College moving 101: tips for your first move

Written by Corinne DeVries

Where do you even begin?! Preparing for your first move to college can be stressful and overwhelming, to say the least. The uncertainty surrounding what will soon be your college life is looming ahead. You’re not sure where everything on campus is, where your room is, what you should pack, if your new peers will be welcoming, or if you’ll get everything done before your move in date.

Thankfully we have quite a few college moving experts on hand to offer their advice on expertly preparing you for your move, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about!

Getting started and getting there

Most universities and colleges begin sending brochures, flyers, and check-up emails a montCollege movingh or two in advance to prepare you to move in. Often, among these materials will be a list of suggested items you need to bring. This is a good way to start your list of items you know you need to bring.  Another important thing to remember is most campuses get crazy busy during move-in days. A high influx of cars are on campus, makes parking and getting to your dorm or apartment just short of impossible. Be sure you check what time you are scheduled to move in and where you can park to unload your belongings, and try to stick with this schedule!  A lot of students will be moving in on the same day, and if you try to move in at a different time, there may not be a place to park and unload. Lastly, on move day, give yourself a little extra time to get there—there are many people in one area, and getting through campus or around town can take a lot longer than usual, and you want to make sure you are punctual for your move-in time.

Roommate bonding

It’s a good idea to get to know your roommate and become familiar with them so you don’t feel like you’re moving in with a total stranger. Meeting up to grab lunch is the best way to introduce yourself but if you don’t have time, or you roommate doesn’t live near you, you can always chat online or over the phone. This way you can find out what they like to do in their free time, as well as figure out who will be bringing what items. The typical list of items students share with their roommates are things like a futon, fridge, microwave, TV, carpet, etc.!

Sharing a bathroom

Check if your dorm is suite style or community bath. If you’re in a suite style dorm, you will want to stock up on cleaning supplies. Usually with four people plus your friends that come over, your bathroom gets gross pretty quickly. Get to know your suitemates and set up a weekly cleaning schedule for the bathroom. Since cleaning supplies can be a hassle to pack, you will most likely want to find the local convenience store once you move in, and get cleaning supplies for your bathroom.

If your dorm has community bath, you will probably want to invest in a carrier for your shampoo/conditioner, tooth brush, razors etc. to make trips to the bathroom simple. You can just grab your carrier rather than trying to carry everything in your arms. Sometimes toiletries can be awkward to pack. If you don’t want to deal with trying to find a place to squeeze your toiletries in with all of your clothes on move day, you may want to wait and buy these items at the convenience store once you arrive.

 Other essentials

Be sure to read through all of the information the university has sent you about measurements. All dorms are different, so before buying your futon, carpet, or fridge, check the size of your room to ensure what you’re buying will all fit in your room. Also, double check things like bed size. Some bunk beds or lofts in college dorms are longer or a different size than your average twin bed. If you’re planning to buy your own sheets, double check the bed size to make sure the sheets will fit.

Linen agreements

Some campuses offer linen agreements for on-campus living. So if you don’t want to go out and find sheets that fit, check to see if your campus offers a linen agreement. Often linen agreements include washing the sheets as well as shower towels. These items usually need to be returned at the end of the year during checkout, but it’s one less thing to pack!

In addition, check the laundry situation in your dorm. There may be washers and dryers in your dorm hall. Some campuses may include the use of the machines in your housing contract. However, some may require you to use cards or quarters. If this is the case, you may want to bring quarters or find a nearby location where you can exchange cash for quarters!

Survival kit

Some things you may not think about when moving into the dorm is that you will most likely get sick whether it be a cold, the flu, migraines, or maybe you will get a really bad paper cut! Or for those bad days where you seem to be spilling everything, whether it be on your carpet, desk, or even on yourself, there are a few things you will want to pack:

  • First aid: bandages, antibiotic and hydrocortisone ointments, pain killers, digital thermometer, decongestant, and antacids
  • Laundry: detergent, stain remover stick, and fabric softener
  • Cleaning: antibacterial wipes, glass cleaning wipes, microfiber dust cloth, roll of paper towels, broom, and dustpan

Tips

  • Pack light
    • The dorms aren’t very big and there isn’t a lot of room for clutter. Try to only pack the essentials with maybe a few decorative items such as pictures of family and high school friends to make it feel more like home.
    • It may be easy to pack clothes in a suitcase, however there isn’t a lot of storage space in a dorm room so try to pack clothes in garbage bags or something that can be easily thrown away or stored for when it’s time to move out again.
  • Pack like things together
    • If you pack similar belongings together, it makes unpacking on arrival so much easier.
  • Tool kit
    • Bring a tool kit for move in day and have it handy in case you want to loft/de-loft your bed, put together a table you brought, or something of the sort.
  • Explore
    • Introduce yourself to people living on your floor or in your hall. The friends you make in college will likely become lifelong friends.

Also find nearby convenience stores because we all know there is that one thing you forgot to pack and you won’t be able to wait for mom to send it to you in the mail.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. To learn more moving and packing tips subscribe to our blog or like us on Facebook.

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.

Wrapping up Movers for Moms®, 230,000 items collected in 2015!

Movers for Moms® 2015 has officially come to a close!

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we believe every mother deserves to be thought of on Mother’s Day, regardless of her circumstancm4mes. Because of that, we came up with the Movers for Moms® program eight years ago, and it runs as our annual spring program. Our franchises team up with local schools, businesses, and other organizations to collect essential care items for mothers in need who are forced to stay in domestic abuse or homeless shelters around the time of Mother’s Day. Our franchises distribute collection boxes around the community to gather the items, and deliver them to their local shelter partners on or before Mother’s Day weekend.

The Movers for Moms® program continues to grow year after year. It was first created with just 20 Michigan franchises and eight years later, we’re proud to say our franchises have collected more than 600,000 items for moms in need over the years! This year alone, our fantastic franchises collected more than 230,000 items for delivery to local shelters!

Movers for Moms® success is built on the generosity of local communities coming together to support at-risk moms. We want to thank everyone who has generously acted as m4m5a donation drop off location, our customers who so thoughtfully give items to the cause and support their local women’s and homeless shelters, and to our businesses and schools who work so hard to collect items for local moms!

We’re proud to live out our core value of giving back to the community, not just when running our annual Movers for Moms® program, but all year long.

The photos illustrate the impact Movers for Moms® not only has on moms in need, but on the entire community as they come together to support those in need.

m4m2 m4m3

Follow Movers for Moms® on Facebook, Twitter!

Cherishing moments with your children this Father’s Day

Written by Mike Bowers, Sales Development Specialist

My father was raised on a potato farm in Croswell, Michigan. He was a model student who won cross-country championships, and went on to the Marine Corps at the age of 18 where he continued to excel and receive accolades. He was always busy and worked 60-hour weeks as an automation electrician at a metal stamping plant, working side jobs and at one point also taking Father's Daynight classes to obtain more certifications for his job. The majority of our family photos include my father in the background still dressed in his dark navy work uniform. I can still smell the bearing grease and hydraulic fluid his boots emitted if I close my eyes and concentrate hard enough.

I spent a good portion of my childhood playing in sports tournaments and school events and I was often disappointed as I looked into the audience to see if my dad was there to watch. I frequently participated in dinner table discussions about how I need to apply myself more and always give my best attempt at everything I do. If there was room for improvement, the Sergeant oozed out of my father and squeezed out every ounce of effort I had. Like most young adults, I always thought I had it worse off than most kids. I used to say to myself, “What could he possibly know about being a teenager in the 90s?” and “When I have kids …!”

Fast forward to today. I am an adult with two children and wrapped up in “life”. I came to the realization that my dad’s seven-day work weeks paid for my karate lessons and moved us out of a declining Father's Day 2neighborhood and into a blue-ribbon school district. The long hours he devoted to his job (he still works at the same plant seven days a week!) has shown me how to endure sacrifice. I hear all of the parental guidance and speeches of tough-love echo through my head as I find myself sputtering the exact same advice to my children – verbatim! There we have it … I have become my FATHER — it must be hardwired into my DNA. I have been told that I walk like him and I have the same mannerisms. Ironically, I have transformed into the parent I insisted I would never resemble.

It was Father’s Day 2012, I went to visit my dad and found him in the garage tinkering with his generator. Out of nowhere he said words that I never expected to hear from him. Tears welled up in his eyes and he said, “Michael, I have worked my entire life away and I missed all of you kids growing up.” We stood in silence for a few seconds and I assured him he has done an incredible job. As I have admitted many times before, he molded me into the man I am today and I could not thank him enough! Is it possible to be a great father and still feel like you failed? I could only be so lucky to have the positive impact on my children as he did on me.

Father's Day 5The words, “Cherish Every Moment” are now tattooed on my shoulder to remind me that we only go around this life once. As an adult, it is very easy to get lost in work and other responsibilities, unfortunately taking away precious time of watching your children growing up. Live without regrets and be thankful for all you are given. Once you are done reading this, call your dad or your child and take the time to tell them how much you appreciate them! I could not be happier to be just like my hero, my role model, my FATHER.

I wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day!

4 tips for a stress free move to a new city

Moving to a new city where you don’t know anyone can be scary, but at the same time, exhilarating. Face it, not everyone gets a chance to start afresh in life, without baggage from your past. Here are a few tips to make your move to a new city all the more thrilling and less stressful.

Be brave

In the initial days, there may be times when you wish you were back home among familiar faTMAAT358-2258095496-Oces, where you knew everyone and everyone knew you. You may also feel perilously close to a breakdown at times, with all the moving and trying to settle into a new life and most often, a new job. Relax; it’s only normal to be afraid of all the changes going on in your life. If you feel like getting down on the kitchen floor and sobbing your heart away, do it. It’ll make you feel better. But instead of always thinking about how easy life was in your old city, try embracing the differences in your new life wholeheartedly. Instead of waiting for others to welcome you into the fold, take the initiative and extend a friendly hand. Invite your new neighbors over for a cup of coffee. A positive attitude brings about warmth and happiness in you and in people around you. Whatever you do, give yourself some time to acclimate to your new life. Don’t take any decision in haste.

Use technology

These days, you can find out which are the most happening places in your new city in less than five minutes with the help of technology. Google Maps, Yelp, and AroundMe are great for finding the best restaurants, the most popular malls and multiplexes, coffee shops etc. in your locality. If you are looking for handymen or contractors to fix up your new home, you can try the site Porch. Want to find people who share your same likes and interests? Use Meetup.

Get out and get going

Whatever you do, resist the urge to dive under the covers and spend the entire day at home, watching reruns of old movies on television. Walking is the best way to get to know a new neighborhood. It helps you get a feel of the place and the people, something hard to figure out from the isolation of a vehicle. Just make sure you are carrying a map with you so you don’t get lost. Find out where people hang out in your locality and go there. Strike up conversations with people you find interesting. Volunteer at charities that are important to you. If someone invites you to a party, don’t refuse thinking you hardly know anyone.

Take up new hobbies or revive old ones

Since you are starting your life all over again, it’s a great time to take up new hobbies or even, revive old ones. Set aside a few minutes every day to do something you enjoy. If you are fond of reading, but never used to get time at your old place, join a good library or book club in your new locality.

photo

Kurt Jacobson is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes about rental homes for www.rentfinder.co.

A mother’s influence and never ending love

Written by Dawn Kroeger

In celebration of Mother’s Day and support of moms who work outside the home, I’ve come up with five simple tips to simplify and improve quality of life for you and your family.

  1. Hire a cleaning person to keep your home in tip-top shape, but not one that requires you actually pick up the house before they come and clean
  2. Hire a full-time nanny to help out, especially at dreaded bath and bed time
  3. Have all food delivered by a grocery service and make sure it is healthy and balanced – NO TRANSFAT!
  4. Sign up for one of those online style services that just sends you clothes that match your personality
  5. Hire a trainer to come and shake you out of bed at 4:30 a.m. and drive you to the gym

Excellent. Once those items are complete, your life will be smooth sailing and stress-free. Oh, wait. What? You can’t afford all of that? You can’t find a trainer who makes wakeup calls? Yeah, me neither.

Like most women I have many roles in life – wife, sister, daughter, friend, team member, employee, 424959_10150520067426637_1617488211_nmentor, volunteer, and mother. While I am not defined by any single role, the most challenging and rewarding is that of mother. I don’t have a cleaning person, or a nanny. Laundry piles up and sometimes my kids end up on the bus accidently when they are supposed to be picked up from school. I try hard to plan the healthiest meals I can for my family but sometimes they eat Ramen noodles and McDonalds drive through.

Yet, I am a fantastic mom. I know this is boastful, but I am. I have been blessed to grow up both personally and professionally with extraordinary role models. I have learned so much by watching and understanding what makes a balanced, healthy, successful working mom.

My mo400516_10151015465666637_198613670_nm: While my mom, Jo, worked my entire life, most of it full-time, it never felt like she wasn’t there. She was always present. She practiced lines for school musicals, was there for sporting events, field trips, class parties, and even after a full week of work, would plan fun weekend road trips to the beach, zoo, or to visit friends. We always had clean clothes (she was better at this than I am) and she balanced our lives with focus and fun. I recall several fish stick dinners on the run, but this was part of the fun! Her actions taught me not to feel guilty over a fish stick dinner here and there – these quick fix meals allowed us to embrace life and spend more time on family bike rides and playground adventures. In turn, I don’t feel bad when I ignore my messy house, or surprise my kids with ice cream for dinner on the way to the children’s garden after work.  After all, spring is here – who needs clean socks? She must have been overwhelmed with balancing it all, at some point, like each mom is, but in true rock star mom fashion, we never knew if that was the case. We just knew she loved us, worked hard, and provided a fun and balanced life for us. My dad helped too, but this is not about dads today. You get your honor next month!

My grandmother: My grandma Mary worked full-time while raising six children. Let’s just say, maybe I am a great mom because I have two children. Most days three would push me over the edge into medium mom mode. But somehow, Mary got it done. She too, like my mom, worked full-time yet planned weekend trips to the beach for her brood each Sunday. I’ve seen pictures. The joy on the faces of the kids, the relaxed looks on Grandma and Grandpa. Clearly, she knew the importance of balance and it shows in the six hard-working children she raised.

Mother of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®: Mary Ellen Sheets, the founder of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, has led by example and been an important influence in my life and career. As a single mom, leaving her secure job with the State of Michigan, she invested $350 in an old truck and took over the business her two young sons started. Her drive, faith, and commitment to supporting her family through entrepreneurship is inspiring. Mary Ellen’s stories of the early days of working hard, not having much money at the time, but donating her first $1000 profit to charity is a remarkably generous and humbling act. Knowing Mary Ellen and understanding the deep love she has for her children, and seeing the pride on her face when she talks about how far the business has come, is humbling. It was not always easy. I can only imagine the stress and heartache as she worked hard, as a single mom, to grow the business and conversely, the joy of watching this labor of love become the family business which provides for her children and now grandchildren. It is an honor to know Mary Ellen and her commitment first and foremost to her children as she worked to make TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® what it is today is something all moms can both appreciate and use as a source of inspiration.

On Mother’s Day, I reflect on the many moms who have influenced my life and I aspire to be as positive of an influence in my daughters’ lives. My Mother’s Day wish for all moms is to be blessed with strong, encouraging, role models who teach the importance of balancing work and career so you, too, can boast being a fantastic mom. Oh, and I wish you all the ability to provide your children with clean socks, even if it means picking up an extra pack at the grocery store when time doesn’t permit doing a load of laundry.