Nine questions to ask your landlord before moving in

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This is a guest post from Avail.com

There’s a lot on your mind when you’re preparing for a move, from what day you can move in to when you’ll receive your keys, where the moving truck can park, and more.

To ensure you’re as prepared as possible, and have as many moving day details to make it a stress-free and efficient day, it’s important to ask your landlord these nine questions ahead of time.

#1 What day can I move in?

It’s best to check with your landlord about what day you’re able to move in. That way, you are both on the same page and you can schedule professional movers ahead of time. It’s recommended to reach out and book your movers as soon as possible, even as early as one month out from the date you’d like to move.

#2 What will you do to prepare the unit before I move in?

Most landlords clean and re-paint in between tenants. We recommend finding out what your landlord plans on doing ahead of time, so you know what condition the place will be in when you move in.

#3 Were the locks changed?

In some locations, it’s a legal requirement for landlords to change the locks in between tenants. Even if it’s not a legal requirement, you can still request that your landlord changes the locks if you prefer.

#4 When will I get my keys?

Of course, you’ll need to know when you can pick up your keys to access your unit for move-in day! We recommend coordinating with your landlord to find out where and when you can pick up your keys. You may want to ask if there are other people who have a copy of the key, or access to your unit.

#5 What doors/elevators should I use? And where can I park my moving truck?

Your landlord will know the best place for your moving truck to be, whether it’s in an alley, on the street, or in a truck dock (at a larger building). You can also find out if there are service elevators for you to use. Be sure to make arrangements for parking and service elevators prior to your movers’ arrival.

#6 What do I do in the case of a lockout?

Before moving in, it’s best to know the lockout procedure. Is there an extra key on site in a lockbox? Is there a 24/7 emergency lockout company you should call? Your landlord will likely have a way for you to remedy the situation, and having this information may come in handy down the road.

#7 Is there a move-in checklist for me to complete?

It’s best practice to fill out a move-in checklist. You’ll mark any existing damage on move-in day. That way, when you move out, you can show the landlord that the damage was already there. This is helpful if you want to receive your full security deposit at the end of the lease.

You can also check to ensure you have all the proper moving essentials, here.

#8 How do I pay first month’s rent?

Typically, landlords expect first month’s rent before you move in. It’s usually a requirement before he or she will hand over a key to you. Make sure you know how to pay rent and when it’s due so you get your keys on time.

#9 What utilities am I responsible for?

You’ll want to set up your utilities before you move in. Gas, electricity, and internet are utilities you’ll want immediately. If you’re responsible for setting these up, your landlord should let you know which companies to reach out to. If not, we recommend asking your landlord for more information.

Next steps

You’ve asked your landlord these questions, and found out your move-in date, so the next step is setting up professional movers. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is here to help.

If you’d like to pay rent online, tell your landlord about Rentalutions. You can set up automatic payments, so you don’t have to remember each month. Learn more about Rentalutions below.

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At Avail, our end-to-end software empowers tenants and landlords. As a tenant, you can complete a rental application, sign your lease online, pay rent online, and manage maintenance all in one place. Thousands of landlords and tenants across the country use our platform to streamline the rental process. Learn more here.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Halloween “Boxtume” ideas Part 3: Fish Mask

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Projects by Anna Stephens and Cathryn Armstrong

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we look forward to celebrating Halloween every year. It’s a chance for us to use our moving boxes as blank canvases for beautiful and unique costumes, or as we call them, “boxtumes.” This is the third and final blog in our Halloween “boxtume” blog series. In case you missed our first featured “boxtumes”, click here and here.

Fish Mask

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Are you going for an “under the sea” look this Halloween? This simple and sweet fish mask is sure to give your costume that finishing touch you need. Simple and easy to wear for older kids or parents! Watch our short video to see all of our steps or read our steps below.

Step 1: Cut out our fish mask graphic on cardstock paper. This is available to download, here.

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Step 2: Cut out a stencil to use for every fish scale. Trace this stencil onto your four sheets of glitter paper and cut out scales equally from each paper.

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Step 3: Glue on scales using a hot glue gun. Start from the bottom and overlap them as you move up.

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Step 4: Trim the ends of the scales so you can see the shape of the original printed mask. This includes the holes in the eyes.

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Step 5: Cut out two rectangles from white glitter paper, then cut out one from blue glitter paper. Fold them in an accordion fashion so they have creases.

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Step 6: Using a hot glue gun, secure the white pieces of paper on the sides of the mask. Then, glue the blue piece of paper to the top of the mask. Next, glue on two identical strips of ribbon on both sides of the mask.

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Step 7: Allow glue to dry and secure the mask by tying the two pieces of ribbon together on the back of your head.

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TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® wishes you a fun and safe Halloween! Did we inspire you to make this boxtume? We want to see! Show us the final product and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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, follow our blog and like us on Facebook.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Halloween “Boxtume” ideas Part 2: Tractor

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Projects by Anna Stephens and Cathryn Armstrong

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we look forward to celebrating Halloween every year, as it provides a chance for us to use our moving boxes as blank canvases for beautiful and unique costumes, or as we call them, “boxtumes.” This is the second of three blogs in our Halloween “boxtume” blogs. In case you missed our first featured “boxtume”, click here. Stay tuned for our third and final post, a fish mask.

Tractor “Boxtume” 

Is your child fascinated with all kinds of trucks, planes, and tractors? Make their dreams a reality by giving one them of their very own! Watch our tutorial video or follow these seven easy steps below to make it yourself.

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Step 1: Tape top and bottom of box shut. Trace a rectangular hole with a pencil on the top and bottom of the box and cut out the hole with a box cutter. Adjust for body size accordingly. Paint the body with green spray paint and let dry.

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Step 2: Trace out two large paper plates onto a piece of cardboard. Trace out two small paper plates onto a piece of cardboard, and cut out the four circles using a box cutter. Spray these circles with black spray paint.

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Step 3: Cut a paper cup so it’s only about two inches tall and cut slits around the edge. Spray paint it silver using spray paint.

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Step 4: Cut out a triangle with rounded edges on orange paper. Glue this onto the back of the tractor. Cut out yellow circles for the wheels. Glue them onto the center of the wheels.

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Step 5: Cut out black strips of paper for the front grill. Cut out a yellow strip to line the entire box. Glue these on the box. Glue the lights on the front of the box and fill with yellow paper. Spray paint a toilet paper roll black and glue onto the top of the box.

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Step 6: Glue or tape on the wheels on to the box. Then create small slits on the top of the top and in the back for the straps. Feed the strap through the holes and tie a knot underneath.

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Step 7: Throw on some overalls and step into your new tractor!

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TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® wishes you a fun and safe Halloween! Did we inspire you to make this boxtume? We want to see! Show us the final product and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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, follow our blog and like us on Facebook.

11 important steps to take after you move into a rental property

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This is a guest blog post from Avail.com

Finding a new apartment and moving in is a lot of work. Once you’re moved in, you’re not done yet! We’ve compiled a few tips to get you up to speed on the moving process, and settled in nicely in your new apartment.

#1 Make sure all utilities are working

As soon as you’re in the property, make sure the electricity and gas are working. Turn the lights on and off, and double check the stove works.

It’s also important to check that your thermostat is working. Depending on the season, you’ll need access to air conditioning or heat.

If you set up your utilities ahead of time, they should be turned on in time for your move date. Anything that’s not working should be addressed sooner rather than later.

#2 Complete move-in checklist

Your landlord should provide you with a move-in checklist. The checklist helps you document the condition of the unit when you move in, and note if there’s existing damage (scratches on the floor, chips in the paint, etc.). You should thoroughly check the areas listed on the checklist and document anything you see, ensuring you’re not blamed and/or charged for damage that was already there.

#3 Unpack

Next, the fun begins as you start unpacking! Getting settled in can take a long time, so it’s important to get started sooner, rather than later. If you’ve labeled your boxes and organized your belongings, it’ll be a faster and easier process.

Read this article to stay organized during your move.

#4 Tell your landlord about any maintenance problems

As you’re settling in, you might notice maintenance issues. For example, maybe the dishwasher isn’t working, or the intercom system to buzz people in isn’t working. You should keep track of anything you notice, and then inform your landlord right away.

#5 Check your new mailbox

Find out where your mailbox is located and check that your key works. You should clear out your mailbox if it’s full.

#6 Find out where the trash and recycling is located

If you’re in a high-rise, you should find out where your trash chute is located. Otherwise, you’ll want to find out where the nearest trash and recycling bins are.

#7 Make copies of your keys

If you need extra copies of your keys, you can make duplicates at a home improvement store. Once you’ve made copies, you should make sure they work. In the case of a lockout, you may want a spare key hidden, or you can give an extra set to a family member or friend.

#8 Go grocery shopping

As soon as you move, you’ll need to stock up on groceries. Locating your nearest grocery store will be helpful as you get settled in.

#9 Set up internet and cable

Setting up internet and cable will likely require a professional to deliver and set up your router and cable box. You’ll want internet and cable right away, so you’ll want to ensure you set up these up prior to your move in date.

#10 Update your renters insurance

If you haven’t already, you should update your renters insurance for your new address if you don’t have a current plan. Renters insurance protects you from damage in the case of theft, flooding, fires, and other unfortunate circumstances.

#11 Make it your home

Lastly, we recommend settling in by decorating, checking out your new neighborhood, or cooking your first meal there. Moving is a hectic process, and at the end of a long day, you’ll want to feel settled and comfortable in your new home.

Moving into a rental can be a hectic process, but staying organized and completing these tasks will help you get settled quicker. Moving forward, you should take care of your space, pay rent on time, and report maintenance issues as they arise so you’re all set to enjoy your rental!

About Avail

At Avail, our end-to-end software empowers tenants and landlords. As a tenant, you can complete a rental application, sign your lease online, pay rent online, and manage maintenance all in one place. Thousands of landlords and tenants across the country use our platform to streamline the rental process. Learn more here.

Set your kids up for success this school year with these back to school tips

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-by Anna Stephens

It’s back to school season, and families are shifting into school mode after a long, relaxing summer. As we approach the fall, nerves are setting in for many students starting their first day of school. New beginnings can be scary, especially for those children who moved to a new town this summer. Stay on your “A” game as a parent with these 10 tips for your child’s success.

1. Plan a fabulous first day of school outfit. Let your child plan what they want to wear on their first day. Make sure they pick an outfit that makes them feel happy and confident. If your budget allows it, purchase something brand new so they can start the year with a fresh, new look.

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2. Practice their schedule with them. Once your child gets their schedule, walk through their classes with them so they know where they’re headed for their classes. This is especially useful for incoming middle-schoolers, who will now be traveling to classes on their own!

3. Get fun and durable school supplies. Download your child’s school supplies list and do some research online for special school supply deals. Many websites offer package deals that include the same products as retailers, but at a lower price. Let your child have a say in what you purchase so they feel confident and fully equipped for school.

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4. Help to decorate their locker. Purchase a magnetic mirror, little magnets to hang pictures, washi tape, or other cute decorations. If possible, head into school during the summer, or after school lets out one day, to decorate the inside of their locker with wrapping paper. A personalized locker is sure to lift your child’s spirits if they’re having a bad day.
5. Make hearty breakfasts. Make sure your child goes to school on a full belly so they feel energized during the school day

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6. Pack nutritious lunches and include a note. Pack foods that are filling and healthy. To make your mornings easier, you can even pack lunches the night before. Also, leave a little sticky note inside their lunch to let your kids know you’re thinking about them!

7. Encourage them to get involved with an after school team or organization. Joining a team or organization can be a beneficial experience for your child. It will encourage them to be active, and will introduce them to new people. Push your kids to step out of their comfort zones and try something new and challenging.

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8. Keep communication with your child open. After school, show interest in their day and their homework, but don’t interrogate. Let them come to you with help and questions naturally, and always make sure they know you’re there to help if they need it.

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9. Get to know your kids’ teachers and friends. Your kids spend their entire day with their friends and teachers, so you should get to know them! You can understand your child’s perspective better if you are familiar with their main influences.

10. Show your kids extra patience and support. This is nerve-wracking stuff! Every child responds differently to stress, so be prepared and supportive through it all.

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TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® wishes you an enjoyable back-to-school season! In the meantime, we are here to help with any packing supplies, storage, local or long-distance moving needs you may have. We can even help after your move is complete with our in-home moving services, such as reorganizing furniture, or helping get rid of items you no longer need. Contact your local franchise to learn more.

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

 

Summer months provide the best time frame for home moving

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-Written by Anna Stephens

While you and your family have been enjoying the summer season, our movers at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® have been helping thousands of people move forward the last few months. There’s no doubt that summer is the busiest time of year to move, but why is that exactly? We’ve assembled a list of 10 summer moving benefits to keep in mind when it comes time to relocate your home.

  1. School year gap. Moving during the summer lets your kids get settled in their new home without having school on their minds. If you move to a new city, the summer affords the opportunity for the kids (and the adults) to make new friends before the school season begins.
  2. Sports season gap. You won’t miss out on any football, March Madness, NBA playoffs, or postseason baseball games. Plus, your kids won’t have to pause in the middle of their sports seasons, either.
  3. No snow or ice. If you live in colder climates, you have the comfort of knowing you won’t slip on ice while moving things out of the home.
  4. Garage sale season. As you’re packing, throw the items you no longer need into a garage sale pile. It’s an exciting way to start fresh and make a little money. For most areas in the country, the spring and summer months are perfect for having garage sales.
  5. Social events. Barbecues and outdoor events held in the summer months are easy ways to meet your new neighbors.
  6. Real estate market timing. Spring and summer months are the best months to list your home based on average rate of sale. Specifically, homes listed during early May and June are sold faster on average than any other months.
  7. Summer weather. You’ll need to have doors open frequently as you move belongings from your house to the truck, and light summer breezes are completely bearable compared to blustery, winter winds. Depending on where you live, temperatures are somewhat easy to predict and stable. This makes your planning process much easier.
  8. Work flexibility. Some companies offer more schedule flexibility during the summer, so taking a few days off of work to pack is less of an inconvenience.
  9. Longer days. More daylight during the summer months means you can get everything checked off your to-do list while it’s still bright outside.
  10.  Renovation time. If you are looking to renovate your new home, that’s much easier to do in the summer. Especially when those renovations are exterior or involve landscaping.

When the time comes for your family to move, let us do the heavy lifting! At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we strive to provide our customers with the most excellent customer service and take the stress out of moving, regardless of the season. For your local or long-distance moving needs, reach out to your local franchise for a free estimate today.

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!

Hooray, your move is complete! Now what?

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Congratulations! You’ve just completed the moving process and are now settling into your new home. After all of the hard work, packing, organizing, and moving, it seems like the process would be over, but it’s only just beginning.

It’s now time to settle into your new home and make sure everything is unpacked and organized exactly where you want it. As the “Movers Who Care®”, we’re here to provide you with a few tips to make this next phase an efficient and stress-free process for you!

From unpacking to organizing, and meeting your new neighbors, it’s important to make sure you do everything in your power to make the transition seamless as you become acquainted with your new surroundings. The process takes time, but in the end, will prove to be worth it as you become part of a new community!

Inspect your new home

Hopefully you followed our expert TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® packing tips when getting ready to move, and have everything packed in an organized fashion. Now comes the fun part – getting everything back out of the boxes!

Make sure you start with essential items, and work your way down in order of importance. You don’t want items you don’t use often cluttering a room.

It’s important to ensure your utilities, cable, internet, and other services are activated before, or as close to your move in date, as possible. Be sure to check around the house and make sure each everything is working accordingly. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re in a new home and have no electricity or running water.

Another important step to take is to walk around the entire home – inside and out – and check to see if everything is up to par. If you’re moving into an apartment community or you’re renting a home, be sure to contact your landlord if you find an issue.

Organize efficiently

In order to make sure organization of your belongings isn’t a total mess, go room by room and organize how you see fit before moving on to the next room. This allows you to stay focused, and not sidetracked by having too many items together in multiple rooms at once.

Make sure kids and pets are comfortable

If you have children or pets that have made this new move with you, you need take the time and help them settle in. New surroundings can create stressful situations, especially for little ones and pets. It’s important they understand the new setting they’re in is safe and allow them time to get comfortable with it.

For kids, make them a priority, and allow them to feel involved in the process. Let them decorate their new room the way they’d like, and help out with other tasks around the house. For pets, make sure it’s a calm environment and that they’re out of harm’s way during the moving process.

Get involved in your new community!

One of the best ways to settle in after completing a move is to get involved in local activities and events, or just take a walk and introduce yourself to your new neighbors you see out and about.

Other things you can do to get familiar with a new area is visit local establishments such as the neighborhood restaurants, grocery stores, or shops, get involved in local clubs, or find activities happening in your new city that you can become part of. This will make you more comfortable in your new surroundings, and will help you meet others as well!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is here to help with any and all moving needs you might have, from packing and packing supplies, to local and long-distance moving. We can even help after your move is complete, as we offer in-home moving services such as reorganizing furniture, or helping to get rid of items you no longer need.

Visit our franchise locator today, and find out how TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® can help assist you on your journey to a new home today!

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.

Create a positive moving experience and lift your mini-movers’ spirits

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-Written by Anna Stephens

Moving is a daunting word for anyone who knows what it entails. However, have you considered it from the perspective of your child? Many children have difficulty with a move because of the stress they observe and the uncertainty of what’s to come. For better or worse, children are constantly listening, comprehending, and mimicking the behaviors of the adults around them. Stubborn as they may be, their admirably perceptive hearts and minds are quite impressionable.

For this reason, it is simpler than one would think to convince children that moving isn’t as scary as it’s made out to be. It is much easier for children to look forward to a move if their parents show eagerness and confidence in the process. Moving is just as fun as you make it, so why not make the best of it?

We’ve compiled a list of creative ideas that will help change your child’s perspective on moving. Be sure to also check out our interactive activities for kids, including our Highlights coloring page, and our Travelin’ Truckie coloring book. Visit our “Moving With Kids” page, here, to learn more about these activities.

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1. Interactive calendar

Similar to an Advent calendar, create a calendar about 30 days out of a move with a countdown to move in day. Include small treats like candy, cards from family members, or coins as presents each day before the move. This prepares your children for the exact date so they know how many days are remaining. In addition, it gives them something to look forward to each day as they count down their final days in the old home.

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2. Pictures

If possible, take a picture of their bedroom in the new home and place it somewhere in their current bedroom so they can visualize what it’ll look like. On move in day, purchase a disposable camera and let them capture their new view of the space. It’s entertaining for kids to capture moments like these, and you can save these photos for the future.

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3. Custom boxes

Encourage your kids to decorate a Truckie’s Treasure Chest Box, which are designed to look like coloring book pages. These boxes allow children to carefully place their favorite stuffed animals, crayons, coloring books, reading books, etc., in an easily identifiable box and keep their prized possessions nearby at all times. Your child also may enjoy a Truckie Journal to document their moving experience.

Blog54. Meet the movers

Always make introductions and allow your children to interact with your move team for a moment before the movers get to work. ! Introducing the movers to the kids is a great way to establish trust that their favorite belongings are in good hands.

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Unpack your child’s room with them so they know where everything is. Let them provide input for the design and storage of their bedroom and play areas. Give them special tasks that they’ll enjoy so they stay busy and feel included.

Blog76. Familiar smells

Multiple studies have shown that scent is strongly correlated to memory and emotion. Find a way to incorporate familiar smells into your new home that help your kids associate with their old home. If you regularly have a candle lit at your current home, for example, keep it accessible and light it in your first few days in your new home.

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7. Play time

Schedule time to sit with your child in their new bedroom or play area and do their favorite activities with them. Encourage them to play with their most cherished stuffed animals or read their favorite book, so they feel a sense of familiarity in their new home.

Blog98. Attitude

As previously mentioned, children will mimic the behavior of their parents. Be enthusiastic about your move, and your children will mirror that.

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.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® prepares to move people forward with 2017 Busiest Move Weekend

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-Written by Erik Sargent 

The summer season is upon us! And that means warmer weather, sunshine, and moving! The busiest time for moving around the country starts during the month of May and peaks around July, according to the American Moving and Storage Association.

As the “Movers Who Care®”, we at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® are gearing up for our own busy season, and our Busiest Move Weekend which falls June 23, 24, and 25. That weekend alone, we’re expected to complete more than 5,500 moves! This averages out to 20 moves per franchise with an average distance traveled of around 25 miles for our move teams.Jeff-Wesley

“Busiest Move Weekend is something we are excited to celebrate each year,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® CEO Jeff Wesley. “Our locations take pride in our ability to move people forward each year with the best customer service experience in the industry. We are also excited to launch our new Value Flex® service this busy season, which is just another way we continue to serve our customers with a new, long-distance service.”

With more than 350 franchise locations in the United States, we will have our plates full with “Busiest Move Weekend”, and the amount of customers we’ll reach is bigger than ever before. Having recently completed our 6.5 millionth move, there isn’t a moving situation we aren’t prepared for in the moving and packing world.

St. Louis (MO), Columbus (OH), Des Moines (IA), Colorado Springs (CO), Tulsa (OK), Milwaukee (WI), Birmingham (AL), Charlotte (NC), Columbia (SC), and Cleveland (OH) are a few franchises within our system projected to knock out the most moves during this busy weekend, showing our reach across the map, moving our customers forward to a new stage in life.

If you are looking to complete a move this summer, look no further than TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®! Give us a call today, and find out how we can be of assistance. If you are scheduled to complete a move this summer, follow these outstanding moving tips we’ve gathered over the past 30 years of moving experience to make sure you’re as prepared as you can be when the big day comes.

Stay organized

It’s important to make sure when the movers arrive at your door, you’re ready to go with everything you need. Making sure all of your things are packed away in the correct boxes is key. Visit our packing and supplies page, here, to find out how we can assist you with packing services, or how we can provide you the proper packing materials.

It’s also a good idea to make sure all of your appliances are unplugged, and to make sure there is enough space throughout your home for the movers to navigate throughout the process.

Communication is key

We’ve been in the moving business long enough to know good communication between us and the customer, is critical to a positive experience. Be sure you have boxes labeled and your movers know where everything belongs in your new home. It’s also a good idea to know who your contact is at the office should you have questions or need anything else during or after your move.

Call for a free estimate today, and work with us to find out all of the details prior to your move so that when the day comes, everything is scheduled correctly and we can get you on your way.

Don’t stress – we’ve got this!

Moving can be a stressful time, but when you hire TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, there’s no need to worry. We try our best to take all of the stress out of the moving process, and do everything to make sure our customers receive the best service possible.

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.