How to Host a Socially Distanced Garage Sale
From making masks mandatory to sanitizing tips, three experts share their advice.
Summer may seem like a great time to host a garage sale at your home, but the coronavirus pandemic has made group gatherings a bit more challenging. "Hosting a garage sale during a pandemic can be a great way to purge all the clutter and keep your mood high," says Brandi Radulovich, host of Eternal Harvest Décor on Smart. Healthy. Green. Living. "Luckily, it can be done easily with just a few small changes and proper safety practices in place."
How do you go about hosting a garage sale in the midst of a global pandemic? For starters, Nancy Fire, former HGTV design director and owner of Design Works International, says new protocol needs to be mandated—and followed. "No more than 25 people should be present in the same space at any time, including the person(s) hosting the sale," she explains. "Consider setting up the sale outdoors, instead of in a garage or closed in area, and encourage people not to touch items unless they are ready to buy."
Looking for more tips on how to safely host a garage sale amid COVID-19? We asked a few experts to share their advice, and here's what they had to say.
If you don't make masks mandatory at your garage sale, our experts say you're doing it wrong. "Face masks should be required, and if possible, disposable ones should be available at your garage sale," Fire explains. To avoid any confusion about mandatory masks at your garage sale, Liz Jenkins, NAPO member and owner of a fresh space, suggests making it clear when advertising. "When posting your sale on social media, share the info about your protocols and expectations nicely but firmly," she says.
Create space for social distancing.
In order to ensure that guests remain six feet apart from each other at your garage sale, our experts recommend taking certain steps ahead of time. "Develop a predetermined path through your sale space to help control crowds and maintain social distancing," Radulovich says. "Keep this path in mind when laying out your sale tables to ensure proper social distancing. It's also a good idea to have the path marked for people to follow, consider using sidewalk chalk, or chalk spray paint to accomplish this."
Set up a sanitizing station.
Looking for a foolproof way to make sure that attendees stay safe at your garage sale? Jenkins suggests setting up a sanitizing station. "Set up a sanitizer station with a large container of hand sanitizer, disposable gloves and masks (plus, a trash can for these when people leave if they don't want to take them)," she says. "This is a great task for kids or teens to monitor, since people are less likely to get annoyed if it's a cute kid handing them a mask."
Consider electronic payments.
Since dollar bills are frequently touched and can carry the coronavirus, Radulovich recommends making your garage sale cash-free if possible. "Advertise that you will only be accepting electronic forms of payment such as Paypal or Venmo to minimize contact and germ-spreading," she explains. "If that's not an option for some shoppers, then masks and gloves are imperative, as well as disinfectant to wipe any exchanged money."
Make it an online garage sale.
According to our experts, there's only one way to ensure that your garage sale is 100-percent safe amid COVID-19. "Consider moving your garage sale online," Radulovich says. "One could have a full contactless garage sale where items are pictured, paid for, and then left out on the porch for easy contactless pick-up. Several popular social media platforms have features built in to accomplish this easily."