Story of the Leftover Couch

According to the U.S Census Bureau, the average American will change residences about once every five years. The volatility of the housing market is easy to see in the Twin Cities: hardly a day seems to go by that a new apartment complex hasn’t sprouted up somewhere. It adds up to a lot of moves, and a lot of interesting stories: somehow, when you’re moving yourself, things don’t always go quite as expected.

Here at College Muscle Movers, we move a lot. In fact, we conduct multiple moves every single day of the week, with the exception of some holidays (everybody needs a break once in a while). That means we’ve acquired a lot of different stories over the years. We’ve moved priceless works of art and rare plants, and all sorts of unusual furniture. In fact, if it can be moved, we’ve probably moved it!

Because of our unique perspective within the moving business, we’ve gathered some of most interesting and intriguing stories. It just doesn’t feel right to keep all the good stuff to ourselves! Plus, hopefully hearing some of the stories will help you feel more comfortable or offer some valuable practical tips for your own future moves. This is the story of The Leftover Couch.

Good luck getting this baby down the stairs.
Good luck getting this baby down the stairs.

Sometimes when you move into a new home, the previous owners might ask if you’re interested in any of the furniture they don’t want to cart around themselves. You can end up owning some really cool stuff this way, as well as getting some great deals, but beware: there’s usually a reason the owners don’t want to move it. Sometimes, furniture is literally impossible to move out of a home. This is usually caused by remodeling. If a couch or bed or dresser just barely fit downstairs the first time, it’s not going to work well when you redo the stairs so that they are shallower and less steep.

In the story of The Leftover Couch, College Muscle Movers were hired to move a customer out of her fourth-floor condominium. It was a short move, and relatively quick, except for one thing: the couch. It was a gorgeous piece: rich red leather and brass trim. Heavy, deep, and long. Just the sort of furniture item you want to call professional movers for. There was just one problem.

The couch didn’t fit out the door. Not even close, in fact. The movers took the feet off, removed the cushions, shrunk it down with plastic wrap: no success. When the movers asked about how the couch had gotten in, the customer mentioned that the striking couch had come complimentary with the apartment, but she’d grown attached to it.

Uh-oh. Complimentary with the apartment? This was a definite red flag. How long had the customer been living in the condo? About 20 years. Had there been any remodeling done over those 20 years?

This was when the customer remembered the huge overhaul that had been done on the condo right before she moved in. The stairs themselves had been totally redone, such that they now doubled as drawers. Undeniably cool, but there was a lot less space than there had been originally.

Long story short, there was no way to get the couch out through the stairwell. However, we were able to arrange a trip back at a later date with specialized pulley equipment to hoist the couch out through the window and down from the fourth floor. Done.

This sort of thing isn’t terribly uncommon. If you’ve done any remodeling since moving into your home, let your movers know right away! If you’re feeling hesitant about whether a piece of furniture will fit through the door, measure it! That way, your movers can come equipped with the right tools and get the job done right away.

If you’re living in or around the Twin Cities and you have any questions about that sort of thing, give College Muscle Movers a call! We’re here to help.

Moving Vinyl

To be human is to love music. Great minds have waxed eloquent about the beauty of music for millennia, from Shakespeare and Plato to Jack Kerouac and Langston Hughes. What nobody talks about, though, is how heavy music can be. If you’re a music lover with a collection of vinyl, you might be familiar with this. Vinyl is heavy. Like, really heavy. And delicate. That means it can be difficult to move safely. On the other hand, a well-curated vinyl collection is literally irreplaceable, and you don’t want to risk damage to your priceless records. Below we’ll list some tips for how you can safely pack up and move all your music.

Pictured: backbreaking amounts of vinyl.
Pictured: backbreaking amounts of vinyl.

Proper Storage

To maximize the safety of your vinyl, the first step is protection. Regardless of whether you’re moving, you always need to protect your records from the constants that are humidity, heat, and debris. You want to make sure you have a paper liner on the record itself, a jacket/album sleeve, and a plastic sleeve on the outside. The plastic sleeve is your outermost layer of protection, so it’s especially important to the longevity of your records.

 

Take Off The Jackets

That’s right, take the records out of the jackets when you’re storing them. Especially when your records are stacked together, pressure can cause the album jackets to become distorted and damaged along the edges, and imprint the shape of the vinyl itself onto the cardboard.

Ideally, you want to store your records vertically alongside their album jackets, so there’s no risk of that damage occurring. Of course, you’ll likely want to keep the record protected by a jacket during transit, but remember that over the long-term, all it takes is pressure to damage an album jacket.

 

Use Appropriately Sized Boxes

When it comes time to move, you’re definitely going to need boxes. You might need a lot, depending on the size of your record collection. You’ll quickly find that there are a lot of differently sized boxes available: what you want is a box that is just a little bit bigger than 12X12X12 to account for the size of your records (12 inches for LPS). You’ll want a little bit of extra space available for padding.

Make sure you are using strong, structurally sound boxes. If those boxes sitting around in your basement are moldy or wet or ragged, forget about them. You can pick up new boxes at a home improvement or truck rental store (such as Lowe’s or U-Haul), or you can conveniently pick them up from us here at College Muscle Movers. In addition to traditional cardboard, we offer eco-friendly reusable Muscle Boxes. In case you’re looking to really scrimp, you might find that a local liquor store is willing to part with their wine boxes, which fit records nicely.

 

Give Your Records Proper Protection

After you’ve packed your boxes full of records, fill up any of the remaining space with bubble wrap, pillows, packing peanuts, etc. Something to help protect against the bumps they might receive on a long road. A professional moving company will take good care of your possessions, but they still have to drive on the same roads you do. In Minnesota, that’s likely to mean potholes, especially in the early spring when the snow melts.

Zooming In On CMM

Here at College Muscle Movers, we strive to provide the best possible service. We want to make sure the people moving your possessions are strong, smart, and dedicated. That’s why we employ college athletes and recent graduates— they know the value of hard work, and they have the skills to work efficiently.

This month we’re saying goodbye to longtime mover Matt Knutson, and we figured we’d interview him one last time to get his unique perspective on the company before he heads out to pasture.

Really.
Matt Knutson getting ready for his new job at MI6.

 

Matt, you’ve been with CMM for a long time. When did you start moving here?

On and off, I think it’s been about 5 years.

That’s a long time to be hauling heavy furniture around! What kept you going?

The guys, for sure. That’s always been my favorite thing about College Muscle Movers, it’s a great group of people. It’s not so easy to find out in the world, especially at work.

Agreed. You must have seen your fair share of guys come through the company over the years, did you notice any changes on that front?

Sure thing. As complicated and hard as the industry is, CMM has grown a lot over the last several years. Back in the day, when I started, it was less structured. The estimates weren’t as accurate, there wasn’t as much support. Now you get a lot more help when you need it, and things run a lot smoother. That’s the benefit of learning and experience.

Ok. I ask this one a lot, but what is the craziest thing that ever happened to you on a move?

There are so many things, ha. I’ve probably done my best to forget some of them. One of the weirdest was when we went out for a move at this apartment complex. The customer said she could be late, but the leasing manager could sign off on the paperwork.

The leasing manager met us in the lobby, but he wouldn’t let us into the apartment or sign off on the paperwork. He kept saying that going into the apartment would ‘mess us up’. He kept repeating that, and it was a little weird. Then he told us that the customer was a wanted felon, and the police needed our help to catch her. That was probably the weirdest part, when he just flipped his story like that.

Anyway, eventually he signed off on the paperwork and had us just go in and move stuff around for awhile. Later, when we were going to be unloading, the police sent a squad car there and that was that. Crazy time moving.

So, we’ve covered the job— what do you do outside of moving?

I’m a beer guy. Some people collect fine wines, fill up their cellars with wine. I have a cellar full of beer.

That doesn’t sound so bad. I’ve heard rumors that you even brew your own? What’s the best beer you’ve ever brewed?

Ooooh. That’s a tough one. I can definitely narrow it down. There’s this lymphoma charity that I’m involved with, and I brew beer for it. I made this pear pale ale for it, from Bartlett pears. You steam the pears and then infuse that with the beer and let it ferment. Really good.

That sounds even better.

Thanks to Matt Knutson for all the years he put in moving, and we hope he keeps enjoying the finer things in life!

 

5 Moving Tips That Might Totally Change Your Life

Ok. Full disclosure: these moving tips are not necessarily going to change your life. But they will help simplify your move. They may not be life-changing, but they are convenient and well thought out. Ok, where to start?

 

Document, Document, Document!

This is one of the easiest things you can do to simplify your move. Before you start packing up your belongings, create an inventory or list of all the things you’re going to be moving. You can even assign numbers to boxes to help keep track of everything for later. Making this your first step will also help you estimate what sort of supplies you’ll need (specialty boxes, bubble wrap, etc.). An accurate inventory is also important to professional moving companies like CMM: it’ll help get you the most accurate estimate on long a job will take.

 

Make Sure You Have Enough Boxes

You probably don’t have as many boxes as you’ll end up wanting, especially if you’ve been living somewhere for more than a couple years. Whether it’s shelves of books or DVDs, or those stemware sets your in-laws keep sending you, stuff accumulates. If you’re worried about the eventual mountain of cardboard when you unpack, consider renting our Muscle Boxes. They’re made out of a dense and durable plastic, and they stack very neatly. Plus, they’re reusable, minimizing your carbon footprint.

 

Use The Right Boxes

You have a lot of different options when it comes to moving boxes. They’re specialized: typically, larger boxes are used for lightweight objects with lots of surface area and volume (like blankets or pillows), while smaller boxes work better for heavy items (books or vinyl). You’ll want to make sure you don’t overfill any of the large boxes, or the weight could rip right through the cardboard. It’s tempting just to get everything jammed into one box, but it could cause trouble later.

 

For real, don't weigh these things down too much.
We’re looking at you, wardrobe box.

Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute

Chances are good you’ll be visiting your new home a couple times before you move in and settle down. Consider bringing along some of the lighter items with you when you go. Even a single backpack can save you a trip on moving day. You don’t need to move every single one of your possessions in a single day. The more you can move before the last day in your old home, the easier your move will go. Things that are already in storage, unused treadmills, etc— getting this stuff done early will save you time later! Even if you’re just taking one lone lampshade at a time, it’s still progress.

 

The Necessities Box

Especially if you’re doing a long-distance move, you’ll want to make sure you keep some things close at hand. Phone chargers, toothbrushes, extension cords, paper towels. Things you’ll want to use right away when you get to your destination. A lot of people also like to make sure they keep all of their important documents close by: government identification, health insurance papers, that sort of thing. Keeping your necessities close by could save you a future headache.

 

Hopefully some of these tips will come in handy on your next move. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us! We’re here to help.