4 tips for a stress free move to a new city

Moving to a new city where you don’t know anyone can be scary, but at the same time, exhilarating. Face it, not everyone gets a chance to start afresh in life, without baggage from your past. Here are a few tips to make your move to a new city all the more thrilling and less stressful.

Be brave

In the initial days, there may be times when you wish you were back home among familiar faTMAAT358-2258095496-Oces, where you knew everyone and everyone knew you. You may also feel perilously close to a breakdown at times, with all the moving and trying to settle into a new life and most often, a new job. Relax; it’s only normal to be afraid of all the changes going on in your life. If you feel like getting down on the kitchen floor and sobbing your heart away, do it. It’ll make you feel better. But instead of always thinking about how easy life was in your old city, try embracing the differences in your new life wholeheartedly. Instead of waiting for others to welcome you into the fold, take the initiative and extend a friendly hand. Invite your new neighbors over for a cup of coffee. A positive attitude brings about warmth and happiness in you and in people around you. Whatever you do, give yourself some time to acclimate to your new life. Don’t take any decision in haste.

Use technology

These days, you can find out which are the most happening places in your new city in less than five minutes with the help of technology. Google Maps, Yelp, and AroundMe are great for finding the best restaurants, the most popular malls and multiplexes, coffee shops etc. in your locality. If you are looking for handymen or contractors to fix up your new home, you can try the site Porch. Want to find people who share your same likes and interests? Use Meetup.

Get out and get going

Whatever you do, resist the urge to dive under the covers and spend the entire day at home, watching reruns of old movies on television. Walking is the best way to get to know a new neighborhood. It helps you get a feel of the place and the people, something hard to figure out from the isolation of a vehicle. Just make sure you are carrying a map with you so you don’t get lost. Find out where people hang out in your locality and go there. Strike up conversations with people you find interesting. Volunteer at charities that are important to you. If someone invites you to a party, don’t refuse thinking you hardly know anyone.

Take up new hobbies or revive old ones

Since you are starting your life all over again, it’s a great time to take up new hobbies or even, revive old ones. Set aside a few minutes every day to do something you enjoy. If you are fond of reading, but never used to get time at your old place, join a good library or book club in your new locality.

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Kurt Jacobson is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes about rental homes for www.rentfinder.co.

A mother’s influence and never ending love

Written by Dawn Kroeger

In celebration of Mother’s Day and support of moms who work outside the home, I’ve come up with five simple tips to simplify and improve quality of life for you and your family.

  1. Hire a cleaning person to keep your home in tip-top shape, but not one that requires you actually pick up the house before they come and clean
  2. Hire a full-time nanny to help out, especially at dreaded bath and bed time
  3. Have all food delivered by a grocery service and make sure it is healthy and balanced – NO TRANSFAT!
  4. Sign up for one of those online style services that just sends you clothes that match your personality
  5. Hire a trainer to come and shake you out of bed at 4:30 a.m. and drive you to the gym

Excellent. Once those items are complete, your life will be smooth sailing and stress-free. Oh, wait. What? You can’t afford all of that? You can’t find a trainer who makes wakeup calls? Yeah, me neither.

Like most women I have many roles in life – wife, sister, daughter, friend, team member, employee, 424959_10150520067426637_1617488211_nmentor, volunteer, and mother. While I am not defined by any single role, the most challenging and rewarding is that of mother. I don’t have a cleaning person, or a nanny. Laundry piles up and sometimes my kids end up on the bus accidently when they are supposed to be picked up from school. I try hard to plan the healthiest meals I can for my family but sometimes they eat Ramen noodles and McDonalds drive through.

Yet, I am a fantastic mom. I know this is boastful, but I am. I have been blessed to grow up both personally and professionally with extraordinary role models. I have learned so much by watching and understanding what makes a balanced, healthy, successful working mom.

My mo400516_10151015465666637_198613670_nm: While my mom, Jo, worked my entire life, most of it full-time, it never felt like she wasn’t there. She was always present. She practiced lines for school musicals, was there for sporting events, field trips, class parties, and even after a full week of work, would plan fun weekend road trips to the beach, zoo, or to visit friends. We always had clean clothes (she was better at this than I am) and she balanced our lives with focus and fun. I recall several fish stick dinners on the run, but this was part of the fun! Her actions taught me not to feel guilty over a fish stick dinner here and there – these quick fix meals allowed us to embrace life and spend more time on family bike rides and playground adventures. In turn, I don’t feel bad when I ignore my messy house, or surprise my kids with ice cream for dinner on the way to the children’s garden after work.  After all, spring is here – who needs clean socks? She must have been overwhelmed with balancing it all, at some point, like each mom is, but in true rock star mom fashion, we never knew if that was the case. We just knew she loved us, worked hard, and provided a fun and balanced life for us. My dad helped too, but this is not about dads today. You get your honor next month!

My grandmother: My grandma Mary worked full-time while raising six children. Let’s just say, maybe I am a great mom because I have two children. Most days three would push me over the edge into medium mom mode. But somehow, Mary got it done. She too, like my mom, worked full-time yet planned weekend trips to the beach for her brood each Sunday. I’ve seen pictures. The joy on the faces of the kids, the relaxed looks on Grandma and Grandpa. Clearly, she knew the importance of balance and it shows in the six hard-working children she raised.

Mother of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®: Mary Ellen Sheets, the founder of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, has led by example and been an important influence in my life and career. As a single mom, leaving her secure job with the State of Michigan, she invested $350 in an old truck and took over the business her two young sons started. Her drive, faith, and commitment to supporting her family through entrepreneurship is inspiring. Mary Ellen’s stories of the early days of working hard, not having much money at the time, but donating her first $1000 profit to charity is a remarkably generous and humbling act. Knowing Mary Ellen and understanding the deep love she has for her children, and seeing the pride on her face when she talks about how far the business has come, is humbling. It was not always easy. I can only imagine the stress and heartache as she worked hard, as a single mom, to grow the business and conversely, the joy of watching this labor of love become the family business which provides for her children and now grandchildren. It is an honor to know Mary Ellen and her commitment first and foremost to her children as she worked to make TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® what it is today is something all moms can both appreciate and use as a source of inspiration.

On Mother’s Day, I reflect on the many moms who have influenced my life and I aspire to be as positive of an influence in my daughters’ lives. My Mother’s Day wish for all moms is to be blessed with strong, encouraging, role models who teach the importance of balancing work and career so you, too, can boast being a fantastic mom. Oh, and I wish you all the ability to provide your children with clean socks, even if it means picking up an extra pack at the grocery store when time doesn’t permit doing a load of laundry.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s own Dapper Dad

We have great news! President Randy Shacka will be strutting his stuff once again at the Dapper Dads event downtown Lansing, Mich., on June 11.

Dapper Dads is a fundraising event hosted by Women Working Wonders (W3), who strive to support the physical and psychological health of women in mid-Michigan.Randy

Each year, mid-Michigan community leaders are recruited to be on the Dapper Dads and Dudes panel. The top 12 finalists are featured in the Dapper Dads calendar.

Dapper Dads consists of online voting and a fashion show in downtown Lansing. We encourage you to support Randy and help us raise money for women’s health in mid-Michigan.

“Dapper Dads is a fun event,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® President and Dapper Dads contestant Randy Shacka. “What other chance do you get to dress up, walk a run way, and have a crowd to cheer you on? You get to have fun while raising awareness and money to support the Women Working Wonders volunteers, so becoming involved makes it a no brainer.”

Randy’s favorite part about participating in the Dapper Dads event is interacting with the other dads and dudes who are participating.

“It’s pretty comical seeing other business owners fighting for a spot in front of the mirror prior to going out on stage!”

This will be Randy’s third year participating in the fashion show. The past two years, he’s as able to create wonderful memories, and last year’s performance will be hard to beat!

“My favorite memory had to be last year’s event where I had the help of Ramone and Trent, two drivers from the Lansing office. They wheeled me out to the stage on a dolly and proceeded to dance and get the crowd going. It was so fun hanging out with these two while trying to keep up with their dance moves!”

Not only is Randy living the core value of “be your best and have fun”, he is also giving back to the community by supporting a great causdapper dad 2014e.

We need your support! Each vote is a $5 donation and supports the mission of women’s health. Last year Dapper Dads raised more than $325,000 and we want to beat that this year! You can vote online now until June 11.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. If you are interested in learning more about TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® check us out on Facebook.

Career Move Month 2015 an overwhelming success!

We are enthused over this year’s Career Move Month results! After hiring 1,209 employees across the system, we surpassed our target of 1,000 new hires for the month of March. We couldn’t be more excited to begin our busy season with our new team members across the country!

Although Career Move Month is over, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations nationwide are still hiring to fill open positions. Franchises are continually hiring for positions such as movers, drivers, customer service representatives, managers, marketing coordinators and other various support roles on their teams.

Working at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is not just a summer job, it’s the beginning of a fun, advantageous career. This year, we have written a variety of blogs covering what it’s like to work for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. For more career-related stories, check out our HR blog.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move your career forward! It’s time to join the moving company with 64 straight months of rapid growth. For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

We recently launched a new careers website! Check it out and apply to become part of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® team. https://careers.twomenandatruck.com/

I’m too busy! I don’t have time to pack and move!

Written by Arika Ford

I’m in a rush most of the time. Three kids with various activities on our schedule every day of the week, a full-time job, a house to clean, husband, dog, cat, and hamster. Hurry, hurry, hurry is my life these days.

In addition to the chaos, I am moving in June. It may seem far away, but when you’re as busy as I am, it’s hard to find time to get everything together. After careful consideration and planning, I put together a timeline to prepare for my move. For the other busy moms and dads out there, hopefully this will help you stay on track for a smooth move.

Before you start packing, you will need to buy all necessary packing boxes and supplies. Fortunately, your local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® sells a variety of moving and packing supplies so you can purchase a wide variety of boxes to hold different household items like we did!

My timeline is as follows:

One month before the move. Set up a handful of big boxes, not only as a reminder and a motivator, but to pack items you won’t use until after the move (special baking dishes, extra serving dishes, silverware, holiday items, etc.).dishpack kit

3 weeks before the move. Box up out of season items – for me this is winter items – in each kids’ room (snow boots, extra coats, gloves, heavy sweaters, snow pants). If you have young kids, you can turn this into a game — anything to get them to help. I am going to set up boxes in the living room and have my kids run as fast as they can to their rooms, gather their winter gear, and box those items up. I have designated an area for each of them in the living room to see who can get all of their winter items to me the fastest. Two of my kids play fall sports, I can easily pack up those items and label them. This is also a good time to start working on hallways closets and rid any bulky winter or vacation items.

At this point, hopefully you will have a healthy stack of labelled boxes. Keep your packed boxes out of the way so they don’t get damaged or tipped over. The display of boxes will begin to get my kiddos talking about moving and they will likely adjust to the move a little quicker if it is a part of their life for a few weeks before the move.

2 weeks before the move. Use this time to put small boxes in the kids’ rooms and have them begin to sort and pack small areas such as junk drawers, toys, and closets. This helps them to have ownership and a sense of control over something. Take this time to pack up miscellaneous or other household items that will not be used until after the move.

Gather items you no longer want and plan to donate. Now is a perfect time to get rid of items you have not used in the last 12-14 months. Research local shelters and donation sites in your city.

Week of the move. Use this time to finish packing up clothing, go throughMoving Checklist your bathrooms, and pack the remainder of your items. Start cleaning forgotten areas of your home and put last minute things together. Checklists are wonderful. Think about writing a checklist for the final packing and cleaning steps.

Packing up small areas at a time eliminates the feeling of becoming overwhelmed and allows you to be more prepared as moving day quickly approaches. If you stay on top of packing and prep as much as you can, when you can, your busy family will be packed up, moved out, and settled into the new place with what felt like much less effort. We’re hoping this checklist gives you busy parents a starting point to begin packing and organizing for your family’s big move.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. We are packing and moving experts and like to share our expertise with you. For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook. Let us help move you forward!

Movers for Moms® 2015: Moving moms forward this Mother’s Day

Written by Nicole Harrison

This is my favorite time of year to work for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. Exciting things happen from March to May when Movers for Moms® brings individuals across the country together. Movers for Moms® is a program seeking to make life easier for at-risk women who are lead to stay in shelters on Mother’s Day as a result of domestic violence or homelessness.

Each year, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations across the country collect donations for women and deliver the items to local women’s and family shelters on or just before Mother’s Day. Each franchise location partners with local shelters, schools, and community organizations to collect items to make Mother’s Day special for moms in need. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations collect donations from mid-March through the weekend of Mother’s Day.Movers for moms

Movers for Moms® is an initiative created by TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® eight years ago to provide moms who need it most with a little something to brighten their holiday. Each TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® location participates in the program — that means more than 250 franchises are working together and supporting hundreds of shelters across the 39 states in which we are present!

Movers for Moms® 2015 is well underway! We have high expectations to make this year the most successful one yet and an overall goal of collecting and delivering more than 250,000 items to moms across the country. If you have any questions about Movers for Moms® or want to get involved, check out the frequently asked questions below.

How can I help?

Thanks for your interest in helping Movers for Moms®! You can help by getting in touch with your local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise and dropping off your donations to their office or at the collection site nearest you. You can also help by telling your friends and family about Movers for Moms® and encouraging them to donate!

What should I donate?m4m

Each shelter determines their own wish list and comes up with items they need, however, popular donation items include: soap, hair styling products, shampoo and conditioner, pillows, toothbrushes, blankets, slippers, hygiene products, and other  basic clothing items.

Contact your local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise for a complete list of their collection items. To find the franchise nearest you, visit twomenandatruck.com and put your address in the franchise locator.

Why does TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® celebrate mothers?

We believe every mother deserves a gift and a moment of reverence on Mother’s Day, no matter what their situation is. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has women in key leadership roles across the country — some of the most successful franchisees are mothers. Movers for Moms® is just one way we can show our support to mothers everywhere, despite their current circumstances.

M4M22014’s results

Last year was a record-breaking year. More than 220,000 items were collected and donated to shelters across the country. With your help, this spring, we hope to surpass last year’s numbers and collect even more donations. Last year, Movers for Moms® partnered with more than 400 collection partner sites such as elementary schools, daycare centers and community collection sites across the U.S.

Help us make this year even bigger! There are numerous women living in shelters that deserve to be celebrated this Mother’s Day!

Follow Movers for Moms® on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest Movers for Moms® news and updates.

Should you stage your home to sell?

It’s no secret, listing your home to sell can be extremely stressful. In many situations, the goal is to sell your home quickly and at a fair price. If you don’t want to stage your home, it’s crucial to consider this thought. According to AboutHome, most buyers form an opinion about a home within the first seven to ten seconds of arriving. Staging your home is an investment, but I promise you will reap the benefits. In fact, 95 percent of staged homes sell in 11 days or less and sell for 17 percent more. If that doesn’t entice you, I don’t know what will. Katie Spyke, a real estate agent and staging expert with Tomie Raines Inc., has shared five simple, yet effective home staging tips to get your house sold quickly and for the price you want!
1. Declutter every space
2. Create a focal point
3. Depersonalize each room
4. Increase the lighting in all rooms
5. Clean everything
Check out the video to learn how painless and rewarding staging your home can be.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.