How to Make a Makeshift Clothes Rack for a Garage Sale

Hanging items off the ground makes it easier for customers to browse.

Hanging items off the ground makes it easier for customers to browse.

Retailers structure their shelving and racks to make shopping as easy as possible for customers. That idea translates to garage sales as well. The harder your customers must work to find the right size of clothes, the less likely they are to spend the time and part with their money. A well-designed clothes rack, even if makeshift, displays the clothes conveniently on hangers, allowing customers to browse quickly and easily with their fingertips.

Place two 6-foot stepladders about 3 feet apart with the bucket-holder extensions facing outward. Remove the head of a mop or broom by unscrewing it or sawing through the broomstick at the end. Lay the broomstick between the stepladders, moving the ladders closer together or farther apart as necessary to fit the broomstick. The broomstick should rest on the step with the bucket holder. Use duct tape to hold it in place, then hang your clothes on the broomstick. One of the advantages of this makeshift clothes rack is that you can use the ladder steps to display other items, such as hats or shoes. If you don't have or can't borrow ladders, use the backs of two tall chairs, such as dining chairs. Stack bricks or phone books on the seats to keep the chairs from falling under the weight of the clothes.

Screw an eye hook into the wood on each side of your garage door opening about five or six feet from the ground. Slide a length of 2-inch-diameter PVC pipe over a clothesline, then tie the clothesline to the eye hooks. The pipe helps keep the clothesline from sagging in the middle and bunching the clothes together. Shorten the pipe if necessary by sawing off one end; if you know the width of your garage opening when you buy the pipe, you can ask the home improvement store staff to make the cut for you at the store for a small fee. Hang your clothes on the hanging rack. If you're not selling long dresses, you might have room for a second clothes line below the first one.

Secure a tension shower rod between two solid surfaces if you have two that are close enough. You can find inexpensive shower rods in lengths up to 6 or 7 feet. You can attach them between two tree trunks or between a porch column and the side of the house, if you have a solid exterior such as brick; don't try this on vinyl siding, as the tension rod can dent the siding. If you have an exterior walk-through door leading out from your garage, open the door and use that space to hang your tension rod. Keep the rod five to six feet off the ground. This type of clothes rack leaves no holes in your garage door frame like the eye hooks do. If you place the top rack at about six feet high, you will have room for a second rack below it, about three feet off the ground.


  • If you have a chain-link fence near your sale area, you can hook the tops of the clothes hangers through the links to display the clothes.

About the Author

Based outside Atlanta, Ga., Shala Munroe has been writing and copy editing since 1995. Beginning her career at newspapers such as the "Marietta Daily Journal" and the "Atlanta Business Chronicle," she most recently worked in communications and management for several nonprofit organizations before purchasing a flower shop in 2006. She earned a BA in communications from Jacksonville State University.

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