Although winter is planning to stick around for another six weeks or so (according to the groundhog), many of us are already thinking about the coming of spring-like weather and all the wonderful things it brings with it. Soon enough, we’ll be out in the yard, digging in the dirt, mowing the lawn, and running the sprinklers. In fact, there’s so much to plan for, we’d better get started now!

There are few things that herald the coming of spring better than the “Garage Sale” signs that start to pop up on residential street corners around the end of March. For the garage sale shopper, each is a bit of a treasure hunt—where they can find all kinds of home furnishings and accents for cheap. And for those planning a garage sale at their own home, it’s a great way to de-clutter the house and make a little money at the same time.

Are you planning a garage sale this spring or summer? Need some help in getting prepared for a successful sale? Here’s some sage advice on how to plan and run a great garage sale.

Timing is everything. Although many like to schedule a garage sale around the same time as their annual spring cleaning, there is a real benefit to holding off the sale until the time is right. Choose your garage sale date wisely. Obviously, weather can be a big factor. If there’s rain in the long-range forecast, you can bet that you’ll see only a fraction of the browsers and buyers you’d normally have on a warm, sunny day. Also, try to schedule your garage sale around the 1st or the 15th of the month. This is when most folks get their paychecks, and they’re ready to spend a little. Good thinking, right?

Select what you’re going to offer during your garage sale. If you look around the house—especially during a spring cleaning weekend—there’s probably plenty of items you’ll find that you can put a price tag on and sell. De-cluttering the house can be a wonderful experience, making room for all kinds of new treasures you can buy with your garage sale earnings. And if you want to stage a massive garage sale and draw flocks of buyers, you might want to pool your “for sale” items with those from the neighbors and have a multi-house garage sale extravaganza!

Stage the garage sale in advance. You can work on your garage sale prep for days—or weeks—before the actual date. All you need is a little space in the garage to set things up. Move the cars out of the garage. Set up as many tables as you can find or borrow. Collect your garage sale items and organize them by room or by type. Remember: retail is detail. Even though this is a garage sale, there’s no reason that it can’t look like it was organized by a professional retail merchandiser. You’ll want all of the kitchen items on one table. All the children’s toys together. All the books, CDs, DVDs, and other media stacked neatly together. In other words, make it easy for browsers to find the things they’re looking for—just like they would expect from a retail shop at the mall. Don’t make them hunt, as it makes you look unorganized and devalues your sale items.

Be ready for the sale day. A well-run garage sale is planned and run on many levels. Aside from the earlier tips on organizing your sale items, you’ll want to make sure that each item is clearly marked with a price tag that’s tied or taped to the item in a way that prevents the tag from coming loose. Also, you’ll want to drop by the bank and pick up a stockpile of small bills and change. A lockbox for the money might also come in handy! Signage (where permitted by the city) is a great way to advertise your garage sale, but make sure to give an easy-to-read address and start time. You want people to know where to find your garage sale and you want them to know when to show up. Then, all you need to enjoy the day is a cooler of drinks, a few snacks, and a couple of little helpers to watch over things with you.

At the end of the day, pack it in. At the end of the garage sale, count your money and pack up all the items that weren’t sold. If your garage sale was a success, you may not have much merchandise left over. But if you do, it’s easy to store the unsold items in a public self-storage facility, such as Storage ‘R’ Us in Moore, for sale next season.

If you’re looking for a self-storage solution, feel free to stop by one of our Storage ‘R’ Us locations in Moore, Duncan, Lawton, Newcastle, or Chickasha, Oklahoma today, and see what our climate-controlled, secured self-storage facilities can do for your garage sale items.