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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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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!

Non-Profits that Pick Up Donations for Free

6 local non-profits that pick up your bulk donations for you

Many families who are getting ready to move decide to use their relocation as an opportunity to purge all of their unneeded and outdated belongings.  We’re often asked by our customers if we can make an extra stop to a local non-profit or a waste facility before bringing the rest of their items to their new home.  And while we absolutely don’t mind adding a Point C to the moving day, we also know that scheduling that extra stop can be a pain.  Most Nashville charities require you to schedule an appointment to drop off a massive donation (or even just a few furniture pieces), and most waste facilities do not appreciate or allow free junk drop-offs.

To help your family get rid of these items on your timetable, and to support Nashville non-profits who could use your donations, we decided to compile a list of our favorite charities that offer free pick-up of bulk donations!

1. Safe Haven Family Shelter

Every year, we host a Movers for Moms charity drive benefiting the moms at Safe Haven Family ShelterWe LOVE Safe Haven!  (In fact, we love them so much, we host a giant charity drive called Movers for Moms for them every spring leading up to Mother’s Day.)  Safe Haven is the only family homeless shelter in Middle Tennessee; the other homeless shelters are unfortunately unequipped to accept whole families, and must separate them into Men’s and Women’s & Children’s shelters when they arrive.  Not only does Safe Haven work to find these families new and affordable housing, but this organization also provides assistance in finding employment for the parents, tutoring for the children, counseling services, financial training from the Dave Ramsey program, and basic furniture when the families are ready to move into new housing, all at no cost to the homeless families who enter the shelter.

2. Habitat for Humanity ReStore

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK donates free moving services to families in need with Habitat for HumanityHabitat is another great partner of ours.  While most believe that Habitat for Humanity provides free houses to deserving homeless families, the organization actually provides a zero-interest loan for the families to purchase houses built by Habitat volunteers.  The families are also required to have employment, have adequate earnings to make house payments, go through financial training courses, and participate in the building process before being able to own one of the homes.  The ReStore is a thrift store operated by Habitat volunteers, and all profits support Habitat for Humanity of Middle Tennessee.

3. Catholic Charities of Tennessee

Many of our managers and employees are Catholic, and we love being able to support Catholic Charities’ many amazing local programs that help those in need in Nashville.  While we will often transport donations for Catholic Charities by appointment, they also complete pick-ups every Wednesday morning at no cost!

 

Christmas in July Coat Drive4. ThriftSmart

Our first time working with ThriftSmart was this past July during our Christmas in July Coat Drive!  ThriftSmart is another thrift store, but they sell all types of goods outside of just the furniture and home decor accepted by the ReStore.  All of ThriftSmart’s profits are donated to support Nashville-based charities.  The supported non-profit organizations serve a range of needs, from training Christian leaders in Africa to bringing healthcare to Belize to providing various resources to Middle Tennessee kids in need.  You can find a list of the organizations supported by ThriftSmart here.

5. The Arc Davidson County & Greater Nashville

family7As huge proponents of education in Davidson County, we also appreciate The Arc’s work in our community.  The Arc’s mission is to provide support and advocate for those who suffer from intellectual and developmental disabilities.  We especially love that The Arc works with Metro Nashville Public Schools to provide education of soft skills to students suffering from educational disabilities.

6. World Relief Nashville

This refugee support organization provides invaluable support of families who have escaped hardship in other countries by coming to Nashville.  World Relief provides housing placement, employment services, and youth programs to help refugee families settle as quickly and seamlessly as possible in the Greater Nashville area.

office47. Goodwill of Middle Tennessee

While most people are aware of Goodwill’s thrift stores, fewer know about the Goodwill’s mission as a non-profit organization.  All of the thrift stores’ profits support Goodwill’s Career Solutions Centers, which strive to find employment opportunities for anyone facing barriers to the workforce.  These job applicants could have language barriers, physical or mental disabilities, criminal records, or simply need assistance finding job opportunities and learning job skills.

If none of these non-profit organizations seem to fit your philanthropic goals, or if you have some items to give away that aren’t usable to the organizations listed above, please give us a call!  We would love to help you with any moving needs that come up, including disposal and recycling of items you don’t need anymore.  For further information, please visit our website or give us a call or text at 615-248-6288!

Why We Support Habitat for Humanity: Adrienne’s Story

Moving Adrienne into her new Habitat for Humanity home

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville, our slogan is Moving People Forward–and not just in the literal sense!  We love supporting local non-profits that work to put Nashville families into safe homes and positions where they can succeed.  One of our most well-known non-profit partners that does an awesome job at accomplishing this goal is the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville.

Nearly everyone knows Habitat for Humanity as the organization that builds homes for deserving families in need, but we’ve been able to learn so much more about the ins and outs of their work by getting to know some of their partner families.  Today we want to share the story of Adrienne, the latest Habitat mom we were just able to move in to her new home.

Justin moving Adrienne into her new Habitat for Humanity homeAdrienne is currently a certified nursing assistant with St. Thomas Hospital, and she loves “helping others, and…helping to make the day as calm as possible.”  She lives with one of her daughters, who she says gave her a “new drive to better [themselves].”  Before working with Habitat for Humanity, Adrienne was already on the path to buying a new condominium home for her family.  Their duplex didn’t feel safe (it had been broken into two years prior), and they had been living with mold and ants.  Fortunately, one of Adrienne’s coworkers who had built her home with Habitat invited Adrienne to see her house, and suggested that she apply for the building program as well.  Adrienne says, “Terri showed me her house and it was so cute!  And she showed me all the nice things that Habitat did for her.”

After applying to become a part of the Habitat program, the Habitat staff reviews each family’s story to ensure they’re on the path to financial success.  Once Adrienne’s family was accepted into the program, the team walked her through the plan for her house build.  Adrienne went through Habitat’s HomeWORKS home ownership and financial education classes, saved the money needed for her closing costs on the house, and actually helped build her own new house on the build site!

After all of her hard work with Habitat, providing charitable moving services for Adrienne was the least we could do to reward her at the end of her journey!  Adrienne says she’s the most excited about planting her own flowers at her new house.  We wish her family all the best in their new home, and we can’t wait to meet the next Habitat family we’ll have the opportunity to move.

Adrienne moving into her new Habitat for Humanity home

Book’em: Teaching Our Children to Read

Thank You pictures from the class

When people first find out that Two Men and a Truck’s mantra is “Moving People Forward,” they don’t usually realize how seriously we take that phrase.  As a company, we are of course dedicated to providing the highest level of customer service that we can when families decide to use our moving services.  But we also are very committed to “moving people forward” in our community–from the families of Safe Haven and Habitat for Humanity who are moving into new homes, to the homeless pets at the Nashville Humane Association who need forever families, all the way down to elementary school children who need encouragement on their path to learning to read.

Some of the books Jenni brought to her Book'em class.

That’s right:  Movers care about Nashville’s literacy rate!  We know children need to get excited about reading at an early age so they can be set up for success in their high school career, and long-term with their adult careers.  So our marketer, Jenni, has just become the newest volunteer at the local non-profit Book’em!  Once a month, Jenni will be visiting a low-income first grade class in a metro Nashville public school through Book’em’s “Reading is Fundamental” program.  With each visit, she’ll read to the students and provide them each with a new, free book to bring home.

Jenni visited her class for the first time last week, and she had a blast!  “I was so impressed by the kids’ behavior,” she said afterward.  “They were all such good listeners, and they all wanted to participate when I asked them questions during the stories.”

Jenni decided to bring two picture books about moving with her during her first visit to read to the kids: Alexander, Who’s Not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going to Move by Judith Viorst and A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle.  “I wanted them to be able to understand what my company does every day when we help families move to new homes,” she explained.  “When I asked them if any of them had moved, there was only one girl who didn’t raise her hand.  It was great because we were able to talk through all the negative and positive feelings that come along with moving to a new place.”

The Village Garage

In addition to the two books about moving, Jenni also brought The Village Garage by G. Brian Karas.  “Their teacher told me the kids were currently learning about autumn, and The Village Garage was great about explaining the different types of trucks that work in the city during the different seasons.  It was awesome hearing them guess which trucks would be coming up in the next parts of the story,” she said.

Jenni had an awesome time meeting her assigned Book’em class, and she can’t wait to see them again in November.  If you’re interested in volunteering with Book’em as well, or if you have some gently used children’s books at home to donate to Book’em’s distribution to underprivileged Nashvillians, check out Book’em’s website to find out how to get involved!