A Mom’s Guide to Garage Sales

Garage sale season is upon us and if you are a thrifty mom, now might be the best time to take advantage of the sales while meeting some of your family’s basic needs.

As someone who is working to choose the simpler life, I really don’t enjoy looking through people’s random things to buy more random things for my house. However, when it comes to meeting needs in our family I’m all about a good deal.

Items to shop for at garage sales

Clothes and Shoes– Take this opportunity to find clothes and shoes for your kids’ upcoming sizes. Even though it’s hot out, don’t forget about what your kids will be needing for the cooler months as you head into fall and winter.

Bikes and Sports Equipment– Will your child be starting a sport or learning to ride a bike? Instead of paying full price for new gear, look around for a more affordable, used option.

Musical Instruments– Garage sales are a great place to find used instruments. (Tip: talk to your child’s private instructor or band director about what things to look for when you are shopping used.)

Books– Whether you’re a homeschooling family or a family full of avid readers, check the sales for used books. Purchase books that you know will be read and appreciated in your home.

Furniture– Are you going to be upgrading your kid to a “big” bed or needing to get rid of the glass coffee tables you bought after your wedding, that your kids might break, or worse, get hurt on?  Shop around for specific pieces.

Kitchen Things– Kitchen things wear out quickly as we use them day in and day out, but don’t go on Amazon just yet, garage sales are full of muffin tins, Pyrex, and silverware.

How to Garage Sale

Have a Plan– Make a list of all your kids’ sizes and the items they will be needing. Include other items you would like to find for a good deal. Don’t get distracted with junk and things that you’ll end up decluttering from your home shortly after you purchase. And remember to always think and measure before you buy.

Have a Budget– Bring a set amount of cash for the things you are looking for and when it runs out, go home.

Know your Deals– Remember the whole reason you are garage saling is to find good deals on items that your family needs. If you can get it brand new at Target for the same amount, it’s not a good deal.

Negotiate– Kindly negotiate the prices if the seller is willing. A lot of times people are flexible and eager to make a sale.

Be Creative– Keep an open and creative mind when you are shopping. It may not be exactly what you were looking for, but consider the potential.

Be Friendly– Kindness should always precede our agenda. You may not find everything on your list or feel frustrated that someone refuses to negotiate, but you can find joy in your efforts knowing that your interactions with people were uplifting.


Do you like garage sales? What deals have you found?



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  1. Great post! I want to get my kids some instruments and never thought of looking at garage sales (even though I love garage sales).

  2. My daughter, my granddaughter, and myself are wearing goodwill, yard sale clothes all the time. Love yard sales and my daughter and I have had many together. It is a fantastic cheaper way to acquire the items you need. Love your post and all your helpful tips. That bed was fantastic after you finished rejuvenating it.

  3. Thank you Jessica for the Great Clips on garage sales. I am usually pretty good at following the guidelines you have written down it can be fun going to the garage neighborhood sales you get to chat to the sellers who are sometimes your neighbors. It usually clothes some toys books that we look for. Wishing you a wonderful 4th of July and weekend talk to you soon hugs ,Terri

  4. I used to LOVE garage sales, but I’ve gotten away from them for some reason. I still sift through to find the hidden treasures in thrift stores. I may have to setup a day a month to do garage sailing again.

  5. I love garage sales because they allow my six children to be stylishly clothed at affordable prices. I find so many household items and treasures that fit in the budget.

    One of my best garage sales was just a few weeks ago, I spent $5 on clothing and ended up with easily three bags of school clothes for my children.

  6. Fun post– and so many practical tips!! I taught 4th grade for many years and filled my shelves with garage sale books for the kids to take home. Lovely to fin your blog!

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