Setting Sale: Hosting A Moving Sale

Apparently gathering over 100 things to get rid of didn’t take as long as we thought (see the full list of purged items here), so we got all crazy and decided to host a last-minute moving sale this past Saturday (just to get rid of stuff while we still had that no nonsense iron will- you know, before we caved and decided to keep a few things around). We took about two weeks to plan our last yard sale, so making the decision to hold this one just two days out was a bit nerve-wracking, but the days aren’t getting any warmer, so we figured why waste time? Plus, hosting a yard sale isn’t rocket science – especially once you’ve gathered all of your “merchandise” and mentally decided to pull the trigger. Plus with the weather channel calling for sunny skies and 69 degree weather we figured it was a sign.

So we placed a free ad on Craigslist and drew up some neon-tacular directional posters to hang around the neighborhood. You can read more tips for actually hosting a sale here in this post of yore.

Despite our fears that no one goes yard-sale-ing in mid-November, the sale was GREAT. We had lots of steady traffic, Clara napped through the first two hours of the sale (when we were busiest), and we made over $300. Three hundred beans are great, but the best part of the sale is that we got rid of about 85% of our stuff. And that’s stuff we now don’t have to pack up and move. Which means more energy for unpacking, painting, and all that much more fun stuff (yes, that stuff is fun to us- we’re weird).

Here’s what our driveaway looked like towards the beginning of the sale (I didn’t snap a true “before” shot because early bird shoppers kept us too busy for a while).

Here’s all that was left by the end of the sale. And every item made its way to be donated within an hour or so that afternoon (we had a strict nothing-goes-back-into-the-house policy).

We were also reminded that hosting a yard sale can be quite entertaining. Here are a few highlights:

  • The only shoes Sherry sold were to an 11-year-old girl. Yep, apparently Sherry has pre-teen feet (size 5.5 for the most part).
  • A pack of neighborhood kids showed up on their bikes towards the end of the sale and bought a random assortment of knick-knacks, half of which we’re not sure they knew what to do with (for instance, they were convinced a glass spoon rest was a shoehorn).
  • We met the new neighbors who bought the “bed-and-breakfast” house that we’ve always admired (shown here). But at least now our patio furniture will get to live there.
  • We got to chat with two blog readers who were pleasantly surprised about stumbling upon our moving sale (we don’t share our address for obvious reasons, which is why we didn’t post about the sale beforehand).
  • Not knowing our names but recognizing us from our nightly walks, one neighbor called us “the baby-chihuahua family” – which we wish would stick. Gotta love a good neighborhood nickname.
  • We learned from one customer about the Book Exchange in Midlothian, where we later exchanged our unsold books for a credit… that we immediately used to buy two new books for Clara. New obsession? Check.
  • The sale eventually turned into an impromptu neighborhood party where we got to catch up on the latest gossip from everyone around the block (thanks to the sunny skies and mild temps, it ended up being such a nice day).
  • Just like last time, a random dog-on-the-loose came to visit. Luckily this one was a bit less rambunctious than the one from our past sale (who ended up taking a swim in the small pond that we once had in the backyard).

Ok, so that’s the tale our little moving sale. Feels good to have that stuff out of our lives (and to have a bit more money in our pockets). It’ll probably be a while until we need to host another yard sale, but feel free to drop some tips for others (or fun stories from your own yard sale-ing experience). Anyone else always get visited by a random pooch? Or have freakishly small feet that make selling shoes to adults a challenge?

Psst- We’re talking about how we recently revamped our dirty diapers & wipes routine right here on BabyCenter. Sounds fun right?


  1. says

    That’s awesome that you sold so much stuff! I always have boxes and boxes of stuff to cart to donation centers afterward.

    My only sure-fire tip for garage sales? Price high. People in my area always try to talk you down. In fact, once I had a girl not want to pay me a dollar for something and walked away when I wouldn’t go down to 75 cents. She came back minutes later and bought the item. What’s up with those people? Anyway, it’s very easy to go down in price, so I always mark high, because often I get the higher price anyway.

  2. says

    We woke up to 9 inches of snow in Minneapolis Saturday; so glad your weather was stunning for a successful sale!
    What have you earmarked the cash for? Anything special?

    • says

      Hey Renee,

      We figure it’ll go towards a new bed (which we desperately need since we conveyed our current one since it fits into the bedroom built-ins so well) along with some paint for the new house. Fun, fun, fun.


    • says

      Hey Cait,

      Yeah, we loved that stuff but had no place for it in the new house (the table set was from Target and the lounge chairs were from Walmart by the way). So we figured making some loot and selling it before the move was the way to go!


  3. says

    Tip: A couple of years ago, we had a neighborhood-wide garage sale. One girl put around flyers to the mailboxes, and said that she would pay to take out an ad in the paper, provided 10 or more houses signed up for the sale. That was great for us… free advertising. Plus, I think brought more people in, knowing they didn’t have to travel far to look at another family’s stuff.
    Funny Story: At that same garage sale, which happened in early February, two men came around in an old pick-up truck early in the morning. They picked up a glass vase, and other girly items. As they were leaving, one man told the other “My wife’s gonna love this for Valentine’s Day”. LOL!

  4. Angela says

    I’m surprised you got rid of your lounge chairs. I remember your post a while back about how hey were on back order and you waited for them. Why did you sell them?

    • says

      Hey Angela,

      We loved those lounge chairs back in our married-without-children days, but there’s no place for them at the new house- and you know we’re all about making a house work for us and not hoarding things that don’t make sense anymore. Plus being parents of a six month old, we haven’t used them since bringing Clara home, which was another sign they weren’t worth moving!


  5. says

    I LOVE getting rid of stuff! And your yard-sale-turned-block-party sounds so fun. However, I have not had very financially successful yard sales for some reason–I could probably use your tips!

    An organization I worked for once did a yearly rummage sale but all prices were open ended–the buyer got to decide. Apparently it was quite successful, because people would always over-estimate what something was worth, or decide to be generous because they felt like they were getting a good deal.

  6. Caroline says

    Well done on the decluttering! I recently did the same, but took all my unwanted stuff to a local market with a friend. We had a lovely chat, got rid of lots of stuff we didn’t want, and I made $600!

  7. Stephanie says

    Nice to have $300 in your pocket! Question: Is that a quilt in the bottom right hand corner of the 2nd picture? Where was it from? It looks really cute!

    • says

      Hey Stephanie,

      It was a Christmas quilt from Coldwater Creek (it was a gift from a relative a while back, but we figured since it was sitting in a storage box for years it was time to give it to someone who would take it out and enjoy it!).


  8. Ashlee says

    Does anyone else get the irony of the reader that says her one tip is to “price high”, then also says “I always have boxes and boxes of stuff to cart to donation centers afterward.”


  9. Stephanie says

    Yes, it is very pretty, but you’d have to have just the right room to be able to switch out the quilt for December. Thanks!

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