The Comprehensive Guide to Hosting a Successful Moving Sale (2024)

Most people have a lot more stuff lying around the house than they use or need. Instead of hauling it all the way to a new apartment, consider hosting a moving sale. It’s an easy way to literally lighten your load and reap the benefits!

Why you should host a moving sale

There are any number of perfectly good reasons to host a moving sale, all designed to help you declutter, make some money or a happy combination of both.

Offload things you don’t really need

Most people are familiar with the time-honored practice in which people identify items to keep, trash or donate when preparing for a move. This is a vital tool to keep renters from dragging around a bunch of stuff they don’t really need from place to place.

As you’re making piles of clothes and tagging furniture, assess whether you have enough to hold a full-scale moving sale. A couple of boxes and one table probably aren’t worth a moving sale, but lots of clothes, tired decor items and furniture pieces? Yes, please!

Make some money

One man’s trash is another’s treasure, and all that, right? Let that sideboard, barely used athletic gear and extra winter coats have a new life in someone else’s unit…for a price! Then, sock away the profit in an account designed to pay moving expenses, furnish the new place or prepare for a rainy day. The choice is yours.

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Save some money

Expendable items don’t just take up unnecessary space in a new apartment, they also take up space on the moving truck. That translates to unnecessary dollars spent, as moving companies charge by load weight. Even if you’re not hiring professional movers, more stuff still equals a larger, more expensive truck. Don’t make the pricey mistake of paying to move items you don’t really care about.

How to plan a moving sale

Moving sales aren’t tough to plan, as long as a few key considerations are made.

Get permission

Before getting too deep into the moving sale planning process, check with management if you’re planning to hold it outdoors. They might direct you to a designated area, or require that everything stays inside the unit. Whatever you do, don’t block exits or hallways, as such missteps are pretty big safety violations.

Pick a date

Schedule the moving sale for a weekend date that’s close to move-out, but not directly before. That way, you’ll have a good idea of how much stuff actually needs to be moved, but won’t be too stressed out come moving day.

Invite other neighbors to participate

Sales involving multiple units enjoy more traffic than single-person sales. Invite neighbors to join in, as long as it’s okay with management.

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Publicize the sale

Use a mix of methods to get the word out about the moving sale, including social media, texts that friends and family can share and even printed fliers hung in strategic locations around the neighborhood. Neighborhood message boards and services like Craigslist are other great options for getting the word out. Don’t forget the value of a few well-placed “moving sale” signs and balloons on the day of the event!

In descriptions, include all of the pertinent details, like address, date and time frame. Set firm hours and include descriptions of the types of items that will be available. Bonus points for pictures of high-value items!

Organize and set prices

No one wants to rifle through a box of old cookery. Take steps to make your sale as customer-friendly as possible. Borrow folding tables to more attractively display items, and group them by use or function (kitchen stuff together, decor, etc.) Outfit them with signs that clearly show how much you’re asking for each piece. Make a mental note of how far below that you’re willing to go, however, as moving sales are known for attracting deal-hunting hagglers.

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Have change and QR codes on hand

Some people still pay in cash, so have a supply of small bills and coins on hand to make change. For people who want to pay digitally, provide printed QR codes for your Venmo, PayPal or other accounts. Ensure payment is received before you let them walk off with your stuff, however.

Collect day-of-sale supplies

Stockpile grocery store plastic bags, cardboard boxes and other items that will help you enjoy a seamless sale. Make sure to have scissors, tape, sharpie markers, a calculator and other helpful items at the ready, so you don’t have to go looking all around for them.

Add some extras

Consider fleshing out the event by selling sodas, bottled waters and individually wrapped baked goods! Those items are cheap to purchase and easy to upcharge. Plus, you’ll have something to snack on while you work.

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Add some “staff”

Ask a couple of friends or family members if they are available to help you out on the big day. That way, if turnout is high, you’ll have plenty of hands on deck to take the money and help carry things to cars if needed. Offer to let them peddle some of their own items for sale to sweeten the pot!

Create a contingency plan

It’s unlikely that absolutely everything will sell. Decide if you’re willing to take a lump sum for the remaining inventory, as it’s common for people to make such an offer at the end of yard sale events. Or select a non-profit that takes drop-off donations. Better yet, chose an organization that will pick them up from you!

Moving out and moving on, starting with a moving sale

There’s no need to drag unnecessary stuff into a clean, new-to-you apartment. Enjoy the moving sale purge process, not to mention any profit that comes along with it!

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A freelance writer based out of the Atlanta area, Alia has penned articles during her decade+ career for such sites as HowStuffWorks, TLC, Animal Planet, Zillow and many more. Her favorite things to write about include fitness, nutrition, travel, healthcare and general lifestyle topics. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Alia’s an avid Dawg, but she also loves reading, sewing, eating all things chocolate and playing sports with her husband, three boys and beloved border collie, Flash.

The Comprehensive Guide to Hosting a Successful Moving Sale (2024)


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