Transitioning your little ones: new school, home, and friends

Written by Nicole Harrison

The beginning of a new school year is usually filled with excitement. However, the first day at a new school is a different story, and in some cases, the anticipation and excitement is outweighed by anxiety and nerves. Your child’s feelings on attending a new school may vary based on his or her age – they may feel anger, resentment, excitement, or nervousness. Regardless of how old your kids are, there are a handful of tactics to help them adjust to this change.

Orientation/school tour. This is easily one of the most important steps to do with your kids. Make time to attend new student orientation, or if there isn’t one, schedule a school tour together. Both of you will have the opportunity to learn more about the school, class structure, curriculum, and get any questions answered. Whether going to an orientation or scheduling a tour, you and your kids will become familiar with the new school before their first day. This is also a perfect time to meet the teacher. A few familiar faces and knowing where to go will make the first days much easier for your child. It may seem silly, but we promise, it will make a huge difference and will immediately make them more comfortable during the transition if they can navigate through the hallways, and find their way around with ease. Spend time learning about the new school. Are there any fun facts about the new school? When was it built? How many students go there? What type of electives do they offer? Spend time learning as much as you can about the new school. The more you learn before the first day, the more prepared your kids will be.

TMAT322Stock up on school supplies. To ease your child’s nerves, take them back-to-school shopping to stock up on school supplies they need. Most schools have a list of supplies their students will need for each grade. If the school hasn’t provided a list, contact them and ask for a list of supplies your child will need most.

Explore the playground. Before your kids’ first day, take them up to the playground, spend time playing and making them comfortable with the new set up. Find activities they like such as the swings or monkey bars and spend time playing with them. That way, when they go off to recess they will be familiar with the new playground and will most likely branch out and join other students participating in activities they love!

Prepare for the first day. Before school starts, allow your child a trial run of a school day. Practice walking to the bus stop, walking the route, or driving to school. The evening before the first day of school, run through last minute items. Where is the bus stop? What time does the bus come? What is the bus number? Pack a special lunch for the first day. Spend this time sifting through the remaining items that haven’t been addressed. If your little one seems particularly nervous for his or her first day, consider taking them to school versus riding the bus.

Get involved in your kids’ school. If your children are young, it helps to get involved. Network with other parents, get to know their teacher and classmates on a personal level. If you’re able to, volunteering your time is a great way to make your son or daughter feel more comfortable in a new environment, and they will be able to see a familiar face in class.

Set up play dates. Shortly after your kids start at their new school, set up some play dates with their classmates. This is a great way for them to build relationships with their classmates and to help them make friends at school. There is a fine line between supporting them and putting too much pressure on them, make sure your kids feel supported at all times.

Participate in extracurricular activities. Are there activities in your new community that your child has an interest in? If your son enjoys martial arts, try to find a program he can participate in. If your daughter enjoys swimming, try to find a swim team she can join. Extracurricular activities are an added bonus for you and your kids to become acquainted with the community.

Attending a new school can be stressful for children and parents, hopefully these pointers will aid the transition. We encourage parents to keep their children involved throughout the process, without being too pushy or making them step too far outside their comfort zones.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. We are leaders in the moving and packing industry. Let us help move your forward! For more moving, packing, or relocation tips, subscribe to our blog or like us on Facebook.

What should I know for my interstate move?

Written by Nicole Harrison

Whether you’re moving a mere five miles down the road or two thousand miles across the country, anytime you move into a new state classifies as an interstate move. Interstate moves are handled a bit differently than a local or intrastate (moving within your current state) move. To ensure you are adequately prepared for your move, we’ve answered some of the most common questions about interstate moves.

How does my estimate work?
For most interstate moves, an in-home consultant will come to your home and assess your items to provide the most accurate estimate for you. If you live more than 50 miles from the franchise that is moving you, you can sign a waiver in place of an in-home consultant’s visit. Be sure you are prepared to tell your estimator about additional storage spaces, like an attic, shed, or storage unit, as these areas can be easily forgotten and make a big difference in the time and cost of your move if they are not accounted for in the initial estimate.

There are two types of estimates our franchises can give for interstate moves.

Binding estimate – guarantees total cost of the move based upon quantities and services shown on the estimate, which is based on completion of an in-home consultant.truck 1

Non-binding estimate – what the franchise believes the total cost will be for the move, based upon both the estimated weight or volume of the shipment, additional services requested, and the in-home consultant’s evaluation. The final charges will be based upon the actual weight of the customer’s belongings and the franchise’s tariff provisions.

The initial estimate our customers receive includes full value protection for belongings being moved, but there are also other valuation options the customer can declare in writing.

What can I expect from my movers?
We will go anywhere in the country and will never combine customers’ loads without their permission. We provide an expedited service with timely pickup, on-time deliveries, and no storage-in-transit or planned stops along the way.

Are there regulations I need to be aware of?
The number of hours drivers can work in a day are federally regulated. Drivers are not permitted to drive more than 11 hours and work more than 14 hours in one day. Depending on how large your move is and how far away your new house is, your move may take more than one day to complete.

Our consumers are protected under the Consumer Rights and Responsibilities for Household Goods. Visit Federal Motor Carrier Society Administration’s webpage linked above to learn more about the rights you have as a customer of an interstate move.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a 96 percent referral rate. To keep our customers calm and educated throughout the sometimes stressful moving process, we are as transparent as we can be and encourage them to become familiar with various regulations we need to abide by.

What is valuation and do I need it for my move?
Valuation is an estimate of an item’s worth, and is different than insurance. The initial estimate you receive will cover the value of your items at the time of your move, which is also known as full value protection.

In some cases, franchises may offer a deductible valuation option. In that case, you will pay a deductible before the franchise pays the full value of the item.

Finally, customers can select a .60 cent/lb. valuation. You may think this valuation is a reasonable option for your belonging, but it can be misleading at times. If you many light weight, valuable items, this valuation will not be the ideal option for your important items

It’s a good idea to understand what coverage includes before settling on a valuation plan. We urge our customers to look through their homeowners and renters insurance to see if their insurance plan covers their belongings while they are in transit. Ultimately this is your decision, but we encourage our customers to spend time thinking about the options. If you choose to select the deductible valuation or the .60 cents/lb. valuation options, your estimate will go down, but so does the coverage.

 TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is a professional moving company with 30 years of moving and packing experience. We provide custom moving and packing plans to meet all of our customers’ needs. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward during this stressful life event. For more moving and packing information, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog.

Spot these go-to locations in your new city

Written by Nicole Harrison

Yippee, you’re moving! As moving day begins to creep up on you, there are a few places to take note of before you move to a new city, especially if you’re moving more than 25 minutes away. After racking our brains, we have come up with new buildings, landmarks, and events you should track down before your move.

Hospital or emergency clinic – Locating the closest hospital is crucial for a variety of reasons. You never know what kind of accident or crazy event could happen. In the event of an emergency, make sure you’re prepared and know how to get to the nearest hospital or clinic.

Schools and daycares – If you have children, research different schools and day cares in your new area. Where is the school located? How big is it? What is the graduation rate? Am I looking for a public or private school? All of these questions may seem silly, but it’s important to know what kind of school you are looking foIMG_9681r. Same goes when you’re looking into a daycare. Are you looking for someone to come to your home, someone who has an in-home daycare, or a large daycare operation? Know the type of environment you are looking for.

Post office – One day or another you will need to know where the post office is. Is it close to your work, house, kids’ school, grocery store? Once you find the post office, you will know when the most convenient time will be to stop by and run your errands.

Churches If you practice a religion and attend a weekly church service, spend time researching churches that practice your denomination and locate them. Although you may want to attend a few of them to find the best fit after your move, it will save you some time by finding their locations beforehand.

Grocery and convenience stores People need to eat, right?! Locate your local grocery stores, markets, and other convenience stores. Again, you are free to explore your new town and find the store that best fits your diet and lifestyle, but it will help to do a little research before your move to know the general location they are in. As an added bonus, see if there are any local farmers’ markets in the area where you can snag fresh produce at a great price!

Library – If you enjoy reading in your free time, track down a local library. If it’s close in proximity, see if there are any trails to walk or bike to the library! There’s nothing like enjoying a little exercise while getting the newest book you’ll be diving into.

Parks – Township parks and local trails are fun places to locate and take advantage of. If you have kids, it’s nice to know what kind of parks are in the area and different options you have to take your kiddos out for some exercise. If you don’t have children, or if they’re grown and moved out, parks and trails can be a great place for a date: have a picnic, go for a bike ride, walk, or run together! If you’re a pet parent, be sure to locate where there are dog-friendly trails and parks to take your furry friends out and get them exercise.

Museums – Does the city you’re moving to have any interesting museums to explore? HaIMG_9671ve fun researching nearby attractions before you move to your new city. Spend time in the first few weeks in your new town exploring the popular sites and learn what you can about the new city you now call home.

Events and festivals – Are there upcoming festivals, fairs, or events? Towns and cities are usually packed with fun activities in the summertime with multiple events taking place each week. Find a calendar with events for the season, and go out and enjoy yourself. If you are looking to meet new people, these types of events are the perfect social gathering to meet all kinds of folk. Check out MeetUp to join local groups with interests similar to yours.

Learn about the city – What is your new city known for? Are there any interesting historical facts? These are great talking point when you are meeting new people, or to spend some time looking into on your own. It’s always fun to know a little history about where you live. Consider downloading World Explorer – Travel Guide to learn all about your new city. World Explorer can act as your own personal travel guide when you go on vacations and weekend getaways!

While this topic may seem short and simple, oftentimes it’s overlooked and forgotten. If you’re anything like me, you’re a planner and it helps to familiarize yourself with your new city before you move there. It will help you adjust to your new home while familiarizing yourself with the local buildings and attractions.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on moving and packing tips! Let us help move you forward.

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!