It’s time to clear away the debris and clutter in your life – out with the old and in with the new!

Bring in 2014 with a clean out and some extra cash by holding a garage sale.

It’s not as simple as dumping all your unwanted belongings on your front lawn or driveway – to make your garage sale a real success you have to be organised and willing to put in time and effort.

1. Organise a pricing system

You can group items into sections under price banners or buy coloured stickers and colour-coordinate prices (make sure to have plenty of signs explaining what prices the colours mean) – whatever you do, make it simple and quick for customers to work out what everything costs. Don’t forget to keep plenty of petty cash and change on hand – you will probably need to visit the bank in preparation. And no matter how clear your pricing system, be prepared for people to constantly ask you about prices anyway – creating a stock inventory list as you put together the sale will be helpful for this!

2. Clearly designate space

Have a storage space, a selling space and a place of purchase – the clearer you make this, the less your customers will bother other customers with trying to purchase items. It also means you can keep an eye on everything from one easy location.

3. Recruit help

Having friends or family will make the day go quicker, and if you’re busy with someone else or need to go to the bathroom your garage sale won’t be left unattended.

4. Pick a good date

Will you have enough items to hold your garage sale over two days? Are there any events you’ve promised to attend (since you will have to dedicate your whole day to a garage sale you might have to cancel or rearrange)? Spring or summer weekends are the best times – steer clear of special days or holidays as people will be busy doing other things. Remember to check the weather forecast – no one likes to browse wet stock in the pouring rain!

5. Advertising is key

Tell your family and friends to spread the word or even make a Facebook event. Brisbane City Council regulations dictate that you can only have temporary garage sale signs on your property and one on the footpath in front of the property – no other signs can be displayed on public land, so you might want to distribute flyers to let your neighbours know. Consider advertising in your local paper and pin up a flyer on shopping centre community noticeboards. Include day, time and address as well as any specific big-ticket items you have for sale, like antiques. Be prepared for early birds that arrive before the advertised open time (if you are not ready for customers, you can send them away – it is often better to feel properly organised than miss one or two sales).

Will you be holding a garage sale this January to clean out your house for the New Year? Or maybe you’ll go to a suitcase rummage market instead? Let us know!