Host a Tag Sale to Streamline Closets and Pad Wallets

As a general rule, we wear very few of the clothes we have in our closets; some people put the figure as low as 10 percent to 20 percent.

Shifting from your spring and summer wardrobe to one for fall and winter provides the perfect opportunity to streamline. As you swap out filmy fabrics for thicker ones, take a long, hard look at your clothes and ask yourself: “Do I actually wear this?” What else is lurking in your closets that you never use?

Have each family member go through his or her closet — and toy chest, too — and put all those unused, rarely worn items aside in a few big boxes. Once everyone has gone through and organized closets and drawers, it’s time to part with what’s inside those boxes. A great way to do that and earn a little bit of extra money for holiday spending is to host a tag sale.

Alicia on “Planning for Success”:

Plan the tag sale for when it makes the most sense. People generally get paid on the first and the 15th days of the month, so pick a date close to one of those. It can be difficult to draw crowds if the weather is too cold, so schedule your tag sale before the end of October if you live in a northern area. Once you’ve picked the date, set a logical time window. If you know that Saturday mornings are filled with soccer games, schedule the sale for the afternoon. Whatever time you choose to start, be ready to go an hour or two ahead. If you advertise 9 a.m., people may show up at 7 or 8. So, if you really want to start at 9, advertise for 10.

Sarah on “Not Getting Physical”:

If the idea of hauling stuff out onto the lawn seems daunting, remember that your sale does not have to be a physical one anymore. You can sell your real items in the virtual world. Sell them as individual items, package them together — like a boom box with an assortment of CDs — or turn the whole thing into one big virtual sale. Craig’s List, for one, has a section specifically for this. Just remember to charge for shipping. If this is a new concept for you, find a friend or family member who has done it and let that person guide you through the process. A few tips will help you.

# 1. The buddy system.
If holding a tag sale seems intimidating, lean on a friend. Friends often look at your things with a fresh pair of eyes and can tell you straight that the cardigan you are holding onto makes you look like a box. Another benefit to working with a friend: He or she may be your first customer.

# 2. Use a YUNK box.

If you just can’t bear to part with all your things now, put half of them in a YUNK box. YUNK stands for “YoU Never Know.” If you have not touched those items six months from now, you don’t need them and you should get rid of them. This can work well for children who think they are unable to part with a toy or doll. If they see that they didn’t play with it for a long time without even missing it, they’ll let go.

# 3. For the common good.
If you don’t want to set up a tag sale of your own, consider participating in one that could help the community. Schools, churches and local organizations often have communal yard sales to raise money for charity. Rent a table at one, and your unused items become directly responsible for giving back. This might also help you let go of more stuff, understanding that the more you give up, the more you are giving.