Minimalism. It’s a simple word, which is fitting, and I’m sure you’ve heard it before. While it can mean different things to different people, (decluttering, anti-hoarding, basic living) it generally means keeping things to the, well, minimum. It means keeping your home, and therefore hopefully the rest of your life, free of excess as well as stress in the process.

Now, few are born with the minimalist state of mind, and even fewer are able to accomplish it after they decided to try, which is why many have discussed easy ways of doing it, and even more have failed in the attempt. Here we’re going to focus on one of the most common ways people go about clearing out their homes, apartments, trailers, other various living spaces, etc: the yard sale or the garage sale.

Before you pull out your calendar and decide on the perfect Saturday to hold this magnificent sale, you should probably look around and see what you actually have to sell first. Start wherever you feel most comfortable. Maybe it’s best to start in your bedroom and work your way out. Or maybe you find yourself compulsively buying, and later hoarding, cooking or baking equipment or utensils? If that’s the case, the kitchen might be the best place to start. Or possibly you’re destined to start in that overcrowded attic of yours where you might find a few potential Christmas trees for sale. The choice is different depending on the person, but the goal is ultimately the same: start in a place where you have quite a bit of progress to make.

Designate an area where you can keep the stuff you’re looking to sell; this will make it easier to find later, and also help avoid the common mistake of simply transitioning things from being clutter in one room to being clutter in another. If available, your garage is an insanely appropriate place to store items for your future garage sale. (Avoid the yard if your sale is not immediate, or you may have an unintentional Yard Giveaway on your hands.)

To ensure you actually follow through on these sale plans, sometimes it can be a good idea to get a few of your neighbors on board as well. If a few of you agree to have a sale at the same time, it’s encouragement to actually get your stuff ready in advance, not to mention that it usually helps increase the sales you see individually too. There’s more to draw people in, after all. With a few of them involved, spend as much time as you can getting as much as you can together in preparation. Aim to have the most out of your neighbors. Clean out every cabinet in your kitchen, clear every corner of your closet. Leave absolutely no room untouched.

When the day of the sale finally arrives, it’s important to remember that this should not be the end all be all of your quest to minimalism. Yes, of course your sale should have cleared a lot of space in your home, but cutting out the excess is a separate thing entirely from keeping that excess out. While you’re selling that old pair of shoes you wore a single time, or while you’re collecting payment for the jeans you kept around in the hopes of them fitting properly again, remember that ultimately you ended up getting rid of these things anyway. Remembering this will prevent you from keeping this stuff around in the future for it to only collect dust and create clutter in your life.


by:  Kevin Faber