Packing, Cleaning and Organizing… Oh My!

Hello there! My name is Leslie Farmer, I’m a 32 year-old mom to the funniest, deep-sea-fishing-obsessed six year old boy. We live in Saint Paul with our two cats, Ham and Uno.

Recently, I have taken up the role of Support Services Manager at College Muscle Movers. Being new here, I felt I should tell you a little about myself.

I grew up in the Bloomington area where my first job was at the Mall of America in Old Navy during the holiday season. I worked in the fitting room with piles that were as tall as me… I’m 6’1. That was the first time I found myself facing a seemingly insurmountable pile of chaos and clutter. I remember thinking, “how am I going to sort through this?”

My next major “how am I going to organize this” moment came when I took on the role of coaching a High School Volleyball team. These girls loved quoting TV shows, movies, and listening to the “right” pump-up songs. I had to dive into what little knowledge of current pop culture and come up with a team motto while somehow teaching the finesse of the game.

“If you can get there with one hand, you can get there with two.”

To me, and my team by the end of the season, that meant, if you are going to put in effort, put in all your effort. I listened to Ed Sheeran on repeat for months and months during that season thanks to those 15 year old girls. When I’m really buckling down at work, I still put on the instrumentals to his songs. What can I say? He really puts in all his effort.

Flash forward to parenting – I was 25 with a newborn and frantic for simple answers. Sleep deprivation is real. I vividly remember being up at 4:00am, crying baby on my hip, opening my tupperware cabinet looking for a bib of all things and it all exploding at me like a bad April Fool’s prank. “How do I organize this?” I nearly wept at the thought. I became Pinterest-obsessed and found every nook and cranny that I could organize. Turns out, adding a hook to the back of your highchair for bibs saves parents and babies from a lot of tears.

A few years after that, my Mom was diagnosed with Early Onset Dementia, it fell on my shoulders to clean out her two-bedroom condo. Dementia often leads to hoarding, and I knew my mother loved a good deal but naively, I thought the job could be done in as little as one weekend.

When I got to storage unit #2 and found myself staring down 9 bicycles, I may or may not have screamed a few choice words. I arrived at an all too familiar question, ”how do I get rid of all this stuff?” and the realization that this all takes way more effort and time than I ever assumed.

Emotionally drained I implemented a “Keep, Sell, Donate” system as I had seen on my favorite HGTV Shows. Efficiently and diligently working, the process took 50 hours and 5 dumpsters. But, we made it!

All of this leaves me more prepared than ever. Those hard-fought battles have me coming to College Muscle Movers with heaps of experience and knowledge. I’m ready to help you all clean and organize your homes, and safely pack up your belongings. Ask me any question. I’m here to help.

An Update on COVID-19 from our CEO

This afternoon Governor Walz issued an Executive Order directing all Minnesotans to stay at home beginning at midnight on Friday, March 27. This order is set to last for at least two weeks but does not apply to businesses and industries deemed as essential services. Moving and Relocation services, as a part of ‘for-hire transportation’, are included in the official Executive Order as exempt essential services.

 

At this time, please rest assured that your service will not be affected. Our plans are to continue our operations with appropriate sanitary procedures in place. We are employing as many safety precautions available to us to minimize the impact COVID-19 has on our community, which I shared in a previous update.

 

In addition to the precautions we are taking, we also ask for your cooperation to help provide our staff with a safe work place by doing your part to help have furniture surfaces that we are going to be handling wiped down and areas around your home as clean as possible. Please also continue to limit the number of people on-site to a single person to direct our activities to keep you, your family and our employees safe.

 

For those in need of moving services in the near future, we are still actively booking servations and will remain committed to providing high quality and safe services.

 

Thank you for your patience through this difficult time. We appreciate your business and are thankful to be a part of your community. As always, please feel free to reach out to us directly if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Wishing you and your family health and safety at this time.

 

Sincerely,

 

Cameron Carson
CEO, College Muscle Movers

A Note from Our CEO on COVID-19

Together, we are facing a truly unprecedented situation. Like everyone else, we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely. It’s important that we digest the information and guidance available, and consider how to best serve both our customers and employees. This is especially difficult because so much of our work cannot be done remotely, but is also one that people depend on.

At this time, we are continuing to provide moving services to all of our customers with reservations and we are still actively booking services. While our Operations team will continue working for our customers, we will be taking very active steps to combat the community spread of the virus in as many areas as possible. Some of the active steps we are taking include:

  • Our Sales & Admin staff will be working from home to pare down our office and warehouse staff to 3 or fewer. Those individuals will work in separate offices.
  • All of our meetings, including on-site estimates, have been postponed or will be rescheduled to online formats indefinitely.
  • We are now offering on-site estimates via video walk-through!
  • Our Service Managers, who usually make regular job site visits, will be checking in only by phone unless they are absolutely needed onsite.
  • We have adjusted our internal operations policies to mitigate interpersonal contact between the crews, our teams and our customers.
  • The Operations Team will be fully preparing the vehicles with everything necessary so that the crews can arrive and report directly to the vehicles without coming inside. Crews would normally assist in this process.
  • Our Operations Team’s final steps will be to sanitize the cab of the vehicles by wiping down the seats, dashboard, steering wheel and internal/external door handles.
  • Upon their return, they will return to their personal vehicles directly and we will reset their vehicles, should they need to be prepped for a second service.

While we are taking these steps, we do have a few requests for our Customer’s to assist the community in the spread of this virus:

  • Let our team know if you or anyone in your household has been experiencing the symptoms of this virus, or been in close contact with someone who was recently traveling, we ask that you contact us to postpone your service and we will work with you to do so.
  • We will also be pro-actively asking all of our customers this question when we call for a confirmation of their upcoming reservation.
  • Limit the number of representatives onsite during the move to a single contact who can direct our activities. The smaller that we can keep the number of people onsite the better off we will all be!
  • Be understanding that our crews will not be shaking hands on-site (like we normally would) and that we have instructed them to do what they can to limit close contact beyond what is required.

We will be continuing to monitor as information is released and directives are given but we understand that people have contractual obligations and could become homeless if we did not find a way to continue our services. We hope that all of customers will embrace the standards we are putting forward as we hope to balance their needs with the needs of the community.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns on the above information.

Sincerely,

Cameron Carson
CEO, College Muscle Movers

Simplify Your Space with Wendy Wolff

My name is Wendy Wolff and I have drank the minimalist kool aid.  Seriously, possibly the whole pitcher. Here is the short story….

Two years ago my family moved to the middle of the Cascade Mountains for a one year sabbatical. We felt stuck on a treadmill that was set on EXTREME workout for so long that we really didn’t know how to get off, or even slow down. We wanted to recalibrate, so we went completely off the grid for an entire year and volunteered at a remote retreat center called Holden Village.  

Not recommending this course of action for everyone who needs a change, but I recalibrated at Holden 16 years earlier when I was in the midst of a major life decision. It provided the clarity and courage I needed….so I convinced my husband if a week could do that, then a year could only be that much better.

I will spare you all of the tedious details, but we rented our house to friends of friends and needed to decide what we to bring with us for the year, what was worth paying to put into storage and what we needed to purge.  As we dug through rooms, closets, drawers, storage bins and nasty corners of our basement and garage, we had to ask some questions of ourselves. Like, What the HELL is this? Where did I get this? Where did YOU get this? Why is this taking up our precious space?

We honed in on two questions that helped us with our decision making process, “Do we love it?” and, “Is it essential?” If we couldn’t say yes to either of these two questions, it was set into the purge pile… with gratitude. That was when I discovered how amazing it felt to gift lovely things that we didn’t need that can be LOVED and essential to someone else!

I was becoming a minimalist and I didn’t even know it was a ¨THING… like a movement with itś own gurus – Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, Sara Susanka, and so many others I am learning about as I continue to immerse myself in this new world.

Fast Forward… We had an amazing, beautiful, very simple, clarifying year at Holden and came back to a home that holds only what we love and what is essential. I have empty drawers and half full closets. I know what is in every storage bin because every single thing endured that beautiful interrogation.

There is a mysterious connection between simplifying our spaces and clarifying our path. I believe that when we removed the physical clutter, we had more mental and emotional space to actually be present in our thoughts and dreams.  We had built our family life around our careers and came home and decided to turn everything upside down and rebuild our careers around our family needs. There was some demolition that needed to happen in order to pour a new foundation so we could start rebuilding. We continued to simplify and ask hard questions.

I decided to leave my profession of over 20 years. I was a school counselor and supported children and families through their emotional and academic struggles, building insight and resiliency in individual’s sense of self and their relationships.

For the past year I have been helping others simplify their spaces and walk them through the process we discovered before we left for Holden Village.  I have found my most motivated clients are those that are moving because there is no avoiding the back BACK closets and dirty corners of your basement.  I have helped people let go of belongings that represent lost dreams, lost relationships, lost places and make intentional decisions about how they want fill their new space with things that represent who they are and want they want to be moving forward.  

I just binged the Marie Kondo Netflix series and I so appreciate the gentleness and compassion in which she helps people reflect on what truly brings them joy.  I want to spend the next 20 years helping people untangle their relationships with their stuff. I have worked with empty nesters and aging parents looking to reimagine, simplify or downsize their space…  busy professionals who have avoided this process for too long and parents who just wants to reduce the clutter so life feels more manageable and efficient. I feel honored every time I am invited into people’s messy spaces and love taking them on this journey of simplifying.


Head over to our Move Prep & Packing page to learn more about some of the services Wendy joining our team allows us to offer!

What To Do With Food When Moving

 

The process of moving involves a lot of planning ahead. And when you have a full house, it’s tricky to plan meals so that there’s little to nothing left to transport to your new location.

While it’s admirable to try meal planning for a month straight to use every last amount of food in your home, it’s often not possible because there is already so much to do!

So instead, take a look at some of these solutions to use the week of your move.

SuperCook

Make recipes based on what you already have in your kitchen.  Take stock of what’s in your pantry, fridge and freezer then check the boxes and SuperCook does the rest.  You’ll get recipes from various cooking websites that all have the ingredients you’ve listed.  Great way to clear out the kitchen AND try something new!

Visit their website here.

Chose a Move for Hunger Moving Company

Move for Hunger is a company that comes to you, packs up non-perishables during your move, then sorts and delivers the items to local families in need.  While they have nationwide partners, all of the donations stay local.  By working with one of their recommended movers (like us!), you have an opportunity to help those in need.

To find a local Move for Hunger moving company, search here.

Donate Directly

Maybe you have a particular location or food bank that you want to work with – Great!  Before you load up the van and head over to the location you’ve chosen, be sure to call ahead to verify the items they are currently accepting and their ability to take on the items you’d like to donate.  If you’re in the Twin Cities area, one popular location for donations is Second Harvest Heartland.  You can check out their website hereto see what foods they need and how to donate.

Reach Out to Friends, Family and Neighbors

For perishable items that won’t be accepted at donation centers, reach out to friends or family to see if they’d be able to make use of them.  You can also see if any of your neighbors are into composting or maybe your local recycling center has a composting opportunity.

Throw Away, The Right Way

If you have items that are perishable, can’t be used before you’re move, won’t travel well, and you’ve exhausted all other options, you will need to throw them away.  But make sure that you do your best to limit the impact of each item. For example, if your milk isn’t going to last then empty the carton and recycle it properly.  Same goes for any juice containers or jars.  Check in with your local trash/recycling providers if you have any specific questions on items in particular.

 

With food, it’s hard to anticipate your needs in advance, but with the solutions above you might be able to not only save yourself some last-minute stress, maybe try some new recipes, and help out your local community.  Get creative and if you have other ideas, share them below in the comments section!

Your Guide to Post-Holiday Storage

The holiday season brings a lot of things: friends, family, delicious meals and treats, plus lots of decorations…  Whether it’s a full house or just your desk, it’s fun to decorate! Music plays in the background, treats are set out and everyone puts their best designing foot forward.

Once the New Year arrives, we find ourselves in a quite different place. As much as we loved the act of decorating, we find ourselves dreading the clean up.

But, there’s a way to avoid this feeling – a way to make it more fun. Get organized!

With our tips below, you can enjoy finding a specific place in storage for each of your items and may even create some space for new decorations you find.

Use Clear Bins

While those green and red themed bins at Target may suit the season, they can also be an absolute pain when trying to locate items next year.  Even if you label your bins, it’s still tricky to find exactly what you’re looking for.  Using clear bins will make it easier to see what is in the bin. So, when it comes to finding that particular snowman serving tray with a spot for veggie dip, you won’t spend a half hour opening each box, rooting around, and creating chaos in your once organized boxes.

Organize by Color

For whatever reason, every holiday season has its own trendy color.  Last year was blush pink and this year is turquoise blue, but two trendy colors don’t always go well together in practice. So put those clear bins to use and sort your hand towels, candles, dishware and sparkly things by color. That way you can easily see the different colors you have and what might look best together.

Take Care of Breakables

You can easily purchase a durable plastic bin with specialty dividers inside, but those get pricey. Another option is to create dividers using cardboard pieces around your home, like the one below.

Many smaller decorations are breakable, which causes a lot of stress when packing up for storage and then pulling them out a year later.  Beside the DIY cardboard dividers, you could also use this tutorial to create an even more secure storage bin.

Take Stock of the Unused Decorations

Over the years, you can end up with a lot of decorations. If you’re planning to get rid of them, avoid throwing them into the trash. Look into other solutions that are available in your community.

Donate!

Goodwill is a local non-profit organization that accepts plenty of seasonal décor. Note: They will not accept artificial trees NOT in the original box. Click here and find a location near you.

Reuse or Repurpose!

What’s broken may not necessarily be a lost cause.  If you’re crafty, you can easily turn outdated or damaged decorations into something beautifully new.  Check out this articlewith different examples ranging from broken ornaments to old tinsel strands.

(At the Very Least) Recycle

If you have broken items that won’t be accepted as donations and you aren’t really the crafty type, double-check what can or can’t be recycled.  If you aren’t sure, check in with your local recycling provider or you can also use this quick décor recycling guideas well.

Store Everything Together

Avoid searching your home last minute for that one missing bin that you need and keep all of you decorations in one particular area.  Whether it’s in a specific closet or area in your basement, make sure that you keep your bins together.  If you are able to add shelving to a space, consider purchasing some basic metal storage racks (link).  This way you could even have one shelf per holiday!

Just look at how cute all of your decorations could be, even in storage!

 

Redefining the Industry

For most, moving is not the most enjoyable activity. It can be physically strenuous, time consuming, and financially unpredictable. On top of all of this, customers often feel as if they are at the mercy of moving companies. At College Muscle Movers, we don’t believe moving has to cause such stress and are constantly working to raise the bar. Although there are many ways we seek to break the mold, below you’ll find a few areas we’ve already made improvements.

Here are some comparisons between moving companies within the Twin Cities. We’ll focus on their policies and how College Muscle Movers has set a new standard.

 

The Move Crew

Hourly Rate: The Move Crew has increased hourly rates at the beginning and end of every month and they charge more for weekend moves.

Travel Fee: The Move Crew charges their hourly rate from portal to portal. This means you are paying their movers the same amount to move your furniture as you are when they are stuck in traffic on the way back to one of their locations. Subsequently, the overall cost of your service is not known until your final bill is charged and can depend largely on factors totally out of your control.

The CMM Difference: Our prices are consistent! We do not raise our prices on the weekend, or at the beginning or end of the month. You don’t need to worry about getting charged more simply because your availability only allows for a weekend move. CMM also has a flat-rate, distance-based travel fee so our hourly rate only takes place from the time we arrive at your first location, and it ends when we have unloaded at your final destination, not our warehouse. And, you get to know our travel fee when you book your service. That means when we leave your final location, you know how much your credit card will be charged.

 

City Moving and Storage

Movers: There are many online reviews from customers complaining that City Moving and Storage’s movers weren’t working hard the whole time, and beyond that, took excessive smoke or lunch breaks.

The CMM Difference: We pride ourselves on employing young, enthusiastic, college-aged workers. We claim no smoke breaks or backaches and we mean it. We may take a lunch break on a full day move, but the customer will never pay for any time we aren’t moving.

 

Bosley Movers

Hourly Minimum: Bosley Movers maintains a 3-hour minimum. That means if you need help moving a single couch or even a handful of items, you’ll still pay for 3-hours of service. There are other companies in the Twin Cities that require a 4-hour minimum.

The CMM Difference: We understand their are many different types of moving needs. That’s why we offer labor-only services with a 1-hour minimum, moving van services with a 1-hour minimum, and truck services with a 2-hour minimum. We’ve set our services up so that not only will our vehicles most often be best utilized, but also so that our customers aren’t ever paying more than they need to for our services.

Now that you are able to see the College Muscle Mover difference, don’t stress yourself any more about finding a moving service. Book with CMM today and see the difference!

8 Must-Have Essentials When Moving

Moving can be a stressful situation and full of roadblocks. Especially when you aren’t prepared or organized with all of your belongings. Take charge of the situation and plan accordingly so you can reduce your stress levels. Tackle your move one step at a time!

The first thing people think of when moving is boxes and tape, but there’s fair amount more to keep in mind when moving.. Don’t forget these often overlooked, essential items.

Here at College Muscle Movers we specialize in moving and have been around  for over 10 years now! With our experience and young minds we are always steps ahead, aiming to make your move as easy and stress-free as possible. Below you’ll find a list often forgotten or overlooked moving essentials.

 

Cleaning Supplies

Moving out of a house and into another can be a messy task, so start it off right by having some cleaning supplies on hand. Then you can make sure everything is clean and ready to go. Supplies that will help are Clorox wipes, a bucket, sponges, toilet cleaner, rags, and whatever else you might need to make both the place you are at and the place you are moving too as clean as possible.

 

First-Aid Kit

A first-aid kit may be the most forgotten essential but moving is something that can beat you up and, if you aren’t prepared, slow you down. Paper cuts, headaches, and rolled ankles are just a few of the injuries you may encounter while moving. Be on your toes and be ready by having bandages, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen, cold packs, a blanket, and a list of emergency contacts handy.    

 

Tool Kit

This will be an extremely valuable item to have on hand while moving. From assembling or disassembling furniture, filling in holes in the wall, hanging up a picture, or a tightening a screw , a tool kit will be needed in order to get the job done.   

 

Plastic Bags

You’ll be surprised with how often you’ll need plastic bags when moving. They can be helpful if you want to get rid of some unwanted garbage or even extra storage for things like clothes or shoes, just to name a few.

 

Entertainment

This might be an afterthought but moving can be very boring and monotonous if you don’t have anything to keep you entertained. Be sure to have headphones or a speaker along to help you stay motivated and upbeat. Build a playlist prior to the move so you have fun dance and sing-along songs.

 

Sticker/Markers

Use stickers or markers to stay organized and keep track of all you moving boxes. This will make the transition as easy and as smooth as possible.    

 

Hygiene

You may not think this would be a priority while moving but it sure is. Having toilet paper, paper towels, hand-soap, and other toiletries on-hand will be very convenient to have while you move. Nobody wants to dig through boxes for toilet paper when nature calls.

 

Snacks and Drinks

Moving can take a lot out of you mentally and physically. So be prepared with snacks and drinks to help you stay hydrated and recharged!    

 

We hope our list helps you complete your move in an easy and stress-free manner. If you are looking to move in the near future be sure to give us a call at 651-917-4018. We would be delighted to provide help. If you’re looking for an estimate sooner than later, another key resource is our online estimation helper. It’s fast, free and accurate!

The Future of Moving?

With technology advancing so rapidly it can be compelling to think about the future. The world is getting more advanced and all industries will see major changes in the near future. The moving industry is no different. I thought it would be fun to look at some possibilities for moving in the future.

WHERE ARE WE NOW

Drones were once only viewed as a new means for photography, but are now being considered for several other functions. Many companies are experimenting with drone delivery. It is much easier than sending a delivery truck (Amazon, Dominos, UPS). Drones cannot get stuck in traffic which make them ideal for transporting goods. Their routes can be pre-programmed in less than a minute, so no one would have to be actively directing them.

CURRENT LIMITATIONS

Currently there are regulations around flying drones. As of now to fly under the small UAS rule, the drone cannot be over 55 lbs., including its payload. It also cannot fly higher than 400 feet and can’t fly over people. They also cannot fly over 100 mph. These regulations may be problematic for delivering goods now, but once airspace is more mapped out, new laws may be more suitable for companies utilizing drone services.

Of course, if a moving company were to use drones there is always a question of safety. We must make sure that the drone can hold large items safely and insure they won’t fall. We would have to have all routes pre-programmed to increase efficiency. Cameras could be attached to the drones to make sure we didn’t fly directly over anybody.

WHERE WE’RE HEADED

The Griff 300 is a new drone being deployed and it has a load capacity of 500 lbs for 30-45 minutes depending on payload. This is just the first in its series. The next model from Griff is projected to be able to lift up to 1,700 lbs. You can only imagine how powerful these drones will be in ten years. With current technology drone operators would only be able to take items from point A to point B. With improving technology, it is possible drone operators would be able to navigate items through a house.

(Griffin 300 seen above)

Another innovation that has just come out recently are driverless trucks. They run on electricity which is eco-friendly. They can also be made with a lift gate that would raise items up for you. This would revolutionize the moving industry because a customer could request a truck online and it would be sent to them. They could use the lift gate, and dollies to get items in and out of the truck. Then the truck would drive itself to their new house where the owners could unload the truck. Of course, it would still be smart to have some movers physically move items and provide their moving expertise.

Overall it is clear that technology is going to shape the future. It’s good to dream up new creative ways to improve an industry and consider how it could realistically influence that industry in the future.

Packing Your Possessions the Right Way

Packing

Are you stuck trying to figure out how to pack your most precious belonging?  Don’t stress about it. We are here to help you make your move as simple as possible. Follow these guidelines on how to pack boxes the right way.

DON’T OVERLOAD

Fewer boxes doesn’t mean a quicker move. If each of the boxes contain items that require two people to carry, the move will be the same as if you had two one-person boxes. Place heavier items in smaller boxes. If you overload a larger box with heavy items, it may take two people to lift it. Also, overloading a box can be tough to stack in the truck. Packing the lighter items into larger boxes is better for the movers to carry because it usually requires only one mover to carry, but also, it helps the move get done quicker.

SMALLER BOXES FOR HEAVY ITEMS

If you pack heavy items into large boxes and live on the fourth floor of an apartment, time will be lost but also it will get very tiresome for movers.  Even though it might take more trips from the apartment to the truck, it will be less tiresome on our movers if they carried heavy items in small boxes.   A good example of something heavy would be stuffing a load of books into a box.  Books have a good amount of weight to them and one can fit a lot of them into a box.  A solution would be either to put books into half of the box and then place a pillow into it, or place the books into smaller boxes.

LABELING IS KEY

Labeling boxes helps our movers and the customer know what is in each box.  Labeling heavy items and fragile items also allows you to load them into the truck more efficiently, and safely.  Movers can tell what is heavy and what is light based on them feeling the box, but if fragile items are not labeled, movers will load them into the truck as a normal box based on the weight.

BOXES SHOULD CLOSE

We want to fit boxes into the truck as easily possible and position them appropriately for a safe journey to your destination.  Unclosed boxes or no top boxes can be difficult and dangerous to stack.  Overloading boxes with extra items to use fewer boxes won’t help the move go smoother.

PROTECTING FRAGILE ITEMS

Having your fragile belongings padded before packing them is important when moving.  There are a few things to keep in mind when protecting those items.  Use bubble wrap or ink-free packing paper.  Newspaper can ruin or stain items.  Padding fragile items allow the objects to stay in place and safely make it to your destination.