Perhaps you already rent a full self storage unit and want to make some room for new holiday decorations or recently bequeathed family heirlooms. Hosting an informal garage sale gathering is a fast way to shift unwanted stuff and make a little money, but it's a little more complicated when you're using the event to empty out a storage unit. Consider these five challenges and their solutions in advance to plan a storage unit yard sale that goes off without a hitch.
Your local municipality or county may have set zoning restrictions that interfere with your ability to host the sale at the storage facility itself. Some areas allow one-time events while outlawing regular sales in a flea market style, but it's crucial to ask the code enforcement department in your area before assuming you're free to plan a sale. Even if the owner of the storage rental company gives you the go ahead to use your unit for hosting a yard sale, you need approval from the local government as well. Many storage unit owners won't authorize an on-site sale because it compromises the security of the business.
Are you planning to take items out of your storage unit and bring them home or to a nearby community center for the sale? Don't forget to factor in the costs of hauling unsold items back to the unit after the sale. You can cut back on gas costs and moving truck rental fees by
- Committing to deliver unsold items to a charity or thrift store instead of returning them to storage
- Offering free items to yard sale shoppers spending over a set amount
- Finding a consignment store that will stock the items for you
- Bringing the extra items to family members or neighbors who can use them
Do you have enough space for the number of guests likely to arrive at a given time? It's hard to estimate whether you'll get 5 or 50 visitors over the course of a weekend, and a dozen or more cars can arrive at once when you've only got a single space in the driveway. Parking is even trickier if you're hosting the event at a storage rental facility, especially since you can't block the access of other renters with your sale's parking.
You may need to ask or pay neighbors to borrow their parking spaces or arrange a permit to allow visitors to park along the road without interfering with traffic. When parking is simply impossible at your storage unit or home, consider renting a space at a flea market, church bazaar, or other public building hosting regular events.
It's best to price and sort items as they're going into the storage unit, but most people don't realize they want to sell certain items until they're already stacked under four or five other boxes. Take a few days to completely reorganize the unit by taking out everything and repacking it, especially if the goal of the yard sale is to create space for new additions. You don't want to shoehorn in a brand new mattress or leave a box of hand-painted tea cups teetering on top of a tower of items you haven't sorted for years.
Finally, don't forget to take advantage of social media for bringing in more traffic to your yard sale. Use your usual networks and local sales-focused websites to post notices and directions to the event, and make sure not to add your address until the day of the actual sale to prevent unexpected visitors. Aside from using the internet to advertise, try to time your event to coincide with group yard sales held by the storage unit facility. Their advertising efforts will pay off for everyone involved, including you.