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

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

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

Choosing The Right Size

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

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

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

Choosing a Rental Agency and Making a Reservation

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

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

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

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

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

Other Options

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

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

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

Moving to Minneapolis – Part 2 : Handling Boxes

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

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

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

1. Don’t rely on your body alone

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

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

2. Preparing to lift

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

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

3. Straightening up

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

4. Moving with a heavy load

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

5. Big and heavy first

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

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

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

 

Moving to Minneapolis – Part 1: How to Pack

Welcome to Minneapolis.

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

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

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

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

moving-box-300x3001. Bubbles and Boxes

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

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

2. Packing Labels and Packing Spmarked-boxesace

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

3. Check, Check, Check

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

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

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

4. Read On

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

Surviving Move Day Weather

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

Preparing For Your Move

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

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

 

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

Make Your Twin Cities Move Easier with Muscle Boxes!

One of the main reasons people hire a moving company is to ease that inevitable stress which comes from relocating. There are things that the moving company just can’t help with, though. Obtaining and discarding boxes is one of those annoying chores that just always seems to hang around – until now…

Meet the Muscle Box: a strong, reusable, heavy-duty plastic tote that we deliver and pick up – all for the same or LESS cost as traditional cardboard!

individual-muscle-box3

Benefits:
• Time/Money Saver

  • Remember the old saying ‘Time is Money’? Instead of taking the time to drive all around the Twin Cities looking for enough old boxes for your belongings, let CMM deliver and enough Muscle Boxes for your move. The transportation cost is built in to the rental price, all for the same or less price as medium cardboard boxes (hint: more quantity = less $/box). Bundles including delivery within 15 miles start at 25 Muscle Boxes.
  • Muscle Boxes also save you time while you are packing your belongings. Rather than assembling and taping each box individually (only to be cut apart later), Muscle Boxes stack inside of each other so they do not take up a large area in your house and you can just pull a box off the top of the stack, fill it with your items, close the lid and stack it neatly until the Muscle Movers arrive.
  • Because Muscle Boxes are designed to stack and nest uniformly, we can fit more on each dolly load and can pack the truck much easier which ultimately saves time on the hourly rate charged for local moves.

Muscle-Box-Stacked-in-Truck1

  • Rather than spending time breaking boxes down and disposing of them, just call CMM to schedule a time to pick them up – we can usually accommodate short notice pick-ups so we can get them out of your way to enjoy your new place!

• Strength and Durability

  • Because the Muscle Boxes are constructed from heavy-duty plastic, they can stand up to the elements of snow or rain without falling apart and ruining the contents inside. They are very rigid and that hard shell adds additional protection to your items inside. They also have strong handles, making them easier to pick up than a standard box without handles.

Rental Details:

  • All rental packages include 1 month of rental time in the pricing and that can be arranged however you like. Most of our customers like a week or two to pack and another week or two to unpack but it is up to each individual and their needs.
  • We can pick the Muscle Boxes up early if you want your space back sooner. We can also extend rentals by the week after the one-month rental has finished. Many of our customer’s enjoy the time limit of a month as it helps them pack and unpack at a pace that is convenient for them

We truly believe that our Muscle Boxes will make for a smooth and efficient moving experience for you. Call today for more details!