TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® & Earth to Echo summer contest

Written by Claire Schneider

Submit your moving tip and enter to win Earth to Echo swag, movie package and a $100 VISA gift card!

Moving Tips ContestMoving can be difficult for anyone especially if it’s not your decision. This is the case in Relativity’s PG summer family adventure movie, Earth to Echo. Tuck, Munch and Alex, an inseparable trio, and their families are being forced to move from their homes because of highway construction project.

To help the families with their upcoming move, we at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® are hosting a summer moving tip contest! People can submit a photo and caption of their favorite moving tip for a chance to win Earth to Echo swag, 4 movie tickets, $30 concession gift card, and a $100 VISA gift card; second place Earth to Echo swag, 4 movie tickets, and a $50 VISA gift card. The moving tips can be fun and outside the box! Once you enter, be sure to promote your moving tip to increase your chances of winning. One lucky voter will win Earth to Echo swag and 4 movie tickets.

Submit your moving tip photo and caption between Monday, June 23 and Wednesday, July 9. Be sure to vote for your favorites between Thursday, July 10 and July 16.

Here’s how you can win:

Step 1: Create your moving tip

Step 2: Act out the moving tip and snap a photo

Step 3: Submit the photo and caption on TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc.’s Facebook contest app

Step 4: Promote your photo entry on Facebook to gain votes! If you aren’t submitting a photo, be sure to vote for your favorite. One random voter will also receive a prize.

Step 5: Win! The photo with the most votes on July 16 will win Earth to Echo swag, 4 movie tickets, $30 concession gift card, and a $100 VISA gift card; second place Earth to Echo swag, 4 movie tickets, and a $50 VISA gift card.

Contest rules:

Photos must be of a moving tip and include a caption.

Participants must be 18 or older to enter and a U.S. resident.

All photos are to be submitted through TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc.’s Facebook contest.

Employees of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® or its franchisees and their immediate family members are not eligible to win.

Click here to read the official rules.

May the best moving tip win!

Don’t miss Earth to Echo, in theaters July 2!

 

FACEBOOK, INC. DOES NOT SPONSOR OR ENDORSE, AND IS NOT IN ANY WAY AFFILIATED WITH, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK OR THE PROMOTION.

AS REQUIRED BY IRS REGULATIONS A W-9 FORM WILL BE REQUIRED FROM ALL WINNERS AND A 1099-MISC WILL BE ISSUED FOR THE 2013 TAX PERIOD.

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.

Tips for an epic Memorial Day party

Written by Cait Quinn

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

Planning

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

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

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

Food

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

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

Decorations

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

Activities

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

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

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

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.

Mother’s Day gifts from the heart

Happy Mother's DayWritten by Shelby Reno

Mother’s Day is an occasion which honors mothers and motherhood, as well as unique maternal bonds. It’s also a time to acknowledge the influence of mothers in our culture. How do we do this? With cards, flowers, gifts, and precious time. What will you do for the mother figure in your life this Mother’s Day? If you’re still searching for the perfect solution, read on.

New Moms

New moms are thrilled to begin celebrating this holiday for the first time as a parent. Consider first-time mommy gifts of the lasting kind, so they have something to cherish and wear for years to come. Sterling silver bracelets and pendants with new baby’s name or footprints will be received with joy – likely even a few happy tears. This takes additional planning, so keep in mind you’ll need a few weeks for production and possibly shipping time.

Photo collages are available for order online from a host of suppliers, are offered in a variety of sizes, and are generally inexpensive. Dads, use your smartphone and take a series of cute and funny pictures of you and your child; upload, order and watch for the mailman. Later, collages can be stored flat or be rolled up, depending on size, and stowed in your new child’s memory box if you’ve already started one (highly recommend!).

Single Moms

Whether newly single or not, all moms need to have a celebration on Mother’s Day. If you’re kids are smaller it may take some more organizing on your part, but it won’t be any less special. Take the kids shopping for gifts and make a day out of it! Visit stores both you and your kids will enjoy and let them pick out special gifts for you. Then treat your family to lunch at your favorite restaurant. This day will be special way spend time together and will be one to remember.

If shopping isn’t really your kids’ cup of tea, make it craft time. Get fun paints, glitter, and other supplies and let your kids create a present for you. Purchase a small wooden jewelry box at your local craft store and let you kids paint and decorate it. Each time you reach for a piece of jewelry you’ll remember the fun you all had decorating the keepsake.

Need some R&R after spending the day with the kids? Ask the grandparents or close friends if they wouldn’t mind watching them while you treat yourself to a special spa day.

If you have a friend who’s a single mom, think about sending her a card or little gift wishing her a happy Mother’s Day. This will be a marvelous, unexpected surprise that will surely bring a smile to her face.

Seasoned Moms

Mother's DaySentimental gifts know no age. I asked a few mothers of teens and adults, and for those who enjoy jewelry, this was the primary preference. I’m not referring to just expensive jewelry—sterling silver applies—rather pieces which remind moms of significance of the day—and even year—and the doting child(ren) who gifted it.

Can a little peace and quiet be packaged up? This was also a list-topper for moms who have a love-hate relationship with the familiar noises of a busy household what feels like 24/7. While the holiday is about celebrating motherhood and the kids are an integral part of the equation, sending mom off to meet with a gal pal for a late afternoon pedicure or Pinot Noir (or both!) is just the mini escape to brighten her day – especially if any babysitting needs are seamlessly handled. Day spas also offer a variety of packages with one or multiple services. A gift certificate can be redeemed for later use.

Grandmoms

I met a grandmother in her 70s yesterday at the park, and we watched my daughter and her grandson expend more energy than we were from the bench onto which we settled. She said something so heartfelt and humble which made me realize how special it is for young kids to live near grandparents, “I’m happy that they always welcome me in their activities. While I can’t do much physically, it feels good to be included and to watch my grandchildren have a good time.”

Knowing the gift of time is the greatest gift to most grandparents, consider encouraging your child to design or color unique “coupons” for upcoming family outings, special activities and events. It adds an element of planning ahead and puts the treasure of time together front and center, which is arguably the single most important element to a grandparent.

Desire something more tangible and immediate? Most seniors have collected over the years the essentials, so focus on small the luxuries or items too heavy to purchase and lug home on their own. Her favorite exotic flower variety is a good choice. Could the entrance or front door use a pop of color? Cute tin flowers to hang onto the door or a large potted miniature tree make for an indulgent gift they may not buy themselves—especially on a fixed income.

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.