Category Archives: Helpful Garage Tips

9 Steps to a Successful Garage Sale: Part 2

9 steps to a successful garage sale by Sears Garage Doors of SpokanePart 1 of our 9 steps to a successful garage sale covered the importance of having a clear objective and then collecting & assessing your items, then targeting the date & time & putting an advertising plan in place. Part 2 of our 9 steps will walk you through the logistics of the garage sale itself: item displays, pricing, sale day, and after.

5. Plan your item displays

  • Start by having plenty of tables. For hanging items, consider a rod across 2 ladders. Be forewarned: you will get offers on the ladders! Consider simply putting clothing on tarps on the ground (so more items can be seen at a glance), separated by size/gender (baby, toddler, kids, etc.). Resign yourself to the fact that things will get mixed together.
  • Plan to create shade if it’s hot, or shelter if it rains. If you have access to pop-up canopies, use them. People will be more likely to shop if they are comfortable.
  • Decide if you will actually use your garage or your yard. Many garage-salers may wander into your garage looking for further bargains. Be sure to drape off items with a sheet to notify shoppers that those items are not for sale. Of course, there may be a great deal waiting to be made if someone starts looking around! Decide in advance how you will handle this scenario.
  • Plan to have some – but not all – of your most valuable items near the street. You need some things farther back so folks need to wander through the other items to get to them. If possible, try to stage your items on their displays prior to the morning of your sale, so it’s simply a matter of moving the tables outside. Avoid putting things in a big box. It is much better for everything to be visible.

6. Decide on pricing

  • Remember your objective. If you have lots of smaller items, we recommend pricing those more aggressively, maybe coming up with some pricing like $0.50 each or 3 for $1.00 so people are incented to buy multiple items at once.
  • We suggest stickering items with individual prices as much as possible, particularly on the lower-priced items. It saves people having to ask how much each item costs. Avoid using price signage related to tables, because it avoids confusion. But pricing like items similarly makes sense, and you can save time by making signage to that effect: all books 4 for $1; kitchen gadgets $0.10 each. This article offers some great tips on garage sale pricing.

7. Plan for the garage sale itself

  • Cash: Run to the bank the day before and get plenty of $1, $5 bills and quarters (and smaller change too if you plan to price things lower than a quarter). Find an old tool box or shoe box for managing your money. Have a calculator handy for quick help with the math.
  • Helpers: it will be critical that you have at least one helper, if for no other reason than to give you a chance for biological breaks. Be sure they are briefed on your pricing strategies so they are empowered to sell on your behalf. If there are certain items only you want to negotiate, be sure they are informed in advance.
  • Decide how you will respond to early birds (some may show even if you put in your ad “no early birds.”) Will you simply tell them you are not ready until you’re ready? Will you have your helper out to handle the final set-up while you start doing business? It is a good idea to anticipate this so you don’t turn off your shoppers. Remember to be polite!
  • Get your signs out the evening before. Collect plastic or paper bags your shoppers can use to take their items with them. Be prepared with additional materials to make quick signs, or to reprice an item. Have an extension cord available so customers can test electronic items as needed.

8. Garage sale day!

  • If you have lots of things to move into place, be sure to get an early start!
  • Be prepared with water for yourself, and consider offering refreshments for your shoppers as well.
  • Have music playing to create a fun and pleasant atmosphere.
  • And of course, smile and be friendly.

9. After the garage sale

  • Collect up all of your unsold items and assess if you really want to hold onto them, or if you are ready to donate them. Then as soon as possible after your sale, drop of your donated items with a charity in town.
  • Collect up all of your signage in the neighborhood.

Then count up your money and enjoy the newly found space in your garage!

Sears Garage Doors & Repairs is available to help you with any of your garage door repair and replacement needs. We offer a variety of garage doors and garage door openers to fit virtually any taste and budget. Contact us today for a free in-home estimate.

9 Steps to a Successful Garage Sale: Part 1

9 steps to a successful garage sale by Sears Garage Doors of SpokaneIt’s springtime, and the weather has started warming up in the Inland Northwest. That means it’s Garage Sale season around here. If you have done some spring cleaning, or tried to get to your gardening supplies in the garage, or tripped over your old golf bag to get to the yard maintenance equipment, it may be time to consider turning all of those old items into cash. But where to start? Follow these 9 easy steps and you will pull off a garage sale that hits the mark.

1. Determine your objective

It’s extremely important to know what you are trying to accomplish with your sale, before you even get started. It will inform all kinds of decisions along the way. The two primary objectives most people have when deciding to do a garage sale are:

  • Lightening the load – in other words, getting rid of all the extra “stuff”
  • Maximizing the financial return on your items

If your primary objective is to get rid of as much of the extra stuff you have lying around as possible – perhaps because you are planning a move – then you will not need to be quite so worried about your pricing. You can afford to be aggressive with your prices from the beginning, because you want your items to move.

If your goal is to get the most for your items as possible, it may mean you have to wait until the right buyer comes along to appreciate the value of the things you are selling. You won’t need to be as hasty parting with your 1976 Sears home console of the Pong IV video game, which may fetch you up to $250!

If you are doing this garage sale as a family, be sure to gain consensus around this objective to avoid any family tensions the day of the event!

2. Collect & identify your best items

Gather your items in one spot, ideally in your garage, and start sorting by category (tools, lawn care items, kitchenware, household items, clothing, etc.) Beware of trying to sell items of sentimental value. You may find that this issue is in direct conflict with your objective! Better to find a “keepsake” box in your attic and place it there, than endure the stress of trying to part with the item on sale day.

Make a note of your largest, highest-quality items plus your primary categories of items. Those items will be included in your advertising. Check out this article for thoughts on the best-selling garage sale items.

3. Decide on your day(s) and time

Know the popular days and times your area likes to hold garage sales. If you have a lot of stuff to sell, it is sometimes nice to have a 2-day sale, particularly if your objective is to lighten the load. It simply gives you more time to sell your stuff.

If you are not in a rush to free up the space your items are taking in the garage, you may want to work your way through all of these suggested steps, and save the actual date-setting for one-week out so you can see the weather forecast. Then you can plan on pulling the trigger on your advertising the week before (and the morning of) the event. Doing so may give you added peace-of-mind about the weather’s impact on your sale.

4. Line up your promotional efforts

It’s pointless to go through the effort of planning a garage sale if no one shows up to shop. Getting the word out is crucial. Listing your sale in the classifieds (online and/or print) and Craigslist, plus using signage, are the primary methods that work best.

  • Decide in advance how you feel about “early birds” (the people who show up 30 minutes to an hour before the designated start time looking for the best items and deals). If you don’t mind them, be prepared for sales to happen before you are done setting up! If that kind of thing might drive you nuts, be sure to state in your ad, “no early birds.”
  • It is highly effective to join forces with your neighbors and plan a block-wide or street-wide garage sale to increase traffic. Be sure and confirm you have at least one other family involved before using the term “neighborhood garage sale” in your advertising or you could end up with some grumpy shoppers! If this isn’t going to be a neighborhood affair, be sure your nearest neighbors are informed of your plans so you keep the peace. Don’t be surprised if some of them put out “no parking” signs on their lawns!
  • Plan to promote your sale in a variety of classified listings, including Craigslist, which is free. If you have time, consider highlighting a handful of the high-value items individually, with photos, to try and attract the non-garage sale types who may be looking just for that particular item. Include the details of your sale in the post. Be sure to include your full address and zip code, for easy mapping of your location, and the specific date, day of the week, and times. In addition to your local paper, research specialized classified publications – like the Nickelsworth – as an option. The Nickelsworth is a weekly print publication that has very reasonable rates, and duplicates their listings online for free. You don’t need to spend more than $30 for decent exposure in a variety of print and online listings.
  • Signage is critical. Scout out busy, high-traffic intersections for your prominent signage, and make sure you post your signage safely and legally. Use consistent looking signs so followers know they are headed the right way. Put the date/time/address on at least a few of them. Factor in traffic being able to view your signs from both directions. This article has some great practical tips for garage sale signage.

The remaining 5 steps are covered in Part 2 of this article.

Sears Garage Doors & Repairs is available to help you with any of your garage door repair and replacement needs. We offer a variety of garage doors and garage door openers to fit virtually any taste and budget. Contact us today for a free in-home estimate.

Great Garage Organization Ideas – Start the New Year Right!

great garage organization ideasI noticed last week that many of the grocery and department stores were running specials on storage tubs and totes. They clearly think that the start of the new year often comes the decision to get organized. Why not tackle the garage? It is usually the catch-all location for much of life’s extra stuff, but with a little tender-loving-care, it can be a space you don’t dread entering to find the tool or item you need.

We’ve spent some time combing the Internet, looking for great garage organization tips. Here are some of the best we’ve found so far. Good luck getting organized!

1. 28 Brilliant Garage Organization Ideas – This list of ideas is a great collection of images of each idea and a brief description with each, and links to the details if needed – tools, tape, bags, nuts, bolts, cords… there is something here for everyone.

2. Garage Paint Storage Ideas – Lots of interesting ways to store those various collections of paint you have in your garage!

3. One Weekend Wall of Storage – Awesome variety of methods for getting things stored on those garage walls.

4. Close the Door on Garage Clutter – Great way to recycle an old pre-hung door, and create a space for your garage gear that gets hidden when you are done.

Also – we’ve created a Pinterest board for Garage Storage and Organization ideas where we will continue to pin the great ideas we discover. Follow it today!  pinterest

Let’s Talk About Your Garage Floor

Garage CabonetsYou can have the neatest most organized garage on the block, but if the floor is covered with oil spots and grimy messes it will always seem dirty.  Keeping the garage floor clean and stain free is an important step in having the garage of your dreams.  There are many different flooring choices that will make keeping your garage floor in top shape as easy as can be!   One of the quickest and easiest ways to improve the look of your garage floor is by giving it a few coats of paint.  Painting the floor is a good DIY project but you must be sure to prep it properly beforehand.  Here are some different types of paint that you can choose from to use on your garage floor:

  • Latex – This type of paint is the cheapest option.  Durability can be a problem with latex paint if you’re going to be parking your car on it.  This option is a good choice if your garage is mainly used for things other than parking your car.  Latex paint comes in many different colors and finishes, so coordinating it to your style is no trouble at all.
  • Nice Epoxy1 Part Epoxy – This is standard acrylic paint with epoxy mixed in it, so it’s more durable than plain acrylic paint.  You can use this in a garage where you park your car because it resists peeling and stains.  This choice also makes a good DIY project for most people.
  • 2 Part Epoxy – 2 part epoxy for floors comes in a kit for DIY’ers.  It isn’t the same thing as the commercial grade epoxy coating that the professionals use and it will not give you the same durability that commercial grade epoxy will.  In order to get good results you must be very careful to follow the instructions included with the kit.
  • Professional EpoxyCommercial Grade Epoxy – This flooring option should be applied by a professional.  Commercial grade epoxy is a great choice for a durable floor that is easy to clean and also beautiful to look at.  You can choose a solid color or have PVA chips added in for a splash of color.  This is an excellent choice for any garage.

Go to http://www.garagedoorspokanewa.com/about-us to see more about Sears Garage Door Spokane’s full line of epoxy garage flooring and organization solutions to help get your garage in tip top shape!  Call (509) 795-3834 and we’ll answer any questions you have about garage organization and flooring!

Tips For Keeping Your Garage Cool This Summer

White Garage DoorYour garage can be one possible cause of higher energy bills during the hot summer months.  Cooled air can leak out of your garage door allowing hot air to build up in the garage, which will in turn warm up your home and force your cooling system to work harder.  There are a few things you can do to help keep your garage cooler, which will help keep your energy bills down.

One of the easiest ways that you can save money is to have your garage door insulated.  This should be done by experienced professionals such as the onesWooden Garage Door at Sears Garage Door Spokane.  The added weight of the insulation can cause the opener to malfunction if it is not installed properly.  Another way to keep your energy bills lower is by insulating the walls and ceiling of your garage.  Wooden garage doors are naturally insulating, so if you’re replacing your garage door, that is a good option for you to consider.

One more way to help keep your garage cool is to have a ventilated garage door installed.  This will help keep air flowing through your garage to prevent hot air from building up inside.  You can also install a ventilation fan that will help keep the air moving as well.

White Garage Door Choose a light colored garage door, or paint your existing door a lighter color such as beige or white.  Dark colored doors absorb the heat from the sun and heat them up which causes the garage to heat up!  Also, install weather stripping along the bottom of the door to keep the heat out and your garage cool.  Before painting your garage door you can caulk any visible gaps between the garage door and the garage frame with silicone caulk.  When you do this, be careful not to apply the caulk to any of the door’s moving parts!   If you have any questions about ways you can improve your garage door and lower your energy bills give Sears Garage Doors Spokane a call at (509) 795-3834 or visit them on the web, here.