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.

Eight interns and a truck – Part 2

Written by Cheyenne Yost

Michael Harbert – Human Resources intern

Mike HarbertMeet Michael Harbert, a human resources intern at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc., who started his internship in early June. I met Michael during my second week here and couldn’t help but notice how professional he is. After interviewing Michael, this is what he told me about his experience after just a few weeks into the job.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your background?
Michael: I am a recent graduate from Hope College where I played college football. I graduated with a business management degree and went to Williamston High School.

Q: What made you apply to TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?
Michael:  I was really looking for a reputable company to work for during the summer and one close to home so I could make extra money to pay off student debt and gain valuable, hands-on experience.

Q: What are your usual day-to-day tasks here at the office?
Michael: So far, my day-to-day tasks have always been varied, but a few things I’ve done so far are posting and refreshing online jobs, coordinating sales orders, and creating links and users for franchise teams. I have also done research on manual labor jobs comparing what we pay our movers and drivers to similar jobs and have researched additional information on wage deduction laws.

Q: What is your favorite TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Core Value and why?
Michael: The Grandma Rule® is my favorite Core Value. I choose The Grandma Rule® because I like the idea of treating everyone as if they were your grandmother. Always treating people with kindness and respect should come naturally for people of integrity.

Q: Who has been the best mentor or teacher for you?
Michael: Here at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, I would say the entire human resources department as a whole has been involved in mentoring me, especially Staffing Support Specialist Johanna Morrisett. However, each person makes a point to teach me new things and answer any questions I have.

Q: Has the internship taught you anything about your field of study?
Michael: This internship has taught me a ton about the business world and what it takes to be a continuously growing company, that nothing is as black and white as it may seem from the outside looking in, and there are always changes that need to be made and things to be improved.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?
Michael: I graduated this spring. So after the internship I will be job hunting.

Q: One goal you hope to accomplish while working here and what you hope to take away from this internship experience.
Michael: I hope through this internship I will gain more confidence in myself as a young business professional. I’m eager to gain the experience and continue growing for the future, wherever I end up.

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

Michael:

  1. Knife – so that I can hunt and build things
  2. Sleeping Bag – so I can sleep
  3. Radio – mostly for music but also to signal for help

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.

Moving with kids: tips from the mini movers

Written by Claire Schneider

Moving with kids can be a demanding and taxing effort, but with a little preparation and guidance on what moving day will be all about, the experience can prove to be just the opposite.

What are the most effective ways to create a fun, exciting moving experience the whole family will enjoy? We turned to the experts for their advice. See what these mini movers have to say about moving.

Be sure and check out these additional resources all about creating memorable moving experiences for each family member.

Planning on moving with kids? 5 ideas to turn packing into a game

Moving is a grueling process, especially when little ones are involved. Abrupt changes have the potential to make them feel unsettled, so it’s important to create a seamless transition. To accomplish a smooth shift, simply transform packing into a series of engaging games. You and your kids will remember moving as a fun and special time spent together by infusing creativity and engaging the senses into the process. Click here to read more.

How to move with kids and make lasting memories

Sure, we all know moving is no cakewalk, but for kids, the emotional toll could potentially run deeper. For most children, moving means leaving perhaps the only home they’ve ever known. Whether moving out of state or just around the block, children and adolescents typically exhibit signs of resistance or anxiety at the prospect of starting a new chapter. By making a few adjustments in your approach, a life-changing move can be more cakewalk than obstacle course. Continue reading here.

Tips for starting a new school

The first day of school can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re the new kid in school. Here are some simple tips to help your kids prepare for their first day.

Boss for a day

Make it easier and more fun by assigning age-appropriate tasks. For younger kids, make them responsible for bringing the movers water and snacks during breaks. Allow older kids to monitor when belongings are ready to be moved, and charge them with handling last-minute cleaning duties. A special job for younger children is to give them the role of honorary mover or “boss for a day.” Check out the video below showing how young Cade’s anxiety was reduced when the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® movers let him help lead the move project.

Don’t forget to download your free moving with kids’ checklist!

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 1

Written by Cheyenne Yost

Jay Burzych – Finance

JayJay Burzych is one of the finance interns here at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® / INTERNATIONAL, Inc., and he’s also a fellow Spartan! When I first met Jay in the office, my first impression was that he was funny and was always cracking a joke. Jay definitely has the right mentality of working hard while having fun. Here is what Jay had to say about being an intern.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your background?

Jay: I grew up in Okemos, Mich., and I’m now a finance major at Michigan State University, with aspirations of working in the banking sector after school. I played water polo, golf, and basketball in high school. In my free time I enjoy playing the guitar and saxophone, going up north to Lake Charlevoix with friends and family, and playing golf with my buddies.

Q: What made you apply at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?

Jay: Nobody else wanted to hire a freshman. I actually came here when I was younger and job shadowed the CFO Jeff Wesley for a day. He set me up in meetings with different people all day and I really got a good vibe from everybody who worked here. When I discovered the company is in total growth mode right now, I thought it would be a very interesting and dynamic place to work this summer.

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

Jay: Working with the procurement and logistics project team, I wouldn’t really say I have a set list of day-to-day tasks. My main project this summer will be projecting future growth and capital needs for all of the franchises when they visit Lansing for the annual Truck Expo in September.

Q: After looking at our core values on the website, what is your favorite TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Core Value and why?

Jay: My favorite Core Value has to be Care. I am a total people person and always think about what’s best for other people. Being surrounded by people who also care about the genuine wellbeing of others is refreshing and fun!

Q: What are your interests or hobbies?

Jay: There are not many better feelings than the cold splash of water engulfing my body. Whether it’s swimming in a pool or water skiing up north, I love being in the water. I am also a huge golfer and love getting away from everything and walking a quick nine or 18 holes with friends.

Q: Who has been the best mentor or teacher for you?

Jay: If I was being honest, then I would say my dad, but I feel like using a parent for this question is cliché. One of my dad’s close friends, Dave Campbell, has been a big part of my life. He has taught me a lot about business and life in general. I am certain wherever I end up, he will have helped me open that door.

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

Jay: Definitely. One particular aspect I like about this internship is that I have gotten exposure to so many different things. I have learned so much about business practices in general. Rather than only taking a finance mindset into a meeting, I am now able to analyze where each participant is coming from and why they might be thinking a certain way.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

Jay: Well according to the statisticians, 50% of my generation’s eventual professions have not even been created yet, so I guess I will just have to see what is happening in a couple more years.

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

Jay: If I was stuck on an island, the three things I would want would be a water filter so that I could drink the water, a slingshot so that I could kill things to eat, and a Gameboy Advance because its battery lasts forever.

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.

Take the ‘ruff’ out of moving: Tips for transitioning your pets

Guest blog by Amy Burkert

Moving with petsPacking up your whole life and relocating to a new city – or even a new country – is exciting and stressful. There are myriad unknowns, and when your family includes pets, you’re likely to experience additional challenges and questions. To alleviate some of the stress, begin preparing well in advance of your move. These tips will help you and your pets on the big day:

Secure your pet. If you are able, give one person in your family responsibility for your pet. Leading up to the move, this person should try to spend extra time with your pet to help them feel more secure as you’re packing and preparing to leave.

Update identification tags. Update your pet’s identification tags before your move. Include your mobile phone number so you can be contacted while you’re traveling. Also consider having a microchip implanted in your pet to assist them in getting back to you if they become lost either during the move or while they’re becoming acclimated to your new home.

Research laws. Do some research on the local laws where you’ll be living, especially if you have a dog classified as a restricted breed. Communities across the country have instituted laws banning or restricting more than 100 different breeds of dogs. It’s important to contact the local government offices where you’re moving to ensure compliance with their laws and for information on securing licenses for your pets.

Plan your trip. Driving is the least expensive way of moving your pet. And it can be the most fun! What’s better than a road trip, after all? Using a pet-friendly road trip planner will allow you to map your route and find restaurants, dog parks, and hotels along the way. If you need to make hotel reservations, confirm the location’s pet policy which will accommodate your entire family.

Stay on schedule. Maintain your pet’s feeding and exercise schedule as much as possible to help reduce any anxiety they may feel about moving. Set up a reminder in your phone to help you track feedings and exercise.

Pack a go-bag. Include all your pets’ most important items in one bag so they are easily accessible while on the road. Here is a list to get you started:

1. Food and treats; for canned food don’t forget the can opener!
2. Drinking water: If your pet’s stomach is easily upset, it pays to take some drinking water to give your pet time to adjust.
3. Food and water bowls: Portable bowls pack easily.
4. Your vet’s telephone number and the telephone number for the National Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435
5. Photos of your pet: In case your pet gets separated from you, having a current photo allows you to create posters quickly and can be used to prove the pet belongs to you.
6. A roll of paper towels for muddy paws and other messes.
7. An old towel in the event inclement weather becomes a factor.
8. Your pet’s bed and a few toys: To make them more comfortable if you spend the night in unfamiliar locations, these items will provide some comfort.
9. All of their medications, vitamins, supplements, etc.
10. Plastic bags to pick up after them along the way.
11. First aid kit.

Getting Settled In

When you arrive in your new home, place your pet’s bed or crate and a few of their favorite toys in a quiet spot away from the unpacking activities. This gives them a refuge in which they can relax and settle. Once you’ve caught your breath, ask local friends to recommend a veterinarian, then set up an appointment to introduce yourself and your pet. Providing them with a copy of your pet’s medical records will save time in case your pet should require emergency treatment.

Dogs and cats go through a similar adjustment period as people do when moving to a new home. Until they become familiar with their new house and neighborhood, take care that they don’t get startled and try to escape. Help them understand this is “home” by spending extra time with them, encourage them to explore new rooms by placing toys and treats inside, and use blankets, beds, and toys with their scent on them for the first few weeks. Develop a new routine by feeding them at the same time and in the same place each day. Within a few weeks they should have made the adjustment and be content in their new environment.

About the Author: A true pet travel expert, Amy Burkert, runs the award-winning pet travel website, GoPetFriendly.com, which makes it easy to plan a trip with your entire family. Her blog, Take Paws, is an encyclopedia of pet travel tips, pet friendly destination guides, and stories of the adventures she and her husband share as they travel full-time in their Winnebago with their dogs, Ty and Buster.