From mover to marketer in a matter of months

Written by Jessy Howe

Moving People Forward® is our core purpose. We make it a priority each and every day to move people forward, both personally and professionally. So much so, that 75 percent of our managers started in frontline positions before moving into management roles!TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Dirk Knowles

Like many employees within our system, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Fort Wayne, Ind., Marketing Coordinator Dirk Knowles has experienced this firsthand.

After attending high school in Bluffton, Ind., Knowles went on to attend the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne to pursue his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing.

Although Knowles had known about TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® since 2008, it wasn’t until August 2012 that he joined the company as a mover. Two months later, he was offered a position in the office as a customer service representative (CSR). TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Franchisee Matt Schiffeneder took notice of Knowles’ potential and knew of his knowledge in marketing. After two months of working as a CSR, Schiffeneder presented him the opportunity to further advance his career and take on the role of marketing coordinator at the franchise. Knowles jumped at the opportunity.

“TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has not only given me the opportunity to come up through the ranks but has also given me the chance I have been looking for to do what I love and that is bring awareness and build the reputation for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® here in Fort Wayne, as well as work with the community through our charity programs,” said Knowles.

This coming spring, Knowles will have the chance to do just that as he coordinates the Movers for Moms® campaign in his community. The program is held at all TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations across the country to collect donations for essential care items to be delivered to women’s and family shelters on Mother’s Day. He and his team have already gained the support of six Fort Wayne businesses who will be donation partners throughout the program.

As he plans for this large campaign and tackles day-to-day duties, Knowles feels supported by the corporate office and resources available to him.

“My favorite part about the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system is how open the line of communication between home office and the franchise is,” said Knowles. “Being very new to the position and being my first opportunity to focus on the marketing aspect of a company, it is reassuring to know that when I have a question I can contact home office directly and speak with someone who has the experience and knowledge.”

While he continues to excel and grow within the company, Knowles encourages others considering beginning careers with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® to take the leap.

“Having experience as a mover significantly helped me when working as a CSR when explaining to customers how and what our movers would do. Now having worked as both a mover and CSR, it helps when explaining the moving process starting with that first initial customer call to the signing of the paperwork at the end of the move,” said Knowles. “My advice for anyone thinking about starting a career with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® would be to take every opportunity you are given and to work in different positions within the company.”

 

If you are interested in beginning your career with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, please visit our careers site! TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward in your career!

A match made in TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® heaven; the story of Emily and Michael Sham

Written by Hannah Conlin
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Love is in the air at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, and it is not just for the amazing brand that has achieved more than 30 years of growth and success as the premier leader within the moving industry. Many couples within the company met and fell in love through their employment with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.

After working as a mover for two months, Michael took on the role of general manager at the Jackson, Miss., franchise in 2013. The pair met when Emily joined as the franchise’s marketing manager. Now, as Michael prepares to open his new franchise in Southaven, Miss., in May 2016, the two are happier than ever!

Q: When did you first meet your significant other? 

Michael: Emily and I met during her interview for our marketing position.

Emily: I came on about three to four months after Michael and started as the first-ever marketing manager our franchise had. He was the general manager.

Q: What was your first impression of your significant other when you met them at the office? 

Michael: I couldn’t wait to hire Emily. I thought she was a perfect fit for what we were looking for and I was thoroughly impressed with how she carried herself during the interview.

Emily: I first met Michael in my second interview with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. I thought it was just going to be a second interview with Mr. Jeff Taylor, our franchisee, but Michael had just come on as the general manager so they were both in the interview. It was a very casual interview, and I immediately thought he was cute and had a lot of confidence. I soon thought, “Who am I kidding? He would be my BOSS, that would never happen,” so I tried to play it cool as best I could. I can remember telling my mom that night that the general manager was really cute though.

Q: Describe your first date. 

Michael: We went out to her favorite sushi spot and enjoyed a good meal and conversation. I distinctly remember telling her that I wasn’t looking for a fling and that if she didn’t feel like she could marry me one day then we would remain friends and co-workers. Surprisingly enough, that didn’t scare her away.

Emily: We casually went out with some friends during Christmas break, and had a great time; meanwhile I am dying! I am out with my cute boss, and just trying to stay as cool as possible! He went out of town over the weekend with his family and then asked me out on our first “official” date on that Sunday. We went out for sushi, kept it casual, and now sushi is our weekly date night!

Q: When did you realize you were in love? 

Michael: I knew I had feelings for Emily before our first date. Our Franchisee Jeff Taylor’s wife, Becky, was battling cancer and was scheduled to have brain surgery in Houston, Texas, at M.D. Anderson. I planned on going to surprise Jeff and Becky and asked Emily if she wanted to go, knowing the relationship she had with the family. We spent over 14 hours in a car together that weekend and really got to know one another. Becky kept telling Emily that we were in love every time I left the hospital room as well. Needless to say, she knew something that we hadn’t figured out yet.

Emily: Well, I didn’t realize. Mrs. Becky Taylor was the whole reason we even began our love story. Michael and I drove to Houston to surprise Jeff after Becky’s third brain surgery. She had been battling stage 4 brain cancer for five years; what a fighter! She had just gotten out of surgery when we arrived and surprised everyone; we just wanted to both be there for support. That is 14 hours total in a vehicle together, and pretty much three days of togetherness in a hospital room. Michael had stepped out of the hospital room to take a work phone call and Mrs. Becky perks up and says, “Ya’ll love each other.” I was like, no, no, no, you just had brain surgery, simmer down … and she insisted! She quickly quieted down however as Michael came back in the room. Once we got back to Mississippi, Jeff called Mike explaining that Becky thinks we are in love and if we want to pursue a relationship that he would not stand in the way. Becky reminded Jeff he could not get in the way of God’s plan. Fast forward to our first date, and the rest is history. Once my parents were on board and approved of Michael, that was it for me, I was head over heels for this guy.

Q: Describe your engagement.
engagementphoto

 

Michael: Planning our engagement almost cost us our relationship. It took over two weeks of planning and preparation every day and Emily started feeling neglected. Luckily, I enlisted the help of her mother and she was able to keep things together for the most part. I sent her on a day-long scavenger hunt with her friends in a limo bus that took her to eight different places with activities at each that would prepare her for the evening ahead. I sent her to get her nails done, make-up done, hair done, and dress shopping, with her final destination being her parent’s house. There were about 40 friends and family hiding in the house when she arrived. I escorted her around the back of the house where I had a podium set up with a book of all the things we had done together in our relationship. The last page said “will you” and the rest is history.

Emily: August 30, 2014. Michael out did himself, so much to the point I thought we were about to break up because he wasn’t spending any time with me. It started with him asking my parents. He made a slide show of my life, with my dad, with my mom, with my brother, and then us. He got my brother to bring my parents to the office, we had just moved into the new office building, so he wanted to “show it off,” when really the ending of the tour of the office was this video/slideshow he had made on his computer asking my parents if he could have their blessings in marrying me. Then it was my turn. It was my turn to work on a Saturday at the office, and he was here with me, along with our English bulldog, Ace. I was in my office getting work done and Michael said let’s go take Ace for a walk outside, so nothing out of the ordinary. While we are outside, three of my best friends pull up in a car; mind you, two live in Arkansas, so I am shocked. One grabs a video camera from Michael, and he says, “Go have fun with your best friends. Happy eighth month anniversary.” He is always over the top with gifts and surprises, so I thought nothing of it. My friends and I then go on a scavenger hunt; ALL DAY!

First: Sushi for lunch with my girlfriends and as we leave a party bus pulls up to take us everywhere! There’s a note that takes me to his apartment to give Ace a bone.

Second: At his apartment, first he cleaned everything, lit a candle and had a card with money to go shop at Anthropology, my favorite store.

Third: Got a card at the store to go get my makeup done at Bobby Brown; the makeup I wear.

Fourth: Take a break and get a snow cone from SnoBiz; one of our favorite places during the summer.

Fifth: Get my hair cut and styled; I had been talking about needing a haircut.

Sixth: I receive the final card and it says, Now that you are all dolled up, go to your house and hang out with your best friends and have a good time. So, we begin heading back to my house.

At this point I am kind of bummed; I wanted to spend some of our anniversary with him, and I honestly thought I would end at a nice dinner with him. We end up at my house and I am texting him on the way there thanking him for the wonderful day and he is telling me he is at his apartment just hanging out and he would come to my house later. I get out of the party bus at my parent’s house, no cars in the driveway, and here Michael comes walking down the driveway to meet me. Then I start freaking out, wondering what is going on! He takes me to the back yard where it is lit with string lights, mason jars with candles, it is magical. There are flowers and an outdoor sofa with a pedestal. He walks me over to the pedestal and it has a scrapbook with everything from Annual Meeting pictures, to flight tickets, everything we had done together over the past eight months. At the end of the scrapbook there is a little bride and groom; that is when I really knew what was going on. Like I said, he is over the top always. He sits me on the couch and sits next to me (he is nervous) and I hear, “Aww,” from a ton of people and some giggling, all while crying. He then gets down on one knee and pops the question and I hear roars of clapping and screaming! My parent’s house was filled with friends and family! Becky and Jeff had the best seat in the house, my parent’s bedroom, with their window is right by the backyard. It turned into an engagement party with champagne and “she said yes” cookies. It was perfect and one of the best nights of my life! Longest engagement story, but the happiest and sweetest.

Q: How do you balance your work life and personal lives? 

Michael: Not without a few issues. It took time to find our groove and we still battle it from time to time. It’s hard to keep work at work and home at home, but it is a challenge that we are very blessed to face. Not many people get to work with their best friend, and that is the perspective we try to keep every day.

Emily: We struggled with this for a while, and then finally realized we needed to make some slight changes. We try to not talk about work so much when we get home, but this is our lives. We love TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, and we look at it as any couple coming home from work asking their spouse, “How was your day at work?” I have learned I am not always right at work, and things may not go the way I want, but Michael is my boss and wants what is best for the company and I have to respect that. It takes time to learn how each other tick, but we usually have a good compromise. We do enjoy having lunch dates every once in a while, because we really don’t see too much of each other at work. He is on a completely different side of the building than me, which helps!

Q: Describe your wedding.
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Michael: Our wedding was one of the best parties I’ve ever been to. It was absolutely beautiful and we were very blessed to have some great venues and some awesome people to help make it so amazing. We had all of our loved ones there and it was one of the most memorable days in my life.

Emily: Oct. 3, 2015 in Mobile, Ala., at my aunt and uncle’s home on Mobile Bay. It was magical; we had string lights everywhere, a live band on the porch, and sequin table cloths. Rose gold, blushes, and cream flowers everywhere. Everything was outside, right on the water and around the pool. We got married under a huge oak tree with hanging moss. We had about 125 guests that attended from all over! It was so special and a weekend filled with lots of love and laughter. The best day ever!

We wish Emily and Michael Sham a lifetime of love and happiness! In celebration of Valentine’s Day, keep a look out for more TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® love stories coming soon!

Valentine’s Day crafts in 4 steps or less!

Written by Jessy Howe

DIY Valentine's Day Door wreath
Show your love this Valentine’s Day by creating easy homemade crafts and decorations! Making homemade crafts can be a fun and inexpensive family activity. These crafts are all upcycled from old moving boxes, meaning all you really need is craft paper, glue and stickers, and you’re ready to go. If you are in need of boxes, we are here to help! TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your needs that can be purchased at a location near you!

Below are four easy, do-it-yourself Valentine’s Day craft tutorials!

Kid’s Valentine’s Day card box

DIY Valentine's Day kids card box
Personalize your child’s Valentine’s Day card box for their school party by using one of our Truckie’s Treasure Chest boxes. These boxes are simple to assemble and have handles to make for easy transportation to and from school. You can purchase this at any TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® location or order one online for just a few bucks!

Supplies: Kid's Valentine's Day craft box supplies

1 Truckie’s Treasure Chest box
Craft paper
Stickers
Hot glue gun
Box cutter
Scissors

Step 1: Assemble your box and place the handles into the open spaces on the side. Next, use a box cutter to make a slot on the top for Valentines to be dropped in.

Step 2: Have your child cover the box in craft paper of their choice. Use a hot glue gun or tape to secure the paper to the box.

Step 3: It’s time to personalize! Let your child personalize their card box with stickers, paper hearts, ribbon, and anything else they wish.

 

Sweetheart garland

Valentine's Day sweetheart garland
Spruce up your home by creating a classic conversation heart garland to hang in your home. I’m in love with how this turned out!

Supplies:

1 small TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® box
Acrylic craft paint
Sponge paint brushes
Red stickers or a red marker
Ribbon
Box cutter
Hole punch
Heart stencils
Pencil

Step 1: To make this simple, we decided to do a quick online search and print heart stencils. Trace as many hearts as you’d like to have on your garland and use your box cutter to carefully cut them out.

Step 2: Now that your cardboard hearts are cut out, it’s time to paint. We stuck to the classic candy heart colors but your options are endless! Also, I would recommend doing two coats of paint for the best results.

Step 3: After the paint is fully dry, use your hole punch on each side of the heart. String your ribbon through the holes and behind each heart to put your garland together. At the back of the first and last heart, tie a knot in the ribbon to keep them from slipping off.

Step 4: Use your creativity and think of fun sayings to put on each heart! We used red stickers for accuracy and to save time but a red permanent market can work just as well.

 

Valentine’s Day door wreath
DIY Valentine's Day door wreath

Greet your guests with love by creating a paper heart door wreath!

Supplies:Valentine's Day door wreath supplies

1 small box
Craft paper
Sticker letters
Ribbon
Hot glue gun
Pencil
Scissors
Box cutter

Step 1: Trace a large circle onto your box with a second circle inside it. Use your box cutter to cut out the inside circle as well as the large circle, leaving you with a base for your wreath. Keep in mind this does not have to be perfectly shaped and it is okay to have jagged edges as you will be covering it up.

Step 2: Cut out various sized hearts from your craft paper and begin gluing them down to your cut out circle. Continue doing this until you are satisfied with your wreath.

Step 3: We added a “LOVE” banner to the top to make it extra festive. After you are happy with the look of your wreath, use your hot glue gun to secure ribbon to the back of your wreath.

 

Tic-tac-toe board

DIY Valentine's Day tic -tac-toe board

A fun twist on a classic game can entertain your kids for hours … okay, maybe 15 minutes but you have to admit, it is fun!

Supplies:

1 small box (Or a remaining side from the box used in previous crafts)
Colored paper
Glue
Marker
Scissors

Step 1: Cut a large heart out to act as your tic-tac-toe game board. Cover this heart in colored paper.

Step 2: Cut smaller hearts out of craft paper in two separate colors. You will want to cut 5 hearts in each color.

Step 3: Draw your board game lines onto the heart and play!

 

We hope we’ve given you some fun DIY ideas to create this February! For more box inspiration, follow us on Pinterest! If you create any of these crafts, we’d love to see them! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

 

 

 

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® fall cause marketing programs garner nearly 100,000 items for those in need

Written by Hannah Conlin

Columbus, OH TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Movers for Mutts
Collection items from the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Columbus, Ohio franchise during their Movers for Mutts program.


As it has been said time and time again, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system truly believes in giving back to local communities. How can franchises not believe in giving back with it being one of our core values? This year, franchise locations across the system proved they don’t just believe in this ideal, they live it.

Franchises had the opportunity to partake in the Movers for Military, Movers for Meals, Movers for Mutts, and Truckload of Warmth campaigns. Much like the national Movers for Moms® program, locations worked with local business partners to collect the much needed items for their various campaigns. Throughout the fall of 2015, more than 30 franchises implemented one of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s four cause marketing programs, working to collect more than 99,000 much-needed items.

“Several years ago TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® had just one cause marketing campaign, Movers for Moms®,” said Media Relations and Brand Communications Team Lead Lindsay Dow. “However, we had many franchises who wanted to do more to help out their communities throughout the year. That’s when we worked to create four additional programs, providing our franchises with the opportunity to give back to different organizations. Over the past few years these campaigns have evolved and franchises have truly embraced them. This year was no different, and without a doubt the most successful year for our fall marketing programs.”

To show gratitude and appreciation to local veterans, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® once again rolled out Movers for Military. Millions of veterans in America are homeless throughout the year, and Movers for Military aims to assist these veterans in need. Franchises that participated in this program collected more than 18,000 items for veterans in need; items donated went to benefit homeless veterans and their families.

Ten locations implemented the Movers for Mutts campaign within their local communities. This program benefits animal shelters that provide and care for stray animals. Many times, these shelters are in dire need of pet food and other essential pet items. Together, the franchises collected more than 1,500 items and more than $15,000 in monetary donations to go toward the animals and the shelters.

Hunger is a problem many Americans face daily. In an effort to help combat hunger, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchises implemented the Movers for Meals campaign. Movers for Meals collects nonperishable food items for families facing hunger each year. This year franchises collected a whopping 50,000 donated items for families in need!

Two Men and a Truck Movers for Meals
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Brentwood/Franklin, Tenn., collect donation items for Movers for Meals just in time for Thanksgiving during their Fill-A-Truck event!

Marketing Director Sally Mink of the Brentwood/Franklin, Tenn., location found her Movers for Meals campaign to be the best one to date.

“This year was our strongest year yet,” said Mink. “This year we hit over 1,600 pounds for Graceworks Ministries.”

Lastly, Truckload of Warmth, helps keep children and their families warm during the bitter cold winter months. Gently used or new winter coats and other winter clothing donations are needed for this collection drive. Through the collective efforts of the nine locations that ran the program, more than 30,000 items were collected.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Des Moines Truckload of Warmth
The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Des Moines, Iowa team collected nearly 11,000 items during their Truckload of Warmth program.

General Manager Chris Jones from the Boise, Idaho franchise implemented the Truckload of Warmth program. The Boise location, in its fourth year with the campaign, partnered with 35 collection partners across the community, providing even more awareness for the program and those in need.

“The program has gained traction every year and many of the participating businesses even look forward to it,” said Jones. “It gives us and the business a great opportunity to help and give back to our community. All of our donations go to the families living at the Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA). The WCA organization does such amazing things for those in need and we are just proud that we can help.”

With another successful year wrapped up, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system is excited for the 2016 fall campaigns and the opportunity to increase the charitable efforts throughout our local communities.

“Moving People Forward is our core purpose,” said Marketing and Communications Director Dawn Kroeger. “I am so passionate about these cause marketing initiatives and how they allow TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® to put our core purpose into action. We are committed to moving people forward beyond our customers and our team members, but those most at risk in our communities.”

To learn more about these programs please visit our community service page. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

How to choose the best Internet provider in a new city

Written by Alice Williams

Beautiful young woman working with laptop in her office.

You’ve packed every box, organized the movers, and finally arrived in your new city. The process of getting out of your old place is complete; now it’s time to start making your new place a home. One of the most crucial steps is getting your Internet up and running. But how do you know where you’ll get the best service for the best price?

If you find yourself overwhelmed with all the information and promotions thrown your way when it comes to Internet Service Providers (ISP), we’re here to help. The perfect way to start off the new year in your new city is with a bunch of savings. Here’s what to look for and some of the best deals offered by popular providers.

What to look for in an ISP

Between download speeds and delivery methods, it’s easy to get confused when shopping for an Internet provider. Make sure you get exactly what you need by following these tried-and-true tips.

  • Know how much speed you need
    Internet providers offer anything from less than 1 Mbps (megabits per second) to 100 Mbps. With higher speeds come higher price tags. Make sure you don’t pay for more than you need. Look at the number of devices used in your household and the activities performed, then get a plan that gives you just what you need.
  • Consider bundles
    If you plan to get cable or satellite TV and a phone in addition to Internet, you might want to check into deals offered for multiple services. Bundling phone and Internet can help you save on both.
  • Pick the right type of service
    There are many ways that Internet can be delivered to your home — DSL, fiber-optic, cable, satellite, and even dial-up. The pros and cons of each come down to the speeds they offer and whether or not your connection is shared with other customers or dedicated to you alone. Whether you live in the city or a more rural area can also limit the types of Internet available.
  • Sign a contract — or don’t
    Many ISPs offer special deals to customers who sign a 12- or 24-month contract. The contract lets you lock in your price, protecting you from price increases for the duration of the contract. If you plan to move or expect changing Internet needs, you might want to find a provider that offers more flexibility than a contract offers.
  • Check out reputations
    It pays to do a little research. Read customer reviews and find out what other customers have to say about each provider’s reliability and customer service. You want a provider that has a strong reputation for uninterrupted service and fast, friendly help when you need it.

Providers with great deals

We all want to get the best deal available, but not everyone has time to research and find every offer out there. To make things easier for you, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are some of the best Internet deals out there.

  • XFINITY®: Internet plus home automation
    If you’re shopping for home automation and security options in addition to Internet, XFINITY has a great deal for customers who bundle services. XFINITY Home can help you turn your house into a smart home and get you online. If home automation is part of your moving plan, find out what they have available in your area.
  • Verizon: Super-fast speeds
    For those with a need for speed, Verizon is offering Internet speeds up to 500 Mbps. Plans start between $45 and $265, depending on what speeds you want and whether or not you bundle other services like HDTV and a home phone. Most of their plans do require a contract, so make sure you’re ready to make a commitment.
  • AT&T: Best for bargain hunters
    Reliable Internet at a reasonable price can be yours with a deal from AT&T. They offer plans starting as low as $15 per month. If you’re watching the bottom line, it’s worth keeping an eye on the latest AT&T deals. Some packages may require a contract and additional services, but if you hate sticker shock, they have some of the most affordable bundles out there.
  • Frontier: Customizable connections
    Thanks to the large number of options offered by Frontier, you can get hooked up with everything from Internet to digital TV — all for prices starting as low as $19.99 per month. Frontier is currently offering their ‘Price for Life’ plan which locks in your monthly package price. They offer speeds up to 6 Mbps and are easy to work with if you don’t want to sign a contract. If you like the freedom of a monthly service you’re not tied to, Frontier might be the perfect fit.

Moving comes with enough things to sort out. You shouldn’t be stumped when it comes to finding a reliable ISP you can afford. Use these tips so you know what to look for and, since offers change from time to time and vary by location, remember to check out different providers for the latest deals in your area.

Alice Williams- AT&T

Alice Williams is a digital communications expert for AT&T with an MA in Communication Studies. She writes extensively on communication, business and tech and is currently based in Salt Lake City.

10 tips to survive your winter move

Written by Jessy Howe

iStock_House in the winter

Moving can be hard, but moving during the winter season can make the process that much more difficult. To help ease your winter move stress, we’re sharing our top 10 winter moving tips. When using a moving company, many concerns below will not be a worry. However, for those do-it-yourselfers, with a few extra precautions, you can master the art of moving during snowy, winter weather.

1. Clear the path

Shovel or plow the driveways and sidewalks at both your old location and your new location. It’s easy to misjudge stairs and drop-offs when they’re hidden by snow. Taking a few extra moments to clear the way will make moving easier and safer for everyone.

2. Watch the weather

Temperatures can change quickly during the winter, with slush turning to ice within a few hours. It also gets dark earlier in the winter and with this in mind, plan trips between the old and new location accordingly. To find out more about the moving protocol during blizzard-like conditions, we’ve answered all of your questions, here.

3. Carry emergency supplies

Whether you drive your own vehicle or rent a moving truck, ice and snow on the road may get in your way. If you do get stuck, you can get yourself out quickly if you carry a shovel, salt and/or sand. It’s also wise to keep a vehicle emergency kit, water, snacks, and blankets handy just in case.

4. Layer up

Although you will be working hard on moving day, it is a good idea to dress in layers. If you begin to overheat you can always remove layers. Don’t forget your hat and warm gloves!

5. Avoid slips

Keep old rags and towels handy to wipe away the snow, salt, sand, and dirt which will likely get caked to your shoes and your moving containers causing slippery surfaces.

6. Light your area

Be sure all outdoor lighting is functioning properly at your new and old location prior to your move. With the sun setting early throughout winter months, it is important your visibility isn’t compromised should your move go late into the day.

7. Protect your floors

Cover your floors with old sheets or tarps to avoid tracking mud and snow into your home. Not only will this protect your belongings but will also keep the floors at your new location clean and dry.

8. Turn on utilities

Plan ahead and ensure utilities will be turned on upon your arrival. In harsh winter months, you will not want to be without these! Additionally, leave heat and electricity on in your old home until you are completely moved out.

9. Keep your plants safe

Don’t transport live plants in the cargo hold of the truck, as they can easily freeze. To keep plants safe and secure during a move, pack them in your personal vehicle and drive safely to your destination.

10. Hire help!

Hiring a moving company can take much of the pressure off of you and allow you to enjoy your new home even sooner! Many of the precautions above will be worries that disappear when hiring movers. Our uniformed movers and drivers are committed to exceeding expectations and ensuring your move is completed with care and efficiency. We realize moving needs are unique for every customer, so we’re ready to customize a plan to provide the best moving experience. Contact TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® today to begin planning your move.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Expert tips on storing your holiday decorations

Written by Jessy Howe

DSC_0531_edited

When the Christmas season comes to an end and it is time to store your decorations away until next year, frustrations tend to arise. Taking time to organize and properly store your holiday decorations will make the years to come that much easier! We’re sharing our expert packing tips on how to best store your holiday items to make this year hassle-free.

Gather supplies

Before you begin packing up your holiday items, be sure they are organized and that you have proper storage! This ensures everything will be easy to pack and nothing will be damaged throughout the year. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your packing and storage needs!

OrnamentsIMG_9887

When it comes to putting away Christmas ornaments, we rarely save the containers we purchased them in. The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® dish pack box provides a safer alternative than wrapping them in tissue paper and putting them in a bag with minimal protection. Dish pack boxes come with dividers which can easily be adjusted depending on the desired space needed for each item, making it the perfect home for your breakable items. I would recommend using acid-free tissue paper when wrapping to avoid any chemicals damaging your ornaments.

LightsFullSizeRender

Avoid getting your lights tangled up! Remove the flaps from a cardboard box and neatly wrap your lights around them. This is a simple trick that keeps your lights in good condition and at the same time, allows for them to take up less storage space!

Wreaths

I have a soft spot for wreaths and am someone who feels it is necessary to hang one for every season and holiday. However, storing these prove to be a difficult task. By utilizing moving boxes, you can easily store multiple wreaths and avoid any damage between uses, especially the Christmas wreaths which are covered in fragile Christmas bulbs.

Label boxes

Even if you do not have many boxes to store, labeling them will save you time when it comes to setting up next year. It helps to label the items you’ve packed away in each box or at least by category (ex., kitchen décor). You might also consider labeling boxes based on the order you plan to unpack them.

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Creating a wrapping station is a great way to organize and store your supplies! I assembled a dish pack box to organize my ribbon, bows, bags, tissue paper, and more. It is incredibly helpful to have all items in one place when you are rushing to wrap your gifts! The best part about the dish pack box is by adjusting the dividers, you can accommodate all of your needs, including long tubes of wrapping paper.

Linen storage

We frequently worry about our breakable items, but let’s not forget our linens! Store holiday bed linens, dish towels, the tree skirt, and table runners in a dry place where they will not get damaged by moisture. Keep your items fresh and repel moths by popping in a few dryer sheets.

Hire moving muscle

From packing up and moving boxes to the attic, to rearranging your furniture once the décor is down, our professionally trained movers are happy to help with your holiday storage needs. Give us a call today to schedule your internal home move!

We hope these holiday storage tips help during your holiday décor packing! If you have any tips, we’d love to hear them! Leave us a comment or share with us on Facebook and they could be featured in an upcoming blog post!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Let TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® take the stress out of holiday preparation

Written by Jessy Howe

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It’s time to venture to the attic and bring out holiday decorations, make room for the Christmas tree, and deck the halls in preparation for the entire family gathering to celebrate the holidays. You want everything to be perfect, after all, you’ve been hosting for the past 30 years! Though you won’t admit it, it is becoming more difficult to climb the stairs, move the couch to make room for your beloved grandchildren to play, and let’s not forget packing it all back up once January arrives.

We follow THE GRANDMA RULE®, one of our key core values, which is to treat everyone the way you would want your grandma to be treated. And as the “Movers Who Care®”, we help a number of retirees with their holiday preparation each year, making the season easier than ever!

“Many people think of using our services when moving to a new home, but in reality, we can provide other services such as rearranging furniture or moving items up from a basement to make the holiday season much less stressful,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Move Execution Specialist Jeremy King.

We’ve compiled the top holiday services we can provide to you and your loved ones during the most wonderful time of year!

Bringing decorations out of storage DSC_0516_edited

Multiple trips to the attic or basement can be downright difficult, so let us bring out the Christmas decorations for you! If you have downsized and these items are in a storage unit, we can also transport them from the unit to your home.

Rearranging furniture 

If you’re like most and need to rearrange your home in order to make space for the Christmas tree and other seasonal items, we are happy to move your furniture so you don’t have to. Whether the couch is moving two feet to the left or two flights up, we will accommodate your needs.

Picking up presents

Holiday shopping deals are a wonderful thing. However, getting the heavier gifts home and through the front door is another story. Our movers frequently pick up large purchases, such as safes and appliances, and deliver them right to you, taking the hassle out of gift giving.

Bringing in extra furniture

As many friends and family arrive for Christmas, make sure everyone has a comfortable place to enjoy the day! We will bring in any extra tables and chairs from your basement, garage, or storage unit that you may need.

Provide boxes

Whether you need extra storage for your holiday decorations or are transporting holiday gifts, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your needs!

We realize moving needs are unique for every customer, so we’re ready to customize a plan to provide the best moving experience. Our uniformed movers and drivers are committed to exceeding expectations and ensuring your move is completed with care and efficiency.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

How to avoid leaving a huge mess when you move out

Don't forget to clean the stove before moving!

Moving is a huge time-consuming and stress-inducing chore, but there’s no other way about it. You have to spend weeks sorting and packing stuff you’ve accumulated over the past few years, talk to the movers, arrange for utilities to be transferred, unpack and put things away in your new home…the list just goes on.

With all this occupying your mind day and night, it’s only natural that you’ve forgotten one essential part of moving – that’s right, move-out cleaning! This house has been your home for the past many years; don’t you owe it a good cleanup before you leave? Okay, you are not that sentimental about the house, but do you think you have a good chance of getting the deposit back intact if you leave the house in the condition it is in right now?

To make things easier on you and help you avoid leaving a huge mess behind when you move, we have put together a handy list of things that you need to do before closing the door of your old home one last time. Happy moving!

What you will need:

  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • A mop
  • A broom and a dustpan
  • A squeegee
  • A spray bottle
  • Scrubbing sponges
  • Dish detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Magic erasers
  • Vinegar
  • Toilet cleaner and brush
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • An old toothbrush for tough-to-clean stains
  • Old newspapers
  • Cleaning rags
  • Trash bags

Tip: Remember to keep the above items separate from your packing boxes so that they don’t get shipped out to your new home before you are done cleaning!

In all the rooms:

Spray all windows with a mix of 50% distilled water and 50% tap water and wipe clean with a squeegee or a scrunched-up newspaper. If you had not washed your windows for a long time and they are particularly dirty, you may want to wash them with soapy water first. Clean the ledges.

Dirty window blinds? Simply put on an old cotton sock, dip your hand in the vinegar mix, and run your hands over each of the blinds. And there you go, good as new!

Take out all nails and hooks you have put into the walls and doors and fill them with putty. Use a magic eraser to remove scuffmarks, but take care to first test the eraser on a small surface. Harsh erasers can take the paint right off the walls and make your job twice as hard!

Bright lights are magnets for insects. Make sure to check for dead insects when you dust and clean the lighting fixtures and fans.

Wipe the closet shelves and check if the walls are clean. Remove cobwebs from the ceiling, vacuum the floor, and mop the hardwood and tile surfaces.

Tip: Always clean from top to bottom to avoid having to clean the same spot twice!

In the kitchen:

Empty cabinets and remove liners. Wipe the insides and the front surfaces clean with a damp cloth.

Remove refrigerator shelves and soak them in the sink while you scrub the inside clean with a scrubbing sponge and dish wash soap. Wipe the inside dry with a cleaning rag, wash the shelves, dry them, and put them back in. While you are at it, clean the sides, back and top of the refrigerator and also sweep below the refrigerator. If you have a dishwasher, clean it thoroughly.

Clean the oven, microwave and stove next and make sure that you remove all traces of grease and burnt food. While cleaning the stove, make sure you clean below the drip pans too. Scrub the kitchen counter top, sink and plumbing fixtures and you are good to go!

Tip: For the oven, use a paste made of baking soda and water to remove stubborn grease and grime without the harsh odors associated with heavy-duty oven cleaners.

In the bathrooms:

Empty the bathroom cupboards and take out the liners. Scrub clean the shower walls, tub, sink and counter with an all-purpose cleaning agent. Use the toothbrush for attacking the grout. Clean the toilet thoroughly from top to bottom. Spray the mirror with the vinegar solution you used on the windows and wipe clean. Dust the exhaust fan. Mop the floor.

Tip: Remember to keep at least one bathroom for the last or you may have to clean it again before you leave!

Don’t forget the outside areas

If you were using any outside storage facilities in the building, such as garage lockers, clean out those spaces. Dust and clean the outside lighting fixtures. Check your mailbox. Sweep the porch and patio.

One last time

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you say goodbye to your old home for the last time.

  • Are all the closets and cabinets empty?
  • Are all the electrical appliances/lights/fans in working condition?
  • Have you taken the trash out?
  • Do you have time-stamped photographs to document the condition of the house at the time of your move-out? These may be necessary if the landlord comes up with false damage charges later.
  • Do you have all the keys to return to the landlord?
  • Have you informed your neighbors you are moving?

A thorough move-out cleaning, especially if you have not been very particular about keeping the house in great shape all these days, can take a lot of time. If you have friends who are willing to pitch in, don’t hesitate to ask for their help. You should ideally start a few days in advance so that you are not left elbow deep in soapsuds and detergents even on the last day.

If you hate getting your hands dirty and don’t mind spending the extra dollars, you can always consider hiring a professional cleaning service to spruce up the home before you leave. But whatever you decide, don’t forget that move-out cleaning is essential to ensuring that you get your security deposit back from your landlord without a major deduction. In most cases, a happy landlord means a full refund. Here’s hoping that your moving happens as smoothly and easily as possible. All the best!

 

photoKurt Jacobson is a writer and vacation rental manager. Knowing what it takes to maintain pristine appearances for customers, he thrives on sharing what he’s learned from his experience. When he’s not managing a property, he writes about home cleaning for the Professional Home Cleaning Inc website.

From fish tanks to guitars: How to move 3 difficult items

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You have signed the lease or the mortgage papers, and you have the keys to your new home in hand. Now all that is left is packing up your precious belongings and moving them across town or across country.

While part of the moving process can actually be fun — maybe you could channel your inner Tom Haverford and power-trip on your friends who are helping in exchange for pizza and beer — it can also be a stressful experience. You’re probably pretty good by now at packing dishes, clothes and DVDs, but you might be unsure how to transport your school of guppies from point A to B. With this in mind, the following list offers tips on how to pack three of the most challenging items.

Aquariums

Fish tanks and their finned residents are among the trickier items to move. A lot of times fish don’t survive a move, for two reasons: They get jostled around in the tank and because it’s difficult to regulate the water temperature on a moving van. To make sure the tank and fish make it safe and sound, move your fish into some sort of holding container and then drain most of the water from the aquarium . If the tank contains live plants, put them and a bit of the aquarium water into a Ziploc bag. Take the fish and plants with you in your vehicle and, if you have the room, the mostly drained tank. In addition, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® cannot move living things so it is best to transport them in your own vehicle causing less stress on your pet.

Musical instruments

Any brass or woodwind instruments should be completely taken apart and placed in a hard case. If you don’t have one handy, then wrap each individual piece in a few layers of bubble wrap and place them in a box filled with plenty of towels and packing peanuts.

Stringed instruments like violins, cellos and guitars also need lots of TLC during packing; start by loosening the strings and, if the instrument has tuning keys, making sure the keys are parallel with the headstock. Place the instrument in its hard case and add some crumpled clean paper to the inside to prevent it from moving around. If you don’t have a hard case, carefully wrap your stringed instrument in plastic — a large clean garbage bag will do the trick. Then put the wrapped instrument into a box that is large enough to hold several inches of packing peanuts on all sides. Mark which side should be up on the outside of the box and advise the movers as to what’s inside.

Potted plants

Even the sturdiest looking philodendron can have a hard time during a move. A few weeks before your friends and/or the moving crew show up to help you pack, replant anything in ceramic pots to plastic planters — this will help make them easier to lift. You also want to prevent your houseplants from getting too hot or too cold, which means they might not be a good candidate for a ride in the back of a moving van. Take what you have room for in the back of your car and place the planters in larger boxes to keep them steady and prevent them from tipping. Once again, as TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® does not move living things, it is important to make the space necessary in your own vehicle.

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Alison Stanton has been a freelance writer for the past 14 years. Based in the Phoenix, Arizona area, Alison enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, but especially loves meeting interesting people and telling their stories.