How to Stay Green While Moving

Being eco-friendly might seem difficult at times, especially when moving. We’re here to tell you how to both have an excellent moving experience while also limit your carbon footprint. We’ve listed a few of our best tips, and ways to protect the planet in a huge way!

 

 

Reduce, Recycle, Reuse:

When preparing to move, deciding what to bring and what to donate or throw out can be a daunting task. Instead of just bringing all your items to your new home, take a minute to sort through it and decide what’s worth saving. Donate old clothes or basic home items to a local shelter or a non-profit organization, such as Goodwill. Both these places and the environment will benefit greatly from your contribution! When disposing of items be sure to research how to do so properly. Here’s a resource we find helpful. 

 

Biodegradable/Recycled Supplies:

There’s no question that we all buy or re-use some sort of packing material during a move. Making the conscious movement to green-packaging materials can help to significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Such materials could include biodegradable packing peanuts, which are composed of a type of bioplastic, made from vegetable oil to eliminate waste. Another great resource for packing material is Geami paper, which is 100% reusable and recyclable. College Muscle Movers is also currently working to recycle the shrink wrap we use on site to protect items.

 

Eliminate the Boxes:

Along with waste that’s put into landfills, cardboard boxes is one of the largest players. Let’s face it, 27% of all landfill material in the United States comes from cardboard and paper. Traditional cardboard boxes can be great and seem like the cheaper, easier option, but play a negative role in our environment. If you choose to go with this option, then remember to recycle or donate them to others after!

If you want to be a little more eco-conscious, consider options like our durable and convenient Muscle Boxes. In doing so, you can to enjoy the comfort of having them delivered and picked up from your home and feel good knowing you are limiting any negative effects to our planet. Not to mention, options like our Muscle Boxes can be just as inexpensive as the more common cardboard alternative.

 

Moving in the Minnesota Winter

While the Minnesota winter brings beautiful settings and plenty of fun for the family, it can create lots of stress for those moving.  Here at College Muscle Movers, we pride ourselves on our dependability. Any weather condition that Mother Nature throws at us, we will be there to help. But how have we learned to handle the weather?

There are several things that we do to prepare ahead of time and during the move to ensure a smooth, safe move.

 

Clear Paths, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose.

A safe path to the truck is most important. If one is not readily availble we will use shovels to clear the way.  Our movers also bring along enough salt for their entire day of moves, just to be safe. As all Minnesotans know, carrying anything (groceries, boxes) on ice is hardly a relaxing experience. Because this process takes time it is always best to be prepared.  Shoveling and salting prior to your mover’s arrival will save you money.

 

 

Protect Your Items. Keep Them Dry.

To protect your items from the elements our movers use extra padding on any items that absolutely cannot get wet and use the shrink wrap generously.  For your bed, our movers always have mattress bags on hand for at a reasonable price, which completely wrap your mattress or box spring and seal to protect them. We like to say mattress bags are the world’s cheapest insurance plan.

 

Protect Your Floors.

Snow and ice, often means wet and muddy shoes/boots. To protect your home we usually use one of two methods. Most commonly, we will lay out a couple moving pads at the front door, remove our shoes, move a handful of items to that area, put our shoes back on then move the items to the truck. Alternatively, we’ll remove our shoes and put them back on for each item. Both solutions add more time, but also mean you won’t need to do as much clean-up after the move.

 

Our Friendly, Neighborhood Operations Specialists.

Finally, our Operations Team is always checking in with our Muscle Movers to ensure that they are prepared for the day.  Whether it be making sure they packed an extra layer of clothing to stay warm or supplying a little extra salt for the day, our goal is to always be ready for whatever weather brings.

While Minnesota doesn’t always make moving easy on us, here at College Muscle Movers we’re always working hard to be prepared for whatever weather comes our way. We hope that this information helps to ease any stress about a winter move and helps to prepare you for the season as well. As is always the case, if you’re concerned about incoming weather on your move day. Don’t hesitate to call us and speak with one of our Moving Consultants or Operations Specialists.

How To Move Your Plants

Plants can add so much to a home; not only are they decorative but they can also increase oxygen levels and clean the air in your home.  So with all that our lovely houseplants provide for us and our homes, it makes sense that we would only want to take good care of them.

Although the process of taking care of plants during a move can be a little tedious, its well worth it.  It all starts before the move and ends a little while after your move, as it takes time for your plants to acclimate to their new setting.

 

Preparing Your Plants

Place your smaller pots into cardboard boxes and surround the pot with crunched up newspapers. This prevents the plant from tipping over during transportation. For extra safety, move any plants in clay or ceramic pots to plastic pots at least two weeks prior to your move.

For larger plants, prune and trim as much as possible. Be sure to check with your local nursery or online before pruning as there are a several species of plants that do not react well to pruning.

For all plants, be sure to water the day before your move and prevent any potential messes in the moving vehicle.  This especially important in the winter, because if the soil has too much water during the move, then there is the potential for freezing. Another way to protect during the brisk winter climate is to cover the plants with an old sheet or tissue paper. Even the smallest contact with extreme cold temperatures can cause trauma to the plant.

If you are moving to a new state with a potentially different climate, do some research to understand how your new home will suit your plants.

If your house looks like this, you may have a big task ahead of you.

Your Plants and Professional Movers

If you have opted to work with a professional moving company and you would like for them to help transport a few of your houseplants, be sure to ask them prior to the move if they are willing to handle plants. During winter months, some moving companies will not transport them as most moving trucks do not have heat in the box.

No matter what, be sure to check for insects and parasites prior to the move and apply insecticide safely prior to the move.

 

Long Distance Moving

If you are driving cross-country to your new home, then there are a few extra steps to ensure the safety of your plants.

First, it is important to check in advance with any states that you will be going through that they allow the transportation of the plants.  To prevent the spreading of certain insects, there is a certification that some states require prior to moving. It’s beneficial to research this ahead of time to avoid any issues. The National Plant Board has very helpful information regarding each state’s regulations.

If you know that the driving trip will take more than a day, then be sure that your plants are still receiving adequate water and light. Be mindful of the temperature in the car too, and never leave them in a vehicle overnight in case of drastic temperature changes.

If you have chosen to ship your plants, then be sure you understand the potential expenses and risks.

Shipping your plants can be very expensive and there are various regulations on carriers which means that you will need to ensure that this is something your selected shipping company can do. Furthermore, there are no guarantees with shipping as you are responsible for appropriately packaging the plant.

 

Moving Day

If you do opt to put your plants into the moving vehicle, then be sure that they are the last items on and the first items off.  Many movers will recommend that you transport them yourself because your car will often be able to provide a safer temperature and the plants may experience less movement impact as well.

 

Post Move

Once you have moved into your new home and you begin settling in, be sure to give your plants that same opportunity. They will need time to adjust to the new environment. If you notice a slight loss of leaves, do not worry, this is fairly normal with any environment change. Finally, be sure not to immediately place the plants back into direct sunlight. Ease them back into it and allow them to acclimate.

Moving During the Holidays

This time of year is filled warm laughter, playing in the snow, drinking hot chocolate, and cozying up next the fire with a loved one. Sometimes it can be tricky to enjoy these things when moving becomes part of your holiday plans. So, in light of the season of giving, we thought we’d share some tips on how to make your holiday move a little easier.

 

Notification of Address Change

One can easily forget the little things like this between time spent baking cookies and wrapping presents. So, first things first, go online to schedule a change of address with USPS.

As for updating friends and family, do a little bit of multitasking. Send your holiday cards early and include a notification of your new address. No need to send out a separate batch of move announcements.

 

Staying Cheerful

You may not have control over your move date, but don’t let that get you down. There are so many wonderful things to look forward to this time of year. Pack your holiday decorations last, let them be a reminder as you pack. By the time you’ve packed everything else, the holiday decorations will seem like a breeze.

It may be staged, but it looks fun!

Labeled Packing

With the season being so busy, it can be difficult at times to slow down and make sure you do things the proper way. Having a labeling system for your packing will make your moving and unpacking experience much easier, and help you get back to your holiday favorites! We recommend color coding with colored sharpies or duct tape, so you or your moving company can easily place items in their specific room. This will also make your holiday boxes more accessible when its time to redecorate.

 

1 Very Full Truck or 2 Half-Full Trucks?

Recently, we here at College Muscle Movers have come across a variety of estimation situations where a customer has so many items that it might require a second truck. If you have spoken with us before, you know we favor a “better safe than sorry” approach, and subsequently always suggest a second truck in these situations.

And so, we often get asked, “If you think that everything might fit into the one truck, why not just try for that?”  To which we have a few answers.

First and foremost, efficiency.  With two trucks, the movers are able to waste less time trying to make absolutely everything fit and put more focus on the overall move. We’d rather get your move done as quickly as possible than waste time puzzle-piecing your items into the truck.

Secondly, there is a lowered risk of higher costs.  With two trucks, the chance of needing to make a second trip is virtually eliminated.  With one truck if not everything fit and a second trip is required, the time increases greatly and the cost along with it. This is especially likely to happen if there are additional items that were not on the original inventory given. With two trucks, there is plenty of extra space.

Finally, and possibly most important there is an increased amount of item safety.  With more space we can pack your items into our truck with their safety in mind, rather than use of space.  In other words, we always pack your items as safely as possible, but with limited space we may need to prioritize getting it all in one load over the safety of certain items.

So what does this mean for price?

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We hope that this helps in your decision making process when not only considering the logistics of your move, but also the professional moving company you decide to hire.

How to Make Moving Fun!

Make a Playlist

Music makes everything better. Even something that can be as stressful and time-consuming as moving.

Before you start packing, put together a playlist of songs that make you want to move or sing along. When I was young, we’d always pull the boom box out when it was time to clean. There’s nothing quite like vacuuming to Gloria Estefan and Shania Twain. Don’t be afraid to include your guilty pleasures.

Be sure to include everyone in the playlist making process and when you’re running low on ideas, turn to old standards like The Bealtes, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder.

Don’t own enough music to make a playlist? If you’ve got a smart phone, you can download the Spotify app and sign up for a free account. With a free account, you can create playlists. You may not be able to listen to the songs in a particular order, and there may be advertisements every so often, but it gives you access to millions of songs.

 

Reminisce While You Pack

Packing can be a daunting, stressful experience. Start early to give yourself plenty of time to not only go through all your items and throw out the things you no longer need, but so you can also reminisce with friends and family. When you come across old photos, don’t just throw them in a box and move on, take a few minutes to flip through them.

 

Promise Yourself a Reward

We know moving is expensive, but it’s nice to have a little something extra waiting for you at the end (or your children, if you’ve got them). Promise yourself a meal at your favorite restaurant, buy a book to enjoy once you’ve settled in to your new place, or a DVD to watch while you enjoy pizza delivery on your first night.

Give yourself reward to look forward to beyond the relief of being done with the move.

 

Build a Box Fort

Done unpacking? Got kids? Then let them fulfil their dreams of a cardboard castle. Don’t have kids? Who cares! It’ll probably be years before you’ll have so many cardboard boxes at your disposal and you aren’t getting any younger. Maybe it’s a temporary fortress for your cat or dog. Either way, have fun. I know the kid in the picture below did.

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To Rent or Not to Rent

Our services fit into three categories: full service, labor only, and packing.

Of those three options our labor only services are the most versatile. Whether it’s moving items within in your home, loading a truck for a cross-country move or moving locally, our labor only services can work for you. Without the truck, the hourly rate is a bit lower and subsequently, it tends to seem like the more economical option.

That said, the cost difference between labor only and full service may not be as large as you’d expect and when you consider all of the factors associated with the two options. You may even find yourself convinced that the little bit extra in cost is well worth the peace of mind and convenience.

Cost

When comparing full service to labor only, there is the potential to save 10 – 20% in overall cost depending on the size and type of moving vehicle, length of rental, and the need for additional equipment. With our full-service option, all equipment to move your items safely and efficiently is included (dollies, basket trucks and bungee cords). With most truck rentals, no moving equipment is included free of cost.

Winner: Labor Only. Unless you’re needing to keep the truck overnight for some reason. Renting your own truck will almost always be cheaper.

Risk

With decreased cost, comes increased risk. You become responsible for the vehicle and safely driving your items from one location to another to be loaded and unloaded.

Additionally, when renting from U-Haul or Budget a reservation is only an acknowledgement of preference. If they no longer have your requested vehicle type and size when you arrive to pick up your rental, you may end up with a larger truck. This can lead to parking issues, a more stressful driving experience, and, without the proper tie-down materials, can mean a more dangerous situation for your items in transit.

Winner: Full Service. Without any real guarantee, labor only has several risks when compared to a full-service option.

Convenience

With the full-service option, there’s less to keep track of. You place a deposit, reserve time on our calendar and your time is guaranteed. Having that time set aside will give you the peace of mind needed to focus on the other aspects of moving. You no longer need to worry about driving and taking care of the vehicle or your items because our drivers have done tens of thousands of moves with our standard 26’ box trucks.

Winner: Full Service. As you might expect, the slightly more expensive option is the most convenient.

For the sake of understanding, we’ve laid out a price comparison for a move from Richfield to Eagan, based on our average service length of 3.25 hours:

fullvpartial-comparison

In the end, both options have their pros and cons. One is not necessarily better than the other. The best option will vary depending on preference and situation. Our only hope is that with this information you can better evaluate your moving needs and make the decision process as simple and stress free as possible.

Stories from the Field: US Bank Stadium

There’s no doubt you’ve heard about our Minnesota Vikings’ new home, US Bank Stadium.  Located in downtown Minneapolis, the stadium will not only host Super Bowl LLI, but hundreds of other events between now and then.  From spectacular concerts to large trade shows.  For anyone that’s been involved in organizing such an event, you are no stranger to the amount of set-up work that comes along with it.

Earlier this month, the stadium was host to the Minneapolis Holiday Boutique where over 60 businesses set up booths to showcase their brand and get a start on the holiday shopping season.  A lucky pair of our Muscle Movers got to help set up for the festive event.  Needless to say, our movers, Matt and Connor, were not only excited to help but also to see the new stadium for the first time.

While they were only hired to help set up one booth, it was no small task.  The booth was impressive not only in size, but in style as well.  Rustic wood panels were moved to the booth are and set up to create a barn; a unique shopping environment for customers.  Certainly something you would not expect to see within the modern stadium setting.  The best part? The booth had a clear view out onto the field.  On that beautiful moving day, the field was so amazing; our movers couldn’t help but take a photo before heading out after a job well done.

Our Muscle Movers always work hard to get the job done, but when the move brings you to such an unbelievable setting like the new US Bank, if definitely makes for a memorable experience.

Stories From The Field: When A Mover Falls In Love

With about 8 years of moving experience under our belts, we’ve moved a lot of odd stuff. We’ve also had some unique, unexpected experiences while on the job. This particular story doesn’t really fall into either of those categories. It isn’t an FBI sting operation, and it certainly isn’t about a man hacking his drywall with a machete for the sake of getting a couch into a basement. It is, however, a story that has yet to be repeated.

On a particularly busy summer day about 5 years ago, two of our Muscle Movers, Peter and Jake, were on their way to a service. As they neared the starting location, Peter gave the customer a call to let them know they would be arriving soon. After the brief phone call, Peter mentioned to Jake that their customer, Jo, sounded cute.

When they arrived, Peter and Jake parked the truck and were greeted by Jo. Peter was pleasantly surprised to realize she was even cuter than she sounded on the phone.

As Jake and Peter got to work carrying the larger items to the truck, Jo and her friends helped out with boxes and such. Throughout the move the group chatted and Peter started noticing that he and Jo shared a lot of hobbies like downhill skiing and tennis, among others. But it wasn’t just alike interests… there was definitely some chemistry, which both seem to have noticed.

Jo, having felt that spark, gave Peter a call about two hours after the service. He was happy to hear from her and even happier when she asked him if he’d like to get together and play tennis sometime. Shortly after, the two started dating.

Today, Peter and Jo are happily engaged and preparing for their wedding later this year.

tennis-balls

So, there you go a heart-warming and serendipitous story to share on Valentine’s Day. If you aren’t feeling lovey-dovey, you can find the stories I mentioned earlier, here and here.

Tipping Your Movers

At some point someone decided 15% of the final bill was the appropriate amount to tip a server when dining out. Seeing as we eat out quite a bit more frequently than we hire a moving service, it’s no surprise there isn’t a similar, commonly held belief like this when it comes to tipping movers.

As a rule of thumb, we suggest 5% of the total bill for movers that provide adequate service. With that as a reference point, you might tip 10-15%, if the service was exceptional, and you may decide to forego tipping, if you felt the service was subpar. It’s all pretty simple once you have 5% as a starting point.

 

TippingMovers

 

How To Tip

When you’re at a restaurant, you have the opportunity to calculate your tip on your own time. You then are able to walk away without interacting with your server again. With movers you are often times handing them cash directly, or writing in a gratuity amount while standing immediately next to them, which can make the exchange seem awkward.

While we can’t speak for all moving companies, our movers are trained to not make any assumptions when it comes to the tip. They may mention that you have the opportunity to write in a gratuity amount on the final paperwork, but you won’t see them lingering or holding a hand out after the paperwork is complete.

If you still feel uncomfortable, you can hand the movers your cash or check tip in an envelope. Our movers are able to accept monetary tips as checks, cash and via credit card.

 

Alternatives

Tipping is NOT a requirement, and money is not the only way to show your appreciation. Some of our movers favorite tips have been mid-service food, or odd, unwanted furniture pieces. Don’t be afraid to offer your movers the TV stand you no longer want.

Additionally, calling the company you booked the service with after your move and sharing positive feedback about the movers can act as a sort of tip. At College Muscle Movers, such a call can mean a Jimmy John’s gift card or similar reward for your movers.

 

If you’re curious how other’s handle tipping their moversApartment Guide conducted a survey among 1,000 adults in the U.S. in 2013 on this topic. Check out the infographic they made with the results below.

 

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