Decluttering in preparation for the Great Glebe Garage sale

Article by Martha Tobin published by the April issue of the Glebe Report

The Great Glebe Garage Sale is happening this year on May 27 (8 am -2pm).  This much-loved neighbourhood event is a wonderful opportunity to do some decluttering in your home in anticipation of the sale.   

Our homes are supposed to be our sanctuaries – the place where we can recharge and relax.   But when we have an excess of ‘stuff’, it weighs us down and fences us in thereby keeping us from feeling in control of our lives.   Decluttering is a wonderful way to take back control of your life by purging those items you no longer need, use, want or love.  

As you look around your home here is a quick and easy ‘5 Box method’ for sorting items:

Gather 5 boxes together and label them:

#1.  Items to sell

#2.  Items to trash, shred or recycle (ie. documents, old electronics)

#3.  Items that belong elsewhere in your home (ie. child’s homework)

#4.  Items that need to be returned (ie. borrowed book) 

#5.  The ‘Maybe’ items (ie. diplomas, awards)

This 5 box method will allow you to easily and quickly sort items in your home to determine the items you want to sell at the Great Glebe Garage sale (as well as knowing which items belong elsewhere in your home or need to be returned to someone else thereby not getting put out mistakenly on the day of the sale).

Typically items that are often of interest at the Great Glebe Garage Sale are furniture, small appliances, collectibles, sport items, clothing, LP’s, books, linens, art, dishware, jewelry, toys, etc.  

Below is some information that will help keep your expectations realistic as well as align with the expectations of buyers that day:

  1. Set up early so that you are prepared for the early birds.
  2. Price items individually or in groups (ie. bundle of comics for $0.50)
  3. Display items on tables or in boxes according to their category or price (ie. all scarves $0.75 each)
  4. Have a secure/out of sight cash box or apron with lots of coins and bills for change.
  5. Test the market demand as the day goes along and reduce prices accordingly.   Items at the right price sell better.
  6. If you have larger items that can’t be carted away by the buyer until later, tuck them out of sight and have an impromptu sales receipt available so that you can note the deposit given and exchange phone numbers to coordinate future pick up. 
  7. Working items in good condition sell.  Damaged, unworking items don’t.  (If you still think an item that is damaged or not functioning is sellable, be sure to note its condition clearly on the item so buyers are aware.)
  8. At the end of the day tidy up and pack your things away.  Recycle as much as possible.
  9. Check out the Glebe Community Association link regarding where you can donate items that didn’t sell.  Donating helps others in need in our community and diverts items from going directly into landfill sites.  
  10. Since 1986 the Great Glebe Garage sale has encouraged vendors to voluntarily donate 10% of their proceeds to the Ottawa Food Bank.  You can find more details here).

Spring is a particularly good time to declutter as many of us feel energized at this time of year with the better weather and warmer temperatures. And most of us already associate this time of year with spring cleaning.  

With the Great Glebe Garage sale just around the corner, there is no better time to let go of those items that are cluttering up your home.   If the thought of doing some decluttering on your own is overwhelming, reach out for some help at

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