When seniors reach a certain age, it gets harder to take care of a big house. And who really needs all that space? It’s only natural to give some thought to downsizing.
If you’re still in good health, you may choose a smaller home or condo, but if health is also a concern – or you just want that social aspect – you might be thinking of moving to a senior living community. You can be as independent as you want in their supervised independent living apartments or get as much help as you need in the assisted living or memory care communities. With three meals a day, activities, health professionals on staff and much more, how can you go wrong? You can even bring along your small pet – so your new space feels just like home.
Sound good? Great. But then reality hits and you suddenly realize it’s time to get rid of all those things you no longer need. Luckily, spring is the perfect time for a sale! Whether you call it a moving sale, rummage sale, garage sale or yard sale, it’s all the same thing – a way to get rid of your excess stuff and make a little money in the process.
Before you even get started, it’s important to keep in mind that the main goal here is to clear it out! Making money is just a bonus. It’s time to purge!
It’s tempting to put some items in storage — but try to resist. If you don’t thin out your belongings now, what are the chances that you’ll want to do it later? After all, once in storage it will be out of sight, out of mind! So take a good look around – you’ll surely find some things that you never use – and never will.
Planning the Sale
So head to your basement (or attic, or guest room or wherever else you’ve stuffed things you rarely use) and start pricing. Drag out the boxes. Take a look at the knick- knacks that line your shelves. Open cupboards and closets and pull out drawers.
Start early! Sorting, tossing and pricing are all bound to take longer than you expect so start early enough that you can do a little at a time. Breaking it down into smaller sessions makes the task more manageable – both physically and emotionally. And getting an early start will save you from hauling boxes upstairs and trying to attach price tags on sale day.
Find out if your community or neighborhood has an annual sale. If so, it’s the perfect time to join in. Group sales have a lot of benefits – someone else does the advertising and they may even provide signs and maps to help people find your sale. Neighborhood sales are great because they attract a larger group of buyers – who can easily park and walk from house to house. Plus it takes the pressure off both buyers and sellers — when so many people are milling around, buyers feel more free to browse without the embarrassment of looking and leaving if they don’t immediately see something they want. The longer they shop, the better the chances they’ll find something to buy.
If you don’t have an organized event in your area, why not recruit some neighbors or friends to make your own multi-family sale? Don’t worry – it’s not a competition! In fact, the greater the variety, the better. If someone stops by to see your neighbor’s mountain bike, they just might buy your mini fridge.
Pricing particulars. You can either price things individually or sell them at a set price for that type of item. For instance, all books might be 50 cents or all clothes $1.00. Or post a sign that says everything on one table is a certain price unless marked differently. If you’re having a multi-family sale, though, mark each item – preferably with a different shape or colored sticker. And to keep things simple, use multiples of 25 cents. You’re not going to want to deal with pennies, nickels and dimes.
Get change in advance. Have enough coins and singles available for those early morning shoppers who want to pay you with a $20 bill at 8:00 a.m.
Advertise. If you’re having your own sale be sure to post it on Craigslist. Put signs out at key intersections nearby and have balloons or a sign in your front yard. Even if someone else is doing the advertising for a group sale, it doesn’t hurt to post your own Craigslist ad. Take photos of some of the larger (more expensive) items. And provide a list of the types of things you’ll have for sale. Provide directions and the hours that you plan to be open.
If you’re having a multi-family sale, keep track of your sales as they occur. Take off the stickers and put them in columns on designated sheets of paper (a different color for each seller). This makes it easy to total the sales for each family at the end of the day.
Make sure you have enough space for people to move around your sale. If it’s too crowded or unorganized most buyers won’t take the time to look. It doesn’t take much for things to become a tangled mess. Fold and straighten during lulls. Make sure items are in the right area. Put big things on your driveway or in front to lure people in.
Price things to sell!!!! We all think that our belongings are treasures rather than trash, but remember the goal is to get rid of it – not to cart it back inside!! People come looking for a deal. Be willing haggle – and price it to sell. If certain items haven’t sold within a couple hours, consider lowering the price. And in the last hour or so, declare everything half price (unless specifically indicated on the item).
When day is done, donate any leftovers to charity. Give yourself a pat on the back, count your profits, order a pizza and pour a glass of wine. You’ve earned it.
Discovery Village at Sandhill offers a variety of senior living programs to keep seniors healthy and active. Learn about our senior living options and amenities today when you contact us at 803.836.9545