First time moving with pets? We’ve got you covered!

Moving to a new home can be a very stressful time for our four-legged family members. Here are some great tips to minimize stress before the move, during the transition, and when arriving at your new home.

Get the 411: If moving to a foreign country (or even Hawaii), be aware of quarantine or travel requirements that may take additional planning. If moving within the US, familiarize yourself with local pet regulations, ordinances, and zoning laws. Many cities have specific laws regarding leashes, pet licensing, breed restrictions, and allowable number of pets per household. In fact, some cities will even issue a citation for walking your dog on a public beach. For exotic pets (birds, Dr2reptiles, monkeys) or agricultural species (pigs, chickens, and goats), special permitting or zoning laws may apply. If you will be residing within an apartment community or condo, you should double check to ensure your pets are permitted. This should also be plainly stipulated within your rental agreement or within the homeowner’s association rules.

Good to go: Prior to moving, plan a visit with your pet’s veterinarian to ensure your pet is up-to-date on important vaccinations and is healthy enough for travel. Remember to obtain sufficient medication and prescription diet to last at least two weeks (until you are able to establish a relationship with a veterinarian in your new area). Ask your current veterinarian to refer you to a veterinarian in your new area or conduct your own research using the AVMA or American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) websites. If you are traveling across state lines or internationally, you will need a corresponding certificate of veterinary inspection to be filled out by an accredited veterinarian. In addition, some airlines require an acclimation certificate for air travel that must also be signed by an accredited veterinarian. Request a copy of your pet’s medical records to share with your new veterinarian. Consider having your pet microchipped as a quick and minimally invasive way to locate your pet if he or she should ever become lost. If your pet is already microchipped, remember to update your new information with the microchip company.

Carry me home: Leave yourself enough time to find a suitable pet carrier with sufficient ventilation. Your pet should have enough room to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Get your pet accustomed to the carrier before you travel by using the carrier as a pet bed for several days to weeks. Try to increase comfort and security by placing your pet’s favorite blanket, toy, and/or treat within the carrier. If your pet is prone to motion sickness, consider trying to slowly acclimate him or her by taking short car trips well in advance of your move. Progressively increase the duration of the car trips and monitor for improvement. Also, ask your veterinarian about prescription medications that work well to alleviate motion sickness in pets.

Pack it up:  Shortly before your move, your pet may become anxious while witnessing the packing and moving of household items. Consider a doggy day care, boarding facility, or have your pet visit a well-known friend during times of increased activity. Alternatively, assign a well-ventilated room of your home as the “pet room” to provide a sanctuary away from the chaos. Place a “do not disturb” sign on the door to avoid people unnecessarily entering the room.  Keep in mind that cats may show a tendency to run away or hide in boxes when stressed, so a “pet room” will help to keep tabs on your tiny tiger. Avoid straying from your usual routine during the moving process. Extra attention and special treats can serve as good short-term distractions while extra walks/increased exercise are a great outlet for excess nervous energy.  Pheromone-based diffusers and sprays are also available to help calm dogs and cats during stressful times. If you are concerned about your pet’s level of anxiety, speak to your veterinarian about medications available to help control your pet’s anxiety throughout the moving process.

Leave it out: Remember to leave out the following pet-related items that are needed for travel:
Prescribed medications (ensure you have adequate supply for the entire duration of your trip plus an additional 4 days)
-Food and water (ensure you have adequate supply for the entire duration of your trip plus an additional 4 days)
-Travel carrier or crate
-Pet bed with favorite blanket
-Several favorite toysDr

-Collar with leash or harness; ensure your pet is wearing an updated information tag including your pet’s name, new phone number, and new address
-Litter pan/cat litter
-Health certificate (interstate or international) +/- acclimation certificate for air travel
-Photo of your pet (in case your pet should become lost)
-Plastic poop bags
-Roll of paper towels

-Current veterinarian’s phone number

Other items to consider:
Medical records (especially if your pet has a current medical condition)
Pet first aid kit
Favorite treats
Pet seat belt and/or vehicle barrier
Pet brush

Dr. Anna Ligman is a small animal veterinarian and owner of The Veterinary Center at Hunter’s Crossing in Gainesville, FL.  Dr. Ligman is very passionate about preventative medicine and focuses on strong client education to enhance pets’ quality – and quantity – of life.

Help! I’ve never moved before!

Written by Nicole Harrison

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

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

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

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

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

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

box estimator

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

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

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 moves for retirees smooth and simple

Senior CoupleDeciding to move is often the most difficult step in the moving process for retirees. 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 retirees 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 retirees.

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.

 Click here to download your free moving checklist!

 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!