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Garage Sale Day: Maximize Your Money!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK nashville's garage sale tips

It’s no wonder National Garage Sale Day is coming up on August 12… It’s the perfect time of year to purge your unneeded belongings! You can clean house before your upcoming move, or just to make your home feel more spacious as the kids start to need their study spaces back. Unfortunately, garage sales often add up to a LOT of prep work with minimal pay off. Here are our top tips to hosting a profitable garage sale:

Time is Money

It’s easy to get bogged down by all the things you COULD do before your sale, such as individually pricing every single item with price stickers or hand making dozens of giant neon signs for the roadways. But some of these planning activities just aren’t worth your time!

When it comes to labeling items, consider the option of only pricing a few big ticket items and leaving the rest without tags. Usually, you have an idea of what each item is worth to you anyway…but you don’t really know what it will be worth to shoppers. If you don’t put a price on anything, you allow the buyer to come to you with a price that may be even higher than what you would have asked. It also gives you room to negotiate. And for small trinkets that will take forever to organize, you can set up a designated “Everything is $1” table at the corner of your sale.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville's tips for hosting a garage saleAlso, don’t waste your time before and during the sale trying to keep your clothing neatly folded as shoppers paw through the piles. Instead, invest in an inexpensive single clothing rack, or tie up some clothing line between two trees in your yard. This system also helps your customers peruse clothing more quickly and feel as if they’re in a store-like atmosphere.

Finally, you can also save some time by purchasing smaller neon posters as opposed to the big ones that require you to fill several square feet of space. Not only are the small posters just as eye-catching, but the larger posters are more difficult to secure and can flap around in the wind so drivers are unable to read them as they pass by.

Have a Party

One way to draw a larger crowd to your sale is by creating a larger sale. Invite your friends to join in your sale with their goods as well, and you’ll look twice as impressive to passersby! Drivers will be more likely to stop when they know they’ll have a wider selection to browse.

You should also keep some upbeat background music on to eliminate the awkward silence that sometimes comes with garage sales. The music will let your shoppers know they’re welcome to browse at a leisurely pace, which gives them more time to fall in love with more of your stuff.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville's tips for hosting a garage saleIt also helps to pull out any leftover party supplies you have from the kids’ last birthdays. Hang some balloons from  your mailbox and porch rail to catch attention, and even hang some streamers around in a festive way. Cover your sales tables with those $1 disposable table cloths to help items stand out from the tables and look more approachable.

Run Your Sale Like a Store

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville's tips for hosting a garage saleAs you set up your sale, think with the mind of a customer. When you go shopping, do you want to dig through piles of random items, or would you rather see items spread across the table neatly? Would you have the patience to kneel down and dig through a box on the ground, or would you prefer to see the contents laid out on a table top?

Try to set up your sales tables in aisles, like you would find at a thrift store. Have each table dedicated to specific categories of items, and order the aisles based on similar categories. For example, if your first table is full of kitchen items, it would make most sense to put bathroom or bedroom items next to it, rather than yard tools and auto parts.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville's tips to a garage saleIn fact, you may want to set the yard tools, auto parts, and electronics of your sale closer to the sidewalk than everything else. Most boyfriends and husbands like to linger in the car or at the sidewalk as their significant others shop. But if you can catch their attention with items they enjoy shopping for, you may be able to double your clientele!

You should also set aside some time to clearly label the sizes of the clothing you sell, and then organize it in order by size and season on your rack. Customers may give up easily if they have to search through clothing that isn’t organized in any fashion, but if they know your system, they can skip to the section they need. If you’re selling accessories and jewelry, set these items up at a table next to the clothing and make sure each piece is easy to see. A pile of mismatched jewelry can be intimidating, but you can use jewelry stands, drawer organizers, or a foam board with pins to create a more visually appealing sales station.

Encourage People to Take, Take, Take

The point of your garage sale is not just to make money, but also to get rid of this stuff you don’t need anymore! There are plenty of ways you can silently push people toward buying more than they originally planned.

First, make sure you have bags on hand. If someone walking their dog stops by your sale, they’re limited in what they can buy without a bag to hold their purchases in. So for a few weeks leading up to your sale, save up your grocery and convenience store bags to re-use with your customers.

You may even want to have a “bag deal,” especially near the end of your sale. Tell your customers that when they pay $5 or $10 for a bag, they can take as many items as they can fit inside of it. This way, your customers feel like they’re getting an awesome deal while you continue to unload the junk.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville's tips for hosting a garage saleNext, remember your big ticket items can make the most money, but only if you can convince someone to go through the hassle of making space in their car to take them off your hands. (Pro Tip: Give us a call to move those belongings for them!) Before the sale begins, make sure you clean those bigger pieces of furniture up nicely so people can picture them in their home without having to mentally peel back the dust and cobwebs first. You can make those items even more enticing by offering to “throw in” something free if a buyer purchases them. For example, if someone agrees to buy your couch, throw in that cozy-looking blanket you’re selling at the home goods table. Or if they want to buy your son’s old bedroom desk, go ahead and throw in the pen organizer for free.

Also, don’t forget to have plenty of every form of change you may need. You don’t want to lose a sale because you ran out of one dollar bills too early! Keep your change in a fanny pack or apron so it’s close to you at all times and easy to access.

Finally, when you only have an hour left in the sale, put up some “50% off EVERYTHING!” signs to really encourage people to take the items they were possibly on the fence about. You may not love the idea of cutting your potential revenue in half, but think about it this way… You won’t make any money if you put those items back in your garage, and you’ll be saving a trip to the thrift store.

When the Sale is Over

Picking up donations to Park CenterWhen everything has ended and you’re trying to figure out what to do with the remaining merchandise on your lawn, check out our list of local non-profit organizations who pick up donations for free! This way, you don’t have to figure out a time and way to get to the other side of town during operating hours of a non-profit who may not even be able to take the items you want to donate.

Is there a specific non-profit you would like to help who isn’t on our list? Give us a call or text at 615-248-6288, and we can give you a free quote to let you know how much it would cost to transport those items with professional movers. No heavy lifting for you!

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Prepping for Garage Sale Season

Prepping for Garage Sale Season with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK

This time of year, many Nashville neighborhoods start planning their community “Garage Sale Days…”  (Heads up Poplar Creek, yours is right around the corner!)  Here are five easy steps you can use to make sure your yard sale bargain-shopper ready:

Choose A Day

If your neighborhood isn’t having a big Garage Sale Day, you’ll first need to decide on dates and times for your garage sale. We suggest a weekend morning… It can be risky to choose a weekday because most shoppers won’t be out looking for garage sales being held outside the traditional Friday or Saturday dates. And starting early in the day is preferable because people will not have to interrupt their daytime plans in order to make your sale. Also, mornings tend to be cooler.

Collect Your Merchandise

Purging with TWO MEN AND A TRUCKGarage sales tend to offer a great way to de-clutter your home. Grab one of our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK boxes and walk through every room. Pick out anything you no longer use (or haven’t used in months) and throw it into the box. Closets, attics, basements, and garages are gold mines for garage sale finds. Don’t underestimate the value of an item; people will often buy anything from old magazines to broken audio receivers, which can be considered vintage or antique collectors’ items. And if you have heavy belongings or furniture pieces to bring out to the curb, consider calling your local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK office to have us do the heavy-lifting for you!

Advertise Your Garage Sale

Traditionally, garage sales are advertised in your local city/county newspaper. Most local papers such as the Hermitage News charge less for ad space than major publications such as The Tennessean, and most homes in the area receive a free copy without having to subscribe. And even in today’s technological age, you can never underestimate the power of a poster board and a Sharpie to promote your sale on the day of. You can include your address or a simple arrow pointing towards your house.

Make Practical Considerations

You’ll need chairs to sit on and a flat surface to display everything you have for sale. Also remember to have change ready—the most common denominations are fives, ones, and quarters. You can ask your local bank for a reusable cash envelope to hold your cash so it’s not lying around outside.

Make the Sale!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK moving a couchBefore you open your garage for business, give yourself some time before the sale begins. Go through your merchandise set-up and place signs to clearly mark categories and prices. Position your chair so you can see people walking up, and be sure to greet everyone. If a potential buyer passes by an item due to practical concerns, such as not having a large enough vehicle to tote the item away, try to be flexible with them. Don’t be afraid to suggest alternative options, such as calling TWO MEN AND A TRUCK movers to bring an available truck for transport or “holding” the item until they can come and pick it up later with a larger car.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK donates to Safe Haven Family ShelterIf you have items left over at the end of your sale, consider donating them to a shelter such as Safe Haven Family Shelter instead of hauling unneeded furniture and belongings back into your home. Many local charities, including Safe Haven and others such as Catholic Charities, offer free TWO MEN AND A TRUCK pick-up of large donations! Check out our list of Nashville non-profits who offer complimentary pick-up services for bulk donations.

Congratulations on hosting a successful garage sale! If you’re selling because you’ll be moving or downsizing soon, give us a call, text, or email for a free quote on your upcoming move.

Give back this holiday season…without even trying!

ways to give back this season without even trying

It may sound cheesy, but we really do our best to live by our slogan of “Movers Who Care”!  Every holiday season, we try to find ways to support the community by doing things we would do anyway…  We know we’re going to decorate Christmas trees and buy gifts for our loved ones, so why not help local non-profits at the same time?  This year, we decided to fill you in on the top five ways we’ll be giving back to those in need so you can get some inspiration for your own holiday activities!

Buy your Christmas tree…and help single moms in need.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK can move your furniture to make room for holiday directionsIt’s pretty much required this time of year to pick out a Christmas tree with your kids, then decorate as a family while you snack on cookies and sing Christmas tunes.  Instead of going out to a normal Christmas tree farm this year, pick out your tree with Nashville Giving Tree!  This awesome non-profit has found a way to make sure 100% of the sales from these trees benefit young, single moms in Nashville who are still working on obtaining their high school diploma.  By working with farmers, trucking companies, and local businesses, every penny goes back to the ones who really need it.

Decorate your tree…and pay for children’s cancer treatments.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK sponsors the St Jude Radiothon on The Big 98One of our favorite non-profit partners is the St Jude Research Hospital, which offers free treatment, free meals, free EVERYTHING to families whose children are suffering from cancer.  We are honored to sponsor their radio-thon every year on the Big 98 radio station.  We also love ordering new Christmas ornaments through their online gift shop!  Not only do the sales of these ornaments benefit their patients, but they were also designed by the children who are being treated at the hospital!

Send holiday cards…and support retired seniors.

Our company is dedicated to supporting Nashville seniors, and we actually partnered with local non-profits and senior communities to develop the county’s very first Senior Sensitivity Training for movers.  One of those non-profits is FiftyForward, and we still do all we can to support their mission of eliminating isolation and depression among retired seniors in Middle Tennessee.  When you’re ready to buy holiday cards to send to your loved ones, consider purchasing handmade cards from the “Card Crusaders” club at the FiftyForward Martin Center!  All profits from card sales go back to the non-profit, and every card is made by their clients.  They even have a holiday card special going on right now, where you can get a discount for purchasing more than 24 cards.

Make your holiday dinner…and earn cash for your favorite local charity.

If you have a Kroger rewards card, you can make sure every grocery run earns money to be donated to the local school, church, or non-profit organization of your choice through their awesome Community Rewards program.  All you have to do is log into your Kroger account online, go to your Account Settings page, and enroll in the Community Rewards on behalf of your preferred organization.  While not every school, church, and local non-profit has chosen to be a partner of Kroger’s program, you can support almost any worthy cause you desire!

Get gifts for the kids…and benefit young hospital patients.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville supports the Monroe Carrel Jr Childrens Hospital at VanderbiltWe absolutely love the local Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, which treats hundreds of thousands of children every year for everything from common colds to cancer.  In fact, we also sponsor their annual radio-thon on The River radio station every year!  This season, when you purchase Kohl’s Cares books and stuffed animals, all profits benefit children being treated at Vanderbilt.  To make sure your purchase benefits our local hospital, be sure to pick up your order from your local Kohl’s store, either through online ordering + in-store pickup or during your next visit to Kohl’s.

Get gifts for your friends…and help low-income families buy homes.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK donated free moves to the Habitat for Humanity Women Build 2015A little known fact about Habitat for Humanity is that they don’t simply give away homes to the homeless–they actually require eligible low-income families to purchase Habitat homes with a zero-interest loan, and only after they complete mandatory financial classes and sweat equity.  We support Habitat by donating free moving services to their largest families in need!  And this holiday season, you can help their families too, by purchasing home goods and decor gifts for your friends at the Habitat ReStore.  The ReStore sells furniture and decor items which were overstocked retail merchandise, slightly damaged retail merchandise, or gently used donations from the community at bargains you can’t resist.  All sales directly benefit the Habitat mission!

Get gifts for that person who has everything…and support volunteerism.

Although many people know they’re passionate about certain causes, such as animal rights or homelessness, it can be difficult to know how to find a good way to get involved.  To help spread awareness about various non-profit opportunities, Doing Good TV documents the efforts and positive change of different volunteer efforts around America.  We love donating free moves to Doing Good, and you can donate to them too this holiday season by purchasing a ZapCard! The ZapCard offers over 3,000 digital coupons (accessible by smartphone) to popular stores such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Macy’s, Hertz, and Walmart.  Perfect for your friend who already owns everything, and over 50% of the sales support Doing Good!

Buy your gifts from Amazon…and donate to your favorite local charity.

Amazon Smile lets you buy Christmas presents while donating part of your purchase to your favorite Nashville charity.Here at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville, we are huge Amazon fans.  If you have an Amazon account that you use regularly, you can have a percentage of every purchase you make benefit the charity of your choice!  Simply go to your Amazon Smile account preferences and set the charity you would like to benefit.  When you’re ready to start filling up your online cart, just make sure you visit smile.amazon.com instead of the normal amazon.com homepage to find the items you want to purchase.

Happy shopping, Nashville!  When you’re ready to haul your tree or new furniture home, be sure to give us a call, text, or email for a free moving quote!

Christmas in July Coat Drive

NOTE: This blog post is about the 2016 coat drive! For info about 2017’s event, please click here.

 

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville is hosting a coat drive to benefit Park Avenue Elementary School!

Happy Summer, everyone!  We’re getting ready to celebrate the season change with our very first Christmas in July party!  We’re extra excited about this event because the party benefits Nashville children in need.

You’re Invited!

We hope you’ll join us as we collect new (or gently-used) coats and sweaters for local children in need!

When:  Saturday, July 23 from 10 am-2 pm

Where:  Thriftsmart, at 4890 Nolensville Road

Everyone who brings a coat or sweater donation will receive a $5 gift card from Thriftsmart and a $50 coupon for our moving services!  Plus we’ll be making fun kid-friendly DIY crafts out of moving boxes and have plenty of drawings, contests, and giveaways.

And if your family loves listening to Mix 92.9 on the radio, you’ll want to stop by during the 11 o’clock hour to hang out with the Mix 92.9 Street Team!  They’ll bring plenty of goodies to add to the party.

Who will receive these coats?

Nashville’s TWO MEN AND A TRUCK works with the PENCIL Foundation to support the lower income students of Park Avenue Elementary School.  Many of these students’ families are unable to afford new coats when their children grow bigger each winter, so we decided to host a coat drive to benefit Park Avenue’s kids!  Every coat and sweater collected at our Christmas in July party will either be given to a Park Avenue student this winter, or will be donated to  local non-profits benefiting the homeless (if the coat/sweater will not fit a child).

Help us spread the word!

You can RSVP for this event and invite your friends on Facebook by clicking here!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville is hosting a Coat Drive to benefit Park Avenue Elementary School!

For more information about Title I schools (like Park Avenue Elementary), click here.  If you have any further questions about the Christmas in July party, please give us a call (or text) at 615-248-6288!

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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!