Twin Cities Moves: The Muddy Mountain

As one of the premier moving companies in Minneapolis/St. Paul, we do a lot of Twin Cities moves. Most of these moves are pretty standard fare: couches and chairs and dressers from apartments to houses, emptying out an old storage unit or filling up a new one. But we’ve seen some unusual situations, too. That’s one of the benefits of being in the business. You see all kinds of different moves, and that means you end up with a lot of different stories. We figured it might be nice for everybody out there to get a little taste of some of things we’ve encountered, if only to help you plan your own upcoming move or feel better about weird hiccups you’ve had when you tried to move your great grand-aunt Louise into a new apartment.

This is the Story of the Muddy Mountain.

muddy-driveway

The customers scheduled the move in early summer. It was one of those misty morning Twin Cities moves, when rain threatens and the grass is wet, but the meteorologist tells everyone not to worry: there’s only a 15% chance of rain. Unfortunately, a 15% chance is still a chance.

Rain started falling well before the movers arrived. By the time they’d gotten started moving, it was a torrential downpour. We have a lot of experience moving in the rain, so our movers made sure to pad and wrap everything extra tightly, and move quickly. Inside, shoes came off at the door to help prevent mud from being splattered everywhere.

The mud, however, was about to get a whole lot worse.

New houses are always exciting, and this customer’s new home no exception. It was at the very top of a rather picturesque hill out in the countryside at the outskirts of the Twin Cities. It rose above a lovely little forest, with a dirt road functioning as the winding driveway.

But it was still raining.

When our movers arrived, the road had become more of a slick. It was the sort of thing that was probably an absolute joy to sled down during the winter, but in a heavy summer rain, it was absolutely impossible to ascend to the house.

Initially, the truck almost got stuck in the ascent. Thankfully, the movers were cautious, and realized it would be impossible to get the truck up the slope. After a quick talk with the customer, they ran through some different options. Either the customers belongings could be held for a day until the road dried out, or they could put it into storage, or they could try to bring everything up by foot.

The customer wanted everything brought up by foot. They were planning on leaving the on business shortly, and they really needed to get everything moved into the house that day. So the movers did what we do at College Muscle: they rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

They double-checked to make sure each piece of furniture was wrapped up fully and tightly, and hoofed it up the slippery driveway, carefully. It wasn’t pretty. The movers got wet and dirty, but they managed to keep the furniture fairly safe and clean.

A single room was designated for all of the furniture to be put down. The new house had just been redone with vanilla white carpeting, and it would have been a crime to track mud through the house, even if on pads and towels and plastic.

Anyway, just remember that sometimes Mother Nature throws us curveballs, even in 2015. Sometimes to protect the integrity of your house or possessions, your best bet is to wait for better conditions. If you can’t wait, though, College Muscle Movers is probably your best bet in the Twin Cities. We’ve seen it all, from muddy mountains to snowy icehouses.

 

5 Tips To Help You Move Into Your New House

In the Twin Cities, new houses and apartments are built on the daily. You can hardly walk a block without running into a new development, and here at College Muscle Movers, we’ve seen a wide array of new houses, as well as new homeowners. Below you’ll find 5 tips to help you get started in your new house.

SOLD

Get New Locks

This is a no-brainer. When you first step into a new house, there’s no way to tell who else might have keys to your home. Getting your own locks installed will ensure that only you have access to your home. If you’re handy, you can put the locks in yourself. Alternatively, you can contact a locksmith to do it. You’re better off hiring a specialist in most cases, since you’ll know it’s getting done right.

 

Clean Out Drawers and Cabinets

While the previous owners or managers ought to have given the house a good scrub, it’s easy to miss cleaning in some spots. Cabinets and drawers are common offenders: they’ll often have bits of grime or dust leftover in the corners, especially if they’re up high and hard to reach. Wipe them down, and put in new mats if necessary. Especially in kitchens, keep an eye out for rodent droppings.

Which brings us to our next point—

 

Keep An Eye Open for Pests

House pests come in a lot of different flavors. Most common are rodents (rats, mice, and bats), followed by termites and roaches. Termites and roaches are usually less common in colder climates, although they can always pop up. If you find signs of any pests, you have a number of different options. Ideally, you can find a humane trap that will capture your pest without hurting it, and then you can release it far away in the wild. If you aren’t having success with any humane traps, you can resort to poisons, but be careful, especially if you have any pets or children in the house.

If all of your attempts fail to remove the pests, you can find a local pest removal service and have them do it. Usually a pest removal service is far more costly and invasive, so consider using these as a last resort.

 

Memorize Your Circuits and Fuses

Even if you move into a new house without any pre-existing electrical or plumbing issues, you should immediately memorize the location of your circuit box. Any time an issue does arrive (intense thunderstorms, power goes out in the bathroom, etc.), you’ll want to know how to turn off and subsequently restore power so that no one gets electrocuted.

For the fuses and circuit breakers, you’ll want to make sure you have a diagram so you know how the switches correspond to the different areas of the house. It’s a lot harder to figure it out AFTER you have a problem and the power goes out. Keep the diagram somewhere safe and easy to reach in an emergency, and store it with a flashlight.

 

Familiarize Yourself With The Plumbing

Find the main water valve as soon as you get to your new house. Turning off the water is something you’ll likely need to do when you first move into a house. If you need to install any new appliances (refrigerator, freezer, washer, etc.), turning off the water is the first step in getting everything set up. No one wants to get water damage on their brand-new wood floors.

 

Zooming In On CMM

Moving is part of life, and here at CMM, we know it can be stressful. That’s why we’ve assembled a team of bright young student-athletes and spatial awareness wizards from around the Twin Cities to make sure your possessions are in good hands. Our team comes from a lot of different backgrounds, so we’ve devoted part of every month to introducing them to you.

This month we’re talking with Abygail Natoli, the intern mastermind behind CMM’s accounting department. Originally from Rosemount, Minnesota, Abygail will be a senior at Luther College this fall.

Let the record show that Abygail prefers chocolate donuts to vanilla. Donut credit goes to Twin Cities’ favorite Glam Doll donuts.
Let the record show that Abygail prefers chocolate donuts to vanilla. Donut credit goes to Twin Cities’ favorite Glam Doll donuts.

So, Abygail, what do you study at Luther?

Accounting!

That makes sense.
Yep: I am kind of the accounting department here at CMM.

How did you end up choosing accounting, if you don’t mind my asking?

You get a lot out of your education, but it’s a big investment, so it’s important to try to plan for your future accordingly. I pay for school on my own, so it’s doubly important for me to make a well-informed decision. Accounting seemed like a good fit for me. I don’t mind crunching numbers, and I appreciate the puzzle aspect of accounting, so here I am.

Very responsible! Sounds like a good decision. On the topic of the accounting: how did you end up working here?

There’s actually a great story behind that. I also work as a server around the Twin Cites— last year I was working as downtown on a Friday during Lent, and we had a section of rowdy gentlemen. It turned out they were celebrating a bachelor party. They invited me to join in their selection of fried fish, and as we were all talking, it came up that I was majoring in accounting. As chance would have it, a couple of the guys were with College Muscle Movers, and they mentioned that they were looking for an accounting intern. We set up a time to do a Skype interview, and things went well. The timing didn’t quite work out that summer, but when this summer rolled around, there was an open position for an accounting intern, and I was thrilled to accept!

This is still fairly new: do you like it so far?

Yes, definitely. Like I was saying, I don’t mind crunching numbers, and it’s really nice to work for a small company like CMM. It’s welcoming, and it gives me an opportunity to learn a wider variety of new skills. I’m also interested in Psychology and HR, and I get the opportunity to learn about some of that here. A smaller company sort of lets you mold your own specific job. Working here allows for more than just numbers.

Totally. Speaking of interests, what about activities outside of work?
Books. I’ve always been an avid reader. I’m kind of a collector of ideas: an intellectual hoarder.

Favorite books?

Mmmm, Siddartha. Also, The Chosen (by Chaim Potok), and The House of the Spirits (by Isabel Allende). Oh, and Harry Potter. Of course.

That’s a pretty excellent list. To finish up, let’s say you’re trapped on a desert island. What three things do you absolutely need?

Bow and arrows, for sure. Also, all the seasons of Parks and Recreation (TV included). Oh, and a dog. A collie.

Moving With A Real Estate Agent

For many people, moving means selling or buying a home. That can be a major life choice, and a really huge investment. You want be sure you’re making the most of it. Real estate agents specialize in buying and selling houses, and they can help the transaction go much faster, as well as finding you a more favorable price.

If you’re planning on using a real estate agent, you should take plenty of time to find the right one. It’s a big decision, and doing it right will pay off. Below we’ve gathered some tips to help you choose the right realtor.

This could be you.
This could be you. Or your sign, anyway.

Choose A Professional

Many people aren’t aware of the differences between agents, brokers, and realtors. A real estate agent must possess a state license, while a broker has additional education beyond an agent. Realtors are agents who belong to the National Association of Realtors, and they must follow it’s guidelines. Make sure you choose the agent who’s right for you.

 

Find A Practiced Realtor

Generally speaking, regardless of the job title, you want to make sure you entrust the sale of your property to someone with experience. You don’t want the sale to be a learning experience for your agent. Find out how long your agent has been licensed, and how long they’ve been working in the neighborhood you’re looking at.

 

Look For Local Referrals

On the local note, see if anyone in the area can refer an agent. Friends and neighbors can often give you the inside scoop on whether or not an agent is legitimate. Getting a wide range of secondhand accounts isn’t likely to hurt. Were previous clients happy with the agent? Would they work with the agent again?

 

Shoot For The Same Goals

You want to make sure you see eye-to-eye with a potential agent when buying or selling a house. Make sure you have the same price range in mind, and be careful that your agent has experience working within that price range. Local advertisements and real estate listings should give you a good idea of the price ranges that specific agents are working in.

 

Conduct Interviews

One of the best ways to make sure you and your potential agent are on the same page is to conduct interviews with agents. Start by doing some basic background checking, then make a list of all the agents you think will work well with your property. You can also consider visiting some of their open houses to get a good look at how the agent works in the field. Are they professional? Enthusiastic?

 

Make Sure You Get Along

Getting along with your real estate agent can actually be quite important. First of all, you’re entrusting them with a major investment, and you want to feel comfortable having part of your life in their hands. Even more important, however, is the fact that a potential buyer will be a lot more open and excited if they like your real estate agent. A good real estate agent needs to be able to get along with people. If something doesn’t feel right, that could be a red flag.