Preparing to downsize using these helpful tips

Written by Nicole Harrison

You’ve decided to downsize. After finding the perfect place and closing on your new home, oftentimes the panic starts to set in. Thoughts start racing through your mind as you lay awake at night wondering what you’re going to do with all your stuff. You have so many treasured items you’ve been holding on to for years, now you’re asking yourself “keep it or trash it?”

As you start the downsizing process, it is recommended you make a concerted effort to work on one room at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed. As you begin assessing and sorting through your household items, keep three categories in mind: save, donate, or throw away.

Questions to ask youOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERArself

We have created a few questions to help make your downsizing plans go as smoothly as possible. When sorting through items stored in various areas of your home, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I love it? Have I used/worn it in the last six months?
  • Does it have sentimental value?
  • Am I keeping it out of obligation or expectation?
  • Is it broken? If yes, is it fixable?
  • Do I own more than one of these?

Asking yourself these simple questions should give you some guidelines when going through your items. How you answer these questions will give you a more definite idea as to whether you want to save, donate, or throw away items. Remember, if you find yourself keeping something “just in case,” it’s a good indication you should donate it or put it in storage.

Measure your furniture

In addition to sorting through smaller items, you need to reassess the “big” stuff. Measure your furniture and large decorative pieces such as sculptures, paintings, etc. Get the measurements of your new rooms to be sure your current furniture will fit. Before moving into your new home, create a mock layout of each room. Use the furniture and room dimensions to ensure your large items will fit. Creating a mock layout is a terrific way to evaluate your furniture and to decide if you will keep it or buy new.  Two Men and a Truck

If you find yourself getting rid of numerous household items, consider hosting a yard sale! Getting extra cash from your old stuff is always nice! Yard sales are great incentives for household owners to part with more items.

Storing your items

Once you have downsized and completed your move, you may be challenged with a lack of storage space in your new home. Take advantage of the nooks and crannies your home may have. These hidden spaces, such as under a staircase or odd-sized closets, can be transformed into storage spaces. Both are great places to build shelving units. Shelves are one of the best ways to store a variety of items, and you can even add decorative bins to shelving units to group together smaller items that are hard to store — while dressing the shelf up! Another great place to utilize for extra storage is under your bed. Invest in long, skinny containers that you can slide under your bed, as this storage spot is perfect for those “someday” items. Finally, invest in an ottoman that has a removable top where you can store blankets or other household items. Ottomans are a terrific asset that have multiple uses.

Oftentimes, downsizing creates a headache and a whole lot of stress no one wants to add to their daily lives. With these pointers, we are hoping it will help make your downsizing process go as smoothly as possible.

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® we realize moving needs are unique for every customer, so we’re ready to customize a move to ensure the best moving experience. Our uniformed movers and drivers participate in extensive training; they are permanent employees and undergo background checks and drug testing. They are committed to exceeding expectations and ensuring your move is completed efficiently to keep your moving costs affordable.

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

7 winter moving tips

Written by Mariah Obiedzinski

winter movingThe ice, the snow, the cold winter. This is possibly the worst time to move, right? Wrong! Moving during the winter presents a unique set of challenges, but it’s manageable with a few extra precautions.

Use these seven winter moving tips to make sure you and your belongings arrive at your new home safely:

  1. Get help. Hiring a professional moving company is imperative this time of year. Invest in a quality move team instead of trying to do everything on your own will minimize your time in the cold, decrease your risk of frostbite or injury, and avoid the chance of a friend or family member losing their footing in rougher conditions. Deciding what moving company you want and trust to move your valuable possessions can be difficult. Make sure to do your research when selecting your movers by verifying their reputation for high customer service and a track record that supports it.
  1. Clear the path. Take time to 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 obscured by snow. Taking a few extra moments to clear the way will make moving easier and safer for your crew.
  1. Watch the weather. The temperature can change quickly in the winter. What starts as slush can turn to ice within a few hours. It also gets dark earlier in the winter, so plan trips to and from the new location accordingly.
  1. Carry emergency supplies. There are plenty of small unplanned challenges which are a natural part of the moving process, but don’t let snow or ice be one of them. Whether you drive your own vehicle or rent a moving truck, ice and snow on the road may get in your way. You can get yourself unstuck quickly if you carry a shovel and salt or sand. It’s also wise to keep a vehicle emergency kit, water, snacks, and blankets handy just in case.
  1. Layer up. It’s important to dress warmly, even though you will be working hard on moving day. Consider wearing layers you can peel off as necessary. It’s better to start with too many clothes on than to deal with being cold all day. Make sure your ensemble includes a hat and warm gloves.
  1. Wipe it down. 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. This will not only protect your belongings but will also keep the floors at your new location clean and dry.
  1. Raise a glass. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you won’t sweat. Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the moving process. It’s also a nice gesture to provide warm drinks or water for your crew to enjoy during or after the move (coffee, tea, or hot chocolate are inexpensive and will be much appreciated by your friends, neighbors, or professional movers).

With a few extra precautions, moving during the winter can be easy and safe. If you feel overwhelmed, remember this: At least it isn’t hot!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mariah Obiedzinski  is a freelance blogger for USCargoControl.com, an e-commerce company specializing in moving supplies for both professional and DIY movers.

A day in the life of a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® mover

Melvin Ross 03 (2)

Written by Dawn Kroeger

For people seeking work where two days are never the same with a mobile office that displays ever-changing views, they need to look no further than TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.

Frontline roles, such as mover and driver positions, feature a fair amount of diversity and autonomy. Do you believe being a mover is “just moving furniture” and anyone could do it? Think again. Since no day is “typical”, check out a common day in the life of a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® mover.

We promote and encourage the development of professional and career skills for all team members from moving, customer service, business knowledge, and practical business skills and training. Our goal is to develop leaders. We are Movers Who Care and throughout team members’ time in our system, we want each of them to learn and develop the skills that can impact them throughout their life. So each day like the below, we are moving people forward.

6:30 a.m.

Wake up ready to take on the world with the discipline to make the most of each day. No need to get up early for a workout; your job is working out! Proudly put on your uniform, eat a quick breakfast, grab an energy drink and a gallon of water, and you’re out the door.

7:15 a.m.

Arrive at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and take part in a quick team huddle where you are reminded of safe lifting practices and the importance of exceptional customer service.

7:30 a.m. 

Receive your assignments for the day. Check out your truck, ensuring everything is working properly, do a full truck inspection, check all customer-requested boxes are inventoried and loaded, and each piece of equipment is accounted for and in working order.

7:45 a.m.

Begin any necessary customer paperwork, take care of any loose ends before departure, then hit the road.

8:15 a.m.

TMAAT358-2258095496-OArrive at your first customer’s home, and introduce yourself while showing your charisma and competence in order to put your customer at ease. You are moving their memories after all. Complete a walkthrough, ensuring the customer you fully understand expectations and illustrating your communication skills and diligence to get the details right.

8:30 a.m.  

Begin the move by loading the truck, paying special attention to an antique table the customer’s grandmother brought over from Ireland when she moved to the states as a young woman. Continue loading items.

11:15 a.m.

Stop to answer a few questions your customer’s uneasy eight-year-old daughter has about how you are handling her American Doll and Barbie collections. Assure her they will be safely packed at the back of the truck so they will be the first thing off it at her new home.

11:45 a.m.  

Ensure everything is packed to customer’s expectations, then head to the new home.

12:00 noon  

Arrive at the customer’s new home and take a few minutes to enjoy a customer-provided lunch of sub sandwiches. These folks love to show their appreciation by feeding you! This is also an opportunity to learn more about customers, hearing feedback about the move and validating how your role is so critical to their new direction.

12:15 p.m.

Begin unloading the customer’s belongings into their new home, being sure to honor your promise about the American Girl dolls and Barbies! Smile when you give a very relieved eight-year-old her most prized possessions.

3:00 p.m.

You are nearing completion of your first move and feeling good. Everything is safely placed in its proper place to the elation of the customer. The customer cannot believe how you and your team member hustled to accomplish this move. Your customer is thrilled, pays for the move, and adds a nice tip for you and your partner!

3:30 p.m.  

You clean up your truck, put equipment back in place, and head to your second and final move of the day – a retirement-age couple downsizing into a senior community.

3:45 p.m.  

You arrive at the customer’s home, introduce yourself with a smile and eye contact, explain how the move will go, and answer any questions the customers have. These customers seem a little melancholy. You learn they are leaving the house in which they raised their children, so it’s understandable.

4:00 p.m.

You begin the move and realize your customers have purged many of their belongings and are moving minimal pieces into their new, one-bedroom apartment at the senior community.

5:30 p.m.  

The truck is loaded, and you are ready to support your customers in beginning this new chapter in their lives. While loading you find a bracelet in the couch. You give it back to Mrs. Customer and she begins to cry. The bracelet had been a 25th wedding anniversary gift, and she had lost it last year.

5:45 p.m.

You arrive at the senior community and begin to unload. The unload goes smoothly, and you chat with your customers about new traditions they will begin now that they have moved. You share a story about your grandmother’s positive experience in a similar community, and they begin to feel at ease.

7:00 p.m.

Customer’s belongings are unloaded and Mr. and Mrs. Customer are finally relaxing; in fact, they seem genuinely relieved and maybe even a little excited. Mrs. Customer tips you with a jar of home-made strawberry jam. You leave feeling proud of your ability to put people at ease while executing a safe and damage-free move. And you remember you really need to call your grandma tonight.

7:30 p.m.

You arrive back at the office, complete paperwork, clean up your truck, and prepare for tomorrow’s customers.

On the drive home you reflect on this job. It is a hard job. You have to be strong, a problem solver, a communicator, and, sometimes, a friend. It is physically and mentally tough – but so rewarding. You really feel like you are making a difference in one of the most stressful life events in which people undergo. You know if you keep up your hard work and positive attitude, you will work your way into a leadership position at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. Until that day you will continue to give your best to the people who depend on you each day. Moving is much more than just moving stuff. It’s moving people forward, including yourself!

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.

Moving in a winter wonderland? Save time and money!

Written by Arika Ford

Grandma rule_photoTake the wonder out of moving during the winter months with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.

With the snow flying outside and the temperature dropping, inclement weather can make for hazardous moving conditions that can prolong your move. Below are frequently asked questions our customer service representatives get asked during the colder months, along with the answers to clear things up for your winter move.

Q: If it is snowing, sleeting, or raining, will the movers still complete the move?

A: Yes, our movers will still complete moves even in precipitation (hail, drizzle, snow) unless it’s truly severe. For example, if it starts to snow so hard enough it is not safe or the movers cannot see ahead of them, they will wait it out in the truck. Typically these types of weather breaks are not on the customer’s bill. Please keep in mind that travel may take longer due to hazardous roadways. We want to ensure not only the safety of our movers, but also your belongings.

Q: Does my sidewalk and driveway have to be clear of snow and ice?

A: The movers will shovel and salt your walkway or driveway for you, but the time it takes to do this is an expense of the customer. To save money, it is best if this task is taken care of in advance. For safety purposes, it needs to be done before the move can begin.

Q: If it gets really cold, will the movers continue to work in low temperatures?

A: The movers will dress accordingly, but if it gets too cold, they are encouraged to take breaks to warm up either in the customer’s home (with permission of course) or in the truck. Additionally, this time is not usually counted toward the customer’s final bill.

Q: What’s protocol in blizzard-like conditions?

A: Our movers are allowed to take breaks at their discretion. If the weather is hazardous and poses safety issues, they are encouraged to break. If the weather is too extreme, the customer always has the option to reschedule.

Q: Will my belongings get snowed on and wet?

Two Men and a TruckA: Almost every piece of furniture will be stretch wrapped, but ideally we encourage customers communicate with the movers about those possessions about they’re most concerned. This allows the movers to ensure proper or extra protection of special items during the move. The customer can even request to have their items pad wrapped, which is when the movers put a furniture pad over your belongings then wrap them with stretch wrap for ultimate protection against the nasty winter elements. Mattresses are not usually stretch wrapped, so it is up to the customer to purchase mattress bags prior to the move. The movers will be happy to put them into the bags for you.

Q: Will my plants and pets be too cold in the truck during the move?

A: TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® cannot move anything living in the truck. The customer must take all living things with them in their personal vehicle where they will be safe and warm.

Holiday moving tip: If you’re moving around the holiday season, and need your presents moved, make sure to mention it to the movers. They can organize the move to take extra care of them. They will even make sure to place the presents in the truck so they’re hidden and will take them off before your kids get home.

The customer should also ensure the garage and driveway are clear of vehicles so movers can back the truck up as close to the door or garage as possible. This helps the move to go quicker, more safely, and as dry as possible. Communication becomes even more critical during the winter months so please communicate with your movers and ask questions; they are very happy to help any way they can so you stay warm and comfortable throughout your moving experience. Hiring TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® allows you to leave the moving to the pros!

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.

Downsize your home using these 5 easy tips

DSC_0274Written by Claire Schneider

Are you currently in the process of downsizing your home? Whether you’re an empty nester trading your home for a condominium or you’ve decided on a high rise in the city, what to keep is often the toughest decision in the process. We’ve compiled a few tips to help you organize and prepare for downsizing your life to make the most of the tighter space in your new place.

Assess your actual needs

In my opinion this is the hardest phase of downsizing, but it is the most crucial. It’s tough to go through every belonging and decide what needs to move with you and what needs to go. Make it easier by determining whether you would need to replace a specific item if you got rid of it prior to your move. Go through room by room starting with the kitchen, since kitchen items don’t typically hold as much sentimental value. Also, keep in mind how often you’ve actually used each item. For instance, that oversized platter you only take out for Thanksgiving. If you’re considering keeping something “just in case,” it’s a good indicator you should either donate it or place the item in storage.

Another way to decide if an item should move with you is to think about how much space you’re willing to give that item in your new home. The giant, decorated vase may be very pretty, but are you willing to give up floor space for it? Instead, think of ways you can incorporate shelving or storage into your home décor.

For those sentimental items you can get rid of or put in storage, think of different ways you can keep it. Could your kids’ or grandkids’ artwork be kept in a scrapbook rather than a box in the closet?

Go through current storage areas

Storage spaces are areas we often ignore because the idea of sorting through them seems like a daunting task. Go through your basement, attic closets, and even your junk drawer. Take everything out and sort through each item, only putting back what you have used in the past year and donating the rest. Think about the storage spaces you will have in your next home and only keep what will fit.

Create a mock layout of your new rooms

Create a mock layout of the new rooms in your home to avoid realizing your oversized sectional won’t fit in your new living room on move day. This way you’ll have a great visual of what furniture will actually fit in the space, and avoid the unnecessary move day stress. Smaller home dwellers know it’s vital to avoid cluttering spaces with things which don’t serve a specific purpose. Instead, think of items that could serve dual purposes and incorporate them into your design elements.

Organize your move

DSC_0257When beginning to pack, be sure you pack items from the same room in the same box. This will reduce many headaches during the unpacking process. Label all boxes by what room they go in. You may want to buy different colored tape and coordinate it with each room in your new home.

If you’re moving to a condo or apartment with shared parking or an elevator, check with building management to see about reserving a parking space for the moving truck and if you can reserve the elevator on move day. This will not only make the move much easier, but if you hire movers, it will also save you time and money.

Be creative with new storage spaces

As noted previously, smaller homes generally lack storage. Once you’ve moved in, identify spaces where you can add storage space. A common hidden storage treasure is under staircases. Here you can use the wasted space to create a shelving unit or cubbies to hide items you use enough to not put in a storage unit. Instead of using a typical coffee table, invest in an ottoman and a tray. This way you can still have a place for your drinks as well as extra storage inside the ottoman. In the kitchen, use bench seats at the kitchen table; these are trending hot so there are a lot of choices, and, best of all, they provide ample storage.

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® we realize moving needs are unique for every customer, so we’re ready to customize a move to ensure the best moving experience. Our uniformed movers and drivers undergo extensive training; they are permanent employees, undergo background checks, and are subject to random drug testing. They are committed to exceeding expectations and ensuring your move is completed efficiently to keep your moving costs affordable.

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.

Moving to an Island? TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has you covered.

Written by Dawn Kroeger

During peak season, Mackinac Island is a tourist destination for up to 15,000 visitors daily and home to nearly 500 year-round residents. Perhaps the most noticeable observation upon arrival by first-time visitors is the absence of automobiles. Visitors and residents travel by foot, bicycle, or horse drawn carriage creating a throwback tempo comparable to the 19th century. Tour carriages and horse-drawn taxis transport folks wherever they need to go. But what happens when you happen to be one of those 500 year-round residents moving to the island? You call the best mover around, of course.

Bay 5Executing a smooth move is a work of both science and art. Over the past two decades many elements of the moving industry have changed, but some aspects have remained constant – movers, driver, and a truck. When the Bay City, Mich., location answered the call to move a family’s belongings to the island, they added a new element to the mix: movers, driver, and horse and buggy.

The Michigan franchise recently moved a customer to Mackinac Island, the premiere tourist spot for northern Michigan. The island, nestled within Lake Huron, is the perfect spot for hiking, biking, and indulging in infamous Mackinac Island fudge; however, it is not the easiest destination in which to complete a move. In addition to being surrounded by a body of water, the Bay City team had to undergo another obstacle since Mackinac Island outlaws motor vehicles, prohibiting a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® truck from driving around the island.

Bay 1While every move completed is a bit different, the Mackinac Island move included a few more steps. The movers loaded the customer’s belongings onto the truck, rode a ferry over the waves of Lake Huron to the island, and then transferred the items onto a dray led by two horses. Once on the dray, the movers maneuvered the horse-drawn cart with the customer’s belongings through the bustling, winding streets of the island to the new home and unload. To minimize the length of the move, two horses and two drays each pulled 4,000 pounds at once and rotated between the dock and the customer’s home, creating a smooth move process uninterrupted by challenges.

“I was excited, nervous, and a bit shocked when we received the call to move someone to Mackinac Island,” said President of the Bay City location Jessica Pula. “We were bidding against two other major moving companies for the job.

In the end, the customer selected the locally owned TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® based on reputation and was thrilled with the outcome of the move to Michigan’s iconic Mackinac Island.

Bay 4

Bay 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Eight interns and a truck – Part 4

Written by Cheyenne Yost

Victoria Trosko – Customer Care

Victoria TVictoria Trosko started her internship mid-May as the customer care intern here at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc. I met Victoria on our first day and have gotten to know her through various events such as meetings and intern lunches. She is friendly and dedicated to her job and it’s been a genuine pleasure getting to know her. Here’s what Victoria had to say about her internship so far.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your background?

Victoria: I am 20-years-old and from Haslett, Mich. I began my studies at Grand Valley State University, and I’m currently at Lansing Community College where I’ll get my degree from Ferris State University. I have two sisters, and I own a dog with whom I am obsessed!.

Q: What interested you to work at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?

Victoria: I’ve always heard amazing things about the company, and when my friend interned here last year and loved it, I decided to seek an internship opportunity as well. The opportunity I have been given has lived up to what I had heard and I have valued the time I have been able to learn and be part of such a great organization.

Q: What are your usual day-to-day tasks here at the office?

Victoria: The first half of my day I handle incoming “How’s My Driving?” telephone calls and positive customer emails, then compile them. I compose these into emails and send them out to franchises. For the second part of the day, I work at the front desk answering calls and helping out our receptionist. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has been growing rapidly and it’s been fulfilling an fun to see all the growth and new people while connecting them at the front desk or interacting with them daily in the building.

Q: What is your favorite TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Core Value and why?

Victoria: “Be your best and have fun” is my favorite Core Value. Being your best personally and professionally are two of the most important things in life – only you can control them. I also think that most businesses merely focus on employees getting their work done and forget about creating an enjoyable work environment as well. Here people work hard, have fun, and are passionate about accomplishing the goals and vision of the organization. It’s a cool place to learn and work.

Q: Who has been the best mentor or teacher for you?

Victoria: Customer Care Manager Denise Droscha has been the best mentor to me because, just observing her day-to-day tasks, it’s clear she goes above and beyond. She is a dedicated employee at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® in that she absolutely loves what she does and is phenomenal at it. I give her and her team all the credit in the world for finding solutions to the company’s toughest challenges and overcoming them with diligence, patience, and decisiveness. Denise’s positive attitude and drive is something I deem extremely admirable; I am grateful to observe and learn from someone with such strong character and integrity.

Q: Has the internship taught you anything about your field of study?

Victoria: Yes, in my major of business and administration, I can only learn so much in a classroom. This internship is a hands-on approach to learning, observing, and understanding all aspects of a well-run business. The company has doubled in size this last four years and is proactively investing in new projects to continue its success and seeing first-hand how people collaborate and execute daily projects and tasks is very enlightening.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

Victoria: I would like to find a position in my field of study, one which I truly enjoy and one on which I can build a solid career. I want to add my contribution and make a difference.

Q: What is one goal you hope to accomplish while working here and what do you hope to take away from this internship experience?

Victoria: One goal I hope to accomplish is to become familiar with each department and gain a deeper understanding of what each area does for the brand. I hope to gain knowledge and experience from this internship I will be able to use throughout my career and in personal life. We have been fortunate to have lunch learns that teach us about all aspects of the business but also help us to grow as individuals.

Q: Okay, final question. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 items, what would you choose and why?

Victoria: (1) My dog; (2) my best friend, Hayley; and (3) an endless supply of pasta! I chose my dog because I wouldn’t be able to go far away from her for that long. I chose Hayley because she is my best friend, and we basically do everything else together, so I might as well bring her. And finally I chose pasta because it is my favorite food, and I wouldn’t mind eating it every day.

If you are interested in working at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® visit our careers website.

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.