Today I wanted to share some before and afters from last month’s estate sale in Mountain View along with some tips on how to organize and set up a sale of your own. Someone recently asked me if I am moving my business away from organizing and only focusing on estate sales. I thought the question was strange because I am so busy with both aspects of my business and I explained to them that I feel organizing and estate sales go hand in hand. Each estate sale project starts with a complete home organization session. My team and I spend time sorting, decluttering, and purging every space in the home. The only difference between an estate sale and a home organizing session is that when we get to the step of deciding what to keep, we display the items to be sold instead of storing them based on the client’s lifestyle.
When the doors at my estate sales open the shoppers have no idea what the home looked like before we were able to organize it. We typically have only one or two days to organize and display the contents that can be sold, remove items that need to be recycled or donated, and box up personal items for the family.
This first picture is what the living room looked like at my Mountain View sale last month before we started the estate sale setup. It was the first room that shoppers walked into so I wanted the layout to encourage shoppers to spend some time. Also, I always have the cashier near the sale entrance so they can keep an eye on everyone who comes and goes. (Tip! The area where the cashier is at will be the heaviest trafficked area so I want my high dollar items in that space to increase the chances of them selling.) Only in situations where there isn’t enough space for a cashier in the house or if we are holding an outdoor sale do I have the cashier on the front porch or under a tent outside.
I like to set up my tables first and rearrange all of the furniture so the room has a nice flow and looks inviting. I want to make the room look like a store, not someone’s living room. (Tip! If it looks like someone is still living there customers will feel like they are intruding).
Once all of the furniture is in place we start to display smaller items on the tables and make the room fresh and bright by rearranging the lighting and opening all of the window treatments. In the before picture the room looks like a mess and the first thing that catches your eye is the medical equipment in the bottom left corner. (Tip! if there is medical equipment available at your sale have it displayed in a bedroom or in the garage. Try not to have it be a focal point when shoppers walk in the front door, it just reminds them that someone was sick and makes them feel guilty for shopping). The after picture looks bright and inviting, especially the green shag carpet! My display tables are in the right corner of the room, you can’t see them in this picture but you get an idea.