Start Your Year Without Clutter: 5 areas of your Home to Organize in January

At the end of the year we usually finish the things that we started earlier, tighten up everything at work, maybe even give back old debts. Many cultures have the end of year traditions. For example in Japan, there is an annual ritual called oosouji. It’s usually observed at the end of the year and besides cleaning and organizing their homes, people also donate things. It’s a great tradition that clears the physical space they live in and also clears the old emotions.
Even though its already January, it’s never too late to reflect of the events and happenings of the past year, and also evaluate what you can leave and not bring with you into the new year. You can start your year off right and declutter for a more organized life. We recommend going through your belongings one area of your home at a time.

  1. Closets. Start off with your closet. It’s the space that is behind a door that you can shut, but the mess and disorganization will still be there, in the back of your mind. Donate old, ripped, ill-fitting clothes. Think of it as something that served its purpose already and the energy of it won’t benefit you anymore. You can put away out of season wardrobe and seal it into air tight bags. This can save space in the attic and clear some space for your existing items.
  2. Kitchen. Kitchens are not only for cooking anymore. This is the space where people hang out, entertain guests, create delicious masterpieces with their loved ones. You want this space to be organized and inviting. Having things handy can save time we spend in the kitchen, so you need to know the basic zones of the kitchen space (refrigerator, range, sink). It’s more efficient if you can group items related to that area within close proximity (i.e. some counter space to unload groceries into the fridge, or trashcan close by the sink, pots and pans close to the stove or range).
  3. Bedroom. There is one area in the house where you can relax and unwind. It is your bedroom. Lots of times our bedrooms are doubled as an entertainment center (TVs produce what is known as “blue light” that interferes with our sleep cycle and we are wondering why we have hard time getting up in the morning!), or we are using it as a work station, with lots of paperwork and bills to pay. A computer or laptop in the bedroom ruins the relaxation vibe and makes it another place you do work. Clear out the clutter moving TV and your work station to the living room area and create that sanctuary for you to recharge and renew.
  4. Outside space/patio. Just like the bedroom, the patio is more of a relaxation space in your home, and sometimes it’s an entertainment space where you can invite your friends and family. Having an organized patio does bring you peace of mind. Gardening tools and other supplies can be organized and cleared out. A lot of times some garden equipment can be rented instead of bought. You not only save space that way, but the maintenance can be pricey as well.
  5. Garage. How many times have you seen houses with a two-car-garage and both of the cars parked outside? After moving into the new house quite often people store things in their garage until they find a spot for it. Well, it’s time to clear out the garage and start parking your cars there. In addition, you can create a work station and store bikes, sports equipment and tools on the walls. Check our some ideas from HGTV. Rule of thumb – if you have not used something in 6 months, you might as well sell/donate/throw it away.

 

Advertisements

Holiday Wreath out of Two Men and a Truck Box

If you are still decorating your home for the holidays and love DIY wreaths, here is a quick and affordable crafty tutorial.

For this wreath you will need a square box (you probably still have some boxes left from your last move). Place a large lid or something in perfect circle on the cardboard box and mark it. Then, simply using a box cutter or scissors, cut out a large round and then using a smaller lid or a plate cut the center, so you have a wreath. For thickness here we used two sides of the cardboard box.

Next step is to glue both circles together and wrap them with wide burlap ribbon like so…

For your next step, you will need a variety of Christmas tree ornaments. In this example we used golden-colored balls different sizes and some with added sparkle. You simply glue them one by one with a hot glue gun onto the burlap wreath and then add and fill it in as much as you want.

For the final step, you just need to find a perfect location, like your front door, or window, or even inside of your home or office. This will add a festive mood even inside! Happy Holidays!

Image

Last Minute Halloween Costumes

We get so busy sometimes packing, moving, and organizing things at the new house, that we forget to get the kids Halloween costumes! Don’t fret! We got you covered. Here are some simple last minute Halloween costumes for children and adults that you can make yourself from your left over packing boxes.

DICE

  • Use two 18x18x16 TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® boxes
  • Tape the box together first to keep it sturdy
  • Spray paint the whole box white
  • Out of black paper cut out circles and glue them on in the dice pattern
  • Cut out holes for the head and the arms. Also cut the bottom completely so you can get inside your “boxtume”

 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT

  • Take one TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® box size 18x18x16
  • Cut out the holes for the head and the arms
  • Take the gift wrap and using spray adhesive wrap the box all around
  • Using clear tape and wide ribbon, add it to the present like you normally would, skipping the cutouts
  • Out of the same ribbon make a bow to finish your Christmas present costume and attach it to the headband (you can also use jingle bells on the bow for full effect!)

There you go – simple box costumes that require very little time and materials!

Happy Halloween!

🎃

Celebrating our Customer Service Team

It’s that time of the year again and we are celebrating Customer Service Appreciation Week! Since last year we have added several people to our CSRs team. And they are dedicated to providing the best customer experience when people call for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.

“Everyone from the office staff to the movers were extremely courteous and I will be using this company again!
 – Sandy”

James, our newest addition to the CSR team, started off as a mover at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® when this franchise opened. Now he’s booking moves and providing information for people who needs our packing and moving services.

“Two Men and a Truck, out of Panama City, FL made our moving experience extremely positive. From the beginning to the end, it was EZ PZ. The person I spoke with on the phone,James, reassured me that they would be working hard to make my move a happy one. And they did. They communicated to me every step of the way. The estimator, Kyle, was on target and very nice to work with. And my movers, Jarvis Greene and Stephen Diehl, were organized, caring and wonderful to work with as well. These men were happy and had such good things to say about the company that they worked for and kept me from being stressed out. Everyone wanted to be on my schedule not the other way around. I will definitely use the Panama City Two Men and a Truck again !!!!
– Pamela”

“Working in customer service industry will never be an easy job, it can be very challenging at times. I take great pride in being able to take a problem, turn it around, and make a customer’s day,” says Gabe, our General Manager, “Being able to go home every day and know I was able to solve our customers problems.”

 

Downsize to Improve Your Life

A lot of people don’t realize how much stuff they collect in their homes over time. The bigger the house, the more furniture and décor you normally have. Having kids growing up in your “forever” home will add lots of toys and clothes, as well as furniture. Many believe that decluttering and downsizing can positively affect your mental health. It can reduce stress, boost self-esteem, and even bring you sense of achievement.

Letting go of things you bought and have owned for some time is not an easy task though. We love to hold on to things that bring us comfort and still remind us of people in our lives. What we might not realize is that not only the things of the past can carry the energy we don’t require any more, they might hold us down, keep us in the past.

The practical side of downsizing has some benefits too. You get to get rid of old clothes in your closet that either wore out or does not fit you any longer. It will be much easier to see and get to the clothes that you do want to wear! That’s excellent. You also can see what’s missing in your wardrobe that could help your career.

There are several areas that we advise for you to concentrate on when you start decluttering. It can be daunting to start with everything at once, so focus on one area at a time and tackle it gradually. No one sets any due dates and time frames! Unless you have to move and only have until your new house is closed on to sort through the memories, take your time and consider the therapeutical benefits of downsizing.

Closet

You can start this process with the closet. Go through all your clothes, donate the items that can help someone, and throw away the items that are worn out or cannot be fixed. If you have a pile of pants that need to be hemmed down put them in a box or a bag and leave them at your front door. Next time you go somewhere you can take them to the tailor.

Kitchen

Kitchen is another very important area for downsizing. All the cracked and broken dishes and cups can go. If you want to renew completely, donate the dishes and buy a whole new full set, maybe in a fresh new color that matches. This area includes the fridge and “the ultimate black hole” – the pantry! It’s easy with the fridge: once a week go through the shelves and dispose of the expired food while you are making your shopping list for the week. Your pantry requires more attention.

Office

Another area of your house to focus on in your study/office/command center. Check out this gallery. Books you have already read and don’t plan on keeping can be donated. Imagine the gift you can share with others – nothing better than a book! Papers, cards, documents need to be sorted through. There are plenty of organizational ideas for this area. No only the look of your home will improve, but you will feel more efficient in handling anything life throws at you.

 

 

Bathroom

Usually we collect things that we bought and stored under the sink and then forgot about then, meanwhile those old soaps and conditioners gotten bad. Don’t hesitate and clear some space. Why not put some cute baskets underneath and store towels or cleaning supplies. Expired beauty products like makeup take space as well, and those can go first. They might make your skin irritated, so don’t risk it. There are great options for the top of the counter storage options.

Special Items

This is more of a category of things at your home, not an area of your house. Sentimental things can be located pretty much everywhere: pictures in frames on walls, kids paintings on the fridge, myriad of old cards, jewelry, etc. Go through all of those and decide what items it’s time to part with. Realize that you are making memories every day and there will be more items. The process can be simplified if you have a small shoe box or another type of container where you can store these items. That way you know how many of them you can actually keep.

Downsizing is a healthy and necessary process for you to de-stress. You will feel like there is more room in your house and in your head. We recommend decluttering once a year and certainly before you make a move to your new house. For help with downsizing and hauling off the items you are ready to donate or sell to the antique shops, please contact TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Panama City. Our movers are licensed, insured, and professionally trained to handle any decluttering job.

Emergency Kit: How to Be Ready for the Unpredictable

Seems like every day there is a new hurricane forming in the Atlantic Ocean this season. We watch TV, see the posts on Facebook, and talk to our neighbors and panic starts to spread. There is no need to worry though. Instead, you can be prepared and have your emergency kit ready in case you and your loved ones need to temporarily relocate.

The easiest way to plan your emergency kit is to concentrate on the most important areas: shelter/body protection, food/drink, personal hygiene, special items.

Shelter

You will need to figure out some kind of dry and secure place to sleep, or at least some items that can ensure it. Any survivalist will tell you, the first thing you do when you get into an unknown location is build a shelter, so when the night comes, you are not trying to hide from the predators all night. Maybe an emergency is not the same, but if you cannot stay at your home, you need to plan a way to find a safe location for your family to stay. This area also includes extra set of clean dry clothes, maybe packed into a gallon zip lock bag. If you know you can hide out in your car, it’s a great idea to keep a sleeping bag in your trunk, and maybe some blankets and pillows for everyone.

Food/drink

A case of clean bottled water can go a long way. Flooding and power outage can make city water supply undrinkable. Easy snacks like crackers, beef jerky, small bags of chips, cookies, pretty much anything non-perishable can sustain you for a couple of hours to a day. Just pace yourself and make sure everyone in your group gets some kind of nourishment. Clean water will be in high demand the closer it gets to the projected date of a hurricane arrival. So make sure you stock on food and drinks early. Other non-perishable food that you can carry with you and that you can eat straight out of the can or that doesn’t require heating/cooking is also a great idea. Make sure you bring a can opener with it. (You will see other special items like this below.)

Personal Hygiene

This is anything that you think you might need to take care of yourself and your family members. First aid kit including gauze, bandages, and ibuprofen is part of this section. If you want to you can put it together yourself, but various sizes are available at any pharmacy and groceries store around. The rest of the items can be travel size shampoo, toothpaste, and soap that fit well into your emergency bag. Don’t forget to have all the necessary baby supplies if you have a little one!

Special Items

These are the items that can potentially save your life:

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Map
  • Matches
  • Can opener
  • Zip ties
  • Duct tape
  • Whistle
  • Rubber gloves
  • Zip lock bags
  • N95 or surgical mask
  • Scissors
  • Emergency radio
  • Paper and pencil
  • Cash
  • Family documents
  • Family contact information

And remember, getting these things ready ahead of time can decrease stress and help you avoid the usual panic mode that takes over people in emergency situations.

Best Ideas for Beach Picnic

 

July is the National Picnic Month and a beach picnic has to be on your Summer Bucket List. We collected the best ideas just for you, so check them out!

  1. Plan ahead. It’s important to pick a spot you are considering for a picnic that will not be crowded with families and wedding ceremonies. Here in Panama City Beach, Florida we have a couple of quiet places that can be great. Check the weather ahead of time and don’t worry, if it doesn’t work out you can still have the perfect picnic inside.
  2. Light up the nightSet the mood. Whether it’s candle light or soft pillows, think through the small details that will make the picnic the most enjoyable. Small touches, like flame less candles or LED lights, a small speaker, or an extra blanket can make a big difference.
  3. Plan out the refreshments. The usual cheese and fruit can be a great option, as well as small finger sandwiches and wraps. Add some snacks like chips, nuts, pickles, olives for a tasty variety.  Here is a Mediterranean-style beach picnic menu . Pre-chill drinks, and throw some ice at the last minute for mixed cocktails. It’s always safer to avoid glass on the beach, so have plastic “glasses” ready and have wine in a special wine carrier or simply wrap it in a towel.Tasty snack for a picnic
  4. Pack it up. It’s much easier to have all the food pre-cut and tightly closed containers that can be packed into a basket or cooler. At the beach you just want to enjoy yourself and not worry about anything. Remember to bring utensils, cups, napkins, and other necessities, like a bottle opener, a blankets, towels, and maybe a bug spray.
  5. Enjoy and relax. Picnics should be fun and relaxing, don’t worry about it being perfect. Enjoy the stars above you and the whispering sounds of waves and sand underneath your feet.

How to Move with Kids: Helpful and Easy Tips

Moving can be a stressful time for everybody, especially children. To make it a little easier and more enjoyable consider these tips.

Say proper goodbye to the old home. Take lots of pictures of your whole family at your old home, have a party to celebrate all the good times you had there. Make sure you involve children into all the discussions about the move and the new house, and listen to their suggestions. They will feel more comfortable during this transition.

When packing, first, let them donate some things they are ready to say goodbye to, and then, give them their own boxes to pack. That way children will be occupied and feel dedicated with their own task. An activity kit with coloring pages, crayons, some puzzles and toys will keep kids occupied, so put together a plastic container with a lid. You can print this Highlights Moving Day activity sheet from Two Men and a Truck.

Get the kids excited about the move into the new place. Anxiety about going to a new school, making new friends, living in a new house can be eased for children with a little planning.

Plan their new room and how you will decorate it together. Take time to explore the area and find a playground or a park, local restaurants and indoor activities that kids can get involved in.

Meet your neighbors and see if they have kids the same age. Building new friendships will help them transition to their new home with less stress.

Hiring the knowledgeable movers who are licensed and insured also can help make your move a breeze. Call us ahead of time and we can find the best crew for local or interstate moving 850.785.2222.

Movers for Moms® 2017 Campaign Recap

Our local Movers for Moms® campaign was very successful! We have collected over 3,000 items for a local women’s shelter, Bethel Village, a ministry of Panama City Rescue Mission. It helps women in need by providing a five-phase substance abuse recovery program to recover in a supportive environment and grow in responsibility, integrity, and commitment. The recovery program is a highly successful, faith-based and transformational. Our local partners such as schools, legal offices, salons, and storage facilities came together to collect donations of essential care items. We are grateful for such an amazing response from our community and hope Bethel Village moms had a great Mother’s Day.

Here is a full list of this year’s participating community partners:

 

      

Moving Day Madness: How to Organize Your Home After Moving

No one argues that moving is a big stressful event in our lives. We can almost feel cortisol (the stress hormone) being released! But when you have professionally trained movers, it is a lot easier to keep track of your furniture, lamps, books, and kitchen utensils and have an organized unpacking.

Speaking of organized…have you seen the house or apartment you would be moving to? Is it larger or smaller than your current home? Make sure and visit the new place and see the layout. That way you will know what furniture or decor items you are keeping and what can go to a donation center or at least a storage for now. It also helps to know if you have a tight corner in your living room and that your current couch might just not fit. Or the staircase is so narrow that it might take you awhile to figure out how to get your king size mattress upstairs.

Bonus: Check out Most popular house plans of 2017 with beautiful pictures and variety of styles!

It is beneficial to have your house plan or layout before you move. It will help reduce moving time and the hassle of just unloading the boxes and then having to move them by yourself. Walking through the house and visualizing where you can put things will help your move go smoother. Moving Insider recommends: “Be sure to communicate clearly to the people who are helping you move the furniture from the moving truck.” Once the plan is communicated, you can just relax and let the movers take care of it.
Among other tips for stress free unpacking: Labeling boxes and rooms with the same color sticky notes. You won’t need to direct the movers when they carry in boxes and if you are moving yourself this will definitely save you trips up and down the stairs. Consider unpacking the necessities, like kitchen and bathroom supplies first. Keep that moving day box handy! You’ll be surprised how simple things like disposable plates, cups, and paper towels can keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
Follow these simple tips and your move will be stress free, or give us a call and we can send our two men who have been professionally trained and will take care of your belongings.