Make Money While You Move: Selling Used Furniture on Craigslist

The best time to get rid of old stuff you don’t use any more is before you move: no point in paying to haul something you don’t want, right?

For a lot of items, it’s easier to give them away then sell them. Unless you’re planning a yard sale, you’re better off donating old books and clothes.

There’s one important exception: Furniture! A nice couch or dresser can be worth a few bucks. If you can make a sale, you’ll not only get a little extra cash, but you’ll also get somebody else to haul it away!

Craigslist is one of your best options for selling your used furniture, but it’s also a little intimidating if you haven’t used it before. College Muscle Movers have a few tips to help you find a buyer quickly and safely.

This has got to be worth a few bucks, right?
This has got to be worth a few bucks, right?

1. Presentation Matters

If you want to get plenty of responses and sell at a decent price, you need to spend a little time on your ad.

First off, write a detailed description. List the size of the piece, mention any flaws like stains (or say it’s in perfect condition if it is!), and mention any brands that buyers might recognize.

If you’re creative, think of a few other details you can explain to entice buyers and make you as a seller seem like an approachable person. For example, are you selling the comfiest couch you’ve ever sat on? Say so!

Then take a few pictures. Be sure to clean the furniture and choose flattering and useful angles first. You can only put a couple of pictures up with your ad, but you may find that buyers will ask for more, so go ahead and take a few extra to send them.

2. Price To Move

Pricing can be a challenge. It’s amazing what ten dollars more or less can mean for making that sale.

A good rule of thumb is to honestly assess what the LEAST you’re willing to accept would be, and then set the price just a bit higher—say, an extra 10% or so. This means you’ll get a price you’re comfortable with, and if you need to negotiate, you can easily drop the price to sweeten the deal.

If you’re not getting any e-mails, it’s probably because you need to adjust your listing to a lower price. But if you’re getting some bites, you can surprise an interested buyer on the spot if they’ve come to take a look and are still on the fence.

3. Staying Safe

The one major downside about using Craigslist is that you never know who’s going to answer. The sad fact is that creeps and scammers are out there. But the good news is they’re not that hard to avoid if you follow a few rules—and most of the folks you’ll talk to will be pleasant people just like you who want to make an honest deal.

Craigslist will encourage you to list your ad using your e-mail address, but it will be screened so that buyers can contact you without ever knowing your real address. Make use of this service, there’s no need to list your real e-mail or phone number for a crowd of strangers.

Don’t be afraid to screen your responses. Trust your instincts. If you feel like somebody is asking strange questions or anything they say makes you uncomfortable, don’t even respond—just wait for another buyer. Once you’ve find a buyer you think you can trust, that’s a good time to give them a phone number and have a quick conversation to make sure you both feel comfortable meeting each other.

You’re usually going to have to meet in person—it’s not a good idea to make an arrangement to ship items. That might worry you. You’ve got a few options if that’s the case: you can arrange to meet in public first, or you can arrange to have another friend present for the meetup. You can also bring your furniture out to your garage so that you don’t ever have to let the stranger in your house.

Finally, never accept anything except cash. No checks, no wire transfers, none of that. The only exception might be if you’ve agreed to trade items for some reason.

 

Good luck, and make some money out there! And for all that bulky furniture you still want to hold onto, just give the College Muscle Movers a call and we’ll take care of it!

Stressed About Moving? Try These Tips

Are you stressed about moving? Most people are; it takes a lot of planning and effort to move your life across country or even across town.

But we’re not talking about just the stress of physically moving all your possessions to a new location. There’s lots of help you can get for handling those tasks—professional movers, for instance. Dealing with the personal stress that comes with so much change isn’t something a mover can take care of for you. But we can at least give you some helpful moving tips.

It will take a healthy perspective and some personal effort to deal with a major life event like moving. Try these activities to get started on the right track.

Reach Out To Your New Neighbors

Even if you’re just moving a few miles away, you’ll probably find that it’s a little harder to hang out with your usual friends. Everyone you’re used to spending time with is just a bit further away, and your own schedule might be changing as you settle into your new surroundings too.

So put some real energy into making new friends. Besides saying hello to your immediate neighbors, look for local events or organizations you can get involved in. Try a yoga class at that place down on the corner, keep an eye out for casual sports teams at the local park, and go ahead and attend some community organizations—even if you don’t become a regular member, you’ll get to know a few faces that you’ll likely be seeing more of in your new neighborhood.

…And Don’t Forget Your Old Friends, Too

Sure, the distance will have some effect on your old friendships, but they won’t just disappear. Keep in touch and look for chances to hang out even if it’s not as convenient as it was before.

Even before you move, make sure you’re taking the time to enjoy your local buddies and let them know how you’re feeling. It’s not always easy to talk about the stress you’re feeling about a move, but it’s very healthy and your old friends are the best people to talk to. Just sharing stories about previous moves you or they have made can be comforting, and they might even have some insight about your new neighborhood if they’ve lived in town for a while.

Think Positive

Obvious, right? It’s a real cliché, but it’s still good advice: think positive. It’s entirely possible that you aren’t thrilled about the decision to move—maybe you just went through a breakup or don’t love where your job’s transferred you to. But since you are moving, focus on the positive and look for any opportunity to get excited.

On the other hand, don’t take it too far and assume that your move is going to be wonderful in every way. Expect some disappointments, but breeze on past them to the next positive point you can focus on. Maybe the view from your new apartment isn’t so great, but hey, it’s got a garbage disposal and your old place didn’t. That’s pretty cool.

garbage-disposal-300x225
Well, it’s kind of cool, anyway.

 

Explore Your New Neighborhood

One of the best ways to get excited about your move is to really explore your new neighborhood. Go ahead, walk around and get a little lost, take note of all the interesting shops and restaurants you stumble onto. When it’s time to go grocery shopping, really give yourself the time to explore the new store and see if you can find some new items to try that your old store didn’t carry.

Go a little outside of your comfort zone for this one. Maybe the local community center isn’t the kind of place you’d normally hang out, but go ahead and check it out at least once just to see what kind of things are happening around you.

Eat, Sleep, Breathe, Relax

Okay, this might be even MORE obvious than thinking positive, but it’s amazing how often people forget the importance of giving yourself space and time to adjust.

Sure, moving and unpacking is going to keep you busy, but don’t let your schedule rule your life. Take time to settle in. Make a nice meal instead of settling for quick junk food. Get those full eight hours of sleep every night. Take the family out for a movie.

What it boils down to is making sure that you don’t let moving take over your life any more than it has to. There’s a lot more to the process than filling and emptying boxes.

 

Of course filling and emptying boxes is important too, and the College Muscle Movers can help with that. Give us a call and we’ll talk about how we can take away as much of the stress as possible.

 

Image Credit: CAPL

What to Wear When You Move – Shoes, Shirts and More

Packing up your stuff is a big challenge in moving, but it gets easier if you pack up your body properly first. You’ll be moving big heavy objects through awkward spaces, so you want to be able to maneuver gracefully while staying protected.

The College Muscle Movers have some experience in this area—we know how to dress for the job, and we’ve done enough moves to see some of our clients challenged by less-than-ideal fashion choices (just say no to high heels!). Here’s some tips for choosing a moving outfit.

Clothing

The name of the game is comfort—now’s not the time to break in a new pair of skinny jeans.

Regular jeans or workout pants and a simple t-shirt should be all you need (avoid skirts or dresses), just be sure you can comfortably bend your knees. You’ll also want to avoid clothes that are too baggy because you don’t want to get snagged with your hands full.

Also, remember to choose clothes you don’t mind getting damaged. Tears and stains can happen, so expect them.

One other tip: You’ll thank yourself for choosing clothes with deep pockets that you can use to hold not only your usual gear, but also items that can come in handy during moving like screwdrivers for breaking down furniture.

Hair

If you’ve got long hair, forget styling to impress your new neighbors and just tie it back. Just like loose clothes, loose hair can snag at the worst of times, or fall in your face when you’re trying to navigate a tricky corner.

Shoes

There’s no harder-working part of your moving wardrobe than your shoes. Here’s a rundown on your options and the advantages of each.

High-Top Sneakers

It’s hard to beat a solid pair of high-top sneakers for moving: Traction, flexibility, ankle support and protection, they’ve got it all. The shallow treads also mean that you won’t track as much mud, slush and dirt around as you move.

You can't beat these classic kicks.
You can’t beat these classic kicks.

Low-Cut Sneakers

High-Tops are the clear winners, but if your shoe closet only has low-cuts, you’re still in good shape. Take a little more care with your unshielded ankles and avoid stairs and you should be fine.

Work Boots

Work boots seem like the obvious choice, but they’re really more than you need for most moves. Because they’re stiffer for extra protection, they’re a little harder to twist around or move quickly in. The deeper treads are also more likely to track in gunk from outside. But if for some reason you’re moving across tough terrain and you need the extra grip, they’re a good choice—but usually not necessary.

Flip-Flops, Sandals and Crocs

Earlier we joked about moving in high heels, but you might be surprised to hear that some people really do try to move heavy boxes while wearing flip flops.

We strongly advise against this. Moving can involve complex motions like moving backwards down stairs, and flip flops just love to slip out from under you in these situations. It’s too easy to injure yourself or drop your precious possessions.

 

Of course if you do want to make fashion a priority, the solution’s simple: Just call the College Muscle Movers of Minneapolis and you can dress however you like while we take care of the heavy lifting.

 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Tips for Moving with Plants

Moving houseplants and bushes sounds easier than moving a living, breathing animal. And it usually is. But even plants can experience moving-related stress that will damage them. Here are some tips to make sure your plants stay healthy and safe during a move.

First though, you should know that moving plants locally is much simpler than moving them across state lines or national borders. There can be issues related to pest control. Your local Department of Agriculture or Department of Natural Resources can help you get the answers you need if you’re making a long-distance move.

But if you’re moving in Minnesota, and especially the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area, the College Muscle Movers can help.

Plant-Friendly Packing

Have you noticed that when you buy a plant from a nursery, it almost always comes in a simple plastic pot?

This isn’t just to save money: those plastic pots are much harder to break than pottery, so they’re perfect for moves. Make sure you use plastic pots that are about the same size as the original pots.

It’s important to do this reporting well before you move, three weeks is ideal. This gives the plants time to adjust.

Those plastic pots are tougher than they look.
Those plastic pots are tougher than they look.

Pest Control

A move is a great opportunity to clear away any pests and take care of any other little chores to give your plants the best possible start in their new home—instead of bringing along the little creepy crawlies you picked up at your previous residence.

There are many safe, organic options for getting rid of nasty bugs. There are also simple pesticide options, although these should only be attempted with great care.

There’s a lot of great information on both these options from the University of Minnesota. Take a look at their guide to houseplant insect control and choose a method that suits you.

While you’re at it, take the time to prune any dead leaves. This will make the entire plant healthier.

Plants On The Move

Okay, the plants are repotted and refreshed. It’s time to take them for a ride.

First off, you’ll want to water your plants a couple of days before the move and then leave them alone. Too much moisture in the soil can cause problems in hot or cold weather, so be sure to leave time for them to dry out a little.

Now you can start loading them into sturdy cardboard boxes. Place packing paper or foam between the pots, and be sure to poke some holes into the box if you’ll be closing it. For taller plants, you may want to also put a large plastic bag (poke holes in this as well) or a sheet over them to prevent them from scraping off leaves or branches against other items.

If possible, you’ll want to reserve some space in your car rather than the moving truck for delicate plants. Don’t push them into the dark and cold of your trunk; instead, keep them with you, and adjust the temperature in your car to keep them comfortable—for hot weather be sure to park in the shade, and for cold weather keep the heat on because indoor plants can be quickly and seriously damaged by winter temperatures.

Welcome Home

You made it! Your plants should be one of the first items you unload, but you should probably wait another week or so before repotting them after your move—the more time between repottings, the less shock for your plant.

 

Do you have any other questions? Maybe you’ve got a large plant that will be a major challenge to move, or you need help finding the right packing materials? Give the College Muscle Movers a call, and we’ll use our experience to answer your questions.

Image Credit: Pixabay