I’m too busy! I don’t have time to pack and move!

Written by Arika Ford

I’m in a rush most of the time. Three kids with various activities on our schedule every day of the week, a full-time job, a house to clean, husband, dog, cat, and hamster. Hurry, hurry, hurry is my life these days.

In addition to the chaos, I am moving in June. It may seem far away, but when you’re as busy as I am, it’s hard to find time to get everything together. After careful consideration and planning, I put together a timeline to prepare for my move. For the other busy moms and dads out there, hopefully this will help you stay on track for a smooth move.

Before you start packing, you will need to buy all necessary packing boxes and supplies. Fortunately, your local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® sells a variety of moving and packing supplies so you can purchase a wide variety of boxes to hold different household items like we did!

My timeline is as follows:

One month before the move. Set up a handful of big boxes, not only as a reminder and a motivator, but to pack items you won’t use until after the move (special baking dishes, extra serving dishes, silverware, holiday items, etc.).dishpack kit

3 weeks before the move. Box up out of season items – for me this is winter items – in each kids’ room (snow boots, extra coats, gloves, heavy sweaters, snow pants). If you have young kids, you can turn this into a game — anything to get them to help. I am going to set up boxes in the living room and have my kids run as fast as they can to their rooms, gather their winter gear, and box those items up. I have designated an area for each of them in the living room to see who can get all of their winter items to me the fastest. Two of my kids play fall sports, I can easily pack up those items and label them. This is also a good time to start working on hallways closets and rid any bulky winter or vacation items.

At this point, hopefully you will have a healthy stack of labelled boxes. Keep your packed boxes out of the way so they don’t get damaged or tipped over. The display of boxes will begin to get my kiddos talking about moving and they will likely adjust to the move a little quicker if it is a part of their life for a few weeks before the move.

2 weeks before the move. Use this time to put small boxes in the kids’ rooms and have them begin to sort and pack small areas such as junk drawers, toys, and closets. This helps them to have ownership and a sense of control over something. Take this time to pack up miscellaneous or other household items that will not be used until after the move.

Gather items you no longer want and plan to donate. Now is a perfect time to get rid of items you have not used in the last 12-14 months. Research local shelters and donation sites in your city.

Week of the move. Use this time to finish packing up clothing, go throughMoving Checklist your bathrooms, and pack the remainder of your items. Start cleaning forgotten areas of your home and put last minute things together. Checklists are wonderful. Think about writing a checklist for the final packing and cleaning steps.

Packing up small areas at a time eliminates the feeling of becoming overwhelmed and allows you to be more prepared as moving day quickly approaches. If you stay on top of packing and prep as much as you can, when you can, your busy family will be packed up, moved out, and settled into the new place with what felt like much less effort. We’re hoping this checklist gives you busy parents a starting point to begin packing and organizing for your family’s big move.

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

Prepping and packing your bathroom

Written by Nicole Harrison

If you are feeling ambitious and decide to pack your home on your own, there are a few tips and tricks to pack your bathroom as efficiently as possible.

Bathrooms are tedious. Chances are, you don’t know where to start. You probably have quite the collection of lotions, hair products, cotton swabs, toilet paper, make-up, cleaning products, soaps, towels, and more. Who are we kidding, of course the bathroom is one of the hardest rooms to pack!

Lucky for you, we are a professional moving company with many years of packing experience and have put together a detailed guide on how to pack up your bathroom.

Sorting through the “junk”

Before you start throwing items in boxes, you need to sort through everything. Lotion and body wash have become the “go-to” present for any occasion. Personally, I have a stash of lotions that could last me a lifetime. More times than not, a bathroom is filled with handfuls of unused and unopened products.

Go through your cabinets and shelves and pitch all empty and half-empty bottles. As hard as it may be, it’s important to only keep the items you love and use regularly. All of your full, un-used products and travel size items can be donated to local homeless shelters.

Packing upTMAAT054-1499048749-O

Once you have sorted through your bathroom, you can start packing. Hopefully you have less to pack up after sorting and throwing old and unused toiletries. Don’t forget to keep your daily essential items and medications separate so you can easily access them until after you unpack all of your belongings. Always label all of your boxes. That way, you will know what’s inside the box before you actually open it!

Take note of the following tips to make packing your bathroom much easier than you could have imagined.

Toiletries– Pack all of your toiletries together. If you have items that could spill or break, we recommend placing them in plastic bags. Categorize your toiletries and keep each category together when packing i.e. hair products, make up, lotions, etc. Packing toiletries by their groups make finding each item and organizing your new bathroom much easier.

Towels– We encourage you to pack the top of your toiletry and miscellaneous boxes with small towels. Hand towels and washcloths can be used as cushions to keep your items from banging around and possibly breaking. The remainder of your towels can be packed in large boxes.

Linens– Pack all of your linens in large boxes. Linens are very light and will be easy to transport in a large box. Remember this moving tip: pack heavy items in small boxes, and light items in large boxes — you don’t want to create more work for yourself than you need to.

Cleaning supplies– Keep your bathroom cleaning supplies separate in their own box. You want to be able to access your cleaning supplies the day of your move so you aren’t leaving your home a mess for the new owners. Secondly, be cautious when packing cleaning supplies, you don’t want to over pack the boxes. Pressure from a closed box or too many products in one box may cause cleaning solvents to spray or spill in the box. Finally, do not worry about packing inexpensive items that can easily be replaced such as a plunger or toilet bowl brush. You can purchase these items when you get to your new home.

As you can see, packing your bathroom can be a tedious task. There is a lot more to think about than just throwing items in moving boxes. If you get one take-away from this blog let it be this: sort through your items before you begin packing your bathroom. Pitching the half-empty bottles hiding in the back of your drawers will make a huge difference. If you need reliable and durable boxes to pack your belongings in, we have you covered! TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® sells a variety of packing supplies for your convenience.

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

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