Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Avoid These Five Moving Day Pitfalls

Aside from the excitement of moving into the home of your dreams, there isn't much fun about moving.   Managing all the details can be like the circus show of the man keeping all the plates spinning on the poles.  Here are six common moving day pitfalls and some suggestions to help you orchestrate a more relaxed moving experience.
  1. You have more to move than you estimated  Without fail, most of us are astonished to discover the true amount of "stuff" we've accumulated.  The key here is to start organizing and purging as soon as you decide you're going to move.  By doing so, you'll have plenty of time to decide the best plan for dealing with all that stuff.  Determine what will definitely go with you to the new home.  Anything that won't be going with you can be dealt with in one of three ways:  donate useable items to charity; hold a Moving Sale, with a plan to deal with anything that doesn't sell; or, throw it away.
  2. Poor packing planning  This kind of goes along with Pitfall #1.  Packing takes a LOT of time and the proper packing supplies. 
    Use quality packing supplies.
    If you wait until the last moment to begin packing your belongings, you'll surely find that you need way more boxes than you thought.  Always (let me repeat:  ALWAYS) gather more boxes and packing supplies than your think you're going to need.  TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® of Greater Lansing offers a Box Estimator and has a  buy-back guarantee, so you won't have to worry that you've bought too many boxes.  Along with having enough boxes, you should also know that using proper packing techniques will ensure less damage to your belongings during the move.  Be sure to use plenty of tissue paper and bubble wrap to protect dishes and other breakables.  Use packing tape on the bottoms of all boxes.  Never interlock the box flaps as they will likely come undone when filled and you try to lift them.
  3. No truck available  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, plan ahead and schedule your move well in advance of the day you're planning to move.  Keep in mind that nearly everyone wants to move on weekends or at the end of the month.  To avoid paying premium rental rates, try to schedule your move early in the week, avoiding Fridays and Saturdays.  The same goes with moving at the beginning or middle of the month. 
  4. Bad weather  As you can see, there are many things that you can control that will make your move go smoothly.  Unfortunately, the weather is not one.  But, while you can't wiggle your nose and conjure up warm, sunny day, you can prepare for the weather.  If your move is scheduled during the summer, have lots of water and, if available, at least one air conditioned room to take periodic rest periods.  During cold weather months, be sure to de-ice driveways, sidewalks and steps.  If possible, allow a 1-2 day cushion to re-schedule a move if the weather really throws you a curve ball.
  5. Children & Pets  Kids will want to be part of the moving process and they should be.  However, very young children will benefit from not being underfoot during the big move.  Encourage them to pack some of their most special belongings themselves and keep them close at hand.  Special boxes, such as Truckie's Treasure Chest,
    Truckie's Treasure Chest
    are a great solution.  Make arrangements for the kids to spend a play day with a friend or grandparents while you're loading up the moving truck.  The same goes for pets.  There is nothing more agonizing than losing a cat or dog during a move because a door or gate were left open.  In addition to finding a comfortable, secure place for your pet during the transition, find more tips on moving all kinds of pets at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® of Greater Lansing.

Yes, moving day is stressful.  But, with thoughtful planning and preparation you can successfully manage a smooth move.  If it is more than you want to handle, look into professional moving services.  The American Moving and Storage Association is a valuable site for tips on hiring a professional mover as well as great insights on the items discussed above and more.

    Friday, August 23, 2013

    Six Creative Uses for Moving Boxes

         The moving truck has left and you’re finally in your new home or apartment.  Before you now are the tasks of unpacking all those boxes, arranging furniture and settling in.  While you’re probably anxious to get back to “normal”, all this takes time.  Unless you’re an A-type personality who already has a plan of “a place for everything and everything in its place”, finding a starting point may be the biggest challenge you’re facing.

         Let’s start with those boxes:  right now they’re just a mountain of corrugated containers that hold all your worldly possessions.  Once you finally get around to emptying them, you might be wondering what you’ll do with them.  Here are 6 creative uses for re-purposing and recycling those boxes.

    1.       More storage:  If you purchased boxes to move your 
     stuff, you have some pretty practical and durable containers on hand to accommodate storage for almost anything.   Stack a few on their sides and you have a set of shelves that can hold sweaters, books or toys.  Go a step further and cover them with fabric or decorative paper and then you’ll feel like you got even more for your money as you now have added to your décor.  If you really want to get fancy, here are directions to create a one-of-a-kind wall shelf. 

    Wardrobe Box
       Wardrobe boxes are not only a great solution for moving items directly from one closet to another, but they also make wonderful storage solutions for clothing that is out of season. Won’t that extra closet space be fabulous? 

    2.       Green thumb assistance:  Look out your window and imagine no weeds around your shrubs or in your garden.  Flattened cardboard boxes make excellent mulch or weed barriers.  Cut a hole in the middle of a large, flat section and then place it around shrubs, perennials or tomato plants to hold in moisture and reduce weeds.  Over time, the cardboard will break down and will help improve soil quality.   The flattened boxes are also great mats for kneeling upon while you’re tending to your yard and garden.

    3.       Play time:  Kids will love playing make-believe with boxes of all sizes.  Boxes can become large blocks, dollhouses or forts.  Mr.McGroovy’s website offers great photos and directions to create castles, pirate ships and more, all from recycled boxes.   There are also numerous boards on Pinterest that will inspire you to create games, doll houses, art and costumes.  Just search “cardboard boxes” and have fun looking through all the cool ideas.

    Macro Photo Studio

    4.        DIY Photo Light Tent: Perhaps you’re in to photography and want an inexpensive macro photo studio.  A box, some white tissue paper and poster board will get you on your way to some great macro photography shots.  Click on the photo for the construction plans. 

    Make a lap desk

    5.        Lap desk:  Make a child-sized desk that is perfect in the car for long trips or would even be great for use at home.  Involve your child by letting him or her help select colorful contact paper to cover the lap desk.

    6.       Craigslist:  If you’re not the creative type and just want to get rid of those boxes without trashing them, list them on Craigslist.  Your trash will surely be someone else’s treasure and you can feel good about not sending them to the landfill.

    TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Lansing offers a full line of competitively priced packing supplies, including moving boxes, bubble wrap, tissue paper, stretch wrap, markers and packaging tape.