5 tips for settling into a new town

New homeowners

May is National Moving Month and at mortgages.com, we talk a lot about what goes into moving including finding the right realtor, house hunting, and negotiating. But what happens when you’ve done this and you realize your new town is quite different from where you used to live? Like, really different. Don’t let homesickness set in. With a little planning you can settle in and make it feel like home in no time.

Unpack

It sounds like a no-brainer, but unpacking is a lot of work. Once you’ve already put in a days work, it’ll be tempting to leave things in boxes while you take a break. Suddenly, that break turns into years and you’re scrambling to find that piece of art your mother-in-law gave you to quickly hang up before she visits. It’s much better to bite the bullet and unpack everything within the first week. Not only will it be one less thing hanging over your head, you’ll also be surprised at how much more at home you feel once everything is put away.

Get the kids settled

Be sure to take time and communicate with your children about this big change. It’s also important to see how they’re feeling throughout the process. To help them settle in, this is the time to get them into sports teams, summer camps and clubs, or school activities. Being the new kid is rough and it’s even worse if you don’t have any way to meet people. Plus, you get the added bonus of meeting other parents when you drop your kids off. Who knows, you might just make some new friends yourself. Our friends at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® have excellent tips for moving with kids!

Find a group

Regardless of whether or not you have kids, it’s always important to take some time for yourself in a new town. Join a group, take a class, or start introducing yourself around the neighborhood. If you’re not sure where to begin, start with your city or county’s website to find classes or join a group on a site, such as Meetup.com.

Stay in touch

Keeping in touch with people from your old town will help you feel connected and supported throughout your move. If they live close enough, invite them over for a backyard BBQ once you’ve settled in. They’ll enjoy visiting your new home as much as you love being there! If you’ve moved long distance, set up a Skype date, give them a call, or go old school and write a letter.

Embrace your town

Yes, it’s important to stay in touch with your old town, but don’t get stuck in the past. Really embrace the culture and lifestyle in your new town. Find out where the favorite local hangouts are. Go to all the festivals you can. Take some time to just walk around and visit the local shops and restaurants.

Remember to think of this exciting new beginning as an adventure. So long as you make the effort, you’ll feel at home in no time at all!

 

KDV_headshot

Kylee Della Volpe writes about real estate trends, real-life home owner stories, and personal finance for mortgages.com. As an adult, she’s relocated from Maryland to Colorado to South Carolina.

Rock the block with your next garage sale

Written by Jessy Howe

Garage sale shopper

Garage sale season is upon us! In an effort to de-clutter your home of items you no longer need while making some extra spending money, we’ve gathered our top tips to throwing a rocking sale!

Choose the date

Many communities have “neighborhood sales.” If your area does this, take advantage! Traffic will be busier than normal and those who are out are ready to find your treasures. Have your sale over the course of two days, Friday and Saturday typically have the best results, and be ready for customers early. 8 a.m. is usually a great time to start.

Pricing

We recommend pricing everything you intend to sell. With people making a mess of your tables all day, you’ll be thankful each item is tagged. Pick up sticker price tags from your local dollar store, they usually have a selection of blank or pre-printed price stickers to choose from. Masking tape is a great price tag alternative. Go with “easy-to-pay-for” prices. What I mean by this is tag your items at .50 cents, $1, $5, and so on. Not .30 cents or $1.70. Lastly, price to sell! This is something my mom has always said when it comes to yard sales. You will not get $15 for your worn jeans, even if they are in good condition.

Make it a family affair

Ask your family and friends if they’d like to get in on the fun! Chances are they’ve accumulated some junk as well. Because multi-family sales are larger, they are more appealing to those driving by and provide incentive to stop. Keep items separated when selling by putting that family member’s initial on the price tag. Keep a notepad at your cash table with columns for each seller to jot down who has made what.

Prepare for the weather

Unless you are in a garage or barn, set up a tent or canopy if possible. You’ll have a shady area to cool down on a hot day and a place to move your items if it rains. Cover your tables with tarps overnight to avoid the trouble of taking your set up down just to put it back together the next morning.

Set-up matters

Trust me when I say that appearance does matter. People are more willing to stop when they see you have items nicely set out. Put your children’s toys in one area, books and movies in another, fold men’s clothes on one table and women’s clothes on another, you get the idea. An organized sale makes it easier to look through, and buy!

Garage sale set-up

Let people know!

Post to Facebook on community garage sale pages in your area, or perhaps your town’s Facebook page shares these type of updates. Purchase an ad in your local paper- normally no more than $10- and include when, where, and a brief list of items your selling. Descriptions can be as simple as “women’s clothes, baby clothes and toys, antiques, furniture, tools.” If you choose to have a multi-family sale, be sure to mention this. Most importantly, put signs out near busy intersections and at the end of your street to help direct people. Use large letters and stick with simple wording such as “Garage Sale” followed by your address and directional arrow.

Include your kids

If you have children they can easily be part of the weekend. Bake cookies the night before and set out a cooler of bottled water for them to sell, or set up a lemonade stand. They’ll love having their own job and will be occupied throughout the sale.

Donate what’s left

Pack up the items you are left with at the end of the weekend and donate them to a shelter or organization in your community. If you are in need of cardboard boxes for your donation items, visit your local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® to choose from a variety of sizes.

Do you have any garage sale tips to live by? We’d love 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!

The ultimate beginner’s guide to self-storage

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK storage

Finding and using self-storage can be a daunting task, and if you’re looking for storage you probably already have your hands full. Maybe you’re undergoing a life change such as a move or military relocation, or maybe you simply are trying to restore order to a home that’s overgrown with clutter. Whatever your reason for self-storage, here’s the lowdown on the self-storage basics.

Why use self-storage?

One of the most common uses for self-storage is for home use. When a homeowner or renter realizes they have accumulated more than they can comfortably keep in their home, they may turn to self-storage to help manage the chaos. Some people seasonally rotate their items between their home and storage unit, including summer and winter wardrobes, swimming pool supplies or holiday decorations.

You may also consider self-storage if:

  • You need to store personal or business documents in a safe place
  • You’re a service member or college student with frequent moves
  • You’re a car collector or boat owner

How do I choose a storage unit?

When selecting a storage unit, while location matters, it isn’t the only critical factor. Also ask yourself which amenities you may need. For example, if you have any items that are sensitive to heat, cold, dust, or moisture, you may want to ensure the storage unit is climate controlled. Items that need climate control may include:

  • Documents
  • Fur coats
  • Electronics
  • Computer equipment
  • Vehicles

Additionally, think about when you are hoping to access your belongings. Some storage units have fixed hours, while others have 24-hour access. If safety is a concern, ensure the facilities have surveillance cameras, ample lighting, security fences, or management that lives on-site.

What size storage unit do I need?

For determining your storage unit size, make a list ahead of time of the items you would like to store. Units can range in size from 5’ x 5’, which is like a standard closet, to 10’ x 30’, which can contain the contents of a 3- to 4-bedroom house. In-between, there are sizes comparable to standard and large walk-in closets, as well as those that can hold the contents of multiple rooms or a small home. When choosing a size, be sure to go for something a little bigger than the items you actually have so that you are able to walk around freely as needed. Also leave some room between the walls and stored items for better ventilation.

Do I need self-storage insurance?

Generally, self-storage units do not automatically provide self-storage insurance. We highly recommended you research insurance options before storing your items. Even if a self-storage company is highly secure, floods, fires and other natural disasters could still happen. Your first stop should be your homeowner/renter’s insurance policy, as you may already have coverage. If not, you may be able to purchase add-on coverage at a better price than if you were to purchase directly from a self-storage company.

The next step if you are unable to secure insurance through your current provider is to see what kind of insurance the self-storage facility can provide. If you have items of high value, either monetary or sentimental, it may be worth the investment to pay more to insure these items. When insuring your items in storage, be sure to always include a detailed and current list of the stored items and their values.

Self-storage packing tips

If you decide to pack and move items on your own, organization and forethought are key. Try sticking to boxes that are the same size for easy stacking and avoid plastic bags, where contamination can breed. Be sure to fill out the boxes completely to avoid caving, but not so full that your boxes are overflowing. If you have oddly-shaped items, fill in the empty spaces with newspaper or packing material. Be sure not to pack your boxes so heavy that you are unable to lift them, and be sure to choose the right type of container material. For example, you may consider more heavy duty boxes for your books.

Here are some additional packing tips to get you started:

  • Stack books rather than standing them on-end to protect the spines.
  • Plates, on the other hand, should be stacked on-end and wrapped individually.
  • Use bubble wrap for framed art and criss-cross masking tape for mirrors and other glass.
  • Don’t forget to label your items and mark boxes as fragile as needed. You may consider drilling down your contents even more with a brief list of what’s in the box.
  • Clean, polish, wipe and treat items before their relocation to preserve and keep germs away. Cover furniture with tarp or sheets.
  • Take apart bed frames and other furniture for easy transport and storage. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® recommends taping all the pieces to the main base during the packing process to avoid misplacing them.

Self -storage alternative

Sometimes moving your home requires additional space and added flexibility. An alternative option to storage is seeking out availability from a moving company such as TWO MEN AND A TRUCK. They provide secure onsite storage facilities whether you have just a few boxes or countless crates and furniture. This option is a perfect fit during home renovations, downsizing or during transitional living between homes.

Moving your items to self-storage

When it comes to loading the moving van, place heavy boxes at the bottom and fragile items on top, with rarely used items toward the front of the van. This way, during the unloading process, the least-used items will be pushed behind more frequently used items. Keep highly valuable items out of plain view to deter theft, and place fragile items on top of heavier, less fragile boxes.

Depending on your schedule and budget, you may decide it’s worth the investment to hire professional movers to pack and move your belongings. If this is the case, be sure to thoroughly research the moving company before entrusting them with your items. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® frequently moves items in and out of storage and arrive with fully trained, uniformed movers to ensure the process is completed with care and efficiency. If you move frequently, you may even be interested in mobile storage, where movers come to your home and pack and store your items in a cube that travels with you.

And that’s it – you are now ready to take charge of your self-storage future! Whether your life is in transition or you just need some of your space back, self-storage units help make daily living a whole lot easier.

Content developed in association with The Parham Group and Noah’s Ark Self Storage.

From mover to marketer in a matter of months

Written by Jessy Howe

Moving People Forward® is our core purpose. We make it a priority each and every day to move people forward, both personally and professionally. So much so, that 75 percent of our managers started in frontline positions before moving into management roles!TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Dirk Knowles

Like many employees within our system, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Fort Wayne, Ind., Marketing Coordinator Dirk Knowles has experienced this firsthand.

After attending high school in Bluffton, Ind., Knowles went on to attend the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne to pursue his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing.

Although Knowles had known about TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® since 2008, it wasn’t until August 2012 that he joined the company as a mover. Two months later, he was offered a position in the office as a customer service representative (CSR). TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Franchisee Matt Schiffeneder took notice of Knowles’ potential and knew of his knowledge in marketing. After two months of working as a CSR, Schiffeneder presented him the opportunity to further advance his career and take on the role of marketing coordinator at the franchise. Knowles jumped at the opportunity.

“TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has not only given me the opportunity to come up through the ranks but has also given me the chance I have been looking for to do what I love and that is bring awareness and build the reputation for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® here in Fort Wayne, as well as work with the community through our charity programs,” said Knowles.

This coming spring, Knowles will have the chance to do just that as he coordinates the Movers for Moms® campaign in his community. The program is held at all TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations across the country to collect donations for essential care items to be delivered to women’s and family shelters on Mother’s Day. He and his team have already gained the support of six Fort Wayne businesses who will be donation partners throughout the program.

As he plans for this large campaign and tackles day-to-day duties, Knowles feels supported by the corporate office and resources available to him.

“My favorite part about the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system is how open the line of communication between home office and the franchise is,” said Knowles. “Being very new to the position and being my first opportunity to focus on the marketing aspect of a company, it is reassuring to know that when I have a question I can contact home office directly and speak with someone who has the experience and knowledge.”

While he continues to excel and grow within the company, Knowles encourages others considering beginning careers with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® to take the leap.

“Having experience as a mover significantly helped me when working as a CSR when explaining to customers how and what our movers would do. Now having worked as both a mover and CSR, it helps when explaining the moving process starting with that first initial customer call to the signing of the paperwork at the end of the move,” said Knowles. “My advice for anyone thinking about starting a career with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® would be to take every opportunity you are given and to work in different positions within the company.”

 

If you are interested in beginning your career with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, please visit our careers site! TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward in your career!

10 tips to survive your winter move

Written by Jessy Howe

iStock_House in the winter

Moving can be hard, but moving during the winter season can make the process that much more difficult. To help ease your winter move stress, we’re sharing our top 10 winter moving tips. When using a moving company, many concerns below will not be a worry. However, for those do-it-yourselfers, with a few extra precautions, you can master the art of moving during snowy, winter weather.

1. Clear the path

Shovel or plow the driveways and sidewalks at both your old location and your new location. It’s easy to misjudge stairs and drop-offs when they’re hidden by snow. Taking a few extra moments to clear the way will make moving easier and safer for everyone.

2. Watch the weather

Temperatures can change quickly during the winter, with slush turning to ice within a few hours. It also gets dark earlier in the winter and with this in mind, plan trips between the old and new location accordingly. To find out more about the moving protocol during blizzard-like conditions, we’ve answered all of your questions, here.

3. Carry emergency supplies

Whether you drive your own vehicle or rent a moving truck, ice and snow on the road may get in your way. If you do get stuck, you can get yourself out quickly if you carry a shovel, salt and/or sand. It’s also wise to keep a vehicle emergency kit, water, snacks, and blankets handy just in case.

4. Layer up

Although you will be working hard on moving day, it is a good idea to dress in layers. If you begin to overheat you can always remove layers. Don’t forget your hat and warm gloves!

5. Avoid slips

Keep old rags and towels handy to wipe away the snow, salt, sand, and dirt which will likely get caked to your shoes and your moving containers causing slippery surfaces.

6. Light your area

Be sure all outdoor lighting is functioning properly at your new and old location prior to your move. With the sun setting early throughout winter months, it is important your visibility isn’t compromised should your move go late into the day.

7. Protect your floors

Cover your floors with old sheets or tarps to avoid tracking mud and snow into your home. Not only will this protect your belongings but will also keep the floors at your new location clean and dry.

8. Turn on utilities

Plan ahead and ensure utilities will be turned on upon your arrival. In harsh winter months, you will not want to be without these! Additionally, leave heat and electricity on in your old home until you are completely moved out.

9. Keep your plants safe

Don’t transport live plants in the cargo hold of the truck, as they can easily freeze. To keep plants safe and secure during a move, pack them in your personal vehicle and drive safely to your destination.

10. Hire help!

Hiring a moving company can take much of the pressure off of you and allow you to enjoy your new home even sooner! Many of the precautions above will be worries that disappear when hiring movers. Our uniformed movers and drivers are committed to exceeding expectations and ensuring your move is completed with care and efficiency. We realize moving needs are unique for every customer, so we’re ready to customize a plan to provide the best moving experience. Contact TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® today to begin planning your move.

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.

How to avoid leaving a huge mess when you move out

Don't forget to clean the stove before moving!

Moving is a huge time-consuming and stress-inducing chore, but there’s no other way about it. You have to spend weeks sorting and packing stuff you’ve accumulated over the past few years, talk to the movers, arrange for utilities to be transferred, unpack and put things away in your new home…the list just goes on.

With all this occupying your mind day and night, it’s only natural that you’ve forgotten one essential part of moving – that’s right, move-out cleaning! This house has been your home for the past many years; don’t you owe it a good cleanup before you leave? Okay, you are not that sentimental about the house, but do you think you have a good chance of getting the deposit back intact if you leave the house in the condition it is in right now?

To make things easier on you and help you avoid leaving a huge mess behind when you move, we have put together a handy list of things that you need to do before closing the door of your old home one last time. Happy moving!

What you will need:

  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • A mop
  • A broom and a dustpan
  • A squeegee
  • A spray bottle
  • Scrubbing sponges
  • Dish detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Magic erasers
  • Vinegar
  • Toilet cleaner and brush
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • An old toothbrush for tough-to-clean stains
  • Old newspapers
  • Cleaning rags
  • Trash bags

Tip: Remember to keep the above items separate from your packing boxes so that they don’t get shipped out to your new home before you are done cleaning!

In all the rooms:

Spray all windows with a mix of 50% distilled water and 50% tap water and wipe clean with a squeegee or a scrunched-up newspaper. If you had not washed your windows for a long time and they are particularly dirty, you may want to wash them with soapy water first. Clean the ledges.

Dirty window blinds? Simply put on an old cotton sock, dip your hand in the vinegar mix, and run your hands over each of the blinds. And there you go, good as new!

Take out all nails and hooks you have put into the walls and doors and fill them with putty. Use a magic eraser to remove scuffmarks, but take care to first test the eraser on a small surface. Harsh erasers can take the paint right off the walls and make your job twice as hard!

Bright lights are magnets for insects. Make sure to check for dead insects when you dust and clean the lighting fixtures and fans.

Wipe the closet shelves and check if the walls are clean. Remove cobwebs from the ceiling, vacuum the floor, and mop the hardwood and tile surfaces.

Tip: Always clean from top to bottom to avoid having to clean the same spot twice!

In the kitchen:

Empty cabinets and remove liners. Wipe the insides and the front surfaces clean with a damp cloth.

Remove refrigerator shelves and soak them in the sink while you scrub the inside clean with a scrubbing sponge and dish wash soap. Wipe the inside dry with a cleaning rag, wash the shelves, dry them, and put them back in. While you are at it, clean the sides, back and top of the refrigerator and also sweep below the refrigerator. If you have a dishwasher, clean it thoroughly.

Clean the oven, microwave and stove next and make sure that you remove all traces of grease and burnt food. While cleaning the stove, make sure you clean below the drip pans too. Scrub the kitchen counter top, sink and plumbing fixtures and you are good to go!

Tip: For the oven, use a paste made of baking soda and water to remove stubborn grease and grime without the harsh odors associated with heavy-duty oven cleaners.

In the bathrooms:

Empty the bathroom cupboards and take out the liners. Scrub clean the shower walls, tub, sink and counter with an all-purpose cleaning agent. Use the toothbrush for attacking the grout. Clean the toilet thoroughly from top to bottom. Spray the mirror with the vinegar solution you used on the windows and wipe clean. Dust the exhaust fan. Mop the floor.

Tip: Remember to keep at least one bathroom for the last or you may have to clean it again before you leave!

Don’t forget the outside areas

If you were using any outside storage facilities in the building, such as garage lockers, clean out those spaces. Dust and clean the outside lighting fixtures. Check your mailbox. Sweep the porch and patio.

One last time

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you say goodbye to your old home for the last time.

  • Are all the closets and cabinets empty?
  • Are all the electrical appliances/lights/fans in working condition?
  • Have you taken the trash out?
  • Do you have time-stamped photographs to document the condition of the house at the time of your move-out? These may be necessary if the landlord comes up with false damage charges later.
  • Do you have all the keys to return to the landlord?
  • Have you informed your neighbors you are moving?

A thorough move-out cleaning, especially if you have not been very particular about keeping the house in great shape all these days, can take a lot of time. If you have friends who are willing to pitch in, don’t hesitate to ask for their help. You should ideally start a few days in advance so that you are not left elbow deep in soapsuds and detergents even on the last day.

If you hate getting your hands dirty and don’t mind spending the extra dollars, you can always consider hiring a professional cleaning service to spruce up the home before you leave. But whatever you decide, don’t forget that move-out cleaning is essential to ensuring that you get your security deposit back from your landlord without a major deduction. In most cases, a happy landlord means a full refund. Here’s hoping that your moving happens as smoothly and easily as possible. All the best!

 

photoKurt Jacobson is a writer and vacation rental manager. Knowing what it takes to maintain pristine appearances for customers, he thrives on sharing what he’s learned from his experience. When he’s not managing a property, he writes about home cleaning for the Professional Home Cleaning Inc website.

When planning a move over the holidays – The right approach is crucial

When planning a move over the holidays, the right approach is crucial

For all the joy the holidays bring, it can also be an increasingly hectic and stressful period for many families. This is especially true for those moving homes over the holiday season, which is hectic enough on its own without adding in tasks like shopping for gifts or preparing elaborate holiday meals.

While this may not be an ideal situation, these useful moving tips can help you deal with holiday moves to the best of your ability by establishing a workable battle plan. Planning is key in this respect, as well as being prepared for any unforeseen obstacles or hindrances that may pop up on the way to your new home.

IMG_1651

Contact a moving company ASAP

Moving typically requires hiring a professional company to ensure your items remain intact during the trip from your old home to your new one. However, finding a reliable mover can be a bit more difficult during the holidays, as most of the staff will be unavailable at this time of year. In addition, rates may be a bit higher to accommodate moving staff, and this can be challenging for families on tighter budgets.

For these reasons, contacting a potential moving company as soon as possible is imperative to making reliable arrangements. Be sure to tell the company of your exact schedule, while also requesting an in-depth quote before coming to any agreements. This will prevent you from being surprised by any previously undisclosed or hidden fees that can factor in to projects of this nature.

Inform others about your move 

Once you have a date established, consider just how you will announce your move to friends and family. While you can use social media to keep others updated to your progress, sending out announcements is a nice touch during the holiday season. You can incorporate moving announcements into traditional Christmas cards to offer an ever-lasting keep sake of your transition.

In addition to informing loved ones of your new address, don’t forget to notify any companies you receive correspondence from via the mail. This can be accomplished by filling out a change of address form at your local post office, in addition to informing companies directly. This is essential over the Christmas season to ensure all mail is received in a timely manner, whether that entails important bills or gifts from out-of-town relatives.

Begin packing and organizing early

No matter the time of year, waiting until the last minute to begin packing for a move can often have disastrous results. It’s best to begin the process at least a few weeks prior to your moving date to ensure all items are packed successfully. Start by organizing your belongings in a common area to determine which items can be discarded. In many cases you can donate gently used unwanted items, which is particularly relevant during the holiday season.

You can also put some of your belongings into storage until after the holidays have passed. This will allow you to partake in holiday festivities without worrying about unpacking right away, while also making certain that your items remain safe and secure. This option can also be useful if you don’t have the ample time required to extensively organize your items before a move.

Consider scaling back celebrations/decorations

Decorating your home is a fine holiday tradition, but this can require much time and energy that may simply not be available when arranging a move. In this case, you may want to consider scaling back decorating until you reach your new abode. This doesn’t mean you should neglect putting up any decorations at all, just that you can save more substantial items (i.e. the tree) until you are settled into your new home.

The same can be said for holiday celebrations. Consider postponing grand holiday dinners until after your move to decrease some of the pressure you are facing. You can also seek alternate plans, like having dinner at a loved one’s home or dining out, to help create a more convenient celebratory situation.

Don’t forget to keep the holiday spirit alive 

The holidays should be a time for remembering what matters most in life, from being grateful for all that you have to cherishing time spent with your loved ones. When faced with the seemingly endless responsibilities related to moving, in addition to the many common tasks associated with Christmas, it can be easy to forget about the most important part of the season.

To this end, one should be mindful of creating new holiday memories even during this stressful period. Enlist your family to take numerous pictures of both your old home as well as new in order to preserve the spirit of the season. Also, take time for each other when you can, whether that entails cooking up a batch of cookies with the kids or taking in a Christmas-themed movie with your significant other. No matter what, try to keep in mind what the season really means, which can be beneficial for keeping your wits about you during times of increased stress.

Bryan Passanisi is an online marketer living in the Redwood City, California area. He graduated from The University of San Francisco with his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. He is a Simpsons and Family Guy trivia geek and loves corgi puppies. Bryan Passanisi is a contributor to various websites and blogs including Shutterfly.

Spot these go-to locations in your new city

Written by Nicole Harrison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m too busy! I don’t have time to pack and move!

Written by Arika Ford

I’m in a rush most of the time. Three kids with various activities on our schedule every day of the week, a full-time job, a house to clean, husband, dog, cat, and hamster. Hurry, hurry, hurry is my life these days.

In addition to the chaos, I am moving in June. It may seem far away, but when you’re as busy as I am, it’s hard to find time to get everything together. After careful consideration and planning, I put together a timeline to prepare for my move. For the other busy moms and dads out there, hopefully this will help you stay on track for a smooth move.

Before you start packing, you will need to buy all necessary packing boxes and supplies. Fortunately, your local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® sells a variety of moving and packing supplies so you can purchase a wide variety of boxes to hold different household items like we did!

My timeline is as follows:

One month before the move. Set up a handful of big boxes, not only as a reminder and a motivator, but to pack items you won’t use until after the move (special baking dishes, extra serving dishes, silverware, holiday items, etc.).dishpack kit

3 weeks before the move. Box up out of season items – for me this is winter items – in each kids’ room (snow boots, extra coats, gloves, heavy sweaters, snow pants). If you have young kids, you can turn this into a game — anything to get them to help. I am going to set up boxes in the living room and have my kids run as fast as they can to their rooms, gather their winter gear, and box those items up. I have designated an area for each of them in the living room to see who can get all of their winter items to me the fastest. Two of my kids play fall sports, I can easily pack up those items and label them. This is also a good time to start working on hallways closets and rid any bulky winter or vacation items.

At this point, hopefully you will have a healthy stack of labelled boxes. Keep your packed boxes out of the way so they don’t get damaged or tipped over. The display of boxes will begin to get my kiddos talking about moving and they will likely adjust to the move a little quicker if it is a part of their life for a few weeks before the move.

2 weeks before the move. Use this time to put small boxes in the kids’ rooms and have them begin to sort and pack small areas such as junk drawers, toys, and closets. This helps them to have ownership and a sense of control over something. Take this time to pack up miscellaneous or other household items that will not be used until after the move.

Gather items you no longer want and plan to donate. Now is a perfect time to get rid of items you have not used in the last 12-14 months. Research local shelters and donation sites in your city.

Week of the move. Use this time to finish packing up clothing, go throughMoving Checklist your bathrooms, and pack the remainder of your items. Start cleaning forgotten areas of your home and put last minute things together. Checklists are wonderful. Think about writing a checklist for the final packing and cleaning steps.

Packing up small areas at a time eliminates the feeling of becoming overwhelmed and allows you to be more prepared as moving day quickly approaches. If you stay on top of packing and prep as much as you can, when you can, your busy family will be packed up, moved out, and settled into the new place with what felt like much less effort. We’re hoping this checklist gives you busy parents a starting point to begin packing and organizing for your family’s big move.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. We are packing and moving experts and like to share our expertise with you. For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook. Let us help move you forward!

Should you stage your home to sell?

It’s no secret, listing your home to sell can be extremely stressful. In many situations, the goal is to sell your home quickly and at a fair price. If you don’t want to stage your home, it’s crucial to consider this thought. According to AboutHome, most buyers form an opinion about a home within the first seven to ten seconds of arriving. Staging your home is an investment, but I promise you will reap the benefits. In fact, 95 percent of staged homes sell in 11 days or less and sell for 17 percent more. If that doesn’t entice you, I don’t know what will. Katie Spyke, a real estate agent and staging expert with Tomie Raines Inc., has shared five simple, yet effective home staging tips to get your house sold quickly and for the price you want!
1. Declutter every space
2. Create a focal point
3. Depersonalize each room
4. Increase the lighting in all rooms
5. Clean everything
Check out the video to learn how painless and rewarding staging your home can be.

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.