The upside to college internships

Written by Brooke Weatherford

Internships are a valuable opportunity for young adults and college students desiring to enter the workforce to gain real-world experience performing job duties in their related field of study.  Today, having a college education is becoming more and more common, and internships are beginning to step into the role as the experiences which can set a potential job prospect apart from the rest. This year was the first time TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc.  offered this opportunity to seven students, and I was lucky enough to be one of them.

BrookeEnter Brooke Weatherford.  I am the marketing and sales intern here at the corporate office. Six other interns and I started our assignments May 20 at the conclusion of spring semester at Michigan State University. My assignment ends in late August, right before I head back to campus for the fall semester.

I am originally from East Lansing, Michigan, and am a junior marketing major in the Eli Broad College of Business. This is my first internship, and I’m happy for the opportunity to get involved with such a great company.  In my free time I enjoy painting, volleyball, seeing live music, and spending time with my friends and family. I applied for the internship with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® when my mom heard about it through a mutual connection, and she mentioned it to me. She instantly had my attention  when she told me it was paid, and the company was international and growing rapidly. I was sold on the idea after checking out TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s social media sites and seeing all the amazing things they were doing  both in marketing and in the community.

My day-to-day tasks at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® are always changing. Two days out of the week I work at the corporate-owned Lansing franchise with the marketing director, Sherry Campbell.  She keeps me busy writing blog posts, updating the local webpage, creating coupons, assisting with grass roots marketing efforts, and a host of other marketing tasks. The other two days of the week, I work at Home Office where one day I assist with corporate marketing (such as drafting this blog!), and the other day I assist the sales team.  The sheer versatility of tasks I handle has provided me with valuable hands-on practice in many different areas of marketing, and I am very thankful for that.

My best and most helpful teacher has been Sherry Campbell, marketing director at the Lansing franchise.  She is always getting me excited about my work and is very patient and helpful, answering any and all questions I have. She also goes out of her way to invite me along to meetings and networking events she attends. I will be able to apply what she and the other members of the marketing and sales teams have taught me in my classes, and when speaking of my past experience and business knowledge to future job interviewers.

One thing I have learned about my field of study which surprised me is the level of importance communication and teamwork marketing a business takes.  At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® I see firsthand the constant communication which occurs between team members and with outside sources.  As an international company, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a few key qualities which make me believe it to be a special place to work and learn. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is a family-owned business and prides itself in family values such as caring for people, inclusion, giving back to the community, and (my personal favorite) “The Grandma Rule®”, which is to treat everyone as if they were your grandma. These core values, along with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s relaxed friendly atmosphere, set it apart from other large franchise businesses. I really like that, even as an intern.

Over the next few blog posts, I will virtually introduce you to the six other interns from each department, giving you a feel for what it is like to participate in a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc. internship. I will also explain the value an internship program provides to college students and the companies for whom they work and give you an idea of what might be in store for you, should you apply for a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc. internship next year.

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.

Landscaping 101

Written by Claire Schneider

Does your yard scare the neighborhood children? Does it need some TLC, but you don’t know where to start? Don’t worry because we have simple tips to turn your yard into a landscaping wonder!

Quick stat: According to Bob Villa, the first impression, aka the yard, can add 20% to your home’s value, a figure that rivals the return on a new kitchen or bath.

Before you begin

landscapingBefore starting any projects, make a wish list. What would your ideal yard look like? How do you plan to use it? Do your kids or pets need a nice grassy area? Do you want a formal look or a natural one? These are just some of the questions to consider when landscaping. Once you have your vision, draw a sketch of your dream yard and include designated locations. For example, a dining space with a grill, a lounge area accompanied with a hammock, and general open areas. The sketch doesn’t have to be fancy; just some circles and squares with labels will do.

Better Homes and Gardens also recommends studying the sun and wind patterns. If you’re building a patio, you might want to place it on the west side of the house. Just remember, it will get a lot of afternoon sun. This means dinnertime in August will be served up with a side of sweltering heat. Wind whistling around a corner will quickly extinguish a fire pit. These are common design mistakes novice landscapers make.

Remember, landscaping projects don’t need to be completed all at once. You can continually add to it over time. Not everyone is Ahmed Hassan from Yard Crashers, who enlists a team of 20 people to make over a yard in just a few days. So start small by adding focal points, such as a flower bed or a modest rock garden, and live with those for a while. Once you’re comfortable carrying your plan forward, the final draft of your sketches will become an eye-pleasing reality. Add family and friends and you’ve got yourself the best outdoor entertainment space on the block!

Simple landscaping tips

1.  Keep it green and clean. It’s important to protect your landscaping investment and keep your property looking its very best. According to WikiHow, taller grass is healthier grass. It shades out weed seeds, preventing them from sprouting. It keeps the soil cooler, moist longer and encourages the proliferation of soil microbes. This doesn’t mean let the lawn go wild but instead when mowing your lawn, have the blades set at the highest setting (3 1/2 to 4 inches).  Also keep the lawn raked and free from pine needles and leaves for a nice clean look.

2.  Trim plants. Shaping plants not only enhances their beauty and gives a manicured look, it also allows sun to reach their center. This is essential to plant health. The best time to trim plants is early spring or late fall.

3.  Add colors and textures. When selecting plants, make sure they have variations in color and textures throughout the year. This will ensure your yard will always have visual interest. Choose flowering plants for warm weather, bushes with leaves that change color seasonally, or have colored berries during the winter.

4.  Mulch: Your new best friend. Adding mulch to flower beds is a simple and inexpensive way to add curb appeal. Mulch makes it look like you spent hours gardening, when actually it only took a few minutes to add it to flower beds.

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.

4 Simple Tips to Get Your House Sold

Guest blog by Lisa Kirchhoff 

Lisa Kirchhoff

The real estate market has been a tough one in many areas of the country, but even so, there will always be people out there looking to buy a home. Whether it’s a young couple searching for their first starter home, a family in need of a bigger home, or an older couple hoping to downsize to something smaller, homes of all sizes and styles will always be in demand. So how do you set your home apart from the many others on the market? It’s simple when you follow a few tips:

1.       Clean. It may sound like an obvious task before putting your home on the market, but cleaning should also include everything from surface dirt on places you might normally miss (light switches, door frames, ceiling fans, to name a few) to tossing old toys, knickknacks, paper, and general clutter. If you have items you want to clear out buy may not be ready to get rid of for good, rent a small trailer, storage space or Pod unit to store it. Moving out an extra end table, floor lamp or large toys will visually unclutter a room so potential buyers can focus on the unique features of the home- not your stuff. Use moving blankets and furniture covers to protect items in storage until you’re moved into your new home.

2.       Stage. If you’ve seen the home staging shows on the popular home and garden cable TV channels, you know the right changes can make a huge difference in the appearance of your home. But don’t be scared off by thinking the job is just too big. Every little thing counts: remove personal photos and mementos, add a vase of fresh flowers to a few rooms, place extra lights in rooms that feel dark, tone down bright paint colors or add a layer of neutral beige to white walls.

3.       Start outside. First impressions count. When prospective buyers walk up to the front door, they’ll take notice of things you may not always recognize:  peeling paint, weedy flowerbeds, dead shrubs, a broken mailbox. They may believe that if the outside has not been kept up, the owners have not kept up repairs on the inside, and house tour will begin with a negative slant. Keep your front steps clean and the lawn mowed, add a potted plant or two, touch up paint on the front door, add a fresh new mailbox and house numbers, and keep weeds out of your landscaping.

4.       Be flexible. Having your home on the market can be an exhausting experience, but staying flexible with showings can be the difference between a sale and prospective buyers finding something else instead because your house was not available for a showing. Keep your home as clean as possible at all times so you can be ready if a realtor calls to ask for an immediate showing. It can be difficult with small kids, but keep a few empty laundry baskets or large plastic boxes handy so you can quickly toss in toys and other clutter from countertops and shuttle them to your vehicle before the relator and prospective buyers arrive. Keep a box of disposable cleaning wipes in each bathroom and in the kitchen so you can quickly wipe down surfaces in an instant. Also before they arrive, open blinds and curtains to create as much natural light as possible.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Kirchhoff is a writer and blogger for USCargoControl.com , an e-commerce company that specializes in moving supplies for both professional and DIY movers.

East Coast Franchise Opportunities Now Available!

East Coast Franchise Opportunities Now Available!

From the Capitol to the coast, we want to move people forward in life with people like you who possess business acumen and a dedication to making things just right for our customers. We have opened 28 new marketing areas throughout the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia region.

Hottest new open cities include:

Richmond, Va.
Roanoke, Va.
Baltimore, Md.
Frederick, Md.
Washington, D.C.
D.C. metro markets

If you are interested in learning more about owning a franchise in these areas please reach out to our Franchise Development team by completing our Contact Me form.

Creative Tips for Storing Holiday Decorations


Written by Nick Howison and Brad Hillard

The holidays are in full swing, but they end as quickly as they come. The bittersweet combination of decorating, time with in-laws and shopping is an emotional roller coaster; especially when the season comes to a halt. If it seems like a good idea to simply throw all of your holiday decorations in a box in the attic, this post is for you.  The results of a hasty holiday tear-down can be disastrous and make decorating for the next year even more complicated. Take the edge off by using the following tips to efficiently pack and store your holiday decorations:

  1. Rally the Troops: In my house, everyone is determined to “deck the halls”, but when it comes to taking it down, nobody wants to help. Every year I earn their help by taking them out to a dinner and a movie-of-choice after the decorations are down.
  2. Label your Boxes: Writing “fragile ornaments” and “singing-Santa clause”  on their respective boxes helps organize the entire decorating process from start to finish. It’s helpful when assigning tasks to family members. It allows me to ask, “Can you bring down the hand-carved reindeer set from the attic? It’s in box labeled ‘Xmas Living Room’.”
  3. Choose Wisely: TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your packing needs.  Some unique ones include a dish pack box with an insert for your Christmas tree ornaments. These boxes are big and hold a variety of items so you can use them year-round. Click here to see a few options available to you.
  4. Recycle: Did your gift come with bubble wrap or protective foam? Reuse these perfectly good packing materials in the place of the old, mostly-popped, bubble wrap in your decoration boxes.
  5. Christmas Creativity: Pack smaller ornaments and decorations into an empty egg carton (leftover from the plethora of consumed eggnog). This provides a protective shell for the ornaments and the cartons can be stacked inside a larger box.
  6. Light bulb!: Wrap your lights around pieces of cardboard.  This is a great way to keep the lights from tangling which in turn  protects them from annual damage. Once they are wrapped, place the cardboard pieces in a labeled box for next year.

No matter which method you choose to pack up your holiday decorations, the blog team at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® strives to move you forward no matter the task and we are always available to help with any packing challenge. Share your holiday packing tips with us in the comments!

We hope you enjoy the time spent with your families and wish you a happy holiday season!

10 Things You Must Know About Winter Moving

Winter is just around the corner and although the season brings harsh weather, families throughout the country will move into new homes. Our friends in colder climates know what exactly they are up against: ice, snow, slick roads, and frigid temperatures … all of which increase the risk for personal injury and damage to valuables during a move.

If you plan to hire movers or are moving by yourself this winter (I applaud your bravery), read the following tips to stay safe during your winter move day:

1)     Avoid slip hazards by shoveling driveways and walkways before your truck arrives 

2)     Stay warm in the cold by dressing in layers; you can always remove layers if you begin to overheat.

3)      Leave the heat and electricity on in your home until you are completely moved out; consider leaving your door open during the move to balance the temperatures. Constantly walking back and forth from a warm house to a cold driveway can cause fatigue.

4)      Cover your floors with old sheets to avoid tracking mud and snow into your home 

5)      Place towels by the front door to wipe away snow from the dolly wheels as you come in and out of your home

5)      Consider purchasing extra moving pads to protect all of your belongings from the elements

6)      Ensure your moving pads remain dry at all times

7)      Have a shovel and salt on the truck so you can easily clear the loading area of ice and snow

8)      Be extremely cautious when driving and watch out for black ice 

9)      Keep towels in the truck so you can clean and dry the moving ramp while loading and unloading

10)   Carry any plants in the cab of the truck not in the back where they can be affected by cold temperatures

If you would like more information on moving during the winter, shoot us an email at moverswhoblog@twomen.com. If you have winter moving tips of your own please share them in the comments! 

Protect the Environment During Your Move

Written by Lindsay Nowak

Have you heard of the gypsy moth? No? Me either until I was tasked with communicating it to the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system on how to stay gypsy moth-free during moves.

These little creatures continue to cause problems throughout the United States which affects the way moving companies transport customers’ items across state lines.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, these bugs are one of the most destructive pests of trees and shrubs to ever be introduced in the United States. Since 1970, gypsy moths have defoliated more than 75 million acres in the U.S.

While not every state has been designated as a host state to the gypsy moth, it is important to be aware of the rules and regulations. Transporting the gypsy moth during a move could devastate trees and shrubs of an uninfected area, making it hard for families to enjoy communities and natural surroundings.

Franchises within states affected by the moths are required to comply with federal law for ensuring infected items are not taken into uninfected regions. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® requires a checklist be filled out by customers for checking off items that are moth-free and safe to transport into uninfected areas. This checklist goes with the customers’ goods when being transported.

Customers are required to inspect outdoor household items, such as grills and lawn furniture for gypsy moth egg masses before being transported.

For more information on the gypsy moth and how to avoid these pests when moving, visit http://www.hungrypests.com/YourMoveGypsyMothFree/. I recommend taking a look at the quarantine map as well as the tips to prevent the spreading of gypsy moths when moving.