I love garage sales!
I prefer to go to them rather than host them, but I've done both enough times that I've learned some things and hopefully you will to. Frequently, when I go to one I find myself critiquing what the host did well or not so well; and how they could have sold more to me or made it safer.
Let's start with safety.
1. Designate A Parking Area - If you have a yard it is safer to have your guests park in the yard than on the street. If you have room to allow a turn-around spot that's even better! I went to one recently where the hosts had ropes and signs and one of them greeted the cars and helped with turning around. Of course, if you have no yard, then your guests must use the street and you should follow the next ideas.
2. Balloons - Tie them at the your driveway or on your mailbox. I can't tell you how many times I've driven past and slammed on the brakes. Safely of course! People are looking for your sale and it is a hazard so mark your house so they can be safer drivers.
3. Post Warning Signs - I've been seeing this more and more. Yay! This is probably the safest thing you can do as a host. Place signs about 1/10th of a mile before your house and in both directions. This gives both the sale-seekers and non-stoppers plenty of notice so everyone can slow down. And please use BIG signs. BIG SIGNS, not those little 5x8 signs.
4. Move Your Cars - Again, I can't tell you the times I've driven past looking for the address and gone right by because I couldn't see the sale. The items were all inside the garage, which is ok, but their cars were still in the driveway so you couldn't see the sale. If you must park in your driveway, park your cars to one side one behind the other so the rest of the driveway is open. Then use balloons & warning signs to mark your sale.
5. Contact Your Neighbors - This is the respectful thing to do. A few days prior or even before you place your ad in the newspaper, talk to you neighbors so they can plan. Who knows, they may have an event planned as well and you'll need to work together for safe traffic flow. Also, you may find that several neighbors want to have a sale as well and so you can offer to say "multi-family sale" and they can help pay for the ad.
We have several more months of garage sale-ing (yes, that IS a word!)
so plan and be safe!
Did I miss anything?
If you have more safety ideas please let me know so we're all safe hosts.