prepare For Your Moving Sale

moving sale

As you can imagine, a moving sale is a great way to offload your unneeded/unwanted/unusable items, say goodbye to your neighbors, and even make a quick buck! But it doesn’t just happen overnight — you have to make it happen! Read on for tips on preparing for, executing, and making the most of your moving sale.

Set a Date

Choosing a date for your moving sale is essential for planning and getting everything ready. It’s best to schedule it three to four weeks before your moving day. This timeframe allows you to prepare for the sale, spread the word about it, and still have ample time to pack and prepare for your move without feeling rushed.

Consider starting early in the morning when setting the time for your sale. Most garage sales begin around 7 A.M., but starting yours at 6:30 A.M. can attract more serious buyers who like to shop early for the best deals.

Check the Local Rules and Regulations

Before hosting your moving sale, it’s crucial to check the rules and regulations in your area. Some cities, towns, and neighborhoods have specific guidelines regarding yard sales, garage sales, and similar events. These rules may include limitations on the number of days you can hold the sale, restrictions on the types of items you can sell, or requirements for obtaining a permit.

Depending on your location, you may need to obtain a special permit for your sale and display the permit number on your signs. By researching and understanding the local regulations, you can ensure that your sale complies with the law and avoid potential issues or shutdowns.

Deciding What to Sell

moving sale

When preparing for a moving sale, the first step is to decide which items to sell. This can be challenging, but a helpful approach is to follow the advice of organization expert Marie Kondo and ask yourself if each item sparks joy. If the answer is no, consider putting it in the sell box.

It’s helpful to tackle one category at a time, starting with areas like the kitchen, kids’ rooms, closets, and garage. For example, begin with kitchen appliances, dishes, and food storage containers. Then, move on to other areas of the house. Focusing on one type of item at a time makes it easier to assess what you have and what you no longer need. Items that are broken or stained should be either recycled, repurposed (such as using old clothes as rags), or thrown away.

Pricing the Items

Once you’ve decided what to sell, the next step is to price each item. It’s essential to put a price on everything individually to make sure everything is clear. While labeling boxes as “Everything $1” may seem convenient, keeping track of individual items once they’re removed from the box can be challenging.

A general rule of thumb for pricing items at a moving sale is to avoid selling anything for more than 10% of its retail price. However, there are exceptions for luxury or brand-name items in excellent condition, which can be priced at around 20% of their original value.

To make giving change easier, mark prices in 5-cent increments. This helps ensure smooth transactions during the sale. Keep in mind that people attending yard sales typically expect low prices. If you have larger or more valuable items that you think could sell for a higher price, consider selling them through other platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist.

Bundle It Up

Start by categorizing your items into groups, such as DVDs, CDs, baby clothes, and costume jewelry. Bundling similar items together allows you to offer attractive deals to buyers, encouraging them to purchase more. While you may earn slightly less per item, the goal is to clear out as much inventory as possible.

Sort Your Items

moving sale

Before the sale day, take the time to sort through all your items. Organize them into categories to make setup easier. If you have a garage with extra space, consider using folding tables to create displays in advance. This way, you’ll just need to set them out on the day of the sale.

Advertising Your Moving Sale

Start advertising at least a week before your moving sale. Post signs in and around your neighborhood, ensuring they comply with local regulations. Clearly state the date, time, and location of your sale on these signs. Additionally, utilize online platforms to reach a wider audience.

Create a post on your personal Facebook page and share it in local Facebook garage sale groups. Include photos of your best items to attract potential buyers. To maximize visibility, utilize other online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, and Craigslist.

Preparing for Payment

moving sale

In today’s digital age, it’s important to be prepared to accept different forms of payment. While cash is still widely used at yard sales, having options for card payments can attract more customers. Consider downloading digital wallet apps like CashAppVenmo, or PayPal to facilitate easy transactions between buyers and sellers. Another popular option is to use Square for card transactions.

Additionally, keep cash on hand in a fanny pack for traditional garage sale customers who prefer cash transactions. Clearly display a sign at your sale indicating the forms of payment you accept to avoid confusion.

How much change should I have for my moving sale?

For your moving sale, it’s advisable to have $100 in cash on hand initially. This amount should suffice without the need to rush to the ATM, and it also serves as a simple starting point for profit calculations. Here’s a breakdown to ensure you have adequate change:

– 20 x $1 bills

– 5 x $5 bills

– 4 x $10 bills

– 1 roll of quarters

– 1 roll of dimes

Depending on your pricing strategy (whether you’re using increments of 5 cents, 10 cents, $1, etc.), you might also consider adding a roll of nickels, or you may find that no additional coins are necessary.

The Day of Your Moving Sale

moving sale

Preparation is key for a successful moving sale. The night before, ensure everything is meticulously organized and priced, allowing for a smooth setup on the day of the sale. A well-thought-out plan will enable you to kickstart your sale bright and early. Picture yourself leisurely sipping on a freshly brewed cup of coffee, the aroma tantalizing your senses as you open your garage or moving container. With tables neatly arranged and boxes of items readily accessible, all that’s left to do is don your trusty fanny pack and embrace the flurry of eager buyers. However, your responsibilities will extend beyond mere transactions as the day progresses. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to navigate your moving sale effectively.

Attract Attention

Capturing the attention of potential buyers is crucial in attracting foot traffic to your sale. Many seasoned garage sale enthusiasts embark on a quest from one sale to another, scouting for hidden treasures amidst the array of second-hand goods. Your display must be visually appealing and strategically organized to entice them to stop at your sale. Group similar items together, facilitating ease of browsing for shoppers. Position larger furniture pieces prominently, enticing passersby with their presence. Additionally, utilize signage to direct attention to distinct categories such as clothes, electronics, and toys.

Maintaining a dynamic display is essential as items are sold and space becomes available. Continuously rearrange your setup to ensure the sale retains its allure and appears fully stocked throughout the day.

Flexible Pricing

It’s crucial to be adaptable with your pricing strategy. Understand that many visitors to your sale are looking for bargains, so pricing items too high might deter them from purchasing. Instead, aim to balance earning a fair price and moving your items. As your sale progresses, be prepared to adjust prices downward, especially if certain items aren’t attracting buyers. Keep a marker and labels handy to make quick price changes, and consider using “OBO” (Or Best Offer) to encourage negotiation.

Negotiation Skills

Negotiating and haggling effectively is essential for a successful moving sale. Expect potential buyers to make offers below the listed price, so it’s wise to leave some room for negotiation when pricing items. While engaging in bargaining is acceptable, be mindful not to undersell your belongings to lowballers. Knowing the value of your items and being firm but fair in your negotiations can ensure a satisfactory outcome for both parties.

Involving the Family

Engage your family members, particularly children, in the moving sale process. Encourage them to declutter their belongings and participate in pricing and displaying their items. By giving them ownership of the process, such as allowing them to keep the profits from their sales, you motivate them to declutter their rooms and contribute to the success of the sale. Additionally, involving children adds a sense of excitement as they take on the role of sales associates during the event.

Make It Fun!

Encourage your children to enjoy themselves by allowing them to create a table filled with refreshing summer drinks and snacks. This activity not only adds fun but also teaches them responsibility. It enhances the experience for both you and the visitors browsing through your items. Additionally, hosting a moving sale provides an excellent opportunity to connect with your neighbors and bid farewell before moving to your new home. It’s a chance to cherish those final moments and exchange warm wishes with the community.

After Your Moving Sale: Next Steps

moving sale

Not everything will be sold at your moving sale, but hopefully, you’ve managed to sell off a good portion and pocketed some extra cash. Once the sale concludes and you find yourself surveying the remaining odds and ends, here are a few steps to tie up loose ends.

List Furniture and Other Valuables Online

Tapping into online marketplaces can be a smart move when you’re looking to sell items like furniture, electronics, or clothing. Platforms like eBayOfferUp, and Facebook Marketplace offer wide-reaching communities where you can easily create listings. Among these options, Facebook Marketplace stands out due to its large user base and user-friendly interface. To begin, simply create a listing which typically only takes a few minutes. A helpful tip is to research similar items to gauge their pricing, allowing you to set a competitive asking price.

Sell Clothes to a Used Clothing Store

Selling clothes during a move or online can sometimes be challenging. If you have clothes that are still in good condition, consider taking them to a secondhand store like Plato’s Closet. While you may not receive a substantial amount for them, every bit counts, and your clothes will find a new home rather than being discarded. Simply gather the clothes, bag them up, and bring them to the store. They’ll evaluate the items and offer you a price based on their condition and current demand.

Donate What You Can’t Sell

moving sale

Start by selling the items you no longer need but are still in good condition. Once you’ve sold what you can, gather the remaining items in decent shape and consider donating them to charities like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. These organizations can make good use of your donations. If you donate to qualified charities, you might be eligible for a tax deduction. Make sure to ask for a receipt when you drop off your donations.

Recycle or Dispose of Unwanted Items

After donating and selling, you might have items that are in poor condition or simply aren’t wanted by anyone. Take a look at what materials these items are made of. For those materials that your city’s recycling program accepts, make sure to recycle them properly. As for the rest, if there’s no way to repurpose or recycle them, it’s best to dispose of them in the garbage.

Tips for maximizing sales at your yard sale

To ensure a successful and profitable yard sale, follow these tips:

  1. Plan and organize: Start by setting a date for your yard sale and advertise it in advance. This will attract more potential buyers. Then, gather all the items you want to sell and organize them into categories. Display them neatly and clearly label the prices to avoid confusion.
  2. Price items competitively: Research the market value of similar items to ensure you’re pricing them competitively. You want to offer attractive prices that will entice buyers and make a profit. Consider offering discounts for multiple purchases or towards the end of the sale to encourage more sales.
  3. Create an inviting atmosphere: Make your yard sale visually appealing by setting up tables and racks to display your items. Arrange them in an organized and eye-catching way. Play background music to create a pleasant ambiance and offer refreshments to keep visitors comfortable and engaged.
  4. Promote your yard sale: Take advantage of social media platforms, community bulletin boards, and local newspapers to promote your yard sale. Include enticing photos of some items you’ll be selling to generate interest. Spread the word among friends, family, and neighbors, and encourage them to share the event with their networks.
  5. Be prepared to negotiate: Yard sales often involve bargaining, so be prepared to negotiate with potential buyers. Set a minimum price in your mind for each item, but be open to reasonable offers. Remember, the goal is to sell as much as possible, so be flexible and willing to compromise.

What to do with unsold items

Despite your best efforts, you’ll likely have some unsold items at the end of your yard sale. Here are a few options for what to do with them:

  1. Donate: Consider donating unsold items to local charities or organizations in need. This allows you to give back to the community while ensuring your unwanted items find new homes.
  2. Sell online: Use platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist to sell your remaining items. Take clear photos and write detailed descriptions to attract potential buyers. Set reasonable prices and be responsive to inquiries.
  3. Host a second yard sale: If you still have many unsold items, consider hosting a second-yard sale. You can advertise it as a clearance sale or offer discounts to attract buyers. This allows you to sell the remaining items before exploring other options.
  4. Recycle or dispose: If your unsold items are damaged or unusable, consider recycling or disposing of them properly. Check with local recycling centers for guidelines on disposing of different materials. Avoid dumping items in the trash that can be recycled or repurposed.


How do I determine the value of my items for pricing?

To determine the value of your items, research similar items online or consult price guides. Consider factors such as the item’s age, condition, and popularity. Be realistic with your pricing to attract buyers and ensure you make a profit.

What should I do if it rains during my yard sale?

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, consider rescheduling your yard sale for a different day. Alternatively, you can move the sale indoors or provide cover for your items. Make sure to inform potential buyers of any changes or updates.

How can I attract more customers to my yard sale?

Promote your yard sale through various channels such as social media, local newspapers, and community bulletin boards. Use attractive photos and compelling descriptions to generate interest. Encourage friends, family, and neighbors to spread the word and invite their networks.

Should I accept credit cards at my yard sale?

Accepting credit cards can make it easier for customers to make purchases. Consider using mobile payment apps or investing in a portable card reader. However, be aware of potential fees associated with credit card transactions, and make sure you have a secure method for processing payments.

How should I handle haggling and negotiations?

Be prepared for haggling and negotiations during your yard sale. Set a minimum price in your mind for each item, but be open to reasonable offers. Remember, the goal is to sell as much as possible, so be flexible and willing to compromise.


A pre-move yard sale offers numerous benefits, including decluttering your home, making extra cash, and connecting with your community. Following the tips can maximize your sales and create a successful yard sale experience. Remember to plan and organize, price items competitively, create an inviting atmosphere, promote your sale, and be prepared to negotiate. And if you have unsold items, consider donating, selling online, hosting a second sale, or recycling them. With careful planning and execution, your pre-move yard sale will be a winning success.

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