Out of the Box: DIY Cardboard Planter

Earth Day is just a few days away, which means it is time to celebrate all the great things that Mother Earth has to offer! At Fry-Wagner, we are committed to sustainability and going green to improve our environment. This month, we wanted to share with you another great way to reuse your moving boxes by converting them into something good for the environment! Check out how to make this DIY cardboard planter.

Supplies:

Cardboard Box (any size)

Ruler

Writing Utensil

Box cutter/scissors

Tape

Yarn

Decorative Options (paint, glitter, etc.)

Step 1:

Select a large piece of cardboard to draw the geometric shape of the planter on. Using your ruler, draw a triangle that is 10 cm in length and width. Repeat this step accordingly until you complete the pattern. You can find the template for reference of the pattern that we used here.

 

Step 2:

Once the geometric shape is drawn onto your cardboard, cut out the shape, following the lines on the outer edge. Do not cut any of the internal triangles.

Step 3:

Using your box cutter, or the tip of your scissors, score the inner triangles so they are foldable. Do not cut all the way through.

Step 4:

You will notice there are five corners where a triangle is missing. Fold the sides of the missing triangles in to join them to an actual triangle. Using your tape, tape the seal shut on the inside. Repeat this step until the geometric shape is formed.

Step 5:

Decorate as you please. For this planter we chose to paint and fill the folded cracks with the same yarn that will be used to hang it.

Step 6:

Punch holes in the front left and right sides, and the back left and right sides. Using the yarn, cut two long pieces. String the first piece through the front two holes. Secure the yarn by tying the loose ends of the yarn together. Repeat this step for the back two holes.

Step 7:

Insert your plant of choice. For this planter we used small Marigolds that can be found at any local nursery or store that sells plants. Place the flowers either in a can with some potting soil, or use the container they already come in. Remember to remove the plant from the cardboard planter when watering to prevent the cardboard from getting wet.

If you choose to plant an outdoor plant in your planter, remember to hang your planter in a dry space outside, possibly under an awning to prevent damage to the planter from rain.

We encourage everyone to get out and do something outdoors this weekend to celebrate Earth Day! For more DIY projects or information on how we are keeping our environment clean with our sustainability efforts, visit us today!

 

5 Tips for Downsizing

As self-sufficient living gains more popularity, homeowners and first-time home buyers look into downsizing from their current lifestyles by moving into smaller homes.  Moving can be challenging for just about anyone, but when you are downsizing, it can become even more difficult. Seniors, empty nesters, or those who are in search of a simpler lifestyle often struggle with downsizing before they make their move to the new home. It is important to be prepared and to know how to begin the process. Learn more about how to properly downsize before your move with these 5 helpful tips.

  1. Brainstorm a Game Plan

If you are ready to tackle this process head on, the first step is to plan ahead in order to make the transition as easy as possible. It is important to make educated decisions, make a schedule of when things need to be completed, and inform everyone that will be involved in your move.

  1. Take Inventory

To begin the downsizing process, it is important to take inventory of all the items in your home. After you complete the inventory, prioritize the items that are most important to you and those that can be donated, sold, and/or disposed.  As you begin to get rid of items, be sure to cross them off your inventory list. Make a note if you think an item needs to be replaced.

  1. Understand your Needs

While you may be downsizing to a smaller space, you still have needs as a family. It is important to establish your lifestyle needs and to find a home that suits all of your family members. During the move process, be sure to keep the items that you feel will fit your needs the best.

  1. De-Clutter

The de-cluttering process is the most important step in downsizing. Once your needs have been established, you can purge all the items in your home that will not fit into your new lifestyle. Consider having a garage sale or donating unwanted items.  Research smart storage options that will fit in your new space, so the new home stays organized and your everyday items will be easy to find.

  1. Quality Over Quantity

During the de-cluttering process, it can be difficult to part with certain items. It is important to remember that when it comes to downsizing, quality is more important than quantity. Keep items that have meaning and will be useful to you in your new lifestyle.

At Fry-Wagner, we encounter many customers who are looking to downsize to a smaller home. It is important to be prepared, know your needs, and keep the items that will be most useful to you in your new home. For more information on moving, or to schedule a free in-home estimate, contact us today!

Fry-Wagner, Winner of the AMSA Fleet Safety Award 2017

Fry-Wagner was recently awarded the AMSA Fleet Safety Award of 2017! Our amazing team of drivers proved that they are truly committed to safety! AMSA’s Intrastate Fleet Safety award is awarded to the Intrastate carrier that has the best safety performance over the previous calendar year.

The performance rating is based on the Department of Transportation’s CSA ranking system, which measures a carrier’s Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). The 7 categories are: Unsafe Driving, Crash Indicator, Hours-of-Service, Compliance Vehicle Maintenance, Vehicle Maintenance, Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Hazardous Materials Compliance, Driver Fitness.

Compliance with these 7-categories are typically measured during roadside inspections by DOT officers who are trained to identify violations of these categories. Fry-Wagner’s drivers consistently passed these roadside inspections with no violations. We are so proud of all our drivers for continuing to follow AMSA’s guidelines for safety, and for all the hard work they do every day.

You can learn more about Fry-Wagner, and how to become a member of our award winning team! We are currently in the process of hiring for our peak season, to learn more, contact us today!

 

5 Organization Tips for Spring

Spring has sprung! The first day of spring has officially arrived, and we are all thankful that those cold dark, days are behind us. As the sunlight emerges and illuminates your home with its lovely spring warmth, you may notice that your house is in disarray. Winter can often bring out the worst in us, meaning we become lazy, tired, and isolated. This tends to reflect in our living space, as it is often neglected during this time. Now is the time to begin all your spring-cleaning, so you can get organized and prepared for the warmer weather. Check out our list of 5 organization tips for spring below!

  1. Make a List:

Before you even begin the organization process, make a list of all the things that need to be done around the house. Start with the small tasks first, then move on to the bigger tasks. It may be easier to break up the cleaning process into multiple days, rather than trying to fit it all into one day. Don’t forget to check things off as you complete them!

  1. Take Inventory of your Cleaning Supplies:

It is important to be prepared! Make sure you have all the necessary supplies to help you complete your tasks. Some popular cleaning items include disinfecting wipes/spray, glass cleaner, dusters, magic erasers, carpet and floor cleaners, etc.

  1. Purge all Unwanted Items:

Get rid of anything you don’t want or use anymore. This will help you reduce your clutter. Consider donating some of those items to those in need.

  1. Purchase Storage Containers:

Storage containers are very helpful when it comes to getting organized! You can easily put away all items that you are not using and stack them, so they are neat, tidy, and easy to find. Consider labeling each container, so you know exactly what is in them when it comes time to access the container.

  1. Get Creative:

The internet is full of so many creative (and inexpensive) ways to help you organize every room of the house. Whether you need to organize your kitchen, bathroom, living spaces, or bedroom there are endless resources with great organizations tips available to you.

Don’t forget to keep all the helpful tips listed above in mind as you begin spring cleaning. If you are facing the task of getting organized before your upcoming summer move, contact your friends at Fry-Wagner today to see how we can assist you! We provide our customers with boxes to help keep track of items. We also offer portable storage options for those who may be looking to do some home staging or are in need of temporary storage. Fry-Wagner’s efficient and secure storage containers will keep your items safe and allow you to tackle your clutter and get organized without the stress. Call us today to learn more!

Out of the Box: DIY Pretend Washing Machine

       With spring just around the corner there may be some rainy days ahead, which means the kids might be stuck inside and you’ll be faced with the daunting cry of “there’s nothing to do”! This DIY project is perfect for the little ones who may need to release some creative energy. Check out how we re-purposed a few of our leftover moving boxes to make this fun DIY make-believe washing machine!

Supplies:

2 medium size boxes

1 small laundry basket

2 Styrofoam cups

1 marker

Scissors or box cutter

Glue

Decorations of your choice

Step 1:

Place the laundry basket upside down on top of the box, and trace the outer edge of the basket.

Step 2:

Using your box cutter, cut along the line you have traced. If you would like your laundry basket to be removable, cut on the inside of the line so the basket will fit snug in the box.

Step 3:

Tape down the edges of the laundry basket to secure it in the box (if you choose).

Step 4:

Using your other box, cut two rectangular cardboard pieces, one to fit the length of the box, and the other to fit the width. Tape the longer piece to the back of the box, and the wider piece to the top of the box (this will be the lid).

Step 5:

Take the two Styrofoam cups and cut them in half. Trim the jagged edges, only the bottom of the cup should be left. Glue the two pieces to the longer piece of cardboard that you taped to the back of the box (these will be the knobs).

Step 6:

Decorate the box as you please to make it visually appealing!

      This fun and simple craft will not only help you get rid of your leftover boxes, but it will also keep the kids busy and teach them invaluable laundry skills! Do not forget, not only will Fry-Wagner come to do a debris pickup and remove all your leftover moving boxes, but we also move washing machines! In fact, we move all appliances! Contact us today for more details.

Now Hiring: Talented Individuals to Join our Award Winning Team

Summer is just around the corner, which means that Fry-Wagner is searching for talented individuals to join our team during this busy season!  As a Top Workplace, Fry-Wagner Moving & Storage offers its employees an opportunity to gain valuable experience while learning the ins and outs of the relocation industry. With available positions as movers, packers and even drivers, now is your chance to become a member of one of the top moving companies in the Midwest, today!

As a fourth generation family-owned and operated relocation and logistics company, Fry-Wagner has been moving families and businesses since 1908! With a commitment to quality, Fry-Wagner delivers first-class service as one of the largest and fastest-growing United Van Lines agents in the Midwest. Located in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Springfield MO, Fry-Wagner has three locations with available summer positions.

Fry-Wagner is looking for team-oriented and hard-working individuals who enjoy meeting new people and taking care of customers in a fast-paced work environment. No matter what your skill level may be, Fry-Wagner offers paid training, so you can learn the business from the best moving experts. If you are juggling multiple responsibilities such as summer sports, college classes, or anything that requires flexibility, Fry-Wagner has positions available for both part-time and full-time jobs to accommodate most schedules.

With the opportunity to earn $5,000 – $7,000 in one summer, Fry-Wagner offers competitive pay and the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. Fry-Wagner takes a professional interest in each and every one of our employees and strongly promotes growth from within the organization. Many summer crew members have shown incredible work ethic and now serve in management and key roles for Operations, Sales, Customer Service, Accounting and many other departments.

A summer spent working for Fry-Wagner is never boring. You will meet incredible people both co-workers and customers. Not only will you make new friends, but you will also make lifelong network connections that will mentor you throughout your new career. Fry-Wagner is an organization that believes in the potential of all our employees and finding the perfect role for them. Everyone has the opportunity to be the best version of themselves!

Let Fry-Wagner move your career in the right direction and join us this summer for an incredible experience in helping our customers through the journey of moving.  We are a customer-focused, quality-driven company that is always on the lookout for exceptional individuals to join our team. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Fry-Wagner summer crew, apply today!

 

Five Red Flags for Rogue Movers

In order to plan a successful relocation, it is important to find a qualified mover that you feel comfortable with having access to your most personal items. It is very important to research the moving companies you are considering using for the upcoming move, before you officially settle on the right mover for you. Unfortunately, fake movers have flooded the moving industry in recent years. These companies take advantage of their customers, and often leave them high and dry during one of the most stressful times of their lives. We want to make sure that does not happen to you! Check out these five red flags for rogue movers below!

Bad, or Non-Existent Online Reviews: Reading online reviews is crucial when choosing a moving company! Although no relocation is perfect, it is important to read both the good and bad reviews on the companies that you are considering. If you notice many bad or very little reviews on a specific company, chances are they could be a rogue mover. Be sure to pay close attention to what the review actually says. Some companies will write their own reviews in hopes to attract business. Some common fake reviews will say something similar to “I am happy with the move.” One line reviews are very uncommon in the moving industry. Remember, this is a huge life-changing event, which means that most customers will have a lot to say about their experience – whether it was good or bad.

Check out this example of a review from a real Fry-Wagner customer:

No Visual Survey: In-home estimates are so important when it comes to getting a quote for a move. Many rogue movers will give you a quote over the telephone or internet; this is a definite red flag! A mover needs to see your goods in person in order to determine the weight and size of your shipment, how many movers will be needed, what size truck is needed, how many packing boxes are needed, etc. Always be sure to pick a company that does an in-home estimate!

Cash Only Payment: When speaking with a moving company be sure to ask them about their payment options. Cash only payment options are a glaring red flag. Every accredited moving company takes credit cards or other types of payment. If a company asks you to pay for your entire move upfront (especially in cash) they are more than likely to take your payment, but never show up on your move day. This has happened countless times to many individuals planning a move, but it can easily be avoided!

No Website: We live in one of the most technologically advanced societies to date, therefore if a company does not have their own website or business page then they probably are not a legit moving company. Almost every business, big or small, has their own website. Websites allow you to research the company, their services, and find accurate contact information.

No Accreditations: Check to make sure the company is accredited by the BBB or AMSA and have high quality standards. Another good tip is to look up the mover’s USDOT number. Any company that operates commercial vehicles must be registered with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and have a USDOT number. This ensures that the company you are considering is operating legally. If a company is not backed by the BBB, a member of the AMSA, or does not have an USDOT number, it might not be a good idea to trust them with your belongings.

Trusting your personal items to strangers is never an easy thing to do, which is why it is so important to select a moving company you can trust. Fry-Wagner is an award-winning agent for United Van Lines, and has been serving the St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield MO areas for over 100 years! The professionals at Fry-Wagner are ready to help you plan, prepare, and perform your move. Contact us today for a free no-obligation in home estimate!

5 Tax Deductible Moving Expenses you Didn’t Know About

Did you know that 90% of America stresses about money more than anything else in their lives? (inc.com). With tax season upon us, many Americans worry about whether or not they will owe the government a large sum of money. Deducting certain expenses is a great way to help increase your likelihood of getting money back on your tax return. Though Fry-Wagner cannot give you tax advice, we have prepared a list of 5, of the possible, tax deductible moving expenses below. You should always consult your tax preparer or the IRS about your recent move in order to get a better understanding of your eligibility for tax deductible moving expenses!

  1. Cost of renting a storage unit: Moving often requires storage. If you used a storage unit during your move, you may be able to deduct the cost of the unit for up to 30 days that you did not have access to your new home.
  2. Cost of travel: If you chose to drive to your new home instead of flying, you can deduct the cost of gas, parking, oil, and tolls. If you moved long-distance, the cost of your airline tickets or train tickets may be deductible as well.
  3. Lodging expenses: If your travel required a stay in a hotel for an extended period of time before you were able to move into your new home, you may be able to deduct the cost of your lodging.
  4. Connection and disconnection fees: The fees that you paid to disconnect/reconnect your utilities are also tax deductible.
  5. Travel expenses for pets: Travel arrangements for furry friends can become costly. However, you may be surprised to know that you can deduct travel expenses for pets. This can include vet visits, boarding, and added fees for airline travel.

Deducting your moving expenses can be helpful during tax season, but there are requirements to qualify. To receive tax breaks for your move, your reason for moving must be closely related to the start of a new job that is at least 50 miles farther than your last home was from your old job. For example, if you lived 20 miles from your old company, your new company must be located at least 70 miles away from your previous home before you can become eligible to deduct your moving expenses. You also must have accumulated these expenses within one year of starting the new job, while also being a full-time employee at the new company for at least 39 weeks.

If you meet the all above requirements, talk to your tax preparer about your recent move, so they can assist you with deducting your recent moving expenses.  For more information on moving, or to schedule your free in home estimate contact us today!

5 Tips for House Hunting with your Partner

House hunting is an exciting yet stressful experience that most all of us will experience in our lifetime. Location, price, schools, history, curb appeal, and space are among the most common factors that go into purchasing a home. It is rare that you will find a home with everything on your wish list, which means that compromise is the ultimate solution for finding a home that fits your needs. However, what if you and your partner have different ideas about what the perfect home for your family would be? House hunting with your partner can be exhausting, especially if neither of you are willing to compromise. Check out our five tips below for house hunting with your partner, so you can find the home that is right for your family, together.

Separate Emotion from your Budget:

Buying a house definitely takes an emotional toll on a family because it is a big life-changing experience. Problems typically occur between couples during the home buying process when it comes time to establish a budget. One person may want to take out a higher mortgage to purchase the forever home, whereas the other person may want a smaller mortgage in order to save money. The easiest thing to do in this situation is to let go of your emotions and strictly focus on your financial status. Go through your finances together and propose a budget that works best for the both of you. Together you can decide which route to purchase your home, works best for you financially.

Your Realtor should be your Peacemaker:

It is important that you and your partner pick a real estate agent that you both like. Real estate agents are the most experienced when it comes to the home buying process, and it is their job to find the perfect listing to match your unique needs as a couple. The best part about a real estate agent is the fact that they are there to give you unbiased opinions when you and your partner have a disagreement. They are the best at diffusing a situation based on emotions, and they will do their best to find a solution that works for everyone.

Take a Step Back:

House hunting can become extremely stressful, especially if you and your partner are frequently butting heads, or you are struggling to find a house that meets your needs. It is okay to take a step back and take a break from the home buying process to reevaluate your situation. Maybe you should make a new wish list or consider looking into new areas. Wherever the heart of the disagreement lies, it is important to solve the issue before it escalates beyond your control. Remember, you are partners, which means you are a team and must work together to find solutions and compromise.

Date Night:

With the latest home buying technology at our fingertips like Zillow and Trulia, it is easy to become obsessed with house hunting. You may find that the bulk of your conversations involve showing each other different homes online, constantly going over your budget, discussing design ideas, researching school districts, going to open houses, etc. Eventually, buying a house becomes the focus of your relationship, and you have little time for each other. This is why taking a date night once a week or month is so important. Make it a priority to go out and do something fun where house hunting is not a part of any conversation you have throughout your evening. Reconnect, give each other attention, and most importantly have fun!

Practice Active Listening and Open Communication:

It is important to listen to what your partner has to say throughout the entire experience, while also communicating your thoughts clearly and respectfully. House hunting allows you to “get to know your partner.” You will learn a lot about their desires for the future, how they handle stressful situations, and their unique needs. It is also important to communicate your thoughts and feelings to your partner when they occur. For example, if your partner says “I love this kitchen!” yet you think the kitchen cabinets are ugly, it is important to communicate your thoughts to your partner immediately in order to compromise and find common ground.

Buying a new home is never an easy process. It will take time and patience in order for you and your partner to find the house that ticks all the important boxes on your list. Once your family has found the perfect home, call your friends at Fry-Wagner to help you with the moving process. We can help take the stress out of moving, so you can focus on settling in at your new home. Contact us today for a free no obligation in home estimate!

Out of the Box: DIY Valentine Mailbox

Love is in the air! With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, we thought it would be fun to share a creative project to do with kids. If your little one has a Valentine’s Day party coming up and you are in search of an enjoyable and unique idea for a Valentine’s box, check out how to make this life size mailbox made from cardboard moving boxes!

Supplies:

2 small/medium moving boxes

Box cutter or scissors

Tape or glue

Pencil

Paint

Step 1:

Lay your box on its side and draw a half circle on both of the top flaps. Using your box cutter or scissors, cut along the half circle on both flaps. This will create the rounded top of the box.

Step 2:

Cut along the fold of the two remaining flaps to remove them from the box, leaving a clean edge on both sides. Tape or glue the leftover square flaps to the inside of the rounded edges to give them support.

Step 3:

You will need a door to allow you to collect your valentines at the end of the day, so choose which side you would like for the door to be. Draw a rectangle and cut out three sides, leaving one of the longer sides untouched (this side will be the hinge for the door).

Step 4:

Using another moving box, cut a piece of cardboard that is equal in width and distance between the two semi-circular sides. This will be the top of the mailbox. Fold the cardboard over the two semi-circular sides, creating a curve and secure onto the box using tape or glue (tape works best).

Step 5:

Cut a small rectangle at the top of the box (as seen in above photo), so the valentines have a spot to be inserted.

Step 6:

Paint or decorate your box to your liking!

Stay tuned for more fun ways to re-use and recycle your leftover moving boxes. If your leftover moving boxes are still cluttering your new home, don’t forget to call your moving company to schedule a debris pickup! For more information on how to reuse your moving boxes, or to schedule a free in-home estimate, contact us today!