Sunday, April 15, 2018

Reminiscing over 2017 success numbers as brand continues to pave way in 2018

Here at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we’re stronger than we’ve ever been. Numbers speak for themselves when it comes to the success our system saw last year!
Ending 2017 with nearly 100 months of consecutive growth as a system, 388 total locations across the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, and a lasting impact in each of the communities we work within, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK brand is working harder than ever to ensure our customers are satisfied with their moves and that we stay at the forefront of the moving industry.
Randy-Shacka“TWO MEN AND A TRUCK is in a very strong position,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK President Randy Shacka. “We have achieved eight years of continuous growth, but remain humble and hungry to continue to build a world-class brand that people think of when any moving need arises.”
This commitment to staying humble and hungry is what drives the brand to keep moving in the right direction, and big part of this starts with the people in the system. We’ve put a strong emphasis on hiring professional and team-oriented people, as this helps keep our customer service experience the highest it can be.
“Our people make the brand what it is,” Shacka said. “We have several thousand people working each day to deliver on our mission statement. Strong customer service, new service offerings, and passionate people really set us up for continued growth in the future.”
Our “By the Numbers 2017” video above was featured recently at the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Annual Meeting conference held in Orlando, Florida. It gave members from our system a chance to see just how successful we were last year, and how there is still so much room for taking the next step as we move forward.
Enjoy!
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Moving a Wine Cellar

Moving wine is far more complex than merely packing it in a box and sending it off with all the rest of your belongings. It can be sensitive and fragile, especially if it’s an older vintage, so you need to plan ahead to make sure it makes it safely to your destination. There are several items to remember in this process.

Appropriate Packing

Wine bottles should be stored sideways or upside down in order to keep the corks from drying out. An appropriate amount of cushioning should be packed into the box, and it should be labeled as fragile. A “This Side Up” label will also be necessary to make sure the bottles remain in the correct position during transit.

Bottle Shock

If a bottle of wine is agitated or jostled, opening it too soon can result in lost flavor. Once it reaches your destination, it’s best to allow it to “rest” for a while—about a week for each day it was in transit. So, if, for instance, you move out of state and it took you two days to get into your new home, you’ll want to let it sit in your cellar for two weeks before opening.

Temperatures and Weather

Wines—and especially older wines—are highly sensitive to changes in temperature. A major shift from hot to cold or vice versa could affect the flavor, chemistry, and even stoppage on the bottle, so you want to make sure it stays at a moderate temperature during transit. Plan moves during spring or fall if possible, and try to keep it around 55°F.

Appraisal and Insurance

Larger collections should be appraised and insured in the event of any damage from transit. This can help prevent losses from moving, which is key if you have a particularly valuable wine collection.

Qualified Movers

A highly respected and qualified mover will be necessary to make sure your wine cellar is kept safe and secure in transit. IMS Relocation has long provided the best in moving services in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Contact us at (800) 559-2112 for a no obligation estimate on your move.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Silicon Valley Real Estate Market Update

The Silicon Valley Real Estate market is picking up, after a typical summer slump, and less than stellar early fall #homebuyers are back again out in full force. The Boyenga Team expect's an extremely strong Q1. For those #homesellers on the fence, early next year will be an ideal exit point.  With pent-up demand chasing low inventory there is only one way for prices to go, and that is up!
As for the homebuyers expect multiple offers on most of the new inventory coming to market.  One positive for homebuyers is that we do not expect the same amount of market exuberance that we saw in Spring of 2015, we still do expect many homes in the more affordable price points to reach new highs. If you would like a more in-depth overview of the market in your city or neighborhood, feel free to email Eric & Janelle Boyenga at Homes@Boyenga.com or visit www.SiliconValleyHousingMarket.com

Thursday, February 22, 2018

What To Watch Out For When Moving Your Refrigerator

When most people think about moving, they think about packing loose goods and moving furniture. They don’t typically give a lot of thought to moving their appliances because, well, people don’t typically give a lot of thought to appliances anyway. That’s changing, especially when it comes to moving your refrigerator.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kevin Parker, 100th Civil Engineer Squadron commander, uses a hand cart to remove a personal refrigerator from his office Oct. 24, 2014, on RAF Mildenhall, England. Parker saw an opportunity to save energy by removing his refrigerator from his office and using the communal one in the kitchen area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Gina Randall/Released)
Today’s appliances are more expensive and more intricate than ever. From stainless steel to nickel, from six burner stoves to refrigerators that tell you when you’re out of milk, appliances do more than ever before and more and more people want to take them to their new homes.

Here’s what to watch out for when moving your refrigerator

Moving appliances can be a bit tricky. If you have a gas range and a gas dryer, you’ll want to have a plumber disconnect them before you do anything.

Empty it

This piece of advice sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t empty their refrigerators before the move. Even the tiniest plastic bottle of mustard rattling around on the inside can cause serious damage. You also want to remove any magnets from the outside.

Secure it

Remove all the shelves and drawers and wrap them in packing blankets. Be sure to label everything.

Unplug it

That’s self explanatory.

Unplug the water line and drain it

If your refrigerator has an ice maker or a water dispenser, there is a thin copper pipe at the back. Unscrew it and drain the contents into a bucket. You may need to remove the door to get to the ice maker, but that will also need to be drained.

Defrost the freezer

If you have the type of freezer that collects frost, defrost it before the move.

Secure the doors

Wrap blankets around the entire refrigerator and then tape around the blanket. Taping around the blanket will save you the nightmare of having to remove tape from the refrigerator itself.
If your refrigerator is big or your doorway are narrow, you may need to remove the doors.

Grab a friend and a dolly

Refrigerator moving is a job for at least two. Secure it to the dolly and roll it to the truck. Make sure you have a ramp because lifting it will be very difficult.

Let the refrigerator sit for a few days after the move

Refrigerators take a few days for all of the fluids to settle down and for the temperature to adjust. It could take up 

Monday, February 12, 2018

How To Update Voter Registration Address After Moving

You don’t want to miss an important letter, bill, or notification when you move to your new home do you? You also don’t want to find yourself stuck at the booth on voting day, realizing at the last minute that you never updated your voter registration to your new state of residence. Follow these simple steps and update voter registration information as soon as you move.

Determine if you’re eligible to vote in your state

You most likely meet voter registration criteria if:

  • You are a U.S. Citizen either by birth or through naturalization
  • You are at least 18 years old, though some states allow 17-year-olds to vote in a primary if they will be 18 by the time voting day comes around. Check the restrictions for your particular state
  • You meet your state’s residency requirements. For example, most states require proof of residencies such as an electric bill, a signed lease, or other such documentation. Restrictions for students may be different, so check your state
  • You are not in prison, and you are not on parole following conviction of a felony crime

So you passed the test? Here’s how to update your registration

In Person

This is the most obvious, but depending on where you now reside and where the state requires you to appear in order to update your registration, it may be a giant hassle. Some states require you to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), so you can update your voter registration information at the same time that you get a new license and register your car. You can often also update your information at any state or local election office or any state-designated location where voter registration may occur. Do keep in mind that near election dates, there may be a registration deadline to be able to participate in the next election. Check with your state!

By Mail

In most states, you can download and submit the National Mail Voter Registration Form according to the regulations for your locale. Some states don’t accept this form, however: North Dakota, Wyoming, New Hampshire and U.S. territories (Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) each have a different set of requirements. Visit the state’s website to find out what options they provide.

Online

By allowing you to update voter registration online, many states have made it easy to change your voter registration address from the comfort of home. But before you can update voter registration online, you have to have a valid drivers’ license in your new state — so be sure to give yourself adequate time for both prior to any election.

Does your new home state allow voter registration online?

Here is a list. If you don’t see your state listed, you’ll need to use one of the above methods:
Again, be sure you are familiar with your state’s voter registration deadlines. Most states have a comprehensive explanation of what you’ll need to do on the website, so add “check voter registration requirements” to your moving checklist! After taking care of the actual movers, this small step will help ease your long distance move.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

7 Big relocation mistakes

Last fall I took my kids to Hermosa Beach. It was a big moment for me because the whole time I was playing professional volleyball, in my 20s, I dreamed I would have a family and live in Hermosa.
It's a great beach town with top-notch volleyball. There's proximity to good career opportunities in the LA area, and a culture of kids growing up with sand in their hair.
The day we arrived I realized that it might be really hard to leave. I worried that maybe I'd never go back to the farm. And the more the kids loved the water, the more closely I looked at For Rent signs. I thought maybe I could split my time between the beach and the farm.
But then something happened. We didn't miss only The Farmer (who doesn't like to leave the Farm). We missed the animals, and the feeling of being in a cozy warm house surrounded by snow.
Which made me realize that when we think about relocation, we think about the wrong stuff.
1. We focus on what we gain instead of what we lose.
When people think about relocating they think almost exclusively about what they will gain by going to the new city, but psychologically we are affected much more by what we lose.
For example, if we sell stocks high and win, the emotional impact is less than if we sell stocks low and lose. We hate losing, and we are hard-wired to care more about what we lose. So instead of thinking about what you'll gain by moving, think about what you'll lose. What will you miss? Because that's what you'll think about the most.
Think about what you are actually willing to give up. Each relocation is really about giving up stuff that you have now that you won't have later. Getting new, fun stuff is going to be great. But knowing what you can do without is more important. And more mature. Because the most adult decisions in your life are ones that put severe limits on other possibilities.
2. We underestimate the commute. 
I know this one very well. You think you have something that outweighs everything—the big house, the fun job, the good schools—for me it was living on a farm.
But if that entails a huge commute in order to get everything you want, well, then the truth is you can't have everything you want. The commute makes you more unhappy than any of that stuff can make up for.
3. We waste time visiting in person before moving there. 
When you decide where to live, it should be based on the essential issues—proximity to people you love, ability to earn a living, and so on. These are questions you can answer online, or with a phone call to a friend or relative.
To try to find out if you are a cultural fit by visiting is absurd. It is impossible to get the sense of a city from just one visit. A large city is different block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, and you could not get a taste of all of them in a visit. You will have to read about them and trust statistical analysis in order to choose.
So a visit to a city gives you a skewed view and will simply mess up your decision-making process by giving too much weight to sketchy data. Wherever you decide to move, a good real estate agent will know exactly where in the area you should live.
4. We overestimate the raise. 
Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman summarizes decades of happiness research this way: “It is only a slight exaggeration to say that happiness is the experience of spending time with people you love and who love you.” (via Jonah Lehrer in Wired)
So then it should come as no surprise to you that if you are relocating away from people you love in order to get more money, you should think twice.
Nattavudh Powdthavee of the University of London did the computations to show that you need to get a raise of $130,000 to compensate for the happiness you will lose by moving away from friends and family.
5. We think we are an exception.
Look at the demographics of the city. You are normal. You are regular. You are going to become the mean of your demographic. It's the law of nature. Average is average because that's what most people are. You make your life overly complicated by living in a fantasy world where you are not typical.
Once you accept that, you can use research to its full benefit. For example, even if you earn $500,000, you will not feel rich if all your neighbors earn a lot more than you. This is the law of financial happiness – that it’s relative, not absolute, and you feel best when you are an average earner in your community. Too high and you feel like an outcast, too low and you feel desperate.
The same is true of city living. Cities are not appealing to normal parents. This is because marriages do not stay together when two parents need to earn huge incomes. Women simply do not want to have their kids raised by nannies. This means that only families where there is a single wage earner in the very highest of brackets does city living look appealing. Otherwise, the compromises a family makes to live in a city leaves them short on benefits. (If nothing else, parents who work all day and tuck kids in to bed every night have no time or energy to enjoy the cultural benefits of a big, expensive city.)
6. We trust a cost-of-living calculator. 
The problem with this tool is that it gives you information you can’t use. You need to know which city will make you happy, not which city will save you $20,000 in housing costs.
Let’s say you’re thinking of moving from San Francisco to New York City. They’re both really expensive to live in, so the difference in your salary isn’t going to matter. You should probably think harder about their cultures than about money; very few people fit in well in both cities, and most feel like they belong in one or the other. A calculator can’t tell you that.
Now let’s say you’re moving from New York City to Los Angeles. You’ll save money on housing, of course, but you’ll need a really good car.
In L.A., a BMW is totally reasonable. You’ll end up spending more time there than in your apartment. In NYC, however, owning a BMW is commonplace only among millionaires. For most New Yorkers, having a car like that is absurd—they just don’t drive enough. But cost-of-living calculators don’t have a “BMW: yes or no” option.
7. We overlook key research.
When I relocated from NYC to Madison, I did tons of research. I knew everything about happiness and economic development and I knew what I was getting into even though I never stepped foot in Madison before I moved there.
But I ignored a crucial piece of research: The schools. I simply could not believe that the schools were as bad – relative to the rest of the country – as all the data showed. It's a university town, I reasoned. It's liberal. They must raise taxes a lot for schools. I couldn't believe it. But it was true. And I ended up having to leave Madison because the schools were so bad.
Then I moved to the country. I paid a lot of attention to the research about optimizers. People in the country are generally content with a relatively simple life with few options. City people complicate their lives with lots of choices for all the best stuff, but that doesn't make them happy. And you become like the people you live withReally.
So I decided to become a content, country person by moving to where they live.
It turns out that choosing a location is a lot like choosing a mate. What you decide to overlook ends up being the most important part of your decision. You know what is going to be hard about the life you are choosing and you know that you are deciding to ignore it and go ahead with the choice anyway. We never really know if we are making a good decision or if we'll have to get over it.

Monday, January 8, 2018

10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE MOVING TO LOS ANGELES:

So you want to move to LA? Congrats! Most of us natives are very welcoming to new transplants and love the diversity of this city. Now on to the details, what do you need to know and what do you need to do to make that happen? Here’s a handy list of 10 things you should know before moving to Los Angeles.
1. It’s really tough to get a job here unless you’re here
I know you’re worried about your livelihood. There are some industries that are willing to do phone interviews and video interviews until you make arrangements to fly out, but that is very rare. It’s very competitive here in LA, especially in entertainment, so it’s best that you make plans to move here before you start job hunting. The process can take a few months or more, so make sure you have enough savings to afford your living expenses or try to stay with family or friends if you can.
A good way to get around this before moving to Los Angeles is to apply for an internship in LA while you’re enrolled in college. If you know that you want to move here for sure, getting an internship here gets you ahead of the competition if you make a good impression. This will give you a great opportunity to learn the culture, explore the city and possibly get hired by the company that you work for.
2. Finding an apartment can be just as challenging
I’m not trying to discourage you! But apartments here go very fast and can be rented within the day. Make sure you know which general area you want to live and you may even want to wait until you get a job to avoid a long daily commute. The amount of driving that you’ll be doing every day will affect your happiness and stress levels a lot more than you think, so make sure you don’t commit to a lease until you’re sure you can handle the every day drive.
Moving to LA: Traffic
3. The struggle of traffic is real
With almost 4 million people living in the city of LA (that’s just the city, not including other surrounding counties who come in and out of LA on a daily basis), you bet there’s always cars on the roads. Now imagine all the 9-5ers going to work in the morning and home afterwards, that doesn’t even account for all the people who work irregular hours and there’s a lot of those in LA. That’s why I highly suggest living somewhere close to work if you can, imagine walking 10-15 minutes to work and avoiding it all.
It’s not like LA residents of LA haven’t learned to live with it. I know of people who have a 2-hour commute one way because they bought a house in the suburbs. They use that time to listen to (a lot) of podcasts. Some people go to the gym really early before work or immediately after work to wait for the traffic to die down. Drivers rely on apps like Waze that updates with real-time traffic information to avoid accidents, traffic jams, and often times takes you on surface streets through neighborhoods.
4. The city is really big
LA is not like any of the other big cities. It’s very spread out and the public transportation system is not a very good one.  It’s not impossible to get around by using it, but you’ll soon realize that driving is a must here – even if it means driving to the train station. Getting from Downtown LA to Santa Monica beach can take 20 minutes on a good day and up to an hour and a half another time. Some people who live in the Silverlake area never date people or see their friends on the Westside or Southbay and consider that long-distance, because though it’s not far away, it sure feels like it.
On the flip side, that means there’s so much more for you to explore! Some cities I’ve visited only takes a few hours to get to know. There are some people in LA that have been here for 7 years and haven’t been to the Getty. It will take several years to get to know the city and that’s a good thing! There will be a lot to do for many years to come.
Moving to LA: Cross Walk
5. Use the cross walk or else
You can’t just walk around wherever and whenever you want here. You’re going to have to use the cross walk and wait until you see the green sign. If you see the red hand, don’t even think about it. Jaywalking tickets are common and given freely here in LA, and it will cost you (anywhere up to $200). So before you want to zigzag your way across Sunset Blvd., you might want to think of all the other things you can buy with that $200.
6. You can be outdoorsy here
LA is surrounded by mountain ranges so don’t let your LA friends fool you into thinking Runyon Canyon is the only place to go for a hike. If you’re into nature and the outdoors, there are thousands of hiking trails in the Angeles National Forest, San Gabriel Mountains and San Bernardino Mountains. There are high elevation peaks within an hour or two drive to the city if you’re looking for more challenging hikes. There’s a lot of outdoor adventurers here so if you’re into rock climbing, cycling, camping, and backpacking – there’s a lot for you to do and people to do it with!
In addition to the outdoors scene in the LA area, you’ll have a huge list for weekend getaways within a 4-6 hours drive. Whether you want to head to Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Sequoia, Big Sur, the Sierras, or even the Grand Canyon, there’s a plethora of adventures waiting for you here.
7. Dogs are welcome 
If you’re moving here with your dog, you’re both in for a treat! LA is a very dog-friendly city with lots of welcoming restaurants with outdoor patios, shopping centers (The Grove and Third Street Promenade), daycare and boarding facilities, dog parks, and even hotels. Dogs are not allowed on the beach unless it’s a designated dog beach (Rosie’s Dog BeachHuntington Beach, or Leo Carrillo State Beach) but they’re allowed on the beach boardwalks and on Santa Monica Pier.
If you are looking for a furry friend when you move, there’s a lot of rescues to adopt from. Check out Wags and Walks, where I adopted my Pomeranian, Pucci, from. It’s also where Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen adopted their last puppy from, just saying.
8. Parking is a science 
With the freeways congested, what did you expect with the parking meters and lots? Make sure you read the signs, don’t just skim through and don’t just pay attention to the bottom or the top. Street cleaning is a real thing and you will get a ticket if you park your car during the designated times. Permit parking is real and if you don’t have the right permit, get out of there! Some permit parking streets allow you to park for a certain number or hours or only during certain hours a day, so make sure you are paying attention.
If you’re looking for the good news on parking, there is one trick I’ll share with you. You are allowed to park on the yellow loading zone after 6pm until 6am -not the white or the green zone, just the yellow. This is only valid in the city of LA so make sure you’re not doing this in the wrong place or you will get ticketed.
9. There’s more to LA than the entertainment industry
Though a lot of us work in “the” industry, there are a lot of people who don’t. There’s a big tech startup community in Los Angeles as well as a lot of opportunities in other industries. A lot of people here don’t just have their day job, but run creative businesses on the side. I know lots of people who moved here for a job and are now doing their own thing. Basically LA is a place full of creative energy and anything can happen.
10. Amazing people live here
Don’t let people discourage you when they say people in LA are obnoxious and crazy. This is true some of the time, but there are also nice, amazing people here. I’ve made some great friendships here and also met my fiance in LA (even though he’s a transplant), so there is hope! If you move here and don’t know a single soul, don’t worry! A lot of people go to events through Meetup or Facebook events. There are so many events going on all the time, don’t be afraid to venture out alone and meet new people.
So hopefully the good things I’ve written about outweigh the challenges and you’re still moving to LA. It’s a great place to be and like every city has its ups and downs. I’m a big believer in “you are where you’re supposed to be,” so if you find yourself wanting to move here, then I wish you luck and hope to see you around!