Prepping Your New Home for Moving Day

You just got the keys to your new house and walk in for the first time. If you’re able to, there are a few things that can do to your future home to prepare it for moving day. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Lawrenceville/Suwanee is here to tell you just what those things are.

Cover the plugs

This is especially important if you have pets or small children. While injuries from electrocution are rare, it’s better to be on the safe side. Outlet plugs are very inexpensive and you can find them in bulk at almost any hardware store.

Change the locks

Locks should be changed any time that a house changes owners. New residents have no idea who has copies of the old key. If you’re tech-savvy or want to dip your toe in smart home devices, consider buying a smart lock.

Clean it up

If your new house is pre-owned, it may not be in the best condition. Before you load it up with your possessions, be sure to give the carpet a good vacuum and sweep any hard surface floors. Cleaning the cabinets is a good idea, as people don’t clean that area very often. It may even be easier to hire a cleaning service to give your interior a touch-up.

Install window treatments

Window treatments are particularly tricky to install. It’s going to be easier to go ahead and have them finished before you start moving all of your belongings into your house. Home Depot has a great selection of window treatments that you can check out here.

Have mechanical equipment serviced

Mechanical equipment like HVACs, boilers, furnaces and heat pumps usually require yearly servicing. Go ahead and have them cleaned and serviced to start a baseline for their upkeep. Shop around for contracts as well; they can save you from expensive emergency visits and there’s usually a discount for service plans.

Install new switch plates and other devices

Many old or renovated homes have dirty outlets, mismatched cover plates or different air vent covers. Go ahead and make all of them uniform and choose some that match your home’s unique style. Likewise for the door lock, there are also “smart outlets” and “smart thermostats” that you can connect to the internet and control from your phone or smart assistant (Siri, Echo, etc).

Our Moving Team in Suwanee and Lawrenceville

Here at the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Suwanee and Lawrenceville offices, we’re proud of our local, full-time drivers and movers.

We screen our applicants to ensure our team is top-notch. This includes drug-testing, background checks and a requirement that all drivers have a clean driving history. Security is our NUMBER ONE concern when you entrust us with protecting your belongings. We work hard to keep your possessions in good hands so you can move worry-free.

Our movers start out at $13 per hour and our drivers start out at $14 per hour, varying with experience. With time, movers and drivers can reach $17 per hour. Top employees also average about $1,500 per month in tips!

If you’re interested in joining our team, we have openings in our Gainesville office! You can click here for more information.

Changing Your Address

Letting companies, friends and family know about your new address is an important step in the moving process. Here’s a list of places and people you should notify about your change of address.

USPS

The USPS offers change of address services online for $1. The fee is to prevent fraud, but they will waive it if you visit a USPS office in person. This is a good catch-all for mail from senders that don’t have your new address. You can visit their site here.

Friends and Family

Let those close to you know that you have a new address. This can save a lot of birthday card confusion. Making a list of everyone you think should know your new address will save time.

Bank

Correspondence with your bank is very important for statements, so you should let them know that you’ll be moving. It’s also important to have a correct billing address associated with your debit card as some online merchants flag orders as potentially fraudulent if there are mismatches between shipping and billing addresses as well.

Driver’s License

Every state in the US requires people to update the address on their driver’s license within a reasonable period, usually 30-90 days. If your state allows municipalities to have red light cameras (like Georgia) and you accidentally run one, they’ll send your ticket to the address associated with the driver’s license of the vehicle owner. If they send this to an old address, you may not be notified and end up in trouble.

Avoiding Identity Theft

A common way for identity thieves to purchase or open accounts in your name is by using an old address of yours to ship items or new credit cards to. Since you didn’t update your address with lenders or USPS, these companies won’t know that you no longer live there.

State Election Office

If you’ve moved cities, it’s important that you let your local election office know. It’s important to always keep your address up-to-date with state election offices, especially if you live in a state with oppressive or restrictive voter registration practices.

Other Services

A few other services you should notify of you address change include magazine subscriptions, subscription boxes (like NatureBox, Chewy, etc), financial lenders, organizations, clubs, catalogs, insurance companies, crowdfunding sites, Amazon and any other online retailers.

Top 3 Scariest Places in Georgia

Georgia is full of spooky historical locations that can strike fear in both residents and visitors alike. What better way to celebrate Halloween this year by learning about some of them.

Central State Hospital

Milledgeville, Georgia

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An abandoned building at Central State Hospital, source

In 1832, Georgia lawmakers authorized a “State Lunatic, Idiot and Epileptic Asylum,” which would later be known as Central State Hospital. It was built in 1942 in Milledgeville, the state capitol at the time. At its peak in the 1960’s, it housed nearly 12,000 patients, had some 200 buildings and occupied over 1,750 acres.

More than 25,000 patients were buried in graves throughout the massive hospital grounds. Though these graves were initially marked with a small metal stake emblazoned with a patient number, groundskeepers saw these stakes as a nuisance while mowing and pulled up nearly 10,000 of them in the 1960’s, tossing them into the nearby woods.

Andersonville Prison

Andersonville, Georgia

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Historical drawing of the Andersonville Prison

The Andersonville Prison was a prisoner-of-war camp for Confederates in the final year of the Civil War. Overcrowded to four times its capacity, it housed over 45,000 Union soldiers in deplorable conditions. Of those 45,000 nearly 13,00 died due to diarrhea, scurvy, dysentery, and deliberate war crimes against prisoners. The prison was liberated in May 1865.

Confederate Captain Henry Wirz commanded the prison and would later be executed for war crimes.

Old Candler Hospital Morgue Tunnel

Savannah, Georgia

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Part of the Old Candler Morgue Tunnel

Old Candler Hospital was the very first hospital in Georgia, opening in 1804. It is known to many citizens of Savannah as one of the most haunted places in town. During the Yellow Fever epidemic, those who contracted the disease in Savannah were sent to this hospital. Quickly filling to capacity, the hospital had to use a tunnel as a makeshift morgue to store the vast amount of people who succumbed to the disease.

Candler Hospital is also home to the Candler Oak, also referred to as “The Hanging Tree.” Savannahians have reported seeing ghostly apparitions hanging from the oak.

5 Ways to Upcycle Used Moving Boxes

So you’ve finished your move and now you’re left with a bunch of used moving boxes. Apart from recycling, there are a lot of ways you can repurpose cardboard boxes for use in your home.

Decorations

With Halloween around the corner, you can definitely use cardboard to create a costume or house decorations. Similar to pumpkin carving, you can carve a durable ornament like a bat, mini coffin, or even a spider with fishing line.

Dispenser Box

Organize those pesky plastic shopping bags in your pantry by turning a small cardboard box into a bag dispenser. If you want something quick, just place your bags inside your box and interlock the flaps. If you want something that looks nicer, you can place the bags inside, tape the top flaps normally, and cut out a knuckle-sized slit at the top for bag removal.

For extra points, use your cardboard boxes to create a candy dispenser! This is a great weekend activity, especially if you have children.

Storage

Have any clothes or items you want to stash away? Cardboard boxes are a great way to package those things up and keep them protected. Be warned though, dirty cardboard boxes (like the ones you can source for free) can be dirty or infested. Check out our article about the dangers of using low-quality boxes.

Cat Bed

Have a feline friend? They probably love cardboard. Cut the flaps off of a box, make a trapezoid-shaped cutout on one of the sides, and presto! You have a bed that your cat will definitely enjoy.

Scratching Post

Continuing the previous subject of cats, cardboard can make a great scratching post. Start by making long, 3-6 inch tall strips of cardboard. Using non-toxic glue, glue the strips in a tight spiral until the spiral is about the size of your cat when they’re snoozing. Once the glue has dried, your cat can take their frustrations out on your DIY scratching post instead of your furniture. 

In conclusion, there are a lot of ways that you can upcycle your leftover cardboard boxes. Can you think of any ideas that we didn’t mention? Feel free to leave us a comment below!

Dangers of Using Low-Quality Boxes

When you start your moving process, it may be alluring to save money by sourcing low-quality boxes. There are a few concerns to have if you go through with that, though.

Cheap boxes are usually weak and can break easily

Cardboard boxes lose strength and durability with extended use, especially boxes that merchandisers use. If a cardboard box breaks while moving, you not only have to worry about the damage to the items that fall, but you also have to worry about any damages to the flooring and any personal injuries you’ve sustained. Imagine moving with a broken toe!

Quality moving boxes are made with strong cardboard, so your boxes don’t sag or break.

Cheap boxes are not as versatile as quality ones

Quality moving boxes have different sizes that are all consistent. This helps when loading your belongings. Also, they usually have handles to help you carry them and tabs on the top flaps of the box to keep the box open while you load them with your belongings.

Cheap boxes could be infested with pests

Did you know that there are house pests that eat cardboard? They’re pretty common too. Furthermore, boxes that are sourced from restaurants or grocery stores are more likely to be infested.

Cheap boxes can be dirty

Used cardboard boxes that are soiled can stain or dirty your belongings. This can cause damage to items, especially clothing and upholstery.

You’re not saving that much money

Boxes are cheap now-a-days. Depending on size, they generally range between $1 to $3 making them affordable for most moving budgets. There may not be that much of a difference in costs once you factor in the time you spend finding free boxes either.

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Some of our moving supplies.

In conclusion, you should probably consider buying new boxes for your upcoming move if you want to keep it your move easy, your belongings clean and your new home pest-free.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Suwanee offers moving supplies at a competitive rate. We have boxes of every size and specialty boxes for unique items, like mirrors, lamps and dish packs. We also have mattress bags, wrapping paper, packaging tape and more. Call us at (678) 235-9850 for more information!

How to Properly Move your Fridge

If you’re moving yourself, it’s important to properly pack expensive items like a fridge so they aren’t damaged during the moving process. This is largely because most auto and home insurance offers minimal coverage when your belongings are damaged in a personal or rented vehicle.

Prepare your fridge for moving by emptying its contents. If you plan on keeping anything in the fridge, throw it in a cooler on moving day. Clean all surfaces and defrost the fridge. This is important, because if this step isn’t performed, your fridge will develop a nasty odor when moved into your new home. The fridge should be dry to the touch before loading it.

Take out any removable elements in your fridge, like shelving and drawers. This will reduce any moving while on the road and give added protection to your fridge’s components when packaged properly.

Take measurements of your fridge and make sure that it has enough clearance to move out of your house. Sometimes this requires taking a door off its hinges or disassembling the doors for your fridge. Be sure to keep up with any screws that are moved around.

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Carpet shield

Protecting your floors is very important when moving large appliances like a fridge. If you don’t have a carpet shield, a dolly should be fine.

Be sure to secure the doors of your fridge with rope or bungee cords. Secure the power cable by taping it to one of the sides of your fridge. If your fridge is a high-end unit, it’s probably a good idea to wrap it with a blanket and plastic wrap. This will protect it from any dings during the moving process.

Load the fridge onto your moving truck carefully. Once secure inside the truck, load your other items and make the journey to your new home. The unpacking process is almost similar. Ensure the fridge’s clearance when moving and protect your flooring, and your fridge should be ready to rock in your new house!

If you don’t want to worry about the stress of moving something like a fridge, moving companies are professionally trained to pack large items and offer coverage options just in case. If you’re moving soon, be sure to give us a call at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Suwanee to learn about our safety practices and how we care for your belongings. (678) 926-9268

Best Ways to Prepare for a Move

The process of moving can be a dreadful experience for a lot of people. However, it doesn’t have to be that way if you prepare in advance. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Suwanee is here to give you some tips on how to make your move easy and organized.

Decide on whether to hire movers or move yourself.

This is something that haunts everyone on the move. There are a lot of unique factors in this decision, such as cost, time constraints, and the complexity of your move. Read our article Is Moving by Myself Worth It? for more information.

Budget your move

Now that you know how you’re moving, you should figure out how much you’re spending for your move. Find out how many boxes and other moving supplies you’ll need. If you’re moving by yourself, figure out the costs of renting a moving truck. If you choose to use a moving company, get an estimate for your move.

Also, it’s never a bad idea to put away a couple hundred dollars extra in case of any unexpected costs.

Create a timeline and a schedule

Know which days you’ll be moving, and plan an itinerary. Schedule when you’ll be packing, loading, moving, unloading and unpacking. Also, make sure that you schedule for the termination of your utilities after you move so you won’t be charged extra for things like internet, cable or power.

Organize your stuff

Moving can be a time of reinvention. Get rid of anything you don’t use or need. Maybe plan a yard sale for those items, or donate them to your local Goodwill. Also, organizing while packing can save you a ton of stress and energy when unpacking later. Box rooms and relevant items together, and be sure to label the boxes with which room its contents came from. Start with the toughest room first and work your way down.

Change your address

This is one of the more overlooked tips on moving. Be sure to change your address for any business that sends you mail, especially credit card companies, insurance companies and banks. It’s also important to update your drivers license in case you’re selected for jury duty or caught on a red light camera.

6 Questions to Ask a Moving Company

Not all moving companies are created equal, and it’s important to find the best one for your specific move. Here are some questions you can ask a moving company to make sure it’s the best fit for you.

1. Are you licensed and insured?

A simple way to make sure the moving company you’re considering isn’t a scam is by asking them if they are insured and asking for their US Department of Transportation number. Moving companies are required to register with the USDOT to legally transport passengers and move cargo over state lines, with a majority of states requiring a USDOT number for in-state moves as well.

2. How long have you been in business?

Moving companies who have been in business for a while are generally more trustworthy. They will also likely have more feedback online, so you can know what quality you’ll be paying for.

3. What items will you not move?

While moving companies are usually flexible with what they move, it’s always a good idea to check in with them to make sure they will move all of your things. Moving companies generally do not move items like propane tanks, bio-hazardous materials, or items of significant value like jewelry or gym equipment.

4. Do you have experience with my specific type of move?

Every move is unique. Whether it be an office, an apartment or a home, make sure that your movers have been trained and have experience with moves like yours. The best way to do this is calling a moving company, asking for an estimate and asking how often they perform moves similar to yours.

5. What liability coverage do you offer?

Under federal law, moving companies are required to give you basic coverage for your belongings. The most basic is released value coverage, but your moving company may call it something else. Basically, items will be covered at $0.60 per pound if damaged. Most moving companies offer more advanced coverage, so be sure to ask.

6. Are there any hidden fees I should worry about?

Everyone hates hidden fees. Make sure that your moving company is not ripping you off by asking if there are any added costs beside the hourly or base rate for your move. Also ask if there are any hourly minimums the company will charge for a move.

Overview

Asking these questions when booking a move will help you better understand the service you’ll be receiving. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Suwanee is one of the oldest moving companies in the area. It’s licensed, insured, honest and experienced. Give us a call to find out more at (678) 235-9850.

Is Moving by Myself Worth it?

The question that daunts everyone on the move: should I hire movers or should I just do it myself? There are a lot of factors to consider, like cost, time constraints, and the complexity of your move. If you’re planning to move, it’s important to consider the benefits of hiring movers over moving yourself.

Moving by Yourself

If you need to spend as little on your move as possiblemoving by yourself may seem alluring. Most DIY moves are cheaper than hiring a moving company, but many people aren’t willing to justify these minimal savings when they factor in the added time and effort of moving themselves.

Furthermore, there are a lot of hidden costs that can eat up your moving budget when moving yourself. After truck rental fees and gas costs, you will probably need moving blankets and rope to cushion and secure your belongings while on the road, as well as a dolly to transport large appliances. There’s also the time and energy you’ll lose packing and unpacking.

Hiring a Moving Company

Most homeowners and auto insurance only offer limited coverage for damaged possessions if you transport them in a private or rented vehicle. Long story short, it’s on you if anything is damaged when moving yourself.

If you’re concerned about the protection of your belongings during your move, many moving companies offer liability protection and valuation coverage for your belongings. For example, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Suwanee offers 100% liability protection for anything packed in our boxes by our professional movers. We also offer other valuation coverage options.

Overview

Choosing how you move is perhaps the most important decision you’ll make during the moving process

If you’ve read all of this and are leaning towards hiring a moving company, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Suwanee would love to give you advice. Feel free to give us a call for a no-obligation zero-cost estimate at (678) 926-9268.