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Planning a Family Garage Sale

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It’s that time of year when we start to do our spring cleaning where we go through each room of the house and get things ready for spring and the summer.

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This year, why don’t you get the whole family involved and combine the spring cleaning with a family garage sale? Encourage the kids to get rid of stuff they no longer play with or use.

Tell them that whatever they gather to get rid of that the family will get together and have a garage sale. Tell them if they contribute their items and help with the garage sale they can keep the money they get from their items.

Make it clear that contributing their items is not enough, that they must also be involved in the planning and execution of the yard sale.

Here are some ideas on how to plan the garage sale and get everyone involved so the work is not all on your shoulders.

Make this part of your spring cleaning. Assign each child to their bedroom and after they have done this, pair each child up with a parent to cover the shared rooms of the house. Let each child take their own items and put them aside for the sale.

Once you have all the items together for the sale, sit down, and take inventory and make a list of everything you have to sell. A lot of people skip this step but it should make things easier in the long run.

Once you have completed the list, go through each item one by one and decide on what you think is a fair price. Make sure you include the kids in this because this will be a good lesson for them as to the value of things.

Often times kids will assign a higher value to used items saying “But dad, I paid $50 for this.” Kids often have no idea of how things devalue. This will be a good lesson for them.

Listen to their suggested price and then if you think it is unrealistic tell them so, and see if they will agree to change it. If not they will probably see that it won’t sell.

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Give each of the kids a different colored piece of construction paper and tell them to cut them up into little squares to use as price tags. Give each of them a copy of the list of prices and have them go through and make a price tag for each of their items.

The different colors will make it easier the day of the garage sale to keep track of who has sold what so later on you can allot the correct amount to each child. You can also pick up different colored stickers at a drugstore or business supply store to use.

If one of your children is old enough have them check to see if a permit is required in your neighborhood to have a garage sale. If one is required have one of you work with that child to get the permit. This is another good lesson for your children.

They will learn that there are certain laws and regulations that people have to follow and they will learn how to go about doing this. Some places have laws also regarding where you can place “Yard Sale” or “Garage Sale” signs, so make sure the kids also check on this.

Have a family meeting and discuss what weekend would be good for everyone to have it. It has to be a weekend that you can all make it so everyone can help. At this meeting decide on times for each day and fill out a schedule as to who will cover each day and what hours that day.

There are plenty of places to advertise. Unless it is free or really cheap you probably won’t want to advertise in the local paper because not too many people get the paper these days. There are places online to advertise.

Check into this to see if there are any worth spending the money on, and check to see if there are any free places. Have the kids make up posters and then put them up around town on store bulletin boards and anywhere else they will allow them. Make sure the signs are readable and have all the correct information on them.

People will pay with bills so you need to make sure you have change to give them.  Again have one of your children work on this with you so they can learn some math skills here and so that they can see what is involved in doing this.

Make sure you all get up bright and early so you can set out the items you are selling. Get some tables to lay out all of the items as neat;y as possible.

People are more likely to come to sales where it looks like there is a lot to offer. Once you have set up set back and enjoy, let the money roll in.

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