Tis’ the Season: How to Complete a Hassle-Free Holiday Move

The holidays are a time of gifts, giving thanks and more white elephant invitations than you know what to do with. But what if you also have a big move scheduled during the joyful chaos of the holiday season? You may be worried sick about how to fit packing, recitals, decorating and hiring movers all into a span of a couple of months – we hear you.

While moving during the holidays can present an additional layer of challenges, there are ways to make it easier than you’d expect. Learn what to do and more importantly, what not to do when preparing for a big move during the holiday season.

1. Get in Touch with Your Inner Giver

photo-1446501356021-84cf6b450d07

When it comes to preparing to pack for a move during the holidays, less is more. This means that it’s best to eliminate as much unnecessary clutter and extra baggage before you start. There are several ways to purge your home of items in order to shave significant time off packing, ultimately saving yourself money with a shorter move.

Option #1: Host a Garage Sale

A garage sale is one of the most efficient ways to get rid of old items. It’s also a way to earn some additional cash to help with your holiday moving budget! Crank up the music and set out some snacks, your garage sale will be buzzing with eager customers looking for budget-friendly holiday gifts in no time.

Option #2: Donate to Charity

The holidays are the perfect time to donate lightly used toys, clothing and shoes to charitable organizations such as the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, churches and homeless shelters. You can also donate your unused food to organizations where non-perishable food items donated by those in the process of moving are used to fight hunger. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK has a program called Movers for Meals Think of it as a win-win, you’ll be able to save precious cargo space on your moving truck while giving back to the community.

Option #3: Give it Away

This third item may seem overly simplistic but it still works. If you have tons of stuff that isn’t worth the cost of transporting to your new home, give it away! Your friends, neighbors and relatives will love you, as will your moving company.

2. Do Minimal Decorations and Pre-Scheduled Events

Garage sale for moving season

 

The biggest concern when moving during the holidays is having to juggle the holiday traditions with moving must-do’s. The holidays are filled with decorating sessions, recitals, Christmas parties and lots of shopping. While you will need to sacrifice some holiday festivities, there’s no need to completely give up on your favorite holiday traditions. Instead of going all out, settle for a smaller, plastic Christmas tree with minimal decorations so you can easily transfer it to your next home. While decking out the entire yard with Christmas lights isn’t the best use of your time, you can still achieve the same feel by decorating just the front porch or balcony.

When attending holiday events, compromise on which ones are essential to attend such as Christmas mass or your child’s recital and skip the holiday happy hours with co-workers. You’ll save money and have more time to focus on the task of moving.

For more information on how to expertly weave in family-friendly holiday fun during a move, check out design expert, Libby Langdon’s holiday moving tips on cablemover.com.

3. Get Going on Hiring Movers Early

Moving during the holidays

Hiring a moving company should be approached with lots of research, competitive analysis and communication with the company. Given most moving companies may have limited hours during the holiday season, it’s best to book your company at least a month in advance. Once you’ve determined which moving company is flexible and willing to adhere to your moving timeline, check out the four factors below to consider when hiring the right moving company by Cablemover.

Tip #1: Research the Reviews

Tip #2: Don’t Skimp on Moving Insurance

Tip #3: Negotiate with Multiple Moving Companies

Tip #4: Licensing: Check the Credentials

Many people hiring movers have lost thousands of dollars by placing their trust in unprofessional and scammy moving companies. Since moving during the holidays is hectic enough, make sure to do your due diligence when completing this important task.

4. Don’t Rush into Unpacking

Quality time with family after a holiday move

Congratulations, you made it! Feel free to bask in the glow of your own accomplishment because you successfully completed a holiday move. Once moving day is behind you, it’s normal to want to dive right into unpacking and setting into your home. However, we recommend an alternative. If possible, hold off on unpacking the entire house until after the holidays. After the busy and action-packed season of moving during the holidays, allow yourself to relax and unwind.

As you can see, moving during the holidays doesn’t have to be an arduous endeavor. From when to start the process to balancing holiday fun with moving tasks, a hassle-free holiday move is all about your approach. The best part is, you’ll be all moved in and ready to start the new year in your new home!

If you’re ready to start the holiday moving process, make sure it’s seamless by checking out Cablemover’s customizable moving guide – from movers to timelines, our guide allows you to customize your move exactly how you want it.

This article was contributed by our friends at Cablemover.

 

Candy, costumes, and creative decorations … oh my!

Trick or treat walk with my dog

Written by Katie Peterson

It’s that time of year again! Fall is upon us, and the kids are already on premature sugar rushes; it’s time for Halloween! Your kids are mentally prepared, but are you? We’ve compiled the most useful and creative things to know so you’re ready for anything this Halloween season.

Candy

Candy always seems to be a stressor on Halloween. What if you leave a bowl out and the neighborhood kids take too much? What if you run out? What if your kids eat way too much while they’re out trick-or-treating? A really great way to save yourself from worrying about candy on Halloween is to be as prepared as you can.

Buy more candy than you think you’ll need and keep the receipts! You can return whatever you don’t end up using later.

If you can’t be home to pass out candy, placing a bowl out with one of these cute reminders should help encourage the trick-or-treaters to help you ration your candy for a while:

  • Roses are red. Violets are blue. We’re out trick-or-treating just like you! Please take one treat!
  • Take a treat! But leave the rest for other boys and ghouls!
  • Trick-or-treat, smell my feet, please take just one sweet to eat!
  • Although we’re not home to give you a scare, here’s a bowl of tricks and treats, take one … if you dare!

After Halloween is over, take full advantage of the candy on sale at the stores and begin stocking up for next year (assuming the candy isn’t the type to go stale). You’ll thank yourself when the prices rise again right before the holiday.

Costumes

Costumes can cause unwanted stress without the proper preparation. With these tips in mind, your kids will be safe, and you will be stress-free.

Depending on where you live, encourage costumes for your kids that will look good while still keeping warm. For instance, a genie outfit with high heels might not work out so well on a cold night of walking. And if you can help it, you don’t want your cute costumes (and the kids inside them) to be covered up with big coats while out for the night. A good solution for making your costume warmer is to layer turtle necks and leggings of the same color underneath.

For Halloween safety, fasten reflective tape to candy bags and add it as an accent to your child’s costume. No need to go overboard with this one, but as long as your child can be seen by cars in the dark, the tape will be worth it. Another good thing to keep in mind, utilize all sidewalks or walkways to avoid walking close to traffic. Be sure to keep an eye on your little ones and have them by your side to avoid any accidents.

To avoid last-minute stress before going out, be sure your kids try on their costumes a few weeks before Halloween to double check there aren’t any last minute adjustments or accessories needed. Make sure everything fits and isn’t broken beforehand so you have extra time to rebound if you find a problem.

 

Creative decorations

One of the best parts of Halloween is the decorating, but it can also be one of the most stressful and expensive. You’ve got to round up all the boxes from the attic, untangle the lights (and end up buying more when you find all the bulbs broken), and there never seems to be enough money in the budget for all the ready-made decorations at the store. Whether you are the house on your block to “Deck the Halloween Halls” or not, we’ve gathered some of our favorite DIY decorations that might scare the kids, but certainly not your wallet or gumption to decorate.

window decorations
Photo courtesy of http://www.woohome.com

Use the light from inside your house to create window decorations:

Grab big pieces of black construction paper, colored crepe paper, and scissors, and you’ve got all you need for this creative and easy decoration hack. The light from the room behind the paper is all the illumination you need to make a big statement on your street.

Reuse milk cartons to make a lit pathway for trick-or-treaters:

milk cartons
Photo courtesy of http://www.eighteen25.com

All you’ll need for this one are milk cartons, a craft knife, sharpie marker, and lights. Draw the ghost eyes and mouth on the empty milk carton, and cut a small round hole in the back for the lights to go in. After that, you’re all set to line them up and plug the lights in! (Just make sure the plug side ends up somewhere near an outlet or extension cord).

monster door
Photo courtesy of http://www.coolmompicks.com

Make your door a monster with whatever crafts you have lying around:

The best part about this DIY is, whether you have time to go all out with spider webs and sparkles or you just slap on streamers and eyeballs, the door monster will still come to life!

Create hanging ghosts:

ghost hanging
Photo courtesy of http://www.simplydesigning.porch.com

All you need for this project are a few Styrofoam  orbs from the craft store, cheese cloth, eye-hooks, string for hanging, and black craft paint for the ghost’s eyes. Just drape the cheesecloth over the orbs after you’ve painted on the eyes and start shredding the ends. A few of the ghosts grouped and hanging on your porch or from trees makes for some cute (and cheap) Halloween decorations.

Utilizing these creative DIY’s and tips this Halloween will save you money and stress so you can focus on what really matters… enjoying the holiday, however you’ll be celebrating! Have fun this year, and remember, this is a day when too much candy is the goal, as long as the majority is saved and shared rather than eaten!

What are your favorite Halloween tips and DIY’s? We’d like to hear them! 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!

3 DIY Halloween costumes in 30 minutes or less

Written by Jessy Howe

If you’ve been following Movers Who Blog for a while now, you know what October means … it’s boxtume season! If you’re new here, “boxtumes” are Halloween costumes we like to upcycle from cardboard moving boxes. Not only do you end up with a completely unique costume, it’s also fun for the family and extremely affordable.

We’ve come up with three brand new costumes to make this Halloween season in 30 minutes or less right in the comfort of your living room. Similar to our DIY Disney Pixar “UP” house or Barbie box costume, these can be done in 5 steps or less. Halloween costumes don’t get much easier than this!

Motts Juice Box

DIY Juice Box Halloween costume by TWO MEN AND A TRUCK

We guarantee this will be the cutest juice box costume on the block!

Supplies:

1 medium box
Yellow wrapping paper
Colored construction paper
Large white pipe cleaner
Elastic or ribbon
Scissors
Tape
Stapler

Step 1: Use scissors or a box cutter to remove the top and bottom flaps of the box.

Step 2: Cover the box in yellow wrapping paper securing it down with tape.

Step 3: Use colored construction paper to create the front design of the juice box. Tip! Print the Mott’s logo for quick application.

Step 4: Shape your large white pipe cleaner into a bendy straw and secure to the inside of the box using tape.

Step 5: Staple elastic or ribbon to the front and back of the box so it rests comfortably on your shoulders for a night of trick-or-treating!

 

Popcorn

DIY Halloween Popcorn costume by TWO MEN AND A TRUCK
Nothing goes better with popcorn than the loot of candy you receive on Halloween night! This fun Popcorn costume can be dressed up with red Converse or a DIY popcorn headband for extra flare.

Supplies:

1 large box
Red wrapping paper
White duct tape
Yellow tissue paper
Elastic
Scissors
Stapler

Step 1: Use scissors or a box cutter to remove the top and bottom flaps of the box.

Step 2: Cover the box in red wrapping or craft paper and secure it down with tape.

Step 3: Create popcorn box stripes using white duct tape. When you’ve covered the box, place the words “Popcorn” on the front of your box, or search for a brand logo online if you have a favorite!

Step 4: Staple elastic or ribbon to the front and back of your box to act as straps for your costume.

Step 5: Have fun by completing your costume with tissue paper popcorn. Crumple one piece at a time to create textured popcorn. Shape it until you are happy and secure it using tape or a stapler.

 

Voting Ballot Box

DIY Halloween voting costume by TWO MEN AND A TRUCK

If you’re following this year’s election, consider going with a creative voting ballot box. You’ll be a topic of conversation, that’s for sure!

Supplies:

1 large box
Red wrapping paper
White duct tape
Blue and silver construction paper
Letter and star stickers
Elastic
Tape
Scissors
Stapler

Step 1: Use scissors or a box cutter to remove the top and bottom flaps of the box.

Step 2: Cover the box in red wrapping or craft paper and secure it down with tape.

Step 3: Create four vertical stripes using your white duct tape.

Step 4: On your blue construction paper, spell out VOTE using your stickers. Secure this banner down to cover the white stripe ends. Top it off with star stickers.

Step 5: Staple elastic to the front and back of the box. We decided to top off this costume with a tiny sparkly hat found at Party City. Use your imagination to represent the Red, White, and Blue on Halloween night!

 

We hope this sparks costume inspiration! If you decide to create any of these boxtumes, we’d love to see them! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using #TMTHalloween.

For more box inspiration, visit us on Pinterest!

Downsizing made simple with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®

Written by Jessy Herman

Whether you are simplifying your living arrangements or moving to a condo, downsizing is never easy. The thought of going through your many belongings can be overwhelming, but there are things you can do to simplify your move to a smaller home.

As soon as you know you’re moving, begin cleaning out areas of your home which tend to have the most clutter. This includes the attic, basement, and garage. And while the thought of throwing items away can be hard to cope with, there are alternatives. For high-end possessions you won’t be taking with you, pass them down to a family member or try selling them at an antique shop or auction. This will help ensure they go to a good home and will remain well cared for. For all other items, have a garage sale, donate what you can, or simply put them in storage.

For more helpful tips, watch the video below!

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!

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!

What to expect from professional movers

It’s no secret, moving can be a difficult task! Between packing up your belongings and preparing the kids for a new school, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the options before you when it comes to hiring professional movers to help.

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we have more than 30 years of experience in the moving industry and make it our top priority for our trained, uniformed, and caring teams to exceed your expectations. We treat your items like our own and strive to make your moving experience stress-free and enjoyable.

We asked our move heroes what customers can expect when they move with the Movers Who Care®, here’s what they had to say.

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!

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!