If the country’s poor economy is affecting your pocket book, then you may consider other ways to earn a little extra cash. For example, a yard sale will help de-clutter your home while improving your personal finances. In fact, a neighborhood yard sale will help your community and tempt more customers into buying merchandise from your yard.

When organizing a neighborhood yard sale, you will need to hold a meeting to select the date and gain the cooperation of your neighbors. Be sure to invite everyone living on your street or block by placing an invitation with the meeting date and time in their mailboxes or taped to their doors. On your invitation, you should advise your neighbors that you wish to discuss a community yard sale. With detailed meeting information, your neighbors will be able to decide if they wish to participate beforehand.

During your meeting, you can pass out assignments for tasks that must be completed before the date of your yard sale such as collecting tables, chairs and advertising materials. Also, attempt to choose a warm, sunny day for the event since you will most likely receive more shoppers during pleasant temperatures. You should choose a weekend for your yard sale. With a weekend date, more of your neighbors will be free to participate, and a larger number of people will be out searching for bargains.

Once you’ve selected a date, choose the length of time that you will be holding your yard sale. In most cases, you’ll want to start around 8 am or 9 am and stop selling around 2 pm or 3 pm. If you intend to advertise the yard sale in your local newspaper or penny advertisement, then you’ll need at least a week before the date of your yard sale for the paper to print the notice. You may consider placing another ad in the paper for the day of the event as some shoppers check the newspapers before they depart on their bargain search.

A few days before the date of your neighborhood yard sale, hang signs and posters to advertise the upcoming event. If your neighborhood is set away from a main road, then you can park a few cars on nearby busy streets with bright colored signs in the back windows to advertise the sale’s location. You should review your city’s ordinances regarding yard sale signs before hanging them. Remember to remove all of your signs after the yard sale is over.

You and your neighbors will need to prepare a few days before the yard sale date. It’s a good idea to mark prices ahead of time and have items set up the night before the event. When the yard sale day dawns, you’ll want to be up bright and early to get the yard sale ready for early morning shoppers.

You and your neighbors will need to have cash boxes prepared in order to make change. You may consider having $100 in small bills and coins. Be sure to gather a large number of plastic grocery bags for your customers to easily transport their new merchandise home. You may give one or two neighbors the job of traffic control as you won’t want your neighborhood to become overly crowded with cars, which can create a dangerous driving and walking situation. Traffic control can include stop signs, crossing guards and no parking zones.

If your neighborhood is full of young children, then consider giving them the task of selling cold water, popsicles and goodies. You’ll appreciate the lessons a yard sale can give your children such as team work, the value of hard-earned cash and innovation.

Talk to your neighbors about donating unsold items to a local charity such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill. You may also consider donating a portion of your profits to charity. After your yard sale has ended, you’ll surely have made a few extra dollars along with new friends who just happen to be your neighbors.