Transitioning your little ones: new school, home, and friends

Written by Nicole Harrison

The beginning of a new school year is usually filled with excitement. However, the first day at a new school is a different story, and in some cases, the anticipation and excitement is outweighed by anxiety and nerves. Your child’s feelings on attending a new school may vary based on his or her age – they may feel anger, resentment, excitement, or nervousness. Regardless of how old your kids are, there are a handful of tactics to help them adjust to this change.

Orientation/school tour. This is easily one of the most important steps to do with your kids. Make time to attend new student orientation, or if there isn’t one, schedule a school tour together. Both of you will have the opportunity to learn more about the school, class structure, curriculum, and get any questions answered. Whether going to an orientation or scheduling a tour, you and your kids will become familiar with the new school before their first day. This is also a perfect time to meet the teacher. A few familiar faces and knowing where to go will make the first days much easier for your child. It may seem silly, but we promise, it will make a huge difference and will immediately make them more comfortable during the transition if they can navigate through the hallways, and find their way around with ease. Spend time learning about the new school. Are there any fun facts about the new school? When was it built? How many students go there? What type of electives do they offer? Spend time learning as much as you can about the new school. The more you learn before the first day, the more prepared your kids will be.

TMAT322Stock up on school supplies. To ease your child’s nerves, take them back-to-school shopping to stock up on school supplies they need. Most schools have a list of supplies their students will need for each grade. If the school hasn’t provided a list, contact them and ask for a list of supplies your child will need most.

Explore the playground. Before your kids’ first day, take them up to the playground, spend time playing and making them comfortable with the new set up. Find activities they like such as the swings or monkey bars and spend time playing with them. That way, when they go off to recess they will be familiar with the new playground and will most likely branch out and join other students participating in activities they love!

Prepare for the first day. Before school starts, allow your child a trial run of a school day. Practice walking to the bus stop, walking the route, or driving to school. The evening before the first day of school, run through last minute items. Where is the bus stop? What time does the bus come? What is the bus number? Pack a special lunch for the first day. Spend this time sifting through the remaining items that haven’t been addressed. If your little one seems particularly nervous for his or her first day, consider taking them to school versus riding the bus.

Get involved in your kids’ school. If your children are young, it helps to get involved. Network with other parents, get to know their teacher and classmates on a personal level. If you’re able to, volunteering your time is a great way to make your son or daughter feel more comfortable in a new environment, and they will be able to see a familiar face in class.

Set up play dates. Shortly after your kids start at their new school, set up some play dates with their classmates. This is a great way for them to build relationships with their classmates and to help them make friends at school. There is a fine line between supporting them and putting too much pressure on them, make sure your kids feel supported at all times.

Participate in extracurricular activities. Are there activities in your new community that your child has an interest in? If your son enjoys martial arts, try to find a program he can participate in. If your daughter enjoys swimming, try to find a swim team she can join. Extracurricular activities are an added bonus for you and your kids to become acquainted with the community.

Attending a new school can be stressful for children and parents, hopefully these pointers will aid the transition. We encourage parents to keep their children involved throughout the process, without being too pushy or making them step too far outside their comfort zones.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. We are leaders in the moving and packing industry. Let us help move your forward! For more moving, packing, or relocation tips, subscribe to our blog or like us on Facebook.

Pre-pack your items for a smooth transition

As if packing to move wasn’t already enough, it’s also wise to consider pre-packing! Yes, you heard us right. There are many things you can do to make the packing process easier, more organized, and even cleaner along the way. From decluttering to cleaning as you go, below is a list of things you should do before packing or hiring a moving team to pack your items, which in the end, will create an easier packing process.

Start with a 10-minute tidy up. Spend 10 minutes in each room of your home to quickly tidy everything up. Pay close attention to where you put items and where they belong. Do this so when it is time to pack, nothing gets left behind or thrown into the “straggler” box that never gets unpacked at your new home. Don’t spend too much time wiping walls, save the deep cleaning for an empty room.

Narrow it down. Don’t pack your entire house in one day, this will just leave you feeling rushed and overwhelmed. You may find yourself throwing things in boxes just to hurry. We promise you will regret this when you are unpacking at your new home. Begin packing a few weeks in advance and do one room at a time. This will allow the movers to pack the truck in a more organized manner and will save you time and money. Move the packed boxes to the middle of each room so you can access a box if you need to. Clearly label each box and ensure the bottom of the boxes are taped shut to keep your belongings from falling through the bottom.

Label, label, LABEL! Label all of your boxes and be descriptive, you won’t regret it! What room is the box going to? What is in the box? Are the box contents delicate or fragile? All of these questions will be very important to you and the movers during the truck loading and unloading process. You could even use colored labels and assign the task of labeling to your kids. Label the boxes and write important details on them — for example, it would be helpful at quick glance if all living rooms boxes had pink labels, bathroom boxes had blue labels, and so on. You could even color-code the boxes of items that will be thrown out or donated. Just ensure the boxes are labeled on the sides, not the tops.

Donate or de-clutter! Whichever you prefer, just do it. Whether you would like to donate, sell, or just throw out items that you have collected over the years, now is the time to do it. Don’t spend time and money moving things you haven’t used in over a year. Set up a spot in the garage or basement to begin collecting items you prefer to get rid of. Typically, you can call a donation center and schedule a time for them to come and pick up gently used furniture or boxes of donations. You can also schedule a time for a curb side pick up to collect any old furniture pieces you do not wish to take with you.

Where is my phone charger? Have a plan for the last day you spend in your home. Have a designated box in each room for items you can’t go long without. Things such as make-up, tooth brushes, phone chargers, and a change of clothes are typically items to go in these boxes. This will ensure you have what you need up to the last minute. Don’t forget to label it your “last-day” items so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.

Blog photo of packed box

Regardless of how you pack and move your home, it won’t hurt to purchase packing supplies. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations offer a large assortment of packing supplies to meet our customers’ needs.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is a professional moving company with 30 years of moving and packing experience and is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward during this stressful life event. For more moving and packing information, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog.

What should I know for my interstate move?

Written by Nicole Harrison

Whether you’re moving a mere five miles down the road or two thousand miles across the country, anytime you move into a new state classifies as an interstate move. Interstate moves are handled a bit differently than a local or intrastate (moving within your current state) move. To ensure you are adequately prepared for your move, we’ve answered some of the most common questions about interstate moves.

How does my estimate work?
For most interstate moves, an in-home consultant will come to your home and assess your items to provide the most accurate estimate for you. If you live more than 50 miles from the franchise that is moving you, you can sign a waiver in place of an in-home consultant’s visit. Be sure you are prepared to tell your estimator about additional storage spaces, like an attic, shed, or storage unit, as these areas can be easily forgotten and make a big difference in the time and cost of your move if they are not accounted for in the initial estimate.

There are two types of estimates our franchises can give for interstate moves.

Binding estimate – guarantees total cost of the move based upon quantities and services shown on the estimate, which is based on completion of an in-home consultant.truck 1

Non-binding estimate – what the franchise believes the total cost will be for the move, based upon both the estimated weight or volume of the shipment, additional services requested, and the in-home consultant’s evaluation. The final charges will be based upon the actual weight of the customer’s belongings and the franchise’s tariff provisions.

The initial estimate our customers receive includes full value protection for belongings being moved, but there are also other valuation options the customer can declare in writing.

What can I expect from my movers?
We will go anywhere in the country and will never combine customers’ loads without their permission. We provide an expedited service with timely pickup, on-time deliveries, and no storage-in-transit or planned stops along the way.

Are there regulations I need to be aware of?
The number of hours drivers can work in a day are federally regulated. Drivers are not permitted to drive more than 11 hours and work more than 14 hours in one day. Depending on how large your move is and how far away your new house is, your move may take more than one day to complete.

Our consumers are protected under the Consumer Rights and Responsibilities for Household Goods. Visit Federal Motor Carrier Society Administration’s webpage linked above to learn more about the rights you have as a customer of an interstate move.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a 96 percent referral rate. To keep our customers calm and educated throughout the sometimes stressful moving process, we are as transparent as we can be and encourage them to become familiar with various regulations we need to abide by.

What is valuation and do I need it for my move?
Valuation is an estimate of an item’s worth, and is different than insurance. The initial estimate you receive will cover the value of your items at the time of your move, which is also known as full value protection.

In some cases, franchises may offer a deductible valuation option. In that case, you will pay a deductible before the franchise pays the full value of the item.

Finally, customers can select a .60 cent/lb. valuation. You may think this valuation is a reasonable option for your belonging, but it can be misleading at times. If you many light weight, valuable items, this valuation will not be the ideal option for your important items

It’s a good idea to understand what coverage includes before settling on a valuation plan. We urge our customers to look through their homeowners and renters insurance to see if their insurance plan covers their belongings while they are in transit. Ultimately this is your decision, but we encourage our customers to spend time thinking about the options. If you choose to select the deductible valuation or the .60 cents/lb. valuation options, your estimate will go down, but so does the coverage.

 TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is a professional moving company with 30 years of moving and packing experience. We provide custom moving and packing plans to meet all of our customers’ needs. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward during this stressful life event. For more moving and packing information, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog.

College moving 101: tips for your first move

Written by Corinne DeVries

Where do you even begin?! Preparing for your first move to college can be stressful and overwhelming, to say the least. The uncertainty surrounding what will soon be your college life is looming ahead. You’re not sure where everything on campus is, where your room is, what you should pack, if your new peers will be welcoming, or if you’ll get everything done before your move in date.

Thankfully we have quite a few college moving experts on hand to offer their advice on expertly preparing you for your move, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about!

Getting started and getting there

Most universities and colleges begin sending brochures, flyers, and check-up emails a montCollege movingh or two in advance to prepare you to move in. Often, among these materials will be a list of suggested items you need to bring. This is a good way to start your list of items you know you need to bring.  Another important thing to remember is most campuses get crazy busy during move-in days. A high influx of cars are on campus, makes parking and getting to your dorm or apartment just short of impossible. Be sure you check what time you are scheduled to move in and where you can park to unload your belongings, and try to stick with this schedule!  A lot of students will be moving in on the same day, and if you try to move in at a different time, there may not be a place to park and unload. Lastly, on move day, give yourself a little extra time to get there—there are many people in one area, and getting through campus or around town can take a lot longer than usual, and you want to make sure you are punctual for your move-in time.

Roommate bonding

It’s a good idea to get to know your roommate and become familiar with them so you don’t feel like you’re moving in with a total stranger. Meeting up to grab lunch is the best way to introduce yourself but if you don’t have time, or you roommate doesn’t live near you, you can always chat online or over the phone. This way you can find out what they like to do in their free time, as well as figure out who will be bringing what items. The typical list of items students share with their roommates are things like a futon, fridge, microwave, TV, carpet, etc.!

Sharing a bathroom

Check if your dorm is suite style or community bath. If you’re in a suite style dorm, you will want to stock up on cleaning supplies. Usually with four people plus your friends that come over, your bathroom gets gross pretty quickly. Get to know your suitemates and set up a weekly cleaning schedule for the bathroom. Since cleaning supplies can be a hassle to pack, you will most likely want to find the local convenience store once you move in, and get cleaning supplies for your bathroom.

If your dorm has community bath, you will probably want to invest in a carrier for your shampoo/conditioner, tooth brush, razors etc. to make trips to the bathroom simple. You can just grab your carrier rather than trying to carry everything in your arms. Sometimes toiletries can be awkward to pack. If you don’t want to deal with trying to find a place to squeeze your toiletries in with all of your clothes on move day, you may want to wait and buy these items at the convenience store once you arrive.

 Other essentials

Be sure to read through all of the information the university has sent you about measurements. All dorms are different, so before buying your futon, carpet, or fridge, check the size of your room to ensure what you’re buying will all fit in your room. Also, double check things like bed size. Some bunk beds or lofts in college dorms are longer or a different size than your average twin bed. If you’re planning to buy your own sheets, double check the bed size to make sure the sheets will fit.

Linen agreements

Some campuses offer linen agreements for on-campus living. So if you don’t want to go out and find sheets that fit, check to see if your campus offers a linen agreement. Often linen agreements include washing the sheets as well as shower towels. These items usually need to be returned at the end of the year during checkout, but it’s one less thing to pack!

In addition, check the laundry situation in your dorm. There may be washers and dryers in your dorm hall. Some campuses may include the use of the machines in your housing contract. However, some may require you to use cards or quarters. If this is the case, you may want to bring quarters or find a nearby location where you can exchange cash for quarters!

Survival kit

Some things you may not think about when moving into the dorm is that you will most likely get sick whether it be a cold, the flu, migraines, or maybe you will get a really bad paper cut! Or for those bad days where you seem to be spilling everything, whether it be on your carpet, desk, or even on yourself, there are a few things you will want to pack:

  • First aid: bandages, antibiotic and hydrocortisone ointments, pain killers, digital thermometer, decongestant, and antacids
  • Laundry: detergent, stain remover stick, and fabric softener
  • Cleaning: antibacterial wipes, glass cleaning wipes, microfiber dust cloth, roll of paper towels, broom, and dustpan

Tips

  • Pack light
    • The dorms aren’t very big and there isn’t a lot of room for clutter. Try to only pack the essentials with maybe a few decorative items such as pictures of family and high school friends to make it feel more like home.
    • It may be easy to pack clothes in a suitcase, however there isn’t a lot of storage space in a dorm room so try to pack clothes in garbage bags or something that can be easily thrown away or stored for when it’s time to move out again.
  • Pack like things together
    • If you pack similar belongings together, it makes unpacking on arrival so much easier.
  • Tool kit
    • Bring a tool kit for move in day and have it handy in case you want to loft/de-loft your bed, put together a table you brought, or something of the sort.
  • Explore
    • Introduce yourself to people living on your floor or in your hall. The friends you make in college will likely become lifelong friends.

Also find nearby convenience stores because we all know there is that one thing you forgot to pack and you won’t be able to wait for mom to send it to you in the mail.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. To learn more moving and packing tips subscribe to our blog or like us on Facebook.

Help! I’ve never moved before!

Written by Nicole Harrison

If this is your first time moving, there is a lot of information you need to know in addition to hiring a professional moving company, or bribing your friends with free pizza to help you move. Even if you’ve moved before and have never used a professional moving company such as TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, there are many things to be aware of in preparation for the big day.

An accurate estimate. When you are ready for your free estimate, think about any additional storage spaces (garage, shed, attic, basement, and storage unit) you may have. In many cases customers forget about additional storage so the final bill is more money than the estimate because of these forgotten areas. Be prepared to provide the number of rooms your current house has since this will also help the estimator indicate a time frame. Finally, let us know if there are tight corners, or narrow stairwells in your house, apartment, or condo (smaller than standard doorways). Mention those hard-to-maneuver places when you are getting your estimate.

Scheduling your move. Schedule your move in advance. As soon as you know you’re moving, give TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® a call. If you are moving during the busy summer months, it’s especially important to book as far in advance as you can. We are very accommodating to last minute moves, however, during the busy months, it may be OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdifficult to get a move crew the same day or week you call. Booking early will help secure your ideal move day.

Parking. Do you live on a steep hill? Do you live in an apartment community? Is your driveway new? Is it a long walk to your house, apartment, or condo? Does your building have an elevator? If yes, do you have to reserve it for your move? These are all important things to consider before the moving crew arrives. If there are any obstacles near your home it’s important to notify the moving company so they can plan ahead of time. Our movers typically drive a 26-foot truck, if you live in an apartment, condo, or senior community, check with the property manager to see if there is a load or unload zone on the property. Help us help you by doing some research before your move.

Packing. Will you be packing some of your own items before your move? TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is a full-service moving company, and we are more than happy to help you get packed. If you would like our specially trained packers to pack your items, let us know when you book your move so it can be included in your estimate. We also sell a variety of moving boxes and packing supplies for your convenience. We post moving tips on our Facebook page every Wednesday, if you’re packing your own items, check them out!

Number of boxes. If you’ve never moved before how would you ever know how many boxes you need to fit your stuff? Use this handy guide to help decide the number of boxes you will need to pack your items. Note: the number of boxes will vary depending on the number of items you have in your house. Ask the franchise you are moving with if they will buy back unused boxes.

box estimator

What to expect on move day: Ask for your mover or driver’s phone number for the day of your move. That way, you will be able to contact them if you have any questions or if you need to give them specific directions upon their arrival. Your movers will call when they are on their way to your house. This will help you accurately prepare for their arrival. Also keep in mind to plan for the weather. Rain and snow do not scare us! We will move you under many weather conditions. Remember, movers are people, too. If it’s a blistering hot day, it may be nice to offer your movers water, tea or some other refreshing drink to cool off and keep hydrated. Same for the winter, if it’s brutally cold, allow your movers time to warm up either in their truck or in your home. The time movers take for breaks will not be counted on your final bill.

In the whirlwind of planning and this life changing event, sit back and soak it all in. You are about to embark on an exciting new adventure. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. We are subject matter experts and have many moving, packing and organizational tips for you! To learn more about TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog.

Parents who are moving with kids, keep your cool

Written by: Arika Ford

Our children mimic our behavior and as parents, we are their first teachers in life with a strong influence over them for many of their developmental years. The years when our children are growing and developing can be tumultuous at times, there may be many ups and downs, but it is crucial to stay positive.

Moving is a big life change and can be extremely overwhelming for adults and children. Sometimes, families move as a result of less than ideal situations, such as divorce, job loss, or other changes that makes this stressful event even worse. It is imperative we remain calm and positive, not only for our sake, but for the sake of our children whom we love and want to succeed in all things. Below are simple efforts you can do to keep calm, and maintain your game face for your kids during the move!

Maintain normalcy-If you regularly have a family movie night or game night, I encourage you to keep it scheduled and to not be tempted to cancel it. This is time well spent bonding and relaxing with your family. Many feelings and emotions can come out during normal activities with your kids and move time can bring on a lot of those. It is in everyone’s best interest that kids have a time to express their emotions verbally to you so they don’t act them out physically. Even if you ask them what is wrong, they are likely not able to vocalize their emotions simply Truckie’s Treasure Chestbecause they don’t have an understanding of what they are feeling or why. For these reasons and many others, keep a normal schedule as much as possible for as long as possible. Children feel secure with a routine. Play a moving game with them, get the toy trucks out and play “moving to a new house”. Who knows, you may enjoy it more than they do, and find it as a good way to release emotions as well.

Maintain positivity-If you are managing a move, you are likely dealing with an increased number of people, who may not seem as sensitive to your situation as you would like. This can easily build up frustration as your patience is being spent on interacting and managing your feelings around strangers. If you need a release, be sure you aren’t taking it out on your children. It is important we are aware of our own emotions during this time. We must remain positive, especially in front of our kids, and sometimes that means we need to have a little alone time to wind down. It’s okay to do that! If you need to talk with your spouse, siblings, or best friend to vent a little in order to come full circle in your own thoughts and feelings, do it! Be sure you also reflect on the positive side of things as this will not only help you, but your family as well.

Keep them involved-Moving is scary. Young kids may not understand what is happening, and there’s a good chance they’re nervous, too. “What’s the new house going to be like? Will I make friends there? What if no one likes me?” These are all common questions that go through kids’ minds. Keep your children involved throughout the moving process, tell them what their new home will be like and keep them updated throughout the move. You can even have them help you get packing done to prepare for the move!

Maintain work life-Yes it is tempting to use work time to handle all of the moving business we must take care of such as changing your address for the entire family, or finding new local schools, stores, or the many other searches we can conduct online to Moving with Kidssooth our nerves about an upcoming move into an unfamiliar area. But don’t do it! Now is not the time to slack at your job, you must keep up with deadlines and the pace to maintain business as usual. Don’t be sucked into conducting personal business while on the clock. Of course take care of important needs after the workday or during lunch breaks, however keep a regular schedule as much as possible, and take the time to learn exciting new places of interest once you have settled into your new home. Make it a fun event by taking the family out to explore as a fun way to relax once the move is said and done.

Playing creative and fun games with your kids during this time can certainly ease their stress, which will in turn, ease yours. Just remember to stay positive about all moving aspects, there is a bright side to most things in life and moving can definitely be one of those bright sides! To make moving with kids even more stress-free and positive, hire a professional moving company to take the stress away on move day.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. We work day in and day out to move people forward®. To learn more about us, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

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.