Help! I’ve never moved before!

Written by Nicole Harrison

If this is your first time moving, there is a lot of information you need to know in addition to hiring a professional moving company, or bribing your friends with free pizza to help you move. Even if you’ve moved before and have never used a professional moving company such as TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, there are many things to be aware of in preparation for the big day.

An accurate estimate. When you are ready for your free estimate, think about any additional storage spaces (garage, shed, attic, basement, and storage unit) you may have. In many cases customers forget about additional storage so the final bill is more money than the estimate because of these forgotten areas. Be prepared to provide the number of rooms your current house has since this will also help the estimator indicate a time frame. Finally, let us know if there are tight corners, or narrow stairwells in your house, apartment, or condo (smaller than standard doorways). Mention those hard-to-maneuver places when you are getting your estimate.

Scheduling your move. Schedule your move in advance. As soon as you know you’re moving, give TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® a call. If you are moving during the busy summer months, it’s especially important to book as far in advance as you can. We are very accommodating to last minute moves, however, during the busy months, it may be OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdifficult to get a move crew the same day or week you call. Booking early will help secure your ideal move day.

Parking. Do you live on a steep hill? Do you live in an apartment community? Is your driveway new? Is it a long walk to your house, apartment, or condo? Does your building have an elevator? If yes, do you have to reserve it for your move? These are all important things to consider before the moving crew arrives. If there are any obstacles near your home it’s important to notify the moving company so they can plan ahead of time. Our movers typically drive a 26-foot truck, if you live in an apartment, condo, or senior community, check with the property manager to see if there is a load or unload zone on the property. Help us help you by doing some research before your move.

Packing. Will you be packing some of your own items before your move? TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is a full-service moving company, and we are more than happy to help you get packed. If you would like our specially trained packers to pack your items, let us know when you book your move so it can be included in your estimate. We also sell a variety of moving boxes and packing supplies for your convenience. We post moving tips on our Facebook page every Wednesday, if you’re packing your own items, check them out!

Number of boxes. If you’ve never moved before how would you ever know how many boxes you need to fit your stuff? Use this handy guide to help decide the number of boxes you will need to pack your items. Note: the number of boxes will vary depending on the number of items you have in your house. Ask the franchise you are moving with if they will buy back unused boxes.

box estimator

What to expect on move day: Ask for your mover or driver’s phone number for the day of your move. That way, you will be able to contact them if you have any questions or if you need to give them specific directions upon their arrival. Your movers will call when they are on their way to your house. This will help you accurately prepare for their arrival. Also keep in mind to plan for the weather. Rain and snow do not scare us! We will move you under many weather conditions. Remember, movers are people, too. If it’s a blistering hot day, it may be nice to offer your movers water, tea or some other refreshing drink to cool off and keep hydrated. Same for the winter, if it’s brutally cold, allow your movers time to warm up either in their truck or in your home. The time movers take for breaks will not be counted on your final bill.

In the whirlwind of planning and this life changing event, sit back and soak it all in. You are about to embark on an exciting new adventure. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. We are subject matter experts and have many moving, packing and organizational tips for you! To learn more about TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog.

Wrapping up Movers for Moms®, 230,000 items collected in 2015!

Movers for Moms® 2015 has officially come to a close!

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we believe every mother deserves to be thought of on Mother’s Day, regardless of her circumstancm4mes. Because of that, we came up with the Movers for Moms® program eight years ago, and it runs as our annual spring program. Our franchises team up with local schools, businesses, and other organizations to collect essential care items for mothers in need who are forced to stay in domestic abuse or homeless shelters around the time of Mother’s Day. Our franchises distribute collection boxes around the community to gather the items, and deliver them to their local shelter partners on or before Mother’s Day weekend.

The Movers for Moms® program continues to grow year after year. It was first created with just 20 Michigan franchises and eight years later, we’re proud to say our franchises have collected more than 600,000 items for moms in need over the years! This year alone, our fantastic franchises collected more than 230,000 items for delivery to local shelters!

Movers for Moms® success is built on the generosity of local communities coming together to support at-risk moms. We want to thank everyone who has generously acted as m4m5a donation drop off location, our customers who so thoughtfully give items to the cause and support their local women’s and homeless shelters, and to our businesses and schools who work so hard to collect items for local moms!

We’re proud to live out our core value of giving back to the community, not just when running our annual Movers for Moms® program, but all year long.

The photos illustrate the impact Movers for Moms® not only has on moms in need, but on the entire community as they come together to support those in need.

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Follow Movers for Moms® on Facebook, Twitter!

Throw a rockin’ Fourth of July party your guests will never forget!

Written by Nicole Harrison

The Fourth of July is one of the most anticipated days of the summer. Fireworks, sparklers, hotdogs, swimming, and special time with friends and family are some highlights. Whether you are heading to the lake, or staying home, we have a few pointers to make your Fourth of July bash a blow out!


Luckily, almost every year on the Fourth of July, the sun is shining, there are blue skies and beautiful weather. It’s the epitome of the summer season. The food menu can be one of the most stressful aspects of party planning. Whe n you Memorial-Day-Partythink about the Fourth of July, you think about grilling or cooking over a campfire. Both options are perfect for the summer season and being outside with friends and family! Hot dogs, brats, and hamburgers are delicious meal options, and relatively inexpensive. Popular side dishes can include: baked beans, fruit and vegetable trays, potato salad, potato chips, the list could go on and on! Pinterest is also a great resource for festive displays of foods and fun recipes.


It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially if you’re spending it outside in the warmer temps! Consider purchasing metal or plastic buckets to hold the drinks you are serving. All you have to do is fill them up with ice and bury the drinks in the ice. You can also fill beverage dispensers with homemade punch, various lemonades, water, tea, etc. Most likely, it’s going to be a hot day, make sure you have plenty of ice to keep your drinks cool and refreshing!

Yard Games

My favorite part of the Fourth of July! If you’re competitive like me, plan out fun yard games and make a friendly contest out of it. Here are a few popular games everyone will enjoy: corn hole, water balloon fight/toss, scavenger hunt, bad mitten, 4-square, kickball, etc. The Fourth of July is all about celebrating our independence as a country and enjoying fellowship. Plan fun activities for everyone to take part in!

Musicmemorial day

Pump up the tunes! If you have a stereo or speakers, turn on the summer jams! Pandora and Spotify have energizing playlists you can spend the day rocking out to. Some of our favorites: summer hits of the 2000’s, Classic Rock, throwback, beach vibes, and Fourth of July party playlists.


Leave the fireworks for the professionals. If you have never had your own firework display, we recommend going to a local show. If you’re set on lighting off your own fireworks, do enough research beforehand and make sure you are a large distance from the observers. Fireworks are fun, but can be very dangerous. No matter what you decide to do, have fun! Sparklers are an easy way for the kids (and adults) to have fun and express themselves. See who can spell their name in the air before their sparklers burn out, or encourage the kiddos to wave them in the air or twirl in circles.

We hope you have a rockin’ Fourth of July party! As always, be smart and safe out there!

Cherishing moments with your children this Father’s Day

Written by Mike Bowers, Sales Development Specialist

My father was raised on a potato farm in Croswell, Michigan. He was a model student who won cross-country championships, and went on to the Marine Corps at the age of 18 where he continued to excel and receive accolades. He was always busy and worked 60-hour weeks as an automation electrician at a metal stamping plant, working side jobs and at one point also taking Father's Daynight classes to obtain more certifications for his job. The majority of our family photos include my father in the background still dressed in his dark navy work uniform. I can still smell the bearing grease and hydraulic fluid his boots emitted if I close my eyes and concentrate hard enough.

I spent a good portion of my childhood playing in sports tournaments and school events and I was often disappointed as I looked into the audience to see if my dad was there to watch. I frequently participated in dinner table discussions about how I need to apply myself more and always give my best attempt at everything I do. If there was room for improvement, the Sergeant oozed out of my father and squeezed out every ounce of effort I had. Like most young adults, I always thought I had it worse off than most kids. I used to say to myself, “What could he possibly know about being a teenager in the 90s?” and “When I have kids …!”

Fast forward to today. I am an adult with two children and wrapped up in “life”. I came to the realization that my dad’s seven-day work weeks paid for my karate lessons and moved us out of a declining Father's Day 2neighborhood and into a blue-ribbon school district. The long hours he devoted to his job (he still works at the same plant seven days a week!) has shown me how to endure sacrifice. I hear all of the parental guidance and speeches of tough-love echo through my head as I find myself sputtering the exact same advice to my children – verbatim! There we have it … I have become my FATHER — it must be hardwired into my DNA. I have been told that I walk like him and I have the same mannerisms. Ironically, I have transformed into the parent I insisted I would never resemble.

It was Father’s Day 2012, I went to visit my dad and found him in the garage tinkering with his generator. Out of nowhere he said words that I never expected to hear from him. Tears welled up in his eyes and he said, “Michael, I have worked my entire life away and I missed all of you kids growing up.” We stood in silence for a few seconds and I assured him he has done an incredible job. As I have admitted many times before, he molded me into the man I am today and I could not thank him enough! Is it possible to be a great father and still feel like you failed? I could only be so lucky to have the positive impact on my children as he did on me.

Father's Day 5The words, “Cherish Every Moment” are now tattooed on my shoulder to remind me that we only go around this life once. As an adult, it is very easy to get lost in work and other responsibilities, unfortunately taking away precious time of watching your children growing up. Live without regrets and be thankful for all you are given. Once you are done reading this, call your dad or your child and take the time to tell them how much you appreciate them! I could not be happier to be just like my hero, my role model, my FATHER.

I wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day!

Smile and snap a photo: TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Moves Me contest starts today!

Written by Nicole Harrison


Help us celebrate our 30 year anniversary by participating in our summer photo contest!

We have exciting news! Beginning today, our summer photo contest: TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Moves Me is launching! We hope you will participate, whether it be by submitting a photo or by voting on your favorite picture!

DSC_0017_edited What is TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Moves Me?

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Moves Me is a national photo contest that will run from June 15 until July 17. We are giving away 1,500 awesome, super-cool TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® t-shirts from our vintage 1985 line to help celebrate our 30th anniversary!

To participate in the contest, all you need to do is snag a free shirt, take a fun, creative photo of yourself wearing the shirt, and submit it to our Facebook page. Once the submission period is done, a team from our corporate office will vote and narrow down to 30 finalists.

After the top 30 finalists have been selected, you will be able to vote for your favorite picture. The three photos with the most votes win!

Did we mention the amazing prizes?! First place will receive $1,000, second place receives $500, and third place receives $250!

Click here to view the official contest rules.

How do I get a shirt?

On each of our social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram, we will promote a special code that will allow you to order one of our vintage shirts for FREE. If you’re interested in getting a free shirt and participating in the contest, check out our social channels and order your shirt today!

Disclaimer: We are giving away 1,500 shirts across the United States. Our vintage tees are first come, first served and will only be available (for free) until we run out!

How do I participate?

  1. Get your FREE vintage TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® t-shirt from one our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.
  2. Get a photo of yourself in your totally awesome new shirt! The more creative, the better.
  3. Submit your photo on our Facebook page: between June 17 and July 5
  4. On July 7, the top 30 photos will be open for public voting until July 17
  5. The three photos with the most votes will be announced on July 30

Here’s what we’re looking for:DSC_0036_edited
Creativity– Wear your shirt while sky-diving, rock-climbing, or doing something that’s not an everyday event. Don’t be shy! Snap photos of you in your shirt with our movers during a move, or following our core values such as giving back to the community. Props such as boxes and moving equipment are an added bonus!
Quality photo– Blurry photos or selfies that do not show your entire TMT shirt will not make the cut! We want clear photos that clearly show you out and about in your new TMT shirt.
Description– A unique description will be taken into account when narrowing down to the top 30 photos.
Family friendly– We are looking for family-friendly photos of you in your TMT shirt. Would your grandma approve? Nothing inappropriate will be accepted in the contest i.e. inappropriate hand gestures, clothing, smoking, drinking … you get the idea.

Contest timeline
We’re glad you asked! The contest starts today and officially ends Friday, July 17.
Here are the important dates to remember:

June 17- July 5 — Submit a photo of yourself to our Facebook page.
July 7 — Top 30 photos will be announced!
July 7-July 17 — Top 30 photos will be open for public voting. You can vote for a photo once a day for the duration of the voting period.
July 20 — Announce the top three winners!

We can’t wait to see your photo! If you have additional questions please email Good luck!

Why hire a professional moving company this summer?

Written by Nicole Harrison


It’s the peak of busy moving season! Each summer, families frantically pack and move while the weather is cooperating and before school starts back up in the fall. Moving is already a dreaded event in many peoples’ lives. You have to coordinate schedules, pack your belongings, and find a crew to move you if you decide to hire a company. As tempting as it may be, bribing your family members with beer and pizza is not all it’s thought up to be. Yes, they love you and want to help you, but you don’t want to burden them with moving day stresses. Most likely, they are too nice to tell you they don’t want to do it, anyway!

We are a professional moving company with many years of moving and packing experience, and we are true subject matter experts in all things moving. Check out some of the reasons you should consider hiring TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® for your upcoming, summer move.

Full-service moving company. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is a full-service moving company. That means we not only do the heavy lifting, we offer packing services to pack any and all items for you prior to the move — this is perfect for busy households who don’t have time to pack themselves. Along with our packing services, we also Two Men and a Trucksell moving boxes and packing supplies if you choose to pack yourself.

Professional movers. All of our movers are friendly, professional, and in uniform. They are also put through extensive training before they conduct any moves. This provides peace of mind for our customers, as it’s often stressful enough for strangers to come into your home to pack and move all of your prized possessions.

Background checked. Each mover and driver is background checked and drug screened prior to their hiring. Our movers and drivers go into your home to move your most precious belongings, and interact with your entire family.  We want to make certain they are stand-up men who will do an exceptional job while exceeding your expectations.

Understanding employees. We know moving is tough, but we understand this stress and work together as a team to eliminate it as much as possible. Our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® teams do everything they can to give you a smooth transition. That way, you can put your feet up and enjoy your new space in no time!

Padding and stretch wrap service. We offer free padding and stretch wrapping for your furniture and delicate items to ensure they are protected during the move and to eliminate any damages that may occur.  We are moving, after all, so damages-free moves are never 100% guaranteed. However, by offering these services, it means you can rest a little easier knowing your items are protected during transport.Customer Service photo

Customer service. At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we’re extremely proud of our 96 percent customer referral rate. We pride ourselves on our top-notch customer service and expertise. Our employees are passionate about what they do, you can tell in their positive attitudes and friendly manner! Moving day doesn’t have to be stressful — you can always interact with our movers as they’re in and out of your home during the day. They love our customers, but even more, they love knowing they’ve made an impact on families during their move day.

Give back to the community. One of our core values is to give back to the community. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s Founder Mary Ellen Sheets donated her first $1,000 she made. She divvied the profit into 10, $100 donations and distributed them to various charities in the Lansing, Mich., area. Since then, we have supported numerous charities and causes throughout the country and donate 10 cents of every move to the American Cancer Society. This money goes to various branches of the American Cancer Society around the country!

These are not the only benefits of hiring TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, the list could go on and on. Summer is already known for its busy months, planning get-aways, and if you have children, a surplus of camps and activities all summer long. Hiring a professional moving company will give you a little more free time to focus on what matters most, your family!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the largest and first franchised moving company in the United States. To learn more about us, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook. If you would like a free moving quote visit:

Parents who are moving with kids, keep your cool

Written by: Arika Ford

Our children mimic our behavior and as parents, we are their first teachers in life with a strong influence over them for many of their developmental years. The years when our children are growing and developing can be tumultuous at times, there may be many ups and downs, but it is crucial to stay positive.

Moving is a big life change and can be extremely overwhelming for adults and children. Sometimes, families move as a result of less than ideal situations, such as divorce, job loss, or other changes that makes this stressful event even worse. It is imperative we remain calm and positive, not only for our sake, but for the sake of our children whom we love and want to succeed in all things. Below are simple efforts you can do to keep calm, and maintain your game face for your kids during the move!

Maintain normalcy-If you regularly have a family movie night or game night, I encourage you to keep it scheduled and to not be tempted to cancel it. This is time well spent bonding and relaxing with your family. Many feelings and emotions can come out during normal activities with your kids and move time can bring on a lot of those. It is in everyone’s best interest that kids have a time to express their emotions verbally to you so they don’t act them out physically. Even if you ask them what is wrong, they are likely not able to vocalize their emotions simply Truckie’s Treasure Chestbecause they don’t have an understanding of what they are feeling or why. For these reasons and many others, keep a normal schedule as much as possible for as long as possible. Children feel secure with a routine. Play a moving game with them, get the toy trucks out and play “moving to a new house”. Who knows, you may enjoy it more than they do, and find it as a good way to release emotions as well.

Maintain positivity-If you are managing a move, you are likely dealing with an increased number of people, who may not seem as sensitive to your situation as you would like. This can easily build up frustration as your patience is being spent on interacting and managing your feelings around strangers. If you need a release, be sure you aren’t taking it out on your children. It is important we are aware of our own emotions during this time. We must remain positive, especially in front of our kids, and sometimes that means we need to have a little alone time to wind down. It’s okay to do that! If you need to talk with your spouse, siblings, or best friend to vent a little in order to come full circle in your own thoughts and feelings, do it! Be sure you also reflect on the positive side of things as this will not only help you, but your family as well.

Keep them involved-Moving is scary. Young kids may not understand what is happening, and there’s a good chance they’re nervous, too. “What’s the new house going to be like? Will I make friends there? What if no one likes me?” These are all common questions that go through kids’ minds. Keep your children involved throughout the moving process, tell them what their new home will be like and keep them updated throughout the move. You can even have them help you get packing done to prepare for the move!

Maintain work life-Yes it is tempting to use work time to handle all of the moving business we must take care of such as changing your address for the entire family, or finding new local schools, stores, or the many other searches we can conduct online to Moving with Kidssooth our nerves about an upcoming move into an unfamiliar area. But don’t do it! Now is not the time to slack at your job, you must keep up with deadlines and the pace to maintain business as usual. Don’t be sucked into conducting personal business while on the clock. Of course take care of important needs after the workday or during lunch breaks, however keep a regular schedule as much as possible, and take the time to learn exciting new places of interest once you have settled into your new home. Make it a fun event by taking the family out to explore as a fun way to relax once the move is said and done.

Playing creative and fun games with your kids during this time can certainly ease their stress, which will in turn, ease yours. Just remember to stay positive about all moving aspects, there is a bright side to most things in life and moving can definitely be one of those bright sides! To make moving with kids even more stress-free and positive, hire a professional moving company to take the stress away on move day.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. We work day in and day out to move people forward®. To learn more about us, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Accessories: Organize them to find them!

Written By Arika Ford

“Don’t just put it down, put it away!” This statement rings true in households throughout the country, my mother used to say it to me, now I say it to my family. It’s so much easier to set something down than to put it where it belongs. If you’r e anything like me, you have a mess of gorgeous costume jewelry that doesn’t get used because it’s tangled and disorganized. How much money have you spent on your jewelry, scarves, hats, and purses? Are you getting your money’s worth? I know, I have my favorites too, there’s the jewelry I wear everyday while the trends are wasting away in a wadded up pile in my jewelry box because I am in a rush and don’t have time to dig through them.

If your accessories were conveniently organized and easy to access, I know you would take my mother’s advice and actually put things away where they belong. Ladies, I have some life-changing tips to help you get organized so you can actually wear those expensive pieces you’ve bought over the years.

Dig out old picture frames, jewelry, and a few ornate hooks to create a picture perfeFrame2ct display of your favorite jewelry sets. If the picture frame is old or dull, purchase spray paint (my favorite is gold and silver with the glitter specs in it) and freshen them up. Use simple hooks or fancy dresser drawer knobs to hang your jewelry on. Drill the hooks in the wall inside the frame and then use them to hang your earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces on. This is a fun way to decorate your dressing area or closet and keep those sets together and organized.

Purchase an inexpensive jewelry organizer and fit it right into your dresser drawer. I like to purchase clear plastic organizers and line my dresser drawers with contact paper to add a pop of color. Store all of your rings in one section and all of your earrings in another. If you cannot find contact paper, you can always use double sided tape and scrap book paper or any other type of paper you like. I also enjoy purchasing small sachets to keep my drawers smelling fresh and aromatic.

organizerHang a shoe organizer on the inside of your closet door for scarf storage. These types of shoe organizers are not only wonderful for scarves that you have rolled up and stored in each compartment, but you can also store rolled up tights, panty hose, and even your favorite pairs of socks. Be creative. Shoe organizers are great for storage, use your Imagination and make it yours!

A shadow box is a fun and decorative way to store earrings, rings, and broaches. Simply hang one on the wall or fasten it to the top of your dresser for vertical-style storage. Either way, it is decorative and easy for putting your jewelry away and keeping it organized. Shadow boxes are also wonderful for stacking, just be sure you securely fasten them together to prevent toppling.

Use skinny vases or candlesticks for organizing bracelets and watches. vaseTall, skinny vases don’t take up a lot of space and are perfect for setting on your dresser or night stand with pretty bangles or your favorite watch to be stored on. As long as the vase has a broad bottom it will catch your bracelets and keep them from being tangled. I also like to use a small figurine, like an elephant with its trunk up, to store my wedding ring on. Keep the figurine in a
special spot where you can easily access it for safe and consistent storage of your most prized rings.

I urge you to be creative with items you already have. Refresh existing pieces around the house for fun and decorative displays of your jewelry and accessories. Whether you are moving into a new home and want to organize your accessories, or you are ready to reorganize your items with summer fast approaching, these tips are key to staying organized. Have fun with it and get friends involved!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook to keep up to date on moving and organization tips and tricks.

4 tips for a stress free move to a new city

Moving to a new city where you don’t know anyone can be scary, but at the same time, exhilarating. Face it, not everyone gets a chance to start afresh in life, without baggage from your past. Here are a few tips to make your move to a new city all the more thrilling and less stressful.

Be brave

In the initial days, there may be times when you wish you were back home among familiar faTMAAT358-2258095496-Oces, where you knew everyone and everyone knew you. You may also feel perilously close to a breakdown at times, with all the moving and trying to settle into a new life and most often, a new job. Relax; it’s only normal to be afraid of all the changes going on in your life. If you feel like getting down on the kitchen floor and sobbing your heart away, do it. It’ll make you feel better. But instead of always thinking about how easy life was in your old city, try embracing the differences in your new life wholeheartedly. Instead of waiting for others to welcome you into the fold, take the initiative and extend a friendly hand. Invite your new neighbors over for a cup of coffee. A positive attitude brings about warmth and happiness in you and in people around you. Whatever you do, give yourself some time to acclimate to your new life. Don’t take any decision in haste.

Use technology

These days, you can find out which are the most happening places in your new city in less than five minutes with the help of technology. Google Maps, Yelp, and AroundMe are great for finding the best restaurants, the most popular malls and multiplexes, coffee shops etc. in your locality. If you are looking for handymen or contractors to fix up your new home, you can try the site Porch. Want to find people who share your same likes and interests? Use Meetup.

Get out and get going

Whatever you do, resist the urge to dive under the covers and spend the entire day at home, watching reruns of old movies on television. Walking is the best way to get to know a new neighborhood. It helps you get a feel of the place and the people, something hard to figure out from the isolation of a vehicle. Just make sure you are carrying a map with you so you don’t get lost. Find out where people hang out in your locality and go there. Strike up conversations with people you find interesting. Volunteer at charities that are important to you. If someone invites you to a party, don’t refuse thinking you hardly know anyone.

Take up new hobbies or revive old ones

Since you are starting your life all over again, it’s a great time to take up new hobbies or even, revive old ones. Set aside a few minutes every day to do something you enjoy. If you are fond of reading, but never used to get time at your old place, join a good library or book club in your new locality.


Kurt Jacobson is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes about rental homes for

A mother’s influence and never ending love

Written by Dawn Kroeger

In celebration of Mother’s Day and support of moms who work outside the home, I’ve come up with five simple tips to simplify and improve quality of life for you and your family.

  1. Hire a cleaning person to keep your home in tip-top shape, but not one that requires you actually pick up the house before they come and clean
  2. Hire a full-time nanny to help out, especially at dreaded bath and bed time
  3. Have all food delivered by a grocery service and make sure it is healthy and balanced – NO TRANSFAT!
  4. Sign up for one of those online style services that just sends you clothes that match your personality
  5. Hire a trainer to come and shake you out of bed at 4:30 a.m. and drive you to the gym

Excellent. Once those items are complete, your life will be smooth sailing and stress-free. Oh, wait. What? You can’t afford all of that? You can’t find a trainer who makes wakeup calls? Yeah, me neither.

Like most women I have many roles in life – wife, sister, daughter, friend, team member, employee, 424959_10150520067426637_1617488211_nmentor, volunteer, and mother. While I am not defined by any single role, the most challenging and rewarding is that of mother. I don’t have a cleaning person, or a nanny. Laundry piles up and sometimes my kids end up on the bus accidently when they are supposed to be picked up from school. I try hard to plan the healthiest meals I can for my family but sometimes they eat Ramen noodles and McDonalds drive through.

Yet, I am a fantastic mom. I know this is boastful, but I am. I have been blessed to grow up both personally and professionally with extraordinary role models. I have learned so much by watching and understanding what makes a balanced, healthy, successful working mom.

My mo400516_10151015465666637_198613670_nm: While my mom, Jo, worked my entire life, most of it full-time, it never felt like she wasn’t there. She was always present. She practiced lines for school musicals, was there for sporting events, field trips, class parties, and even after a full week of work, would plan fun weekend road trips to the beach, zoo, or to visit friends. We always had clean clothes (she was better at this than I am) and she balanced our lives with focus and fun. I recall several fish stick dinners on the run, but this was part of the fun! Her actions taught me not to feel guilty over a fish stick dinner here and there – these quick fix meals allowed us to embrace life and spend more time on family bike rides and playground adventures. In turn, I don’t feel bad when I ignore my messy house, or surprise my kids with ice cream for dinner on the way to the children’s garden after work.  After all, spring is here – who needs clean socks? She must have been overwhelmed with balancing it all, at some point, like each mom is, but in true rock star mom fashion, we never knew if that was the case. We just knew she loved us, worked hard, and provided a fun and balanced life for us. My dad helped too, but this is not about dads today. You get your honor next month!

My grandmother: My grandma Mary worked full-time while raising six children. Let’s just say, maybe I am a great mom because I have two children. Most days three would push me over the edge into medium mom mode. But somehow, Mary got it done. She too, like my mom, worked full-time yet planned weekend trips to the beach for her brood each Sunday. I’ve seen pictures. The joy on the faces of the kids, the relaxed looks on Grandma and Grandpa. Clearly, she knew the importance of balance and it shows in the six hard-working children she raised.

Mother of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®: Mary Ellen Sheets, the founder of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, has led by example and been an important influence in my life and career. As a single mom, leaving her secure job with the State of Michigan, she invested $350 in an old truck and took over the business her two young sons started. Her drive, faith, and commitment to supporting her family through entrepreneurship is inspiring. Mary Ellen’s stories of the early days of working hard, not having much money at the time, but donating her first $1000 profit to charity is a remarkably generous and humbling act. Knowing Mary Ellen and understanding the deep love she has for her children, and seeing the pride on her face when she talks about how far the business has come, is humbling. It was not always easy. I can only imagine the stress and heartache as she worked hard, as a single mom, to grow the business and conversely, the joy of watching this labor of love become the family business which provides for her children and now grandchildren. It is an honor to know Mary Ellen and her commitment first and foremost to her children as she worked to make TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® what it is today is something all moms can both appreciate and use as a source of inspiration.

On Mother’s Day, I reflect on the many moms who have influenced my life and I aspire to be as positive of an influence in my daughters’ lives. My Mother’s Day wish for all moms is to be blessed with strong, encouraging, role models who teach the importance of balancing work and career so you, too, can boast being a fantastic mom. Oh, and I wish you all the ability to provide your children with clean socks, even if it means picking up an extra pack at the grocery store when time doesn’t permit doing a load of laundry.