November 21, 2014

Don't Let Your Move Ruin Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Getting ready to move at Thanksgiving? We know that packing and moving at Thanksgiving can be tough. It takes time to unpack everything you need, and maybe you are farther from friends and family than you would like. But your Thanksgiving doesn't have to be put on the back burner (pun intended). You can still have a great Thanksgiving holiday with these handy tips:

  1. Go simple: Your family will forgive you if you put down the Martha Stewart cookbooks this year and go simple. There is nothing wrong with store-bought pies or canned vegetables if it will make your dinner easier. Leave the corn shucking for next year!

  2. Ask for help: If you have people coming to your home for dinner, don't be afraid to ask them to bring something that you don't have time to prepare. It’s traditional for guests to bring a dish, so go ahead and scratch a few items off your to-do list.

  3. Know who to call: Preparing Thanksgiving on the fly is hard enough, but if problems arise in the kitchen, it can be downright disastrous. The USDA's Meat and Poultry Hot Line (1-888-674-6854) will be available to help with turkey trouble and food safety questions from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. 

  4. Treat yourself:  And if you really don’t feel like digging out your pots and pans or playing hostess, treat your family to a meal out. Many fine-dining establishments open on Thanksgiving with special holiday menus. Check online to see what’s open near you!

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August 14, 2014

Five Tips for Moving to a New School

Kids in a moving box 

Moving to a new home can be especially challenging for a child transitioning into a new school district. When your child starts at a new school it is important to tackle problems early. Here are some tips to best prepare your student for starting at a new school.   


  1. Create a schedule: Get your child into a set schedule early. During the end of the summer, promote a regular sleep schedule and start turning off the TV. Encourage reading, puzzles and looking at flash cards to get your child into the routine of learning.
  2. Include your child in the process: Make your child feel included throughout the entire process. Visit their new school before the first day and bring them along to orientation. Allowing them to see and tour classrooms in advance can put some of their fears to ease.
  3. Look for opportunities to get involved: Network with other parents in the area and volunteer in the classroom or at the school during the first year. Knowing that you're close can help your child to relax and get more out of learning. 
  4. Encourage after-school activities: Encourage your child to participate in at least one or two extracurricular activities. This will help them meet new friends and stay busy. Research possible opportunities and discuss with your child what best fits his or her interests before the school year begins. 
  5. Prepare for emergencies: Make sure to have an emergency contact in your new location, and make sure the school has copies of all important documents such as health and allergy information.

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July 25, 2014

Four Tips for Moving Kids to College

Mom with daughter moving to college 

It's that time of year again! Classes are getting ready to start back up and many parents are getting ready to help their kids move into college dorms for the first time, or back to school for the upcoming semesters.

Most students know a lot about moving by the time they finish their college careers. They move between dorm rooms, from the dorm to the sorority house and from student housing to an apartment or group house. Packing and moving usually involves several car trips, bribing friends with pizza, creative placement of things on top of vehicles and often temporary storage in a self-storage unit or parents' garage. It can be tough to say goodbye to your kids as they head off to school, but it doesn't have to be so hard to get them there. Take a look at four of our favorite tips for moving to a college dorm!  

  1. Sort it: Before packing, have your student look through all of their clothing and other items and decide what they need, what can be donated and what can be left at home or stored.
  2. Store it: 1-800-PACK-RAT containers come in various sizes so you can choose how much you want to move into the dorm and how much you intend to store. By storing what they won't be using, the student saves space in their dorm room and the parents don’t lose a garage or basement.
  3. Do some research: Find out what the school provides and what they don't allow. Most schools provide dorm packing lists that include all the rules.
  4. Contact the roommate: Most students have roommates, whether they are staying on campus or off. There might not be room for both your roomie's favorite beanbag chair and your trusty futon! Try to coordinate ahead of time to save you moving time and money.

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