8 minute read

How to Host a Pandemic-Safe Garage Sale

garage sale

As the weather warms up, and with COVID-19 vaccinations happening across the nation, many people are looking forward to resuming some favorite summer activities — including attending and hosting garage sales. If you’ve cleared out some of your old belongings, hosting a garage sale could be a nice way to make some extra cash. However, due to COVID-19, you’ll want to make sure you take some extra steps when preparing for your event to make sure it’s safe for any potential customers who swing by. Even if all of your customers are vaccinated, precautions are still recommended.

Make Masks a Must

The facts speak for themselves: Wearing a mask — combined with frequent hand-washing and social distancing — helps slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. And while many of the people who come to your yard sale may be vaccinated, they still owe it to all of the others around them to wear a mask. Let possible attendees know up-front that wearing a mask is required to shop at your garage sale. If you publicize your event on social media or put up signs in your neighborhood, make it clear that masks must be worn the entire time while browsing your garage sale. 

Of course, you’ll want to have your mask on to set a good example — and be sure to provide masks for any friends and family members who are helping out. Our Nice 'N CLEAN® triple-ply cotton face masks are lightweight, soft, and machine-washable [1]. Most importantly, these masks meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mask guidelines so you know your helpers will be better protected. They’re available in adult and child sizes so they provide a comfortable fit for even the “junior salespeople” at your garage sale!

Create a Sanitizing Table

As we gradually move toward business as usual, you’ll notice that everywhere you go — libraries, supermarkets, restaurants, shopping malls — businesses are welcoming us with the opportunity to clean our hands with wet wipes, slip on a pair of latex gloves, or put on a disposable mask once we enter. 

This makes good business sense for your tag sale, too. This way, visitors can protect themselves before they start browsing your items! At the end of the driveway or another convenient location by your sale’s entrance, set up a sanitizing table with a stack of disposable paper masks, a box of disposable gloves, and lots of Nice 'N CLEAN® SANI-HANDS® Antibacterial Hand Wipes, which kill and remove 99.9% of bacteria [2] on hands. Hypoallergenic and infused with aloe and vitamin E, our hand wipes are more effective than gel sanitizers because they also wipe away dirt and grime. Be sure to put out a large trash can next to your sanitizing station so shoppers have a place to throw away their used hand wipes, masks, and gloves. 


ALSO READ: Tips for Cleaning Your Entire House with Wet Wipes


Set Up Your Sale to Encourage Social Distancing

You’re probably wondering, “How do I manage a garage sale so that everyone has six feet of social distancing space?” We wondered that, too. 

According to Brandi Radulovich — whose YouTube channel, Eternal Harvest Décor, deals with all things DIY — the key is creating a layout ahead of time to ‘guide’ attendees from start to finish, instead of allowing them to wander aimlessly from table to table and item to item. 

Think of it like the line at a wedding reception buffet — they are carefully set up to make sure guests can avail themselves of everything being offered, instead of forming a stampede for the carving station while the veggies grow cold. By ‘herding’ yard sale shoppers through, you’ll ensure everyone sees everything available for purchase while helping them maintain some space between each other. 

“Keep this path in mind when laying out your sale tables to ensure proper social distancing,” Radulovich recommends. “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.”

Keep in mind, though, that most shoppers will want to pick items up and examine them. Be sure to clean and disinfect your items often during the sale. We recommend using a disinfecting wipe like Nice 'N CLEAN® Disinfecting Wipes, which are proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria [3] and viruses [4], including the COVID-19 virusɸ in 3 minutes. Be sure to wipe each item individually to avoid cross-contamination, and throw the wipe away in the trash after use. By doing so, you’ll help protect all your customers (and helpers) from the spread of viruses and bacteria, while also keeping each item looking its sparkling best until you make that sale! 

Don’t Have a Garage? Try a Virtual Sale!

Maybe you’re an apartment dweller and don’t have your own yard to host a yard sale. Or maybe you’re just not ready to have so many people around all at once. Never fear, the Internet is here! 

According to Realtor.com’s Kimberly Dawn Neumann in her online article, “How to Host a Virtual Garage Sale During a Pandemic,” taking advantage of free websites like Craigslist, OfferUp, and Facebook Marketplace — as well as tried-and-true selling sites like eBay and Amazon Marketplace — will not only help you get rid of your clutter, but also reach a wider audience, which can translate into higher profits. 

When you think about it, real-time, in-person yard sales are a bit of a gamble for the seller. You may be competing with other yard sales in the area. The weather may turn on you. And your potential buyers are a very small, local population to begin with. When it comes to price, this scenario doesn’t leave you much wiggle room. However, with an online yard sale, you are casting a much wider net for potential customers — and your item might be so popular it incites a bidding war, driving up the price of your potential sale.

Here again, Neumann stresses the importance of taking COVID-19 precautions. She suggests making it clear in your product descriptions that the item will be disinfected using products like Nice 'N CLEAN® Disinfecting Wipes, and will be sent to the buyer with minimal handling to minimize potential exposure. “Taking these steps will increase the salability of your items and help keep you and your purchasers safe,” Neumann points out.

ALSO READ: How to Clean and Disinfect Toys Safely


Out of the Garage and Into the Light!

After a year of staring at your four walls — and all your belongings — cleaning out your closets and selling off your still-good items is a great way to reduce, reuse, recycle, and take that tentative step to re-acclimating to a life beyond quarantine. Just be sure to follow the CDC’s best practices to keep yourself and your customers safe. When it comes to how to have a garage sale during a pandemic, the key is to keep everything nice and clean (see what we did there?)

You can purchase Nice 'N CLEAN® Disinfecting Wipes at Costco warehouses nationwide.


[1] Machine wash cold. Wash before first use and after each use. Lay flat to dry. 
Note: Children masks are not intended for children under age 4.
Disclaimer: Manufacturer and Custom Ink, LLC make no warranties, either express or implied, that the mask prevents infection or the transmission of viruses or diseases.
[2] Kills 99.9% of the most common household bacteria.
[3] Effective against Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella enterica (Salmonella), Staphylococcus aureus (Staph), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria), Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep), Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
[4] Effective against common cold virus caused by Coronavirus and common flu virus caused by Influenza A H3N2 Virus
ɸKills SARS-CoV-2 on hard, nonporous surfaces in 3 minutes



  1. https://abcnews.go.com/Health/half-americans-18-received-vaccine-shot-cdc/story?id=77151708 

  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-mask/art-20485449 

  3. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html 

  4. https://www.youtube.com/c/EternalHarvestDecor/about 

  5. https://www.marthastewart.com/7849075/how-host-garage-sale-social-distancing-coronavirus-covid-19 

  6. https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/how-to-host-a-virtual-garage-sale/ 

  7. https://www.marketplace.org/2020/05/25/what-will-yard-sales-look-like-covid19/ 

  8. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/social-distancing.html

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