A match made in TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® heaven; the story of Emily and Michael Sham

Written by Hannah Conlin
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Love is in the air at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, and it is not just for the amazing brand that has achieved more than 30 years of growth and success as the premier leader within the moving industry. Many couples within the company met and fell in love through their employment with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.

After working as a mover for two months, Michael took on the role of general manager at the Jackson, Miss., franchise in 2013. The pair met when Emily joined as the franchise’s marketing manager. Now, as Michael prepares to open his new franchise in Southaven, Miss., in May 2016, the two are happier than ever!

Q: When did you first meet your significant other? 

Michael: Emily and I met during her interview for our marketing position.

Emily: I came on about three to four months after Michael and started as the first-ever marketing manager our franchise had. He was the general manager.

Q: What was your first impression of your significant other when you met them at the office? 

Michael: I couldn’t wait to hire Emily. I thought she was a perfect fit for what we were looking for and I was thoroughly impressed with how she carried herself during the interview.

Emily: I first met Michael in my second interview with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. I thought it was just going to be a second interview with Mr. Jeff Taylor, our franchisee, but Michael had just come on as the general manager so they were both in the interview. It was a very casual interview, and I immediately thought he was cute and had a lot of confidence. I soon thought, “Who am I kidding? He would be my BOSS, that would never happen,” so I tried to play it cool as best I could. I can remember telling my mom that night that the general manager was really cute though.

Q: Describe your first date. 

Michael: We went out to her favorite sushi spot and enjoyed a good meal and conversation. I distinctly remember telling her that I wasn’t looking for a fling and that if she didn’t feel like she could marry me one day then we would remain friends and co-workers. Surprisingly enough, that didn’t scare her away.

Emily: We casually went out with some friends during Christmas break, and had a great time; meanwhile I am dying! I am out with my cute boss, and just trying to stay as cool as possible! He went out of town over the weekend with his family and then asked me out on our first “official” date on that Sunday. We went out for sushi, kept it casual, and now sushi is our weekly date night!

Q: When did you realize you were in love? 

Michael: I knew I had feelings for Emily before our first date. Our Franchisee Jeff Taylor’s wife, Becky, was battling cancer and was scheduled to have brain surgery in Houston, Texas, at M.D. Anderson. I planned on going to surprise Jeff and Becky and asked Emily if she wanted to go, knowing the relationship she had with the family. We spent over 14 hours in a car together that weekend and really got to know one another. Becky kept telling Emily that we were in love every time I left the hospital room as well. Needless to say, she knew something that we hadn’t figured out yet.

Emily: Well, I didn’t realize. Mrs. Becky Taylor was the whole reason we even began our love story. Michael and I drove to Houston to surprise Jeff after Becky’s third brain surgery. She had been battling stage 4 brain cancer for five years; what a fighter! She had just gotten out of surgery when we arrived and surprised everyone; we just wanted to both be there for support. That is 14 hours total in a vehicle together, and pretty much three days of togetherness in a hospital room. Michael had stepped out of the hospital room to take a work phone call and Mrs. Becky perks up and says, “Ya’ll love each other.” I was like, no, no, no, you just had brain surgery, simmer down … and she insisted! She quickly quieted down however as Michael came back in the room. Once we got back to Mississippi, Jeff called Mike explaining that Becky thinks we are in love and if we want to pursue a relationship that he would not stand in the way. Becky reminded Jeff he could not get in the way of God’s plan. Fast forward to our first date, and the rest is history. Once my parents were on board and approved of Michael, that was it for me, I was head over heels for this guy.

Q: Describe your engagement.
engagementphoto

 

Michael: Planning our engagement almost cost us our relationship. It took over two weeks of planning and preparation every day and Emily started feeling neglected. Luckily, I enlisted the help of her mother and she was able to keep things together for the most part. I sent her on a day-long scavenger hunt with her friends in a limo bus that took her to eight different places with activities at each that would prepare her for the evening ahead. I sent her to get her nails done, make-up done, hair done, and dress shopping, with her final destination being her parent’s house. There were about 40 friends and family hiding in the house when she arrived. I escorted her around the back of the house where I had a podium set up with a book of all the things we had done together in our relationship. The last page said “will you” and the rest is history.

Emily: August 30, 2014. Michael out did himself, so much to the point I thought we were about to break up because he wasn’t spending any time with me. It started with him asking my parents. He made a slide show of my life, with my dad, with my mom, with my brother, and then us. He got my brother to bring my parents to the office, we had just moved into the new office building, so he wanted to “show it off,” when really the ending of the tour of the office was this video/slideshow he had made on his computer asking my parents if he could have their blessings in marrying me. Then it was my turn. It was my turn to work on a Saturday at the office, and he was here with me, along with our English bulldog, Ace. I was in my office getting work done and Michael said let’s go take Ace for a walk outside, so nothing out of the ordinary. While we are outside, three of my best friends pull up in a car; mind you, two live in Arkansas, so I am shocked. One grabs a video camera from Michael, and he says, “Go have fun with your best friends. Happy eighth month anniversary.” He is always over the top with gifts and surprises, so I thought nothing of it. My friends and I then go on a scavenger hunt; ALL DAY!

First: Sushi for lunch with my girlfriends and as we leave a party bus pulls up to take us everywhere! There’s a note that takes me to his apartment to give Ace a bone.

Second: At his apartment, first he cleaned everything, lit a candle and had a card with money to go shop at Anthropology, my favorite store.

Third: Got a card at the store to go get my makeup done at Bobby Brown; the makeup I wear.

Fourth: Take a break and get a snow cone from SnoBiz; one of our favorite places during the summer.

Fifth: Get my hair cut and styled; I had been talking about needing a haircut.

Sixth: I receive the final card and it says, Now that you are all dolled up, go to your house and hang out with your best friends and have a good time. So, we begin heading back to my house.

At this point I am kind of bummed; I wanted to spend some of our anniversary with him, and I honestly thought I would end at a nice dinner with him. We end up at my house and I am texting him on the way there thanking him for the wonderful day and he is telling me he is at his apartment just hanging out and he would come to my house later. I get out of the party bus at my parent’s house, no cars in the driveway, and here Michael comes walking down the driveway to meet me. Then I start freaking out, wondering what is going on! He takes me to the back yard where it is lit with string lights, mason jars with candles, it is magical. There are flowers and an outdoor sofa with a pedestal. He walks me over to the pedestal and it has a scrapbook with everything from Annual Meeting pictures, to flight tickets, everything we had done together over the past eight months. At the end of the scrapbook there is a little bride and groom; that is when I really knew what was going on. Like I said, he is over the top always. He sits me on the couch and sits next to me (he is nervous) and I hear, “Aww,” from a ton of people and some giggling, all while crying. He then gets down on one knee and pops the question and I hear roars of clapping and screaming! My parent’s house was filled with friends and family! Becky and Jeff had the best seat in the house, my parent’s bedroom, with their window is right by the backyard. It turned into an engagement party with champagne and “she said yes” cookies. It was perfect and one of the best nights of my life! Longest engagement story, but the happiest and sweetest.

Q: How do you balance your work life and personal lives? 

Michael: Not without a few issues. It took time to find our groove and we still battle it from time to time. It’s hard to keep work at work and home at home, but it is a challenge that we are very blessed to face. Not many people get to work with their best friend, and that is the perspective we try to keep every day.

Emily: We struggled with this for a while, and then finally realized we needed to make some slight changes. We try to not talk about work so much when we get home, but this is our lives. We love TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, and we look at it as any couple coming home from work asking their spouse, “How was your day at work?” I have learned I am not always right at work, and things may not go the way I want, but Michael is my boss and wants what is best for the company and I have to respect that. It takes time to learn how each other tick, but we usually have a good compromise. We do enjoy having lunch dates every once in a while, because we really don’t see too much of each other at work. He is on a completely different side of the building than me, which helps!

Q: Describe your wedding.
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Michael: Our wedding was one of the best parties I’ve ever been to. It was absolutely beautiful and we were very blessed to have some great venues and some awesome people to help make it so amazing. We had all of our loved ones there and it was one of the most memorable days in my life.

Emily: Oct. 3, 2015 in Mobile, Ala., at my aunt and uncle’s home on Mobile Bay. It was magical; we had string lights everywhere, a live band on the porch, and sequin table cloths. Rose gold, blushes, and cream flowers everywhere. Everything was outside, right on the water and around the pool. We got married under a huge oak tree with hanging moss. We had about 125 guests that attended from all over! It was so special and a weekend filled with lots of love and laughter. The best day ever!

We wish Emily and Michael Sham a lifetime of love and happiness! In celebration of Valentine’s Day, keep a look out for more TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® love stories coming soon!

Valentine’s Day crafts in 4 steps or less!

Written by Jessy Howe

DIY Valentine's Day Door wreath
Show your love this Valentine’s Day by creating easy homemade crafts and decorations! Making homemade crafts can be a fun and inexpensive family activity. These crafts are all upcycled from old moving boxes, meaning all you really need is craft paper, glue and stickers, and you’re ready to go. If you are in need of boxes, we are here to help! TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your needs that can be purchased at a location near you!

Below are four easy, do-it-yourself Valentine’s Day craft tutorials!

Kid’s Valentine’s Day card box

DIY Valentine's Day kids card box
Personalize your child’s Valentine’s Day card box for their school party by using one of our Truckie’s Treasure Chest boxes. These boxes are simple to assemble and have handles to make for easy transportation to and from school. You can purchase this at any TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® location or order one online for just a few bucks!

Supplies: Kid's Valentine's Day craft box supplies

1 Truckie’s Treasure Chest box
Craft paper
Stickers
Hot glue gun
Box cutter
Scissors

Step 1: Assemble your box and place the handles into the open spaces on the side. Next, use a box cutter to make a slot on the top for Valentines to be dropped in.

Step 2: Have your child cover the box in craft paper of their choice. Use a hot glue gun or tape to secure the paper to the box.

Step 3: It’s time to personalize! Let your child personalize their card box with stickers, paper hearts, ribbon, and anything else they wish.

 

Sweetheart garland

Valentine's Day sweetheart garland
Spruce up your home by creating a classic conversation heart garland to hang in your home. I’m in love with how this turned out!

Supplies:

1 small TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® box
Acrylic craft paint
Sponge paint brushes
Red stickers or a red marker
Ribbon
Box cutter
Hole punch
Heart stencils
Pencil

Step 1: To make this simple, we decided to do a quick online search and print heart stencils. Trace as many hearts as you’d like to have on your garland and use your box cutter to carefully cut them out.

Step 2: Now that your cardboard hearts are cut out, it’s time to paint. We stuck to the classic candy heart colors but your options are endless! Also, I would recommend doing two coats of paint for the best results.

Step 3: After the paint is fully dry, use your hole punch on each side of the heart. String your ribbon through the holes and behind each heart to put your garland together. At the back of the first and last heart, tie a knot in the ribbon to keep them from slipping off.

Step 4: Use your creativity and think of fun sayings to put on each heart! We used red stickers for accuracy and to save time but a red permanent market can work just as well.

 

Valentine’s Day door wreath
DIY Valentine's Day door wreath

Greet your guests with love by creating a paper heart door wreath!

Supplies:Valentine's Day door wreath supplies

1 small box
Craft paper
Sticker letters
Ribbon
Hot glue gun
Pencil
Scissors
Box cutter

Step 1: Trace a large circle onto your box with a second circle inside it. Use your box cutter to cut out the inside circle as well as the large circle, leaving you with a base for your wreath. Keep in mind this does not have to be perfectly shaped and it is okay to have jagged edges as you will be covering it up.

Step 2: Cut out various sized hearts from your craft paper and begin gluing them down to your cut out circle. Continue doing this until you are satisfied with your wreath.

Step 3: We added a “LOVE” banner to the top to make it extra festive. After you are happy with the look of your wreath, use your hot glue gun to secure ribbon to the back of your wreath.

 

Tic-tac-toe board

DIY Valentine's Day tic -tac-toe board

A fun twist on a classic game can entertain your kids for hours … okay, maybe 15 minutes but you have to admit, it is fun!

Supplies:

1 small box (Or a remaining side from the box used in previous crafts)
Colored paper
Glue
Marker
Scissors

Step 1: Cut a large heart out to act as your tic-tac-toe game board. Cover this heart in colored paper.

Step 2: Cut smaller hearts out of craft paper in two separate colors. You will want to cut 5 hearts in each color.

Step 3: Draw your board game lines onto the heart and play!

 

We hope we’ve given you some fun DIY ideas to create this February! For more box inspiration, follow us on Pinterest! If you create any of these crafts, we’d love to see them! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

 

 

 

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® fall cause marketing programs garner nearly 100,000 items for those in need

Written by Hannah Conlin

Columbus, OH TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Movers for Mutts
Collection items from the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Columbus, Ohio franchise during their Movers for Mutts program.


As it has been said time and time again, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system truly believes in giving back to local communities. How can franchises not believe in giving back with it being one of our core values? This year, franchise locations across the system proved they don’t just believe in this ideal, they live it.

Franchises had the opportunity to partake in the Movers for Military, Movers for Meals, Movers for Mutts, and Truckload of Warmth campaigns. Much like the national Movers for Moms® program, locations worked with local business partners to collect the much needed items for their various campaigns. Throughout the fall of 2015, more than 30 franchises implemented one of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s four cause marketing programs, working to collect more than 99,000 much-needed items.

“Several years ago TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® had just one cause marketing campaign, Movers for Moms®,” said Media Relations and Brand Communications Team Lead Lindsay Dow. “However, we had many franchises who wanted to do more to help out their communities throughout the year. That’s when we worked to create four additional programs, providing our franchises with the opportunity to give back to different organizations. Over the past few years these campaigns have evolved and franchises have truly embraced them. This year was no different, and without a doubt the most successful year for our fall marketing programs.”

To show gratitude and appreciation to local veterans, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® once again rolled out Movers for Military. Millions of veterans in America are homeless throughout the year, and Movers for Military aims to assist these veterans in need. Franchises that participated in this program collected more than 18,000 items for veterans in need; items donated went to benefit homeless veterans and their families.

Ten locations implemented the Movers for Mutts campaign within their local communities. This program benefits animal shelters that provide and care for stray animals. Many times, these shelters are in dire need of pet food and other essential pet items. Together, the franchises collected more than 1,500 items and more than $15,000 in monetary donations to go toward the animals and the shelters.

Hunger is a problem many Americans face daily. In an effort to help combat hunger, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchises implemented the Movers for Meals campaign. Movers for Meals collects nonperishable food items for families facing hunger each year. This year franchises collected a whopping 50,000 donated items for families in need!

Two Men and a Truck Movers for Meals
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Brentwood/Franklin, Tenn., collect donation items for Movers for Meals just in time for Thanksgiving during their Fill-A-Truck event!

Marketing Director Sally Mink of the Brentwood/Franklin, Tenn., location found her Movers for Meals campaign to be the best one to date.

“This year was our strongest year yet,” said Mink. “This year we hit over 1,600 pounds for Graceworks Ministries.”

Lastly, Truckload of Warmth, helps keep children and their families warm during the bitter cold winter months. Gently used or new winter coats and other winter clothing donations are needed for this collection drive. Through the collective efforts of the nine locations that ran the program, more than 30,000 items were collected.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Des Moines Truckload of Warmth
The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Des Moines, Iowa team collected nearly 11,000 items during their Truckload of Warmth program.

General Manager Chris Jones from the Boise, Idaho franchise implemented the Truckload of Warmth program. The Boise location, in its fourth year with the campaign, partnered with 35 collection partners across the community, providing even more awareness for the program and those in need.

“The program has gained traction every year and many of the participating businesses even look forward to it,” said Jones. “It gives us and the business a great opportunity to help and give back to our community. All of our donations go to the families living at the Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA). The WCA organization does such amazing things for those in need and we are just proud that we can help.”

With another successful year wrapped up, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system is excited for the 2016 fall campaigns and the opportunity to increase the charitable efforts throughout our local communities.

“Moving People Forward is our core purpose,” said Marketing and Communications Director Dawn Kroeger. “I am so passionate about these cause marketing initiatives and how they allow TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® to put our core purpose into action. We are committed to moving people forward beyond our customers and our team members, but those most at risk in our communities.”

To learn more about these programs please visit our community service page. 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.

10 tips to survive your winter move

Written by Jessy Howe

iStock_House in the winter

Moving can be hard, but moving during the winter season can make the process that much more difficult. To help ease your winter move stress, we’re sharing our top 10 winter moving tips. When using a moving company, many concerns below will not be a worry. However, for those do-it-yourselfers, with a few extra precautions, you can master the art of moving during snowy, winter weather.

1. Clear the path

Shovel or plow the driveways and sidewalks at both your old location and your new location. It’s easy to misjudge stairs and drop-offs when they’re hidden by snow. Taking a few extra moments to clear the way will make moving easier and safer for everyone.

2. Watch the weather

Temperatures can change quickly during the winter, with slush turning to ice within a few hours. It also gets dark earlier in the winter and with this in mind, plan trips between the old and new location accordingly. To find out more about the moving protocol during blizzard-like conditions, we’ve answered all of your questions, here.

3. Carry emergency supplies

Whether you drive your own vehicle or rent a moving truck, ice and snow on the road may get in your way. If you do get stuck, you can get yourself out quickly if you carry a shovel, salt and/or sand. It’s also wise to keep a vehicle emergency kit, water, snacks, and blankets handy just in case.

4. Layer up

Although you will be working hard on moving day, it is a good idea to dress in layers. If you begin to overheat you can always remove layers. Don’t forget your hat and warm gloves!

5. Avoid slips

Keep old rags and towels handy to wipe away the snow, salt, sand, and dirt which will likely get caked to your shoes and your moving containers causing slippery surfaces.

6. Light your area

Be sure all outdoor lighting is functioning properly at your new and old location prior to your move. With the sun setting early throughout winter months, it is important your visibility isn’t compromised should your move go late into the day.

7. Protect your floors

Cover your floors with old sheets or tarps to avoid tracking mud and snow into your home. Not only will this protect your belongings but will also keep the floors at your new location clean and dry.

8. Turn on utilities

Plan ahead and ensure utilities will be turned on upon your arrival. In harsh winter months, you will not want to be without these! Additionally, leave heat and electricity on in your old home until you are completely moved out.

9. Keep your plants safe

Don’t transport live plants in the cargo hold of the truck, as they can easily freeze. To keep plants safe and secure during a move, pack them in your personal vehicle and drive safely to your destination.

10. Hire help!

Hiring a moving company can take much of the pressure off of you and allow you to enjoy your new home even sooner! Many of the precautions above will be worries that disappear when hiring movers. Our uniformed movers and drivers are committed to exceeding expectations and ensuring your move is completed with care and efficiency. We realize moving needs are unique for every customer, so we’re ready to customize a plan to provide the best moving experience. Contact TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® today to begin planning your move.

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.

How to avoid leaving a huge mess when you move out

Don't forget to clean the stove before moving!

Moving is a huge time-consuming and stress-inducing chore, but there’s no other way about it. You have to spend weeks sorting and packing stuff you’ve accumulated over the past few years, talk to the movers, arrange for utilities to be transferred, unpack and put things away in your new home…the list just goes on.

With all this occupying your mind day and night, it’s only natural that you’ve forgotten one essential part of moving – that’s right, move-out cleaning! This house has been your home for the past many years; don’t you owe it a good cleanup before you leave? Okay, you are not that sentimental about the house, but do you think you have a good chance of getting the deposit back intact if you leave the house in the condition it is in right now?

To make things easier on you and help you avoid leaving a huge mess behind when you move, we have put together a handy list of things that you need to do before closing the door of your old home one last time. Happy moving!

What you will need:

  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • A mop
  • A broom and a dustpan
  • A squeegee
  • A spray bottle
  • Scrubbing sponges
  • Dish detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Magic erasers
  • Vinegar
  • Toilet cleaner and brush
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • An old toothbrush for tough-to-clean stains
  • Old newspapers
  • Cleaning rags
  • Trash bags

Tip: Remember to keep the above items separate from your packing boxes so that they don’t get shipped out to your new home before you are done cleaning!

In all the rooms:

Spray all windows with a mix of 50% distilled water and 50% tap water and wipe clean with a squeegee or a scrunched-up newspaper. If you had not washed your windows for a long time and they are particularly dirty, you may want to wash them with soapy water first. Clean the ledges.

Dirty window blinds? Simply put on an old cotton sock, dip your hand in the vinegar mix, and run your hands over each of the blinds. And there you go, good as new!

Take out all nails and hooks you have put into the walls and doors and fill them with putty. Use a magic eraser to remove scuffmarks, but take care to first test the eraser on a small surface. Harsh erasers can take the paint right off the walls and make your job twice as hard!

Bright lights are magnets for insects. Make sure to check for dead insects when you dust and clean the lighting fixtures and fans.

Wipe the closet shelves and check if the walls are clean. Remove cobwebs from the ceiling, vacuum the floor, and mop the hardwood and tile surfaces.

Tip: Always clean from top to bottom to avoid having to clean the same spot twice!

In the kitchen:

Empty cabinets and remove liners. Wipe the insides and the front surfaces clean with a damp cloth.

Remove refrigerator shelves and soak them in the sink while you scrub the inside clean with a scrubbing sponge and dish wash soap. Wipe the inside dry with a cleaning rag, wash the shelves, dry them, and put them back in. While you are at it, clean the sides, back and top of the refrigerator and also sweep below the refrigerator. If you have a dishwasher, clean it thoroughly.

Clean the oven, microwave and stove next and make sure that you remove all traces of grease and burnt food. While cleaning the stove, make sure you clean below the drip pans too. Scrub the kitchen counter top, sink and plumbing fixtures and you are good to go!

Tip: For the oven, use a paste made of baking soda and water to remove stubborn grease and grime without the harsh odors associated with heavy-duty oven cleaners.

In the bathrooms:

Empty the bathroom cupboards and take out the liners. Scrub clean the shower walls, tub, sink and counter with an all-purpose cleaning agent. Use the toothbrush for attacking the grout. Clean the toilet thoroughly from top to bottom. Spray the mirror with the vinegar solution you used on the windows and wipe clean. Dust the exhaust fan. Mop the floor.

Tip: Remember to keep at least one bathroom for the last or you may have to clean it again before you leave!

Don’t forget the outside areas

If you were using any outside storage facilities in the building, such as garage lockers, clean out those spaces. Dust and clean the outside lighting fixtures. Check your mailbox. Sweep the porch and patio.

One last time

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you say goodbye to your old home for the last time.

  • Are all the closets and cabinets empty?
  • Are all the electrical appliances/lights/fans in working condition?
  • Have you taken the trash out?
  • Do you have time-stamped photographs to document the condition of the house at the time of your move-out? These may be necessary if the landlord comes up with false damage charges later.
  • Do you have all the keys to return to the landlord?
  • Have you informed your neighbors you are moving?

A thorough move-out cleaning, especially if you have not been very particular about keeping the house in great shape all these days, can take a lot of time. If you have friends who are willing to pitch in, don’t hesitate to ask for their help. You should ideally start a few days in advance so that you are not left elbow deep in soapsuds and detergents even on the last day.

If you hate getting your hands dirty and don’t mind spending the extra dollars, you can always consider hiring a professional cleaning service to spruce up the home before you leave. But whatever you decide, don’t forget that move-out cleaning is essential to ensuring that you get your security deposit back from your landlord without a major deduction. In most cases, a happy landlord means a full refund. Here’s hoping that your moving happens as smoothly and easily as possible. All the best!

 

photoKurt Jacobson is a writer and vacation rental manager. Knowing what it takes to maintain pristine appearances for customers, he thrives on sharing what he’s learned from his experience. When he’s not managing a property, he writes about home cleaning for the Professional Home Cleaning Inc website.

5 simple tutorials for DIY cardboard holiday crafts

Written by Jessy Howe

Decorating doesn’t have to be expensive… or difficult! With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, take some time to unwind and create simple DIY holiday crafts on a little or no budget! Plan an evening with the girls to make fun holiday décor or set aside time with your children and make it a family night. Our 5 DIY holiday crafts are the perfect addition to your home or can be gifted away. Yes, they look that good!

Holiday card holder

IMG_9565

Rather than let your holiday cards stack up on the counter among your mail, display them beautifully on a tree-shaped card holder!

Supplies:

1 large box
Green and brown felt squares (we bought the ones with adhesive on the back!)
Ribbon
Mini clothes pins
Box cutter
Hot glue gun

Step 1: Draw out the shape of your tree in pencil and use your box cutter to cut it out. I’d recommend working on carpet to avoid scratching any surfaces or tile.

Step 2: Use your green adhesive felt squares to cover your tree, trimming off the areas that overhang. Use your brown felt square to cover the tree trunk.

Step 3: Wrap your ribbon across the tree so it looks like garland, gluing the ends to the backside of the cut out. Be sure the ribbon is not too loose or your cards will weigh it down causing it to sag. You will also want to attach ribbon on the back to easily hang your card holder.

Step 4: Use your mini clothes pins to begin attaching your cards!

 

Modern tree display

Light trees cropped

Let me just start with this: even for the “not-so-crafters” it is impossible to fail at this project and it takes all of 20 minutes to complete. Boom, crafting win!

Supplies:

1 medium box
Box cutter
Christmas lights

Step 1: Draw various-sized triangles on your box to resemble trees. Use your box cutter to cut them out.

Step 2: Poke holes through the cardboard, but be sure they aren’t too large.

Step 3: Poke the ends of your Christmas lights through the holes and display in your home! You can include other elements to set a scene or place it with some greenery in front of a fireplace, get creative!

 

JOY door hang

Welcome your holiday visitors with a festive door! The beauty of this is you can spell anything you want, for example your last name. However I will warn, although this is by no means difficult, it is more time consuming than I thought it would be. But being greeted by it each time I arrive home makes it well worth it.

Supplies:

1 small box
Box cutter
One bundle of yarn (depending on the length of your word)
Ribbon
Hot glue gun
Any other accents you want to add
Step 1: Trace and cut out the letters of what you would like to spell.

Step 2: Begin wrapping your letters in yarn occasionally using hot glue on the front and back to ensure it is secure.

Step 3: Add any accents you would like. I couldn’t resist these metallic snowflakes!

Step 4: Attach ribbon to the back of your letters and hang on your doorway! I also think these letters would be great to sit on top of a mantle if you prefer to display them in your home.

 

Holiday garland

IMG_20151123_151703.jpg

This DIY is great because it is so versatile. It is perfect to string around your tree, hang across your window, or incorporate into your holiday tablescape.

Supplies:

1 small box OR the remaining box flaps from any of the crafts above
Scissors
Glitter
Ribbon
Hot glue gun

Step 1: Trace and cut out the shapes you wish to have on your garland. To help, you can either print images from your home computer and cut around them or use cookie cutters to trace the shapes.

Step 2: After you cut your shapes out, poke small holes through them to string your ribbon through. I decided to double up on the ribbon to get a little more colorful.

Step 3: Use your hot glue gun to dot your shapes and cover with glitter and you’re finished. I chose to add the glitter accent to both sides of my cut outs.

 

Glitter snowflakes

Giant glittered snowflakes hanging from your ceiling, what could be better? These make a beautiful addition above your tree, dinner table, and really anywhere in your home!

Supplies:

1 medium box
Box cutter
Spray adhesive
Glitter
Clear elastic

Step 1: Trace a snowflake pattern or create your own and cut out.

Step 2: Spray your cutout with spray adhesive from 6-8 inches away. It is best to do this in a well ventilated or outside area.

Step 3: Cover your snowflake in glitter! Repeat this on the other side and let them dry.

Step 4: Hang your snowflakes using clear elastic to give them a floating effect.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these fun DIY holiday crafts! If you are in need of boxes, we are here to help! TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your needs that can be picked up at a location near you.

For more box inspiration, follow us on Pinterest! If you create any of these crafts, we’d love to see them! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Eight tips to prepare your home for the holidays

Written by Jessy Howe

Christmas Porch

Planning the holidays can cause two emotions: absolute joy or complete stress! Whether you are hosting dinner or opening your home to out-of-town guests, don’t let this joyous season get the best of you. We’ve gathered our top eight tips on preparing your home (and saving your sanity!) for the holidays!

Get into the holiday spirit
Fill your home with a little holiday cheer by hanging a festive wreath on the door, lighting seasonal candles, and putting up the tree. Decorating doesn’t have to be an expensive task, there are plenty of quick and easy DIY projects to create one-of-a-kind décor. Take a peek on Pinterest for a little holiday inspiration!

Make your guests feel welcome
If you are hosting guests in your home this holiday season, remember to tidy the areas where they will be staying, pull out extra towels and linens, and freshen up the guest room with magazines, a plant, tissues, or even a little chocolate candy on their pillow. These simple amenities will be sure to make guests feel like they have a comfortable place to stay.

Avoid accidents
Clear all walkways and porch areas so they are free of snow and ice to ensure there are no slips. If you have exceptionally wintry weather, it’s best to have salt on hand. Be sure to also check that all outdoor lighting is functioning properly.

Stock the bathroom with essentials
Set a little basket of essentials in the bathroom with toiletries your holiday visitors may need. Include perfume, lotion, a lint roller, travel sized shampoo and conditioner… You get the idea!

Clean the house
This is usually a chore that ranks low on the list of priorities with all the other work to be done this season. Where will you find the time? Dedicate at least an hour to focus on your main cleaning duties! Vacuum, dust, clean the bathrooms, whatever you need to do —this is your hour to accomplish it. If finding an hour is hard, try setting aside 15 minutes each work day to focus on tidying just one room. This way it isn’t overwhelming but each room gets a spruce. Bonus: If you have little ones, include them by assigning simple tasks they can help with!

Keep your home safe
If you will be going out of town for the holidays, make sure your home is protected to avoid any break-ins. Set an automatic light timer in multiple rooms to make your home seem lived in, double check your entryway and window locks, and be cautious of what you post online. Try to stay away from the “I’m going on vacation” post to social media, and post your vacation pictures once you have returned home. If you have a trusted neighbor, it is a good idea to have them keep an eye on your home during your travels. Take time to deliver a homemade pie or Christmas cookies when dropping off your spare key, we guarantee they will appreciate it!

Utilize boxesIMG_9579
Whether you’re trying to organize the garage or store away those holiday decorations, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your needs. Pick up a wardrobe box to fill with old coats and donate to your local shelter or grab a small box to easily transport the desserts you’ve baked to family Christmas. Whatever it is, we’ve got you covered!

Break out the tunes
Finally, turn on those beloved holiday songs! After all, nothing says, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” better than the song itself!

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.

Military experience prepares veteran to become successful franchisee

Written by Jessy Howe

two men and a truck - jeremy brown-8809

In December 2014, Jeremy Brown joined the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system as franchisee of the Dover, Del., location. After completing 11.5 years of active duty Air Force service as a C-17 pilot, he has since transitioned to the Air Force Reserves in a traditional reservist capacity and serves as the Deputy Inspector General for the 512th Airlift Wing in Dover.

What does TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® mean to you?

For me, right now, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® symbolizes challenge and opportunity. Challenge, because every day it is highly probable I will face a new and unique puzzle that needs solved. I have always thrived in that kind of environment and I appreciate the chance to be a student and hopefully a teacher every day. I also see a great deal of opportunity with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. This system has grown for 70 consecutive months and is averaging 17% growth annually.  I feel my timing is perfect as the brand seems poised for continued, strong growth, which leads to expanded market share across the board. Likewise, the corporate team does a great job with the road map for success and growth on the local level and their continued effort to be exceedingly transparent provides an abundance of model franchises to base strategic decisions on. I am part of a unique system with support in all facets of the model and one that is achieving incredible success.

How do you feel TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® aligns with your military background?  

The Air Force was a great organization to be a part of and I think I could paint a correlation between nearly everything I did in the military and all the things that go along with being a franchisee. Being an officer in the military is very leadership intensive and as a C-17 pilot, I was charged with the safe navigation and movement of a $200 million aircraft all over the globe, and more importantly, the safe transport of the people and goods aboard. The only significant difference as a moving company is that we are confined to the roadways, at least for now.  Also, in the Air Force, and more specifically as a pilot, processes and checklists rule the day. They allow you to approach every task with clearly defined steps and standards, which ensures both efficiency and consistency regardless of who is performing the task. These principles seem to translate very well into the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system.

With your military experience, has it helped prepare to own a business?  

I think the military does a great job of teaching the principles of leadership. While that in itself doesn’t make me a great leader, I feel like it has given me the tools I need to be successful in business and continue to grow as a leader. Additionally, I was afforded the opportunity to work directly for the commander of a 4,500 person organization. This commander, in my opinion, was an extraordinary leader and manager and he was very forthcoming with the how and why of his decision-making. It was a unique perspective with lessons learned that I will never forget.

Do you have any advice for a veteran who was looking to start a business with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?  

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is a great brand to be a part of and the business structure closely mirrors that of a small military unit.  At least from my point of view, it fits the veteran profile nicely. The corporate team also does a wonderful job of providing a foundation and a road map to make a smooth transition from the service to successful business ownership.

We are blessed to have a number of veterans in our system working to lead and grow their own businesses. Like Jeremy, the leadership and integrity they bring is exceptional and sets them up for nothing but success.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us move your career forward. We are proud to be part of the VetFran network!  If you are interested in learning more about franchising with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® visit, twomenandatruckfranchising.com.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® – Delivering Smiles Matters

Written by Gary Parisher, President of Cheeriodicals

At Cheeriodicals, we provide one-of-a-kind corporate team building activities for US and global corporations where their teams of 10 to more than 1,000 can come together to assemble “cheer-up” gift boxes to deliver in person to local children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses. Our business was born of the desire to connect corporations to team building “that matters” to delivering a dose of cheer and encouragement to hospitalized children and their families. Simply put, we deliver Big Green Boxes of Cheer to those that need a lift in spirits. 

Gary Parisher, President of Cheeriodicals, laughs with one tiny patient while she opens her box of joy.
Cory Johnston of ThermoFisher, laughs with one tiny patient while she opens her box of joy.

Managing the logistics of Cheeriodicals assembly, corporate team building, delivery to the hospital, coordination with media and so many other items in the process has been quite a challenge to say the least. The one component we struggled with the most was how to get the assembled Cheeriodicals from the team building activity safely and carefully delivered to the children’s hospital or Ronald McDonald House. For the first couple of hospital deliveries, we really didn’t have an ideal answer. We found local options, but nothing that had a national reach, nothing we could rely on consistently.Cheeriodicals team!

One day while driving in Birmingham, AL, I noticed a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® vehicle passing by. While we had used TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® in our own personal home move years ago, I was struck by the logo on the truck “Movers Who Care”. I thought, maybe they could assist our efforts, especially with a tagline like “Movers Who Care”.

We were preparing for one of our children’s events at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH. I called the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® office in Columbus and was routed to Carly Turcu to discuss this idea. As I shared our concept of corporate giving, the impact on hospitalized children, the process, Carly simply said “We’ll gladly pick up and deliver your 250 Cheeriodicals to Nationwide Children’s completely free of charge”. And the rest is history. Here are just a few of the many trademark TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® – Cheeriodicals photos to follow:

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Columbus with the Cheeriodicals Team!
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Columbus with the Cheeriodicals Team!
Cheeriodicals in Ohmaha, NE with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®!
Cheeriodicals in Ohmaha, NE with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®!
Cheeriodicals, St. Louis MO
Making an extraordinary impact in St. Louis, MO!
Cheeriodicals, Chicago IL
Helping to deliver Cheeriodicals boxes of joy in Chicago, IL!

Since that first TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® delivery in Columbus, OH, we have partnered with the local office in each market we’ve delivered to children’s hospitals or Ronald McDonald Houses. We have now made more than 40 deliveries to children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses with the local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® office leading the delivery.

It’s incredibly difficult to pick out what stands out most about our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® partnership because I could personally write a book about the value of this combined effort. That said, I’ll limit this to three areas:

Professionalism – Our business is all about putting together a corporate team building activity that is flawless from beginning to end. It’s about our customers experiencing what it means to really “give back” with their effort, their labor and that satisfaction of seeing a child and family struggling with a healthcare issue light up and forget their situation for a while.  It’s about witnessing magic up close and personal.

To create this experience, we are required to uphold the highest level of professionalism because delivery of gifts to a hospitalized child has to be perfect. That means our gifts, the way they are delivered, the safety required, the hospital interaction, everything has to be handled without error. Our delivery has to be beyond professional.

We have never, not one time, had anything less than professional service from the many TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® offices and their delivery teams. The trucks and equipment are always in excellent shape and super clean. We notice it and I can assure you the hospital staff notices it. They tell us time after time!

Consistency – In a perfect world, you can go into any franchise, anywhere in the country, and the product delivered meets the expectations to the highest levels. Well, that perfect world doesn’t really exist for most national businesses, except for Starbucks, Apple stores, come to mind in this hallowed ground for business excellence.

I can assure you that TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has earned its stripes with regard to consistency across all the franchises we’ve worked with over the last four years. Our traveling events team has mentioned time after time how each interaction with each TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® office is so similar that we often are unable to distinguish those interactions. It’s not that we don’t remember the individuals we meet (we do!), it’s just that EVERYONE has been so consistently excellent. This consistency makes the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® component of our events planning the one part we can rest assured comes together without issue.

“Movers Who Care” is real – Rather than list all the reasons we know this is true (dozens we could share), I’ll share one example that highlights this value is absolutely real.  It’s an observation from my own personal experience, and something that others may not have noticed, but I did.

We were making a Cheeriodicals delivery to Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago. The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® team was led by Lauren Munson on that day in June in 2015. Comer Children’s Hospital invited Lauren and one of the delivery guys (dressed in his Truckie suit), to make a couple of deliveries to patients in their rooms, completely by surprise.

As a photo is worth a thousand words, one look at the photo that follows shows the emotional impact of this delivery on Lauren’s face. I watched Lauren (and Truckie) interact with this child and lift the child’s spirit.  What this photo doesn’t show, is Lauren leaving the room to escape into the hallway to shed tears, a mix of empathy for obvious reasons and joy for seeing this child in smiles. “Movers Who Care” can have multiple interpretations, but in this case, it was “Movers Who Care” the way we care.

Truckie and Lauren bringing joy to Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago, IL.
Truckie and Lauren bringing joy to Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago, IL.

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Gary Parisher has been the President of Cheeriodicals since 2011. To learn more about Cheeriodicals, please visit www.cheeriodicals.com.

Step-by-step tutorial for fun and inexpensive DIY Halloween costumes

Written by Jessy Howe

Do-it-yourself projects are a great way to make lasting memories and spend quality time having fun with your family. In the spirit of Halloween, we’ve created a few simple and inexpensive DIY Halloween costumes you can make out of old moving boxes to stand out in the crowd!

Check out the supplies we used and how we created these unique “boxtumes” with our step-by-step video tutorial below.

Read more about these costumes on our “Use your old moving boxes as Halloween costume inspiration!” blog post.

For more box inspiration, visit us on Pinterest!