Monthly Archives: September 2014

Tips for a Successful Moving Sale

Moving can be a rough business for all involved, especially when the homeowners are planning an estate or yard sale before setting out to their new home. Knowing what items will sell and how to price them, which items to simply donate, and when to mark prices down always takes a little research. Advertising is important as well, but if it isn’t done correctly it can actually hurt the sale rather than help it. Here are a few tips to help make sure your moving sale is a success.

The Must-Go Pile

The first step to any successful yard, garage or moving sale is to decide what will actually be up for sale. For furniture and knickknacks, it is a good policy to inspect the item in question thoroughly. If there are cracks, breaks, missing pieces or serious malfunctions, the item is unlikely to draw any interest. Buyers are generally looking for cheap or gently used items. If a long distance move is just around the corner, consider parting with small pieces of furniture that can be easily (and inexpensively) replaced upon arrival at the new home.

Recruit Friends and Family

Once the items that will be for sale have begun to accumulate, reach out to friends and family for help. Yard and estate sales are quite a bit of work, and many hands will make light work. Having trustworthy people around to make sure nothing is stolen or damaged is a good idea, and leaves the owner free to haggle with buyers, take payments, and otherwise supervise the overall sale. Be wary of charging too much for items, however. If the price is too high, the furniture or keepsake may be overlooked and wind up not selling.

Advertise, Advertise, Advertise

For many who spend their weekends moving from yard sale to yard sale, the newspaper, social media sites, advertisement sites and street signs are the main avenues to find when and where a sale is taking place. Be sure to take advantages of everything available to get the word out. Weekends are the best time to plan a yard or estate sale, simply because many people have weekends off. When it comes time for the big day, hang some colorful and attention-grabbing signs in the neighborhood to attract attention to your sale.

Pristine and Presentable

The setup of a yard sale is important. The average shopper is unlikely to stop and look around and give the sale a chance if the first thing visible from the curb is a box of old, outdated junk. Used toys, dated figurines and even boxes of clothes that have been rifled through several times can drive potential customers away.

Be sure that everything is neat and organized, and don’t be afraid to use your helpful volunteers for periodic clean-up and tidying of the merchandise. Find an old clothes rack and keep garments orderly. Arrange knickknacks neatly on a table, each one clearly visible. It might be a good idea to offer refreshments, as well. A bowl of chips or a plate of cookies are usually enticing to shoppers who have been out and about all day.

At the end of the day, remember that it is more important to get rid of these things than it is to turn a big profit. These items are being sold to make room for a move. With friends and family there to help, a solid plan in place for the days leading up to the sale, and a reasonable price on the items, you’re bound to walk away with a little extra cash and a great deal fewer items.

How to Care for Your Art During a Move

Gearing up for and making a move from one home to another is a highly stressful thing, whether the move is just down the street or across the country. Packing up furniture and clothes can be relatively straight forward, but packing up artwork and valuables such as sculptures and photographs can be a little trickier. Is there a proper way to protect them? All too often, movers open up the van or truck to discover that their favorite piece of art has been run through by a wayward box or the lamp pole that used to live in their bedroom. Here are some easy ways to ensure your favorite decorative pieces will survive the big move.

Create an Inventory

The first step to successful packing is to create an inventory of all the valuables of the home, such as artwork, antiques, framed photos and sculptures. Smaller items are quite easily handled, making it possible for the owner to make the necessary preparations for the move. Bigger items, however, may need a more specialized touch. Consider hiring a moving company to help with the packing as well as the transportation. During the inventory process, be sure to have the more valuable pieces appraised and insured. It is better to err on the side of caution, in case an accident should happen and damage occurs.

Framed Artwork

Often considered the easiest kind of art to move, framed artwork can be protected using picture boxes. These boxes, made of cardboard, are flat, adjustable, and come in different sizes. Many movers will place masking or packing tape in an ‘X’ over the glass of a framed piece of artwork or photograph in case something goes awry. If the glass were to break, the tape keeps the broken shards from spilling into the box and becoming a hazard. Corner protectors are the next step, followed by bubble wrap around the entire frame.

Artwork not protected by glass will take some different tender loving care. Because the bubble wrap may react poorly with the paint or ink, be sure to wrap it in unprinted newspaper before applying any plastic to the surface of the painting. Once the bubble wrap is secured, many people opt to add a little extra layer of protection by taping flat pieces of cardboard to the outside to ensure stability. Once those have been added, the artwork is now ready to be boxed up and stored for the move. Be sure to mark these boxes as fragile so others know to handle them with care.

Protecting Sculptures

Artwork is not limited to framed paintings or professional photographs. When preparing sculptures or pottery for a move, the first step is to find a box that is bigger than the item in question. Be sure the box leaves plenty of extra room for padding, as the sculpture or pottery will be wrapped in bubble wrap and newspaper before being placed inside. Seal each layer of wrapping before moving on to the next to give the item some stability. Once the sculpture is in the box, wrapping and all, fill any remaining extra space with packing peanuts or wadded bits of newspaper for some cushioning during the drive. As with the paintings and photographs, place the word “fragile” somewhere in plain view.

With these tips in mind, packing for a move just might be a little less stressful, and instead of focusing time and energy on worry that valued pieces of art and family portraits might not survive the journey, homeowners can transfer that focus to a more productive task. If you’re working with movers, be sure you hire a company who will respect your art and treat it with the care it needs.