The Bekins Blog

Organizing a Moving Sale for Seniors

June 27, 2024 | Moving Guides & Tips, Senior Moves

As we get older, it’s common to want to downsize. You might move into a retirement community where household chores and other time-consuming tasks are taken care of for you, or you might simply be moving into a condo or townhome that better suits your needs. Whatever the reason, the downsizing process means getting rid of many belongings that could clutter up a moving truck and a smaller home. 

One of our biggest downsizing tips for seniors is to organize a moving sale. Instead of just donating and throwing out belongings that are in good shape, a moving sale enables you to earn a little extra money to offset the costs of relocation. Whether you’re hoping to have a yard sale or want to organize an estate sale, here are some tips you can use when organizing a moving sale for seniors.  

How to Have a Moving Sale

So, you’ve decided to have a moving sale. Whether you’re a garage sale veteran or new to any sort of moving sale, there are some things you can do to make the sale go as smoothly as possible. Learn how to organize a moving sale for seniors by following our top tips.

Create a Downsizing Checklist for Seniors

Approaching a moving sale as a senior or for an older relative is different from a standard yard sale. The goal with a moving sale is to downsize so you’re only bringing the essentials to your smaller home or retirement community. In order to keep yourself focused as you prepare for the sale, create a downsizing checklist. 

The focus of your downsizing checklist should be reducing clutter in your new home. This will guide you through your belongings and help you consider what deserves space on the moving truck and what could be sold, donated or discarded. While your downsizing checklist should be personalized based on your needs, these points can help get you started:

  • Discard any duplicate items
  • Digitize memories (photos, home videos, letters)
  • Discard any items you haven’t used in over a year
  • Streamline collections by keeping a few favorite pieces
  • Try on clothing and discard anything that no longer fits
  • Save important paperwork and discard the rest
  • Discard any furniture that won’t fit in your new space

Decide What Type of Sale You Want to Hold

Garage sale sign.

After you’ve gone through your downsizing checklist for seniors, you should have quite a few items that are ready to go to a new home. It’s time to decide what type of sale you want to hold. 

People commonly host a garage sale or a yard sale. This involves moving all of your belongings that are for sale into your garage, driveway and/or yard. This can be a great option if you don’t want shoppers perusing through your home. You’re also more likely to capture the attention of folks driving or walking by. A garage sale can be an appealing stop for people out on a walk around the neighborhood. However, bad weather can have a big impact on your sale. Rain, wind or excessive heat can dissuade people from stopping by and damage your items, requiring you to reschedule your sale.

An estate sale is another option. It’s common to host estate sales when someone is downsizing. During these types of sales, shoppers typically walk through the home to examine all of the available belongings. This means that your sale is weatherproof and saves you the hassle of moving your items outside. However, you’ll need to move belongings that aren’t for sale to a part of the home that’s off-limits to shoppers or you may find yourself selling belongings you planned to take with you.

Promote Your Moving Sale

Once you decide what type of moving sale you’re going to have, it’s time to promote it. You cannot rely on people to find out about your sale from word of mouth, even if you’re hosting a garage moving sale or another event outside. If you want to maximize the clutter you’re getting rid of during the downsizing process, you need to let people know when and where to find you.

Pick a date for your sale and get the word out. Putting up flyers and signs around your neighborhood is a good first step. Check with local businesses like coffee shops and community centers to see if you can hang a flyer on their bulletin board or in the window. Also make sure to promote your sale on social media and community websites like Nextdoor. Social media sites like Facebook often have local groups where people can promote their moving sale, and you’re sure to find an audience who’s excited about your sale. With the right promotion, you’ll attract many shoppers in no time! 

Organize Your Items

Now that you’ve spread the word about your moving sale, it’s time to get organized. Laying out your belongings in a neat and professional way will help you sell more, making your job on moving day a lot easier. 

Put like items near like items. Create sections of items like dishware, appliances, clothing, home decor and more. Shoppers will often come to moving sales with ideas of items they’re looking for in mind. Being able to direct someone to the section with all of the plates or patio furniture will make it a better shopping experience and increase your chances of selling as much as possible.

Another key to organization is making pricing clear. Managing a moving sale is busy. You won’t have time to answer questions about every single item. Putting clear price tags on items will help reduce the number of questions and encourage people to make their purchases. If you don’t want to price every single item, no problem, simply put a sign on a box or a shelf stating all items included are the same price.

Person putting items on a table.

Make Paying Easy

While the goal of a moving sale is to get rid of the clutter so your move to a senior living community or smaller home is easy, a secondary goal is to make some money to help offset moving costs. To do this, you want to make paying for items easy.

Make sure to get change before your sale. Having several small bills and coins on hand will ensure you can break larger bills. Payment apps can also be useful for moving yard sales. Taking payments over PayPal, Venmo or Square gives shoppers more options for purchasing, and can help you sell more items to folks who might not have much cash on hand.

Don’t Forget About Digital Marketplaces 

After your senior moving sale is done, don’t rule out making some final sales on digital marketplaces. Listing an item on Facebook Marketplace or another local digital marketplace is straightforward and can help you offload a few extra belongings before your move. A quick tip: Ask buyers to pick up large items from your home. This will keep you from struggling to remove large or clunky items, saving time and effort. 

Hire Professionals With Experience Helping Seniors Move

As moving day approaches, it’s time to hire a moving company. With the right professionals on your side, all of your items will make it to your retirement community, senior living community or smaller home safely and on time. 

There are many things to consider during a senior move that make it a little more complex than a standard residential move. Older adults often need extra help with packing, unpacking and even long-term storage for belongings that don’t fit in their new space. Make sure to look for a moving company that has experience helping seniors move. If you’re not sure what to look for in a moving company, check out our post on choosing the best moving company

Are you looking for a professional moving company who specializes in senior moving services? Bekins Van Lines has your back! We offer comprehensive senior moving services to get you and all of your treasured belongings safely in your new home. Hiring movers has never been so easy. From our customer service to our quick and professional delivery, we’ll make sure you’re confident in our services and satisfied with your experience. 

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