6 Tips on Downsizing Your Home

6 tips for Downsizing from TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville

Downsizing is often overwhelming as you face the question, How am I going to make decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of?  The task can be especially challenging when you’re walking an older relative or friend through the process, because every item seems to have a story behind it and they may not be excited about the upcoming move.  Here are some practical ways to make downsizing easier:

1. Before you start sorting, measure your new space.

Sorting through your things can be emotional, and you can save yourself some stress by measuring your larger furniture items and the space they would go in your new home.  If your couch won’t fit comfortably into your new living room, you can automatically count it out of the “Keep” category.  While you’re taking measurements in your new home, also take note of places you can add storage.  Where can you add storage and take advantage of unused space between walls?

2. Practice makes perfect!

Even if you’ve measured all of your furniture and know it will fit into your new home, it may not feel as comfortable in practice as the measurements suggest.  Take a large area of your current home and use painters’ tape to mark off the dimensions of each room from your new home.  Then try moving all of your furniture into this marked-off area to test what the actual layout will feel like.  (If you like this idea but don’t want to do all the moving around yourself, our movers can definitely help you with your mock-up scenarios!  We perform in-home moves all the time for interior designers and staging companies.)

Packing and sorting your things3. Ask yourself questions about each item that trips you up.

When you come across an item that you’re having trouble giving up, take a breath and think about why you want to keep it.

  • Do you want this object, or do you feel obligated to keep it?
  • Do you want to keep the item because it’s useful or because it has sentimental value?
  • Have you used this item in the past six months?
  • Did you intend to use the item before you were faced with the decision of giving it away?
  • Did the phrase “just in case” run through your mind?  (As in, “Maybe I should keep it just in case…”)

The answers to these questions can help you determine whether you really want to keep, donate, or throw away the object in question.

4. You don’t have to get rid of everything right away.

Start the sorting process early enough that you can focus on a manageable amount each day.  When you come across a piece that you can’t bear to give away, remember that you have the option of storing it somewhere else for a few months.  Give yourself a deadline, and when that day comes, ask yourself whether you actively missed the item while it was in storage.  If not, you can probably give it away without regret.

5. Give the things in your “Donate” category to an organization you believe in…

The Salvation Army and Goodwill are the two organizations you probably remember first when thinking about donating household items.  However, if you don’t feel an emotional connection to these groups, you should find a cause closer to your heart to make the process of giving away your stored-up treasures feel more fulfilling.  Our favorite local non-profit is Safe Haven Family Shelter because they’re the only homeless shelter in Middle Tennessee that accepts whole families into their program, instead of splitting the family up into separate Men’s, Women’s, and Children’s shelters.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville can move your furniture items.6. …Or, in the interest of time, give your “Donate” items to an organization that offers pick-up services.

Our movers are always happy to bring your donations to your preferred organization, and even to bring your “Throw Away” items to a trash site that you have verified will accept them.  However, some non-profits offer complimentary pick-up services.  For example, Goodwill is glad to take away large amounts of items or furniture from your home.  Additionally, through our partnership with Safe Haven, we are often able to offer free pick-up of your furniture donations to Safe Haven when our schedule allows.

Though downsizing sounds overwhelming at first, starting early and taking the process one step at a time will break up the stress of your move.  Always feel free to give us a call at 615-248-6288 or check out our website if we can offer any help!

7 Completely Amazing Non-Profits to Support on Giving Tuesday

7 Nashville Non Profits to Support on Giving Tuesday

In America, we love our shopping holidays!  We have Black Friday on November 27th, Cyber Monday on November 20th…  But Giving Tuesday on December 1st is the exact opposite of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, because instead of encouraging shopping, it celebrates the wonderful non-profit organizations that serve our community.  Have you decided which organization you’ll support on December 1st?  If not, let us highlight seven of our favorite local non-profit organizations for you!

Packing up donations for Movers for Moms 2015

1. Safe Haven Family Shelter

We first fell in love with Safe Haven’s mission in 2013, and since then, we’ve done all we can to support their great team.  Safe Haven is the only homeless shelter in all of Middle Tennessee that brings entire families into their care, rather than focusing on a specific type of individual such as women, youth, etc.  Their goal is to holistically care for up to ten families at a time while they find a new home to which they can relocate.  The organization provides free counseling, financial classes, health plans, tutors, and other help to the family members while it puts together a housing plan for each family.  Throughout the year, we love providing moving services to the shelter as they need pick-up services for furniture donations and move-in services for the families.  And every year for Mother’s Day, we run our Movers for Moms program to collect Mother’s Day gifts for the shelter’s moms.

Movers for Mutts with Teddy and Fluffy

2. Nashville Humane Association

Here at the office, we’re a bunch of pet-lovers, and we probably talk our pets more often than we talk about our human family members during the workday.  The majority of our movers, salespeople, and managers own rescue animals, and many of them are from the Nashville Humane Association.  This great non-profit works to find “fur-ever” families for homeless dogs and cats in Davidson County, provides healthcare services for these animals, and runs the PPAWS program with the Department of Corrections, Tennessee Prison for Women.  This year, we hosted our first Movers for Mutts program to raise awareness, funds, and wish list donations for the NHA!

Habitat for Humanity Women Build kick-off reception

3. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville

Another great rehousing group in Nashville is the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.  This awesome group doesn’t just provide interest-free loans for new home buyers; it also walks each buyer through Dave Ramsey’s financial planning courses, facilitates an overwhelming support system for buyers’ families, and provides tools for the buyers to be able to lead sustainable lives.  Two Men and a Truck Nashville loves supporting our local Habitat chapter by providing two free moves per month to its families who need help finding moving services.  Additionally, our marketing coordinator, Jenni, serves on one of Habitat Nashville’s Women Build committees, and we provide gifts to the attendees of the annual Women Build Couture Construction event.

We treat the members of Family Forward the way we would treat our grandmothers.

4. FiftyForward

Did you know we’re the only moving company in Middle Tennessee that has a senior sensitivity training program for our moving staff?  The senior population in Middle Tennessee is growing as seniors relocate to Greater Nashville for retirement and as the fields of science and medicine make it possible for us to live longer.  FiftyForward is a non-profit that serves Tennesseans who are 50+ years old by providing community, purpose, and life-long learning to these individuals.  With all kinds of cool programs such as Meals on Wheels, hobby-related classes, and festive annual events, FiftyForward is always looking for volunteers as well as donations!  Jenni, our marketing coordinator, serves on FiftyForward’s “junior board,” FutureForward.

The Tennessee Respite Coalition's new office

5. Tennessee Respite Coalition

Respite is a topic with which many people are unfamiliar, but it basically refers to a temporary period of rest and relief from a specific burden.  The Tennessee Respite Coalition works to bring respite to caregivers across the state.  These caregivers include guardians of special needs children, adults who care full-time for an elderly relative, and anyone else who spends a significant portion of time taking care of an individual who has trouble taking care of him- or herself.  The TRC supports these caregivers by offering vouchers to cover the cost of their respite, providing volunteer companions to seniors to provide time for respite, and providing information about state resources designed to give respite.  Our company helps the TRC in various ways, including providing birthday cards the organization sends to caregivers, donating door prizes to the organization’s special events, and volunteering in different capacities.  Jenni also serves on the TRC’s Marketing Committee.

The sign on the door to Book'em's Reading is Fundamental program room

6. Book’em

There are all kinds of studies that show the benefits of learning to read as a child; literacy makes school, work, and even simple tasks like driving much easier throughout life.  Two Men and a Truck Nashville’s goal is to “Move People Forward,” so we love working with Book’em to encourage excitement about reading among Metro Nashville’s children.  Book’em provides free, brand-new books to at-risk populations of children, including students in low-income areas of Nashville, children of Habitat for Humanity recipients, and many other groups of kids.  We love supporting Book’em by making monthly visits to our assigned class of Metro Nashville first grade students to read to them and distribute free books.

On our way to a move for Doing Good TV

7. Doing Good TV

Local non-profits always appreciate monetary donations, but they also need volunteers to support their activities!  Doing Good TV promotes the spirit of volunteerism by highlighting local volunteers through its short video segments, providing resources to help discover volunteer opportunities you can be passionate about, and giving volunteer ideas to other non-profit organizations that want to better engage their volunteers.  Whenever Doing Good TV has a need to have equipment and other items moved around their office or between projects, we’re happy to donate moving hours to them!

Movers Who Care logo

How to Make a Laptop Desk Out of Used Moving Boxes

How to Make a Laptop Stand Out of Used Moving Boxes

If you went to 12th & Broad’s Punctuate event last month, you probably saw our “Innovate Your Recycling” exhibit!  We featured some of the useful, crafty household items that you can make out of old moving boxes, instead of just throwing those boxes away.  One of those items was this awesome laptop desk for your office!  Here’s how you can make your own DIY laptop desk:

Measurements for the side of the laptop desk

Start with any moving box–I just used a small one.  You’ll want to cut out two of the above figures, plus three narrow strips that will be used to connect them.  If you’d like, you can click on the picture above to magnify it and see my measurements…  However, as long as you use this general shape, you can set your own measurements to fit your laptop.

Pieces needed to make the laptop stand

These are the pieces you should end up with.  Your next step is cutting the slits that will let you connect the pieces together.  The two sides of the stand (the pointy geometric figures) each have three slits–one in the center of the top side, and two near the ends of the bottom.  Each of the three narrow strips should have a slit cut near each end.  Again, you can click my figure above to magnify and see my measurements, but feel free to switch them up to what matches your laptop best.

DIY Laptop Desk made out of used moving boxes

Once you connect the pieces at their slits, this is what you’ll have!  I added a little hot glue to each connecting slit to give some extra stability, but that’s not necessary if you don’t feel like finding a hot glue gun.  Enjoy your new laptop stand!

Getting ready to move soon?  Check out our website for moving information, or give us a call at 615-248-6288 to schedule your move!

Meet Our “Pupbassadors,” Jax and Hersh!

Jax and Hersh are our "pupbassadors" for the Tiny But Mighty Fund!

From November 12-December 12, we’re working with 39 other Pup Partners to see who can raise the most money for the Tiny But Mighty Fund!  At the end of the fundraiser, most of the total donations will be given to the Nashville Humane Association, with $1,000 of the donations going to an animal welfare nonprofit of the winning company’s choice.  As you know, we love the Nashville Humane Association, so we’re hoping to have all of the donations benefit that great organization!

Now, we could plaster pictures of our sweaty movers all over the internet to try to raise money, but goodness knows our movers’ puppies are a whole lot cuter to look at.  So please meet our new “Pupbassadors” for the Tiny But Mighty Fund…  Jax and Hersh!  After a brutal Facebook contest where our office staff’s dogs competed against one another for the Pupbassador title, we ended up having a tie for the most “likes” on Jax and Hersh’s pictures.  Instead of having a run-off election, we decided it would be fitting to have two representatives for our company–after all, we are TWO Men and a Truck Nashville!

Jax and Hersh belong to Donald, our Office Manager.  Although these pooches aren’t biologically related, they are definitely brothers and best buddies!  Donald and his wife adopted Hersh in May 2014 from Nashville’s Metro Animal Care and Control department.  Donald explains, “I got off work early one day and just went over there to see the dogs.  When I saw Hersh, I knew I had to take him home.  I called my wife right away!”

Just five short months later, Donald knew it was time to rescue another homeless pet.  They wanted Hersh to have someone to keep him company during the day and someone he could play with at the dog parks every weekend.  Donald and his wife went to the Nashville Humane Association and experienced “love at first sight” when they saw Jax.  “We had actually already introduced Hersh to about a dozen adoptable dogs, but he wasn’t having any of it,” Donald says.  But fortunately, “as soon as he saw Jax, he ran over and they started playing.”

We’re so glad these two fur babies found their Furrever Family!  Please join us in raising money for the Tiny But Mighty Fund so we can find homes for other homeless pets in our community!  Jax and Hersh may only be 3 feet tall, but they can make a huge impact on animal welfare in Nashville.  Please click here to make any donation amount to help our Pupbassadors prove they are tiny but mighty!

Hersh (left) and Jax (right), TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville's new Pupbassadors

5 Things to Remember When Moving Over the Holidays

5 Things to Remember When Moving Over the Holidays

Even if you didn’t expect to spend your holidays making the move of a lifetime, there are a ton of advantages to moving around Thanksgiving and Christmas…  You can move during your work holidays and avoid using extra vacation days, you won’t have to worry about moving during the heat of the summer, and you’ll have so much more flexibility in scheduling your move because our busiest moving season takes place before the fall!  However, the holiday season can be the busiest time of your year, so you’ll want to keep these five handy tips in mind:

1. Contact your moving company well in advance.

Keep in mind that your movers will also be given some sort of work holiday over the next couple months, so you’ll want to find out about their “off” days before you finalize your moving schedule.  Some companies may also have additional fees on holiday weekends to accommodate their moving staff, and you don’t want to be surprised by these charges.  To avoid having to change your plans later on, you’ll want to call your moving company about a month before you plan to move so you can discuss these details and be sure they know about all of your plans and deadlines.

2. Let everyone know you’re moving.

Another advantage that comes with moving over the holidays is that you can use holiday greeting cards or annual family newsletters to announce your move to relatives and friends.  Spreading the news over social media is definitely exciting, but incorporating an announcement through your traditional Christmas cards can add a seasonal touch.  And while you have mail on your mind, don’t forget to let your post office and other delivery services know about your move in advance.  This way, you won’t miss any important bills or gifts coming in from out-of-town family members.

3. Arrange your packing plans early.

The holidays inevitably bring additional hustle and bustle to your home with vacations, parties, traveling guests, and other holiday traditions.  You may want to go ahead and start thinking about how to keep your non-essentials organized and out of the way of holiday activities.  Start the purging process early, and think about charities that may need your unneeded home goods for their holiday initiatives.  Also decide where you want to keep your items that aren’t used on a daily basis until life starts to quiet down.  Keep in mind that you have the option of renting a storage unit for a couple months so you won’t have to worry about unpacking until after your festivities end in the new year.

4. Consider adjusting your decoration and celebration plans.

For many of us here at Two Men and a Truck Nashville, putting up Christmas decorations around the home is a way that we usher in the holidays with our families.  If you’re the same way, you definitely don’t want to neglect this fun tradition in your home.  However, it may be best to put off the more detail-oriented decorating until after your move has been completed, so you can avoid unnecessary packing and moving delays.  Additionally, you may want to think about going to a friend’s home, or a rented space such as a nearby cabin, for any large dinner celebrations you typically host at home.  This way, you can keep the holiday spirit alive without adding extra stress to your move.

5. Remember what’s important to you this season!

With all the responsibilities that come with moving, coupled with holiday tasks of shopping and entertaining, it can be challenging to remember the joy and spirit that comes with your holiday traditions.  Don’t forget that your usual gift giving, party planning, and decorating are just small details that come with a greater sense of family and celebration this time of year.  Find ways to remind yourself of the spirit of this season when things become stressful–bake some cookies with your spouse, watch a holiday movie with your kids, or take some time to read a favorite story snuggled under a blanket with your dog.  When you keep the bigger picture in mind, all of your smaller move details will fall into place!

Need any help planning your holiday move?  Give us a call at 615-248-6288 or check out our website for all the details about our schedule and pricing.