When you host an estate sale, it can be rather overwhelming. Selling off a large majority of the things in an entire household is a lot of work. Without the right prep work, the day of the sale can be a disaster. Discover what to do before an estate sale to be better prepared.

Make an Inventory List

In the week leading up to the sale, spend time each day making a list of every item in the home that is for sale. Below are a few essential tips to follow during your inventory process to make things easier on yourself.

  • Take it one room at a time. Catalog an entire room before moving on to another.
  • Write down a detailed description of each item to be sold.
  • Move any items that are not for sale into a separate room with the door closed and locked during the sale to avoid confusion or accidental sales.
  • As you go through items, consider sorting them into categories; “like with like” should be the motto for this task.

Look Up All the Items Online

It’s important to know the true value of the items you plan to sell. This helps you to avoid charging an unrealistically high amount for items that won’t sell. It also ensures you don’t sell anything priceless for mere pennies. It’s very common for people to sell things off for cheap, not realizing the items are worth a fair amount of money. For example, before selling off jewelry at an estate sale, determine the value by looking up the piece or maker online or taking it to a jeweler for help.

Label Every Item

Once you’ve categorized, inventoried, and researched the value of all the items you plan to sell at the sale, it’s time to label them with prices. Investing in a package of small, blank stickers can be helpful as they easily adhere to most surfaces without causing damage and allow you to write a custom price for each item. Check out this quick list of considerations for labeling items.

  • Clearly note if multiple items are a set or will be sold at a one-unit price.
  • Consider color coding stickers to notate which prices are negotiable and which are firm.
  • Keep a running log to track which items sold and for what price.

There are many considerations when deciding what to do before an estate sale. The most important thing is to begin planning far in advance to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.