From Yard Sale to ‘Free Sale’


Spring is rapidly approaching and, as we all know, that means it’s time for Spring Cleaning! Spring also brings in the early waves of yard and garage sales. While I’m a big supporter of yard sales, sometimes they are more of a hassle than what they are worth.

One day my husband I just decided to have a free yard sale instead of a real yard sale. I just wanted stuff GONE and, personally, I hate doing yard sales. I like to shop at them, don’t like to put them on.

For me, a yard sale means a long day of seeing your stuff picked through and dealing with pricing the items, setting it all out, advertising, making change, the chance of rainy weather, kids breaking your stuff, and the list goes on. I know I sound like a downer, but yard sales are a lot of work!

So instead of a yard sale, consider a Free Sale. They are much easier and less work. We posted an ad on Craigslist and Freecycle (free advertisements!) and kept an eye on the pile at the actual sale. Sure, every so often we would go out and make sure the pile wasn’t all over the driveway, but mostly it was pretty easy. We watched with giddy excitement as people pulled up and started loading what we consider junk into their cars. And besides, it saved me having to haul items to the Goodwill — and who doesn’t like free stuff!?

And why not do a Free Sale when so many people are out of jobs? We watch the news and wonder if there’s anything we can do to help make things better for our country. If any of my things that are just lying around, they can be given to someone who needs them. A Free Sale can be my act of love toward those who are out of work.

Tips for Having a Successful Free Sale:

  • Take pictures beforehand for an online ad. Having a picture to show how large your pile is will encourage people to come by.
  • Put a lot of stuff out there! If you have just a few things, it won’t be worth it for people to stop by.
  • Post a BIG sign!
  • Be clear what isn’t free if you have to place items near things you don’t want taken. I had one guy assume my 2 cars were also part of the Free Sale!
  • List the items you have in your online ad. We had a ton of tile and people flocked to get it.
  • Update your online ad as much as possible. You don’t want to upset anyone.
  • Be honest. If you don’t want people to email you about your pile, tell them in your ad. I had to state I would not hold anything, but I did update my ad as often as possible so as not to disappoint.
  • Be real with yourself. When you start making your pile, ask yourself, “Do I really use/need/want this item?” If you can use it, keep it; if not, pile it up!
  • Don’t leave your pile unattended. Items might end up all over your front yard!
  • Take down the online ad when your pile has dwindled down.

It is such a relief to have clutter gone. I can open drawers or closets and not cringe when I see all the excess stuff in there. So, this Spring rather than fretting about having a yard sale, consider a Free Sale! It’s fun to see people get excited about something you have, but it’s even more fun to have the clutter gone!

By Marcie Kahler-Davis