Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tips to Set Up and Organize a Garage Sale

Garage Sale sign advertising a yard sale
A garage sale is a great way to de-clutter your home while also helping people purchase much needed items at reasonable prices. A successful garage sale depends on successful planning. To plan a successful garage sale, simply follow these tips.

Place Items for Sale in Plain View

Place items for sale within plain reach and view of customer's eyesight. For example, if you have a stack of magazines, fan them out on a table as opposed to stacking them on top of each other, so each magazine is in plain view.

If you choose to display items on your lawn, create a pathway that people can walk between and catch a glimpse of each item from all angles.

Move Items Not For Sale Far Away

Move any items that are not up for sale as far away from the sale items as possible to avoid confusion. Or, simply cover the items with a blanket or tarp etc. so buyers know these items are not for sale.

Place Items Close to the Street

Place large or your "best" items as close to the street as possible. This way, people can get a glimpse of what you're selling as they pass by which will hopefully lure them in.

Clearly Mark Your Prices

Place a price sticker on each of your items so you don't forget the price. This will help make your job easier, and people will know exactly how much each item costs.

Having a lot of lower priced items (for example, .25 cent items) may encourage people to purchase more items and even encourage them to purchase higher priced items too, because they feel like they are getting a deal. Price items at yard sale prices, unless the item is brand new with the tags still on.

Collecting Cash

Some sellers prefer to station their cashier's table at the end of their merchandise section to make it easier for customers to pay for their purchases as they leave the sale. This way, customers are free to accumulate a variety of items and pay for them all at once.

You may think about offering carrying baskets etc. to help make it easier for them to carry a large number of items at one time, or simply hold the items for them until they are ready to check out.

Your cashier station should have a ledger for recording sales and enough cash to give change.

Advertise Well

The marketing of your garage sale will generally determine the success of your sale. Put time and effort into making high quality, easily readable signs that will catch people's attention. The bigger and brighter the signs, the better.

Many people experience success on free sites such as Craig's List. The more details you put in your ad, the more likely your items are to show up in searches. Focus on your hottest sellers, and list specific details such as sizes and brands etc.

Teach Your Children Entrepreneurial Skills in the Process

Help your children set up a bake sale and lemonade stand so they, too, can share in the entrepreneurial spirit. If it's fall outside, your children can serve toasty treats such as hot chocolate with marshmallows, coffee, S'mores or even fresh cinnamon rolls which will go a long way in making your customers feel appreciated, especially on a cold Saturday morning.

Getting Organized for Your Garage Sale

  • Collect Clutter Year Round- When you come across clutter you longer need, stick it in a box. Once the box is full, fill another one and so on, all the way up until garage sale day.
  • Timing is Everything- Choose a time of year when the weather will be pleasant. Check the weather forecast ahead of time to be sure the weather is clear for that day.
  • Select a Location- If possible, select a location that is near a busy intersection or a location that is easy to get to.
  • Plan- At least 2-3 days before the garage sale, take a day and price and organize everything, and post your ads on the internet. The day before your sale, get your cash together, and post your signs.
  • Displaying Your Items- Do you have enough space? How are you going to display your items? Ladders, clothing racks, tables, TV trays, upside down cardboard boxes, crates and even the patio are great ways to display your items. However, it is best to display your items off the ground to avoid ground moisture or dew.
  • Select Themes- Group your items in themes to help make them easier to locate.
  • Have fun!

Robert Mizrahi
Home Organizing Services

Monday, September 8, 2014

How to Organize An Efficient Student Study Area at Home

Kids organized desk space for homework
The busy schedule of today's families can have a direct impact on the quality of study-time a child can dedicate to homework. There's so much going on. Family members stomp around the kitchen looking for a glass of juice, and little brothers and sisters invade bedrooms, but there are alternative ways to create an efficient study area through planning.

Managing Study Time

Coordinate the block of hours your youngster uses for diving into textbooks. This way, they can balance their time with a sibling. Back this strategy with a notice on the door to let everyone know the youngster is at work.

Use the Right Setup

The bedroom is an excellent area to read and write in peace, but the bed itself should be avoided. The vertical surface is tempting, but it's lumpy and giving, not an optimal place to situate pens and the paraphernalia associated with studying. Also, the bed is comfortable, providing too much temptation for a nap.

Study Surface Basics

Opt for a comfortable chair and a wide table, even a foldaway table will do the job, but a solid construct is preferable. Flimsy tables and chairs can cause distractions due to one leg being shorter than the others. Stabilizing the work surface is an easy issue to fix, but the point here is to minimize distractions.

Expanding on Desks

A modular desk setup allows for a basic selection of textbooks and office supplies, and the structure will grow as the child matures, providing extra drawers for sticky labels and stationary. Over the years, this modular approach can be expanded upon, adding more lighting and shelving for heavier textbooks.

Remove Clutter

Children have notoriously short attention spans. Remove toys and smartphones from the study area, promising access to the confiscated items once the work is done for the night. If necessary, move the desk away from the window and take down distracting posters. Clear the desk of any distractions.

An Environmentally Sound Study Space

Maximize the effectiveness of this developing space by adjusting environmental factors if possible. Pull a shade down, and position a bright lamp on the desk, closing windows to mitigate outside noise pollution. Weigh the cost of adjusting the air conditioning against a clear and cool mind.

Dividing the Study Load

Divide the classes your child is studying into manageable chunks. Create a study table and calendar of upcoming academic exams, prioritizing each subject and color coding the schedule for the benefit of young eyes. Print out the schedule, and pin it up on the wall above the new study area.

The Office Supply Visit

Ensure a period of focused study goes uninterrupted by providing all the supplies the student needs. Paper, pens and pencils should be close at hand on the actual work surface. Keep secondary items such as pencil sharpeners and rulers nearby, but remember the clutter rule. Clear space equals a clear young mind.

The Strategic Placement of Secondary Items

Allocate written material to the study area, placing textbooks and study notes in their designated slots. Slowly shift this responsibility over to the child, using this technique to teach organizational planning to the student. In time, this will show the young mind how to manage resources without being overwhelmed.

Energize the Study Area

Studying is hard work. Even putting work into the efficient setup of a study space is a laborious task. Feed the creative spirit of the youngster. Add a flowering plant to all of this study material, and pin up an inspirational poster adjacent to the schedules. Finally, add a glass of water and an energy snack to the newly configured study space, and leave your child to get on with the work. You may be that final distraction, after all.

Robert Mizrahi
Professional Home Organizer