First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes moving into your new home

Written by Hannah Conlin

So, you’ve just said, “I do.” You’re ready to head into a lifetime of happy, wedded bliss with your spouse, and begin making memories you’ll cherish forever. However, before you begin planning your first family vacation, you need to move into your new home. For many this is the first hurdle in the relationship, and can be a difficult, stressful time.

Moving in with your spouse for the first time is a thrilling yet nerve-wracking experience. Being a newlywed is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life. Before you find yourself drifting out of the honeymoon state, consider doing the following to make your move as seamless and stress-free as possible:home sold

  • Out with the old and in with the new. Before move day, take an inventory of everything the two of you have, and make a list of things you want to keep and what you can get rid of. Chances are you will have duplicates of some items, and taking inventory will prevent you from moving unwanted duplicates. In addition to avoiding duplicates, an inventory exercise prevents you from moving into a cluttered new home.
  • If you are packing your own stuff, organize and re-organize. Pack your boxes with similar items from the same room. If you have small hardware from furniture or decorative pieces, put them in zip lock bags and label them. Baggies keep the small, easy to lose items kept together in one place. Also, labeling and color coding your boxes will make the move much smoother. Moving as newlyweds is an exciting time, you don’t want to cause unneeded frustration with your spouse because you can’t find certain items.
  • If you are moving to a new area, consider renting before buying. By renting, you are not committing to anything right away, and it allows you and your spouse to get to know the area, ensuring you will like your new town before becoming a permanent resident. Keep in mind, if you’re moving from an apartment, or condensing into one apartment with your spouse, our move crews are familiar with apartment complex rules and regulations, such as parking arrangements and service elevators in high rise buildings. Let us do the heavy lifting up and down those pesky flights of stairs or through those narrow hallways.
  • If you are ordering household items, because no one bought you that Keurig or Pottery Barn duvet set you had on your registry, have these items shipped to OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAyour new home several days after you move in. This will avoid moving the items twice if they arrive before your move day and will save you from chaos if they are sent to your new home on the day of the move.
  • Have a decor in mind so you can get on top of your interior decorating right after you move in. However, don’t get too stuck on a design. Be open to ideas and be willing to work with your partner to make each room decorated with a blend of both styles. Remember, the key to a happy marriage is compromise!
  • Most importantly, leave the actual moving to the professionals. Hire a moving company. Not only will this save you the heartache of finding your new china piece dining set in a shattered mess because it wasn’t packed properly, but it will save you from a heated argument with your spouse over who packed that box. This is a busy period in your life, let us help make your move a fun transition in your new lives together. Look for companies seen frequently within your community. This will illustrate the company is a credible organization with a strong reputation.

Now go, begin this next chapter of your life. Enjoy your new, clutter-free, perfectly decorated, and professionally moved new home.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest 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.

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

Melvin Ross 03 (2)

Written by Dawn Kroeger

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

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

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

6:30 a.m.

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

7:15 a.m.

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

7:30 a.m. 

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

7:45 a.m.

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

8:15 a.m.

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

8:30 a.m.  

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

11:15 a.m.

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

11:45 a.m.  

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

12:00 noon  

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

12:15 p.m.

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

3:00 p.m.

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

3:30 p.m.  

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

3:45 p.m.  

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

4:00 p.m.

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

5:30 p.m.  

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

5:45 p.m.

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

7:00 p.m.

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

7:30 p.m.

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

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

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

Moving in a winter wonderland? Save time and money!

Written by Arika Ford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Will my belongings get snowed on and wet?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Downsize your home using these 5 easy tips

DSC_0274Written by Claire Schneider

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

Assess your actual needs

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

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

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

Go through current storage areas

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

Create a mock layout of your new rooms

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

Organize your move

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

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

Be creative with new storage spaces

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

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

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

Your moving (and sanity) guide for making the college transition

Written by Claire Schneider

With stores setting up their back-to-school displays, many 18-year-olds are getting ready to embark on the thrilling adventure of going off to college. While preparing a move to college might seem fun and exciting at the time, it also has its challenges. As a parent you want to be there help them in the moving process while making sure to not overstep. With these helpful tips, moving to college might be the easiest thing your college student does all year.

First, check the paperwork. By this time you’ve received numerous pamphlets and emails from the college containing information about the upcoming year. Remember to re-read everything the residence life dean sent, paying particular attention to check-in times, locations, and procedures for dorm move-in day. Some schools let arriving students and their families pull cars right up to the dorm door, while for others it’s first come, first served. See that you have all the necessary paperwork easily accessible.

College roommates Get to know the roommate. It’s important for roommates to meet before move-in day, so they don’t feel like they’re moving in with a stranger. This is a busy time of year, so if you can’t find a time that works to meet-up, connect with them on social media to learn their interests, hobbies, and interior decorating ideas. They should also take this time to decide what large items they can share and who will be responsible for bringing them.

Create a checklist. Together with your college student, make a list of the necessary items and stick to it. Make sure to include photos of friends and family and other sentimental items which will help make the dorm feel like an extension of home. Keep in mind everything will have to fit in your vehicle; otherwise, there might be too much stuff. This is the perfect time to go through the overstuffed closets and drawers to identify those favorite clothes and shoes which will make the journey to college.

Assemble a “living” kit. A “living” kit contains little items, which are not liquid or bulky, a teen may not think of as necessary but will need at some point. Items include:

• First aid: Bandages of assorted sizes, antibiotic and hydrocortisone ointments, pain killer, digital thermometer, contact solution, decongestant, and antacids
• Laundry: Detergent pods (they’re small, easy to store and easy to use), a stain remover stick, and fabric softener sheets
• Cleaning: Antibacterial wipes, glass cleaning wipes, microfiber dust cloth, roll of paper towels, broom, and dustpan.

Remember, storage space is minimal so anything in a convenient, flat-shaped packaging is ideal.

Locate the store oasis. No matter how prepared you may think you are, there will always be those items you’ll need to make a trip to the store for. Before moving day, find out where the nearest Target, Staples, and Lowes (or similar stores) are.

Know your time and arrive early! Colleges take a lot of time planning out all the inner workings of moving day to ensure things run smoothly. For a lot of colleges there will be limited parking space, so the earlier you arrive the better. Just remember there are so many others moving in that day as well and are just as stressed as you are. Be sure to stick to your designated time of arrival. If you come before your time, it could throw the housing staff completely off.

Only bring one or two suitcases. Even though they make it easy to move, especially if they are on wheels, you won’t need many while you’re away to college. Instead pack your belongings in large storage bags; these can easily be stored until you move out.

Moving tip: Keep clothing on hangers, place a trash bag over them, and tie the bottom. Then secure the hangers together so they don’t fall back into the bag. This will keep all of your clothes together and protected during the move. Then all you have to do is hang them up in the closet, rip the bags off, and you’re ready to go!

Bring tools. A tool kit with a basic hammer, screwdrivers, and pliers can be a handy thing on move-in day. You may need to bunk the beds, raise or lower mattresses, or deal with minor repairs.

Relax. Going to college is a fun and exciting time. Don’t get stressed with the move. Instead have fun and take this time to bond as a family. Make a fun and upbeat moving playlist prior to keep everyone in good spirits. Maybe include a few songs which have special memories for your family.

Of course you could always avoid the college moving day drama and hire a moving company. Here’s a fun video showing just how relaxing moving day could be for you.

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

Eight interns and a truck – Part 3

Written by Cheyenne Yost

Mark List – Human Resources

MarkMark List is one of two human resource interns here at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/International, Inc. I call Mark a veteran intern because he knows the ins and outs of Home Office, and it is his second summer interning here. When I met Mark on my first day, I didn’t even realize he was an intern, he was very helpful and organized; I assumed he was a long-term employee! After interviewing Mark, here’s what he had to say about his second summer as an HR intern.

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background.

Mark: I was born and raised here in Lansing. My father is a civil engineer for Golder Associates, an international firm, and my mother works here at Home Office as the IT service operations manager. I have one older sister who is an electrical engineer at Dematic in Grand Rapids, Mich. I attend Grand Valley State University where I am majoring in business with a human resources emphasis and considering using it as a pre-law degree. I also run cross country/track and field for Grand Valley.

Q: What made you decide to intern at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® for a second summer?

Mark: This company has directly influenced my life. My mother has worked here since I was eight years old, and I am so thankful for that. After I interned here last summer, I was really just excited for the brand and telling people how I worked here. Once I got back to campus and started my classes, I saw the bigger picture with everything this company had taught me. I learned so much here last year that I wanted to return because of the practical knowledge I gained at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.

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

Mark: I monitor scores and information through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration about our franchises and their safety on the roads. I bounce back and forth between here and the Lansing franchise to help with monthly meetings and spot checks. I also assist with the internal risk management newsletter and gather that information. I get to see a little bit of everything, and I’m very lucky to always be on the move!

Q: What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned while interning here?

Mark: The most valuable thing I’ve learned is to always ask questions if you don’t understand or are unsure of something. The people at this company have always been so helpful. Last year I had so many questions as I tried to figure out who handled what and inevitably had to go outside of my department to find the answers. No matter who I asked, they were always patient and very helpful toward me. The Home Office employees are amazing like that!

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

Mark: Risk management is “in” if you will. The priority for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is to keep its employee’s safe while exceeding our customers’ expectations. This means always updating policies and finding new technology that helps keep us safe in the office and out on the roads.

Q: Do you have any advice for the other interns?

Mark: Absolutely! I have two things: First, get to know everyone you possibly can here, and at the Lansing franchise. I asked for help so much last year and everyone supported in any way they could. Second, take this whole experience in. This is an international company and interning here means something, so continue to grow.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

Mark: I’m hoping to stay on here in the risk management department if the opportunity arises. If not that, I am considering going to law school and specializing in employment and labor law.

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

Mark: Alright the three things I would bring are:

  1. A Bible. I’d bring this because my parents raised me in the church and it always has the answer.
  2. A hammock. Reading my Bible in a hammock in the shade …yes please.
  3. A fishing pole. Going fishing in my spare time would be pretty great. Not a bad life to live!
  4. A best friend named Wilson (who happens to be a volleyball). Simply because without anyone to talk to, I’d feel like a castaway.

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

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

5 staging tips to sell your home faster

Written by Claire Schneider

Looking to sell your home quickly and for top dollar? Staging your home is the best way to meet these objectives. If you think the cost of staging your home outweigh the benefits, think again. In fact, 95% of staged homes  take an average of 11 days or less to sell and are sold for 17% more than non-staged homes. So what are the key tried-and-true home staging tips?

We found a staging expert and Tomie Raines Inc., real estate agent, Katie Spyke, to share five simple yet effective home staging tips to get your house sold quickly and at the best price possible. Check out this video to learn how painless home staging can be!

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.