I have a love hate relationship with this annual tradition this time of year. Most years, I dedicate one Friday morning to sitting on my front porch steps to oversee our garage sale.

Sidenote: do you call it a garage or tag sale?

I have an eye on the lady who picks up a 1 800 Flowers vase, finds the price, and promptly places it back on the banquet table. I see you! It is not yet 8:30 in the morning and I have a list of garage sale tips


This morning I am full of garage sale tips. But the observations and the Shenanigans are just as fun! You do not get this entertainment when you find an oak coffee table that weighs more than your car.

Another woman, with a fanny pack strapped to her waist like she is ready for takeoff, just asked if I had my Anchor glass jars in black.

Let me check the stockroom.

My snarky side comes out when I am hungry for the sale, but not enough to get off the porch … yet.

I did not say that to the fanny pack shopper because I didn’t want to haul those glass jars back into the basement.

And she can find them on Amazon.

. Then there is the antique buyer looking for military regalia, train sets or watches. Does a Thomas the Tank backpack from Lillian Vernon count.?


The Sale

There is something about making $15 on a chair that I paid $125 two years ago. I forget how much fun it is to get cash. It’s like when I made $1.50 for babysitting three kids while the mom went to jazzercise class.


I love it when I have a 2 dollar sticker on an unopened box of glasses from Homegoods and someone asks if I will take a dollar.


Over the years, with an annual neighborhood garage sale, I picked up a few tips and tricks.

My friend, Kim, treats her garage sale inventory like it is in the Pottery Barn sale section. Her sale items look amazing!

She does have a few Pottery Barn decor items at her garage sales, but she treats the Marshall items with the same respect and product placement.



  1. It’s all about the staging. Create mini vignettes. Garage sale enthusiasts get pulled into the story when you pair a nightstand a Wayfair chair and a lamp.

2. Plug an extension cord if you have small appliances (in the appliance section). You do not want to have to leave your driveway to find an extension cord stored with the Christmas lights.

3. Hang or fold any clothes or table linens.


Label a box “free” for items headed to the trash bin after the end of the garage sale. Free tells potential customers you are reasonable and gets them to pull onto the curb.

Before the sale, run through every room, storage or closet. We get so used to seeing the tattered, sun-damaged wicker patio table we miss it when we survey for garage sale items.

5. Place an ad on your local HOA or Facebook Market Place.


Most people are at a garage sale for the social aspect or the thrill of the hunt. But there are precautions to take or share with your neighbors before you open your driveway to what resembles a day-after-Thanksgiving sale at Hobby Lobby.

Do not let shoppers use your bathroom. Direct them to the nearest grocery store.

Lock the door garage entry door.

Pull everything onto your driveway. I am always amazed when attendees wander into my garage and ask about the yard tools on the garage wall.

Create barriers, with the lawn mower or garage bins to keep shoppers out of your garage.

Keep the majority of your cash in the house. I use this bag for travel, farmer’s markets and garage sales.

If using Venmo wait for it to hit your account before you hand over that set of aluminum television trays.


What is your favorite garage sale find?

This was one of my first finds and blog posts.

Do you have any funny garage sale stories?

Thank you for stopping by today!

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  1. I got a good chuckle from your yard sale shenanigans! Soon after my husband & I were married, we had a garage sale. He had a 1970’s light blue, shiny polyester track suit that I suggested (quite strongly) he part with, 😉 My sister came to assist with the sale & she & I both laughed & said that track suit probably wouldn’t sell. The ironic thing? The track suit was one of the FIRST items to sell, to a pudgy older fella who we saw wear that track suit for years afterward! My sister & I could barely contain our laughter as we sold it, but it was my husband who really got the last laugh!

    1. Love this Shirley! I know right? The things you think will go first you leave on drive with a “free” sign.
      ha! laura

  2. Whenever I hold a yard sale, I swear I never will again 🙂 For exactly all the scenarios you mentioned! Also when it is 5:30 am and I am trying to get my tables set up, people show up and start trying to follow me into my garage to “see what else you have” Ugh. We are holding one next Saturday and I am already dreading it! First time in 2 years.

  3. Love that list! I wish our neighborhood did a big yard sale. Maybe I need to organize it!

  4. This is still a good one! I’m still not in a yard sale type neighborhood and now I don’t have a garage. haha!! My best find was an old ironing board and I still love it to this day. They don’t make them like they used to!

  5. I used to love having garage sales every few years. Alas, we can’t have one now because our HOA prohibits it unless you are moving and then it has to be an estate sale, having everything inside the house. I have so much stuff I could have one now and make a nice bit of cash. I hope you made enough for a glass of wine!

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