Valentine’s Day crafts in 4 steps or less!

Written by Jessy Howe

DIY Valentine's Day Door wreath
Show your love this Valentine’s Day by creating easy homemade crafts and decorations! Making homemade crafts can be a fun and inexpensive family activity. These crafts are all upcycled from old moving boxes, meaning all you really need is craft paper, glue and stickers, and you’re ready to go. If you are in need of boxes, we are here to help! TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your needs that can be purchased at a location near you!

Below are four easy, do-it-yourself Valentine’s Day craft tutorials!

Kid’s Valentine’s Day card box

DIY Valentine's Day kids card box
Personalize your child’s Valentine’s Day card box for their school party by using one of our Truckie’s Treasure Chest boxes. These boxes are simple to assemble and have handles to make for easy transportation to and from school. You can purchase this at any TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® location or order one online for just a few bucks!

Supplies: Kid's Valentine's Day craft box supplies

1 Truckie’s Treasure Chest box
Craft paper
Stickers
Hot glue gun
Box cutter
Scissors

Step 1: Assemble your box and place the handles into the open spaces on the side. Next, use a box cutter to make a slot on the top for Valentines to be dropped in.

Step 2: Have your child cover the box in craft paper of their choice. Use a hot glue gun or tape to secure the paper to the box.

Step 3: It’s time to personalize! Let your child personalize their card box with stickers, paper hearts, ribbon, and anything else they wish.

 

Sweetheart garland

Valentine's Day sweetheart garland
Spruce up your home by creating a classic conversation heart garland to hang in your home. I’m in love with how this turned out!

Supplies:

1 small TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® box
Acrylic craft paint
Sponge paint brushes
Red stickers or a red marker
Ribbon
Box cutter
Hole punch
Heart stencils
Pencil

Step 1: To make this simple, we decided to do a quick online search and print heart stencils. Trace as many hearts as you’d like to have on your garland and use your box cutter to carefully cut them out.

Step 2: Now that your cardboard hearts are cut out, it’s time to paint. We stuck to the classic candy heart colors but your options are endless! Also, I would recommend doing two coats of paint for the best results.

Step 3: After the paint is fully dry, use your hole punch on each side of the heart. String your ribbon through the holes and behind each heart to put your garland together. At the back of the first and last heart, tie a knot in the ribbon to keep them from slipping off.

Step 4: Use your creativity and think of fun sayings to put on each heart! We used red stickers for accuracy and to save time but a red permanent market can work just as well.

 

Valentine’s Day door wreath
DIY Valentine's Day door wreath

Greet your guests with love by creating a paper heart door wreath!

Supplies:Valentine's Day door wreath supplies

1 small box
Craft paper
Sticker letters
Ribbon
Hot glue gun
Pencil
Scissors
Box cutter

Step 1: Trace a large circle onto your box with a second circle inside it. Use your box cutter to cut out the inside circle as well as the large circle, leaving you with a base for your wreath. Keep in mind this does not have to be perfectly shaped and it is okay to have jagged edges as you will be covering it up.

Step 2: Cut out various sized hearts from your craft paper and begin gluing them down to your cut out circle. Continue doing this until you are satisfied with your wreath.

Step 3: We added a “LOVE” banner to the top to make it extra festive. After you are happy with the look of your wreath, use your hot glue gun to secure ribbon to the back of your wreath.

 

Tic-tac-toe board

DIY Valentine's Day tic -tac-toe board

A fun twist on a classic game can entertain your kids for hours … okay, maybe 15 minutes but you have to admit, it is fun!

Supplies:

1 small box (Or a remaining side from the box used in previous crafts)
Colored paper
Glue
Marker
Scissors

Step 1: Cut a large heart out to act as your tic-tac-toe game board. Cover this heart in colored paper.

Step 2: Cut smaller hearts out of craft paper in two separate colors. You will want to cut 5 hearts in each color.

Step 3: Draw your board game lines onto the heart and play!

 

We hope we’ve given you some fun DIY ideas to create this February! For more box inspiration, follow us on Pinterest! If you create any of these crafts, we’d love to see them! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

 

 

 

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® fall cause marketing programs garner nearly 100,000 items for those in need

Written by Hannah Conlin

Columbus, OH TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Movers for Mutts
Collection items from the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Columbus, Ohio franchise during their Movers for Mutts program.


As it has been said time and time again, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system truly believes in giving back to local communities. How can franchises not believe in giving back with it being one of our core values? This year, franchise locations across the system proved they don’t just believe in this ideal, they live it.

Franchises had the opportunity to partake in the Movers for Military, Movers for Meals, Movers for Mutts, and Truckload of Warmth campaigns. Much like the national Movers for Moms® program, locations worked with local business partners to collect the much needed items for their various campaigns. Throughout the fall of 2015, more than 30 franchises implemented one of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s four cause marketing programs, working to collect more than 99,000 much-needed items.

“Several years ago TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® had just one cause marketing campaign, Movers for Moms®,” said Media Relations and Brand Communications Team Lead Lindsay Dow. “However, we had many franchises who wanted to do more to help out their communities throughout the year. That’s when we worked to create four additional programs, providing our franchises with the opportunity to give back to different organizations. Over the past few years these campaigns have evolved and franchises have truly embraced them. This year was no different, and without a doubt the most successful year for our fall marketing programs.”

To show gratitude and appreciation to local veterans, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® once again rolled out Movers for Military. Millions of veterans in America are homeless throughout the year, and Movers for Military aims to assist these veterans in need. Franchises that participated in this program collected more than 18,000 items for veterans in need; items donated went to benefit homeless veterans and their families.

Ten locations implemented the Movers for Mutts campaign within their local communities. This program benefits animal shelters that provide and care for stray animals. Many times, these shelters are in dire need of pet food and other essential pet items. Together, the franchises collected more than 1,500 items and more than $15,000 in monetary donations to go toward the animals and the shelters.

Hunger is a problem many Americans face daily. In an effort to help combat hunger, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchises implemented the Movers for Meals campaign. Movers for Meals collects nonperishable food items for families facing hunger each year. This year franchises collected a whopping 50,000 donated items for families in need!

Two Men and a Truck Movers for Meals
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Brentwood/Franklin, Tenn., collect donation items for Movers for Meals just in time for Thanksgiving during their Fill-A-Truck event!

Marketing Director Sally Mink of the Brentwood/Franklin, Tenn., location found her Movers for Meals campaign to be the best one to date.

“This year was our strongest year yet,” said Mink. “This year we hit over 1,600 pounds for Graceworks Ministries.”

Lastly, Truckload of Warmth, helps keep children and their families warm during the bitter cold winter months. Gently used or new winter coats and other winter clothing donations are needed for this collection drive. Through the collective efforts of the nine locations that ran the program, more than 30,000 items were collected.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Des Moines Truckload of Warmth
The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Des Moines, Iowa team collected nearly 11,000 items during their Truckload of Warmth program.

General Manager Chris Jones from the Boise, Idaho franchise implemented the Truckload of Warmth program. The Boise location, in its fourth year with the campaign, partnered with 35 collection partners across the community, providing even more awareness for the program and those in need.

“The program has gained traction every year and many of the participating businesses even look forward to it,” said Jones. “It gives us and the business a great opportunity to help and give back to our community. All of our donations go to the families living at the Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA). The WCA organization does such amazing things for those in need and we are just proud that we can help.”

With another successful year wrapped up, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system is excited for the 2016 fall campaigns and the opportunity to increase the charitable efforts throughout our local communities.

“Moving People Forward is our core purpose,” said Marketing and Communications Director Dawn Kroeger. “I am so passionate about these cause marketing initiatives and how they allow TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® to put our core purpose into action. We are committed to moving people forward beyond our customers and our team members, but those most at risk in our communities.”

To learn more about these programs please visit our community service page. 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.

Expert tips on storing your holiday decorations

Written by Jessy Howe

DSC_0531_edited

When the Christmas season comes to an end and it is time to store your decorations away until next year, frustrations tend to arise. Taking time to organize and properly store your holiday decorations will make the years to come that much easier! We’re sharing our expert packing tips on how to best store your holiday items to make this year hassle-free.

Gather supplies

Before you begin packing up your holiday items, be sure they are organized and that you have proper storage! This ensures everything will be easy to pack and nothing will be damaged throughout the year. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your packing and storage needs!

OrnamentsIMG_9887

When it comes to putting away Christmas ornaments, we rarely save the containers we purchased them in. The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® dish pack box provides a safer alternative than wrapping them in tissue paper and putting them in a bag with minimal protection. Dish pack boxes come with dividers which can easily be adjusted depending on the desired space needed for each item, making it the perfect home for your breakable items. I would recommend using acid-free tissue paper when wrapping to avoid any chemicals damaging your ornaments.

LightsFullSizeRender

Avoid getting your lights tangled up! Remove the flaps from a cardboard box and neatly wrap your lights around them. This is a simple trick that keeps your lights in good condition and at the same time, allows for them to take up less storage space!

Wreaths

I have a soft spot for wreaths and am someone who feels it is necessary to hang one for every season and holiday. However, storing these prove to be a difficult task. By utilizing moving boxes, you can easily store multiple wreaths and avoid any damage between uses, especially the Christmas wreaths which are covered in fragile Christmas bulbs.

Label boxes

Even if you do not have many boxes to store, labeling them will save you time when it comes to setting up next year. It helps to label the items you’ve packed away in each box or at least by category (ex., kitchen décor). You might also consider labeling boxes based on the order you plan to unpack them.

Gift wrapping suppliesIMG_9895

Creating a wrapping station is a great way to organize and store your supplies! I assembled a dish pack box to organize my ribbon, bows, bags, tissue paper, and more. It is incredibly helpful to have all items in one place when you are rushing to wrap your gifts! The best part about the dish pack box is by adjusting the dividers, you can accommodate all of your needs, including long tubes of wrapping paper.

Linen storage

We frequently worry about our breakable items, but let’s not forget our linens! Store holiday bed linens, dish towels, the tree skirt, and table runners in a dry place where they will not get damaged by moisture. Keep your items fresh and repel moths by popping in a few dryer sheets.

Hire moving muscle

From packing up and moving boxes to the attic, to rearranging your furniture once the décor is down, our professionally trained movers are happy to help with your holiday storage needs. Give us a call today to schedule your internal home move!

We hope these holiday storage tips help during your holiday décor packing! If you have any tips, we’d love to hear them! Leave us a comment or share with us on Facebook and they could be featured in an upcoming blog post!

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.

Let TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® take the stress out of holiday preparation

Written by Jessy Howe

DSC_0523_edited

It’s time to venture to the attic and bring out holiday decorations, make room for the Christmas tree, and deck the halls in preparation for the entire family gathering to celebrate the holidays. You want everything to be perfect, after all, you’ve been hosting for the past 30 years! Though you won’t admit it, it is becoming more difficult to climb the stairs, move the couch to make room for your beloved grandchildren to play, and let’s not forget packing it all back up once January arrives.

We follow THE GRANDMA RULE®, one of our key core values, which is to treat everyone the way you would want your grandma to be treated. And as the “Movers Who Care®”, we help a number of retirees with their holiday preparation each year, making the season easier than ever!

“Many people think of using our services when moving to a new home, but in reality, we can provide other services such as rearranging furniture or moving items up from a basement to make the holiday season much less stressful,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Move Execution Specialist Jeremy King.

We’ve compiled the top holiday services we can provide to you and your loved ones during the most wonderful time of year!

Bringing decorations out of storage DSC_0516_edited

Multiple trips to the attic or basement can be downright difficult, so let us bring out the Christmas decorations for you! If you have downsized and these items are in a storage unit, we can also transport them from the unit to your home.

Rearranging furniture 

If you’re like most and need to rearrange your home in order to make space for the Christmas tree and other seasonal items, we are happy to move your furniture so you don’t have to. Whether the couch is moving two feet to the left or two flights up, we will accommodate your needs.

Picking up presents

Holiday shopping deals are a wonderful thing. However, getting the heavier gifts home and through the front door is another story. Our movers frequently pick up large purchases, such as safes and appliances, and deliver them right to you, taking the hassle out of gift giving.

Bringing in extra furniture

As many friends and family arrive for Christmas, make sure everyone has a comfortable place to enjoy the day! We will bring in any extra tables and chairs from your basement, garage, or storage unit that you may need.

Provide boxes

Whether you need extra storage for your holiday decorations or are transporting holiday gifts, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your needs!

We realize moving needs are unique for every customer, so we’re ready to customize a plan to provide the best moving experience. Our uniformed movers and drivers are committed to exceeding expectations and ensuring your move is completed with care and efficiency.

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.

From fish tanks to guitars: How to move 3 difficult items

blog dishes

You have signed the lease or the mortgage papers, and you have the keys to your new home in hand. Now all that is left is packing up your precious belongings and moving them across town or across country.

While part of the moving process can actually be fun — maybe you could channel your inner Tom Haverford and power-trip on your friends who are helping in exchange for pizza and beer — it can also be a stressful experience. You’re probably pretty good by now at packing dishes, clothes and DVDs, but you might be unsure how to transport your school of guppies from point A to B. With this in mind, the following list offers tips on how to pack three of the most challenging items.

Aquariums

Fish tanks and their finned residents are among the trickier items to move. A lot of times fish don’t survive a move, for two reasons: They get jostled around in the tank and because it’s difficult to regulate the water temperature on a moving van. To make sure the tank and fish make it safe and sound, move your fish into some sort of holding container and then drain most of the water from the aquarium . If the tank contains live plants, put them and a bit of the aquarium water into a Ziploc bag. Take the fish and plants with you in your vehicle and, if you have the room, the mostly drained tank. In addition, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® cannot move living things so it is best to transport them in your own vehicle causing less stress on your pet.

Musical instruments

Any brass or woodwind instruments should be completely taken apart and placed in a hard case. If you don’t have one handy, then wrap each individual piece in a few layers of bubble wrap and place them in a box filled with plenty of towels and packing peanuts.

Stringed instruments like violins, cellos and guitars also need lots of TLC during packing; start by loosening the strings and, if the instrument has tuning keys, making sure the keys are parallel with the headstock. Place the instrument in its hard case and add some crumpled clean paper to the inside to prevent it from moving around. If you don’t have a hard case, carefully wrap your stringed instrument in plastic — a large clean garbage bag will do the trick. Then put the wrapped instrument into a box that is large enough to hold several inches of packing peanuts on all sides. Mark which side should be up on the outside of the box and advise the movers as to what’s inside.

Potted plants

Even the sturdiest looking philodendron can have a hard time during a move. A few weeks before your friends and/or the moving crew show up to help you pack, replant anything in ceramic pots to plastic planters — this will help make them easier to lift. You also want to prevent your houseplants from getting too hot or too cold, which means they might not be a good candidate for a ride in the back of a moving van. Take what you have room for in the back of your car and place the planters in larger boxes to keep them steady and prevent them from tipping. Once again, as TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® does not move living things, it is important to make the space necessary in your own vehicle.

alison_stanton_head_shot_360


Alison Stanton has been a freelance writer for the past 14 years. Based in the Phoenix, Arizona area, Alison enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, but especially loves meeting interesting people and telling their stories.

5 simple tutorials for DIY cardboard holiday crafts

Written by Jessy Howe

Decorating doesn’t have to be expensive… or difficult! With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, take some time to unwind and create simple DIY holiday crafts on a little or no budget! Plan an evening with the girls to make fun holiday décor or set aside time with your children and make it a family night. Our 5 DIY holiday crafts are the perfect addition to your home or can be gifted away. Yes, they look that good!

Holiday card holder

IMG_9565

Rather than let your holiday cards stack up on the counter among your mail, display them beautifully on a tree-shaped card holder!

Supplies:

1 large box
Green and brown felt squares (we bought the ones with adhesive on the back!)
Ribbon
Mini clothes pins
Box cutter
Hot glue gun

Step 1: Draw out the shape of your tree in pencil and use your box cutter to cut it out. I’d recommend working on carpet to avoid scratching any surfaces or tile.

Step 2: Use your green adhesive felt squares to cover your tree, trimming off the areas that overhang. Use your brown felt square to cover the tree trunk.

Step 3: Wrap your ribbon across the tree so it looks like garland, gluing the ends to the backside of the cut out. Be sure the ribbon is not too loose or your cards will weigh it down causing it to sag. You will also want to attach ribbon on the back to easily hang your card holder.

Step 4: Use your mini clothes pins to begin attaching your cards!

 

Modern tree display

Light trees cropped

Let me just start with this: even for the “not-so-crafters” it is impossible to fail at this project and it takes all of 20 minutes to complete. Boom, crafting win!

Supplies:

1 medium box
Box cutter
Christmas lights

Step 1: Draw various-sized triangles on your box to resemble trees. Use your box cutter to cut them out.

Step 2: Poke holes through the cardboard, but be sure they aren’t too large.

Step 3: Poke the ends of your Christmas lights through the holes and display in your home! You can include other elements to set a scene or place it with some greenery in front of a fireplace, get creative!

 

JOY door hang

Welcome your holiday visitors with a festive door! The beauty of this is you can spell anything you want, for example your last name. However I will warn, although this is by no means difficult, it is more time consuming than I thought it would be. But being greeted by it each time I arrive home makes it well worth it.

Supplies:

1 small box
Box cutter
One bundle of yarn (depending on the length of your word)
Ribbon
Hot glue gun
Any other accents you want to add
Step 1: Trace and cut out the letters of what you would like to spell.

Step 2: Begin wrapping your letters in yarn occasionally using hot glue on the front and back to ensure it is secure.

Step 3: Add any accents you would like. I couldn’t resist these metallic snowflakes!

Step 4: Attach ribbon to the back of your letters and hang on your doorway! I also think these letters would be great to sit on top of a mantle if you prefer to display them in your home.

 

Holiday garland

IMG_20151123_151703.jpg

This DIY is great because it is so versatile. It is perfect to string around your tree, hang across your window, or incorporate into your holiday tablescape.

Supplies:

1 small box OR the remaining box flaps from any of the crafts above
Scissors
Glitter
Ribbon
Hot glue gun

Step 1: Trace and cut out the shapes you wish to have on your garland. To help, you can either print images from your home computer and cut around them or use cookie cutters to trace the shapes.

Step 2: After you cut your shapes out, poke small holes through them to string your ribbon through. I decided to double up on the ribbon to get a little more colorful.

Step 3: Use your hot glue gun to dot your shapes and cover with glitter and you’re finished. I chose to add the glitter accent to both sides of my cut outs.

 

Glitter snowflakes

Giant glittered snowflakes hanging from your ceiling, what could be better? These make a beautiful addition above your tree, dinner table, and really anywhere in your home!

Supplies:

1 medium box
Box cutter
Spray adhesive
Glitter
Clear elastic

Step 1: Trace a snowflake pattern or create your own and cut out.

Step 2: Spray your cutout with spray adhesive from 6-8 inches away. It is best to do this in a well ventilated or outside area.

Step 3: Cover your snowflake in glitter! Repeat this on the other side and let them dry.

Step 4: Hang your snowflakes using clear elastic to give them a floating effect.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these fun DIY holiday crafts! If you are in need of boxes, we are here to help! TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your needs that can be picked up at a location near you.

For more box inspiration, follow us on Pinterest! If you create any of these crafts, we’d love to see them! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

10 overlooked moving essentials

Moving is a major life event and it can be an overwhelming process. Even the most organized people can get thrown a curve ball mid-moving process. Unfortunately, no matter how prepared you seem to be, there are always a few packing items that you may have forgotten that would have come in handy. Here are a few ideas from Leaf Filter that will make packing, moving, and unpacking an easier process for you and your family.

 

  1. Bubble wrap and plastic sheetingTMAT088

Bubble wrap is not only important for packing smaller items in boxes, but it will be important for packing up larger items and protecting them in the moving truck. Bubble wrap and plastic sheeting are two of the best tools at your disposal when it comes to safely moving your furniture and protecting delicate wood pieces. If you are looking to protect your large upholstered or leather sofas, plastic wrap or a specifically designed plastic sofa cover should be used.

  1. Plastic baggies

Plastic baggies are one item that you will definitely want to keep nearby when you are moving. Whether you are setting up new furniture, or reassembling existing furniture, you will have some leftover nuts and bolts that you will want to keep track of. Additionally, you may have a lot of cables and wires to TVs, stereos, DVD players, etc. that you’ll want to keep handy for your new place.  Label these small bags and conceal them in larger bags so you can keep them all in one place.

  1. Cleaning supplies

During your move, you’ll most likely want to “clean as you go.” You’ll never know just what you’ll find in your new home or rental! And, you’ll most likely find a lot of dust and the dirt behind your furniture during your move! Keep some cleaner, Windex, paper towels, and old rags to help with any messes you may encounter. Wiping down things as you go will save you the stress of doing a full-fledged cleaning session later on.

  1. Food and drinks

If you have enlisted your friend’s and family’s support on moving day, don’t forget to feed them! When you are super busy and focused it easy to forget to eat. However, it is important that you supply water and snacks in order to keep your team in tip-top shape, keeping your moving team hydrated and their energy up for the long day ahead.

  1. Permanent markers and color coded stickers

DSCF2980It will be helpful to organize and label all of your items beforehand, but sometimes that isn’t always possible. Even on moving day, there will be some inevitable pieces that haven’t been labeled yet. That’s why it is important to have a few extra markers for labeling boxes and baggies.

If you want to be super specific, make your process even easier by using a color-coded labeling system. For example, you may label everything in the kitchen with a red sticker, while living-room décor is labeled with a blue sticker. If you don’t have an organization system in place, you’ll spend your whole day answering the question, “Where does this go?”

  1. Extension cords

When setting up the new TV, DVD player, computer, and sound system, power outlets will rarely be placed conveniently, or you may run out of outlets for all of your gadgets. It’s important to have a few extra extension cords and power strips handy in order to be able to set up your electronics the day of your move.

  1. Wall patching kit

Even if you are extra careful, accidents happen. You may be moving a piece of furniture and end up with a hole in your wall. Or, perhaps there are existing holes in your new home or apartment that you would like to get filled before you unpack all of your belongings. Purchasing a wall patch kit before move-in will help you quickly attack any holes in your walls before you start unpacking your belongings.

  1. Tool-kit

Having a tool kit by your side during your move will help you avoid any headaches, like searching for a screwdriver. Fill your tool kit with the essentials like a tape measure, screwdrivers, nails, and a level. Having a tape measure will come in handy as you try to navigate through doorways and tight spaces, while a screwdriver will help you take any furniture apart in order to get it into your home. A level will be important when you are hanging pictures and decorations. Additionally, extra screws will be helpful when you are putting your furniture back together.

  1. Moving checklist

Remember, being organized, making a list, and checking it twice, is the best way to not overlook any moving essentials you may need. A moving checklist will make moving day easier, for both you and your team!

  1. Let TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® help

Hire TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States, to make moving day a breeze for you! As leaders and packers in the moving industry, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s expert moving teams will get you there with their signature customer service. Contact them today to see how they can help with your next move!

When planning a move over the holidays – The right approach is crucial

When planning a move over the holidays, the right approach is crucial

For all the joy the holidays bring, it can also be an increasingly hectic and stressful period for many families. This is especially true for those moving homes over the holiday season, which is hectic enough on its own without adding in tasks like shopping for gifts or preparing elaborate holiday meals.

While this may not be an ideal situation, these useful moving tips can help you deal with holiday moves to the best of your ability by establishing a workable battle plan. Planning is key in this respect, as well as being prepared for any unforeseen obstacles or hindrances that may pop up on the way to your new home.

IMG_1651

Contact a moving company ASAP

Moving typically requires hiring a professional company to ensure your items remain intact during the trip from your old home to your new one. However, finding a reliable mover can be a bit more difficult during the holidays, as most of the staff will be unavailable at this time of year. In addition, rates may be a bit higher to accommodate moving staff, and this can be challenging for families on tighter budgets.

For these reasons, contacting a potential moving company as soon as possible is imperative to making reliable arrangements. Be sure to tell the company of your exact schedule, while also requesting an in-depth quote before coming to any agreements. This will prevent you from being surprised by any previously undisclosed or hidden fees that can factor in to projects of this nature.

Inform others about your move 

Once you have a date established, consider just how you will announce your move to friends and family. While you can use social media to keep others updated to your progress, sending out announcements is a nice touch during the holiday season. You can incorporate moving announcements into traditional Christmas cards to offer an ever-lasting keep sake of your transition.

In addition to informing loved ones of your new address, don’t forget to notify any companies you receive correspondence from via the mail. This can be accomplished by filling out a change of address form at your local post office, in addition to informing companies directly. This is essential over the Christmas season to ensure all mail is received in a timely manner, whether that entails important bills or gifts from out-of-town relatives.

Begin packing and organizing early

No matter the time of year, waiting until the last minute to begin packing for a move can often have disastrous results. It’s best to begin the process at least a few weeks prior to your moving date to ensure all items are packed successfully. Start by organizing your belongings in a common area to determine which items can be discarded. In many cases you can donate gently used unwanted items, which is particularly relevant during the holiday season.

You can also put some of your belongings into storage until after the holidays have passed. This will allow you to partake in holiday festivities without worrying about unpacking right away, while also making certain that your items remain safe and secure. This option can also be useful if you don’t have the ample time required to extensively organize your items before a move.

Consider scaling back celebrations/decorations

Decorating your home is a fine holiday tradition, but this can require much time and energy that may simply not be available when arranging a move. In this case, you may want to consider scaling back decorating until you reach your new abode. This doesn’t mean you should neglect putting up any decorations at all, just that you can save more substantial items (i.e. the tree) until you are settled into your new home.

The same can be said for holiday celebrations. Consider postponing grand holiday dinners until after your move to decrease some of the pressure you are facing. You can also seek alternate plans, like having dinner at a loved one’s home or dining out, to help create a more convenient celebratory situation.

Don’t forget to keep the holiday spirit alive 

The holidays should be a time for remembering what matters most in life, from being grateful for all that you have to cherishing time spent with your loved ones. When faced with the seemingly endless responsibilities related to moving, in addition to the many common tasks associated with Christmas, it can be easy to forget about the most important part of the season.

To this end, one should be mindful of creating new holiday memories even during this stressful period. Enlist your family to take numerous pictures of both your old home as well as new in order to preserve the spirit of the season. Also, take time for each other when you can, whether that entails cooking up a batch of cookies with the kids or taking in a Christmas-themed movie with your significant other. No matter what, try to keep in mind what the season really means, which can be beneficial for keeping your wits about you during times of increased stress.

Bryan Passanisi is an online marketer living in the Redwood City, California area. He graduated from The University of San Francisco with his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. He is a Simpsons and Family Guy trivia geek and loves corgi puppies. Bryan Passanisi is a contributor to various websites and blogs including Shutterfly.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes moving into your new home

Written by Hannah Conlin

So, you’ve just said, “I do.” You’re ready to head into a lifetime of happy, wedded bliss with your spouse, and begin making memories you’ll cherish forever. However, before you begin planning your first family vacation, you need to move into your new home. For many this is the first hurdle in the relationship, and can be a difficult, stressful time.

Moving in with your spouse for the first time is a thrilling yet nerve-wracking experience. Being a newlywed is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life. Before you find yourself drifting out of the honeymoon state, consider doing the following to make your move as seamless and stress-free as possible:

◾Out with the old and in with the new. Before move day, take an inventory of everything the two of you have, and make a list of things you want to keep and what you can get rid of. Chances are you will have duplicates of some items, and taking inventory will prevent you from moving unwanted duplicates. In addition to avoiding duplicates, an inventory exercise prevents you from moving into a cluttered new home.

TMAT235◾If you are packing your own stuff, organize and re-organize. Pack your boxes with similar items from the same room. If you have small hardware from furniture or decorative pieces, put them in zip lock bags and label them. Baggies keep the small, easy to lose items kept together in one place. Also, labeling and color coding your boxes will make the move much smoother. Moving as newlyweds is an exciting time, you don’t want to cause unneeded frustration with your spouse because you can’t find certain items.

◾If you are moving to a new area, consider renting before buying. By renting, you are not committing to anything right away, and it allows you and your spouse to get to know the area, ensuring you will like your new town before becoming a permanent resident. Keep in mind, if you’re moving from an apartment, or condensing into one apartment with your spouse, our move crews are familiar with apartment complex rules and regulations, such as parking arrangements and service elevators in high rise buildings. Let us do the heavy lifting up and down those pesky flights of stairs or through those narrow hallways.

◾If you are ordering household items, because no one bought you that Keurig or Pottery Barn duvet set you had on your registry, have these items shipped to your new home several days after you move in. This will avoid moving the items twice if they arrive before your move day and will save you from chaos if they are sent to your new home on the day of the move.

◾Have a decor in mind so you can get on top of your interior decorating right after you move in. However, don’t get too stuck on a design. Be open to ideas and be willing to work with your partner to make each room decorated with a blend of both styles. Remember, the key to a happy marriage is compromise!

TMAT251◾Most importantly, leave the actual moving to the professionals. Hire a moving company. Not only will this save you the heartache of finding your new china piece dining set in a shattered mess because it wasn’t packed properly, but it will save you from a heated argument with your spouse over who packed that box. This is a busy period in your life, let us help make your move a fun transition in your new lives together. Look for companies seen frequently within your community. This will illustrate the company is a credible organization with a strong reputation.

Now go, begin this next chapter of your life. Enjoy your new, clutter-free, perfectly decorated, and professionally moved new home.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest 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.

Move your business fast and efficiently using these five tips

The very thought of moving your business can be stressful, almost as stressful as the move itself. As a business owner, there are several moving parts as you prepare for move day. When you choose TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we want your experience to be nothing short of positive and easy. As the “Movers Who Care®” we want to take the stress of moving your business off of your shoulders so you can get back to what matters most, your business. To ensure you are adequately prepared for your business move, we’ve developed a few important tips for how to ease the stress for you and your employees.

TMAT538De-clutter before moving

Once your business has decided to make the big move, it’s time to start fresh and part ways with all of that clutter. In order to make your move a smooth and clean process you will need to make sure you and your employees do just that … CLEAN. It’s silly to pay money for the moving company to move multiple boxes of clutter that are only going to sit in that storage closet in your new building. When it comes to decluttering in an organized fashion, try using three different colored sticky notes to classify what you’re going to keep, what can be thrown away, and what will be donated.

Make a checklist

When moving a business, big or small, there are many details that cannot afford to go unnoticed. Make sure you have created a checklist at least one month prior to your move date. This checklist should include all of the items that need to be packed and jobs that need to be done, such as disconnecting computers and machines. This will help you avoid unnecessary stress come moving day and will allow you to provide your movers with clear direction in order for them to work efficiently because time is money.

Do you have hundreds of boxes? Make a numbering system.

Number your boxes with a brief description of what is inside them and which department they need to go to in the new building. Record the numbers and descriptions of all the boxes into a document. This will come in handy to ensure an organized unload of furniture and boxes during the move. The movers will have an easier time figuring out where everything goes to avoid you having to micro-manage the move.

Notify your customers and update your contact information ahead of time

Giving your customers a heads up a few months in advance allows them to prepare for the move. It is suggested that you notify your customers on three separate occasions. The first should be about 60 days out. This is when you should announce what the new address will be and when you should alert the post office of your upcoming move. Two months will also allow time for you and your employees to place orders for new business cards, stationary, brochures, and other necessary business forms. The second notice should be made 30 days before the move. Your first notice will more than likely go unnoticed or be misplaced, so a second notice never hurts. The final notice should be the day after the move or when everything is unpacked and the business is up and running efficiently. This is when you should put in for mail transfers at the post office. During the final notice you should encourage your employees to reach out to businesses and important customers to ensure they have made note of your move. Keeping your customers in the loop is important when moving your business because you want to ensure the move is not only a smooth transition for you and your employees, but also for your valued customers.

TMAT558Move over the weekend to avoid disruption in your business

The transition for a business from one building to another can be a long and grueling process and many businesses have to close down temporarily to accommodate their moving needs. While it may not be ideal to move during the weekend, it helps avoid disruption in your business, and will also allow you a few days to get everything in order before Monday morning, which will be beneficial to the company in the long run.

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 you forward! For more moving, packing, or relocation tips, subscribe to our blog or like us on Facebook.