Take the ‘ruff’ out of moving: Tips for transitioning your pets

Guest blog by Amy Burkert

Moving with petsPacking up your whole life and relocating to a new city – or even a new country – is exciting and stressful. There are myriad unknowns, and when your family includes pets, you’re likely to experience additional challenges and questions. To alleviate some of the stress, begin preparing well in advance of your move. These tips will help you and your pets on the big day:

Secure your pet. If you are able, give one person in your family responsibility for your pet. Leading up to the move, this person should try to spend extra time with your pet to help them feel more secure as you’re packing and preparing to leave.

Update identification tags. Update your pet’s identification tags before your move. Include your mobile phone number so you can be contacted while you’re traveling. Also consider having a microchip implanted in your pet to assist them in getting back to you if they become lost either during the move or while they’re becoming acclimated to your new home.

Research laws. Do some research on the local laws where you’ll be living, especially if you have a dog classified as a restricted breed. Communities across the country have instituted laws banning or restricting more than 100 different breeds of dogs. It’s important to contact the local government offices where you’re moving to ensure compliance with their laws and for information on securing licenses for your pets.

Plan your trip. Driving is the least expensive way of moving your pet. And it can be the most fun! What’s better than a road trip, after all? Using a pet-friendly road trip planner will allow you to map your route and find restaurants, dog parks, and hotels along the way. If you need to make hotel reservations, confirm the location’s pet policy which will accommodate your entire family.

Stay on schedule. Maintain your pet’s feeding and exercise schedule as much as possible to help reduce any anxiety they may feel about moving. Set up a reminder in your phone to help you track feedings and exercise.

Pack a go-bag. Include all your pets’ most important items in one bag so they are easily accessible while on the road. Here is a list to get you started:

1. Food and treats; for canned food don’t forget the can opener!
2. Drinking water: If your pet’s stomach is easily upset, it pays to take some drinking water to give your pet time to adjust.
3. Food and water bowls: Portable bowls pack easily.
4. Your vet’s telephone number and the telephone number for the National Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435
5. Photos of your pet: In case your pet gets separated from you, having a current photo allows you to create posters quickly and can be used to prove the pet belongs to you.
6. A roll of paper towels for muddy paws and other messes.
7. An old towel in the event inclement weather becomes a factor.
8. Your pet’s bed and a few toys: To make them more comfortable if you spend the night in unfamiliar locations, these items will provide some comfort.
9. All of their medications, vitamins, supplements, etc.
10. Plastic bags to pick up after them along the way.
11. First aid kit.

Getting Settled In

When you arrive in your new home, place your pet’s bed or crate and a few of their favorite toys in a quiet spot away from the unpacking activities. This gives them a refuge in which they can relax and settle. Once you’ve caught your breath, ask local friends to recommend a veterinarian, then set up an appointment to introduce yourself and your pet. Providing them with a copy of your pet’s medical records will save time in case your pet should require emergency treatment.

Dogs and cats go through a similar adjustment period as people do when moving to a new home. Until they become familiar with their new house and neighborhood, take care that they don’t get startled and try to escape. Help them understand this is “home” by spending extra time with them, encourage them to explore new rooms by placing toys and treats inside, and use blankets, beds, and toys with their scent on them for the first few weeks. Develop a new routine by feeding them at the same time and in the same place each day. Within a few weeks they should have made the adjustment and be content in their new environment.

About the Author: A true pet travel expert, Amy Burkert, runs the award-winning pet travel website, GoPetFriendly.com, which makes it easy to plan a trip with your entire family. Her blog, Take Paws, is an encyclopedia of pet travel tips, pet friendly destination guides, and stories of the adventures she and her husband share as they travel full-time in their Winnebago with their dogs, Ty and Buster.

Busiest moving days are here! Prepare for a smooth experience.

Written by Hannah Conlin

TMAAT525-2258159751-ONot only did we just complete our five millionth move, we’re about to dive into our busiest moving days of the year!In addition to being entrenched in the busy season, the entire system will see its busiest move days taking place this weekend, Saturday, June 28, and Sunday June 29. The Home Office finance department has calculated that TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® will complete 4,941 moves over the two-day period, equating to 2.1 moves each minute, and recognizing almost $4.3 million in revenue. This is a major increase from last year, when the company was projected to collect around $3.5 million in revenue, a 23% increase. Needless to say, in a few short days, we will be moving a record amount of people forward onto their next life chapter.

This is our crazy-busiest time of the year, and we could not be more excited. We love serving our customers, and we will keep our promise to continuously exceed our customers’ expectations. In order to make your move as easy and seamless as possible, please consider the following to ensure your experience is top-notch:

Pre-pack and centralize

Having all items packed the day before the move and place all boxes in one central location; these steps are an immense time- and money-saver. Place all packed items in one room of your home, such as the living room or the garage for an overall quicker move as our movers will be able to grab your belongings and load the truck with ease.

Disassemble

Completing 2.1 moves each minute over the course of 48 hours will not be an easy task; however, if our customers can make the packing of their items a quicker process, the overall experience will be enhanced. Disassemble all furniture prior to movers arriving, storing all pieces in one room of the home. This will not only save on time for our movers to pack up your furniture but will ultimately keep you on budget.

Be patient

All of our locations are well-prepared and plan, but with so many moves taking place in such a short span of time, please try and be patient as our movers are working their hardest to ensure your move is flawless. Although we cannot promise perfection, we will promise to come as close as possible. We take pride in our 96 percent customer referral rating, and we work every day even in the busiest of days to live up to our high standards.

Have fun

TMAAT443-2258122996-OOf course moving is stressful; still, we want you to enjoy the experience. There are opportunities to enrich the moving experience with children. There are effective ways to minimize the negatives for pets in transition. Additional services we can provide will even help you get set up in your new space faster and with less headaches. We are professional movers with experience. Relax, and count on us to take care of the details so you and yours can best enjoy the excitement of moving forward to the next step in your life.

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.

Recycle your TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® moving boxes with these fun tips

Written by Claire Schneider

You’ve just moved and now you have multiple moving boxes scattered around your home. You don’t want to toss them all away, but also don’t want them living in your garage for years, taking up space. The good news is TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® specialty moving boxes can be reused for many different home projects. Here are just a few!

Day of the Move box/car washing kit

day of the move boxTWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s Day of the Move Box is perfect for keeping essential items and clothes for the day/night handy during your move. You will be exhausted after the move, and when it’s time to get ready for bed, you won’t want to dig through multiple boxes.

This time of year it’s finally getting nice outside and time to park your car in the driveway and give it a wash. Our Day of the Move Box is great for keeping your car washing items all in one spot. The Day of the Move Box makes it easy to grab your car washing essentials and you don’t have to worry about the cardboard getting wet if you waterproof the box.

Dish Pack Kit/wrapping station

dishpack kitOur Dish Pack Kit is the strongest box available and is ideal for packing fragile items such as china and other kitchen essentials. The cardboard inserts create cubbies that are excellent for keeping the items safe and secure during the move.

After your move, the Dish Pack Kit can easily be reused as a wrapping station. Since the summer months are an ideal time for parties, whether its graduation, baby showers, children’s birthdays, or weddings, make sure you’re organized by creating a wrapping station you can pull out when needed for access to wrapping paper, tape, scissors, and decorative bows and ribbon. This is a perfect way to keep all wrapping essentials in one spot.

Wardrobe Box/storage organizer

wardrobe boxThe TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Wardrobe Box allows clothes to be transported on their hangers by having a metal bar along top of the box to hang clothing.

Recycle your Wardrobe Box and use it to store your out-of-season clothes. A waterproofed wardrobe box is perfect for storing your winter items in the offseason. You can place it in your basement and waterproofing it allows you to be worry-free in case of flooding. You can hang coats, hats, gloves, and scarves and place your boots at the bottom. Seal up the box and they will be safe and waiting for you come next winter.

The Wardrobe Box can also help keep your garage free of clutter this summer. Hang your towels after a day at the pool or running through sprinklers, and baseball gloves or bats after a weekend of baseball tournaments. The box is also handy at keeping your sports balls from rolling under your parked cars. Your kids can just run into the garage and easily grab what they’re looking for.

Truckie’s Treasure Chest

Truckie's Treasure ChestOur Truckie’s Treasure Chest is a unique box designed for kids to pack their own items. The box is easy to carry and can be personalized.

Not only is Truckie’s Treasure Chest useful for keeping kids’ belongings close and safe during the move, but it is also convenient when traveling with pets. You can keep your pet’s necessities in one, easy-to-carry spot. Just place leashes, bowls, treats, and any favorite toys in the box and you’re good to go!

I hope these tips have inspired you to recycle your old moving boxes instead of throwing them away. For more information and moving tips, visit our website.

 

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.

Movers for Moms® provides more than 200,000 items for mothers in need

Written by Dawn Kroeger

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® we believe every mother deserves a gift and a moment of reverence on Mother’s Day, regardless of their circumstances. Thousands of dedicated mothers spend that special day living in a shelter as a result of homelessness or domestic abuse. Movers for Moms®, an initiative created and led by TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, seeks to provide those moms in need a little something to brighten the holiday.

The Movers for Moms® program continues to grow year after year, and 2014 was an smashing success. We are thrilled to announce more than 200,000 items were donated this year! We are humbled and grateful the Movers for Moms® program, which started just seven years ago with 20 Michigan franchises, has grown to be a national TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® program with all 270 U. S. locations participating.

Movers for Moms® success is built on the generosity of local communities coming together to support at-risk moms. Local businesses and organizations serve as collection sites, while individuals and community groups including schools, churches, networking organizations, and clubs donate items to the effort.

Let the photo’s below illustrate the impact of this outreach.

Movers for Moms collection site at Blackhawk TaeKwonDo in South Elgin Il Movers for Moms promotion in Traverse City MI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago Il Movers for Moms collection with North Elementary school students St  Louis MO Movers for Moms boxes ready to be distributed throughout the city

 

 

 

 

Follow Movers for Moms® on Facebook, Twitter!

For more information on supporting the Movers for Moms® project, email movers4moms@twomen.com.

Home Staging and the Laws of Buyer Attraction

Guest Blog Post by Jennie Norris, ASPM®, IAHSP-Premier®, ASP-SRS®, ASP-REO®
Owner, Sensational Home Staging – Serving the Greater Denver Region

home soldThe spring market is in full swing around the country as homeowners take the plunge and decide to sell.  It is important to make the very best first impression for buyers and that means staging your home before selling. Barb Schwarz, creator of Home Staging® coined a phrase used by many in the industry, “The way you live in your home and the way we market and sell your house are two different things.” What that means is there is nothing “wrong” with how you choose to live in your home. However, selling a house requires a shift in mindset because you are looking to attract a buyer.

Staging is the process of preparing a house for sale so it sells in the quickest time and at the best price. It is an up-front investment in time and dollars to ensure you maximize the rate of return on the sale of your house.

Think about a time you went to a job interview or on a date. Did you shower, dress up nicely, and present yourself well to the person you were meeting? Hopefully you answered, “yes.” Selling a house is no different. Buyers preview your potential property online and I call that the interview. When they come in person to see the house – it’s a date. In both instances the house has to look its best. If the photos are not good, then there is no date set to see the house in person which means no offer. One leads to the other and both are essential in getting you the best price for your house.  It’s the laws of attraction at work.

You might be in a “hot market” where houses are selling quickly, yet staging will help you get the very best price and in some markets results in competing offers for the property because it looks so good. In a traditional market, statistics show that staging helps houses sell 2-3 times faster and anywhere from 5-20% MORE than the un-staged competition. Your ASP® or ASPM® Accredited Stager can explain the difference between “Staged List Price” and “List Price” which can mean more money in the sale of your house, as well as show you the statistics that support staging.

We live in our homes and sell a house or product. Staging is about preparing the house for the unknown buyer and that is why we have to put things away that are personal to us or might be distracting to buyers. All you know about a prospective buyer for your house is  they have money to invest in a property and are searching in your area. You don’t know their age, faith, race, background, politics, education, what they do for work, or family status. In order for your house to attract all buyers, you need to remove any of the above items from your home and turn it into a house that all buyers can appreciate.

Staging also helps protect the seller. By removing things that are too personal such as family photos, financial information, and health issue items such as prescriptions, you are protecting your family from potential predators online and in person. Even something as generic as kitchen knives in a butcher block need to be removed because they are weapons. In fact any weapons in the house need to be removed and/or secured before any buyers enter the house. It is both a safety and liability issue.

I have seen my fair share of interesting things in homes. Things we are really proud of or a unique item we installed in our home may not have the same appeal to buyers and should be removed so it does not become the only thing someone remembers about a house. For example, I once staged a house where there was a very large oil painting in the formal dining room of a nude woman reclining on a chaise. Turns out the woman in the painting was the owner. I had to tactfully get her to remove that painting so I used techniques learned in my training to do this without hurting her feelings. The fact is the painting was special to her, but buyers don’t want to see a naked woman painting in the house. It’s too personal and too distracting. The house would be memorable for the wrong reason.

Here are some tips you can use to help get your house ready to sell:

Clean your house – top to bottom, inside and out. A clean house tells a buyer you take care of your home and allows them to feel better about the purchase. If you don’t have time to do the really deep cleaning in bathrooms and your kitchen, hire someone to help you. It will be well worth the investment.

Clutter-Free – removing all the excess from corners, counters, and rooms is key. You are packing – just pack up early so when you get that offer, you are already well on your way to being ready to move. Think about the things you have now and decide if you really want to pay to move them – and then purge and donate things you no longer want or need.

Color – we paint our walls custom colors we like but have to understand they may not appeal to buyers. Paint any bold-colored walls to a nice, warm tone neutral.  If you love that color, you get to paint it in your new home. Remember we are selling SPACE so open up those rooms visually by putting warm tone neutral paint on the walls.  You can add color with artwork, accessories, accent pillows, and bedding. Do add color to the exterior of your house with fresh annuals that are cheerful and inviting.

Room Arrangement – Stand at the entry of your rooms and ask yourself if there is too much furniture.  If the room feels crowded or access pathways to sliding glass doors or other areas of the house are blocked, it is a good idea to remove some items. Furniture should be arranged to highlight a focal point or feature of the house. This is where having a professional ASP® Stager come and help you is key. Being able to visualize the best way to arrange a space is important and when we are moving, we are stressed. Plus we are used to how our home looks and it is hard to imagine it another way.

Pets – What do we do with our fur babies when the house is for sale? Buyers may have positive or negative experiences with pets so you need to minimize the evidence of pets for photos and showings. Buyers may assume a pet soiled the carpet or damaged the home if there is evidence of activity. Leaving a large dog that barks in the backyard or garage is not a good strategy. Taking them with you, putting them in a day-kennel, or having family members help out is a good plan. Pets that are strictly indoor pets need to have a discreet area to do their business that are kept very clean, and if they are housed in a cage or terrarium, it should be clean, covered, and located in a discreet part of a bedroom. Make sure pet hair is cleaned up before any showings, and take time to remove any dog “bombs” from the back yard so buyers don’t track that inside.

Personal Items – As you prepare your house for sale, remove anything of value. If you leave things out on display they are at risk because a buyer could handle them, accidentally break the item, or even steal it. Jewelry should not be left out nor should prescription medications. I recommend sellers take those things with them when there are showings. Just stuffing these things in a drawer is not a good idea because buyers may snoop.

Get Help – The last recommendation I have is for you to get an objective, third party opinion on what your house needs to prepare it for sale. Find an Accredited Staging Professional® (ASP®) Stager in your area and have them prepare a Staging Consultation which is a documented detailed summary of what you need to do room by room, inside and outside. On average a consultation investment can range between $125-$375 depending on where you live. If your house is vacant, an ASP® Stager will preview your house and provide a staging estimate to stage the key rooms in the house.

To find a qualified, trained, Accredited Staging Professional go to www.Stagedhomes.com and click on the ASP Directory Link.

About the Author:
Jennie NorrisJennie Norris, ASPM®, IAHSP-Premier®, ASP-SRS®, ASP-REO® is the owner of Sensational Home Staging, serving the greater Denver region. Since 2002 she has Staged nearly 3,000 homes and over $1 Billion in property values. She is a Board Member of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP®) and is the President of the local Denver IAHSP® Chapter. Jennie is also a Certified ASP® Course Trainer with Stagedhomes.com and since 2005 has helped educated thousands of Realtors and Stagers. Staging is her passion and she enjoys sharing the value and benefits of Staging with Realtors and Sellers. Jennie is a marketing expert, author, blogger, mother to four teenagers and wife of 26 years.

 

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.

5 tips for moving from home to high-rise

Written by Claire Schneider

You’ve decided to make the move from a single-family home to a high-rise building or condo. That’s exciting! There are some things to consider for moving day since transitioning into a high rise is drastically different than moving into a home. Not only is the space smaller, there are many details to take into consideration prior to and on moving day. For example, you may need to arrange moving reservations with the building manager in advance for elevator use and parking purposes, along with paring down useless items once stored in your home to make room for a smaller, new space. Below are tips to help make your moving day an easy one.

Purge

MovingIf you’re moving from a home to a condo or apartment, it’s likely not all of your belongings will fit in your new space. Before you begin packing, go through each room and see if there are items you could sell, donate, or put in storage. Have a color-coded post-it note for each category and mark all belongings. If you haven’t used something in the past year, it’s time to let go. For seasonal items, think about putting them in storage. This will not only save space, but will shorten your move, saving you money in the long run.

Storing your items

Whether you have a storage unit in your building or you need to rent one, there are precautions you should take. Water damage is the leading cause of damages to items in a storage unit. To prevent this, see if you can acquire old pallets from a local company to create a platform for your belongings to rest on. Do not use plastic covers. They encourage moisture buildup which leads to mold and mildew. Instead, use cotton covers. Another important tip is to invest in quality boxes for your belongings. Purchase professional storage boxes that are more dependable in protecting your items.

When storing your items, label all boxes for easy discoverability, and group them into functional categories. Since some storage units are dark, consider purchasing cheap, portable dome lights to place in the storage unit. This will help dramatically when searching for your crystal serving bowl for Thanksgiving.

Furniture

Get floor plans for your new apartment or condo, and plan out how your furniture will fit in the new space. Don’t wait until moving day to see if everything will fit. You’d hate to move your giant couch up to the fourteenth floor only to find out it’s too big in the room. There are great floor plan sites that will take your measurements and place items into a virtual room, allowing you to see which arrangement will work best. Knowing your desired arrangement will save you time during the move for arranging your items.

Building

Check with building management to see about reserving a parking space for the moving truck during the day of the move. The closer the truck is to the building, the less time it will take to transport items, which in the end will also save you money. See about reserving an elevator or using the maintenance elevator. This will make your move a breeze!

Apartment movingHire movers

Hire a moving company to take off the pressure and stress of moving your belongings all by yourself.  Moving companies have the experience of moving into high rise buildings and can offer expert advice along with much-needed equipment. Deciding what moving company you want and trust to move your valuable possessions can be difficult. Make sure to do your research when selecting your movers, this is not the time to be shy! Learn more tips for selecting a mover.

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.

Frontline MVP award winner Trista Roland

CMM2014_FBCoverDuring Career Move Month we’re sharing stories about our incredible team members across the nation. Today we feature Trista Roland’s story!

Trista is a customer service representative at our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Flint location and has shown tremendous drive and passion, which hasn’t gone unnoticed. She recently won the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s Frontline MVP Award and was recognized at the company’s Annual Meeting in Las Vegas this week. Unlike traditional MVP awards, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® MVP award represents Mission, Values, and Purpose, and seeks to recognize those who are committed to the foundation of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.

Watch this video to see Trista’s story!

Check out how you can become part of the team on our careers website!