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Holding a Successful Yard Sale

A yard sale sign on a tree

As you prepare to move and start packing things up into boxes, you’ve probably noticed there are many items that you don’t want or need to bring to your new home in Ottawa. Rather than chucking objects to the curb, a yard sale is a great way to rid yourself of all the items you don’t want, and make some money at the same time.

First Rate Movers has put together a few tips and tricks to help you hold a successful yard sale:

Timing is Everything

I don’t know about you, but I hate having to own things that I don’t need anymore. If I could, I would hold a yard sale weekly, but that’s not very practical. Here in Ottawa, you can’t exactly hold a yard sale when there’s a ten-foot snow pile on your front lawn. Spring/early summer is the perfect time to hold a yard sale, so now is the time to plan and organize so you’re ready to go in a few weekends.

Plan in Advance

Choose a weekend in April, May, or June. Try not to overlap with other big yard sales or events – for example, if you live in Kanata, you don’t want to hold your sale at the same time as the Great Glebe Garage Sale! With the date circled on the calendar, you’ll have lots of time to gather things. Make sure your items are in good condition and clean/repair them as needed to maximize sale value. Store your items in water-tight containers safe from water, snow, and rodents.


Advertise clever. An ad at the supermarket is classic but this is a digital age so don’t forget Facebook, Craigslist, Kijiji, and Twitter. You can even live-tweet your garage sale to attract extra eyes, or how about streaming your garage sale on Periscope? The possibilities are needless.

Setting Prices

Decide and set prices at least two weeks well in advance. Keep track of the entire stock, you want to be in full control.  If you really want to move these items, consider listing the more desirable ones on Kijiji/Craiglist as well. If you have junk that isn’t worth much, now is your chance to have it someone haul it away for free in the hopes of scoring a prize.

Stock Up on Change!

Even though we live in a plastic world, you’re going to need cash. Head down to your local bank branch a few days before the sale and stock up on $10s, $5s, and loonies/toonies. Make the sale easy on you (and your shoppers) by keeping the transactions to round numbers.

Clean the Yard

Make sure your lawn is freshly mowed, the driveway is swept, and that your garbage bins are tucked away from sight. Don’t deter any potential customers with a messy yard.

Yard Sale Signs

Place big, colourful yard sale signs around the neighbourhood. If you live on a quiet street with little foot traffic, you’ll want to place signs on the main road directing people toward your sale.

Lock Your Home

You don’t want any sneaky visitors creeping in your garage or even using your bathroom while you are distracted with a customer. Lock your doors unless you want your home to be open season.

First Rate Movers has been providing expert advice to Ottawa homeowners since 2003. If you need professional moving from Ottawa’s best movers, give us a call at 613-260-0505 or fill out an Ottawa Moving Estimate Request Form.

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