How to Pack for Your Pets

How to Pack for your Pets when moving

Almost every single employee here at Two Men and a Truck Nashville owns one or more pets, so we have a soft spot for families who have dogs and cats.  This summer, we’re really focusing on bettering the lives of our pets (and the families of our pets!) by supporting the Nashville Humane Association with our Movers for Mutts campaign.  One way we hope to take care of your family pets is by helping you prepare to move with your furry relatives.

When your family moves, you’ll typically keep a “Day-of-Move” kit separate from the rest of your moving boxes so you can have everything you’ll need immediately right on hand.  (For example, you’ll need toilet paper, bed sheets, and Clorox wipes pretty much as soon as you move into your new home.)  Well, you should think about moving your pets in the same way.  There are some things they’ll need as soon as you get to your new home.

Fluffy moves

Here are some things you’ll want to have in a specially-marked moving box to take care of your pet on Moving Day:

  • Food and water for 5 days, in case you can’t find the rest right away.
  • Travel crate/carrier.
  • Security blanket, toy, bone, etc that will keep your pet feeling secure and comfortable with the move.
  • Collar with updated contact information, in case Fido or Fluffy gets lost.
  • Cat litter for Fluffy; poop bags for Fido.
  • Carpet cleaner and paper towels, in case there’s an accident.
  • Vaccination and medical records.
  • Contact information for your current vet, new vet, and emergency veterinary clinic in your new neighborhood.

collapsible bowl

If you’re a Worst-Case-Scenario type of person like I am, you may also want to think about these items:

  • Pet first aid kit.
  • Treats.
  • Pet seat belt, car carrier, or car seat cover.
  • Current photo of your pet, in case Fido or Fluffy gets lost.
  • Collapsible pet bowl for travel.

You should be all set!  If you liked this article and would like to help us find homes for new Fidos and Fluffys, please check out our Movers for Mutts campaign benefiting the NHA.

How to Make Your Move Easy on Your Pets

How to Move With a Pet

Because we’re in the middle of our Movers for Mutts campaign to benefit the Nashville Humane Association, we’ve all had our minds on our pets even more often than usual.  Most of our office staff owns dogs and cats, and our Customer Service Manager, Donald, and our General Manager, Nick, have both recently moved into new homes with their dogs.  In fact, a large amount of the families we move in Nashville also move with their pets as well.  So how can you make this transition easiest on your fur babies?

Remember that your pets can’t speak English.

Even though your human family members have been preparing for this move for months, your pets have no idea why you’re packing the entire house into boxes.  They also have no idea why they’re living in a brand new place.  These changes may cause your pets to have some anxiety, and anxious pets can sometimes wreak minor havoc in a new home.  Don’t be surprised or upset if your dog has an accident in his new living room, or if your cat is suddenly nervous around furniture you’ve owned for years.  While you shouldn’t neglect normal disciplinary action with any accidents or damages that your pets inflict upon their new environment, be sure to remain patient while they adjust.

Donald's dogs, Jax and Hersh

Keep them safe on Moving Day.

Curious pets will most likely find themselves underfoot of your moving team, and nervous pets may hide in the spot that your movers plan on placing the next moving box.  Instead of letting your pets have free reign of the house on Moving Day, consider dropping them off at a Doggy Daycare or Kitty Kennel for the day.  If this isn’t an option due to a long-distance move, at least keep your pets confined to an area of the house that movers aren’t currently working in.

Let your pets have access to their security blankets.

Your pets will have a much easier time adjusting to their new home if they have familiar elements surrounding them.  Even though you’re excited about the brand new doggy bed you purchased to match your new wallpaper, or the new litter box you found that can be hidden inside an end table, your pets may not catch onto these changes very easily during this transition.  It will be easier for your dog to sleep in the comfort of his training crate for the first month, and for your cat to be introduced to a new litter box after she becomes acquainted and comfortable with her new surroundings.

Donald's dog, Jax

Set boundaries right away.

Your new home may be coming with some new rules for your pets.  If you know there’s a bedroom you don’t want covered in cat fur or your dog won’t be able to go into the unfenced backyard without a leash, go ahead and let your pets know from the beginning what their new normal will look like.  Start closing the door to your bedroom from Day One, instead of waiting for your cat to become comfortable having free reign of the full home before instating this rule.  Be strict about keeping your pup on a leash each time he needs to go outside so he knows right away that he won’t be able to roam around freely outside at the new place.

Once your pets adjust to your new space, they’ll be just as excited as you are to get back to playing fetch and chasing laser dots on the walls.  Just remember that they have an adjustment to make, just like you do!

If you liked this article and want to help us “move” more rescue pets into homes with their forever families, check out our Movers for Mutts campaign benefiting the NHA.

Celebrating Our Pets: “Moving in” a Rescue Dog

How to Move In a Rescue Animal

All of our employees at Two Men and a Truck Nashville, from our owners to our office staff to our movers, love pets, and especially dogs!  A lot of us own rescue dogs, and we love them as our adopted family members.  Anyone who’s adopted a rescue dog can tell you that the first few months of owning this new friend is no walk in the park–you never know what kind of trauma the dog has experienced in the past, and he’ll need some time to trust you and adjust to his new environment.  So how can you best “move in” your new rescue dog?

Move Supervisor Joe and his rescue dog, Diego

Have patience, and remember your priorities.

The most important thing to remember is that your new pooch needs you to be patient while he/she makes the adjustment.  Many rescue dogs show their nervousness, fear, and lack of trust by acting out initially.  When our Move Supervisor Joe first took in his rescue animal, he lost a bar stool, two couches, and the back seat of his car to the anxious chewing habits of his pup Diego.  Although Joe was understandably frustrated by the damages to his things, he remembered that his priority was Diego’s comfort and trust.  After the first few months of learning each other’s habits and routines, Diego, Joe, and Joe’s belongings all live in harmony with one another.

Don’t punish, just discipline.

When a child misbehaves, parents are able to explain what their daughter did wrong, sit her in time out, and have her clean up whatever mess she made.  Rescue dogs are a little more difficult to handle because they can’t understand English, or the concept of reparations.  New rescue dog owners should remember that they need to associate good behaviors with treats, and bad behaviors with loss of attention.  When our Marketer Jenni adopted her rescue dog Lucille, she quickly learned that Lucille resorted to nipping in almost every situation, from tug-of-war games to begging for attention.  To amend that behavior, Jenni kept playing with Lucille and rubbing her tummy until Lucille started playing too rough.  Then Jenni had to shout “OW!” and walk away from Lucille to teach her that those playful nips weren’t acceptable.

Marketer Jenni and her rescue dog, Lucille

Give your pup a safe place.

Many first-time dog owners feel like dog crates look like miniature prisons, and are afraid to use a crate with their new rescue animal.  However, crates act as more than a training tool or discipline technique.  When dogs are put in their crates overnight to sleep, fed meals in their crates, and given treats in their crates whenever you leave your house for an extended period of time, they learn to treat their crates as a comforting safe place.  Jenni’s dog Lucille even prefers her crate to Jenni’s embrace during the scariest of situations: Thunderstorms.

Have a set routine.

Rescue animals need to learn to trust you, and setting a daily routine will definitely facilitate the beginning of that trust.  After experiencing the turbulence of a traumatic situation, moving into a shelter, and now moving into a new person’s home, your new dog needs to know that they can expect a good meal at two set times of day, that their new owner will be home at certain times of day, and that they will have regular opportunities to “make their business” outside.  Once Joe’s dog Diego realized that Joe would need to leave every morning, but would be home every evening, his anxiety began to fade.  Diego also knows that Joe will never forget to feed him, so he doesn’t need to rely on the stuffing of Joe’s couch to keep his tummy full.

If you liked this blog post and want to help us “move” more rescue animals in with their forever families, check out our Movers for Mutts campaign benefiting the NHA!

How to Get Involved with Movers for Mutts

This blog is about the 2015 Movers for Mutts program! Read about this year’s program here!

If you weren’t able to make our kick-off event this past Saturday, you can still help us support the Nashville Humane Association!  Every summer, the NHA runs low on a few “wishlist items:” Paper Towels, Bleach, and Kitten Chow.  Our goal is to help them collect as many of these wishlist items as we can by the end of the summer.

If you’d like to make a wishlist donation, we’ve partnered with some great local businesses around town where you can drop off your gift:

drop off locations

We’ll also be hosting a booth at the NHA’s annual Dog Day festival on Saturday, September 19th at Centennial Park!  You can join in our Movers for Mutts campaign by stopping by our booth for some free giveaways and donation games.  For each $1 donation you make to Movers for Mutts, we’ll give you a chance to win prizes for your pooch in our Movers for Mutts Plink-O game.  (Plus, we’ll teach you how to make your own Plink-O game at home with your leftover moving boxes!)

Questions?  Want to find out how to do even more to help Movers for Mutts?  Give us a call at 615-248-6288.

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Movers for Mutts Kick-Off: 3 Reasons to Be There

This blog is about the 2015 Movers for Mutts drive! Click here to read about the 2017 campaign!

 

Movers for Mutts

On Saturday, July 18th, we’ll be officially kicking off our Movers for Mutts campaign to benefit the Nashville Humane Association!  Our goal for Movers for Mutts is to collect the three items they need the most: Paper Towels, Bleach, and Kitten Chow.  (We’ll also, of course, accept monetary donations to turn into a Visa gift card at the end of the campaign.)  So why should you be at our awesome kick-off event?

1. You can meet adorable (and adoptable!) homeless pets.

Teddy’s Wagon will be camping out at our West Nashville location from 10 am-3 pm to show off some of the NHA’s most loveable dogs and cats.  You can stop by anytime to meet and play with your new fur friends.

Nashville Pet Products

2. You can get free goodies for yourself and your pets.

Who doesn’t love free dog treats, leashes, and other fun pet accessories?  Stop by for some freebies from Two Men and a Truck Nashville and a free copy of the latest Nashville Paw magazine issue.  Plus, if you bring ANY donation–even one roll of paper towels or a dollar–you’ll be entered to win one of our amazing raffle prizes:

— Nashville Paw has donated a gift package of a free 1-yr subscription of their magazine, a free t-shirt, and a new collar for your dog.

— See Spot Eat has donated a yummy treat package for your pooch.

— Nashville Pet Products has donated a $50 gift card, good at any of their locations.

— Pet Supermarket has donated a gift basket of pet goodies worth $150.

— And if you don’t have any pets, the Loveless Cafe has donated a Jammin’ Biscuits + Bacon gift basket to win!

Raffle Prize

3. You’ll be supporting an amazing organization.

This is the most important reason to come.  Movers for Mutts is raising awareness for the need to spay and neuter your pets, and for the many animals at the NHA who need forever families.  By coming out to the kick-off event with your family and friends, you’ll help us give donations and support for this great cause!

Did I convince you?  Click here for all the crucial event details.

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How to Make a Play Refrigerator with Old Moving Boxes

Moving Box Play RefrigeratorIt’s no secret that kids love to mimic their parents’ daily activities.  Every toy store sells minimized versions of McDonald’s stands, grocery store check-outs, and kitchen appliances.  But why spend the money on all of those toy versions of kitchen appliances when you can recycle your moving boxes and make your own?  This week, I made a play kitchen refrigerator with nothing but an old Wardrobe Box!  Here’s how I did it.

Step 1: Get your materials.  I used a wardrobe box, Exacto-knife, tape, scissors, and creativity.

Wardrobe Box

Step 2: Mark where you’ll be cutting.  You’ll want the wider side of the Wardrobe Box to serve as the front of your refrigerator.  Cut off the top and bottom flaps of just the front side–these will serve as your refrigerator shelves.  Then mark where you’ll want to cut out your doors and handles.

Moving box refrigerator, step 2

Step 3: Cut along the lines.  Then tape your refrigerator together.  You’ll tape the top and bottom of your refrigerator together the same way you would tape it if it were still a moving box.  The only difference is that you’ll be missing one of the flaps.  Here’s what it should look like:

Bottom of refrigeratorStep 4: Tape in your shelves.  Your shelves may not reach all the way across to the sides of your box, but I just taped a strip of tape on the top of each side of the shelves, and then another strip at the bottom of each side of the shelves to give them strength against the walls of the refrigerator.

Refrigerator shelves

Step 5: Play time!  That’s really all there is to it!  You can make your refrigerator fancier by taping your child’s artwork to the front (like you would with your real refrigerator) and using other used moving boxes to cut out food shapes.  Let your kids go crazy with (washable) markers!

Food in refrigerator

Did you like this tutorial?  Check out our instructions on how to make a castle out of moving boxes!

5 Tips to Moving Seniors

tips for moving seniors

As the industry’s leading moving experts, we definitely understand the complications and stress that come with moving seniors.  These moves are unique because the seniors making the move are often downsizing at the same time, and they’re usually experiencing a huge life transition.  This is especially true when seniors move into assisted living facilities or into their children’s homes for the first time.  Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about how to handle these moves, from both the personal and business perspective.  Here are five suggestions that we have for your family as you prepare to move your older family member:

1. Realize and respect their emotions.

Even when your family member has been expecting this transition for a long time and knows that the move is needed, they’re still approaching a huge emotional roller coaster.  For many seniors, this will be the first large move they’ve ever made, or at least that they’ve made in a number of decades.  Their current home has lots of memories, and maybe even belongings, that they’re leaving behind.  Even though you know that this move needs to be made, let your family member know ahead of time that you understand how difficult it is on them, and that you’re there for support.

2. Try to lessen the trauma of downsizing.

Downsizing is a huge undertaking, because you’re asking your family member to leave much more behind than a typical move requires.  When moving a senior into an assisted living facility or into their child’s home, they’ll usually only have one or two rooms that they can fit their belongings into.  One trick we’ve learned to make the process easier is suggesting a bulk donation to a non-profit organization that serves a population they care for, instead of just throwing those items away or giving them to Goodwill.  This makes the senior feel that they’re contributing to a cause they believe in, as opposed to just getting rid of items.  Another suggestion would be temporarily moving non-necessities into a storage unit or into a family member’s garage for 3 months.  At the end of the three months, donate everything that the senior doesn’t actively miss.  (For example, if your elderly mother can’t remember a particular chest of drawers that’s been put into storage, it really isn’t a necessity that she’s likely to miss.)

3. Pick someone else to represent them on moving day.

If you know that your family member will have trouble watching their belongings being loaded onto a truck and then into a new home, it may be best to have their child, niece, nephew, or sibling on the moving site while you keep the senior preoccupied at a restaurant or shopping.  The on-site representative can deal with handling the payment transaction with the movers, let the movers know which items will go to the new home and which will be donated, and direct the movers in staging the furniture in the new home.  This will also help relieve the natural stress that your family member will be feeling on moving day.

4. On moving day, don’t shy away from talking about their current home.

Many people are afraid of distressing their senior family member by talking about the home they’re leaving, and they try to avoid that topic at all costs during moving day conversations.  However, we’ve found that letting seniors talk about their happy memories in the home can help ease them into the transition.  It can also help to talk about the new memories that will be made at the new home, and to refer to moving day in a positive manner rather than with a sense of apprehension.

5. Don’t talk to them like children.

We often feel as if we have to treat our senior family members like they’re children as they begin to age.  This is because their memory starts to fade, and they need increasingly more guidance as they get older, or because they’re starting to lose flexibility and strength.  Although we do sometimes have to direct seniors the way we direct children, it’s very important to never talk to them like they’re children.  With all of their life experience and wisdom, our senior family members deserve all of our respect.  Be sure to use a normal tone of voice instead of letting your voice become high-pitched (the way it might if you were speaking to a pet or young child) when reminding them to take their pills, bringing them back from a tangent into the conversation, or any other direction you may need to give them.

Ribbon cutting of the newly-branded Brookdale Belle Meade

We’ve completed hundreds of moves with seniors, and we know that each one comes with its own stressful circumstances.  If there’s anything we can do to be more sensitive or prepared for your particular move, please let us know these notes over the phone while booking your move!

How to Navigate Estate Sales

IMG_0829

Estate sales are great because they let you find some really unique furniture at fair prices.  (And, let’s face it, it’s super fun to dig through other people’s stuff.)  But it can be easy to get discouraged when you look at an estate sale at first glance…  Sometimes the amount of items is overwhelming, you’re disappointed by the prices, or you just have no idea what to do when you find items you like.

This week, I was able to meet with an estate sale specialist to get some advice for our readers.  Rhonda Smart is a Relationship Manager with the innovative estate sale assistance company Everything But The House (EBTH), and she’s pretty much the expert on managing estate sales!  Here are four tips I learned from talking with her:

1. If you’re looking for furniture to refurbish, estate sales may not be the best place to go digging.

Rhonda and I spent a lot of time just talking about how the estate sale industry has changed over the past couple of decades.  “You can’t get the great deals you used to get,” Rhonda told me.  That was really surprising for me to hear, because whenever I’m scrolling through Pinterest, I always see tons of cool made-over furniture pieces that were originally picked up from estate sales.  The Before and After pictures always seem so drastic to me!  But Rhonda told me that when she organizes an estate sale, “[The homeowners] aren’t selling fixer-upper stuff–they’re selling to the end buyer.”

2. Give yourself plenty of time when you show up at a sale.

When EBTH hosts an estate sale, there are often 300+ items to look at.  That seems so overwhelming, especially when you first step through the door and see all of these objects set up in every room of the house.  I asked Rhonda how an inexperienced estate sale shopper should try to shop through everything.  “Really take your time, and don’t put a time limit on yourself,” she told me.  When you first get there, “comb the area.  There can be great deals, but you have to look through everything because the sellers put the most expensive stuff in places that will catch your eye.”  She also gave me advice for shoppers who go to sales with a purpose.  When you’re shopping around for certain pieces, “find the seller and ask if they have specific items.”

3. If you have a habit of impulse-buying, take a step back first.

Rhonda let me know that estate sales always attract people who are mainly looking to get a great deal, or who don’t have a specific agenda and like to impulse-purchase things that looks good at the time.  I know that I definitely like to make impulse purchases whenever I see something cool and unique, so I asked Rhonda for some advice on how to get over that initial “gotta-have-it” feeling.  She gave me a list of probing questions to ask myself when I see items like that: “Do I have a spot for this?  Do I see this in my home?  Why am I buying this–because I want it, or because I want to resell it?  And if I want to resell it, does it have an audience?”  Most importantly, she said that resellers need to remember that their time is worth something.  She advised, “You have to put a value on your time.  If you buy something to resell it, how much gas money does it cost, how much will the shipping be, how long will it take to find a buyer?  Do you end up breaking even, or making a little bit of money on it?”

4. Online estate shopping might be your best option.

Not to sound like a commercial, but EBTH is so innovative because of its online estate sale options.  Instead of trying to comb through items that are placed all over a property, you might want to try ordering from EBTH’s website.  Rhonda explained exactly how the process works.  “We catalog every single item with individual pictures, and it helps the buyer to not get overwhelmed.  When I go through a sale online, I look at the number of [webpages] in each sale and divide [the pages] into groups.  If a sale has twelve pages, I’ll sit down and look through the first six.  Then at a later time, I’ll sit down and look through the next six.”  She also has this advice for online shoppers: “We put the more valuable and expensive items on the first few pages, because we don’t want you to get overwhelmed sifting through lots of pages [for the highest-quality items].”

Hopefully these tips will help you when you make your purchase decisions this weekend!  But remember, estate sales are always going to be fun, whether you’re able to find your new dream piece of furniture or not.  Rhonda left me with this last note: “Estate sales will never completely go away, even though the methods of selling may change, because there will always be collectors and shoppers.”  Amen to that!

Things We Can’t Move

It’s true: There are, unfortunately, some things we can’t move.  We get a lot of questions from our customers about heavy or bulky items that they own, so we decided to dedicate a blog post to listing all the items we aren’t able to move.  If it’s not on this list, we can (probably) move it!

Some of the items we can’t move seem a little strange at first because they seem really simple to move.  Those are things like prescription medications, bottles of cleaning supplies, and rented trucks or trailers.  But here’s why:

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK can't move prescription medicationsWe don’t want to move your prescription medications because if the worst case scenario (yep, you guessed it–zombie apocalypse) happened, we wouldn’t want your necessary medicines to get lost.  (On a more realistic level, we don’t want to have the box containing your medications to get mixed up in the shuffle, causing you to stay up all night digging through every single box to get to them.)  We know those are super important for your health, so we need you to keep those in your personal car when you move.

We can’t carry your cleaning chemicals, like Windex and Lysol, because they’re flammable.  Even though our drivers have to meet very strict requirements to operate our vehicles, we can’t predict everything that will happen on the road.  In the worst case scenario (those zombies aren’t very good drivers), we don’t want your most important items to get stuck in a fire.

And we aren’t able to drive your rented truck, haul your rented trailer, or tow your car behind our trucks because our insurance simply won’t cover those items.  We want your items to be totally covered from the beginning to the end of your move, and we can’t guarantee their safety unless they’re physically in our trucks.

Empty your gas from your lawn mower before movingAlong the same lines as these seemingly simple items, we also usually can’t move full aquariums, gas grills, or gas lawn mowers.  If you’re able to safely empty your aquarium of its water and your grill or lawn mower of gasoline, then we’ll gladly pack those into our trucks the same way we pack your other pieces of furniture!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK can't move pool tables containing the slateThen there are the overly-heavy items.  We currently are not moving gun safes, baby grand or grand pianos, slate top pool tables, or grandfather clocks that still have weights in them.  We have moved these items in the past, but they’re so heavy that we have to send a much larger crew than normal to safely move them.  By the time we send you enough men for these jobs, it becomes cost inefficient for you.  The only exception to this rule is that we will happily move your grandfather clock, as long as you remove the hanging weights before we get there.  Those weights can swing around inside the clock during the drive to your new house, and we don’t want the glass or wood of your clock to get damaged.

If you have an unusual item that’s not mentioned in this blog post, and you’re still worried that we won’t be able to move it, please give us a call at 615-248-6288.  We are always more than happy to stop by your home before your move to give a free onsite walk-through.

I’ve never felt so short: TSU Basketballers Hit the Office

IMG_0787When I came in from my lunch break today, I walked into a sea of blue trees–I mean men–who were hanging out in our employee lounge after our group interview session.  It didn’t take long for word to get back to me that all these boys were from the Tennessee State University basketball team, and they were hoping to work here over the summer as Movers.

Because we’re a moving company, the number of moves we schedule goes through the roof during the summer season, when most people decide to make their move to new homes.  Because our busy season is coming up, and because I know colleges are about to let out for the summer, I decided to reach out to some of the head coaches of colleges around the city to ask if their student athletes were looking for summer employment.  After all, what could be better for them?  We pay our men the highest hourly rate of any moving company in Nashville, and they would also get to stay in shape during their vacation.

The students (Darreon, Christian, Montez, Marcus, Xavier, and Tahjere) were all excited to be here and even more excited about their athletics program.  A few of them told me, “We’re a family–we’re brothers!” and I could definitely tell they all agreed, just by witnessing their collective energy together.  I asked them a few questions about themselves, and they were more than happy to give me the down low about the team.  “Christian’s the tallest,” they told me.  “But I’m the prettiest,” Tahjere was quick to point out.  Marcus, apparently, is the “muscle” of the team.

But as we all know, college isn’t just about making money and playing basketball.  I asked them about their majors, and I was ecstatic to hear that two of them, Marcus and Tahjere, were majoring in Communications.  (If I hadn’t majored in Marketing, my next choice would definitely have been Mass Comm.)  But the majority of the boys readily admitted the reason they go to school–“Basketball!”

Thanks for coming by, TSU players!  We hope to see you out in the field soon!

Is your school’s athletic program looking to partner with a great business that can keep their athletes in shape over the summer?  Send me an email at jenni.gustafson@twomen.com!