An Interview With a Mover: Mike

moving house by Nathan O'Nions (CC BY 2.0)

Meet Mike, a NorthStar Moving Team Leader. I had lots of fun chatting with Mike about his experiences as a pro mover. Woah! I thought I knew lots about moving, but Mike taught me so many new moving tips and I can’t wait to share them with you!

Hi Mike! As a moving expert, can you share with us your #1 moving tip?

Moving Tip # 1: Pack heavy items such as books in small boxes, and light items in big boxes.

It happened a few times that clients packed all their books into large boxes, and packed items such as pillows and linens into smaller boxes. They were packed and ready to go when we arrived, but the book boxes were too heavy to lift. It is always physically possible for movers to lift a heavy item, after all, movers move pianos and large armoires  but these items are always moved as a team. Having a movers lift excessively heavy boxes on their own on a daily basis can be harmful to the body in the long run, and I wouldn’t reccomend it even if you are moving on your own and it’s a one time move. Also the moving box will be more likely to rip with extra heavy items and make your other items less protected.

Moving Tip # 2: Don’t fold in the box flaps, tape them, and secure the tape.

If you only fold the flaps, there is always a risk that they will not hold. Tape is always safer. As your pro movers we have a way to secure the tape so it will hold even if the box is heavy.

 Cool! Thanks for those great moving tips! As a mover do you have favorite music to listen to while moving?

Only if the customer is playing it, and that’s happened a few times, but I don’t work with earphones, and I don’t let my guys do that either. If they have it, I tell them to leave them on the truck.

Awesome! What music has a client played that best helped you get moving?

I am drawn more to heavy metal, but not everyone is. Once we moved the head of security for a world famous heavy metal band recently. He played music at the offload. When clients do play music it’s nice to have.

Can you think of any recent cool moving stories that happened to you or your moving crew?

I have many but my favorite story  is when I was tipped a Cadillac. We went to San Diego and the client’s car broke down, his wife picked him up, he left his car on the side of the road and went to San Diego where we were working in his house. He told me about it and said, ‘yea, you want it?’ So I went back, it was there, I towed it to my house and he sent me the pink slip. A Cadillac with just 68,000 miles on it. I still have it at my house.

You run into a lot of nice people out there, so there are a lot of nice moves. Meeting famous people is always fun, we move actors and actresses, quite a few reality show productions. We just moved a young actress who is on a few Nickeloedeon shows like That’s So Raven and Summerland. It was nice to get to know them  and chat with them, she was  happy that she is getting a chance to direct soon.

I bet you run into many clients’ pets on moving day, any interesting pets on the move stories?

Dogs do funny stuff all the time, when they jump and try to get up to you while you move but they end up just hopping around. I would say 99% of the time clients leave their pets in the bathroom until we leave during their move so they wouldn’t run out the door and take off. We did see a snake.

A snake!! Ahhh! At a client’s house? were they raising it?

No, it was in the driveway as we were walking up. It was pretty big. It was over in the hills in Malibu, hanging in a tree over the path leading to the house. We gently guided it off to the side.

Any unusual move experiences? 

The most unusual is when you have to use shuttles but it rarely happens. As movers we have to  leave the big red NorthStar Moving truck as close as it can get to the house, and get a smaller truck that you can drive up to the house. Either that or the movers make a long push, meaning we carry everything that distance. An unusual solution is to use a golf cart, or a john deer cart. Some clients have it and suggest we use it.

Other unusual move is clients who have whole compounds where they keep chickens, llamas, horses.

In Los Angeles? In what areas?

Moving clients in Thousand Oaks and Malibu. It’s nice moving in Malibu right on the beach, so you’re packing and looking at the ocean.

What are the hardest to move items?

Pianos, marble tables. Heavy dressers. If the dresser is too heavy we’ll take the drawers out first, if it’s less heavy we’ll tape the drawers shut and move it with all the drawers.

Pianos are one of the hardest items to move, especially baby grand pianos because you have to take it apart. Refrigerators can be tricky to get out the door or over a counter. Some couches are too big so you need to hoist them up. A typical response from clients when they watch us hoist is “you guys are strong, you definitely don’t need to work out”. You get little comments all the time.

[slideshow post_id=”7822″ exclude=”21,22,23″]

What’s a mover’s favorite food?

Hamburgers. Many clients offer to buy us lunch and many get pizza, or sandwiches from Subway.

Was there ever a client who got you something you didn’t expect?

Yea, a client went to a barbeque place and brought us back barbequed ribs. That was nice. We actually went back to the place the next day on our lunch break to eat.

Yum! Sounds delicious tell us I’d love to share the recommendation?

It was Phillips Barbecue, on Crenshaw and the 10 freeway.

Don’t forget to treat your movers to so yummy BBQ!

I always love hearing moving stories from our moving team members and I’ve heard a lot over the years, many adventures that only we heard of, left untold to the outside world… so I am glad I got to share Mikes stories with you.I can’t wait to do this again with more of our professional moving team members. Please share your moving stories!