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Sale or Not to Sale
Ron McKinney, RFC, PFP is a financial advisor with Financial Security Group in Virginia Beach. You can reach him at 757-431-1414 (6067, or email him at
ISpring is here, finally.  It seems as though we all have a better outlook and energy to get things done.  I am seeing Garage Sale advertising already.  Spring is a good time to go through those attics, closets, garages and any other cluttered places in your home, to eliminate items we have not used for a while.  What is stopping us from completing these tasks?  Time and making decisions.  To do a good job it will take time and making decisions actually slows down the process thusly taking more time. Let’s consider the amount of time for the garage sale.  Cleaning out those cluttered spaces.  This can take a few hours to a couple of days.  What to keep, sell, throw away, give to family or give to a charity are a consideration for each item.  If you keep it, we must decide where it truly belongs.  If you sell it, it needs to be cleaned and made presentable.  If you throw it away a dumpster is easy but it may require a visit to the land fill.  If you give it to family do they really desire it or does it become their clutter.  If you give it to a charity it should be clean and useable.  Let us consider this process would take conservatively one day or 8 hours. For the Garage Sale items the cleaning process is vitally important.  If you have a toaster to sell, one that is clean will be an easier sell.  The clean items not only sell quicker, they draw more folks and they stay longer giving more opportunities to sell other items.  Consider about 25 items for your Sale and 15 minutes cleaning each item we need 6 ¼ hours. Pricing items can be a very stressful process.  Many items will carry an emotional connection creating a false higher value.  Remember, you have already made the decision to move it out so price it to sell.  Make it easier by placing a price of all items on the table for $1, another for “make an offer”, and individual items marked clearly.  Figure 1 hour. Now we need to advertise our sale.  There are both costly and free ways to advertise.  Neighborhood promotions save time and money and generally provide improved attendance. Regardless of how it is promoted it will at least take 1 hour. Set up time and preparation.  Save bags and boxes for buyers to carry items away.  Have plenty if change.  Set up displays so people can easily move around and the displays look organized and not cluttered.  Set up time 2 hours. The sale can be the fun time but will take one or two days.  Figure 6 hours. Now the break down.  What to do with the remaining items can create another cluttered area. This will take 1 ½ hours. This process have taken about 25 ¾ hours.  Consider a good sale of $220 would compute as $8.54 an hour.  Is this worth it?  Will be yes for some and no for others.  Things to consider: 1- If you have not used an item in 2 years, you might not need it. 2- Know what the Garage Sale rules are in your community. 3- Do not sell any items that could be unsafe for any reason.  4-Observe your sale area for safety, so no visitor may become injured.  5- Keep animals in the house during sale. 6- Keep your house secure.  7-Keep money with you.  8- Avoid big bills, they could be counterfeit. Items that remain after the sale, donate to a charity and take the tax deduction.  This will reduce your clutter not move it.  After all, that was your goal, wasn’t it?