Guide to Citywide Garage Sale Days

The start of spring means a lot of things: warmer days, more sunlight, spring cleaning, and Easter. But to some of us, it also means the start of our favorite season: garage sale season!

I’ve always loved garage sales and bargain shopping, but once I became I mom I started loving garage sales even more. Why buy jammies anywhere else when you can get them at a garage sale for less than a dollar? Why buy a brand new toy at Target when someone is selling the same one, only lightly used, for a fraction of the cost? I’m saving money and keeping things out of the landfill, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Garage sales pop up all over the place starting in April and going through the end of summer and early fall, but I’ve found that to have the most efficient shopping day, it’s best to hit up citywide garage sales. That way, you can access the most sales in the smallest area.

Below, for your bargain-hunting pleasure, I’ve listed out all the known citywide garage sale days in Johnson County and the surrounding counties–Linn, Cedar, Muscatine, Washington, Iowa, and Benton. Most cities typically do their garage sale days on the same weekend each year. There are many other citywide garage sale days throughout Iowa that are great to shop at, but this list focuses on the immediate area.

citywide garage sale sales days iowa city cedar rapids

Many of these garage sale days were easy to find due to the crowdsourcing capabilities of Facebook “for sale” groups, as well as the list started on The list can be updated as more sales are found throughout eastern Iowa. Let us know if there are more we should include!

Citywide Garage Sales Near Iowa City

Fourth Weekend of April

Blue Grass – April 22

North English – April 21

Fifth Weekend of April

Van Horne – April 29

West Branch – April 29

Williamsburg – April 28-29

First Weekend of May

Brighton – May 5-6

Coralville – May 6

Ely – May 6

Hiawatha – May 6

Lone Tree – May 6

Marengo – May 6

Norway – May 6

Stanwood – May 6

Swisher – May 6

Tiffin – May 5-7

Walcott – May 5-6

Wellman – May 6

Wilton – May 6

Second Weekend of May

Cedar Rapids – May 13 (sponsored by Dupaco)

Durant – May 13

Fruitland – May 13

Kalona – May 13

Riverside – May 12-13

Urbana – May 12-13

Vinton – May 11-13

Walford – May 13

Washington – May 13

Third Weekend of May

Fairfax – May 20

Hills – May 19-20

Robins – May 19-20

Shellsburg – May 19-21

First Weekend of June

Alburnett – June 2-3

Belle Plaine – June 2-3

Clarence – June 3

Coggon – June 2-3

Solon – June 2-3

University Heights – June 3

West Liberty – June 3

Second Weekend of June

Atkins – June 10

Lowden – June 9-10

Muscatine – June 10

North Liberty – June 8-11

Springville – June 10

Tipton – June 10

Third Weekend of June

Center Point – June 15-17

Mount Vernon/Lisbon – June 17

Fourth Weekend of June

Mechanicsville – June 24

Palo – June 23-25

Second Weekend of July

Conesville – July 8

Fifth Weekend of July

Central City – July 29-30

First Weekend of August

Mount Vernon/Lisbon – August 5

Second Weekend of September

Monticello – Sept 7-9

Third Weekend of September

Blue Grass – Sept 16

Resources to Find Garage Sales

In addition to citywide garage sale days, there are always other garage sales to seek out around town. Some great resources for locating these sales are: Search garage sales by city or zip code or get sale notifications to your inbox only on the days you choose

Gazette Garage Sales: Sign up for weekly garage sale notifications from The Gazette that also include a map of the sales.

Craigslist: Search garage sales listed by date under the “For Sale” section.

Facebook: Join local garage sale pages like Iowa City Garage Sale, which has over 25,000 members.

Newspaper Listings: The classic way of browsing your newspaper’s classified section is still a gold mine for garage sale listings.

Shopping the Sales: Tips and Tricks

Once you have your sales mapped out, you can maximize your day by using these tips and tricks collected from Yard sale queenPopular Mechanics, and ebay:

  • Seek out the garage sales you want to go to and map out your day.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and bring along water and snacks.
  • Come early in the day for better picks and late in the day for better deals.
  • Bring plenty of change and small bills.
  • Buy a larger quantity of items from a seller to get a better deal.
  • Carry measurements and a small tape measurer if you are looking for something a particular size.
  • Bring a sturdy tote along with you and boxes to hold your purchases in the car and newspaper to wrap breakables.
  • Keep a supply of batteries to make sure electronics still work.
  • Double check your items before you leave to make sure they work and the clothes aren’t stained or ripped.
  • Think beyond your immediate needs and shop for things like holiday decorations and future toys for your kids.
  • Keep a list of what you are searching for so that you don’t forget when you see it.
Happy treasure hunting! 


Brigette lives in North Liberty with her husband Brian, energetic daughter Kate (October 2014) and their two cats, Penny and Olive. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Brigette came to Iowa City to attend the journalism school at the University of Iowa, fell in love with the area, and decided she couldn’t leave. After meeting Brian while working at the same Iowa City restaurant in college, they got married in August 2015 in the heart of downtown. She works full time in project management and as an employee of the Core Fitness Kids Club while finishing her MBA at Upper Iowa University. In her free time, she drags Kate out garage sale-ing, tries to keep up with her reading list and runs, lives for Hawkeye football season, enjoys a good meal on a patio, runs her Bachelor/Bachelorette bracket with her family and friends, and of course, chases her daughter around the pool and the park.



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