Reduce Moving Stress with a Moving Checklist

Written by Claire Schneider

Moving ChecklistStudy after study indicates moving is a stressful time indeed; however, with a little preparation and organization, moving day can be more enjoyable for the entire family.

To get you started on the right foot, we put together a checklist leading up to the day of your move. Follow these tips to ensure your day is predictably pleasant—right down to the final detail.

Two months prior

• Photos. Before you do anything, take photos of your home. My husband and I do this every time we move, and I am so grateful. I know some day when we expand our family, I will enjoy showing them pictures of where we lived.

• Minimize what move with you. Go through every room of your house and decide what stays and what goes. Don’t forget the basement, attic and garage. This may seem like a lot of work but, trust me, come moving day, you’ll be glad you did.

• Take inventory. Take stock of every valuable item you plan to move. Include photos, along with written descriptions.

• Organize records. If you have kids, make arrangements with their current schools to have their records transferred. Secure copies of everyone’s medical records, as well as recommendations of doctors in your new community.

• Talk to your kids. Moving can be an uncertain time for children, especially if they are leaving the only home they know. Early on, begin including your kids in moving discussions, and give them an idea of what will happen on moving day. Be certain they know they can talk to you about any fears they might have.

Five to six weeks prior

• Research. It’s time to decide if you are going to move yourself or hire a moving company. You don’t need to book anything yet, but it’s good to plan accordingly. When interviewing moving companies, make sure to ask if they are insured and bonded, if they hire full and part-time movers rather than temporary movers, and how they charge. Click here to get your free moving quote.

• Finalize real estate or rental needs.  Renters, communicate with your landlord about the upcoming move. See if they have any moving-out guidelines or polices you’ll need to follow.

• Prepare to pack. Order boxes and other packing supplies. Don’t forget to buy plenty of bubble wrap and tape! Look into wardrobe and other specialty boxes as they make packing much easier. Whatever you do, don’t use food or supermarket boxes.  You never know what little critter is hiding inside or if the box will be strong enough to support your possessions.

One month prior

• Begin packing. Pack up items you don’t frequently use, and clearly label each box with the name of the room for which it is assigned.

• Pick you moving partner. Now that you’ve done your research and thought it over, decide how you want to move. If you decide to use a moving company, make your reservations plenty of time in advance to secure your ideal day and time. Many moving companies are filling up reservations faster than ever!

• Notify utility companies. No one wants to pay for utilities they’re not using. Notify each company of the day you are moving, and arrange for your new accounts to be started when you arrive at your new house.

• Change your address. To change your address, either go to your local post office or visit usps.com and fill out a change of address form.

• Notify important parties. Contact your bank, insurance provider employer, and magazines or newspapers you subscribe to.  Celebrate your milestone with creative moving announcements featuring your new address, and mail them to all of your friends and family.

One week prior

• Finish packing. Remember to pack important and sentimental items separately so they are easily accessible. Plan on keeping this box with you personally when you move.

• Confirm move. Confirm the time the movers will arrive as well as other specifics and make sure you have prepared exact, written directions to your new home for the movers. Also include contact information, such as your cell phone number.

• Clean. The last thing you want to do before you move is clean everything in your house. In order to save you time, begin cleaning rooms you don’t use as often. It’s also a good idea to make a “survival closet” containing things for the last cleanup before you move out. For example a broom, dust cloth, dust pan, mop, etc.

Day of the move

Day of the Move Box• Pack your suitcase. I highly recommend packing a suitcase or use our “Day of the Move” box with essential items and clothes for the day/night. You will be exhausted after the move, and when it’s time to get ready for bed, you don’t want to have to dig through multiple boxes.

• Eat a healthy breakfast. It’s going to be a long day so make sure you eat a nutrient-rich breakfast to help you stay energized during a rigorous day.

• Initial walk-through. Take the time for an initial walk-through with the movers. Did they do a thorough inventory of your items and know what will be moved?

• Lock up. Walk through the entire house and make sure everything is out. Also check to make sure the windows are locked, the lights are off, and the doors are closed and locked.

 

 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.

Career Move Month

Written by Claire Schneider

Before I began working at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc., I was one of the many people who thought the company only consists of movers, drivers and customer service representatives. When I first heard TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc. was hiring, I wasn’t interested because I knew I could not move heavy furniture. My husband then urged me to just see what types of positions they were looking for, so I did. I had heard of the company before, but I thought it was just a local business and didn’t realize, until I began looking at the positions, that it was actually something much greater.

Claire SchneiderI am now the Social Media Specialist at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc. and, unlike a lot of my friends, I am actually working in the field I got my college degree in and I love it! I have learned so much about this great company and feel really proud to be part of all it stands for.

Part of my job as Social Media Specialist is to work with the franchises on how to improve their social media presence. With Career Move Month approaching, there was one conversation that really stuck out to me and that was with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Troy’s Nicole Trice.

Nicole Trice

Nicole Trice

Nicole moved to Michigan last September from Nashville, Tennessee and has a communications degree from University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She is now working at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Troy as a Customer Service Representative and manages their social media. I loved how eager Nicole was to learn how she could improve their social media presence. So when I was thinking of ideas to showcase Career Move month, I decided to ask Nicole to answer some questions for me for a blog post to show how there are so many opportunities and different positions at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.

What was the position you applied for?

I applied for the Customer Service Representative position, which is the marketing one as well.

What made you decide to apply for a position at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?

I decided to apply at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® because the position would give me an opportunity to apply the experience that I learned from years of customer service and to gain experience associated with my Communications degree.

How are you balancing both positions?

I like to think that I am a very organized person. I make a list each day of the tasks that I want to accomplish by the end of the day. As I go through the day, I mark the items off. I start the day off as a CSR and I do the social media aspect throughout the day.

What things do you like about being a CSR? And what have you learned?

Honestly, I was a server for 5 years and being a CSR is very similar. I have learned that there is a different approach when speaking to a customer over the phone compared to in person. I like that I don’t have to serve food to people!

What do you like about being in charge of social media? And what have you learned?

I like getting to expand our reach to people. I can let people see that we are real people that care about how we move the customer. I like that I get to see other people’s ideas and I learn something new every day. I have learned how important a Facebook and Twitter are to the business world today. I am learning how to manage websites, blogs and all aspects of social media.

 What are some challenges you have been faced with having both positions?

It does get tough balancing both positions. I do wish I had a little bit more time to focus on conquering the social media aspect.

 Is there anything else that you think people would like to know about how it is to work at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?

We get to help one of the most stressful moments in a person’s life!

There are so many positions like mine and Nicole’s at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and now with Career Move Month, we are looking to accomplish our goal of 10,000 applications during the month of April. If we reach our goal we will donate $5,000 to Dress for Success. Take a look at our new Career website for positions in your area!

Career Move Month

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.

More Than Movers (Part 1): Test Automation

By James Hartley, application/software tester Technology SupportJames Hartley

Whenever I tell someone I work for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, they typically respond, “That must be really hard work”, to which I smile and respond, “Yes it is”. Many people assume that if I work for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, I must be a mover. This is because they do not realize the work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure our customers have the best possible moving experience possible.

For instance, our proprietary move management software (Movers Who Care® 2) is developed in-house. According to Corey Lasley, the application development manager here at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, Movers Who Care® 2 consists of more than 228,252 lines of code and 8,174,736 characters. These numbers are very impressive, especially when taking into consideration that Movers Who Care® 2 was released just 17 months after development started.

This is the first blog in a series I am calling “More than Movers”. In this series I will write about the work being done behind the scenes that directly impacts the quality of service we provide to our customers. I will begin with a project that is being jointly developed by the Application Development and Quality Assurance teams.

Test Automation

Test automation is the use of special software to execute tests and then compare actual outcomes to expected outcome. There are several benefits to automating software testing.

1)      It allows for the addition of test cases that would normally be too difficult to perform manually.

2)      Automated testing is much faster than manually testing. Therefore, the Quality Assurance team can cover a larger portion of the software being tested on any given build cycle.

3)      Automated testing can be more effective in finding certain classes of defects than manual testing. This allows for the delivery of more reliable software to the end users.

The Software Development Team at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is known in the development community as a “Microsoft Shop”. This is because they are using Microsoft products such as Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server (TFS) for all development. It turns out this was a huge benefit to our test automation project because we were able to fully leverage the testing capabilities built into TFS. Therefore we have one single integrated system for creating software and then testing its functionality.

Having a fully integrated system allows testers and developers to break through barriers that typically exist between the two teams. As a result the quality of software goes up. This is a good thing considering poor software quality costs the United States economy $59,500,000,000 every year. Lost revenue is not the only consequence of poor software quality. At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® poor software quality affects our ability to deliver the best possible service to our customers. For example, if Movers Who Care® 2 is not functioning properly, it can affect the speed and accuracy of estimates we deliver to our customers.

So you see TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is much more than a company of movers. We are developers, software testers, customer service representatives, movers, managers, etc. … all working together as one system. I think President Randy Shacka put it best:

“In everything we do we believe in moving people forward. We do this by living our core values, providing opportunities for employees, giving back to our communities, and treating each customer’s items as if they were our own with care and respect. We just happen to provide relocation services.”

How My Movers Saved The Day (And Possibly My Marriage)

I have worked for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® for nearly a decade. Consequently, much of my life revolves around moving. After all that time, you would think I would be prepared for my own move. You would be so wrong.

After six years in the only home I’ve ever owned, my husband and I decided it was time to move…I’m a planner with a few control issues, so when the move activities happened faster than expected, I started to freak out. It was all I could think about and worse, all I could talk about. When my poor co-workers asked, “So how is the move going?” they had to listen to me go on and on about how unprepared I was, how much stuff we had accumulated over the past six years, and how I still had boxes that I had not unpacked from the last move

There was never a question in my mind I would use our movers to move our belongings. When we moved into our last house, my husband decided that we should do it on our own.  “You’re making a big mistake”, I told him.  I’ll spare you the details of that move, but needless to say, it was the last decision my husband got to make. Now all of our life decisions are left up to me. So, with that power, I went over to the Lansing TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, bought as many boxes as I could fit in my van, and booked my move. “The Move” had begun.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® moves more than 300,000 people each year, yet somehow I behaved like I was the only person on Earth who ever had to suffer through packing a basement. Naturally, I began to worry about everything I could think of. I was convinced that the movers were going to judge my packing abilities. So I packed each box delicately and with the precision of someone diffusing a bomb. When the night before the move came, my house looked like a warzone.

I began to chaotically toss things into boxes with reckless abandon—at that point we weren’t moving…we were evacuating. I barked orders at my family like a drill sergeant, with our motto being “Take only what you need to survive!” Needless to say, I went to sleep that night completely unprepared for the move.

Our movers arrived on time, which meant I was going to be that customer—the one who is still packing boxes while the movers are loading the truck. My husband and I had a lengthy discussion the night before about being prepared and how much I wanted to be all ready when the movers arrived. That was obviously a pipe dream. “It’s okay”, the lead mover told me “we’ll just start in another room while you finish this one.” Sweet relief!

The rest of the day went smoothly, but only because of the movers. One mover cracked jokes that distracted me from arguing with my husband. The other mover caught me watching worriedly as he moved a piece of furniture, and he flashed poster-worthy smile (he’s featured on many of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® marketing materials) that would remind me everything was going to be just fine. The movers probably saved years of my life by cutting down my stress level.

Ever since “The Move” I keep thinking about how much I depended on my movers that day. They were the only thing that made our move bearable. It was difficult only because I’m a procrastinator and a bit of drama queen. These guys deal with situations ten times worse than mine every day. I wonder if they realize what an impact they have. 

They were exactly what a neurotic person like me needs: TWO MEN AND A THERAPIST!

Seven Ways to Avoid Hiring Risky Movers

 

Written by: Dawn

Imagine this.

Your home has been on the market for several months and it finally sold. The time has come to pack up your belongings and move across town. You go online to research local moving companies and find a website featuring Two Men And A Truck. They are a local company and you’ve heard good things so you submit an online request for an estimate.

Within minutes your phone starts blowing up with calls from moving companies and your email inbox is bursting with quotes. Something has gone terribly wrong? Is TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® selling your information? How did all these moving companies get your personal information? Now you are irritated, angry even.

Unfortunately, scenarios like this happen daily to customers who are in the market to move. And it’s not just TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® customers. With more consumers doing business online, desperate companies use various tactics to appear as reputable, well-known companies. They take consumer lead information and sell it to several different companies, resulting in the above nightmare scenario.

Another common hurdle unsuspecting moving customers will come across are websites with false or misleading information.

Just this week, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® corporate office has encountered mover’s websites across the country claiming to be TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. Additionally, we found a website of a company with a similar name using an expired U.S. DOT number and logos of associations they don’t belong to.

As the busy moving season approaches, I want to offer several tips to assure anybody moving will hire reputable, legal and ethical movers.

Check out this great list of questions to ask when hiring a mover. When searching for a moving company online you should consider the tips below:

  • Be sure the site you land on is the site you are looking for and not an imposter. Spend a few minutes digging into the site and verify they have a local address.
  • When seeking an online quote request, assure you are on the website of the company you are seeking a quote from and not a site that sells your info to other movers.
  • Avoid sites that feature “Get up to 5 quotes now” or “Get quotes”, unless of course you are seeking multiple quotes from multiple companies.
  • Just because a company’s website lists a U.S. DOT (Department of Transportation) number, doesn’t mean it is valid. You can verify DOT numbers here.
  • Many reputable movers belong to the American Moving and Storage Association. Visit their website for a list of their members.
  • Check opinion sites like Angie’s List or a company’s Google business listing for reviews. Remember, even a reputable mover will have customers they can’t satisfy, but if the mover you are working with doesn’t have any reviews or a business listing on Google, it’s not a good sign.
  • Always ask your friends and family if they have used or heard of the mover you select.

Moving season is upon us. Millions of moves will happen over the next few months. Customers have choices … some will move themselves, some will hire movers and some will hire professional movers.

Use the tips offered to assure when hiring a mover, they truly are a professional mover.