Archive for the 'Closing and Moving' Category

Sep 02 2009

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Filed under Closing and Moving

Garage SaleIf you are preparing to move, chances are you don’t want to pack and transport any more items than you need. It is often recommended to hold a garage sale in the last few weeks leading up to the move. The tips below will help you with planning your garage sale and ensure success earning you some extra cash for the move while getting rid of all those items you don’t need or use anymore.

 

1.     Plan ahead – Clear a weekend in your schedule for the garage sale and don’t plan anything else. Garage sales are hard work. You will be up late the night before organizing things and up extra early in the morning putting all of your items out for your customers. Depending on how much you sell, cleaning up can be quite a chore too, so give yourself ample time to set up, clean up and recover without having to rush off to a soccer game, basketball practice or a barbecue as soon as your sale is over. Also, check the weather. If the forecast is calling for pleasant weather on the weekend, you’ll certainly have a better turnout than on a rainy day. If bad weather is expected consider postponing the sale until the following weekend.

2.     Try selling online first – If you have valuable items that are garage sale worthy, you might want to try selling them online the week before you have your sale. If they sell online, that’s great, if not you can add them to your sale.

3.     Advertise – If you want a good turnout at your sale, advertise in the local newspaper, post signs in the neighborhood and spread the word to friends and neighbors. Be sure to list larger items in the newspaper ad such as furniture or appliances. If you have children’s toys or clothing, bookshelves, desks, etc. list them in the ad as well. This will draw the attention of parents wanting to save money on necessities or hoping to find good bargains for their kids when the school year begins. If you have a particular collection of something, indicate it in the ad too, catching the attention of hobbyists, collectors, etc.

4.     Involve your kids – Put the kids in charge of cleaning out their own rooms. Help them sort toys, books, clothes, games, etc. If they are having trouble trying to decide what to put in the sale, compromise. For instance, if they have two similar items, let them keep one and sell the other. If they have toys they haven’t played with in quite some time tell them if they sell three in the sale they can have a small portion of the profits to buy something new when you move into your new home. Better yet, let the kids run their own table or stand at the sale. This will motivate them to get rid of more stuff.

5.      Price everything – No one wants to shop at a garage sale if they have to ask what the price is for each item they pick up. Price everything giving people an idea of how much you want for your items.

6.     Welcome early shoppers – People who arrive at your sale early are looking for the best selection at a good price. Sometimes, some of the most expensive items are sold at garage sales well before the opening time of the sale. If your plan is to get rid of as much stuff as possible, and the shopper is willing to pay a fair price, does it really matter what time you sell an item?

7.     Don’t be afraid to haggle – Shoppers are at your sale because they want bargains. If you’re willing to haggle over prices, they are more likely buy more things. The focus of the sale is to get rid of everything, so if someone is willing to buy two boxes of children’s toys instead of one if you drop the price by a buck or two, do it. You’ll get rid of more stuff and they’ll walk away thinking they got a great deal.

8.     Arrange items so they are easy to see – Lay everything out on tables or neatly arrange items in boxes so shoppers don’t have to dig through piles to find things they want. This can be discouraging and sometimes sends shoppers away empty handed. Furthermore, group like items together in a box and sell all the contents for one price. Put 10 children’s books in a box marked $3 instead of marking each book for $0.50. The shopper will keep the items they want and discard the rest. You just got rid of 10 books instead of seven or eight. Or perhaps you have three beach towels you want to get rid of. If a shopper wants to buy two of them, give them the third one free. You just got rid of another item and they got a deal. And if the shopper doesn’t really need the third towel, they can cut it up for cleaning rags.

9.     Make big items visible from the street – Another way to attract shoppers is to place big items near the street so those driving by get curious and decide to stop. Bikes, weightlifting machines, gym equipment and furniture are good items to place near the street that will help draw a crowd, and once shoppers are at your sale they are likely to find something they want to buy.

10.  Invite neighbors to join you for a neighborhood sale – This tactic always attracts more attention if the garage sale is advertised as a neighborhood or block sale. Not only does it increase the number of visitors, but it will counter balance the selection of items you have for sale by offering wider variety. It is especially effective if you only have a small collection of things to sell.

11.  Make plans for the items you can’t sell – Have a plan for all of your leftovers. No one wants to haul boxes of items they want to get rid of back in the house or garage. Instead, make arrangements to drop leftovers off at a local charity, church or school fundraiser, etc. Load your call immediately and drive the leftovers to their destination.

12.  Have enough change – Be sure to have enough change to last the length of your sale. It is suggested to have $80-$100 in bills and $30-$40 in coins.

13.  Think about your needs – A garage sale can seem like it lasts forever, so think about your basic needs. Have a cooler nearby stocked with cold drinks, snacks and sandwiches for you and the kids or other helpers. If you draw a good crowd to your sale, it could be hard to find an opportunity to run to the fridge for a snack. Ask a neighbor, friend, or older child to handle things for a minute or two if you need to run to the restroom or stash some of your profits inside.

14.  Sell cold drinks – Many garage sale shoppers like to visit several sales in one day and start out very early in the morning. A cold drink is appreciated along the way, especially in the summertime. Stock a cooler of cold drinks such as lemonade, soda and juice boxes. Not only will your shoppers be happy to buy a cold drink but it is an easy way to earn some extra cash at your sale. 

 

So, when moving time is drawing near and you are ready to start packing, you can lighten the load by holding a garage sale first. And with these handy tips, there is no doubt your garage sale will be a success.

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Jun 25 2009

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Moving to a New Home? Top Ten Most Forgotten Items

Filed under Closing and Moving

For many people, as soon as they know they are going to move, they begin making a list of all the things they need to do. Contact new schools for the kids, open new bank accounts, change the address with the postal service, pack, etc. The list could go on and on. But often, even the most organized and prepared families might forget to do something important before the move or leave something behind. According to moving research, the list below calls out the most forgotten items when moving. Be sure to add these things to your “to do” list as you prepare to move.

 

Old Keys: If you’ve lived in your home quite a while, chances are there are plenty of spare keys around. Take time to collect all of them from friends, family members, your neighbor and that secret hiding place in the backyard. Leave them for the new residents to use until they have a chance to change the locks.

 

Records: Take some time to obtain copies of your family’s medical records. Don’t leave any one out – your family physician, pediatrician, dentist and so on. If you’ve already selected doctors in you new neighborhood, ask the office assistants to transfer or send the records to the new medical offices. This way they can’t get mixed up in all the other paper work during the move. You might also consider having your prescriptions transferred in advance to a pharmacy near your new home. Be sure to remember your pets and veterinary records too.

 

Also, be sure to get copies of your child’s school records. You will need them when you register your child at his or her new school. You might even ask the school to forward the records to the new one.

 

New Address: Keep your new address and phone number handy. You’ll be giving it out to everyone from the doctor’s office and school to the post office and credit card companies not to mention friends and family members. Don’t forget to notify other companies that send mail regularly, such as your favorite magazine, and take time to change your address with the postal service.

 

Find Your Buried Treasure: Collect any valuables you may have hidden around your home. Carry valuable items, such as a coin collection or jewelry, with you when you travel or put them in a safe deposit box until later instead of packing them in the moving van. 

 

Retrieve, Return and Pass On: Spend some time gathering up all the things that are yours that may not be at your house like the hedge trimmer your neighbor barrowed, the shirts you left at the cleaners, the watch that is being repaired and anything else that is being stored or repaired elsewhere. Also, return anything that is not yours. Return movie rentals. Drop off library books. Return tools you’ve barrowed from friends. Finally, if you have any responsibilities in the neighborhood, like helping at soccer practice or serving on a committee for your child’s school or the neighborhood recycling team, pass them on to others.

 

Phone Numbers: Pack the phone books at your current residence. Chances are you’ll need to tie up loose ends for something or another and won’t have the phone numbers you need. Save yourself some time and hassle by taking the phone books with you.

 

Plants and Pets: Most moving companies cannot or will not transport plants or animals. Make arrangements in advance for their safe transfer to your new home. If you will be traveling quite a distance, take time to locate hotels along your route that welcome pets.

 

Clean Up: Keep cleaning supplies out so you can clean your house after everything is out. Use the half empty bottles of cleaner and other partially used supplies so you can simply throw them away before you leave. Or if you prefer, make arrangements with a cleaning service to handle the dirty work for you.

 

Family Funds: If possible, open a checking account in your new town a few weeks before you move. This way you will have cash on hand and immediate access to your funds especially if unexpected expenses arise. Be aware that some businesses will not accept “out of town” checks. Also, be sure to have sufficient cash with you and your credit cards. You never know what you might have to purchase during your move.

 

Garage Opener: Before you back out of the driveway for the last time, remove your garage door opener. You won’t need it anymore, and it will come in handy for the new residents.

 

With a little planning and extra effort, these commonly forgotten items won’t cause you a bit of trouble when moving day arrives.

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May 28 2009

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

5 Tips for a Stress Free Move

Filed under Closing and Moving

Moving into your new home can be an overwhelming task. From the old home to the new home with boxes, movers, furniture and new rooms to worry about, it can be quite a challenge to pack your things and keep track of what is transitioning from one place to another. However with careful organization and preparation, your move can be less stressful than you think.

 

Planning and Strategy

Begin by making a list well in advance of all the things you need to take care of before your move such as collecting boxes and packing materials to having a garage sale or dropping unwanted items off at a local charity. Tie up loose ends and personal business at the bank, doctor’s office, etc. Clarify the moving schedule, especially if you have a long trip ahead of you. Finalize with the moving company how things will be/should be packed. Organize your belongings by rooms, clearly marking each box. Leave possessions in their rooms so nothing gets mixed up with the movers begin packing the truck.

 

Organize and Pack

Being as organized as possible is the key to packing your belongings. Begin by sorting the things you plan to get rid of and the things that will be going to your new house. Separate items into four categories:

  • Toss
  • Give away
  • Garage sale
  • Keep

Your toss items should be tossed in the trash as soon as you are certain you do not want to keep them and no one else can use them. There is no sense in keeping this stuff around when it will only be in your way. Hold a garage sale as soon as possible and sell as many items as you can that you will not need in your new home. Put the leftovers in your give away pile and deliver the items to local charities, churches or any group that can use them right away. Finally, pack all the items that are going to the new place and clearly label the boxes with the room it should be delivered to in the new house and the contents inside. When you have to find something later, you’ll appreciate that you took the time to label the boxes correctly.

 

Skip Storage

 If at all possible, avoid putting things in storage, especially a storage facility associated with the moving company. Do your best to ensure all of the items you move to the new house are ready for immediate move-in. Sending your belongings to the mover’s storage facility incurs extra costs, increases the chances of losing boxes and causes a hassle later when it is time to retrieve your items. If you absolutely must put some of your items in storage, consider a storage unit that you can rent personally. But before you do, consider the fact that you will have to move your belongings twice, once to the storage unit and once to your home. Who wants to move things twice?

 

Plan Your Route

Unless you are only moving a few minutes away, this step is important. The farther you move from your present home, the more time and effort it will take to move. So, plan your route ahead of time. Traveling with pets or small children can present a few more challenges than traveling alone. Map out kid-friendly/pet-friendly hotels, locate restaurants your family likes and determine a few stops for mini-breaks along your route. Decide what time you will leave and how long the trip will take. Allow plenty of time. You definitely need to arrive at your new home before the movers get there.

 

Relax and Smile

No matter how prepared you are to move, something is sure not to go according to plan. Just relax and take it in stride. Work around the unplanned event or unexpected surprise in the best way you can. Don’t waste your energy on over-reacting. You need all your energy for moving. Relax, smile and look forward to stepping inside your brand new home when you arrive.

 

While you can’t plan for everything or prevent every problem from happening during a move, you can reduce your stress with these handy hints.

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