Utilizing space to create storage in your new college dorm room

TMAT163

Written by Anna Stephens

For many college freshmen, the transition to college is a massive shock because of all the free time you get in between classes, the cafeteria food, and the distance from home. But why doesn’t anyone warn you about the shock of having no storage when you move in to your dorm? Most dorms only have a bed, a dresser, and a small closet. Throw your roommate into the mix, and you’re left with half a closet and two drawers to store all of your belongings in. For some, this is manageable, but for those who tend to over pack (most people!), this simply isn’t enough space.

Our advice is to ensure everything you own has its own space, so the floor doesn’t become an ocean of clothes and random items. Creating enough storage takes serious creativity, and from personal experience and our own research, we’ve created handy storage ideas that will make your dorm room seem bigger.

  1. Sneaky storage. Areas underneath the bed and under the futon are full of storage potential. Depending on how high the bed and futons are off the ground, you can place smaller boxes or storage containers in the space under them filled with essential items. As you plan for your room, note the ideal color, material, and size box for this area. If you love DIYs, use a cardboard box and decorate it with wrapping paper. Another tip is to use labels for these boxes, as it’s easy to forget where everything is stored amongst the move-in chaos.
  2. Bathroom storage. Get a plastic shower caddy to keep all of your toiletries together. This will make it much easier and faster on your trips to and from the bathroom. It’ll also keep all small bathroom items, like toothpaste and shampoo bottles, organized and out of the way.
  3. Closet storage. Maximize the space in your closet by creating a two-level closet. You can purchase a closet rod that comes with hooks to attach to the top rod. This way, your top closet rod can be for your tops, and the bottom rod can be for your bottoms. Another handy hanging item is an over-the-door hanging shoe organizer. All of your shoes will be off the ground and your floors will be clear. Lastly, you can purchase foldable hanging sweater shelves so you have more space to hang items in your closet. This is convenient for foldable clothes that are too bulky to put in your dresser.
  4. Night stand/TV stand storage. Small night stands/TV stands are inexpensive and easy to assemble. These often are paired with square foldable storage bins that go in the different compartments of the night stand. They come in several colors, so they’ll match your décor and offer more places to store your stuff.
  5. Seat storage. Purchase furniture and décor that will serve more than one purpose. You can buy inexpensive cubicle ottomans that open in just about any color and material. These are great places to store items, and also serve as a comfy chair or foot rest.
  6. Drawer storage. In the dresser, you can place foldable dividers so you have separate compartments within each drawer. This will maximize the efficiency of each drawer so you can fill the entire space.

Our best advice is to look for deals along the way. Make a list far in advance of the items you need to purchase for your dorm and make a budget. Scope out different stores for special college deals and do some research online. Remember: the cleaner the space is, the bigger it’ll feel.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is here to help with all of your college moving and storage needs. We also offer professional packing services and boxes and supplies to help take the stress out of moving.

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.

Ease the stress of college moving with these expert packing tips

CollegeMove

Project by Anna Stephens and Cathryn Armstrong

The moving process can be extremely stressful, especially when it comes to packing up and moving away to college, for some, even leaving home for the first time and being on their own.. Moving into a dorm room can be hectic, and making sure you’re properly packed is essential to easing the stress of moving and unpacking.

With over 30 years of moving experience, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to packing, and we are here to help you as you move on to the collegiate world. We offer a wide variety of boxes and packing supplies to supplement your move, ensuring you’re able to get all of your personal belongings to your new destination safe and secure.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® boxes are built to endure your toughest moves and keep your belongings intact. The last thing you want to deal with on college move-in day is broken items, and our specialty moving boxes will help eliminate any mishaps with your belongings. This box is called the Dish Pack box, and is available for purchase at your local franchise. The dimensions are 18 x 18 x 28, or 5.25 cubic feet, and we have packed it full of college essentials. This box will hold the majority of your belongings, saving you trips to and from the car. This is extremely beneficial since most colleges limit your unloading time on move-in day.

College Box Fill Up

Here is a complete list of everything we put in this box, and in the correct order we packed it:

  1. Throw blanket. Small blankets are very convenient for a drafty dorm room and are easy to throw in the narrow dorm washing machines.
  2. Towel. Brighten up the bland dorm bathrooms with a vibrant towel.
  3. Hand towel. Wash this weekly to prevent germ multiplication. Make sure it matches your bath towel!
  4. Bath mat. Use this in your bathroom for a soft landing after your shower or as a door mat for your shoes.
  5. Decorative pillow. Great way to add a comfortable and personalized touch to your bed or futon.
  6. Neck pillow. This comes in handy if you’re planning on traveling somewhere during the school year. Or, for a quick nap at the library.
  7. Desk lamp. You’re going to want this for late night study sessions. Make sure to take the lightbulb out and place it in a protected container.
  8. Little fan. Dorm rooms can get stuffy! A little breeze makes sleeping much more comfortable. The noise of fans will also help drown out any loud neighbors.
  9. Bongo. Impress your friends with your musical talent!
  10. Scrapbook. This is a great little thing to have in your dorm when you start to miss home or want to show your new friends some of your favorite memories.
  11. Binders. Stay organized from the get-go.
  12. First aid kit. Accidents happen more often than you’d think! Be sure to pack this.
  13. Iron. No one likes a crinkly shirt! Especially when you have a formal event to attend.
  14. Travel toiletries bag. If you ever need to head out of town for a weekend, you’ll need this!
  15. Purse. If you can resist, only bring one or two.
  16. Decorative cork boards. They’re super cheap, easy to hang, and you can arrange them any way you want. Bring photos or memorabilia and push pins to decorate them once they’re hung up.
  17. Hair dryer. Limp hair is not in, FYI.
  18. Hair brushes. Tame your mane.
  19. Laundry supplies. Get detergent for your colors and whites!
  20. Air freshener. Inevitably something will smell weird in your room. Pick a nice scent to cover it up. Coconut scent is better than the smell of abandoned turkey sandwiches left under the bed.
  21. Board games. This is a great way to break the ice with the new people you’ll meet, and an excuse to invite people over!
  22. Umbrella. It’s difficult to think of a situation more miserable than getting soaked on a walk to class. Carry this thing with you everywhere.
  23. Twinkle lights. Add some ambiance to your dorm to make it cozy.
  24. Crate. This can be tucked under your bed, next to your bed, in your TV stand, really anywhere! It’s nice storage for the little things such as staples, erasers, extra writing utensils, etc.
  25. Hats. Have some baseball hats for the outdoor activities you’ll participate in.
  26. Favorite stuffed animal. No shame! It’s nice to have a cuddle buddy.
  27. Books. Reading will help you unwind at the end of a long day. Or, if you’re like me, it’ll help you fall asleep instantly.
  28. Office supplies. Stock up on pencils, colorful pens, paperclips, staplers, etc.
  29. Calculator. Bring batteries that the calculator requires. Some professors offer no empathy toward a panicked test taker with a dead calculator.
  30. Hangers. Hanging clothes is the easiest way to keep them fresh and neat.
  31. Chargers. Bring chargers for your phone, computer, or any gadget that requires charging.
  32. Q-tips. These come in handy for your personal hygiene as well as manicure fixes (you’re welcome.)
  33. Picture frames. Easy and cheap way to decorate your desk!
  34. Ukulele. Has anyone ever said they don’t like the way ukuleles sound?

 

Whew! Told you it could fit a lot of stuff!! Take note that we placed the softer, but bulkier items, at the bottom of the box, as this provides a cushion for the items you place above it. Next, place items strategically in order to maximize the number of items that will fit in your box. The more fragile items like picture frames and clock should be toward the top so there isn’t too much pressure on them. The smaller items like chargers, socks, etc., should go in a bigger bag like the pencil case and crate so you don’t lose them. In general, bigger boxes like this one, should be filled with lighter items so it’s easier to lift. Smaller boxes are best for heavy items to ease the lifting process. You can view the box size options available, here.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Follow our blog and like us on Facebook for more helpful moving tips and tricks. Let us help move you forward!

What movers can’t move during the moving process

TMAT128

Written by Anna Stephens

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we strive to provide our customers a successful, stress-free, and safe moving day. For these reasons, along with certain rules and regulations, there are a few items that our movers will not move.

We highly recommend speaking to your movers well in advance about the items that you are unsure of in order to avoid any confusion or conflict on your moving day. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to make other arrangements.

Here is a list of items that our movers are not able to transport:

  • Any flammable, explosive, or corrosive items: Some items in this category include propane, paint, car batteries, antifreeze, household cleaners, weed killer, and ammunition. Federal law prohibits the transportation of these items, so under no circumstances will it be moved.
  • Gasoline-filled engines or machines: Any items that run on gasoline must be emptied prior to move day. Items such as lawnmowers, grills, tractors, or mopeds must be completely empty in order for movers to transport them.
  • Any living thing: In order to ensure the safety and well-being of your plants and animals, we do not transport any type of plant or pet, including potted plants.
  • Perishable foods: We have banned food from our trucks to prevent rotting, spoiling, or producing odors in the truck.
  • Sensitive or sentimental: Items such as cash, jewelry, insurance papers, or birth certificates.
  • Prescription drugs: We do not move prescriptions to prevent any emergencies where you may need to access these medications.

We have highlighted these items in our animated video to help you prepare for your successful move. Please watch below to view a detailed list.

It’s important to note that certain franchises may have different policies regarding non-allowable items. For a complete list of items that movers are not able to transport on your moving day, please contact your local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® office.

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.

The pros and cons of living with friends

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK living with friends

Written by Katie Peterson

Living with friends is common among college students because of the convenience and fun factor of being around people you know you like. While there are many perks to living with friends this experience may cause more obstacles while living together than with a roommate you might not know as well. We’ve put together a list of the pros and cons of living with friends, as well as possible solutions to the obstacles that may come your way.

Pro: There is no need to “make plans” with the people you love to hang out with, they are already with you! It is much easier to coordinate plans, and you will always have someone right there to go on adventures with. Boring things you would normally do by yourself will become a fun and entertaining outing. Need to go grocery shopping? You’ve got a shopping companion! This is one of the most fun aspects of living with friends and you will make so many memories doing all the mundane things with your roomie.

Con: As much as you love your friends, living with them will uncover things you didn’t know before. No matter how well you think you know someone beforehand, living together will unearth habits, routines, and pet peeves you didn’t know before, which can lead to potential conflicts.

Solution: Be intentional about spending time with the friends you don’t live with and see every day. Taking time away from your living situation is important because it creates space in the roommate relationship, which is something even best friends need.

 

Pro: Close proximity will help strengthen your friendship. Seeing your friends every day means they know all about you and the happenings of your daily life. They become your family.

Con: If a problem occurs, you don’t have separate places to go in order to get space. Inevitably, fights can and will happen.

Solution: Be open and honest about your feelings and emotions. If you need some breathing room, speak up! Communication is the key to any successful relationship, and if yours is a friend/roomie relationship, it is even more important.

 

Pro:  You have already established a relationship before moving in. Obviously you like the person and enjoy hanging around them, so you can avoid the first awkward encounters you would normally have when moving in with a stranger. When you come out of your room in pajamas and crazy hair, there will be almost no judgement (almost).

Con: Because you are living with your friends and you have pre-established relationships, difficult and necessary conversations about rent, money, and rules may be hard to address. In worst-case scenarios, a friend might take advantage of the relationship in a tough situation because of your background (late on rent, leaves the place messy all the time).

Solution: It is important not to be too relaxed with responsibilities because of the personal relationship. Be assertive and honest with one another just like you would if you were living with a stranger. Even though you are friends, keeping the house clean and getting the rent in is important and should be treated professionally, not personally.

 

Pro: You have another person to share clothes, furniture, and chores with making life a little less expensive and a lot more enjoyable.

Con: Sharing is not something that should be assumed because of your relationship as friends, and not communicating your preferences can lead to tension.

Solution: It may seem like overkill, but creating a roommate agreement might be a good idea before moving in. This agreement could include which items are shared, a cleaning schedule, and which day of the month rent is due. The expectations are clearly laid out so no one is in the dark and you and your friends can be held accountable to what has been agreed upon.

 

The most important thing to remember when deciding if living with friends is something you want to tackle is that although you will have plenty of fun, you must be professional and responsible. Communicate and lay out the expectations early in order to prevent conflict, and spend some time away from your roommate if you need space. In the end, the hope is that living with your friends will be an experience leading to a stronger friendship and a fun living situation. Good luck!

Like us on Facebook for more helpful tips and updates. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!

11 dorm room essentials you can’t live without

Dorm Room Essentials picture

Written by Katie Peterson

As you begin packing to move into your college dorm room, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the prospect of fitting all the stuff you’ll need for a whole semester in the back of a car. There are so many things you want to take with you; you have a pile of items already forming, and have been making Pinterest crafts for months! Although we’re sure you’ve read every dorm-packing list the Internet has to offer, there are a few essential items you may have overlooked that will help to ensure you are prepared for the semester ahead.

Ways to keep cool

As many college dorms do not have air conditioning, fans are good investments to help keep you cool and comfortable. You can place a box fan in your window or purchase an osculating fan to keep the air moving on hot days.

Power strips

With all the computer cords, phone chargers, and desk lamps you’re sure to have in your room, power strips and a couple of small extension cords are essential to staying charged up.

USB memory stick

The last thing you want to happen is for your laptop to crash on the night before a big paper is due and lose all of your work. Buying a memory stick and backing up your documents as you write is a good habit that will save your sanity.

To-go coffee mug

Coffee lover or not, you’ll definitely want to pack a travel mug for dorm-life. In college, travel mugs become essential for when morning classes start before ten and for when late night study sessions turn into really late night study sessions. They also work well if you have a meal plan, in which case most colleges will let you fill up on beverages before you leave the dining hall.

Laundry materials

A good choice while living in a dorm is laundry detergent Pods that come in individual packages. If you have stairs to climb to wash your laundry, these are more convenient to transport and they prevent the messy dripping that can happen when using bottles. Another good idea is a collapsible drying rack for the clothes you can’t dry. You can stow it away when it’s not in use and your clothes won’t be draped all over your furniture while they dry.

An umbrella

A good umbrella is a must, especially if you are going to school in an area that receives a lot of rain! Remember, unless your campus is one building, you will be walking outside for most of the day to get to your classes. Don’t get caught uncovered!

Dishes and utensils

Make sure to either purchase some cheap plastic dishes or disposable ones to use in your room. Sometimes getting out of your dorm room to go to the dining hall is just too much of an effort, (or you ran out of meals for the week). For times like these you’ll want dishes and utensils to eat your meals without ever having to leave your room.

Small tool box with the important stuff

Packing a small tool kit with a screwdriver, hammer, and tape measure will come in handy more than you would think. It also might make you popular amongst the less prepared members of your floor.

Command™ products

Command™ strips and hooks are absolutely essential for dorm life. Anything you might want to decorate; walls, ceilings, or doors can be dangerous for your wallet without the proper adhesive. Command™ products will prevent damage to your room when it’s time to remove your decorations at the end of the year. You’ll be glad you invested in the fall when you don’t have to cough up money for damages in the spring.

Shower organization

Find out what kind of bathroom you are going to have in your dorm. If you will be using a community bathroom, you will want a shower caddy to bring all of your toiletries to and from the bathroom. If you share a bathroom with a roommate or suitemates, you might want to purchase a “shower tower” to help organize everyone’s items and keep the bottles off the floor.

Your brain!

When packing to move into your college dorm the MOST essential thing to bring is your brain! Do your research beforehand and learn what you can about school rules, storage options, and what your roommate plans on bringing. This will help you become prepared and ready with everything you need for a full semester of fun.

There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to remember everything you will need while packing for college, but with this list of dorm room essentials, you’ll remember a few of the most important ones. Besides, if you do end up forgetting anything you can’t live without, you have an excuse to visit home for a weekend or get your first care package.

What advice do you have for dorm moving? We’d like to hear! Like us on Facebook for more helpful tips and updates. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!