Tips for Hosting a Garage Sale with Your Kids

It's a great way to clear out old stuff. And, with these three ideas, an at-home summer sale can become a fun financial family lesson, too.

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Like pool parties and barbecues, garage sales are a sure sign summer is here. Why not host one with your family? Along with helping create and put up posters announcing your sale, your child can raid his closet for items to sell. Plus, once your child understands that he’ll get money for new toys from selling old ones he no longer plays with, he’ll have no problem cleaning out under his bed, his toy chest and every other nook and cranny in his room.

Have kids pitch in

Beyond offering up their own stuff to sell at your sale, children also can be good helpers – and learn along the way. For instance, have your kids help price their items for sale. Older children can even write the prices on the tags. Keep it simple so that can handle the money at the sale: $1, $2, $3.

What about younger children? Kathy Peterson, a celebrity design expert, suggests you determine the item’s price by size. For instance, put out three bins, marked 25 cents, 50 cents and $1. Let your child divide items according to size to put into the bins. Small items go for 25 cents, large items for $1 and everything in between for 50 cents.

Offer to match your child’s funds

You may want to motivate your child to sell more by offering to match whatever she earns from the sale. The more she puts up for sale, the more likely she is to make money. If she knows you’ll match her funds, chances are she’ll work hard to make the sale a success.

Teach children about giving

Garage sales aren’t just about making money for yourself (or for your child). They also can be a way to give to others. When her son and daughter were tweens, Novi mom Leah Gawel involved them in garage sales so they could donate funds to charity. The money they raised during sales went to Project Night Night, which provides a tote bag, blanket and stuffed animal to children in homeless shelters. Leftover items can be donated, too. Gawel says her kids picked out more of their own toys to sell once they understood the money would be going to help out less-fortunate children.

Besides being great ways to raise money for a worthy cause, stretch your own budget or teach your kids the value of mindful and smart spending, garage sales are a heck of a lot of fun. Consider hitting the road with the kids to check out a few neighborhood sales, too. Roll down the windows, sing tunes in the car, grab an ice cream cone – and come home with some sizzling steals.

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