10 Tips for Senior Citizens Downsizing Homes or Moving from Gentle Giant Moving Company


gentle giant moving company

Gentle Giant takes the time to work with seniors during transitional periods.

Moving senior citizens, retirees, and the elderly is emerging as a specialty service as baby-boomers are faced with downsizing themselves while simultaneously transitioning their parents to one of the many types of senior housing.

Below you will find Gentle Giant Moving Company‘s helpful 10 Tips for Moving Seniors:

  1. Start with a floor plan of your new space.
    A floor plan may be the single most important thing you can have.  It will tell you how much furniture you can fit, and help you decide where everything will go before you step foot into your new home.
  2. Reduce the amount you have to move.
    Downsizing can be physically exhausting and emotionally draining, but many items that have been accumulated in a home over many years can’t or shouldn’t be squeezed into a new home.  So take your time and ask for help.  If you have children who no longer live there, ask them to retrieve their possessions.  Give things to friends and family.  Have a yard sale and/or donate some items to charity.  If you can’t bring certain items that you’re not ready to part with, consider using a storage facility.
  3. Begin in areas of the house no longer in use.
    This strategy will be least disruptive to normal life and will help develop some momentum to carry you through other areas of the home later on.
  4. Have a sorting system.
    Use colored stickers to identify items that are going with you, elsewhere, or to-be-determined.  Make a list of potential recipients, such as loved ones or charity or auction, and match up items to them instead of coming up with different recipients as you sort through items one by one.
  5. Start with large items and work toward smaller ones.
    Sorting through large furniture pieces first will create a sense of progress for the person who is moving.  This will make it easier to sort smaller items later on, because it will be clearer what storage will be available in the new home.
  6. Block off a certain amount of time for working each day and stick to it.
    Start and stop at a certain time. Don’t get sidetracked.  You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish.
  7. Focus on one area at a time.
    Dealing with a whole house can be overwhelming.  Break it up into smaller chunks by focusing on one part of a room at a time.  Then move on to the next.
  8. Packing – Let the movers take care of it.
    A professional move coordinator like the ones at Gentle Giant can recommend a professional packing crew to help prepare your dishes, linens, furniture, you name it.  Hiring such a team will make packing go by much faster, and your items will be safer as they are moved.
  9. Create a Move-Day suitcase with the essentials for the first 24 hours in your new home.
    Set aside a couple of outfits, a set of dishes, towels and sheets.  Include a first aid kit and a flashlight, or even a night light.  You’ll have what you need at your finger tips instead of having to dive into many different boxes to find what you need.
  10. Be patient – with yourself and others.
    Moving is hard, especially for seniors who may be leaving a home where they’ve spent decades with their family.  Remember it’s okay to be sad about parting with things, however the goal is not to get rid of everything – just to simplify.  Set aside down time, and reward yourself or the person you are helping at various stages in the process.  Accept that there will be a range of emotions.

Having a Co-Chief on the Job Ensures Every Move Goes Smoothly

By the middle of winter it becomes apparent to everyone at Gentle Giant just how seasonal the moving business can be.  But during these slower times we remember that we’re always building a stronger company.  We often compare this seasonal cycle to the flight of a commercial jet liner.  During the summer we’re in flight at 30,000 ft. and strictly focused on getting jobs done well.  During the winter the plane is on the ground in the hangar, and it’s time to perform the necessary maintenance before the next busy season.

The Giants with another happy customer

This winter, Gentle Giant’s Training Department has worked hard developing a new role that will greatly improve our customer service and operational capacities for the busy summer and beyond.  The new role we’re introducing is called the “Co-Chief.”  The purpose of this role is to be a second in command to the Crew Chief; but even more importantly to support the Crew Chief on successfully executing every important detail that our customers have come to expect.

As a company and service provider, Gentle Giant has always prided itself on delivering the greatest possible moving experience for our customers, guaranteed.  To deliver on this promise, we have always challenged ourselves to grow the types and levels of service that we offer.  In this new age of moving services we are able to provide everything from storage to furniture restoration.  While our skilled Crew Chiefs are focused on making every customer “a customer for life,” and ensuring every job runs smoothly from beginning to end, it’s important for them to know that someone else on their team can share accountability for some of the details and support them in their roll.

The Co-Chief will also be key in making sure our crews hit all the important “Brand Essentials” during the job, including discussing Gentle Giant Restoration, preparing and giving out the Comment Card, and writing the Thank You card.  We are looking forward to beginning this new program because we are confident that this will help develop stronger Crew Chiefs, increase customer satisfaction and retention, and improve our company, top to bottom.

Moving Yourself? Pack Like the Pros with These Helpful Tips – Part 1

These days, everyone is looking to save a few dollars, and this is especially the case when relocating yourself and your family. Buying a home is expensive enough, so it is no surprise that one of the most common questions we get asked at Gentle Giant is “how can I cut costs during my move?”

The simplest answer is to buy used packing boxes and pack yourself. Although it may seem like a daunting task, we assure you it is not as bad as you think. As long as you give yourself enough time before the move, take it room by room and step by step, packing doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

The first step in a successful pack is using the proper boxes. By familiarizing yourself with the best boxes to use for the various items you’ll be packing, you’ll prevent the boxes bottoms from giving out. Additionally, you won’t be doing yourself any favors by filling an extra large box with heavy books and cans of soup. An extremely heavy box going through your living room floor is a surefire way to lose your security deposit.

The Book Box - 1.5 Cubic Feet of Raw Power!

This adorable little box may be small, but it is not to trifled with. It packs a mean punch by being able to hold up to 65 lbs. of your heaviest books, wine bottles, CD’s or vinyl records, hand tools, canned goods, dry food, kitchen utensils, or any other smaller, heavy items.



The Linen Box – 3.1 Cubic Ft. of Cardboard Boxery!

This medium sized box can take almost anything you can throw at it. If you’re in the mood for packing linens, folded clothes, pots and pans, toys, lampshades, or pillows, this bad boy is the box for you!




The “Large” Linen Box – 4.5 Cubic Ft. of Boxy Goodness

This beautiful box is certainly not your grandparents Large Linen Box! Not for the feint of heart, this box is similar to the 3.1 cubic ft. Linen Box, but is better equipped to handle lighter, bulkier items like linens, folded clothes, blankets, quilts, and pillows. This box can also be used to protect over-sized lampshades.


The Dish Barrel – A 5.2 Cubic Ft. Box that can dish it AND take it!

For years, people have griped that there is simply no perfect box to pack dishes, well now those people can take those gripes, wrap them up in packing paper, and safely pack them in this double corrugated with their dishes, china, glassware, lamps, and other fragile items!



For fans of vintage Gentle Giant, take a look at this great video starring our Director of Sales, Tom O’Gorman, as he walks viewers through the box selection!



How Your Magnificently Messy Garage Can Benefit You!

In all the years Gentle Giant Moving Company has been relocating people and their families, we have seen some Magnificently Messy Garages. We’re talking about piles of deformed, mildewed boxes with old newspapers haphazardly tossed in them, rusted and busted swingsets stacked on top of jagged treadmill motor parts, and pallets of photo albums from the family that lived in the home four decades ago.

If this sounds like your garage, you could win a FULL Garage Makeover from the fun folks at Simplicity Organizers, Carolina Custom Garages, and Rubbish Works. That’s right, the 2012 Messiest Garage Contest has begun with the intention of Getting Your Garage in Gear!

Charlotte-Metro residents looking to take back their garage with style (for free) can send in a photo of their messy garage along with a note as to why their garage deserves a makeover. Photos will be posted on the 2012 Messiest Garage Contest website and can be voted on from April 27th through May 2nd. The winner will be announced May 7th.

Please visit www.simplicity-organizers.com for official contest rules and details on how to enter to win!

Win or lose, Gentle Giant in Charlotte has never shied away from an intimidatingly messy garage. So if you are looking to move, but are afraid of packing up and organizing your garage, give us a call; we’d love to help. 1-800-442-6863 or Request an Estimate Online.

How Gentle Giant in Charlotte Stays in Touch with Company Culture

“We maintain a commitment to hire the very best and provide exceptional service in terms of care, efficiency, and courtesy. We encourage employee growth and development, and maintain the highest level of concern for the health, welfare and safety of all who represent Gentle Giant.”

Stadium 007 resized 600

Gentle Giant Founder and CEO Larry O’Toole made a commitment years ago that we are not to be seen as a moving company, but rather as a “people development company.”  We owe it to each and every employee that walks through our doors to offer them not only the chance to succeed on the job, but also in their own personal development.

Five Giants from three different Regional Offices will be in our Somerville Headquarters to  participate in a workshop this coming week.  The goal of this workshop will be to help accelerate the development  of technical skills, as well as the communication skills that can consistently support GG’s goal to interact with customers on a personal level which will in turn lead to more referrals and repeat business.  The participating employees will also be held accountable for taking the knowledge learned back to their respective offices to share it with their fellow employees. It is imperative to our culture that we are able to provide our customers with a high quality product, this means developing great Crew Chiefs.

We will be welcoming our fellow Giants to headquarters for a week long workshop that will help with their development as we move forward to achieving our 10-20 year vision.  For the folks that work out of Somerville, having the Regional Giants come in is always a treat, for we love hearing all the fun Gentle Giant stories from across the country.

To have one of these outstanding Crew Chiefs run your next move, call us at 1-800-442-6863 or Request an Estimate Online.


10 Questions You NEED to Ask Before Before Hiring a Mover

The entire moving process is long, complicated, and stressful, so the last thing you want to worry about is hiring an unqualified, unprofessional moving company to move you to your new home. That’s why Gentle Giant compiled this list of 10 Questions you NEED to ask while researching moving companies.  These questions will allow you to easily identify legit companies over other companies that cut several dangerous corners to keep their prices low.

To help, we’ve supplied Gentle Giant’s answers to each question.

1.) How do you select your employees?

Gentle Giant has an intensive interview process, complete with full background checks and physical endurance tests to insure each candidate will make a successful Giant. We also demand more than just athleticism and good backgrounds – moving can be very stressful so we hire interpersonally savvy people who can maintain stellar attitudes in the midst of challenging situations.  

2.) Do you provide benefits for the movers?

Gentle Giant provides health and dental insurance, 401k, short and long term disability, as well as additional Health and Wellness benefits, including compensated gym membership. Offering these benefits to employees isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes for better company culture and retention rates in an industry known for high personnel turnover and cheap labor.

3.) How many moves do you complete a year?

Across our national company, Gentle Giant completes over 13,000 moves annually. This number has continued to rise as we expand across the country and work closely with Realtors in the regions we work in. Gentle Giant has even grown during the down economy, which is another thing to ask a moving company: how well have they done over the last few years?

4.) If there’s a problem during the move, who will be handling it? Which department, individual, or a third party?

The Crew Chiefs Gentle Giant places in charge of moves are experienced, expert movers who have received extensive training which can often lead to the proper handling of claims right on the spot as they happen. However, if a problem needs further attention, Gentle Giant has a highly trained, in-house Quality Control Department that professionally and diligently handles every type of claim that comes in. In most cases, claims can be handled on the phone or in person by a handy Quality Control Field Representative, who can fix, repair, or replace almost anything.

5.) What type of estimates do you offer?

We offer hourly estimates and “not to exceed” estimates for local moves.  Binding estimates are offered for interstate moves.

6.)  Do you take credit cards?

Yes, as well as checks and cash.

7.) Are you (your company) a member of the American Moving and Storage Association, The Better Business Bureau, or are you listed as a Pro Mover?

Not only is Gentle Giant a part of the AMSA, but we were recognized by them as the Independent Mover of the Year in 2009. In all of Gentle Giant’s regions, we’re members of the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce (we also won the much-coveted BBB Award for Marketplace Ethics).

8.) Does your company offer secure storage?

In all of Gentle Giant’s regions, we offer secure, fully insured temperature controlled storage options. Gentle Giant’s storage comes with a detailed inventory list for easy access to specific items in storage. Climate controlled storage (which is not the same as temperature controlled) is also available in most regions.

9.) Do you offer insurance for moving?

Gentle Giant offers Full Replacement Value Insurance, Actual Value Replacement Insurance, and Basic Liability Insurance. Insurance options are carefully explained to each customer during the booking process, and can be changed on the day of the move with the job’s Crew Chief.

10.) What makes you different from all the other movers?

Gentle Giant has been a leader in the moving industry because of our intense focus on customer service, the athleticism of the crews we send out on jobs, and our 100% Money Back Guarantee. Unheard of in the industry, this Guarantee states that Gentle Giant customers are entitled to a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee for each member of their moving crew: packer, driver, local mover, or long distance mover.

We hope that this has been helpful, and if in the end you want to go with Gentle Giant in one of our regions, including San Francisco, Seattle, Charlotte, Washington DC, Lorton, VA, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts, then please call us at 1-800-442-6863 or Request an Estimate Online.

How Packing and Unpacking Makes Gentle Giant in Charlotte Shine

Gentle Giant Moving Company in Charlotte offers packing services that can be customized to meet the needs of any move, large or small.

We find that underestimating the time and energy required to pack for a move is very common and it can be one of the most stressful aspects of planning for a move.

Our professional, careful movers and packers are expertly trained to pack items of any quantity, value, or fragility, from a library of books to a cabinet of fine china. Professional packing services from Gentle Giant Charlotte will ensure that your items packed efficiently and transported safely.

What type of Packing Services do you need?

  • Full Pack - You’d rather not worry about packing at all. We will send a team of experienced movers and packers to your home to pack up the attic to the basement. Of course, we will leave out any items you’ll need on the night before moving, and quickly pack those up on move day.
  • Partial Pack - If you don’t mind packing some – or even most! – of your items on your own, but would like some additional help, we can accommodate that too. Perhaps you’d just like us to tackle a large collection of breakables or just work on preparing storage areas for the move – we’re happy to.
  • Unpacking - Moving is generally an exhausting experience, even if you hire professionals to do the hard labor. If you would like some assistance settling in to your new home, we can undertake the entire job or simply provide a few hours of service – your call.

Is moving day tomorrow and you’re still not packed? Not to worry. Contact your moving coordinator as soon as possible about arranging packing services or take a look at these great Packing Tutorial Videos. We will make every effort to accommodate you, even last minute.

Give us a call at 1-800-443-6863 or Request an Estimate Online.

Gentle Giant Regions Move For Hunger

Being actively involved as a company in the community is extremely important for our regional offices. Engaging a community is truly a multifaceted work and can mean many things to many people. In order to be sustainable, activities need to align with our passion and our resources. While there are a number of possibilities that are being actively considered, Gentle Giant’s Charlotte Manager Robert Farnum was pleased to announce that his office, with several others, have taken a big step in the right direction.

Yesterday, Farnum and his crew officially partnered with “Move for Hunger” in the Charlotte Region. It is a great fit and will give them the opportunity to directly give to those in need in the course of doing their daily work.

The process will look like this:

1)     As a part of the sales process, they will mention their partnership with Move for Hunger and let customers know that they will take away any unwanted food items (non perishable and in donation ready condition) to give to a local food bank for distribution to those who have needs in their community. Additionally, Gentle Giant will have special 1.5 boxes with Move for Hunger stickers that will be left at customers houses during on-sights just for this purpose.

2)     During the move each crew chief will double check with customers (make them aware if it was missed during sales process/ make sure they know where donatables are). All food should be put in a box for easy transport before leaving the job to keep this straight forward. At the end of the move Gentle Giant will take the donated food back to the warehouse where it will be stored in a designated area.

3)     Approximately 1 time per month they will deliver all collected food to the food bank where they will get a donation reciept and weight slip. There are a number of reasons why this is important but one of the hopes is to keep weight tallies per region and make it a bit of a competition.

This is a great opportunity for Gentle Giant to make a big difference. Everyone feels good about themselves for taking the initiative to make this a reality.

Gentle Giant Charlotte will be rolling out more info in the next couple of weeks. In the mean time, here are links to Move for Hunger and Second Harvest Food Bank. 

Move for hunger


Second Harvest Food Bank



Charlotte Moving Company Gentle Giant Passes Away All Day

Gentle Giant Moving Companyin Charlotte, NC has been recognized as the Best of the Best since they opened their doors a few years ago. The factors that have led to such recognition are the athleticismof the Giant’s executing these jobs, the professionalism in which they effortlessly bring to each job, and the commitment to customer service Gentle Giant prides itself on.

Customers are always astounded by how fast the Giants clear the house at the onload. They are always asking what our secret is, and it is in fact a very simple one. The first part of the onload is clearing the hosue of all the boxes. By doing this first, the house is clear of box related clutter so that the furniture and larger pieces can be prepped and brought out to the truck free of obstruction. Also, by loading the boxes tightly into the truck first, the trucks space is maximized, possibly saving the additional cost of bringing a  second truck out the job or making two trips.

The boxes are a key to our heralded speed. The Giants employ an assembly line like approach to getting the boxes out. The first Giant is in the house, going room by room clearing out the boxes. As the first Giant makes his way out of the house, he or she will pass the box to the next Giant, then race back to the room being cleared out. Then the Giant now carrying the box will pass it to the next Giant as it makes its way to the truck where the Giant loading the truck will fill it in securely. One of the things that slows down other moving companies is having to wiggle around empty-handed coworkers as they pass each other on the stairs. At the Giant, emptying a house is a team effort, and our efforts are maximized by handing off boxes and hustling throughout the day.

To see Gentle Giant’s Charlotte movers move your items out at record speed, call us at 1-800-442-6863 or Request an Estimate Online.

How Charlotte Movers at Gentle Giant Keep the Claims Down

One of the things Gentle Giant Moving Company in Charlotte does best is move furniture. This has a lot to do with the intensive training all of the Giants go through before they ever step foot on a moving truck. Once they are on the trucks, there is on the job training from some of the most experienced, talented movers in the business.

Because of the high level of moving expertise our Giants have in Charlotte, it is very rare that something breaks during the job. Charlotte is a relatively small office, and any claim by a customer takes a big dent in their bottom line. The best way they combat claims is by doing things the safest and proper way, ensuring nothing ever gets broken in the first place.

You can also bet that any claim they do have is the result of a mistake they will only make once. To book these careful Charlotte professionals for your upcoming move, call 1-800-442-6863 or Request an Estimate Online.