How to Safely Pack and Move Your LCD TV

One of the most challenging items on your packing list is going to be that big flat screen TV. At College Muscle Movers, we take extra care with these delicate and expensive items. If you’re planning on doing your own packing, we can help you out by giving you a little advice and looking at the truth behind one of the biggest questions in moving LCD TV screens.

Even our best advice can’t guarantee you’ll have a safe move, especially if you hit a lot of bumps in the road, but this little guide will should improve the chances of getting that TV where it needs to be safe and sound.

Let’s start with the big question:

Can I Move My TV Flat, Or Do I Have To Keep It Upright?

You’ve probably heard that you can’t lay modern TVs flat without damaging them. That’s actually only partly true. There’s nothing wrong with laying a screen flat, and it won’t break just from being horizontal instead of vertical.

The real problem is that a screen laying on its face or on its back is much more easily damaged by all kinds of other factors. Those screens are engineered to be shipped and be used standing up; a horizontal TV will have more pressure on that delicate screen, and any additional pressure—like from a bouncing moving truck—can cause real damage.

So, if your TV is perfectly packed, there’s not really anything wrong with laying it down, but on the other hand there’s no reason to take the risk.

How Should I Pack My LCD TV?

Okay, let’s get to the real issue: how to pack your TV.

First, your best option is always going to be repacking the TV in the box it came in. Of course most people don’t bother to save those boxes, but if you’re one of the people who do, you’ve got a solution all ready to go. If you’re really serious about the best possible security for your big flat screen, you can buy special boxes designed to offer similar protection from retailers like EcoBox.

But that’s probably overkill. If you’re looking for something simpler, your best option may be wrapping a soft blanket around the entire TV and sealing the blanket with tape. This protects the entire TV, and in particular it keeps the screen protected from scratches.

So delicate. So precious. Image Credit: Flick
So delicate. So precious.
Image Credit: Flickr

If you have bubble wrap on hand, it’s a good idea to add a layer  or two over the blanket—and if you don’t have bubble wrap on hand, it’s probably worth picking some up! It’s a lot cheaper than a new TV, and you’ll have plenty of other fragile items to wrap too.

Finally, when it’s time to load the TV into your moving truck, make sure you have a partner to help you carry it—this is one item you definitely don’t want to drop.

Make sure you put your TV in a secure location in the truck. It definitely shouldn’t be under anything that’s likely to fall on top of it, and if it’s on top of other items, make sure it’s not going to slide off and hit the floor. If you have two mattresses, you’re in luck: putting the upright TV between the two mattresses is a great way to keep it safe and secure.

And as always, if you’re in the Minneapolis area and need a hand, College Muscle Movers is here to help.

Moving to Minneapolis – Part 4 : Unloading and Unpacking Boxes

Okay, you’re in the home stretch! You’ve successfully packed all your stuff, you’ve managed to get all those boxes and furniture out the door, and you’ve loaded up a rental truck and hauled your life to a new home.

But the last step can actually take the most time and cause the most frustration. Unloading shouldn’t take too long—it’s just loading in reverse, so check out our post on proper box handling and lifting techniques.

The real challenge is unpacking. Even if you’ve properly labeled all your boxes so you know which goes with which room (we sure hope you did!), you’re going to be a little exhausted and you’ve still got plenty of other new-home chores to take care of. For many people, the unpacking process can stretch into days or weeks.

That’s okay, you earned a break. Take your time. And when you’re ready, take a look at these unpacking tips that will help the process go faster and smoother whenever you decide to tackle it.

The horror... the horror! Image Credit: Flickr
The horror… the horror! Image Credit: Flickr

Plan Ahead

Hopefully you’re reading this before you’ve arrived at your new home, because there’s a lot you can do ahead of time to make unpacking easier.

First, you’ll want to make sure that the last box you load into your truck—and the first box you unload—is your ‘essentials’ box, full of everything you’ll need for the first few nights. That means toiletries, food and dishes for a few simple meals, garbage bags, any documents you’ll need, and some common tools you’ll use to assemble your other items.

If you’re able to scout out your new place ahead of time or even get a floor plan, you’ll also be able to plan what furniture will go where, and you can move it straight to the proper room instead of letting it clump up in the living room.

Details First

It may seem counterintuitive, but there are a number of chores that seem like low priorities that you should really take care of right away. It’s going to be easier to line your cupboards before you load them with pots and pans, and it’s a good idea to start bedroom unpacking by organizing your closet—you’ll have the space to lay out everything and put it where it needs to be so that everything is easy to access in the following days and weeks.

The First Room, the Last Room, and In Between

It’s best to get all those boxes marked ‘kitchen’ unpacked first, unless you plan to spend extra on eating out for every meal.

As you proceed from room to room, always move in the furniture first so that you can plan around it. You don’t need to reassemble everything right away, but it’s best to get these bulky items out of the way first and have them in place so you can estimate how much space they’ll eventually take up.

You can leave any garage and patio items for last. There shouldn’t be anything in there that can’t wait, and you’ll be much happier and more comfortable getting your interior in shape before worrying about these extras—plus you’ll have a better idea of what items should end up in the garage if you can’t find a suitable place for them indoors.

Take it Easy

There’s really nothing wrong with putting off all the little unpacking chores that come after you’ve got the essentials in your kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom sorted out. Doing everything at once is stressful, and you and your family will have a much better time if you reward yourself by taking breaks to explore your new neighborhood.

Go ahead, relax. If you've unpacked your clean underwear and your coffee machine, what else do you need? Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Go ahead, relax. If you’ve unpacked your clean underwear and your coffee machine, what else do you need?
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

People like to joke about how long it takes them to unpack after a move, but they still do it anyway. The result will be a less stressful and exhausting experience and a final layout that reflects your real preferences instead of simply the first place you could think of to stick your stuff.

And we’ve said it once, but we’ll say it again: Make sure to follow the best practices for safely lifting and moving heavy and awkwardly shaped objects. Or better yet, let College Muscle Movers do it for you! Good luck!

Moving to Minneapolis – Part 3 : Choosing a Truck to Transport Your Stuff

Welcome back! We’ve showed you some best practices for how to pack for a move, and last week we covered how to safely handle your boxes out of your home and onto your moving truck. The next step is getting you and all your stuff from your old place to your new home, whether that means a few miles through town or a major cross-country venture.

As always, College Muscle Moves can do it all for you—our trucks will get you and your possessions where they need to be, no problem. But if you want to DIY, that’s an option too, and we’re going to help you get it done.

Choosing The Right Size

It’s possible you can get the job done without a truck. If you don’t have much furniture or other clutter and you don’t mind making a few trips, it may be that all you need is your car—or a friend’s car—and a lot of time to make repeat trips. It sounds like you might be a young college student just getting established in life. In fact, you might be one of our Muscle Movers. Hey guys, get back to work!

If you’re moving a decent-sized apartment or a multi-bedroom house, though, you’re definitely going to want a truck. If you’re moving a small apartment, or travelling a short distance that makes repeat trips painless, a 10-foot mini mover should do the job. You could go all the way up to a 26-foot straight box truck. Remember that it’s a good idea to go for a truck at least 10% larger than you think you’ll need.

A too-large truck is definitely better than a too-small truck. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
A too-large truck is definitely better than a too-small truck.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Choosing a Rental Agency and Making a Reservation

You probably know the big names in truck rental. There’s Budget, Penske, U-Haul, Ryder, and usually a few local options that you’ve seen on the streets around town.

Each company has different strengths and different scales of payment. Paying by the hour, by the day, or by mileage is one common difference. Some offer essential equipment like moving dollies while others will charge a fee for them. Prices will also vary depending on whether you’re making a one-way move or willing to return the truck to its original location.

Your best bet is to make a clear plan for exactly what you want and when you want it, and then to call multiple agencies to compare prices and terms—checking four or five options is a good idea.

Make sure you make a complete plan and prepare a reservation well in advance! In particular, June through September is typically the busy season for moving, and you can expect higher prices and a need for earlier reservations. In less busy seasons, two weeks should be sufficient.

You can also expect additional fees to cover rental insurance, and when you’re done, be sure to fill up the gas tank—there’ll be an unpleasant additional fee if the agency has to take care of that detail for you.

Other Options

Renting a truck can be hassle—it’s one of the reason College Muscle Movers is such a successful business: We handle all that headache for you. You just pay a flat free and get exactly what you need.

But there’s another interesting option if you’d rather not rent a truck. Try checking out PODS—this service simply drops off a large crate at your home. You take as long as you need to fill it up, then let the service know you’re ready. They’ll bring their own truck to pick up your ‘pod’ and bring it wherever you need, even cross-country, or they’ll store it for you until you’ve got your new place ready.

It can be a little pricey, and they won’t help you load and unload, but if your biggest concern is transportation and you want to take your sweet time with packing and unpacking, it’s worth looking into this option.

Moving to Minneapolis – Part 2 : Handling Boxes

If you read Part 1 of our guide to moving in Minneapolis, you’ve turned a home full of your stuff into a home full of boxes, boxes, and more boxes… and a few pieces of furniture. The next step is getting all those boxes out of your house and onto your moving truck.

College Muscle Movers can help. But maybe you’ve just got a small move to take care of that you’re happy to handle on your own—or maybe you’re helping out a friend in return for a little pizza and a lot of good will. In that case, you’re going to want to know how to get the job done efficiently and safely by yourself. College Muscle Movers can still help. Moving boxes is what we do, and we’ve got some tips for you.

The most important thing is keeping you—and especially your back—safe. Here are some guidelines for good form in lifting and carrying:

1. Don’t rely on your body alone

There are a lot of tools you can use to make moving safer and easier, and most are very cheap to rent or own. Dollies are the most basic and powerful tool for moving a lot of boxes with a little effort, but you can also use moving blankets, load securing tools like bungees, and other equipment.

It’s also a great idea to have somebody else present—even if they aren’t helping you move, they’ll be available to help if something goes wrong.

2. Preparing to lift

Of course, even if you’re using a dolly, you’re going to have to put the boxes on it yourself. Here are the basics of correct lifting posture: Place your feet apart, bend your knees (not your back), and grip with your entire hand (not just your fingers). You want to grip the area of your box or item that is heaviest to keep the load close to your body.

A too-large truck is definitely better than a too-small truck. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
A too-large truck is definitely better than a too-small truck.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

3. Straightening up

Okay, you’ve got a good grip and you’re ready for action. Begin by lifting your head up to keep your back straight, then smoothly bend your knees up—no sudden movements, relying on your legs. If you’re feeling strain at any point, now is the time to put down the box and reassess the situation before it gets worse.

4. Moving with a heavy load

Keep the load close to your body, never at arm’s length. Avoid twisting your body and especially your back—if you have to move around an awkward space, try setting down the load and sliding it around until it is facing the right direction.

5. Big and heavy first

Now you’ve got a basic understanding of how to keep yourself safe while you move. To keep your possessions safe, you’ll want to be smart about loading your moving vehicle. Begin with the biggest and heaviest items: if you have major appliances, those should go in first, up against the far wall of the truck. Next are long, large, but not quite as heavy items like furniture—and do consider using moving blankets to pad these items and keep them safe from scratches. Move on to large heavy boxes, then put smaller and lighter boxes on top.

This box contains fragile materials, and should definitely not be placed at the bottom of a stack. Image credit: Flickr
This box contains fragile materials, and should definitely not be placed at the bottom of a stack.
Image credit: Flickr

Those are the basics of safe and efficient box handling. Sound simple? It is, but you’d be amazed how often people use unsafe practices, causing harm to themselves and their possessions. We hope this little guide keeps you out of that category, and we’ll be back next week with more moving tips.


Moving to Minneapolis – Part 1: How to Pack

Welcome to Minneapolis.

If you’re considering using College Muscle Movers, you probably didn’t come from too far away—all of our movers are Minneapolis locals looking to learn how to be part of a successful small business as they prepare for their future careers.

Whether you’re coming from Edina, Minnetonka, Eagan, or anywhere else in Minnesota and the greater Minneapolis area, you’re going to be facing similar challenges as you prepare to move. Even if you don’t rely on College Muscle Movers or another local option, the process will be the same: Packing, Handling, Transportation, and Unloading.

You can rely on College Muscle Movers for all these steps—or you can take care of some yourself and call us for any details you’d rather not deal with.

Here’s how you can quickly and efficiently pack your house or apartment for your Minneapolis move.

moving-box-300x3001. Bubbles and Boxes

Boxes, boxes, boxes. You’re going to need a lot of them—along with bubble wrap for more delicate items (although you could also wrap them up in towels!).

You can buy them in many places: U-Haul, Staples, Lowe’s… for a major move, you are going to have to buy some boxes. We offer a lot of inexpensive and durable solutions ourselves, but here’s a trick you can use to get a head start at no cost: local businesses that deal in bulk goods may have cardboard boxes they’ll give you for free. Grocery stores are just one example. Ask politely and you may be able to pick up a pile of boxes that would otherwise be shipped off for recycling.

2. Packing Labels and Packing Spmarked-boxesace

Now that you have the boxes, you need to fill them. Clear out a space in your house or apartment and start filling up boxes one at a time, labelling them with the category of items inside. You know the obvious ones: “Kitchen,” “Bathroom,” “Electronics.” But make sure you have a couple of boxes labelled “OPEN FIRST,” too! You’ll want that coffee maker right away. It’s a good place to put important documents related to your move as well.

3. Check, Check, Check

check-remember-ponder-300x225If you have your boxes and a packing process, you’re almost done. But almost isn’t good enough!

Check, check, check again after you think you’re done packing. Is everything packed? Do you have everything you’ll need before you Unpack?

Good job. Now, after the College Muscle Movers have filled up the truck with all your boxes… check AGAIN. With all that extra space, you might find a few items you missed before.

4. Read On

Got it? Then check out our blog next week for our post on handling boxes and furniture as you move them from your old home or apartment to your moving vehicle. We’ll try to help you keep you back straight and your stuff in one piece as you move down the stairs and out the door.

Why Should You Care About Your Minneapolis Movers?

Moving should be a simple process. It SHOULD go exactly like this:

1. You Put Your Stuff in Boxes

2. You Call A Moving Company

3. You Tell Them What To Move

4. You Leave a Forwarding Address

5. You Get Your Stuff At Your New Location

6. You Throw An Amazing Housewarming Party


Sounds good. And that’s the process we try to give you at College Muscle Movers. Heck, we can even cut out Step #1 for you with our packing service.

But we’re not the only movers in town, and you might be tempted to shop around. You should! We think you’ll find our rates competitive and our service outstanding, but if you’re looking for other options, just know that not all movers are equal.

Here are some extra steps that careful and trustworthy movers will take when they truly care about providing excellent service:

1. Making An On-Site Estimate

For larger projects like commercial moving, serious movers will visit to provide you with an accurate estimate for your specific needs. If you get a price for a major project without an on-site visit, it’s probably not a price you can trust.

2. Providing A Quote You Can Believe In

Can you find a cheaper mover than us? It’s possible. Can you find a MUCH cheaper mover than us? Probably not. If you get a much lower quote, you need to make sure it’s coming from a reputable business. There really are individuals and companies that will offer low bids but then raise their prices once they have loaded up your possessions.

3. Helping You Know Your Salesperson

Whether it’s the person you first contact on the phone or the estimator who names a price to you, one of your mover’s employees who are close to the sales process should be approachable and available to deal with any issues that come up. Do you need an extra hour to prepare for your movers to arrive? Do you want to know exactly how your most valuable and fragile possessions will be packed? Whatever it is you need, a serious moving company will make sure you know who to talk to and how to get in touch with them.

4. Being An AMSA Member




The AMSA is the American Moving & Storage Association. It’s a non-profit that certifies movers of all kinds, from residential movers who help you move from Uptown to Downtown, to interstate shippers that transfer the contents of entire warehouses across state lines. Along with approval from the famous Better Business Bureau (BBB), being a member of the AMSA is the very minimum you should look for in a moving company that truly exists to make customers happy instead of take advantage of them. Make sure any move you choose is endorsed by both the AMSA and the BBB.

Want To Know More?

Go ahead, get in touch with us at 1-800-818-8449, and we’ll be happy to talk to you personally about just why you should care about what makes us special.


Image Source: Flickr

New Location and New Hours of Operation

Over the coming weeks, College Muscle Movers will be undergoing some big changes. We are a company that believes in moving forward and pushing for progress at all times. This coming month we plan to continue to push our company forward as many of our longer-term goals will be coming to fruition. We have added more management staff to help deal with increasing demand and this additional staff also allows us to keep our office open for extended hours! The CMM office will be open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Saturday through Sunday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Our moving hours will remain constant at 7 days per week, 8:30 AM to 10:00 PM.

We will also be relocating our office to a new, much larger space! By early April, our base of operations will be moving a couple miles (still within St. Paul) to 720 North Prior Avenue. The new space is perfect for us and will help us to continue to build our staff, vehicles, service options and accommodate more customers than ever before.

It is an exciting time at CMM! We look forward to helping with your upcoming move soon!

Surviving Move Day Weather

Weather is a factor that has the ability to significantly impact the outcome of a move. If it is raining or snowing, very cold or very hot, it is not unreasonable to expect a move to take longer than it would under normal circumstances. Unfortunately, as the moving company, we do not have any more control over these variables than anyone else. We respond to these and other events by providing shrink-wrap and moving blankets to protect items from the weather, dress appropriately and mentally prepare for difficult weather situations. What can you do to best prepare and make sure your move is impacted as little as possible from weather and other unknown variables?

Preparing For Your Move

You’ve decided to hire a moving company but you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg? While our Muscle Movers are far and away the hardest-working and most efficient movers out there, the amount of time it takes to complete your service ultimately comes down to… you.  Since we (and almost all local movers) charge by the hour, the best thing you can do to save money on your move is to prepare effectively. Here are some hints to lower the cost of your service:

  • PURGE!
    • The time to get rid of unwanted stuff is before moving day. It may seem pretty obvious, but the more you are able to sort and purge, the less the movers have to haul, and the less time the service will take.
    • Many times people do not really know how much they have before they begin packing up. If you find yourself wondering how you accumulated so much, take a few hours to decide what you really want to bring to your new home, and what might be donated/thrown out.
  • PACK!
    • Most people thing that larger furniture items are the main focus of the move. While this is true, a lot of the time the items that take the longest to move are the smaller miscellaneous items and boxes without closed tops. Therefore, by making sure your items are packed efficiently for moving can dramatically reduce the cost of the service.
    • When packing items in boxes, label them on at least 2 sides with what is inside. This allows you and the movers to quickly identify where in the home the box should go, instead of having to ask about each and every box.
    • Do your best to pack everything into boxes. Loose or miscellaneous smaller items add an incredible amount of time to a moving service (and are the chief reason for moving estimates being inaccurate). Every item not boxed equals another trip to and from the truck and the time quickly adds up! It may not be initially apparent, but by packing well you are saving yourself a lot of money and hassle.
    • Most people have at least a handful of items that require disassembly in order to transport them. If you can allow the movers to focus on moving your items, rather than taking them apart and putting them back together, you will shorten the service.
    • We are always more than willing to help with disassembly/reassembly, it does add a fair amount of time though so if you are looking to get the most bang for your buck this is one area that can really save time!


We hope these ideas are helpful! What are some things that you have done during your past moves that have seemed to make things easier or saved time?

The Muscle Mover Difference

The largest factor that makes College Muscle Movers better than our competitors is the quality of our Muscle Movers. First and foremost, we fully train and prepare our Muscle Movers before they ever go out on a job, and continue that training over the course of their time with us, to ensure that they provide the highest level of care for your items. We structure our Muscle Mover teams to include an on-site manager who has experience in several hundred moves as a Muscle Mover. We review all of our movers’ performance regularly and provide feedback to further improve their skills.

Fact: the average American only moves between 10 – 11 times in their lifetime!

Besides technical training, we also focus on helping our Muscle Movers to gain experience that will be useful to them throughout their lives and into their careers. We provide a targeted focus on customer service, communication, teamwork and confidence. By focusing on these life skills, our Muscle Movers are dedicated to providing a professional, pleasant & efficient moving experience for our customers.

If you have used our service in the past, what kinds of things did you appreciate about the experience? What would you have us do differently? Every day we strive to make our customers happy, help us to do that by providing us with your feedback!