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.

Creative Tips for Storing Holiday Decorations


Written by Nick Howison and Brad Hillard

The holidays are in full swing, but they end as quickly as they come. The bittersweet combination of decorating, time with in-laws and shopping is an emotional roller coaster; especially when the season comes to a halt. If it seems like a good idea to simply throw all of your holiday decorations in a box in the attic, this post is for you.  The results of a hasty holiday tear-down can be disastrous and make decorating for the next year even more complicated. Take the edge off by using the following tips to efficiently pack and store your holiday decorations:

  1. Rally the Troops: In my house, everyone is determined to “deck the halls”, but when it comes to taking it down, nobody wants to help. Every year I earn their help by taking them out to a dinner and a movie-of-choice after the decorations are down.
  2. Label your Boxes: Writing “fragile ornaments” and “singing-Santa clause”  on their respective boxes helps organize the entire decorating process from start to finish. It’s helpful when assigning tasks to family members. It allows me to ask, “Can you bring down the hand-carved reindeer set from the attic? It’s in box labeled ‘Xmas Living Room’.”
  3. Choose Wisely: TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your packing needs.  Some unique ones include a dish pack box with an insert for your Christmas tree ornaments. These boxes are big and hold a variety of items so you can use them year-round. Click here to see a few options available to you.
  4. Recycle: Did your gift come with bubble wrap or protective foam? Reuse these perfectly good packing materials in the place of the old, mostly-popped, bubble wrap in your decoration boxes.
  5. Christmas Creativity: Pack smaller ornaments and decorations into an empty egg carton (leftover from the plethora of consumed eggnog). This provides a protective shell for the ornaments and the cartons can be stacked inside a larger box.
  6. Light bulb!: Wrap your lights around pieces of cardboard.  This is a great way to keep the lights from tangling which in turn  protects them from annual damage. Once they are wrapped, place the cardboard pieces in a labeled box for next year.

No matter which method you choose to pack up your holiday decorations, the blog team at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® strives to move you forward no matter the task and we are always available to help with any packing challenge. Share your holiday packing tips with us in the comments!

We hope you enjoy the time spent with your families and wish you a happy holiday season!

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