Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How Many Boxes Will You Need for Your Upcoming Move?


There is so much to think about and plan when you're getting ready to move from one house to another.

Use this handy Box Calculator to get an idea of how many and what kind of boxes you'll need to pack up your belongings before your move.  

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® of Greater Lansing offers a full line of competitively priced packing supplies and offers a full refund on any boxes you don't need.  We also offer great tips on how to pack fragile items.









Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Explore Four Greater Lansing Communities

Written by Brooke Weatherford
Holt
         Holt, also known as Delhi township, is located south-east of Lansing.  Holt is a unique community because it effortlessly joins the warm, small town feel of a rural area, with the comfortability of a suburban community, while still maintaining the benefits of being located near the larger cities of Lansing and East Lansing.  Holt recently received a Gold status for the Michigan Green Community Challenge, recognizing the outstanding efforts to be an environmentally sustainable community.  Holt hosts a number of events, including the Farmers Market , and Music in the Garden, which is a free event occurring Thursdays in July at the Veterans Memorial Park.  Speaking of parks, Holt is home to 100 acres of parks, creating a beautiful scene for outdoor recreation.  The Holt Public Schools are among the best in Mid-Michigan, with the spotlight on the beautifully renovated Holt Senior High, which offer a wide array of sports, extracurricular activities and a top notch teaching staff.  Overall, Holt is a wonderful, balanced community.
 St. Johns
           Twenty minutes north of Lansing is St. Johns, also known as the Mint Festival City. St. Johns is, for the most part, a rural community; however, it is home to a few big attractions that bring in people from all over the state.  The first of these is the annual Mint Festival, which celebrates the town’s 100+ years of mint farming, held in early August. The Mint Festival brings together a variety of events, family activities, and vendors of food, crafts, and flea market items. The Mint Festival is a source of pride for the town as it is an exciting event for people from all over the area.  Another St. Johns attraction is Uncle John’s Cider Mill and Fruithouse Winery  Located on the primary artery to northern Michigan, Uncle John’s is an autumn destination for picking pumpkins, eating homemade doughnuts, drinking fresh-pressed apple cider and wagon ride orchard tours.  Visitors can actually watch the entire process of making  that delicious cider.  Family-oriented fun abounds with tons of fall and Halloween themed activities such as a haunted house, hayride through the pumpkin patch, playground and train rides. It provides fun for the whole family and brings great tourism to St. Johns.  Lastly, St. Johns is home to Sleepy Hollow State Park which provides a host of recreational activities such as camping, fishing, canoing and kayaking.  The park also features miles of marked trails for hiking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding.  So, although St. Johns is a small town, there are some big benefits to calling it home, or even just stopping by for some cider or mint!
Charlotte
              Charlotte is located 25 minutes south of Lansing and is the seat of Eaton County.  The town has easy access to interstates 69, 96 and 94, making for a comfortable commute to and from Lansing.  The “Frontier Days Festival” city has much to offer, including a healthy array of downtown shops, restaurants and businesses.  With both big chains, and small, family-owned businesses, the business district can cater to your needs. Charlotte has an abundance of high quality, yet affordable, houses as well as charming historic homes. The townspeople value their town’s heritage and preserving historic sites like the beautiful Courthouse Square Museum.  Charlotte is home to multiple parks; Bennett Park, Lincoln Park and Veterans Memorial Park are the largest. During the summer, free concerts are held at Veterans Memorial Park for all to enjoy.  The Eaton Country Fairgrounds are located here, the site for the annual 4-H fair. As for educational opportunities, Charlotte has an award winning public school system and state of the art facilities to make sure the kids get a successful education. The Charlotte Performing Arts Center is the crown jewel of the high school and regularly hosts regionally acclaimed artists.  Charlotte is only 15 minutes away from Olivet College.  Charlotte brings the community together for a number of festivals each year, including the Celebrate Charlotte! Festival held on Father’s Day weekend each year, the Wilder Bluegrass Festival, Frontier Days, and a few holiday events such as a Halloween costume parade, and holiday light parade.  So, if you’re looking for a small town with some big character, stop off the highway and visit Charlotte.
 Grand Ledge
                 Grand Ledge is located 13 miles west of Lansing, and is most commonly known for its 300-million year old sandstone quartz rock ledges that extend up the banks of the Grand River.  Grand Ledge is a great location for outdoor enthusiasts who still enjoy close proximity to city life.  The abundant parks and nature trails system, in addition with its residence along the Grand River, provide a multitude of outdoor activities. Oak Park is the gateway to “The Ledges” of the town, which provides some of the only natural rock climbing in Michigan. The most intense ledges run along the North side of the river, with more family friendly, scenic trails on the south side. Climbers come from all over the state to experience this landmark. Other parks in town include Fitzgerald Park, Island Park, and Lincoln Brick Park. At these parks you can find up to 3 miles of nature trails, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, volleyball courts, disk golf courses, playgrounds, canoe launches, picnic pavilions, swimming beaches, and cross country skiing trails. There is no shortage of recreational activity venues in this town.  Grand Ledge hosts a number of other attractions, including horseback riding at Sundance Stables, Ledge Meadows Golf Course, and the Michigan Princess Riverboat . Grand Ledge boasts a great public school system that provides students access to new computers, wireless classrooms, and advanced technology, along with award-winning performing arts and athletic programs.  The town’s close proximity to Lansing, East Lansing, and Michigan State University provides a number of cultural, social and entertainment opportunities just a short drive away.   Grand Ledge is a town that provides many ways for you to enjoy nature’s gifts, while staying close to the benefits of city life.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Win $300 in the "My New Place" Instagram Photo Contest


 TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® of Greater Lansing, is kicking off our first ever Instagram Photo Contest, MY NEW PLACE!   So, we wanted this week’s blog to highlight specifications on how to enter, provide some creative ideas on how to showcase YOUR NEW PLACE, and what you could win if you rack up enough likes!
Instagram is a fairly new tool and is growing by the masses. Why? Because it allows an average Joe to become a photographer with just the push of a few buttons, so it’s easy for you to show your friends the awesome new place you just moved into, and make it look like you brought in the art director from Better Homes and Gardens to snap your pic.
How to Enter:
Getting an account 

First, you have to have an Instagram account. If you don’t have one, registering is easy.
Download the Instagram App on your mobile phone.   Register. Enter your information or simply link to your Facebook profile to make registering and promoting your photo’s even easier. Click Register.
Once registered it is easy to link your page to be able to post your Instagram photo’s to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Foursquare or Flickr should you choose to show your friends your photo through other social media outlets.
Entering the contest 
Follow our Instagram page @TMTLansing
Take a photo of your new place (for creative ideas on what you could post, keep reading!)
Post the photo with the Hashtag #TMTMYNEWPLACE in the description
Share the photo of your new place on your other social media sites, asking your friends and fellow instagramers to like your photo, or tell them to simply just double click the photo to like it.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner will receive a VISA giftcard of $300 $150 or $50! Check your photo for a comment from @TMTLansing saying you’ve won, and with further instruction on how to claim your prize.
YES. IT’S THAT EASY! 

On to some photo ideas
So maybe you’re not the creative type, but want your photo to be so spectacular all your friends want to like it and help you win that gift card. We have a few suggestions
-          Make a Collage. You can download apps like Photo Grid (for Android) or Pic Stitch (for Iphone) to neatly put together a few different photos into an exciting collage. Get photos of the front back and inside of your new house to stitch together, or maybe different rooms of your apartment, or different angles of your dorm. You could also try creating a collage of different photos of your house each with your kids, dog, friends or hubby in front of it!
-          The photo contest is not limited to photos of a new house. Moving into an MSU dorm soon? Snap a photo of your freshly decorated desk, bunk, and futon combo to show off to your friends, and try a filter like “1977” to give it the flower child boarding school feel, or “Lo-Fi” to accentuate all your exciting bright colors.
-          Have a housewarming party with all your friends and neighbors, and while everyone is there, tell them about the contest, get a photo of everyone, tag them in the photo and ask them to like and share with friends. This is a sure-fire way to get some likes right away!
-          Are you a teacher? Professor? Or moving into a new office? That works too! Take a photo of your new classroom full of kids or shiny new desk with all your favorite pictures. Try tagging coworkers, friends, and other people who might be interested in seeing your new workplace.
-          Utilize the description! If you really want to collect those likes, try telling friends about something funny that happened when you moved in, or how your kids reacted to their new rooms. Your friends will be interested to read your story and see the picture to go with it!
-          Meeting the new neighbors? Tell them about the contest and ask if they would like to be in the picture with you!  Then tell your friends about the experience meeting the neighbors. You could even tag your neighbors in the photo and ask them to share with their friends too.
-          Proud of your new yard or Landscaping? That could work too! Show off that beautiful new tree you planted or the deck you just finished and show your friends your hard work.
-          Don’t be afraid of filters! Filters can take your photo to the next level, and make it look like you are that Better Homes and Gardens photographer!
Don’t forget to follow @TMTLansing and include the hashtag #TMTMYNEWPLACE!!
 Contest details:
You don’t have to be a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Lansing customer to win.
Contest Valid in Lansing Franchise Region only. (Must be able to come to the Lansing store to retrieve your prize)
Must be 18 years or older and US Citizen to win.
Contest runs 8/8/2013- 9/27/2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Packing Fragile Items & How to Pack Them Well

Packing for yourself can be a great way to save money on your move.  Here are some tried and true tips, straight from the professional packers at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® of Greater Lansing.

First of all, keep these general packing guidelines in mind:
  • Use sturdy boxes or containers with lids that close.
  • Use plenty of cushioning to reduce shifting and breakage.
  • Wrap items carefully.
  • Pack boxes firmly.  Items should not jostle around or cause the walls of the box to bulge outward or bend inward.
  • Tape the bottoms of the boxes; don't just interlock them as they could break open.
  • Don't make the boxes too heavy. Remember, the heavier the item, the smaller the box.
Tips for packing china, glassware and dishes
  • To minimize the chance of breaking something, wrap fragile items over a padded surface so that if you do drop something, it will land on a soft surface.
  • Layer the bottom of the box with crumpled paper (this is a great place to use newspaper).
  • It is best to place plates and flatter dishes on the bottom layer of the box.
  • Wrap each piece individually in clean paper.  Using several sheets of paper, start from a corner and wrap diagonally and tuck in overlapping edges.  Newspaper can be used as an outer layer, but never against china as the ink may stain it. 
  • Bundle 3 or 4 plates or bowls together in another double layer of paper.  Place the bundles in a row along an edge of the box.  
  •  As you fill the box, with the larger, heavier pieces on the bottom of the box, fill in empty spaces with crumpled paper.  Add a good layer of more crumpled paper on top to protect the rims and to create a level base for the next tier.
  • Smaller plates and bowls can make up the next layer.  Wrap and pack in the same manner as described above.
  •  Shallow bowls can stand on  edge in the box and deeper ones, such as mixing bowls, should nest together, with paper in between each, upside down on their rims.
  • Professional packers use special boxes called dish packs or dish barrels to pack fine china and delicate glassware.  These boxes are double-walled constructed and also come with adjustable "cells" that will accommodate and protect items of varying sizes.
  • Wrap cups and glasses individually in double layers of paper, with handles protected with extra packing paper.  Place them upside down on the upper layer  with all handles facing the same direction.
  • Label all boxes "FRAGILE - THIS SIDE UP".
Tips for packing figurines, lamps and other delicate items
 
  • For very fragile pieces, it is recommended that you use the original packaging.  If that's not available, use bubble wrap.  This comes in both small and large bubble sizes and in sheets or rolls.  
  • Never wrap lamp shades in newspaper.  The ink will rub off and leave permanent stains.  Pillowcases or large towels are great to use here.  Use a sturdy box that is at least 2 inches larger all around the largest shade.  Line it with clean paper, with crumpled paper under the shade to create a cushion, but not around the shade.  You can nest smaller shades inside larger ones, but make sure they do not touch each other.
  • For lamps, remove the light bulb and harp and wrap each separately in paper.  Place them together in a box, filling the empty space with crumpled paper.  If your box is large enough, more than one well cushioned lamp may be packed together.
  • Protect framed photos, artwork and mirrors with padding and cushioning.  If they are small enough, you can stand them on edge in a box.  You can purchase picture boxes that are actually just corrugated corners for mirrors and larger framed items.  Then, wrap with paper pads, bubble wrap or stretch wrap for more protection.
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® of Greater Lansing offers a complete line of reasonably priced packing supplies and boxes.  And, the trained packers can offer assistance with packing nearly anything in your home.  Just ask your Move Consultant for more details.






Packing Tips

Packing for yourself can be a great way to economize your move. To help you pack as safely and efficiently as possible, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has compiled tips to make your packing experience easier.
  • Do not over pack moving boxes — the heavier the item, the smaller the moving box.
  • Start packing the items you don't need as soon as you know you're moving.
  • Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same moving boxes.
  • Put detailed labels on tops and sides of all moving boxes.
  • Don't interlock moving box tops. They must always be sealed with packing tape.
  • Pack a moving box of things that you will need immediately at your new home and make sure it is loaded last on the truck so that the contents will be immediately available at your new home.
  • To minimize the chance of breakage, pack and unpack over a padded surface so that if you do drop an item, it will land on a cushioned surface.
  • Lampshades and fine china should not be packed in newspaper because the ink can permanently stain these items. Instead, use packing paper.
- See more at: http://www.twomenandatrucklansingmi.com/lansing-home-packing-services#sthash.DvUsHZbF.dpufPa

Packing Tips

Packing for yourself can be a great way to economize your move. To help you pack as safely and efficiently as possible, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has compiled tips to make your packing experience easier.
  • Do not over pack moving boxes — the heavier the item, the smaller the moving box.
  • Start packing the items you don't need as soon as you know you're moving.
  • Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same moving boxes.
  • Put detailed labels on tops and sides of all moving boxes.
  • Don't interlock moving box tops. They must always be sealed with packing tape.
  • Pack a moving box of things that you will need immediately at your new home and make sure it is loaded last on the truck so that the contents will be immediately available at your new home.
  • To minimize the chance of breakage, pack and unpack over a padded surface so that if you do drop an item, it will land on a cushioned surface.
  • Lampshades and fine china should not be packed in newspaper because the ink can permanently stain these items. Instead, use packing paper.
- See more at: http://www.twomenandatrucklansingmi.com/lansing-home-packing-services#sthash.DvUsHZbF.dpuf

Packing Tips

Packing for yourself can be a great way to economize your move. To help you pack as safely and efficiently as possible, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has compiled tips to make your packing experience easier.
  • Do not over pack moving boxes — the heavier the item, the smaller the moving box.
  • Start packing the items you don't need as soon as you know you're moving.
  • Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same moving boxes.
  • Put detailed labels on tops and sides of all moving boxes.
  • Don't interlock moving box tops. They must always be sealed with packing tape.
  • Pack a moving box of things that you will need immediately at your new home and make sure it is loaded last on the truck so that the contents will be immediately available at your new home.
  • To minimize the chance of breakage, pack and unpack over a padded surface so that if you do drop an item, it will land on a cushioned surface.
  • Lampshades and fine china should not be packed in newspaper because the ink can permanently stain these items. Instead, use packing paper.
- See more at: http://www.twomenandatrucklansingmi.com/lansing-home-packing-services#sthash.DvUsHZbF.dpuf

Packing Tips

Packing for yourself can be a great way to economize your move. To help you pack as safely and efficiently as possible, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has compiled tips to make your packing experience easier.
  • Do not over pack moving boxes — the heavier the item, the smaller the moving box.
  • Start packing the items you don't need as soon as you know you're moving.
  • Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same moving boxes.
  • Put detailed labels on tops and sides of all moving boxes.
  • Don't interlock moving box tops. They must always be sealed with packing tape.
  • Pack a moving box of things that you will need immediately at your new home and make sure it is loaded last on the truck so that the contents will be immediately available at your new home.
  • To minimize the chance of breakage, pack and unpack over a padded surface so that if you do drop an item, it will land on a cushioned surface.
  • Lampshades and fine china should not be packed in newspaper because the ink can permanently stain these items. Instead, use packing paper.
- See more at: http://www.twomenandatrucklansingmi.com/lansing-home-packing-services#sthash.DvUsHZbF.dpuf

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

10 Questions to Ask A Professional Moving Company

Choosing the right moving company for your home or business move is an important decision.  We've all heard the horror stories of belongings being held hostage in a dispute over final charges, of items being stolen or of lollygagging movers.  These stories are not urban legends; these situations do occur.  Here are 10 questions to ask every professional moving company as you plan your upcoming move.
  1. Is your company licensed?  The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) says that "If you are planning to hire a household good moving company to move you within the state of Michigan, make sure the company you choose has a license from the MPSC."
  2. Do you offer free moving estimates?  If your home has more than three bedrooms, it is advisable to get an on-site estimate done.  Be thorough in identifying all the items you need to move.  Don't forget the basement, attic, garage and any outdoor equipment and furniture.  While you're getting the on-site estimate it is a good idea to ask the in-home moving consultant about his/her suggestions on how to make your move easier.  Companies that care about customer service and making your move a positive experience will do all they can to help you.
  3. What are ALL your charges?  Does the company charge by the piece or by the hour?  Is there a minimum charge?  How do you charge after the minimum is met (in 15-minute increments or every half hour)?  Are there extra charges for larger items such as piano moving, exercise equipment, large screen televisions, or for any extra flights of stairs to move items?  Do you charge for the travel time from your office to my home or office?  Do you charge extra for moves in the evenings or on weekends?  Do you charge for moving pads or stretch wrap?
  4. Get an in-home estimate for your move
    What payment options do you offer?  Many
    companies require a deposit.
  5. Do you have full-time employees or do you use temps and day labor?  Be cautious of companies that use temps and day labor because they may not be properly trained or insured.
  6. Are the items insured during the move?  Moving is tough on your belongings.  Even when properly packed and handled by an experienced mover, accidents happen.  Most moving companies offer some form of liability insurance. This coverage will either be based on the total weight of your items, the assessed value of your items, or the full value of replacement of your items. Weight-based coverage might cover about $0.30—$0.60 a pound
  7. What kind of cancellation policy do you offer?  You should always be able to cancel or postpone until a few days before your move.
  8. What kind of training have your movers and drivers completed?  Do the movers and drivers "learn on the job" or have they spent time learning proper packing, padding, wrapping and lifting techniques?  Do they have the necessary tools and skills for minor disassembly and reassembly of household items?  Do they know how to protect the flooring, walls and doorways in your home?
  9. Do you carry Worker's Compensation for your employees?  Moving furniture is physically demanding and carries an inherent risk of injury to the mover.  For you, this means if an employee is injured while moving your goods, and cannot work, they can look to the Workers Compensation carrier for relief. 
  10. Are you an actual moving company or a broker?  Household goods brokers arrange moves by serving as an intermediary with any number of actual movers, who buy jobs from them.  Brokers, however, are not themselves movers and do not operate trucks or handle shipments. Going through a third party can lead to problems.  If the broker can’t sell the job to a mover for any reason, such as a low estimate or availability, you would end up without a mover on the day of your move.  Also, once a broker does sell a job to a mover, the broker may not be willing to intervene on your behalf if any problems or concerns arise involving the move.  For more information on brokers, visit the American Moving and Storage Association.
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK of Greater Lansing has been serving the Lansing area for over 25 years and provides the experience needed to make your move or business move as smooth as possible.