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

Written by Hannah Conlin

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

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

Pre-pack and centralize

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

Disassemble

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

Be patient

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

Have fun

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

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

Making senior moves smooth and simple

Senior CoupleDeciding to move is often the most difficult step in the moving process for seniors. In some instances, they are leaving the home in which they spent a better part of their lives and where they watched their family grow. From Sally taking her first steps to Joe graduating high school, their home symbolizes their past, and leaving that behind can be emotional. However, there are many reasons for seniors to consider moving including retirement, warmer climates, changes in lifestyle, and to be closer to family and friends.

Here are a few tips to guarantee a smooth experience for seniors.

Prepare for your move:

• Make your reservations for movers two to four weeks before moving day.

• Start packing several weeks in advance. Pack early to avoid being overwhelmed as moving day draws near.

• For large appliances, check the owner’s manuals to take note of any special instructions for moving.

• As you disassemble furniture and other items, tape all parts to the main base.

• Schedule disconnect times for about a week before you move, including cable, Internet and utilities.

Pack smart

• Always use packing paper. When wrapping fine china and precious items, the ink from printed newsprint can bleed onto your valuables.

• Always stack dishes upward when packing.

• Wrap small items in colored paper. This prevents items such as knick-knacks from becoming lost or thrown out.

• Use custom boxes designed for the items you are packing. Use dish pack boxes for dishes, wardrobe boxes for clothing.

• Pack all electronic equipment in original boxes. Otherwise use low-static bubble wrap as an alternative.

• Label boxes on top and sides. Mark boxes as they’re packed, labeling boxes containing breakable or sentimental items “fragile.”

• Pack important and sentimental documents separately for easy access, including children’s health records, passports, family records, insurance information, and photo albums.

• Keep in mind: the heavier the item, the smaller the box.

• Always tape boxes; don’t interlock the tops.

Pare down expenses:

• Assure packing is done before the day of your move.

• Minimize move time by putting all boxes in a central location – living room or garage are great areas.

• Disassemble furniture such as beds, tables and desks prior to the mover’s arrival.

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® we realize moving needs are unique for every customer, so we’re ready to customize a move to ensure the best moving experience. Our uniformed movers and drivers undergo extensive training; they are permanent employees and undergo background checks and are subject to random drug testing. They are committed to exceeding expectations and ensuring your move is completed efficiently to keep your moving costs affordable.

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 Moving with Pets

Written by Claire Schneider

Moving with petsMoving is a big life event for the whole family, even for our beloved four-legged friends. When changes are made to their living environment, pets can become uncomfortable and stressed. They may seem anxious and nervous during the packing stages of moving because they don’t know what is happening. They likely have developed separation anxiety from past vacations and other stays away from their owners. Many animals, especially dogs, are known to be emotional and to have a natural fear of abandonment.

Premove prep

Because of the attachment to their owners, it is always prudent to pay special attention to pets early in the process. If possible, give them comfort by taking them to visit the new home before the actual move to familiarize them with their new surroundings.

Prior to moving day, pet owners who make a little extra effort on their furry friend’s behalf will be rewarded with a less anxious animal. Just being aware of your pet’s feelings, just as you would your child’s, will give him a sense of peace amid the managed chaos the day is sure to present. Giving pets as much affection as possible will also reassure them they are still being cared for.

“Moving is very stressful for a family,” said ASPCA President Larry Hawk, D.V.M. “That stress is also experienced by the pets. They want to know that they’re part of the family and that they’ll be going, too.”

Moving can be especially stressful for cats since they are more focused on their surroundings and don’t adapt easily to change. Disruption to their environment can cause them anxiety which may lead to behavior changes. The best thing you can do is to plan a moving strategy which creates the least amount of noticeable change.

If your animals are anything like mine, they tend to get nervous at the first sign of packing, even if it is just an overnight bag for a quick trip away. To reduce their stress, spread out your packing over several weeks and start packing rooms pets usually stay out of to keep packed boxes and belongings out of sight.

A few weeks before moving day, plan a visit to the vet. This is an ideal opportunity for a quick check-up and to ensure records are up-to-date; I recommend asking for a copy of their veterinary records. If necessary, you may also ask if they have any recommendations for veterinary clinics in your new town; you can research online reviews to select your new provider.

Moving day

Moving with petsIf you hired movers, let your pet get to know them before they start moving your items. Animals are very territorial and may be hesitant to welcome strangers into their home. Give the movers some time to introduce themselves to your pet by slowly petting them. Having treats handy for the movers to dole out is a surefire way to get fast acquainted with any cat or dog.

Has a family member been assigned to caring for the family pet on moving day? This could be one of your children, a friend, or family member. To ensure their safety, put animals in a blocked off area (using a baby gate or boxes) so they become a spectator of the action yet safely out of the fray. Putting them in an isolated room could cause them further stress since they know something is happening yet can’t see it. Make sure they have food, water and, of course, their favorite toys to keep them occupied.

When packing up the car, leave plenty of room for your animals. By giving them ample space, they will be more comfortable and relaxed during the drive to their new home.

Hitting a high note in the new home

Immediately introduce your pet to the new surroundings, allowing them to explore each room.  Don’t rush them. Bring in their food and water dishes, along with their toys, to make them more contented. To help with the adjustment, place familiar items in locations similar to the old house—at least for a period of time. Also, follow their current routines; they have had enough changes already.

Invest a little time in planning ahead for your furry and four-legged friends, and the move will be less stressful for your whole family.

Here are some helpful tips for moving with specific animals:

Cats:

• Before and after the move, surround your cat with familiar objects ― feeding and water bowls, toys, blanket, or bed. If you are using a crate, leave it in a place with which they can become familiar.

• Since cats are very sensitive to their environment, gradually introduce them to their surroundings by restricting them to one or two rooms at the onset.

Dogs:

• Like cats, dogs should be slowly introduced to their surroundings, then leashed outside until comfortable with the area.

• If you are unable to stay home the first few days following a move, consider arranging a friend or pet sitter to visit a couple of hours a day to ease your dog’s anxiety and to burn some healthy energy.

Fish:

• Traveling is the most difficult part of the moving process for fish. Place fish in bags with a mix of new water and clean water directly from their aquarium. The less the fish are crowded the better. Put rubber bands around the tops of bags and place the bags inside a dark, insulated cooler.

• Let the filter run for a few hours before returning your fish to their tank, and try to limit their time away from their normal habitat to less than 48 hours.

Birds:

• Use appropriate-sized carriers for birds and cover the bottom with litter. Remember to secure carrier doors with a clip from the outside. Keep the birds cool and protected from the sun at all times.

• Transport a supply of food and water from the previous house, then gradually switch from old to new supplies.

Small pets:

• Small pets such as gerbils, guinea pigs, and hamsters are more sensitive to drastic temperature changes. Take care to protect them from cold drafts or direct sunlight.

• These animals can travel in the cage they normally live in, but make sure it is well sealed so they cannot escape.

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.

Reduce Moving Stress with a Moving Checklist

Written by Claire Schneider

Moving ChecklistStudy after study indicates moving is a stressful time indeed; however, with a little preparation and organization, moving day can be more enjoyable for the entire family.

To get you started on the right foot, we put together a checklist leading up to the day of your move. Follow these tips to ensure your day is predictably pleasant—right down to the final detail.

Two months prior

• Photos. Before you do anything, take photos of your home. My husband and I do this every time we move, and I am so grateful. I know some day when we expand our family, I will enjoy showing them pictures of where we lived.

• Minimize what move with you. Go through every room of your house and decide what stays and what goes. Don’t forget the basement, attic and garage. This may seem like a lot of work but, trust me, come moving day, you’ll be glad you did.

• Take inventory. Take stock of every valuable item you plan to move. Include photos, along with written descriptions.

• Organize records. If you have kids, make arrangements with their current schools to have their records transferred. Secure copies of everyone’s medical records, as well as recommendations of doctors in your new community.

• Talk to your kids. Moving can be an uncertain time for children, especially if they are leaving the only home they know. Early on, begin including your kids in moving discussions, and give them an idea of what will happen on moving day. Be certain they know they can talk to you about any fears they might have.

Five to six weeks prior

• Research. It’s time to decide if you are going to move yourself or hire a moving company. You don’t need to book anything yet, but it’s good to plan accordingly. When interviewing moving companies, make sure to ask if they are insured and bonded, if they hire full and part-time movers rather than temporary movers, and how they charge. Click here to get your free moving quote.

• Finalize real estate or rental needs.  Renters, communicate with your landlord about the upcoming move. See if they have any moving-out guidelines or polices you’ll need to follow.

• Prepare to pack. Order boxes and other packing supplies. Don’t forget to buy plenty of bubble wrap and tape! Look into wardrobe and other specialty boxes as they make packing much easier. Whatever you do, don’t use food or supermarket boxes.  You never know what little critter is hiding inside or if the box will be strong enough to support your possessions.

One month prior

• Begin packing. Pack up items you don’t frequently use, and clearly label each box with the name of the room for which it is assigned.

• Pick you moving partner. Now that you’ve done your research and thought it over, decide how you want to move. If you decide to use a moving company, make your reservations plenty of time in advance to secure your ideal day and time. Many moving companies are filling up reservations faster than ever!

• Notify utility companies. No one wants to pay for utilities they’re not using. Notify each company of the day you are moving, and arrange for your new accounts to be started when you arrive at your new house.

• Change your address. To change your address, either go to your local post office or visit usps.com and fill out a change of address form.

• Notify important parties. Contact your bank, insurance provider employer, and magazines or newspapers you subscribe to.  Celebrate your milestone with creative moving announcements featuring your new address, and mail them to all of your friends and family.

One week prior

• Finish packing. Remember to pack important and sentimental items separately so they are easily accessible. Plan on keeping this box with you personally when you move.

• Confirm move. Confirm the time the movers will arrive as well as other specifics and make sure you have prepared exact, written directions to your new home for the movers. Also include contact information, such as your cell phone number.

• Clean. The last thing you want to do before you move is clean everything in your house. In order to save you time, begin cleaning rooms you don’t use as often. It’s also a good idea to make a “survival closet” containing things for the last cleanup before you move out. For example a broom, dust cloth, dust pan, mop, etc.

Day of the move

Day of the Move Box• Pack your suitcase. I highly recommend packing a suitcase or use our “Day of the Move” box with essential items and clothes for the day/night. You will be exhausted after the move, and when it’s time to get ready for bed, you don’t want to have to dig through multiple boxes.

• Eat a healthy breakfast. It’s going to be a long day so make sure you eat a nutrient-rich breakfast to help you stay energized during a rigorous day.

• Initial walk-through. Take the time for an initial walk-through with the movers. Did they do a thorough inventory of your items and know what will be moved?

• Lock up. Walk through the entire house and make sure everything is out. Also check to make sure the windows are locked, the lights are off, and the doors are closed and locked.

 

 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.

10 Things You Must Know About Winter Moving

Winter is just around the corner and although the season brings harsh weather, families throughout the country will move into new homes. Our friends in colder climates know what exactly they are up against: ice, snow, slick roads, and frigid temperatures … all of which increase the risk for personal injury and damage to valuables during a move.

If you plan to hire movers or are moving by yourself this winter (I applaud your bravery), read the following tips to stay safe during your winter move day:

1)     Avoid slip hazards by shoveling driveways and walkways before your truck arrives 

2)     Stay warm in the cold by dressing in layers; you can always remove layers if you begin to overheat.

3)      Leave the heat and electricity on in your home until you are completely moved out; consider leaving your door open during the move to balance the temperatures. Constantly walking back and forth from a warm house to a cold driveway can cause fatigue.

4)      Cover your floors with old sheets to avoid tracking mud and snow into your home 

5)      Place towels by the front door to wipe away snow from the dolly wheels as you come in and out of your home

5)      Consider purchasing extra moving pads to protect all of your belongings from the elements

6)      Ensure your moving pads remain dry at all times

7)      Have a shovel and salt on the truck so you can easily clear the loading area of ice and snow

8)      Be extremely cautious when driving and watch out for black ice 

9)      Keep towels in the truck so you can clean and dry the moving ramp while loading and unloading

10)   Carry any plants in the cab of the truck not in the back where they can be affected by cold temperatures

If you would like more information on moving during the winter, shoot us an email at moverswhoblog@twomen.com. If you have winter moving tips of your own please share them in the comments! 

5 Ways to Make Moving Memorable for Children

Written by Shelby Reno

Leaving the familiar can be tough on the psyche for anyone, but for a child it can be traumatic. The only bedroom they’ve ever known might be what they are letting go, so identifying ways to ensure your child’s experience is a positive one is easier than you might expect.

Our movers are encouraged to meet the child at his or her level. Once a kid feels comfortable with the people who are hired to move the entire contents of his life, the anxiety is diffused and the child is more apt to join in the adventure. We recently saw this in action at a franchise in Atlanta, Ga. After engaging the six-year-old boy of a couple who was moving for the first time in that child’s brief history, he wanted to help the moving team, so the movers made him an honorary supervisor, outfitting him with an official armband. The boy’s parents were so touched that they sent a heartfelt letter to the office and thanked the moving team for making an indelible impression on the youngster. Giving them a part to play can make all the difference to our precious little ones.

Here are five key thoughts to consider if you’re moving with small ones:

1) Harness the good in change, and frame the move as a grand adventure. Plan a fun event after the move is complete. Make a favorite meal or buy a new piece of furniture you know they’ll love, like a bean bag, canopy netting for the bed, an inexpensive tent for the new room or a wall decal of their favorite cartoon character.

2) Remove the unknown by planning ahead. Keep the move a daily topic, especially as the move nears. You’ll pick up on anxiety triggers allowing you to head off potential issues.

3) Pack special toys and lovies in a carry-on that never leaves the child’s side. Keeping their favorite things close is a sure-fire way to curry comfort and reduce anxiety.

4) Make introductions to strangers on move day. Our movers care about pets and kids, and there are countless stories of our teams going above and beyond for our clients’ loved ones. While moving can be stress-filled, professional movers know they are hired to minimize this to any degree they’re able.

5) Take advantage of opportunities to be inclusive with your children. Many kids just want to have place in the process. There are opportunities abound that give them a role while keeping them out of the fray. Ensure their special tasks are safe but rewarding.

If you and your chosen movers handle your children’s experience with TLC, your move will be memorable for all the right reasons.

Storage Tips 101: Choosing a Storage Facility and Safeguarding Your Valuables

Written by Lisa Kirchhoff

For many, a household move often means placing some items in storage. Whether it’s long-term or short-term, nearby or far away, there are some tips to keep in mind if storing items is in your future:

Choosing a storage facility

Choosing a facility should be based on how long you anticipate your items will remain there, as well as the season and climate.

For longer-term storage of more than three months, or if you must store items over the course of changing seasons, a climate-controlled storage facility is best. Although they do cost more than non-climate-controlled centers, your valuables will stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, which is ideal for everything from large appliances to small keepsakes.

For short-term storage up to three months, a non-climate-controlled unit will suffice, but be sure to take extra precautions to prevent mold and mildew from forming.  If your short-term storage takes place during the winter in a northern climate, do not store computer monitors or televisions, as extremely cold temperatures can cause screens to freeze and break.

Check into insurance

As with any valuables, insurance is important with stored items. Even if the facility you choose appears to have a great security system against theft, don’t forget the possibilities of fire, flood, explosion, storms and natural disasters.

Check with the storage facility manager about their insurance coverage. Few facilities provide full insurance coverage for stored items. Some may provide basic insurance, but it will more than likely not be sufficient to cover replacement costs.

It’s also a good idea to check your homeowners or renters policy you have with your own insurance company. It may provide full coverage for your items even when they are stored away from your residence.

You may want to consider purchasing extra insurance coverage if:

  • Items will be stored long-term in a non-climate controlled unit
  • The storage unit is in a flood plain
  • You intend to store extremely valuable items

Watch for our next installment on using a storage facility: Storage Tips 102: packing, preparing and unloading.

Lisa is a guest writer for Movers who Blog and has 19 moves under her belt. She works for US Cargo Control where she blogs about moving supplies

Move Month Madness

By Dawn:

I can’t believe May is here already. Historically, May is the start of the traditional “moving season” in the U.S.

During this busy time, approximately 35 million Americans begin making plans to pack their stuff and move. And with increased moving both locally and across the county, comes moving scams and companies that simply don’t have the best interest of customers.

While the reputation of movers has improved over the past couple decades, there are still companies out there looking to take advantage of people during a vulnerable period – moving time.

Several years ago my dad found an article in a 1972 issue of Mad Magazine. In a handwritten note to me, accompanied by a photo copy of the article, he writes, “Dawn, enclosed article copied from 1972 Mad Magazine – most articles in the issue were dated by current events of the time – Vietnam, hippies, dropping out of society etc. et, some 33 years later, enclosed article is as timely today as ever. Enjoy, BWB.”

Throughout the four-page, hand drawn cartoon scene, movers and moving companies are depicted as slimy, conniving cheaters. Take the following exchange for example … “That’s right lady! It’s just like we say in our ads! We move you for ten bucks an hour! Of course there may be a few little extras! Lady says, “What kind of extras …?” Mover replies, “Like a TRUCK! It’ll cost you more, but you’ll save money in the end! And you’ll need a driver! Uh – you got any furniture?” Lady replies, “Of course I do!”

And how about this … angry lady points at manager as she displays a damaged piece of artwork … “What do you mean you’re not responsible?! Your ad said you’re insured against any damage!” Manager replies, “That’s right, lady! All our moving men have insurance policies covering themselves against any personal injury or damage while working. A guy can get hurt pretty bad lugging heavy stuff around!”

I could go on … and on. But you get the point. Unfortunately, just as in 1972, there are movers who will take advantage of unsuspecting customers. Be educated. Do your homework. If you find “two movers for $50 an hour” on Craigslist and it seems too good to be true … it is.

Consider these questions as you begin researching moving companies:

  • Have I heard of this moving company before?
  • Have any of my friends or family used this moving company?
  • Have I seen this moving company’s advertisements in reputable places like radio, television or print? Or out in the community donating moving services?
  • Does this moving company have a physical location locally?
  • Does this moving company employ their movers or hire temporary day laborers?
  • Will this company replace or repair any damaged item?

There are many useful tools out there as you begin the quest to hire a reputable mover. Check out these great questions to ask all the moving companies as you seek to line up your mover. The U.S. Department of Transportation has some helpful resources to protect against moving fraud, as well.

Additionally, in an effort to educate consumers in selecting the best mover, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has teamed up with the American Moving and Storage Association to be part of this year’s Move Month campaign. AMSA’s ProMover campaign seeks to showcase professional, trained and reputable movers. Check out details of the campaign here.

Take time during national move month to do your homework and select the best mover for you. And avoid the unfortunate scenarios laid out in Mad Magazine all those years ago.

How My Movers Saved The Day (And Possibly My Marriage)

I have worked for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® for nearly a decade. Consequently, much of my life revolves around moving. After all that time, you would think I would be prepared for my own move. You would be so wrong.

After six years in the only home I’ve ever owned, my husband and I decided it was time to move…I’m a planner with a few control issues, so when the move activities happened faster than expected, I started to freak out. It was all I could think about and worse, all I could talk about. When my poor co-workers asked, “So how is the move going?” they had to listen to me go on and on about how unprepared I was, how much stuff we had accumulated over the past six years, and how I still had boxes that I had not unpacked from the last move

There was never a question in my mind I would use our movers to move our belongings. When we moved into our last house, my husband decided that we should do it on our own.  “You’re making a big mistake”, I told him.  I’ll spare you the details of that move, but needless to say, it was the last decision my husband got to make. Now all of our life decisions are left up to me. So, with that power, I went over to the Lansing TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, bought as many boxes as I could fit in my van, and booked my move. “The Move” had begun.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® moves more than 300,000 people each year, yet somehow I behaved like I was the only person on Earth who ever had to suffer through packing a basement. Naturally, I began to worry about everything I could think of. I was convinced that the movers were going to judge my packing abilities. So I packed each box delicately and with the precision of someone diffusing a bomb. When the night before the move came, my house looked like a warzone.

I began to chaotically toss things into boxes with reckless abandon—at that point we weren’t moving…we were evacuating. I barked orders at my family like a drill sergeant, with our motto being “Take only what you need to survive!” Needless to say, I went to sleep that night completely unprepared for the move.

Our movers arrived on time, which meant I was going to be that customer—the one who is still packing boxes while the movers are loading the truck. My husband and I had a lengthy discussion the night before about being prepared and how much I wanted to be all ready when the movers arrived. That was obviously a pipe dream. “It’s okay”, the lead mover told me “we’ll just start in another room while you finish this one.” Sweet relief!

The rest of the day went smoothly, but only because of the movers. One mover cracked jokes that distracted me from arguing with my husband. The other mover caught me watching worriedly as he moved a piece of furniture, and he flashed poster-worthy smile (he’s featured on many of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® marketing materials) that would remind me everything was going to be just fine. The movers probably saved years of my life by cutting down my stress level.

Ever since “The Move” I keep thinking about how much I depended on my movers that day. They were the only thing that made our move bearable. It was difficult only because I’m a procrastinator and a bit of drama queen. These guys deal with situations ten times worse than mine every day. I wonder if they realize what an impact they have. 

They were exactly what a neurotic person like me needs: TWO MEN AND A THERAPIST!