Moving your new toys on Black Friday

Have you scoped out Black Friday deals and found a few you simply can’t resist? Electronics and home goods are common seasonal purchases, but how can you keep them safe once you leave the store?

We’ve got you covered with tips to get you, and your new toys, home safe.

TV

TVs are one of the most common Black Friday purchases, often a purchase planned out well in advance. But have you thought about how you’re going to move that new TV once you buy it?

Keep your TV upright as much as possible. While modern TVs are designed to safely lay horizontally, this exposes them to a variety of dangers. Each bump in the road or sudden stop becomes extra dangerous when a TV is on its back.

If you have room to stand it up, make sure the screen is protected. Don’t pack sharp objects nearby, and surround it by plush or soft items if possible.

Tablets, consoles, and Computers

Tablets, consoles, and computers pose their own set of problems. They may be smaller, but don’t think that means you can just lump them in with other items. These technologies are susceptible to breaking.

Keep them protected by isolating these items where possible. Keeping a blanket in your car to wrap around them will also help keep them safe and warm.

Don’t stack anything on top of them to ensure they’re protected. They are not designed to bare weight on top of them, so make sure to stack them on top of other objects or keep them apart from the rest of your holiday haul.

Vacuums and other home goods

The key with vacuums, like other heavy items, is to carry it close to your chest. That’s where your muscle center is, so keeping it close to your core will ensure your safety and that of your item.

This concept carries over for any other heavier kitchen item you may buy like some coffee machines or other countertop devices.

Keeping these household goods close to your chest also allows for easier mobility. Black Friday often leads to tight quarters in stores, so keeping your items close will allow you to absorb—and avoid—bumps.

Be aware of your surroundings

With your hands full and people surrounding you, it’s important to move cautiously. Protect your new goodies by watching for other people and cars. Since it will be dark outside, extra care is needed.

Be patient driving

With everything you bought in the back of the car, it’s important to be patient on the road. Avoid sudden stops, starts, and turns to keep your new purchases from crashing around in the back of your car.

Don’t stress your muscles

Even if you can carry everything inside in a single trip, it’s okay to make an extra trip. Carrying too many items can lead to bags breaking, dropping vital objects, and accidental contact with walls and door frames.

Heavy items, like that TV or vacuum, warrant a separate trip. Bags should be carried at a comfortable weight. You just bought these new toys, protecting them should be as important as buying them.

 

To get your free quote, visit us online or call 608-278-0800!

Want more of Madison’s “Movers Who Care®”? Like TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

 

Seven steps to hosting a successful Thanksgiving

Hosting Thanksgiving is a great way to bring people together, but it can also be a stressful undertaking. Following these steps can help make the day easier and let you enjoy it.

Ask for help

You’re already hosting, don’t take on more than you can handle. It’s okay to delegate responsibilities when the food, decoration, RSVP list, and more are piling up. Enlist family members to help decorate and have guests bring food and drinks.

Prepare in advance

Starting early will help limit holiday stress and let you enjoy your day. Get decorations placed early in the week, and set the table the night before. Prepare all dishes in advance, when it allows, so that only last minute touches have to be done in the morning.

Don’t Experiment (too much)

It’s fun to try new foods, but Thanksgiving is not the right time to experiment. When feeding many hungry mouths, it’s best to stick to the basics. If you have the time however, you can break out the creativity and experiment. Pick something that won’t be too time intensive, and make something small and exotic.

Don’t worry about the starters

Speaking of something small, don’t fret with the appetizers. Your Thanksgiving meal is hefty as is, and you spent a lot of time making it. You don’t want people filling up before the entre is even served. A meat and cheese tray or another simple snack should suffice.

Not everything needs to be hand made 

Homemade food is a staple of Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean everything has to be made from scratch. You should worry more about spending time with family than store-bought food, so supplement your scratch-made efforts by picking up a few things.

Relax

Thanksgiving gets stressful when you’re hosting, and it can be hard to remember what’s really important. There is so much to be thankful for. Take the time to enjoy your family, the meal before you, and everything else in your life worth celebrating.

Nap

Last, but certainly not least, carve out some time for the infamous Thanksgiving Day nap. You earned it.

To get your free quote, visit us online or call 608-278-0800!

Want more of Madison’s “Movers Who Care®”? Like TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

 

12 Critical Cold Weather Moving Tips

Most of our customers try to move during warmer months to avoid the discomfort of freezing temperatures. But sometimes, you just have to move in the cold. If you’re facing a winter move, here are 12 tips for cold weather moving.

1. Check the weather

Keep an eye on the forecast to prepare for moving day. If there’s going to be fresh snow, start early because snow slows down every part of moving. For temperatures below freezing, check your car to be sure it starts before loading up.

2. Clear the way

A safe walkway can easily become treacherous with ice. Protect yourself—and your belongings—by taking the time to shovel and salt all walkways. If you do this the night before your move, go out early the day of to make sure everything is still ice free.

3. Get started early

Moving in the dark is difficult. Unfortunately, the sun goes down quickly in winter. Getting an early start will help you maximize these short hours.

4. Turn off the heat

With people coming in and out of your home all day, the heat (and your money) is going to go right out the door. A well-placed space heater provides the warmth you need when placed in an enclosed area like a bedroom or bathroom, while saving on the heating bill.

5. Set up pet play dates

With the heat off and your hands full of heavy items, it’s best to keep pets elsewhere. You don’t want them cold, and you don’t want to trip over them while you’re moving. Board them, set up a play date, or leave them with a friend to make sure both of you are safe.

6. Take extra care wrapping fragile items

Fragile items are even more brittle when exposed to the winter cold. Wrap all fragile items thoroughly to protect them. Blankets are handy for extra protection, adding a layer of warmth and padding. (This is a dependent clause please make it an actual sentence)

7. Keep your electronics warm

Most of your household electronics are not built to withstand cold. Pack all of your electronics together and keep them someplace warm.

8. Dress properly

Dress with more layers than you think you need to. It’s better to be a little warm and remove layers than frozen. Keep a spare pair of gloves available. They can get soaked and make your hands cold and grip weak.

9. Protect the floor

There’s no way to prevent tracking snow inside, but you can still keep your flooring safe. If you have an attached garage, you can unpack in the garage before changing into dry shoes to bring everything inside.

Covering floors and carpet with carpet protectors will also keep things clean and dry.

10. Keep warm essentials nearby

Pack a bag of essentials to combat the cold. Keep blankets and a change of clothing nearby so you can get comfortable and warm before unpacking. Add some hot chocolate packages and mugs to warm up during or after your move.

11. Make sure the utilities at your new home are set up

Moving in winter makes for long days. They are even longer if the heat isn’t set up at your new home. Prior to moving, make sure all utilities are on so you can be comfortable immediately in your new home.

12. Bring in the pros

Save time and energy by hiring professional movers. They are trained to move in any condition and have supplies to add protection to your items and home. It will minimize your time outdoors and allow you to start organizing comfortably inside your home.

 

To get your free quote, visit us online or call 608-278-0800!

Want more of Madison’s “Movers Who Care®”? Like TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

 

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Gives

Monday kicked off the NBC15 Share Your Holidays food and fund drive, an annual effort across Dane County to combat hunger. The drive, which benefits Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, runs now through December 6.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Madison has been involved in this campaign for the past 10 years, executing all moving needs associated with the drive.

The 2017 drive has a goal of raising 3.86 million meals, with 245 barrels were delivered this year. To accommodate that volume, we are donating the use of 25 trucks and more than 400 man hours.

“It’s heartbreaking to know our neighbors in Dane County continue to struggle with hunger,” Madison owner Tim Lightner said. “We’re honored to play a role in fighting hunger with this drive. To see so many donations coming in is humbling. It’s great to see the community band together for a single cause.”

Giving back to the community is one of our core values, one established more than 30 years ago.

In 1985, Mary Ellen Sheets donated all of the profits from her company’s inaugural year. She ran the small operation out of her mother’s garage, and named it after her two sons who had started it before leaving for college: TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.

Today, the company has more than 390 franchises in several countries and continues the spirit of giving.

In Madison, we have been offering services to benefit of the community for a quarter of a century. Over the years we’ve donated nearly $1.5 million in services to numerous community nonprofits.

To learn more about TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and our giving, please visit the community services page of our website.

 

To get your free quote, visit us online or call 608-278-0800!

Want more of Madison’s “Movers Who Care®”? Like TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

 

Complete Guide to Halloween

It may be frightfully fun, but Halloween also means extra projects. From baking, to costumes, to decoration, your checklist is scary.

Don’t worry, we have some startlingly simple solutions to get into the spirit without driving yourself batty.

Candy

If you’ve every prepared for Halloween, you know one of the biggest worries is giving away (or eating) too much and running out. Nothing is worse than an empty treat bowl. The solution?

Get more candy than you think you’ll need. Keep the receipts so you can return the extra.

If you won’t be home, leave your porch light on and a bowl with a note reminding trick-or-treaters to only take one piece. This won’t guarantee you have enough but may help.

Take advantage of post-season sales. Buy candy that will last until next year and/or keep it in the freezer to keep it fresh. You’ll be all set when next Halloween rolls around.

Costumes

You’ll want to be sure your costume will hold up to whatever weather Wisconsin brings. It could be 75 or it may snow.

Make sure your costume is warm enough to keep you comfortable all night.

You don’t want a bulky coat to cover the costume you worked so hard on. Try layering long sleeve fitness gear or turtle necks that match your costume to maintain warmth and creativity.

If you’re still looking for costume ideas, check out these boxtume ideas.

Safety

Halloween is spooky, but it doesn’t have to be frightful. Keep your family safe this season by remember some essential tips.

Attach reflective tape to candy bags or costumes, or use it as an accent on costumes.

Stick to one side of the street, and remind your kids to cross carefully and in groups when possible. Don’t dart out from between parked cars.

Ensure your child can see in their costumer.

Check all candy before it’s eaten. Anything that looks or smells off should be discarded.

Bring flashlights if trick-or-treating at night.

Host a house party for the littlest goblins, and set up “trick or treat” stations around the house or yard.

Leave a light on and music playing when you’re gone to prevent potential mischief and give you a safe haven at the end of the night.

Decorations

In a world of talking skeletons and cobwebs, decorating can be daunting. It doesn’t have to be, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

PHOTO COURTESY OF HTTP://WWW.WOOHOME.COM

A few well-placed pieces of paper can blot out your house’s lighting to create a terrifying tapestry, headless woman, or eerie tree (see the image below for examples).

Styrofoam orbs are inexpensive and easy to find. Cloak it in cheese cloth and draw on eyes to create a ghastly ghost. Attach a string to the top and hang them where they’re sure to haunt.

Decorate your door for maximum fright. Simple crafting paper and yarn will transform your door into a living monster.

For more spirited ideas, look here!

 

 

To get your free quote, visit us online or call 608-278-0800!

Want more of Madison’s “Movers Who Care®”? Like TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

 

Fall Favorites From Madison’s Favorite Movers

Are you new to Madison and looking for some starting points for fall festivities? Maybe you’re a seasoned festival veteran looking for new seasonal things to try.

Our team lives and works (and plays!) in this community, so we thought we’d share our own favorite fall activities with you. We hope to see you there!

Kelli, In-Home Consultant

We go apple picking every year. There are a lot of orchards near Janesville and a few just over into Illinois. We also always go to a cute pumpkin farm in Edgerton, Hermanson Pumpkin Patch. You can go out into the field and pick your one if you don’t like any of the pre-picked. They also have hayrides, farm animals, and a family friendly “Haunted House”.

If we’re looking for something not as kid friendly, we always go to Schuster’s Haunted Forest. One of Janesville’s parks also has another kid friendly event, the Enchanted Forest, and that one is really cute as well!

Kelli

Ken, Business Specialist

We love Jelli’s Market in Jefferson County. We go apple and raspberry picking, and love hayrides and gift shops with honey made on site. There are a lot of activities to do with the kids.

Ken

Becca, Moving Consultant

I love the fall! Decorating with mums and pumpkins outside, then adding some creepy Halloween lights and fun stuff for trick or treating. And I love Octoberfest celebrations! Cheers!

Becca

Andy, Accounting Manager

There are so many great things in fall. Pumpkin patches, hayrides, haunted barns, apple cider, apple and raspberry picking, eating/baking pumpkineverything, trick or treating with the kids and seeing everyone else’s creative costumes, walking around outside to look at the colorful trees and hear the leaves crunch under your feet.

Andy

Lisa, General Manager

Campfires! I LOVE THEM! Schuster’s Farm is family fun for all ages. Busy Barns in Ft Atkinson is similar!

Some have haunted woods or barns for older kids. Humane Society puts on a haunted trail, dress up in your costume and take a walk!

The square downtown puts on a trick or treat day for the kiddos, and stores on the square hand out candy. This year it’s on the 25th, so it’ll be a nice way to break up the week!

Making caramel apples and picking apples are fun, too! There are a handful of orchards in the area as well.

Lisa

Michael, Marketing Coordinator

The best part of fall to me is football. Living in Madison, I love going downtown for Badger games or getting together with friends to watch the game. There’s also still time to get down to the terrace and enjoy the view. You may have to wear warm clothing, but it’s still beautiful!

Michael

 

To get your free quote, visit us online or call 608-278-0800!

Want more of Madison’s “Movers Who Care®”? Like TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

 

Essential fall moving tips

Fall is a great time of year to move. The weather can be agreeable and you’re lucky there’s no snow (yet) to slow you down. We’ve got some tips to make the most of your autumn move.

Check the weather

Wisconsin weather can go either way, so it’s best to prepare for potentially wet, windy, snowy or hot conditions.

If it’s hot outside, keep refreshments close at hand to keep you cool. In the case of wind, prepare to be even more cautious with big items. They can sway in the wind, so prepare yourself for this condition. If it’s wet or snowy, understand that it will take you longer to get between your new home and your old one. Being careful on the road is crucial, especially when you’re moving your precious belongings.

Clear the Way

Wet leaves can be particularly slippery, so be sure to clear walkways before moving day. You may also want to have a broom handy for anything that gets tracked in like mud and dirt. Our crew must wear shoes for safety, and will take care not to make a huge mess, but having a clear front walkway will help minimize mess.

A Two Men and a Truck mover moves a box for a customerDress for the occasion

We’ve mentioned the importance of proper clothing on moving day in past posts, but it’s especially true during fall. Mornings are usually cool, days can get hot especially in the sun, and evenings are cool again. If you’re active during the day you may work up a sweat, but your doors will be wide open so you may get chilly. Pick breathable items that will keep you comfortable like a cotton t-shirt, lightweight wool long-sleeved shirt, zip fleece vest and sweatshirt. If it dips to freezing or there’s rain in the forecast, add a waterproof shell. You might want lightweight gloves too.

 

Start with more layers because you can always take them off as needed. Activewear that has pockets is handy during a move too, so essentials like your keys, pen or phone won’t get misplaced.

Select a mover

If you’re hiring professional movers, fall is the perfect time to do so. They may be more flexible with scheduling once the rush of summer is past.

This schedule means the movers can help you pack and unpack if needed. Our experts can save you significant time and you may ask them to pack just specific areas (like the basement or the bathroom). Be sure to mention you would like our assistance packing when you get your estimate.

 

To get your free quote, visit us online or call 608-278-0800!

Want more of Madison’s “Movers Who Care®”? Like TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

 

Renting? Don’t forget these essential tips!

Rental living is supposed to simple, right?

There’s no yard work to do. There’s no property maintenance.

Just pay rent and enjoy!

But, did you know it’s actually quite a complex process to move in?

Of course there’s the physical piece we all think about, and the emotional piece we’ve mentioned before.

But have you thought about the first things you need to do after you move?

No?

Yeah, I hadn’t either the first few times I moved. But now I have, and I’m here to help!

Check the utilities

Immediately.

Check the lights, electricity, and gas. Make sure the fridge and stove are working. Double check outlets, cable jacks, and Ethernet ports.

All of these are essential to living in and enjoying your new home, so make sure they’re up and running! By doing this promptly, you can alert management and have the requisite changes made quickly.

Check off your checklist quickly

You know that pesky checklist that you have to fill out as you inspect each room upon moving in?

Yeah, that’s important.

Before you fully unpack, make sure you thoroughly inspect each room while filling out your checklist. This will ensure you can mark all damages and scuffs while the apartment is open before you’ve covered walls and carpets with your belongings.

This can save you money when you go to move out!

Finally unpack

This is the most rewarding part of every move, when your new home goes from a vision to a reality.

Do this is soon as possible to avoid lingering clutter both in your home and in your mind!

You’ll also be able to see what you still need, and get it early on!

Take out the trash

I know, I know, chores. Gross.

But seriously, you’re going to have a mess. Between boxes, wrapping paper, tape, and whatever else you used to pack, you’ll have your hands full (literally).

Make sure you know where the trash is.

These items can take up plenty of room in your apartment, and make the unpacking process excruciatingly difficult and slow when you have to move around them.

Set up the fun!

Cable and internet. My essentials for life.

If you’re like me, this would rank way higher on this list. In fact, when I recently moved, it was one of the first things I did (yes, even before unpacking all of my items).

But regardless, get your cable and internet (or other electronic entertainment) set up early to give yourself a source of relaxation during a hectic time!

Settle in

Decorate, get out in the neighborhood, and have your first night in.

Do whatever it is to make you feel at home.

Welcome home!

 

To get your free quote, visit us online or call 608-278-0800!

Want more of Madison’s “Movers Who Care®”? Like TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

 

Don’t forget to be remember these moving tips

Memory is something we all struggle with from time to time. It’s easy to let things slip through the cracks.

Forgetting doesn’t always have a major impact on your life, but it can make things unnecessarily difficult.

This is especially true in moving. It’s hard work to begin with, but it’s exacerbated by forgetting some simple (yet essential) tips.

So don’t forget to remember these moving tips when it comes time for your move.

And don’t worry, you can print this out so you don’t have to remember it, too!

Check that checklist off your list

Don’t forget your check list.

Not only will this keep you organized and on task, it will allow you to see the progress you’re making, even when it’s not immediately visible.

Oh, and it just feels good to check things off!

Compare the costs

What’s right for you?

Can you move yourself, or would a moving company be a welcomed help?

It’s important to weigh all the costs of moving, and figure out what works best for you.

As we mentioned last week, moving yourself has hidden costs, so be conscious of the full picture.

If you decide to turn to a professional mover, determine what you need help with.

Don’t want to lift a finger? We can take care of everything from your packing and moving to the set up.

Don’t have access to the manpower or vehicles to move some of your larger or heavier items? Call in the professional movers to handle just those select items and take care of the smaller things yourselves!

Impart importance on imperative items

Before you move, take the time to collect important documents around the house.

Keep birth certificates, social security cards, and other important documents secured in a separate box or bag that you keep with you at all times.

Many times, these are already kept together in a safe or some secure spot, but it is important to secure them again and keep them somewhere you’re aware of throughout the duration of your move.

Purge

Trust me when I say, you have more than you think. Especially if you’ve stayed in your house for a while.

Whether you’re moving yourself, or moving with professionals, save time and money by trimming unnecessary things.

Cut down on clothes you don’t need, and extra furniture or decorations. Now is the time to get real about what you have.

It’s tough, but it will certainly save you in the long run.

Take time to realize…

That this is going to take longer than you think.

Start the packing and preparation process with plenty of time to spare. What doesn’t seem like a lot, will be. What seems like a lot, is going to be even more.

When you start early, you not only minimize the impact of a few busy days by spacing out the work over time, you also have the flexibility to respond to emergencies (in life and in moving).

Make life easy with essentials

Keep a separate box of just essentials to make moving day less stressful.

This could include medicine, some luxuries that you set up right away to make unpacking more enjoyable, or (if you’re like me and need food) snacks!

Keep this bag or box with you so you have easy access to the things you want most.

Label

It’s a small extra step that you’ll have to take when you’re packing up, but it will save you a huge amount of time and energy at the end when you unpack it.

Label by both room and specific grouping (living room – movies) to make the back end of moving as stress-free as possible.

Moving is long and stressful, so plan ahead to make the end smooth.

Break out the phy-ed lessons

There’s no need for whistles and gym shorts, but a quick physical warmup can help keep you safe.

Stretch out your back and legs, and loosen those shoulders before diving into your move.

Moving is physical, and  protecting yourself in advance is crucial. You’ll be tired and sore regardless, but you can minimize those effects.

 

To get your free quote, visit us online or call 608-278-0800!

Want more of Madison’s “Movers Who Care®”? Like TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

 

The real cost of moving

Money.

It’s a crime (I’m in a Pink Floyd mood today).

It’s a crime to take it away that is.

Like you, I like money, and I try (often unsuccessfully) to save it where I can.

With that said, there are non-monetary taxes that life takes out.

Moving is no different.

There are financial costs, whether moving yourself or choosing a professional mover, but there’s so much more.

What are they and how do you save those precious resources?

I’m here to help.

Time

One of the worst things you could possibly waste is time. It’s a commodity you can’t get back, something that doesn’t regrow.

When it’s gone, it’s gone.

Moving can be a time suck. Between packing, loading up your car or moving truck, and transporting them to your new home are all draining.

That’s all before the process of unpacking, rearranging, and decorating.

So yeah, it’s a lot of time.

How to save:

Plan, simplify, execute.

Create a plan of how to pack, and get started early. Set aside specific blocks of time, and go through each room in an orderly fashion.

Simplify this process by downsizing what you have. A great way to do this is to cut down on the clothing you don’t need, and pare down any other no-longer needed items. Don’t pack and move what you don’t need (Need proof? Check out my experience).

Execute your plan. You put the work in to make it, and it will help you keep on track to finish your move effectively and efficiently.

A professional mover can help with this process. Not only are they trained and equipped to handle packing jobs, but you can keep living your life while they work. Spend time with family, take care of work responsibilities, or pursue your hobby (if you’re like me, simply relaxing is one of my favorite hobbies) while your movers take care of your packing and move!

Energy

Besides being something I’m running tremendously low on right now, energy is another primary form of currency you shell out during your move.

Think about moving. I’m sure you’re daunted by the physical toll it will take. As well you should be. Carrying your couches, tackling your tables, bearing bulky boxes. It’s exhausting.

But do you know what’s worse?

The mental strain.

I was talking with one of our trainers the others, Shamus (just look at that smile!) and he said something very interesting.

“It’s not the physical part that gets to you, it’s the mental.”

He’s right.

The mental toll of feeling like you’re never going to finish, of taking days off work, the stress the labor causes. It’s painful. I moved two weeks ago, and I still haven’t recovered mentally (nor has my girlfriend/move helper).

How to save:

Get as much help as you can, and get as much as you can done before your move starts. Moving day is going to be stressful no matter, but save yourself some energy by thoroughly packing (and labeling) will significantly reduce the amount of physical and mental energy you expend. And that labeling will be essential in an organized and timely unpack and setup process.

Oh, and get some help. More hands means less work (and time spent) for everyone.

Emotion

Moving can get in your head. Downsizing is emotional, especially if you’re a bit of a sentimental hoarder like myself. But it’s not just the outright sentimental connection that affects you.

It’s the weeks of unease, a lingering limbo between new and old coupled with a gnawing discomfort leading up to the day of your move.

Then it peaks.

The emotional drain leaves you empty the day of your move, and can take quite some time to recover.

How to save:

Support.

It’s simple, but necessary.

If you have a hard time getting rid of things, bring in people you trust and have fun with the help ease the negativity of the process.

Their unbiased view can help you better assess whether certain items need to come along or if you can get rid of it. It’ll still be emotionally, but having someone there to help you smile through those times and sad thoughts will help.

 

To get your free quote, visit us online or call 608-278-0800!

Want more of Madison’s “Movers Who Care®”? Like TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!