Trick-or-treating safety and etiquette tips

Written by Arika Ford

Though trick-or-treating can be a fun family outing, parents have a lot to contend with. From the increased foot and vehicle traffic, to kids running ahead of you, parents may need some help making it through what can be a long two hours of craziness outside in the d-d-d-dark. We’ve gathered a few age-appropriate tips on etiquette and safety to make this the most non-scary Halloween (for parents) yet!

Ages infant through age 4 obviously need additional supervision when trick-or-treating. To make them bright and noticeable in the dark of night, include glow sticks or reflectors on their costumes. This doesn’t have to ruin the costumes. With a little creativity, the reflectors could actually contribute to the costume and add a unique twist. If you live in rural areas, you can look into other types of social gatherings for kids like trunk-or-treats and parties at local businesses or churches. But let’s face it, neighbors love to see the little ones dressed up and festive. Plus the kids are very excited to get outside and collect their coveted chocolate treasures.

Ages 5 through 9 are still the perfect age for trick-or-treating but safety can be an issue, especially with excited kids who may want to run ahead of you. Repeatedly remind your children of sidewalk and street crossing safety beginning the week before Halloween so it becomes automatic in the child’s mind. Constant reminders on looking both ways before crossing the street cannot hurt and is better to remind too much than not enough. Again, going overboard with glow sticks and reflectors isn’t a bad idea. One fun idea is to use glow in the dark make up instead of the regular Halloween kind. You also may want to travel with your trick-or-treaters. Remind them to mind their manners as some neighbors only like to see the little ones, however if older children are very polite, it will remain an enjoyable experience for all.

Ages 10 through 15 are tricky! Some kids are smaller in stature and can totally get away with dressing up and trick-or-treating with no problem. Still others look a lot older than their actual age. My opinion is as long as they are in an actual costume, are aware of their surroundings, and are being kind and courteous, it is fine for them to trick-or-treat. Assign them to groups and be sure they have a watch or are able to use their phones to check in and keep track of time. They are still kids and you can’t blame them for still wanting candy! To keep them in line, make sure they know the rules and understand the consequences of not following them.

Food allergies Kids and parents should always be on the lookout for the teal pumpkins in the neighborhood. This is a project the Food Allergy Research and Education Organization (FARE) is implementing to bring awareness to the growing issue of food allergies, and to urge citizens to provide a candy alternative. Houses with a teal pumpkin are offering non-food treats, such as toys, to help each child feel included this Halloween.

The-Teal-Pumpkin-Project-5

Kids of all ages love Halloween treats and parents (be honest) love to sneak the candy when their kids aren’t looking. So have fun, be safe, and let some of the fear come out of Halloween this year.

Click here for more Halloween safety tips.

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.

 

Easy, inexpensive, and eco-friendly DIY Halloween box costumes

Written by Claire Schneider

The little ghouls and goblins are gearing up for their favorite time of year, Halloween! This holiday definitely isn’t just for the kiddos, so we’ve come up with a few Halloween costume ideas to involve you parents as well. These costumes are a fun and creative way to get your entire family involved this year.

Family of s’mores

Are you looking for a cohesive Halloween costume theme for the entire family? This s’mores-themed get-up allows everyone to be involved and is very simple to make. All you need is:

  • Smores2 large boxes
  • 1 dish pack box
  • Elastic or string
  • Brown paint
  • White paint
  • 2 white pillows

Begin with taking your two large boxes and cut four square pieces about 2.5’x2.5’ in size. These will become the parent’s graham cracker portion of the costume. Since I was using our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® boxes, I just flipped over the box so the tan side was up. Next, I took the brown paint and began painting the dashes and indents to transform the cardboard into the giant graham crackers. Then cut two holes about a foot to foot-and-a-half apart for the straps. I used elastic for the straps but you could also use string or Velcro.

Next, take the dish pack and cut two rectangular panels to create the Hershey’s bar. Make sure the rectangle isn’t too big so your child can easily walk and trick-or-treat. Then, spray paint both panels brown. Once one panel is dry, take the white paint and write HERSHEY’S across it. Next, just like with the graham crackers, cut holes or tape straps to the cardboard panels.

For the marshmallow, all you need are two white pillows and string to make transform your child into a plump marshmallow.

Milk & cookies

milk & cookiesContinuing with the food theme, I love this idea of having a parent dressed as the milk and all the kids dressed up as cookies. The awesome thing with this costume is it’s perfect no matter how many kids you have. The items needed are:

  • 1 medium box
  • 1 small box
  • White paint
  • Black paint
  • Brown paint
  • Elastic or string

Creating the milk carton is super-simple. All you have to do is cut off the box flaps of our medium box. Even though our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® boxes are already white, I wanted to cover up the writing so I quickly spray painted it white. Once dry add a few black cow spots and the words MILK. Unlike the picture here, I decided to go without the hat portion. the The last step is to add straps. Same with the s’mores costumes; I used elastic since it’s more comfortable and adjustable.

For the cookie, take the small box and cut out two circle pieces. I flipped them over so the brown side was facing up and added chocolate chips using the brown paint. You can just draw circles but I wanted to have fun and draw the chip shape. Just add the straps and your little tike is ready to become a scrumptious treat.

Lego

LegoIf you’re not thrilled about dressing up this year, we have one just for the kiddos as well. For the Lego costume you will need:

  • 1 small box
  • 6 small plastic cups
  • Tape
  • Spray paint
  • Elastic or string

For the Lego costume I chose to cut off all the box flaps, but you could also tape up the box and cut out a head and arm holes instead. Then I used tape to affix the six cups to one side of the box and spray painted it red. Lastly, I added the straps last. And it’s as simple as that!

Check out our blog 5 simple DIY Halloween costumes for more ideas!

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.

Tips for an epic Memorial Day party

Written by Cait Quinn

memorial dayWhether you’re moving into a new neighborhood or are in the beginning stages of packing, Memorial Day is a great time to get together with the neighbors for a festive and fun celebration while honoring the servicemen and women who have sacrificed for this country. It’s simple to make your party a hit with a few simple steps.

Planning

If your home is literally boxed up, either from moving in recently or packing to move, save yourself some time and energy and purchase invites. DIY projects don’t tend to work when supplies are hard to locate. A variety of fresh, hip designs can be found on sites such as Pinterest or Etsy. Check the forecasted weather when choosing a date, a Memorial Day party outside in the sunshine will draw your guests over.

For those moving in, it’s an ideal time to meet the neighbors. Handing out invites in person will help to put a face to a name. Plus, you’ll really see what your new block is all about.

If you’re getting ready to move out, use this Memorial Day as an opportunity to reminisce about good times with your friends close by before you leave.

Food

Everyone expects a cookout on this particular holiday, so grilling hotdogs and hamburgers will be on the menu. If you’re in a moving limbo, consider having a neighborhood potluck to distribute the effort, leaving less for you to worry about and allows you to sample  a variety of salads, sides, desserts.

A thoughtful addition to the spread is to provide sweets and popsicles for the kids attending. Memorial Day is a perfect day to break out summertime firecracker popsicles.

Decorations

Decorations always make the mood more festive, but keep it simple. Purchase simple items such as red, white, and blue streamers, brightly colored paper napkins, and tiki torches; a few additions like these will change your backyard from drab to fab quickly and easily.

Activities

If your neighborhood is anything like mine, there are lots of kids and families of all sizes. Plan some outdoor activities both children and adults will enjoy. Stock the party with sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, and little squirt guns to occupy the kids while the adults mingle. Bring out the sparklers at dusk when the temperature drops and the hoodies come on. Needless to say, make sure there is plenty of adult supervision when sparklers are being used.

Last but not least, remember why we celebrate Memorial Day. Take a moment as the sparklers are lit to remember and honor the brave women and men who have fought for our country and our safety.

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.

Pack and Protect Christmas Decorations

Written by Cait Quinn

The holidays are over just as fast as they arrive, and we can all agree cleaning up and tearing down after the festivities, food, and family gatherings is one of the last things you want to tackle. Make the packing process a breeze this year with these decoration packing and organizing tips. You can return to relaxing in no time.

1.    Get everyone involved – Packing up Christmas goes by much quicker with some helping hands! Choose a time when your family can get involved, and incentivize the crew with dinner or a movie afterwards. Post-packing plans will also give everyone something fun to look forward to!

2.    Organize – Start by separating your decorations. This can be by category, such as outside and inside decorations, by room (living room, kitchen, and childrens’ rooms), or by the order in which you bring out the decorations. For instance, if your family usually strings lights right after Thanksgiving with the tree the following week, you can sort the decorations in that order and number each box for maximum time-saving. Choose the order that makes the most sense for your holiday habits.

Christmas lights organization3.    Storage – Once your holiday décor and related materials are sorted, boxing them up should be quick. We recommend using the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® dishpack box to store gift-wrapping supplies. The full instructions to utilize the box are here.

When packing lights and garlands, take extra care since they tend to tangle easily. Try using an old paper towel roll or a piece of cardboard and wrap the lights around it, then label the shelf where the lights are placed. And speaking of reusing wrapping scraps …

Christmas ornment organization4.    Recycle! – There are many ways to use all the leftover wrapping paper and boxes from the year. One simple way to pack Christmas tree ornaments is to wrap them in used wrapping paper or bubble wrap and nestle them in the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® dishpack box. The paper will protect ornaments and the special dividers keep them separated. Did anyone in your household get new shoes for Christmas? Use the silica gel packets that come inside shoe boxes to place inside your Christmas decoration boxes. They keep the humidity out and allow your decorations to last even longer.

5.    Label, label, label – Nothing is more frustrating than searching through box after box looking for one specific item. Make this process less stressful and save yourself some time next holiday season labeling items found in each box!

Do you have any great decoration packing tips to share? Leave a comment below and let us know. Have more to pack? TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is here to move you forward with tips and answers to your packing challenges.

We hope you enjoyed this holiday season with your family. Blessings to you in the New Year!

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.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® wapping station: Wrap presents like a pro

Written by Claire Schneider

You’ve conquered the holiday shopping deals and rocked your way through your shopping list. Now it’s time for the handsome task of wrapping all the presents. But first you have to go through the tedious process of gathering and digging through totes to access your trove of holiday wrapping supplies. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an inexpensive way to keep all of your wrapping supplies easily accessible when needed but also properly stored during the rest of the year?

Creating a wrapping station is an excellent way to both be ultra-organized and recycle old TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® moving boxes. You’ll be happy you kept all supplies in one place when you find yourself rushing to wrap all the presents before your family finds them!

Our dish pack is the perfect size to house all your materials, including wrapping paper. When wrapping presents, the wrapping station provides designated areas for all of your items including tape, scissors, wrapping paper, ribbons, tissue paper, etc. Once you’ve added the final touches onto that last gift, you can move the station to storage until next year.

Wrapping stationMaterials
• TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® dish pack
• Dish cells
• Wrapping supplies

Creating your wrapping station
1) Tape the bottom of the dish pack.
2) Remove the top flaps, then adhere festive duct tape to those rough edges.
3) Assemble the dish cells. Consider the size of your items. I suggest creating smaller sections on the outside and choose a wider middle section.
4) Add your items!

Safety bonus alert: Creating a deluxe wrapping station will help streamline the wrapping process and prevent the loss of scissors in a pile of ribbons.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® gives thanks

Written by Claire Schneider

Thanksgiving is almost here, and the holiday season is a perfect time to pause from our busy lives to give thanks. All of us here at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® have so much to be thankful for. We experienced an amazing year, and we couldn’t have done it without our family, friends, and the wonderful support and teamwork of our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® community. We created a video thanking everyone for all the opportunities and love we have received this year. Enjoy the video and have a very happy Thanksgiving!