These lazy days of summer are the perfect time for clearing your home of clutter. Why not make some money in the process? That once-used breadmaker may no longer have a place in your life, but it could be just the thing your neighbor is looking for.
Here are some basic guidelines for having a garage sale:
¢ Set a date: Saturdays are usually best. Consider the first and the 15th of the month, when many people have just been paid. Late summer and early fall can be particularly rewarding in a college town.
¢ Advertise: It's against the law in some jurisdictions to put signs on public property such as trees, lampposts and telephone poles, according to Pepco. Instead, put notices in local papers, on message and bulletin boards, and on Internet sites such as Craigslist, www.craigslist.com, and Yard Sale Search, www.yardsalesearch.com.
¢ Spruce up and organize: Clean everything. Wash dishes, dust books, steam or iron wrinkled clothing. Items should be in proper working condition; if they're not, say so.
¢ Things you'll need: Have plenty of small bills and change - you don't want to lose a sale because you can't break a large bill. Also have a calculator, a notebook and pen for recording sales, a measuring tape, shopping bags, a garment rack and mirror if you're selling clothing, and an electrical outlet where customers can test appliances.
¢ Price items to move: Unless it's something like a Kitchen-Aid mixer still in its box, plan on selling items for well below what they cost new - and be prepared to negotiate.