6 things people do to complicate their move

6 things people do to complicate their move

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

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

1. Deciding to do everything themselves

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

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

2. Hiring the first mover they come across

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

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

3. Failing to plan the move in advance

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

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

4. Not setting aside enough time for packing

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

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

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

5. Skimping on packing supplies

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

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

6. Not packing an essentials moving box

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

 

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

Another successful Movers for Moms® has officially wrapped!

Written by Lindsay Dow

Movers For Moms efforts in Jackson, MS
A 2nd grade class at Ann Smith Elementary in Jackson, Miss., helped support moms in need through Movers for Moms®!

Just nine years ago, the Movers for Moms® campaign was born. The annual program, which began with the Michigan TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations who wanted to support local moms in need around the time of Mother’s Day, involves working with local businesses, schools, and organizations to collect essential care items for moms living in domestic abuse or homeless shelters. Today, our more than 300 locations across the country participate in the program and support local moms in their community.

The program has grown exponentially over the years and we’re proud to say we’ve collected more than 800,000 items for moms the past nine years. This year alone, our fantastic franchises collected more than 285,000 items for delivery to local shelters!

“Movers for Moms was extremely instrumental in providing a wonderful and meaningful Mother’s Day for the Shelter’s participants,” said Volunteer and Resource Coordinator Rebecca Grabau at The Shelter for Abused Women and Children in Naples, Fla. “Without community support like this, the Shelter would not be able to provide our life changing programs and services, and we certainly would not be able to create such a special day for all of our survivors.”

Movers for Moms® success is built on the generosity of local communities coming together to support at-risk moms. A BIG thank you to everyone who has generously donated to the cause, or the local community partners that acted as drop off locations for donations. Without the support of our communities around the country, we wouldn’t be where we are today in helping moms who need it most around the time they should feel most special- Mother’s Day!

We’re proud to live out our core value of giving back to the community, not just when running our annual Movers for Moms® program, but all year long.

To stay updated on all Movers for Moms® happenings, like us on Facebook! TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!

7 tips for making a move without derailing your 2016 budget

Stay on budget during your move

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

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

1. Change your mindset

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

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

2. Cut costs wherever possible

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

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

3. Get quotes from more than one reputable mover

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

4. Predict major upcoming expenses

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

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

5. Track your finances using an app

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

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

6. Take only what you need

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

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

7. Claim work relocation expenses on your tax return

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Jessy Howe

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

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

Prep your home

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

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

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

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

Invites

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

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

Fun

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

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

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

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!

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.