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. 

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s Movers for Military collection celebrates Veterans

By Dawn Kroeger

Veterans. When I hear the word “veteran”, many words come to mind such as sacrifice, honor, hero, freedom.  Like many others, I don’t first think of words like homeless, jobless, poor or hungry. But all of those words – the words that come to mind and those that don’t – are a reality for many veterans.

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, one third of our nation’s homeless are veterans. Additionally, the NCHV estimates roughly 1.5 million other veterans are at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks and poor living conditions in overcrowded or substandard housing.

Much work is being done to combat this crisis for veterans and their families from bills introduced to the Senate and House of Representatives to national and local organizations working on preventing homelessness while serving current homeless.

This year TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc. introduced a new initiative being rolled out in 36 TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations called Movers for Military. The goal of this program is to partner with local agencies serving homeless veterans to provide much needed essentials such as towels, bedding, clothing and toiletries. In an effort to educate children about the needs of veterans and provide an opportunity for service, Movers for Military also engages local schools to join in the collection.

With the support of more than 60 media partners, as Veteran’s Day approaches, Movers for Military has been successful in year one by collecting more than 15,000 items for local agencies and increasing awareness of the needs of homeless veterans.

Check out some of these great clips and photos highlighting the Movers for Military program for our local veterans in need:

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Living Better in San Diego radio interview

Miami television station website article

K92.3 FM Orlando website

 

5 Ways to Make Moving Memorable for Children

Written by Shelby Reno

Leaving the familiar can be tough on the psyche for anyone, but for a child it can be traumatic. The only bedroom they’ve ever known might be what they are letting go, so identifying ways to ensure your child’s experience is a positive one is easier than you might expect.

Our movers are encouraged to meet the child at his or her level. Once a kid feels comfortable with the people who are hired to move the entire contents of his life, the anxiety is diffused and the child is more apt to join in the adventure. We recently saw this in action at a franchise in Atlanta, Ga. After engaging the six-year-old boy of a couple who was moving for the first time in that child’s brief history, he wanted to help the moving team, so the movers made him an honorary supervisor, outfitting him with an official armband. The boy’s parents were so touched that they sent a heartfelt letter to the office and thanked the moving team for making an indelible impression on the youngster. Giving them a part to play can make all the difference to our precious little ones.

Here are five key thoughts to consider if you’re moving with small ones:

1) Harness the good in change, and frame the move as a grand adventure. Plan a fun event after the move is complete. Make a favorite meal or buy a new piece of furniture you know they’ll love, like a bean bag, canopy netting for the bed, an inexpensive tent for the new room or a wall decal of their favorite cartoon character.

2) Remove the unknown by planning ahead. Keep the move a daily topic, especially as the move nears. You’ll pick up on anxiety triggers allowing you to head off potential issues.

3) Pack special toys and lovies in a carry-on that never leaves the child’s side. Keeping their favorite things close is a sure-fire way to curry comfort and reduce anxiety.

4) Make introductions to strangers on move day. Our movers care about pets and kids, and there are countless stories of our teams going above and beyond for our clients’ loved ones. While moving can be stress-filled, professional movers know they are hired to minimize this to any degree they’re able.

5) Take advantage of opportunities to be inclusive with your children. Many kids just want to have place in the process. There are opportunities abound that give them a role while keeping them out of the fray. Ensure their special tasks are safe but rewarding.

If you and your chosen movers handle your children’s experience with TLC, your move will be memorable for all the right reasons.

We Are Moving People Forward at the Franchise Expo in Anaheim this Weekend

Are you ready to move people forward with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?

Face it. Moving isn’t easy and is typically full of emotions that elevate stress levels. Our job at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is to reduce stress, making the move go as smoothly as possible regardless of the situation. We do this with a system of great franchisees committed to strong core values which are centered on stellar customer service. And while our franchisees are working on the business with a focus on accountability, we provide them the tools to build an effective and efficient team and operation.  Our success has resulted in 34 consecutive months of growth, with 29 consecutive months of double-digit growth.  The last 18 months of growth have been at record setting levels!

And we want you to consider being part of this.

Visit us at booth #616 to learn about our 26% growth in three years, our significant investment in system technology, and our favorite: The Grandma Rule®. We will run hourly drawings for models of our eye-catching trucks, and during the last hour of the show each day, you can have your picture taken with Truckie, our famous mascot.

Revisiting Our Core Purpose

Written by Randy Shacka, president of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc.

Why?

What does a simple three letter word like why really mean? Why does it matter? Although simple by most accounts asking yourself “why” in business should be the cornerstone for your business’s existence.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® recently relooked at this question in hopes of refreshing our core purpose.  Why do we do what we do? Why is TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® in business?  Several years back our organization asked this question and came up with our original core purpose: “To be a role model in our industry”.  This was fitting at the time. When you think moving, movers or the moving industry, it doesn’t necessarily conger up warm and fuzzy thoughts.  Unfortunately, our industry is rife with unlicensed groups trying to take advantage of others.  So back then, to be a role model was definitely something to shoot for in helping to overcome this perception. Over the past several months, we have relooked at our brand, our vision and our purpose.  It was evident our purpose was missing the human element of what we do.

We looked at what our frontline staff does every day. We looked at the community outreach that is so important to us and the locations that give back as part of their daily efforts. We looked at our customers and what they say about our service (yes even when things don’t go as planned) and finally we looked at where we want to take this brand.  We realize each and every day that we have an opportunity to make someone’s day and get them through a potentially tough situation. Let’s face it, moving is not easy and is typically full of emotions that elevate our stress levels.  Our job at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is to pull up each day to someone’s driveway or business and put a smile on their face, reduce this stress and make the move go as smoothly as possible, no matter what the customer’s situation.

But our brand is much more than just customer service.  The growth we have experienced and the positive service metrics we receive are a testament to that. This reflects our old purpose and through the early years of taking care of customers one move at a time, we lived up to that purpose. As we have evolved and grown and where our company is today, it is much more than just the customer experience. It is also the experience within our organization, the passion of our employees, the sheer number of people whom may have started as a mover or customer service representative that are now business owners as franchisees. At last count I believe close to 30% of our system followed this path.

This is energizing and really shapes the passion that exists under this brand!

Through a purpose exercise it hit us smack dab between the eyes. We wake up every day truly to move people forward. Whether it’s our customers, communities, employees or the general public; our driving passion is to leverage our brand to help people progress and this will continue to fuel our drive to grow and continue to build a sustainable brand for future generations to come.

10 Renovations to Consider for Your New Home

Guest post by Erin Devine

After the selling, buying, and moving processes are over, you can sometimes find yourself living in a new house that feels a bit foreign. Renovation projects provide you with the perfect opportunity to make the most of your creative skills while transforming your house into a home. Here are 10 popular renovation projects you can undertake to add some personality and style to your new stomping grounds:

Install Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring gives your home a distinctive mark of elegance and sophistication. You can install tongue-and-groove style planks that slide together. Visit one of the large hardware stores near you and get a lesson from an expert. Not to mention that hardwood flooring is an investment that increases the value of your home if you have to move again in the future.

Accentuate the Kitchen

Remove the knobs and pulls from the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen. Find pewter or antique finishes in restoration hardware stores. Shiny ceramic knobs are available in many colors. Backsplash tiles can also take any kitchen from drab to beautiful, and most colors and styles come in mosaic mesh mount for easy installation.

Install Medallions on the Ceiling

Unless your new home has plaster moldings, you can replicate the elegant look with plastic. They are lightweight and easy to install, and they give your home a distinctive and aristocratic look.

Replace Kitchen Faucet

Style and function are important to you in the kitchen, and the right faucet can make a big difference in both. A faucet that has a high arch lets you put large pots under it so you can scrub them easily. A graceful shape complements your kitchen area as well.

Upgrade the Mudroom

Laminate flooring is, by design, perfect for the rooms of the house that are subjected to more dirt and water than others. By prepping the floor and following other recommended procedures, laminate flooring makes a beautiful floor, and it is less expensive than hardwood. You can also install it yourself with little hassle. Join an installation class at your local hardware store.

Install Stepping Stones to Your Door

Find some round or square stones at your local store, or buy a bag of quick-setting concrete mix. Use your old cake pans or your child’s plastic toys as forms, and paint them when they are dry.

Upgrade Your Showerheads

Replace an old showerhead with a large, luxurious one. Find one that conserves water but still creates a wide spray. Or, you may want to purchase a showerhead that features a pulsing massage.

Replace Switch Plates

Armed with only a screwdriver, you can remove the old plates and install new ones. You can choose the same color for all plates or adapt your choice to match each room.

Spruce Up Your Bathrooms

Older homes often have a small mirror in the bathroom. However, you can easily update your bathroom by replacing it with a mirror that covers the entire wall, making the bathroom appear larger than it actually is. You also may want to purchase a vanity so that you have something to store your make-up, medications, and toiletries in.

Buy a Bucket of Paint

Nothing improves the overall appearance of a home more than fresh paint. Start with the room that needs it the most. If there’s a room without windows, you may want to choose a light color to instantly brighten the space.

There are many renovation possibilities for your new home, and all it takes is a little bit of dedication and some elbow grease to make a new house truly feel like home.

 

Erin Devine blogs for Floor & Décor Outlets, a factory direct flooring company specializing in hardwood and tile floors. She also maintains her own interior design and home renovation blog, DIY Home & Floor.

Vote for your favorite Outfox a Box submissions

We have picked the top five Outfox A Box videos from YouTube and are showcasing them on our Facebook page. The best part is that you can vote for your favorite submissions by visiting the page and clicking on the “Vote Now!” application. The video with the most votes at the end of August will receive $1,000. Second and third prizes also receive cash prizes. Check them out!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Outfox a Box

moverswhoblog:

Excellent tips from a recent customer.

Originally posted on work / life.:

This Spring, Lauren and I put down good faith money to start construction on our new home. The builder broke ground in May 7th, finished construction in a little less than 90 days, and we closed in the first week of August. And we totally live there now.

We closed on the new house on a Monday and set moving day for Friday. I took the week off work. Lauren and her parents showed up every night after work and we painted. Trusty Tan in the master bedroom, Nuthatch in the master bath, Nomadic Desert everywhere else, with Loch Blue and Parakeet accents in the living room and morning room. During the day I would paint the bedroom and bathroom listening to the Star Wars Radio Dramas and in the evening, when the paint party would get started, we would crank the “Classic Rock’s Greatest Hits” or “

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Storage Tips 102: Packing, Preparing, and Unloading

Written by Lisa Kirchhoff

For many, a household move often also means placing some items in storage. Below is our second installment on tips for storing your household items. For information on choosing a storage facility and safeguarding your items, see Storage Tips 101.

So you’ve chosen your storage facility, signed the lease agreement, and are ready to start packing. Whether long-term or short-term, nearby or far away, keep these tips in mind as you pack, prepare and unload:

Packing

  • Along with clearly marking each box with a contents list, be sure to keep a detailed written list of what will be going in the storage unit. Also record an estimated value for each item. File away a master list with a copy of your rental agreement and insurance papers.
  • Use masking tape to create an “X” on glass mirrors and tabletops; this adds strength and can prevent shattering. Adding flat cardboard pieces on both sides add even more protection.
  • Clean fabric chairs, sofas, and mattresses before placing in storage to prevent mold growth. Take care to remove any stains as well as possible, as they often deepen in color over time.
  •  If possible, disassemble tables and beds before loading them onto the truck.  This will help you maximize space in the truck and the storage unit, and doing so ahead of time will save time during unloading.
  • Flat screen televisions are best stored in their original boxes if available. If not, a box made specifically for flat screen TVs is ideal. It’s important to keep your LCD or plasma TV upright as the internal elements in the screen can become damaged if it’s placed flat, tilted or set on its side.

Preparing the storage unit and your items

  • Before you begin bringing items into the unit, place wooden pallets or plastic sheeting on concrete floors to keep moisture at bay. Check with your local grocery store or home good stores for free pallets; for plastic, visit your home improvement store to pick up a roll of vapor barrier sheeting that’s typically used in construction.
  • If you anticipate your items will be stored long-term (more than three months), invest in quality fabric furniture covers for sofas, fabric chairs and appliances. Moving blankets secured with oversized rubber bands or cinch straps are also an excellent choice. For shorter term storage, plastic furniture covers work well for light coverage, but the plastic will trap heat and moisture, so they’re not best for using a longer length of time.
  • When storing washers, refrigerators, and other appliances, be sure all water is cleared from any attached hoses or internal mechanisms. Water can freeze in cold temperatures and cause mildew during the warmer months. To keep parts together, store any hoses or other attachments inside the appliance.
  • Before storing lawn mowers, motorcycles, snow blowers, and other gas-powered items, drain all oil and gas first.
  • Spray and clean wood furniture with a furniture cleaning spray to add protection to the surface. Metal objects will benefit from a light wipe down of oil to prevent tarnishing and rusting.
  • Purchase an inexpensive step stool or ladder to keep in the unit to make stacking and unstacking taller items easy and safe.

Unloading

  •  Unload appliances first into the unit so they are in the back, freeing space up front for items you may need to access.
  • Place items so an easy-to-access path remains through the unit.
  • Prop freezer and refrigerator doors slightly ajar to prevent the growth of mold and odors. Place an opened box of baking soda inside to further prevent odors.
  • For long-term storage, remove any plastic wrap that’s been used to seal doors and drawers closed during the move. Plastic prohibits air flow and can trap moisture and heat, causing warping or mold.
  • Box up or cover everything you can with moving blankets or sheeting to prevent dust and dirt from collecting.
  • Be creative to maximize space in the unit: fill dresser drawers with clothes, suitcases with towels and linens, and bookshelves with small boxes. Use the open space at the bottom or wardrobe boxes to store shoes and other accessories.
  • As with flat-screen TVs, do not place framed art and mirrors flat; prop upright to prevent crushing.
  • Although tempting, do not place items on sofas; long-term weight will stress the joints and can cause the frame and cushions to sag.
  • Before stacking boxes or other items on dressers or tables, cover with a lightweight moving blanket for protection against nicks, scratches and color transfer.
  • Once all items are unloaded, take photos and a video of your storage area. They will come in handy if you need a quick visual of what’s in the unit when you can’t be there. It also makes an ideal record for insurance purposes if you incur damage and need to file a claim.

Lisa is a guest writer for Movers Who Blog and has 19 moves under her belt. She works for US Cargo Control where she blogs about moving supplies

Four Million Moves

Written by: Nick

Picture this:

A truck load of bratwursts, Polka Hall of Fame’s most famous tuba player, beer, and a dancing mascot. No, we didn’t celebrate Oktoberfest early this year. We threw a party.

The invitation-only event was held at Bellevue Independent & Assisted Living in Green Bay, Wis. to honor resident Mary Nick, whose move to Bellevue earlier this year was logged as our four millionth. The residents, along with Nick’s friends and family joined in on the fun. The only thing missing was lederhosen-clad Bavarian men.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Tuba Dan Jerabek

“Tuba Dan” and his band got the party started with some world famous Polka tunes!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Four Millionth Move Celebration

The venue was packed with Nick’s fellow residents, friends, and family.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Four Millionth Move Mary Nicks

Mary Nick and Appleton Manager Josh Parma served as the guests of honor for the party.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Four Millionth Move Celebration

Josh and Mary reveling in the celebration cheer.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Four Millionth Move Celebration

Parma brought some of his staff to the celebration. Check out the guns on our mover!

If our moves keep happening at this pace, we will be celebrating our five millionth move in no time! Who knows how we will celebrate that one…any suggestions?