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!

Ready to move? Here is how to find the best insurance rates for your new home

Finding the best insurance rates

Whether you’re buying or renting a house at your new location, insurance is one of the most expensive costs you’ll have to deal with upfront. However, if you know the “ins and outs” of shopping for coverage, you’ll be able to get a great plan at an even better price. So, don’t think you have to just settle for mediocre coverage or pay a high premium when you purchase or rent a new home. Instead, follow these simple tips to find the best insurance coverage at an affordable price.

1. Bundle your coverage

Like any other company, insurance agencies want your business, and they are willing to give you a little incentive to get it. Most agencies do this by rewarding you with a better rate when you bundle multiple policies with them. In many cases, pairing your home or renters insurance and auto insurance with the same company can actually save you as much as 30 percent. In addition to those policies, many companies are even beginning to offer life insurance policies that can be bundled with your coverage to help you save even more. Bundling your policies isn’t only beneficial from a financial standpoint, though. Bundled policies typically simplify the claims and communication process, as it is the same for all of your policies.

2. Raise your deductible

Boosting your deductible is another way to save on your insurance premium. The deductible is the amount of the damage that you have to pay out-of-pocket before insurance kicks in in the event of a claim. Many policies with higher premiums are based on a $500 or $1,000 deductible. However, homeowners or renters who can afford to pay a little more out-of-pocket when filing a claim or who are willing to gamble that they won’t run into any issues may choose a deductible as high as $10,000 to save as much as 35 percent.

3. Update security

Most homeowners are aware that installing fire alarms and carbon monoxide sensors can lower their monthly insurance costs, but they may not realize that installing an advanced alarm system or otherwise improving the security of their home has an even bigger benefit. Alarm systems that are connected to a central monitoring system can often cut your premium by up to 10 percent, which is worth looking into as a new homeowner. And some systems may even cut your costs by as much as 20 percent, depending on what is included. While installing an alarm system may not really be an option if you are renting, you can still often get discounts on your policy for upgrading the locks on the door, improving the fire monitoring system, and taking additional measures to update the security of your rental property.

4. Shop around

Another great way to save on your new insurance premium is taking the time to shop around. Many new homeowners and renters are tempted to go with the first coverage they find in a hurry, but it really is to your advantage to get rates from at least three different companies to compare policies and rates. Make sure you’re getting a comparable quote from each company and compare the dollars and cents of each option.

5. Maintain a good credit rating

As you were looking for and finalizing your new home purchase or lease, you wanted your credit rating as high as possible. But, you might not have known that could also be beneficial for your insurance premium. Be sure to maintain good credit by paying your bills on time and avoiding a large balance on any of your credit cards to achieve a lower insurance premium.

Insurance is an important consideration when it comes to buying or renting a new home. From one location to the next, your premium could change significantly, so it’s important to take some time before you move to find the best insurance coverage and rate you can. Use these simple tips to secure the best coverage and have peace of mind as you move.

Michael Rogers, US Insurance AgentsAuthor
Michael Rogers is the Operations Director of USInsuranceAgents.com. With over 5 years of experience and knowledge in the insurance industry, Michael contributes his level of expertise as a leader and an agent to educate and secure coverage for thousands of clients.

Surviving your move: What to know about moving into your first apartment

Apartment moving pic

Written by Katie Peterson

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® we know moving can have its fair share of challenges. There’s the packing, the cleaning, and let’s not even mention move day itself. Moving into your first place is stressful, and apartment moving has its own set of headaches. Neighbors are more like roommates, there are a ton of rules and regulations while renting an apartment, and what about all those stairs? We’ve come up with some tips to help you survive your first apartment move.

Ask questions

-Ask the landlord about any concerns beforehand. Good questions to ask might include what kind of maintenance is available if something goes wrong in the apartment, how old the building is, and even questions about the previous tenants. Your landlord will love bragging about any new construction, and you will be making a more informed decision about your new place as a result.

-If you have a chance, talk to some of the current residents of the building while you are there. What do they think of the landlord? How are the other tenants in the apartment? This will help you make an informed decision about the apartment and give you a chance to introduce yourself to some of your future neighbors if you are already serious about renting.

Be prepared and organized

The actual move into your new apartment is all about being prepared and organized throughout the process. With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready for anything that comes your way.

Before your move:

-Make sure to bring paper documentation to your lease signing. This might include proof of employment or a copy of your lease with highlighted areas you might have questions on. Especially in competitive markets where multiple tenants are looking to rent, it pays to be prepared! This will also give your landlord a good idea of your trustworthiness and ability to bring important documents in on time (like your rent).

-Schedule a walk-through of the apartment with your landlord before you move in. This is a good opportunity to take photos of the condition of the apartment for reference when you are negotiating your security deposit. The photos can also be used to ensure you took care of the apartment when you eventually move out and want your deposit back.

-Measure the dimensions of your new apartment before you buy furniture or bring in items you already own. This will save you the headache of having to return any items that won’t fit, and the backache of your movers trying to fit the furniture through the door. Important spots to measure include the area for a washer and dryer and the nook for your refrigerator (if you have to supply them), tight doorways, and wall space for seating.

On move day:

-First things first, clean every nook and cranny of your new apartment! Scrub all those places you won’t ever be able to get to once your furniture is moved in, and even the places you will. It will save time and energy later in the day when all you have to do is a quick trip around the apartment with the vacuum.

-Schedule a timeframe to move into your new place at a reasonable and respectable time. The earlier, the better! Make sure you have enough time to finish moving in before residents in your apartment building are thinking about going to sleep. Your neighbors will appreciate meeting you during daylight hours as opposed to when they are complaining about the noise in their pajamas.

-Schedule any big items you’ve purchased to be delivered on separate days or spaced apart on the day of your move. Items such as mattresses and large furniture pieces will have their own deliveries and can create inconveniences on move-in day if arriving all at once. The day after your move, or a few hours after the movers have gone, are good times to schedule these deliveries to ensure the elevators and parking lots aren’t crowded and remain accessible to other tenants.

Be friendly and considerate

-This probably goes without saying, but be friendly! Introduce yourself to your surrounding neighbors. Even if you don’t go around knocking on your neighbors’ doors be sure to say “hi” in passing or on the elevator. You might make new friends, or at the very least, get to know their names in case their mail ends up in your box by accident.

-Make sure your landlord knows who you are and has a face to go with your name. It will be useful for him/her to know you in case you have a maintenance problem or you are a few days late on the rent. A little effort will ensure your landlord knows you as more than just a name on a check.

-Be considerate of the noise level and your activities at certain hours. Bouncing a basketball in your room on the third floor is never a good idea, especially if it’s at three o’clock in the morning.

Moving into your own apartment for the first time can be exciting, scary, and stressful all wrapped up in one. Making preparations beforehand, staying organized, and being considerate of your neighbors are great ways to help you survive your first apartment move!

What advice do you have for moving into your first apartment? 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!

Making moves in the COPA América Centenario

Written by Mark List

I’ve worked for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® the last three years, the first two as an intern,

Mark List, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK International
Mark List, DOT and Fleet Safety Specialist

and this past year full-time after graduating from Grand Valley State University where I was collegiate runner in cross country and track. Sports had always been a staple in my life, and for many years I had participated in soccer. So when I was approached about helping coordinate efforts for COPA America Centenario, as TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® was contracted to provide trucks to transport the competing teams’ equipment to and from the airport during their stay throughout 10 different cities across the U.S., I jumped at the opportunity!

For the first time in its 100 year history, the COPA America Centenario was hosted in the U.S. Throughout the 10 cities, 16 men’s soccer teams played 32 matches during the month of June. Nearly 1.5 million fans came together over the duration of the tournament, averaging more than 46,000 in attendance at each game.

Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® pictured at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL during the COPA America Centenario!

As part of my TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® coordination duties for the tournament, I “lived” in a hotel and worked in Chicago at the COPA America Centenario headquarters on Michigan Avenue for two weeks. With my “day job” as a DOT and Fleet Safety Specialist at the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® corporate office, I had gotten used to traveling and life in hotels, but being 15 stories up on the north side of Chicago overlooking Lake Michigan was a pretty great start to this experience.

One of the first things I had to do upon my arrival in Chicago was meet with Delta Airline’s corporate team, and the head of security for both of Chicago’s airports, Midway International and O’Hare International. This meeting was to discuss standard safety procedures for entering and exiting the tarmacs, not only in Chicago, but across the country. This meeting was the first time I really saw the enormous effort it would take from our teams in each city. The expectations were already high, but at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® our mission statement holds us to a higher standard!

It was at this point I actually stepped foot on the tarmac with Lauren Munson, marketing coordinator for our Chicago franchises. We were walked through how to get onto the tarmac, expectations of our drivers, and exiting the tarmac. Little did I know, in a few days I would be out greeting Team USA and assisting our move team onto the tarmac to load all of their equipment!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Chicago moving for COPA América Centenario
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Chicago crew members Jeff and Ethan working to move team equipment during the COPA América Centenario soccer tournament!

Overall, COPA went very smoothly for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® due to the hard work of our franchisees, managers, movers, and drivers. Without their dedication and positive attitudes, this event wouldn’t have been as successful as it was.

I’m very thankful I had the opportunity to work with these franchises and develop several friendships within our system, as well as outside. It was an amazing experience on all fronts, and let’s be honest, how many jobs allow you to watch elite level soccer matches as a true facet of your position? I want to say thank you again to all the franchises for supporting me and making it an easy few weeks of coordination with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and the COPA tournament, the Transportation Team including Rich, Lisa, Gina, Mark, Jen, Maria, and Lou for a memorable experience in Chicago, and lastly, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/International, Inc., for setting me up for success and putting me in a position to learn and grow from various experiences I’ve had during my time with the company!

Mark List - COPA Transportation Team
Mark List with the Transportation Team in Chicago!

For more photos during our time moving teams throughout the tournament, view our Facebook album!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. For more information or to learn about opportunities in becoming a franchisee at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® visit franchise.twomenandatruck.com to begin moving your career forward!

Moving with kids: avoid the moving day blues

TMAT306

Written by Katie Peterson

In movies, it always seems like moving is just about the worst news a kid can hear. Boxes are packed, the sad music plays, and it starts raining just as the car pulls out of the driveway, right past the “sold” sign in the front yard. But moving with kids does not have to be a dramatic movie plot-twist. Here’s how to help your kids avoid the moving blues and maybe even have a little fun along the way!

Before the move

Move meeting

Conduct a family “move meeting” to talk about the process and ease their nerves about the move. The more your children feel involved in the decision making, the less they will feel like they are being forced to do something they don’t want to do. Create a moving day plan so they may check off the events as they happen. For example, 1. Movers arrive, 2. Truck is all loaded up, 3. Drive to new house … and so on.

Start planning their new room

Help your child plan their new room setup and design. Take your child to the new place and have them talk about where they want to put their furniture or what color they want to paint their walls. This will help build up their excitement and give them fun decisions to make.

New owner letter

Sit down with the whole family and write a letter to the new owners of your home. This can be a fun and memorable experience for everyone. Tell the family moving in why the house is special and what they need to know going in, such as the first bedroom being the best room for making forts or the neighbor’s cat Frisky often wanders toward the apple blossom tree in the back yard. The family will have fun remembering stories while you write and the new owners will love the personal instruction guide.

During the move

Put them to work!

Assign age-appropriate tasks for the kids. Utilize those extra helping hands! Older kids might be able to help label or tape boxes while younger kids help wipe down tables or clean windows. Make a game out of these mini tasks by awarding winners for the fastest packer or the most rooms vacuumed.

“Day of move” box

Pack a “Day of Move” box for each child to keep their favorite small items with them. Packing all of your belongings into boxes and putting them in the back of a moving truck can feel overwhelming, especially when you don’t quite understand where your stuff will end up. Your child might even like Truckie’s moving journal to write down some of their thoughts about the move to keep with them. If your kids have some of their favorite things, they will feel more comfortable with the rest of their belongings being packed .

After the move

Go exploring

Explore your new neighborhood! Once your tennis shoes are finally unpacked, take a stroll around the neighborhood with the kids. This will be a great opportunity to get familiar with the area and maybe meet some of your neighbors.

It’s all about attitude

Stay positive and keep your excitement up. Make sure your kids know how happy you are to be in the new house. Your kids will feed off of your energy and how you are reacting to the move, so if you are positive and excited about it, chances are they will be, too!

Moving with kids can be tough, but with the right preparation and a positive mindset, you can make moving with your kids a memorable adventure.

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.

What movers can’t move

Written by Jessy Howe

The last thing you’ll want to run into come moving day, is learning a handful of items in your home are ones your movers are unable to move. To avoid being in a situation where you’re left to move certain items on your own, we recommend speaking with your movers in advance so you know ahead of time what the crew may not be able to transport to your new home. This way, you have plenty of time to make other arrangements for these particular items and there are no surprises on moving day.

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, there are few items we are unable to move due to certain rules and regulations. Federal law bans moving companies from the transportation of any hazardous materials including propane, paint, antifreeze, or ammunition to name a few. This means items that have gas in them such as lawnmowers and grills are also prohibited. Other items we are unable to move include food, money, jewelry, living things including plants and animals, and other sentimental items.

As the Movers Who Care®, we have your best interest in mind and make it our goal to provide you a top notch move. Watch our animated video below for a detailed list and to prepare for a successful move!

For a complete list of items movers are unable to move, please contact your local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® office!

Be sure to like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog 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!

Moving day essentials – what to pack

Written by Jessy Howe

Moving Day Essentials

Feelings of excitement to finally arrive at your new home mixed with an inkling of stress to complete the tasks of moving day can be overwhelming! We’ll do the heavy lifting, but we do have a tip to make your day run smoothly – pack an essentials bag for the day of your move!

It sounds so simple but can easily be forgotten with the number of other to-dos being taken care of on moving day. Set aside one bag, or box, and keep it with you throughout the duration of your move. This box should contain anything you feel is essential to have on the day of your move. If you need a day of the move box, ask your local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®! Here are our suggestions to get you started.

Snacks

Chances are you’ll have cleared out your refrigerator by moving day and may not have time, or items unpacked, to prepare a meal in your new house right away. Keep granola bars, fruit, bottled water, and other packaged snacks with you to stay fueled.

Medication

Place any prescription drugs in your bag of essentials to ensure you know where they are at all times in case of a medical emergency.

Paper products

Imagine arriving at your new home to realize you’ve forgotten a key essential – toilet paper! In addition, bringing along paper plates, plastic silverware, cups, napkins, and trash bags will be useful if kitchen supplies are still boxed up.

Toiletries

Keep items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, travel shampoo and conditioner, towels, and soap with you to freshen up upon arriving.

Tech needs

Avoid misplacing your phone, computer, or any other chargers you’ll need. Put them in your essentials box!

Important papers

We recommend keeping important documents including birth certificates, passports, and other information in a safe place on moving day. This can include a few boxes you choose to transport yourself, or a locked safe loaded onto the moving truck.

Change of clothes

Trust us, you may want a change of clothes with you, especially if you’re moving and organizing during the hot, summer months!

What would you deem a day of move essential? We’d like to know! 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!

6 things people do to complicate their move

6 things people do to complicate their move

Whether across town or to a different country, moving can be one of the most stressful things you will do in your life. There are a number of things you need to do and take care of, some of which may or may not be in your control. And if you are a first-time mover, there is a good chance your inexperience will cause you to make costly and timewasting mistakes that end up making your move more difficult than it could have been.

Here is a quick look at some of the most common things people do to complicate their move and what you can learn from them.

1. Deciding to do everything themselves

Many people underestimate the amount of work involved in moving. They are confident they can do everything themselves, without letting movers, or even friends, enter the picture. True, if you have moved in the past and do not have too many things to pack, you may be able to execute a successful move on your own. But what do you think will happen if you injure your back on moving day, carrying heavy boxes down the stairs? Or say, the rental truck you hired is not big enough to load all your belongings?

Also, driving a huge moving truck is not the same as driving a car. You have to pay special attention to the weighing station and overhead clearance signs, while also keeping in mind  the truck has a larger turning radius and will need more time to come to a full stop when you apply the brakes.

2. Hiring the first mover they come across

Hiring the wrong moving company can cause you a lot of undue complications on moving day. To avoid getting trapped in such situations, thoroughly research your moving company before signing the contract. Ask your family and friends for recommendations. Never forget that a low-price quote does not always translate to a good experience. Go online to find out what customers have to say about their experiences with the mover. Do they regularly double-book to land more jobs? Are their employees permanent staff and not temporary employees? Will they give you a free estimate or better yet, a thorough walk-through of your home for an accurate estimate? Are there any hidden charges? Do they have a license from the Department of Transportation? Do they have enough insurance? Can they provide references?

Taking the time to research and speak with reputable, professional movers will ensure a stress-free move and overall great experience.

3. Failing to plan the move in advance

Planning a move well in advance will give you enough time to research all the variables involved and make the correct decisions. In addition to packing, moving entails a whole lot of other steps, including arranging for the utilities to be switched, requesting the necessary paperwork from your kids’ schools, arranging for the transfer of your medical records, booking flight tickets, submitting change of address forms, and of course, finding the new rental or perfect purchase you’ll call home. Most experts advise keeping a moving folder to track all paperwork related to the move. Remember, the better you prepare, the easier your move will be.

Don’t forget that most moves happen during summer before the new school year starts. As a result, most moving companies are extremely busy during this season. Failure to plan the move beforehand can leave you scrambling for a good (and available) mover with just a couple of days left for the big day. You don’t need me to tell you what that will do to your stress levels!

4. Not setting aside enough time for packing

Packing always takes more time than you think. People who wait until the last minute to start packing are left with no option, but to dump everything in the moving boxes without sorting or purging. This results in paying extra money to the movers for transporting stuff they are never going to use.

Moving offers you a great chance to cull the unnecessary stuff you have accumulated over the years. Discard, sell, or give away all the clothes, books, furniture, and appliances you haven’t used in the last year. This will reduce your unpacking time and save you a lot of valuable storage space in your new home. Who knows, selling your gently used items may even earn you some extra cash in the bargain!

Ideally, you should begin packing for your move as soon as you finalized the moving date. Start by boxing up what you don’t use on a daily basis or will not need until after the move, such as seasonal clothes, holiday dishes, and so on.

5. Skimping on packing supplies

Getting cheap, used cardboard boxes from your neighborhood grocery store might seem like a good idea at first – until the first one falls apart on your stairs on moving day. Or your wedding china fails to make the trip intact.

Invest in good quality packing supplies, such as strong, clean boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, moving blankets, and so on. This will save you a lot of stress and headache come moving day.

6. Not packing an essentials moving box

An essentials box containing items you will need for the first few days in your new home or apartment will greatly simplify your moving process. All your jewelry, valuables, and important paperwork should also be packed in the essentials box and carried with you. If you have not done so, you may very well have to run around unpacking a dozen different cardboard boxes just to find toilet paper, plates, glasses, kitchen utensils, and towels to get you through the first night. Trust me when I say that this is not something you want to look forward to, especially after a particularly difficult day of hauling heavy boxes and driving hundreds of miles. Nope!

 

Kurt Jacobson, rentfinderKurt Jacobson is a snowboarding enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 11 times in the past nine years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding the mountain, he writes about all things rental related for the website RentFinder.co.

7 tips for making a move without derailing your 2016 budget

Stay on budget during your move

Moving can be very stressful. Aside from hauling heavy furniture, balancing cardboard boxes full of fragile items, and struggling to stay organized amidst all the chaos, moving between homes can also be financially demanding. An unexpected major expense can really derail your yearly budget.

There are ways to keep spending under control, however. If you have an upcoming move in 2016, use these tips to prepare yourself so you don’t feel the sting of excessive moving expenses.

1. Change your mindset

Treat your home budget as if you were running a business. Not only will you take money more seriously, but you’ll discover plenty of new ways to look at spending. To start, make sure all major expenses are justified by weighing the total cost against the potential returns. Develop a reserve fund in case some element of the move goes amiss. Pay close attention to each expenditure, and eliminate those that aren’t working.

When you treat your family finances as if you were a professional accountant, you’ll quickly find yourself more prepared for any unexpected moving expenses that may arise.

2. Cut costs wherever possible

If keeping your move costs as low as possible is a top priority there are ways to minimize the expense. If you plan on keeping the same phone and internet services, then you can take your equipment with you. You can pack your belongings yourself, schedule a shut off date for utilities to avoid paying for time you are no longer there, cancel or forward any magazine and news subscriptions, and be sure to be ready when the movers arrive.

Not only should you cut costs that directly relate to the move, but also those that arise indirectly as a result of the move. It may be tempting to eat out or take quick sightseeing excursions when you’re in transit, for example, but those options cost more money than making sandwiches and playing board games in the hotel.

3. Get quotes from more than one reputable mover

Every moving company has different rates, and some of them are much higher than others. Do keep in mind that cheaper isn’t necessarily better and you will get what you pay for. The most important part is understanding what you are buying, what is included in the rate. Conveniently many companies such as TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® offer free online estimates but you’re always welcome to call. Be cautious when considering nonprofessional movers, as scammers and thieves abound. A truckload of lost or stolen belongings will end up costing you much more than the services of a reputable company. Take the time to read reviews of the company and ask friends or family who have used the movers how their experience was.

4. Predict major upcoming expenses

Factor your moving expenses in with any big ticket purchases you plan to make throughout the year. Being aware of upcoming costs can help you to shift things around in your budget enough that you won’t have to scramble for extra money at the last minute.

If your schedule allows, booking your move on a weekday versus weekend is typically cheaper as there is more demand for moving on the weekend. If you have the flexibility, you may also consider timing your move to fall during a less financially stressful time of year.

5. Track your finances using an app

Budgets can be hard to follow, especially when you’re juggling receipts and bank statements. By using an app to simplify the process, you’ll be able to review your budget more often and stick to it more naturally.

Mint is one such financial tracking app that makes it easy to keep tabs on your income and expenses. You can easily create budgets and get a bird’s eye view of where your money is going, as well as manage your bills and monthly expenses.

6. Take only what you need

Moving can be a great incentive to do some spring cleaning, and getting rid of unnecessary possessions can make your move easier and cheaper. Take the opportunity to do a large eBay sale or an old-fashioned yard sale to recoup some of your expenses. You may find that the money you make can heavily subsidize your moving costs.

If you can’t sell all your unneeded items, donate the rest to charity and claim a deduction on your yearly taxes to save even more.

7. Claim work relocation expenses on your tax return

On the note of deductions, the IRS may allow you to claim a moving deduction if you are moving for employment. As long as the distance from your old home to your new workplace is at least 50 miles greater than the distance from your old home to your old workplace, you’ll likely qualify.

This deduction applies to all reasonable moving expenses, including the cost of the move, hiring a professional moving service, and insuring your possessions. You can also deduct several other expenses, including the cost of temporary lodging or the cost of storing your possessions at a facility.

With a little time and careful planning, you can ensure a smooth, successful transition to your new home without breaking the bank.

Alice Williams, AT&TAlice Williams is a digital communications expert for AT&T with an MA in Communication Studies. She writes extensively on communication, business and tech and is currently based in Salt Lake City.

Throw a housewarming party so good your friends will want to move in

Written by Jessy Howe

Throwing a housewarming party- tips from your local moving company TWO MEN AND A TRUCK

Congratulations, you’re a homeowner! The next best thing to transforming your new space and making if feel like a home, is filling it with all the people you love. Say “cheers” to your new house, it’s time to celebrate with a housewarming party!

Prep your home

Don’t wait too long to host your housewarming party, if you want your home to be absolutely perfect, you might never have one! Do be sure you are mostly unpacked with personal belongings put away. Having boxes cluttering the way for your guests will be uncomfortable and take away from the beauty of your new home.

It’s okay if each room isn’t fully put together yet, but remember to at least have a clean hand towel, soap, and toilet paper in the restroom.

Feed your friends (they’ll love you for it)

There are so many options, and all equally delicious! You can never go wrong serving drinks and buffet style appetizers such as pigs in a blanket, sliders, veggies, and mozzarella bites. Other crowd pleasers include a backyard barbeque, going potluck style and asking that everyone bring a dish, or roasting hotdogs and s’mores over the fire.

Invites

Who to invite can be tricky, especially if you’ve moved long-distance and don’t know many people in the area yet. This is an ideal opportunity to meet your new neighbors and co-workers in a fun, casual setting. If you’ve only moved a few blocks away, your friends and family will be excited to come and celebrate your new home.

If you’re extremely crafty, grab paint swatches from your local hardware store to create themed DIY invitations. If that’s not your thing, send a quick e-vite!

Fun

It’s a party, have some fun! Our favorite ideas and housewarming activities include:

  • Set out recipe cards for guests to share their favorite with you.
  • Place an address book out to gather your closest friend’s addresses.
  • Set up yard games such as corn hole, badminton, volleyball, or jumbo Jenga!
  • Get the kids involved and put them in charge of giving tours.
  • Create a playlist to play in the background and keep up the energy.
  • Buy a few disposable cameras for guests to capture the fun. You’ll enjoy the surprise of seeing what was taken.

Most importantly, enjoy having your friends and family over to help warm your new home! If you have any housewarming party ideas or tips, we’d love to hear them! For more inspiration, check out our Pinterest Housewarming Party board.

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