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What to clean before your next garage sale

If you're planning to sell board games at your next garage sale, ensure all playing pieces and instructions are intact.
If you're planning to sell board games at your next garage sale, ensure all playing pieces and instructions are intact.
Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

Are you planning a garage sale? After deciding on a date for your sale and obtaining any necessary permits, you will need to think of how you can present your gently used items in an appealing manner that will attract shoppers.

While you might think cleaning your gently used clothing or equipment before your yard sale is a waste of time, selling items in less-than-stellar condition can be off-putting to shoppers. With a little time, effort, and cleaning products, you can make your sale items look almost new. If your sale items appear clean and in good condition, you can likely command top dollar from your sale. Keep the following tips of what you should clean in mind before your next yard sale.

Clothing: Shoppers will likely pass on clothing that is stained, has holes or has a noticeable smell. Before your sale, wash and dry any clothes you want to sell, especially if the clothing has been sitting in your basement or attic for several years. Weed out any items that are dirty or torn beyond repair, and use them at home as rags.

Gardening equipment: The lawnmower and rakes you plan to sell should not appear as though they were just used to clear your yard. Clean off any dirt, grass and other debris, and tighten any loose handles. Consider sharpening any dull blades, too.

Kitchen gear: Plates that are stained, mugs discolored by tea, and plastic containers with food stuck inside — do these sound familiar? Clean all kitchen items you plan to sell, and address any stains or discoloration. Pitch any items that are stained or have cracks.

Sports equipment: Assess the condition of any sporting equipment you want to sell, and discard anything that is unstable, broken or missing components. If possible, give your sporting equipment a quick wash before the sale.

Children’s toys and games: Before you put a price tag on your child’s board game collection, take a look at each game and ensure the tokens and rulebook are intact. If you’re missing the rules for a game, you can look online, then print the instructions.

Sale venue: Giving the exterior of your home a quick clean can encourage customers to stop and take a look at your sale items; after all, a home and lawn that appears dirty may be a turnoff to potential shoppers. While you don’t need to scrub every exterior surface, you should consider raking the leaves, mowing the lawn, and clearing the path to your sale.