5 Tips To Help You Move Into Your New House

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


Get New Locks

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


Clean Out Drawers and Cabinets

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

Which brings us to our next point—


Keep An Eye Open for Pests

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

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


Memorize Your Circuits and Fuses

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

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


Familiarize Yourself With The Plumbing

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


Moving With A Real Estate Agent

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

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

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

Choose A Professional

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


Find A Practiced Realtor

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


Look For Local Referrals

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


Shoot For The Same Goals

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


Conduct Interviews

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


Make Sure You Get Along

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

Settling Your Dog In A New Home

Moving is stressful, no doubt about it. But if you have a dog (or dogs, plural) it can be just as stressful for them. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when thinking about moving dogs into your new home.

But really, don't let your dog drive a motorcycle. Unless they have a license.
Road warrior.

Keep Things Familiar

As much as possible, keep things normal and comfortable for your dog. Try to keep feeding them the same food. Use the same water bowl, and keep any favorite toys on hand. Trying to stuff your dog into a brand new crate or cage right before traveling for a move is practically guaranteed to stress them out.

Plan Transportation
Speaking of crates, you’ll need to plan on how you’re traveling with your dog. For short moves, it’s probably a non-issue, but if you’re moving cross-country, you might want to send the dogs by plane. Check carefully with your airline: most will help you figure out the best way to fly your dog.

Most people will choose to drive: it’s usually more familiar to the dog, and often cheaper besides. Plan ahead for food and water if you have a cross-country move coming up. You should also be ready to take lots of stops while you’re on the road, especially if your dog isn’t used to driving. Campgrounds will usually accept pets, and many hotel rooms will allow a dog to stay with you for an extra fee.

Veterinary Records!

Moving is when you want to make sure you have all of your pet’s medical documents on hand. Vaccinations, blood tests, history of surgeries: you’ll want all of this with you in case something happens while you’re moving. Additionally, you can save yourself a headache by choosing a new veterinarian in advance. This means you won’t be rushing around at the last minute worrying about that blue stuff your dog ate in the basement of the new house.

Dog Tags/ Microchips

Don’t forget to update all of the identifying personal information on your dog’s collar or microchip. If your dog doesn’t use a collar or identifying tags, now is a good time to start: you can pick up tags at most pet stores. Some states also require licensing for pets. Keep track of any relevant laws before the move itself. For example, dogs being brought into Hawaii need to be kept under quarantine before being allowed in.

Create An Inviting Atmosphere in Your New Home

This is probably the most important one. You want to make sure the house doesn’t smell of any previous pets: this could cause your pets to feel defensive or start marking the house. Depending on the house, you may also want to restrict your dog’s movement to a controlled area at first so that they won’t be overwhelmed. This also gives you time to find any possible escape routes or crevices your dog could get lost in.

Above all else, try to spend as much time as you can with your dog, especially during the first couple days. Pets don’t understand why you’ve packed up and moved to a totally new place, and dealing with it can sometimes cause a lot of anxiety. Take plenty of walks in and around your new home to help your dog get acclimated.

Is Moving Right For You?

Sometimes moving can be a difficult decision. How do you know if it’s a good choice to distance yourself from family or friends? For that matter, when is it worth leaving a good job to be closer to your loved ones? Life often throws us curveballs like this, and sometimes a second opinion can help make your decision easier.  As premier Twin Cities movers, College Muscle Movers helps people through a lot of different moves. If you’re questioning an upcoming move, we’re here to help!

The US offers a lot of different places to move to, at least.
The US offers a lot of different places to move to, at the very least.

Gauge Your Priorities

Our priorities in life change as we get older. When you’re moving, you’re often faced with choosing between jobs and family. Maybe you’re choosing between being close to friends and an irresistible real estate deal. There are a lot of different factors that can figure into where you choose to live. Taking care of aging parents or young children can also be major factors. Everyone is different. Whatever the case, make sure you know what your own priorities are. If you are having trouble determining what it is you want out of life, try making a list. You can just brainstorm and write down everything that comes to mind, then rank it all later and figure out what living location is the best fit.


Communicate With Your Loved Ones

Include your loved ones in your plans! It’s always good to have open lines of communication with friends and family, especially for a decision as momentous as a move. In romantic relationships, just make sure you are considering yourself in addition to your partner. It’s hard to make someone else happy if you aren’t happy yourself! Each of you should think carefully about the move before you jump in. Sometimes moving for another person can be a potentially toxic decision. If your relationship is important to you and moving will put a lot of stress about it, keep that in mind when you’re running through your list of priorities (as mentioned above.)


Temper Your Expectations

On the topic of romanticism, do your best to be realistic about moving. It’s easy to fantasize about how great your new home or apartment is going to be, or how moving will immediately turn your life around, but it doesn’t always work that way. Not to suck all the fun out, but even if you really love a new city, it’s going to have downsides. That’s inevitable. There will be traffic and stinky pollution and overpriced drinks. New York might be a fun and bustling city to visit, but that same bustle can be overwhelming for a lot of people who try to live there. As Twin Cities movers, we hear all sorts of expectations for new places.

The same realism should apply if you’re moving out into the country. It’s easy to imagine a sedate, quiet life out in the country. Thing is, it won’t seem quite so nice when the bears are knocking down your bird feeder or a storm knocks out power to your house for three days. There are advantages and disadvantages to every kind of living situation, and you’ll do yourself a disservice if you aren’t realistic about both sides of the coin.


All that being said, the Twin Cities are a great place to move. If you’re thinking about moving to Minnesota from afar, you’ll get your fill of natural beauty in the Twin Cities: rivers, hills, valleys, lakes. Plenty of snow. Give College Muscle Movers a call if you’re looking for help moving around the Twin Cities

5 Moving Tips That Might Totally Change Your Life

Ok. Full disclosure: these moving tips are not necessarily going to change your life. But they will help simplify your move. They may not be life-changing, but they are convenient and well thought out. Ok, where to start?


Document, Document, Document!

This is one of the easiest things you can do to simplify your move. Before you start packing up your belongings, create an inventory or list of all the things you’re going to be moving. You can even assign numbers to boxes to help keep track of everything for later. Making this your first step will also help you estimate what sort of supplies you’ll need (specialty boxes, bubble wrap, etc.). An accurate inventory is also important to professional moving companies like CMM: it’ll help get you the most accurate estimate on long a job will take.


Make Sure You Have Enough Boxes

You probably don’t have as many boxes as you’ll end up wanting, especially if you’ve been living somewhere for more than a couple years. Whether it’s shelves of books or DVDs, or those stemware sets your in-laws keep sending you, stuff accumulates. If you’re worried about the eventual mountain of cardboard when you unpack, consider renting our Muscle Boxes. They’re made out of a dense and durable plastic, and they stack very neatly. Plus, they’re reusable, minimizing your carbon footprint.


Use The Right Boxes

You have a lot of different options when it comes to moving boxes. They’re specialized: typically, larger boxes are used for lightweight objects with lots of surface area and volume (like blankets or pillows), while smaller boxes work better for heavy items (books or vinyl). You’ll want to make sure you don’t overfill any of the large boxes, or the weight could rip right through the cardboard. It’s tempting just to get everything jammed into one box, but it could cause trouble later.


For real, don't weigh these things down too much.
We’re looking at you, wardrobe box.

Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute

Chances are good you’ll be visiting your new home a couple times before you move in and settle down. Consider bringing along some of the lighter items with you when you go. Even a single backpack can save you a trip on moving day. You don’t need to move every single one of your possessions in a single day. The more you can move before the last day in your old home, the easier your move will go. Things that are already in storage, unused treadmills, etc— getting this stuff done early will save you time later! Even if you’re just taking one lone lampshade at a time, it’s still progress.


The Necessities Box

Especially if you’re doing a long-distance move, you’ll want to make sure you keep some things close at hand. Phone chargers, toothbrushes, extension cords, paper towels. Things you’ll want to use right away when you get to your destination. A lot of people also like to make sure they keep all of their important documents close by: government identification, health insurance papers, that sort of thing. Keeping your necessities close by could save you a future headache.


Hopefully some of these tips will come in handy on your next move. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us! We’re here to help.

Professional Movers Vs. Aquariums

URRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHMoving large pieces of furniture can quickly turn into a big job. We’d know— those jobs are our specialty! But when you relocate to a new home, furniture isn’t the only thing you need to move. If you have pets, you might have kennels or cages that need to be transported. If you have fish, you’ll almost certainly have a fish tank. If you have a fish tank, you’ll probably want some professional movers.

Fish tanks come in a variety of sizes. Due to all of the glass, even the small tanks are fairly heavy, but the larger aquariums definitely require a small team of people to move. Fragile and heavy, moving giant glass tanks without proper experience can be both exhausting and potentially risky. If you live in the Minneapolis area, consider giving College Muscle Movers a call. We can help you figure out the logistics of your tank.

Now, onto some tips on moving aquariums and fish tanks. When you move a fish tank, you are changing not just the home of your pet, but your own home as well. A large tank takes up space, and you’ll want to carefully plan out where everything is going before you get started. Make sure there is room to fit your tank in your new home. Careful planning will help ensure a smooth move and minimize stress to your aquatic pet.

Fish tanks are heavy. You will require a team to move a large tank, and you’ll want to make sure you have the right equipment as well. Back-braces, suction cup lifters, pads, moving straps: the equipment you will need depends on the weight of the tank itself. In any case, move the tank methodically and carefully, and make sure you have enough people for the job.

Drain the water out before you get started. While this may seem obvious, you really want to make sure you’ve drained as much water as possible. A big fish tank might look mostly empty, but that high volume can be deceptive, and water is heavy. Don’t make the job harder than it has to be!

Also, as you can imagine, you won’t be moving your fish in the tank. Before you drain their home, make sure you’ve set aside a safe temporary environment for your pets. Make their water is treated properly and that they have plenty of space. If you keep plants in your tank, putting a few plants in their temporary home will help reduce the shock from transporting them.

Remember that even with careful planning and professional help, some issues could arise. You’ll want to make sure your fish can live in their temporary environment for a couple days, just in case, especially if you have a long distance move.
Professional movers will have the experience and equipment to safely move your equipment, but chances are low that they are experienced aquaculturists. You should expect to handle the well-being of your fish on your own. In Minnesota, be mindful of weather and temperature changes, especially in the winter!

As always, if you’re in the Minneapolis area, give College Muscle Movers a call at 1-800-818-8449 and we’ll help you figure out your move!


Twin Cities Movers In A Nutshell

Pun totally intended.Planning a move in the Twin Cities? It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the huge array of Twin Cities movers. There are a lot of options throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area when it comes to moving. There are a variety of companies to choose from, which is fantastic. It’s good for people who need to move, because they have a lot of choices.  At College Muscle Movers, that’s just how we like it. We relish the opportunity to set ourselves apart from the pack. Participating in a competitive market is also good for movers, because there’s always pressure to keep raising the bar.

Here at College Muscle Movers, we pride ourselves on lifting that bar higher and higher. We’re always trying to improve. We invest heavily in high-potential students in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, training and equipping them for even brighter futures. And we hope that our commitment to quality is infectious. The freedom to choose can bring with it peace of mind, but on occasion it can become overwhelming. With all these choices, how do you know who to choose? Well, we can’t speak for any other companies, but we can certainly tell you a little bit about ourselves.

Our Muscle Movers receive extensive training before they even go out on their first job, and we offer regular training for the duration of employment. That way, we can provide the highest possible level of care for you and your possessions. Above and beyond that training, our Muscle Mover teams are all supervised by on-site managers who have experience with hundreds of moves. That’s experience you can only get as a professional. If you want something moved, they’ll know how to make it happen, even if it seems totally bizarre.

One of the biggest factors that sets College Muscle Movers apart from other companies in the Twin Cities metro area is our commitment to people. That applies to customers and employees. Beyond ensuring that your move goes as smoothly and safely as possible, we want to make sure our student-athlete movers are picking up the skills they need to succeed in today’s fast-paced world. We want to make sure that their time with us is full of personal growth; that we offer a variety of skills and life experiences which will always be valuable. We provide in-depth training and feedback on customer service, professional communication, teamwork, and confidence building. By helping to round out the life skills of everyone at our company, we raise our standards for quality that much higher, and at the same time, hopefully do something beneficial for the community at large. Many of our former employees have gone on to successful positions in a wide variety of different fields (some within our own company!).

But enough about us! Our reviews speak for themselves. And if you’ve ever used us or other Twin Cities movers, get in touch! What did you like? What would you have preferred differently? Help us keep raising the bar by providing us with feedback.

How Does Insurance, Valuation, and Licensing Work?

When you’re looking to hire a moving company, the first thing you’ll want to do is check out the MnDot booklet on the subject. After you’ve gotten an idea what you’re looking for, start your search with the Better Business Bureau and Yelp (CMM has an A+ and a 4 ½ star rating, respectively.)


But how do you know what you’re actually getting when you hire the services of a moving company? A company representative will be able to tell you, certainly, but if you’re the skeptical or inquisitive type, you might want to know more. What does it mean to be licensed and bonded? What are the mechanisms by which contracts are guaranteed? If you’re not a fan of dry contractual details, be warned: this post gets a bit technical.


When a moving company says they are licensed, this usually refers to a business license. A business license is granted by the federal or state government, and indicates that a company is approved to legally conduct business, in the form of being hired for the purpose of moving services, within their state or country or across state borders. In Minnesota, this means a “Household Goods Mover Permit”. Check with MnDOT’s Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations to make sure the company you’re considering has a permit to operate and is licensed and insured.


Many people mistakenly confuse bonding and insurance. Being bonded means that the company guarantees that they will perform the work you hired them to do. This means that a third party will ensure reimbursement if a company or contractor fails to meet their end of the bargain.


A professional moving company (like CMM) will offer valuation. This is the rough equivalent to insurance, but legally speaking, it isn’t identical. Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty.

Valuation is based on transportation and transit laws. It’s a level of liability the carrier agrees to assume and, depending upon the level of protection requested by the customer, may result in higher transportation rates. Valuation limits liability to the time in which the goods are in the care, custody and control of the carrier’s actions or failure to act that are not excluded by the provisions of the Bill of Lading and tariff.

Essentially, valuation means that should your items be broken in transit, while in the carrier’s care, you will be compensated. The level of valuation, however, is not always clearly understood by the customer. Some moving companies have base-level insurance policies in place that compensate you for breakage or loss of items on a per-pound basis, the industry standard being for common carrier household goods shipments being $.60 per pound per article. At CMM, you always receive this base-level coverage, and have the option to purchase additional coverage besides.

In closing, be sure you fully understand your coverage before you sign a contract and request additional coverage if necessary. Believe it or not, the company you’ve hired wants to keep your possessions safe just as much as you do!

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.



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.


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.

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.


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.