The online news magazine of Atlas® World Group.
April 25, 2016

Every move is a moving story.

  • Atlas Van Lines
  • Household Moving

People who go new places® with Atlas share their experiences.

People early in their careers and retired empty-­nesters. Employees in the private sector and families serving our country in the military. Men and women, young and old, single and married — dreamers, doers, and achievers. Whether moving large households or the contents of a cozy studio apartment, all find moving solutions with Atlas. We are pleased to share a few of their stories with you here.


Retired couple moving closer to family

Retired Couple Moving closer to family in front of sunset

Paul and Marilyn Buemi chose to relocate to Texas to be closer to their children and grandchildren at the end of 2015. The couple moved with Atlas Agent Shetler Moving & Storage (1831).

Paul and Marilyn Buemi are retired empty­-nesters with a love of family and a zest for living. In December, they relocated from the east side of Cincinnati, Ohio, to Granbury, Texas. Shetler Moving & Storage of Ohio (1831) handled the move.

“Four of our five children and seven of our nine grandchildren live in Texas, mainly in the Dallas-­Fort Worth area,” says Paul. “And there are two golf courses in our gated community — it fits our lifestyle.”
It was the Buemis’ sixth move, the third time to use the services of a moving company. Paul says he found Shetler in the yellow pages.

“I got quotes from three movers, and Shetler impressed me most,” says Paul. “Their price was competitive and they presented their company well.” Plus, Atlas participates as part of the AAA Discounts & RewardsSM program, so Shetler was able to offer Paul, who is a AAA member, Full Value Protection on his belongings at no additional charge.

Paul says preparations went smoothly, and the Shetler team was more than accommodating, even helping them save money on boxes. The Buemis did much of their own packing, taking the opportunity to downsize by selling or donating items.

“Shetler was really helpful in advising us what we might want to leave behind,” says Paul. “We decided to not take our patio set with it's large, glass-­top table,” says Paul. “It would have cost more to crate and haul it than to buy a new one.”“My advice is to ask yourself whether you really need something before you decide to take it along,” says Paul. “It’s easy to just pack everything and ship it — but not so easy to unpack and put it away when you get there.”


Answering the call for a new assignment

Castro Family before their Military Move

Major Jerrold Castro and his family were recently reassigned to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. Atlas Agent Atlantic Relocation Systems (1679) serviced their move.

Major Jerrold Dwayne Castro is a Signal Officer in the U.S. Army. He manages specialty work in telecommunications and networks for long haul transport. Jerrold has served in the armed forces since 1997, on active duty since 2002. Last summer, his family of five moved from Joint Base Lewis­-McChord outside Tacoma, Washington, to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. Atlas Agent Atlantic Relocation Systems (1679) provided the full­-service move.

“The Army assigns a mover for you, and we’ve been moved by several different companies over the years,” says Jerrold. “I think the longest we’ve stayed in one place is four years. That’s life in the military.”

Jerrold is also an artist, working on a master’s degree in fine arts. He says he appreciated the care the moving crew showed.

 “I have a lot of art supplies and paintings that are precious to me, so I gave specific instructions on what needed to be crated,” says Jerrold. “The movers were very accommodating throughout the three days it took to pack and load. They did things in an orderly way, so we could continue to live in our home while they were working.”

After vacating their home, the Castro family stayed a few days in a hotel while Jerrold finished up business on the base. Then they made a visit to Guam, where Jerrold and his wife, Junedel, grew up and fell in love.

 “We have a new baby, he was just six months old at the time,” says Jerrold. “We wanted our families back home to see the new addition.”

While in Guam, Jerrold received a call from the movers letting him know the van had arrived in Colorado Springs and could deliver.

“Obviously, we weren’t ready,” says Jerrold. “But the movers were good to put our things in temporary storage until we arrived and could take delivery.”

Overall, Jerrold says everything about the move seemed simple. “There was no hassle. I really liked how everything was handled.” 

Small Shipment
Young professional making an urban move

Boston Harbor

In her mid 30s, Diana Perkins enjoys the freedom to work from home. Last summer, she decided she would live and work in Boston. A self-­avowed “numbers person,” she likes precision. So, when she looked for a mover, she went about it methodically. She researched local companies and compiled a list of those with good reputations and references. She narrowed her list to three for estimates.

It would be Diana’s third move since college, and it would require a little more choreography than previous moves. Diana’s studio apartment in a Chicago high­rise required that she purchase a two-­hour slot to use the freight elevator. So, she needed a confirmed date and time for movers to arrive. She would do her own packing; the movers would need only to prepare a couple of larger pieces for transit.

“I’m a big planner, so I prepared a spreadsheet of all my options,” says Diana. When she ran the numbers and looked through the lens of intuition, she chose Ace Relocation Systems (0064). The crew loaded her shipment into a lift van on August 26 and it was delivered to her new apartment in downtown Boston on September 2.

So far, Diana says Boston agrees with her. She’s joined a professional networking group, as well as a few sports clubs. In summarizing her move experience with Atlas, Diana says she would change nothing.  “It was one of the few things in life that turned out as planned. It’s always stressful to move, but it went as well as expected. Ace Relocation Systems will definitely be on my short list.”

What advice would she give someone who is going to move? “Take the time up front to plan, and go through the process of taking a detailed physical inventory. The more work you do up front, the smoother your move will be. Then do your research and go with a reputable company.”

Corporate Relocation
Moving the family for a new opportunity

Zirkelbach kids with moving boxes - corporate relocation

The Zirkelbach family jumped on an opportunity to relocate to Buffalo, New York after Matt accepted a new position with his company. Atlas Agent Powell Relocation Group provided packing and pad-­wrapped van service.

“I want to learn as much as I can in my profession, and I am open to new experiences.”

That’s how Matt Zirkelbach, 31, describes his attitude toward relocation. A husband and father with two children, Matt works for a diversified, international health care company. His career path has taken him and his family to four different cities over the last ten years. December brought the most recent opportunity — a position as Senior Manager of Quality Operations in Buffalo, New York.

"It meant moving out of north Chicagoland, an area we liked,” says Matt. “However, it was a chance to work in a functional leadership role, without the global travel of my previous position.”

The position came with the benefit of a company-­provided move, administered by a relocation management company (RMC). That company engaged Atlas Agent Powell Relocation Group (1657) of Grand Rapids, Michigan, to provide packing and pad­wrapped van service.

“This was my first move where my employer provided white glove service,” says Matt. “It was quite a change from prior moves when I ‘lump-­summed’ it and did everything myself.” 

Matt admits to being hands-­on, so having someone else handle things was “a little nerve­-wracking” at first. But, he says, he soon found the Powell crew knew what they were doing.“ They packed our entire house, start to finish, in a day and a half. And they unpacked it in half a day. I was really impressed with the speed at which they moved things. Customer service was apparent at all times in a very positive way.” Most moves take place during the summer months, which can cause an extended wait for customers, depending on the availability of equipment and crews. Often, an added benefit to moving at the end of the year, as in Matt’s case, is extra wiggle room for scheduling.

“I wanted to have some painting and other improvements done on our home before we moved in,” says Matt. “So, I had to shuffle dates around a couple of times. The movers were very accommodating.”

Matt says the whole move went smoothly; the only part of the job he hadn’t counted on was documenting everything. But he understands that is part of the process.

“I was born in Evansville, Indiana and lived there through high school,” says Matt. ”It was reassuring, to see the familiar Atlas name . . . and a little ironic that it reminded me of my first home at a time when I was moving to a new one.”

Atlas International Transoceanic
For business, from the Netherlands to Skokie, Illinois

de Boer family at a stadium

The de Boers enjoy an afternoon at Wrigley Field to cheer the Cubs. The family moved from the Netherlands to Chicagoland last summer with the help of Atlas Agent Prager Moving and Storage (1555) and Atlas International.

Like many families, the de Boers relocated to answer a career opportunity. As group controller with Ammeraal Beltech (one of the world’s largest conveyor belting companies) in the Netherlands, Maurice de Boer took an executive position at the company’s North America office in Skokie, Illinois.

“We accepted the offer in May and moved in August,” says Brigit de Boer. “It was our first move out of the country.”

Atlas Agent Prager Moving and Storage (1555), a preferred provider for Ameraal Beltech, booked the move and served as the destination agent. Prager worked with Atlas International to arrange door-­to-­door service, with an Atlas International Licensee, Euromovers, handling the packing and origin services in Hoorn (Netherlands).

“Kathryn at Atlas International and the people at Euromovers were very responsive during our move,” says Brigit. “They answered our questions and returned emails right away. Their information was always accurate, and they were very pleasant to work with.”

The de Boers had planned to find a home soon after arriving in the U.S., however, it took a bit longer than expected. They were relieved to at last find the right house — and eager to finally get settled in.

“The Prager crew delivered our things,” says Brigit. “I directed them on where things went. They placed everything where it should be and helped us with the unpacking. They were very professional, friendly people.”

As for their next move, the de Boers are open to possibilities. “This is a temporary assignment, and we plan to return home in a few years,” says Brigit. “But who knows what the future will bring?”

Would she change anything about the recent move experience? “The only thing we would do differently is find our house first,” says Brigit. “But as far as the move itself was concerned, I wouldn’t change a thing. Atlas was great.”

Atlas International Transoceanic
For family, returning home to Oahu

Macon Family sitting on couch

'Ohana. Brenda Macon (left) at home with her parents, daughter, and granddaughter. After three decades on the mainland, Brenda relocated back to Hawaii last summer with the help of Atlas International and Mitchell Moving and Storage (1923).

In Hawaii, “ 'ohana” means “family.” 'Ohana binds people together in cooperation and consideration.

Brenda Macon, a native of Hawaii, moved to the mainland 30 years ago. Last year, knowing her elderly parents needed assistance in their home, she answered a call. 'Ohana. She would move back to Oahu and care for them.

“I started planning about a year ahead,” says Brenda. “As a massage therapist, I have to be licensed in the state, which takes some time.” 

She also has two dogs, and she didn’t want to place them in quarantine, so she opted to wait the 120 days after inoculation.

Brenda’s choice of moving company involved a bit of serendipity —  a friend knew someone who worked in the business and he referred her to Atlas International.

“I was very green,” says Brenda. “Even though I had moved to the mainland to go to college, moving back was different.”

Atlas International engaged Mitchell Moving and Storage (1923) who sent an estimator to Brenda’s home. The survey determined that all of Brenda’s things would fit in one lift van — a pretty economical move. The crew picked up Brenda’s things and took them to their warehouse for loading in the lift van.

“I was really worried because it looked like it might require a second lift van, an expense I had not counted on,” says Brenda. “A manager came out and oversaw the loading, and they put it together like a puzzle, piece by piece. Everything fit. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience with the company going out of their way for me.”

At destination, Atlas Agent Pacific Transfer (1579) delivered Brenda’s belongings to her parents’ home. She now lives there, along with her daughter and granddaughter, who made the move a few months ahead of her. She says their being all together has lifted her parents’ spirits. And the move she had so dreaded turned out to be a wonderful life experience.

“I didn’t think people in the shipping business would be so nice, but I was wrong. Everyone was so nice and professional, it was just wonderful.” 

Atlas Canada Interprovincial
Frequent relocatees find joy in efficient moving
Arlene and Greg Cameron with Canadian Mountains behind them.

Bookending the Adventure. Arlene and Greg Cameron documented the journey to their next home with strategically located selfies. Atlas Canada Agent Arrowsmith Moving & Storage (8943) provide a full-­service move for the Camerons from Powell River, British Columbia, to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

When both spouses work, an opportunity for either can mean a relocation for both. Such was the case for Arlene and Greg Cameron when Arlene, an occupational health and safety professional, received an attractive job offer.

“We’ve moved seven or eight times, but this was our first move outside of British Columbia,” says Arlene. “Moving is always a little stressful, but I was really feeling it on this one, across four provinces.”

Arlene’s employer provided the relocation via an RMC. As it turned out, the Atlas Agent who provided the moving services — Arrowsmith Moving & Storage Ltd. (8943) — had handled the Camerons’ preceding move.

“The Atlas team made what is typically a stressful event stress­-free. This is the highest compliment I could give a moving company.”

“We were able to do the survey based on the information the movers had from our last move,” says Arlene. “I walked through the house while on the phone and described the contents, pointing out a couple of things we had acquired since our last move.”

Arlene says her apprehension about moving between provinces totally disappeared on packing day.

“The Arrowsmith crew was so calm and methodical, never for a second did I think we weren’t going to get this move done on time,” says Arlene. “I soon decided I just needed to get out of their way and let them do their magic.”

“A stressful move isn’t a fun move,” says Arlene. “If you can hire people who alleviate that, you will find joy in your move — and have a very nice start to whatever your new adventure is.”