Stories from the Field – The Ambulance

Here at CMM, we move a lot. We move sofas and beds and armoiries, but we also move weaver’s looms. We move fish tanks.  We move that old wind-up clock you got from Grandpa that had the false bottom with a half-empty bottle in it. There isn’t a lot, in fact, that we don’t move.

And when you move a lot, you end up with stories. Some horror, some humor. Some interesting, some just plain weird. All the names and any pertinent personal details have been changed. We thought it might be nice for those of you facing moves to get a little taste of some of the things we’ve dealt with in the past. It’s nice to know you’re not the only person who’s had obstacles arise while moving (misery loves company), and maybe these stories can help demonstrate why we try to ask some the questions we do when conducting an estimate! Before any move begins, a moving company gives an estimate on how long the move will take. The estimate is based entirely on information given over the phone— the inventory, the length of the carry, the distance between the origin and the destination, yadda yadda, the list goes on. But of course that doesn’t count for unusual situations. If you think your move might be unusual for any reason, be sure to tell us. Anyway, without further adieu, here’s the story of:

The Ambulance Move12StoriesfromtheField-TheAmbulance-1

 

Sometimes customers set up a move with a time limit. It could be for financial reasons, or perhaps it just wasn’t possible to take work off. In either case, it’s good for us to know about time limits ahead of time.

Last winter, we had a customer set up a move with our company. It sounded like a pretty standard job— boxes, a few chairs, a couch. Out of a two-bedroom house, the inventory amounted to a single room of furniture. The only catch was that the load needed be completed by noon. On the hour, and not a minute later.

The movers arrived promptly, and everything proceeded smoothly. The couch was wrapped, and the boxes were loaded up. Then, just as the movers were preparing to load the last pieces of furniture, a car pulled into the driveway. The customer’s husband had just come home for lunch. That was when the proverbial stuff hit the fan. It turned out that the husband and wife were right in the middle of divorce proceedings, and the husband had no idea that the wife was moving out. As you might imagine, he was shocked. So shocked, in fact, that he had a heart attack, sitting on the couch the movers had just wrapped up. 911 was called immediately, and the movers backed the truck out of the driveway so that the responders could bring the husband to the hospital. Then the customer had the movers finish up, bringing the couch and a couple leftover pieces of furniture out to the truck. They managed to finish the load before noon— the husband had just come home early.

After everything settled down, everyone ended up ok, but it was certainly a surprising situation. So if you think there might be any pertinent details we should know about your move that don’t get asked over the phone, feel free to tell us. We want to help, but we can’t unless we’re fully informed about your situation! Remember: surprises are best saved for birthday parties.

Helping Keep Items Safe In Storage

Newsflash: it’s 2014. You have a lot of stuff. I have a lot of stuff. Americans have a lot stuff. That stuff, whether it’s customized cat furniture or a collection of soon-to-be vintage compact disc, accumulates. It accumulates at a sometimes alarming rate, and sometimes after a move you find that you just don’t have enough room for it all.

That’s ok. At this point, everyone has a lot of stuff. That’s why you’ll find storage complexes peppered throughout the metro area.

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Storage units are a great way to make a little extra room for your extra stuff. Pretty simple: you rent out a space, lock it up, and voila, your spatial issue is fixed (at least temporarily.)  But is there anything special you should know before you lock up?

Yes and no. Storage units are quite safe. Storage units that can’t protect the things they’re storing don’t stick around for long. But if there is a minor issue (mold in your grandpa’s old couch,a leak in the ceiling) it’s likely that you won’t notice it until you go back to pick up your stuff, especially if you’re planning on using storage for a long time.

Here are steps you can take to help help ward off any minor inconveniences in the future.

Elevate

Minneapolis and St. Paul are not known for their gentle winters. If you’re using climate-controlled indoor storage, this won’t be a problem. If you’re outdoors, however, moisture has a way of finding it’s way through crevices until it can collect and pool under your furniture. You can help ameliorate this by keeping your belongings elevated. This doesn’t require any special equipment. Just keep any fabrics (couches, chairs, rugs) up and off the floor, so that if any moisture collects, it won’t get trapped and ruin something nice. If you’re using a moving service, make sure you request this: the risk is so minimal that most services won’t do it automatically.

Cover It Up

You’ll also want to factor in dust. This one is more to save yourself time if you’re planning on leaving your things in storage for a long time. After you’ve made sure your stuff is safely elevated off the ground, the next step is to wrap it. At College Muscle Movers, we use stretch wrap for this. Stretch wrap sticks to nothing but itself, with no adhesives or sticky residues, and no damage when removed. You can wrap pretty much anything in it. If you don’t have any wrap on hand, you can improvise with tarps, or large plastic bags. Even sheets and blankets can help provide an extra layer of protection for wood or leather. Use your imagination!

Traps

Last (and probably least): rodents. A lot of storage complexes will provide traps themselves in all the units, just to be on the safe side. It’s also fairly rare for people to store large quantities of perishable food, so it ain’t easy finding a square meal if you’re a mouse in a storage unit. However, if there aren’t any traps in your unit, it’s not a bad idea just to go out and buy one. It’s not going to hurt, and it might save that quilt your grandmother made.

So remember— even if you’re low on space at home, you can always go out and get more.
If you’re looking, here are a few possible options to get you started:
Lake Region Storage
Public Storage
U-Haul

Zooming In On CMM: Phil Anderson

Here at CMM, we want to provide the best possible service. We want to make sure the people moving your stuff are strong, smart, and dedicated. That’s why we employ college athletes and recent graduates— they know the value of hard work.

We figured a quick interview session with some of them might help you get to know us a little better, so we’ll be running a series of these interviews. This time, we tracked down Phillip “Phil” Anderson.

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So, Phil. Where are you from?

Edina, MN

And where did you go to school?

University of Wisconsin Stout

What did you study over there?

Business and Property Management.

When did you first start working at College Muscle Movers?

December of 2012, I think, although I haven’t worked here the whole time. I took time off to take some home inspection classes. After that, I worked on a ranch in Colorado for 6 months. That was an experience.

Wow. That sounds awesome. What sort of stuff did you do out there?

Oh, you know— cowboy stuff. Just took care of hundreds of horses. Riding, roping, hiking. Putting up fences. All that kind of stuff.  Most of the people working were around my age. A lot of adventurous types. It was a really great group, and I met a lot of interesting co-workers and guests.

Guests?

Yeah, we helped with guests at the ranch, too. No celebrities, but there were a lot of very wealthy people. Again, interesting experience. A number of times I picked up guests from the private airport near us.

Well, it sounds like quite an adventure. It’s good to have you back here at CMM. Which brings up an interesting question— have you noticed any changes in the company since coming back?

There are a fair number of new faces, but also some familiar ones, which is nice. People still help each other out, and that helps foster a great environment. There’s a little something that’s different, too, but it’s hard to pin down. It feels a little more structured? Organized?

I’d actually agree with that. I think it makes sense for a young company. Things just keep getting tweaked, evolving one step at a time. Which brings us to our next question: you’ve seen some changes in the company, and done your fair share of moves. What do you think is the most interesting move you’ve ever done?

There was a move in St. Paul where we moved these massive LiteBrite boards, do you know what those are?

Uhhh. I don’t. (Didn’t, anyway. Check out Lite-Brites).

Basically we moved these giant glowing boards that were planted with colored pegs. It was for a giant mural in St. Paul, down at Union Depot. I think it’s in Guiness as the largest Lite-Brite display in the world. Anyway, the pieces of it were huge, almost too big to get in the truck, but we managed to figure it out. (Interviewer’s note: You can see the story on CBS.)

So what do you do when you’re not lifting couches or oversized art mural pieces?

Oh, you know, fishing, splitting wood. Wrestling bears. Taming wolves. That sort of thing.

Ok. Let’s finish off the interview with some word association. I’ll say a word, and you tell me the first thing that pops into your mind.

Gatorade

Drink

Ping-pong

Domination

Blanket

Cuddle

Hamburger

Delicious

Bacon

Delicious

Military

Hero

Jim Carrey

Lloyd Christmas

Mop

Nope

Thanks, Phil.

No problem.

Cleaning Up And Clearing Out

There are always a couple loose ends to take care of after you think you’ve finished up your move. If you’re in a rush, here are some commonly missed parts of the moving process that could cost you part of your deposit or hold up the sale of your home.

Clean Up

Piles of empty boxes, bags of packing peanuts, balled up newspaper, those old clothes that probably ought to go to Goodwill, now that you think about it: all of these are your enemies. You’re going to need to clean up, especially if you’re renting. When you’re moving out, the first step is to make sure you get rid of anything you don’t want. There’s no better time. Once you’ve gotten rid of all that stuff, there might still be a few things that slip your mind.

Holes in the Wall

If you have art hanging on your walls, there’s a good chance you have holes in your walls. Most landlords or apartment managers won’t make a fuss about this, but it’s likely you’ll run into the sort that do. If you’ve taken down a lot of pictures and it looks like your home was the backdrop for an old western firefight, don’t fret. It’s not hard to fill holes.

Run to your local hardware store and pick up a small tube of spackling, a putty knife, and some sandpaper. Now the easy part: squirt the spackling into the hole, use your knife to scrape away the excess, allow the compound to dry

Alternatively, if you’re in a hurry, you can use any old plain white toothpaste to fill the hole. Squeeze it into the whole and scrape away the excess with a card or driver’s license. Easy.

 

stove-300x225Leftover Gunk on The Stove

This is a pretty common one. You’ve been cleaning and cleaning, but there’s still a ring of mysterious goo around your gas range. In fact, it might have been there when you moved in. For all you know, it’s been there forever. But you can get rid of it easily with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. It’s like magic. Pour the baking soda into a bowl and add just enough peroxide to make a thick paste. Then slather it on and scrub it with a scouring pad. It’ll vanish.

 

Take Pictures

After you’ve finished the cleaning process, go around your house or apartment and take pictures. Document all those bare rooms. This is a good habit to do anytime you move in or out of a residence. That way if residents after you do a lot of damage to walls or floors, you have solid evidence of exactly how you left it.

Change Your Address

This one’s self-explanatory. You’re moving, or you’ve already moved. Go to the USPS website to change your address. You can also take care of it at the post office in person, if that’s what you’re into. After you hit USPS, you’ll want to update your address with the DMV. Here’s the link for the Minnesota DMV Change Of Address.

Relax!

Everyone always forgets this. It’s not always easy, but give it a try. Even if it’s just for a couple minutes, sit down and take a deep breath. Not to get metaphysical, but you’re about to start in a fresh place— let yourself enjoy the moment.

Pros and Cons of Apartment Complexes

If you’ve driven around Minneapolis and St. Paul lately, you will have doubtless noticed the preponderance of new apartment complexes sprouting up out of the pavement. It seems like hardly a week goes before another vacant lot is dug up and filled with 4 floors of concrete. In 2014, a projected 1,300-plus units are expected to open in downtown Minneapolis alone. And that’s generally great news. In addition to higher-end housing, it’s likely to help make lower-end housing more affordable. It’ll also up the quality of housing options across the board.

For a moving company like us, it means that more Minneapolitans and St. Paulites will be living in apartments. In fact, you could be reading this from your cozy new apartment right now. Or maybe you’re planning on moving into one.

So let’s talk about some of the pros and cons of apartment complexes, from the perspective of movers. Moving isn’t exactly rocket science, but after you’ve been doing it for a long time, you learn a lot of little things that might not be so obvious at first. Hopefully we can help give you an idea of how moving into/out of an apartment works, and some insight into the thought process that goes into getting your stuff from Point A to Point B.

 

Parking

Off-street parking is a highly valued luxury in Minnesota. All it takes is one winter to convince most people of the benefits of being able to park in a ramp or garage. You don’t have to shovel, your car isn’t freezing cold for the first twenty minutes of your drive, and best of all, you can be sure you’ll have a place to park even when there aren’t any spots because half the streets in the city are closed for plowing snow.

Unfortunately, some apartment complexes are only conveniently accessed through the parking garage or ramp. This is usually only an issue if you happen to be driving a 26-foot truck.

 

Yeah, they're pretty big
Yeah, they’re pretty big

If your movers need to park on the street, then you can usually save a great deal of time by making sure you reserve space with the city, which you can do at the respective sites for Minneapolis and St. Paul. If you live in an apartment complex, be sure to talk them as soon as you know you’ll be moving and see if they can secure parking for you in advance. This saves a great deal of time.

 

Security Doors

Another benefit of some apartment complexes is the addition of multiple layers of locked doors. All those locks help keep you cozy and safe, but sometimes apartment managers can get a bit prickly if you try to prop the doors open. Or if you try to give your movers a way to open the doors. And that’s understandable. Security is important. But sometimes a big focus on security can end up slowing down your move a bit. Try to communicate with your apartment complex as early as possible to see if you can arrange a way to keep doors open for the movers.

Elevators

These are commonplace in apartments. In fact, they’re pretty much the foundation that allows humanity to live in such unreasonably tall high-rise buildings. No one likes hoofing it up a million flights of stairs after a hard day of work.

The usual problem with elevators is usually one of two things: lots of people are using it or they’re really small. The elevator, that is, not the the people using it.
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The good news is, most apartment complexes will allow you to reserve the elevator for a couple hours, which is usually enough time for us to get most of the stuff down to the truck. The earlier you talk to your apartment complex the better— this will help ensure that you don’t get stuck behind another tenant. Let us know if you can’t get an elevator reserved, and we’ll make sure to included that in our estimate. As for tiny elevators, we can always take it down the stairs if necessary! Stairs are one place CMM shines: college athletes are often well-practiced when it comes to running flights.

Hopefully we’ve dropped some new facts on you here. Apartments are cool. And remember, if you’re planning on moving into one of the metro area’s new complexes, feel free to give us a call!

I Don’t Think It’s Going To Fit

No one wants to hear this while they’re moving. Not to say there is ever a particularly good time to hear it, but it is especially bad when it comes to getting curiously-sized furniture into a new house. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes unavoidable. Especially with couches. If there’s something that won’t fit through a doorway or a tight hallway, the couch is the usual suspect.

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The square peg in the round hole is a fairly apt description for the sorts of situations that can arise with oversized furniture. Oversized queen boxsprings, massive wicker couches, extra large kegerators: it happens— especially if you’re moving into an old house, of which there are many in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

Sometimes, the whole problem can be fixed with simple disassembly. Maybe you can pop the door off that kegerator and it will slide through whatever tiny space you are trying get into. But while anything can be disassembled, not everything can be reassembled (we’re looking at you, giant wicker couch!)

 

Neoteric Salome Modern Outdoor Wicker DayBed. Whatever that means, exactly. Photo Courtesy of Houzz
Neoteric Salome Modern Outdoor Wicker DayBed. Whatever that means, exactly.
Photo Courtesy of Houzz

Sometimes, the problem lies in jutting feet that are easily unscrewed. Just twist those babies off and you’re good to go. On the other hand, sometimes you take the feet off and the couch still won’t go through. Maybe the back is too tall. Or perhaps the frame is curved in such a way that it’s just too wide at the center to fit through the doorway, or around a corner.

If it still won’t go, it’s time to get creative. Think outside the box.

On rare occasions, your house might have a larger door on the second floor, or a balcony that bypasses a sharply turning hallway. It might still be possible to bring it in from another entrance, even if it’s an unorthodox option.

Your next best bet is to reconsider your furniture arrangement. Sometimes even if it isn’t possible to get a piece of furniture  Maybe that couch would go nicely in the living room even if it doesn’t fit down the basement stairs.

If it absolutely needs to get in somewhere, you can always make it happen.

But if machetes aren’t your thing, and you just can’t find a place that you think it’ll fit, you might have to consider getting rid of it.

The nice part about not being able to fit furniture into your house is that it might be a desirable piece. If you can bear to part with it, you can donate it to a worthy cause: the Salvation Army and Goodwill both accept furniture in some locations (the Salvation Army even has a website that will tell you how much tax value you can deduct for various pieces of furniture that you’ve donated, which you can find here.)

You could also find another charitable organization: there are a variety of places that accept furniture, with different stated goals and missions. Alternatively, you can sell your oversized furniture on Craigslist.

Here at CMM, we also offer a haul-away service.  If you have something that you know isn’t going to fit in your new home, or even if you find out during the heat of the moment, we can take care of it for you.

 

Busy, Tired, Sick, or Just Plain Don’t Want To Pack?

It happens. Packing is often the most draining part of a move, especially if you have a large house or you’ve been settled in one location for a long time. It’s often very time-consuming, and has the potential to be extremely tedious. Stack that on top of family obligations and a full-time job, and you might feel a sort of creeping resignation about your upcoming change in location.

A mountain of creeping resignation.
A mountain of creeping resignation.

But don’t worry! If you’re feel stressed, you can always hire a packing service. Let a professional carefully wrap up and box your fragile glassware. Save your back and have someone else come and box your twelve years of National Geographic issues. Or your expansive vinyl collection. Or your entire room of Russian nesting dolls.

A professional packing service like ours can help you make sure your stuff gets wrapped up safely. No one likes boxes of broken glass.

But how is it that a professional service can make a difference?

Safety

First, proper protection. Ceramic, glass, delicate woods: all of these can be easily damaged if they’re allowed to rub against each other in transit. On the job, a packing service will make sure that your belongings are wrapped in packing paper and bubble wrap, and packed snugly so that there won’t be any heavy forces to bend narrow tines or break thin sheets of glass.You’ll want the options of bubble wrap, foam, shrink wrap, and lots of paper. In addition to paper, a good packing service will have a wide variety of boxes available to accommodate possible needs— small boxes for books, large boxes for bedding, dish packs for fragile glass. At College Muscle Movers, we offer personalized services: from à la carte to all-inclusive packages depending on what customers need. The à la carte service means you just order the supplies you think you’ll need ahead of time, whereas the all-inclusive service is a flat rate to access any supplies which might be needed for your move.

The main advantage of an all-inclusive pack is that it simplifies the process for the customer by offering a flat rate for whatever moving supplies are needed. After an estimator comes to get a rough idea of what supplies can be used for your move (boxes, wrap, dish packs, etc), you can relax and let us do the work, right up until we come pick up the supplies left over at the end of the move.

Experience

A professional service also offers experience. Usually there are a lot of different items that need to be packed up over the course of a move. From ceramic urns to matchstick dollhouses, we’ve got the tricks up our sleeves to handle your unique pieces.  We’ll make sure everything goes into an appropriately sized box, and that each box is sealed properly. At CMM, we even offer labels, to help speed up the unpacking that naturally follows packing. Experience means that you don’t need to worry about your stuff. Experience also means efficiency. It’s very likely that in addition to safety, a packing service will be able to expedite the process of getting everything safely packed up. Speeding up the tedium and stressful nature of the task is an important part of what  a professional packing service offers.

Time

A packing service can save you the mind-numbing fatigue you might experience after spending nine hours straight putting away dishes and books and clothes and all the other little things that get stuffed into attics and closets. It can also save you time. Schedules can already be strained by the obligations that arise during moving. Using a professional service will help you keep your time managed and under control.

And don’t forget, College Muscle Movers also offers equipment tailor-made for moving. Even if you want to do the packing yourself, we can help keep your items safe for the upcoming move. Our Muscle Boxes are made out of a dense and durable plastic, and they stack very neatly. They can be reused, offering the benefit of a low carbon footprint. Additionally, you can avoid the mountain range of cardboard that also seems to rise up in the living room at the tail end of the move.

So if you happen to be busy, tired, or sick (or you just don’t want to deal with it)— think about a packing service.

How Does the Estimate Work?

The various steps of moving begin with an estimate. When you contact a moving company to help you move (or pack, if the whole process is beginning to overwhelm you), they will provide an approximate projection of how long it should take to complete the move.

The estimate takes a lot of different factors into consideration. When you set up your move, you’ll want to have a good handle on these factors, because that is the only information your moving company will have to help you plan!

 

The Inventory

At CMM, this  usually comes first. Do you happen to collect priceless Fabergé eggs? Are you the owner of a life-sized marble elephant statue? Owner of the largest vintage record collection in the world?

While you might never be asked these exact questions, it’s important for us to know what we’re moving. Particularly heavy items (fishtanks, certain pianos, gun safes) might require extra movers to help safely transport them.

The quantity of items also matters a great deal. As you might imagine, there is a world of difference between the times required to move a small studio apartment and a six bedroom house. Put simply: more stuff takes longer.

 

The Carry

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Do you live in a large treehouse only accessible by ladder? Probably not. We can skip that one. But you  might live in an unusually busy neighborhood where a permit for parking applies. Or perhaps you live  dead in the center of a massive apartment complex, and it takes you almost 20 minutes to hoof it from  your place out to the parking lot.

The amount of time it takes to carry your items might be the most important question. Regardless of  weight or size of your items, it will still take movers a minimum amount of time to get from the truck to  your house or apartment. If the distance is far, it will take longer.

Some apartment complexes don’t have parking accessible by large trucks, which can also affect the carry  time.  Elevators can also affect the carry time, depending especially on whether they are reserved or  not.

 

Transit Time

This one is the easiest to figure out. Moving from Duluth to Minneapolis? Travel time of a little over two hours. Moving from St. Paul to Fairbault? A moving company can usually offer a pretty good guess that it’ll take an hour. If you’re moving from downtown during rush hour, though, we can adjust the projection accordingly.

And Don’t Forget…

No matter how carefully you plan a move, things can always go awry. It’s only an estimate. You might find that a couch doesn’t fit through the curiously narrow doorways of your new home. Or perhaps the elevators up to your fifty-seventh floor apartment break down. Maybe when you’re packing up, you find that for some reason you just keep finding closets that are chock full of things. At the last minute, you remember that old attic in the garage.

The estimate is just that, an estimate, but here at CMM we’ve found it’s quite possible to offer a good idea of the time it’ll take to get you moved.

If you’re curious, just give us a shout!

 

Stories from the Field: The Tale of the Machete Stairwell

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Here at CMM, we move a lot. We move couches and chairs and desks, but we also move original Dali paintings. We move statues of dinosaurs. We move automated salsa manufacturing machines. 

There isn’t a lot, in fact, that we don’t move. And when you move a lot, you end up with stories. Some horror, some humor. Some interesting, some just plain weird. All the names and any pertinent personal details have been changed. We thought it might be nice for those of you facing moves to get a little taste of some of the things we’ve dealt with in the past.

Trust us, we can handle your move. But maybe tell us beforehand if it involves, say, a menagerie of zoo animals.
This story starts with a truck service, in late autumn. It was a pretty standard move, a three bedroom into a four bedroom, from Woodbury to Maple Grove. The clients were a married couple, a retired football lineman and a librarian, and the family was expecting to need the extra room sometime within the next month.

With the help of CMM, they packed up their belongings in boxes and loaded up their possessions into a 26’ truck. They started with the mattresses, then moved onto desks and armoires and a single unusually large antique couch. Finally, they finished loading the truck with rugs and cushions and some left-over Tonka toys.

Everything was safe and everything fit.

The truck service was running along perfectly smoothly until the Muscle Movers arrived at the unload location in Maple Grove. The new house was larger than the old one had been, but the entrance to the basement was extremely narrow. After taking off a railing and popping a door off the hinges (temporarily, of course), the Muscle Movers managed to fit the desks and armoires and necessary furniture down into the basement.

Except the couch. The feet were taken off. It was compressed with slippery wrap. It was twisted and turned in every possible direction, but the couch just wouldn’t fit. The husband, the retired football lineman, was determined to make it work. The couch, he said, has been in his family for generations, and he couldn`t abandon it.

So, midway through the move, he took matters into his own hands. He went out to the garage and grabbed a machete and saw. The next time the movers passed by carrying a reclining chair, he was chopping and sawing at the wood and plaster in the stairwell to the basement.

Just have to avoid the studs, he said merrily. You boys interested in getting in on the action? As you might imagine, this was not a small man. This was the sort of man who could toss out 10 reps of 225 on a bench press before breakfast. His work with the machete gave the impression that had he wished, he could have made a fortune as a guide leading groups through thick Amazon forest. He made short work of the stairwell, and he swept the dust and plaster into garbage bags before having the Muscle Movers carry the couch downstairs.

This time, it fit just fine.

Zooming in On CMM: Jonathan Halquist

A number of factors separate College Muscle Movers from the rest of the herd. First and foremost is our focus on  employing highly driven and intelligent individuals. We want to make sure the people moving your stuff are strong,  smart, and dedicated. That’s why we employ college athletes and recent graduates— they know the value of hard  work.

We figured a quick interview session with some of our movers might help you get to know us a little better, so we’ll be  running a series of these interviews. This time, we tracked down Jonathan Halquist, one of our Senior Muscle  Movers.

Muscle Movers from left to right: David Hale, Jonathan Halquist, and James Welck
Muscle Movers from left to right: David Hale, Jonathan Halquist, and James Welck

 

So. Let’s start simple. Where are you from?

Duluth, Minnesota— born and raised.

How long have you been working at College Muscle Movers?

About a year now, give or take a few weeks.

And you’re in school, right?

Well, I actually graduated recently from St. Olaf college.

Where’s that?

It’s south of the Twin Cities, just down 35.

Ah! What did you study?

I completed my degree in studio art and media studies, although I guess I studied a lot of other things.

An art major! Tough field. Have you found any use for that after school?

I have! Currently I’m working with CMM to produce a variety of marketing and promotional materials, which is great. It’s really nice to be involved in fresh projects. I have also done some freelance graphic design work for a few clients, ranging from Minneapolis all the way out to New York City.

You’re a Senior Mover here. What does that mean?

I am a senior mover, which means I drive the trucks from location to location and also coordinate and lead teams of movers. Formally, I ensure that services are performed safely and efficiently to the standards of CMM. In a nutshell, that means I make sure moves are running smoothly.

Speaking of nutshells, do you have a favorite nut? Healthy proteins are important on the job!

Pistachios, probably.

What do you do with your free time?

In my free time I play violin in a swing band. That ends up taking more time than you might expect. I’m also independently studying computer science.

Whoa. Violin and computer science, eh? Those two seem pretty different.

Well, I think it’s important to have diverse interests. I’ve been playing violin since I was little, so there’s that. It’s a lot of fun to just get up on stage and express yourself through an instrument. The computer science is newer. It’s sort of an overlooked subject by a lot of people. If you think about it, computer science is the foundation for a lot of modern day life— programs and software govern everything from phones and music players to cars and ovens.

What’s the heaviest item you’ve ever moved on the job?

Probably a piano. Sometimes you end up with a heavy piano that has to go up a couple flights of winding stairs, and that’s almost always a killer.

What’s your favorite thing about working at CMM?

Well, I appreciate the flexibility. Like I said, I have a fair number of interests outside of work, and CMM is accommodating in giving me time to pursue them. The best is probably the people, though. It’s a good group of guys, and solid camaraderie can be hard to find in the workplace.

Awesome. Thanks, Jon!

No problem.