Consignment Sale Prep 201 – Packing Items

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Over the past two weeks, we’ve discussed preparing your clothes {here} and preparing your other items {here} for the consignment sale.  Good news, we’re almost done.  You’re now ready to pack these items up so that you can get them out of your house carry them to the sale.

You’ll need to take into consideration:
Will you have someone to help you carry items into the sale?
Will you have your young children with you as you carry your items into the sale?

Some sales will have rolling clothes racks that you can use to carry your items from your car into the sale.  At other sales, you will have to carry your items up to the sale the way you brought them from home.  If you do not have the luxury of  rolling clothes racks available at your sale, it’s even more important that you pack your items up well at home.

Before you start, gather as many empty plastic tubs, laundry baskets, boxes with handles (bankers boxes) and large shopping bags with handles as you have.  I use the empty tubs and boxes that I’ve been using to store my consignment sale items in for transport.

2 white boxes

Let’s start with clothing.  If you are going to pick up your unsold items at the end of the sale, you’ll want to identify your items so you can find them more easily.  Remember that we’ve already marked our price tags {here} to help us find our items.

a label in a plastic bag

For clothing, it’s helpful if you flag your hangers, too.  This helps you quickly look down the racks of clothing and identify your items right away.  Some folks paint the hooks of their hangers.  Some folks add a piece of colored tape or a piece of yarn.  The important thing it to choose an unusual color so that it will stand out from the other flagged hangers.

3 hangers with colored tape and yarn on them

Now, go back through your clothing and separate them into piles by gender and then by size.

clothes on hangers

Group each size together with a rubber band or twist tie around the hangers.  This will streamline your process as you check in and hang your clothes out on the racks  If you have too many items to band all the hangers together, separate them by tops and bottoms.  Separate  coats, costumes and holiday outfits into separate groups since these are usually hung on different racks from the rest of the clothes. 

clothes on hangers with twist ties on the hangers

Grouping your clothes together by sizes will streamline your process as you check in and hang your clothes out on the racks (if your sale requires you to do this).  By separating out the coats, Halloween costumes and holiday outfits, you’ll be able to identify those clothes quickly and hang them in the correct area.

Take each bundle of clothes and neatly fold the arms into the center.
clothes on hangers with labels on the clothes
Then fold the legs of pants up neatly and then fold the bundle in half.
pants folded over clothes on hangers
This allows you to neatly fit the bundle into a tub or into a large plastic shopping bag.
plastic bags full of clothes on hangers

Placing the clothing into tubs or shopping bags in this manner, will minimize wrinkles, will keep them from getting dirty during tranport and will make them easier to access when you’re ready to check in at the sale.

puzzles and books in a cardboard box

Place books, puzzles and games together in a tub or box.  These items are usually located near each other at sales.  If you know the layout of your sale, place items together in tubs or bags that will be located near each other.  This will save you extra steps and will expedite your process. 

various electronics in bags and boxes in a gray tub

For example, at my local sale boys’ toys and electronic toys are located near each other, so I’ll place those items together in a tub.

Think about how you’re placing your items in the tubs.  Each item will be inspected as you check in.  Make it easier for yourself and the volunteer checking you in by placing your items so they can be inspected readily.

As you load your tubs check the weight.  Can you carry this tub?  Can you carry the tub AND push your stroller if you’re bringing your children to help you check in?  Do you have an older child helping you?  Are some of the tubs light enough for them to carry?

If you are bringing larger items that have drawers or pieces that will fall open or off as you lug it into the sale, temporarily secure these parts.  You can use bungee cord, rope or masking tape  Buyers will want to inspect and make sure items work so remove the rope or tape once you place the item at the sale.

Check your sale’s website.  Some sales have volunteers or special drop-off areas for large items.  At other sales, you’ll have to carry your large item from the parking lot into the sale area on your own.  Plan ahead and know what to expect and how you’ll deal with it.

Just remember that your goal is to be as prepared as possible so that your check in and drop off goes smoothly.  Take the extra minutes in the comfort of your home to plan and save yourself the headache in the chaos that can be drop-off day.

Next week in Consignment Sale Prep 202, we’ll look at tips on loading your car so that you’ll be all ready for a smooth and easy drop-off day.

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