It’s over…now what?


The garage sale is over.  Now what do I do with all of the leftovers?

You will need to sort through all the items to decide what to do with them.  Group them accordingly:

  • Items you want to try to sell online or locally.  By the time the sale is over people have mentally given up their garage sale items,  so they don’t want to “take them back.”  There might be a few items you have that could reap some good cash if you try selling them through another avenue, like Ebay, Craigslist or a classified ad in th paper.
  • Items to give away. These things are not worth donating.  See if friends or family want them.  If I think there is some value to an item I usually try to give it away before throwing it out.  You can try posting them on Craigslist or Freecycle to give away.  Craigslist has a category called “Free” under the For Sale listings.  You could also try putting them at the curb to see if they get taken.  Failing all else, toss them in the garbage. Give yourself a timeline when they need to be gone and make sure they make it in the trash if the deadline passes and you’ve still got possession.
  • Items to donate. If you’re going to donate and you want the tax write-off, document items as you box them up so you have a detailed list for April 15.  There are many places to donate items:  Volunteers of America, Goodwill, local schools and churches or other non-profit agencies.   Contact the agency to make sure they will accept the items you want to donate. I was lucky with my last garage sale since I was contacted by a teacher who asked if I’d be willing to donate any items to the children in her city classroom.    After the sale, she came and took all of the toys and books I had wished to donate, which was about 10 boxes.  It was great because I was able to clean out my garage without ever leaving home.  The teacher was very happy because I was able to help a lot of families with my donation.

Reminder:  Don’t forget to take down any garage sale signs you posted.  You can potentially reuse those signs for a future sale, saving a few bucks.  Plus, it’s rude leaving your signs up on posts until they blow away.  Most municipalities don’t have a a problem with the signs being up a few days but if they’re left up indefinitely you are littering.

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7 thoughts on “It’s over…now what?

  1. Another wonderful posting Michele.
    I know someone that volunteers at The Ronald McDonald House and they can always use slightly used goods. On another note if someone has a working digital video camera that they can’t seem to sell and wants to be rid of: I’m your man. I’ll even come for the pick-up no charge. How’s that for sporting?

  2. The salvation army location on West Ridge Road is a great place to drop off stuff you don’t sell at a garage sale. One warning though, they don’t take old computers nor kids toys with small parts.

  3. Very good advice! Regarding give-aways, in addition to Craigslist and the curb, there’s also a great online group, http://www.freecycle.org. Not only is it a great system for posting free items and finding those items new homes, but you can also post requests for those things that you need and are pretty sure someone else might want to unload.

    • I would definitely try freecycle Lorraine. I know that sometimes there are groups that take old computer equipment and fix it up and put together systems for people who couldn’t otherwise afford them. My brother-in-law did that as a part of his church group in Greece. Not sure they still do it. Keep asking around to see if there is anyone who might want it.

  4. Michele,
    Good tips. Another thought is to see if there are specific volunteer programs in your town. For example, the Senior Center in Chili collects clothing and some household items to be distributed to migrant workers in our area.

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