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What to Pack When Shopping Yard Sales

Ok, so we talked about some key strategies to employ this summer during the yard sale season in 5 Secrets to Shopping Yard Sales. Now let’s look at what to pack when yard saling.

You can always just jump in the car and hit the yard sales, but having a few things on hand can make you more comfortable and the shopping more strategic. Most of these things are kept in my car now, as I never know when I may see a really good sale!

I will start with just the basics for everyone and my next post will be specifically for those who are trying to yard sale with children.

What to Pack When Shopping Yard Sales

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What to Pack When Shopping Yard Sales

1 )Attitude! This is by far the most important commodity.  You need to go out there with focus and optimism. There is a sense of urgency to yard saling, because you never know what you are going to find or who will find it first. That being said, there are some days that I just don’t want to see any one else’s stuff! I need to be taking care of my own home and probably getting rid of things, too. On these days, I find it is better to stay put and take care of my responsibilities.

2) Small Bills. Fives and ones are best and any lose change you have. Yep, that jar of coins is perfect to take along. I will go more into the intricacies of bartering in a later post.

3) Comfy clothes and shoes. Make sure to wear layers and clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

4) Hand Sanitizer. Just saying.

5) Phone. There are many times I need to send a picture to someone of something I think they might like or call my husband for a measurement.

6) Shopping/ Wish List. This can be on your phone, but once I accidentally deleted mine. I was not happy.  And now I carry a hard copy in my wallet.

7) Tape Measure. Not the metal retractable ones, they get too heavy, believe it or not. You want one of the sewing kinds, like this.

8)Hands free, comfortable way to carry your wallet, phone and keys only. Anything more than this gets too heavy and gets in my way, so I leave everything else in the car.  A little messenger style bag or back pack works great.

9)Paint swatches. This one is for the hard core decorators out there, I have my house paint colors on hand for matching fabrics and other decorations. They have saved me a lot of yard sale buyer’s remorse over the years.

10)Sunglasses, sunscreen and water bottle. Optional, as needed.

What to Pack When Shopping Yard Sales
What to Pack When Shopping Yard Sales

Ok, and now you might be wondering what exactly I have on my list. I keep this list in my wallet and add to it all year long, as needs arise. Then, when summer comes I can be as strategic as possible with my time and money. Under each category, I leave space to hand write ideas throughout the year.

Sarah’s Yard Sale List:

Clothing Needs- with sizes, for the whole family

Household Needs– including bedding, office supplies, small appliances, etc. We even buy most of our lightbulbs from yard sales



Crafting and School Supplies


Farmhouse Decor– always collecting- white dishes, wooden crates, storage baskets, wool blankets, antique bottles, jars and silverware, oil paintings of farm scenes, old books, vintage linens

Related Blog Posts:

How to Yard Sale with Children

10 Tips for Negotiating at Yard Sales

10 Ways to Repurpose Vintage Linens

Styling Thrifted Linens

Pin This list of Items to Pack while Shopping Yard Sales for Later:


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