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BoxElder Services takes the stress out of moving for seniors

Nick Franta with a new BoxElder Services van at his companies' Hudson headquarters on Buckeye Street. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Chuck Nowlen)1 / 4
Packing services and more are available at both BoxElder Services and Quality Moving and Storage. (Submitted photo)2 / 4
A pair of Quality Moving and Storage movers at work during a winter residential job. (Submitted photo)3 / 4
One of BoxElder Services' 26-foot freightliner trucks. (Submitted photo)4 / 4

After earning a 22-year reputation for family-style, full-service excellence, Hudson's Quality Moving and Storage has added a new company designed specially for seniors in transition.

"By being in the moving business over the years, we've noticed that for seniors, there's such a different need -- and we've found a way to capture that," co-owner Nick Franta says of the new company, BoxElder Services.

"A lot of seniors don't have the time -- or sometimes the ability -- to do a lot of the things that go along with being in transition. We want to take the stress out of it for them, so we do all the things that other companies won't do."

Franta adds of BoxElder Services, which officially launched in late 2015:

"Moving is often daunting when seniors have lived in a house for many years. Their children might not live in the area anymore, and they might be physically alone. Or they might just be overwhelmed by it all.

"Our role is to sit down with them, figure out everything they want to do and then take care of everything for them -- we do it all. It's all about minimizing the stress for seniors at what is often a very emotional and complicated time, and being respectful throughout the entire process."

Like Quality Moving and Storage -- which Franta's dad Dave, now 72, founded in 1994 -- the basic BoxElder menu starts with prep and packing services; moving and unpacking; secure, climate-controlled indoor storage in warehoused, portable "vault" containers; shipping; and packing supplies for do-it-yourselfers.

But BoxElder also goes the extra mile in many other ways.

The company offers consignment, disposal and organization services, for example, to help seniors sort out which items are either no longer needed or won't fit in a new location -- including donating items to charity.

Notes the BoxElder website, "Our skilled staff can help you declutter and organize your home for you, taking a heavy weight off your shoulders. ... So you and your loved ones can walk into your new space completely ready to enjoy your new home."

The new company provides handyman services as well.

"Whether breaking things down for the move or setting things up after the move, our handyman services cover a wide variety of odd jobs," the website explains.

"We cover everything from taking down a chandelier, moving a grandfather clock, hanging up art, assembling furniture or installing that new light fixture."

Among other BoxElder Services handyman options: installing and hooking up TVs, cable boxes, computers and stereos; touch-up painting and drywall repair; cabinet hardware or locks; and putting up curtains and blinds.

"If someone's moving to an assisted-living facility or senior housing, we'll even go in ahead of time and set the temperature for you," Franta adds.

"We'll put up shelves if a customer needs it. We'll even fill in the nail holes in your walls before you leave your previous home."

Handyman services are also available to those who are not moving, but just might need some help around the house. All of the new company's offerings are available to non-seniors too.

Franta, meanwhile, sums up the BoxElder difference this way: "There are senior relocation companies out there, but they don't move people, they don't store for people, and they hire outside people for many of their services. But we're family-owned, we live right here -- and, like I said, we do it all."

Video planning

BoxElder's many offerings can be coordinated cross-country as well, Franta notes. He cites one customer who lives in Texas but recently sold a second home in Marine On St. Croix.

"We just picked up a truckload for the client at Marine On St. Croix and assembled a portion of their belongings that need to be stored here," Franta recalls in an interview at the company's Hudson headquarters at 16 N. Buckeye St.

"Then we sent some of the stuff to their kids on the East Coast, got rid of many of the things they didn't need anymore and took some of it to charity."

He adds: "Another senior couple here is moving into one of the new homes next to Hudson Hospital and Clinics, and we're doing the same kinds of things for them. They have an old Army Jeep that they want to send to the West Coast, for example, so we're in the process of sending that for them too."

Franta emphasizes that BoxElder Services makes sure to include seniors' children and loved ones in the entire process, starting with the initial detailed planning meeting that assures everything will get done without a hitch.

"And if, say, a son or daughter doesn't live nearby, we can tie them into that first meeting on a live video feed," he notes.

"So now they don't have to fly or drive up here for that meeting, and we can still walk them through the house with us and their parents to help decide everything that needs to be done."

Throughout the process, customers can count on the best, most experienced and most respectful help from the fully trained BoxElder staff.

"One of the things we care deeply about with this company is our full-time staff, which we are very fortunate to have. They've been one of the keys to our success," Franta says.

The reaction from BoxElder Services customers so far? Check out the following testimonials from the company website:

"There are a lot of movers out there, but these guys know what they are doing," wrote one client. "Not only do they offer a ton of services, but they are experienced and very customer focused. I couldn’t be happier with my experience."

Added another: "When looking around for different moving companies, there were very few who could offer a full service menu like BoxElder Services. ... I will never use anyone else."

Family roots

After Dave Franta started Quality Moving and Storage in Edina with one truck in 1994, Nick, who had helped part-time all along, became an official partner in 2000.

The company has grown every year since, adding a Hudson office in 2010 as Nick and Dave developed working relationships with local developers, builders and realtors.

The father-and-son co-owners also each solidified their local roots by "coincidentally" building houses in Hudson "within a few miles away from each other."

Quality Moving and Storage and BoxElder Services now boast a full complement of trucks, equipment and storage facilities in both Hudson and Edina, and 25-30 employees during busy seasons.

Nick notes that at 72, his dad still rolls up his sleeves for a variety of projects every day.

"In fact, he does a lot more of the actual moving here than I do," Nick laughs.

"He's the backbone of this business -- he's made it his life. He's in the office every day at 7 a.m., and he's very involved, especially with the physical side of things. He's really given this company everything he's had from day one."

For more information, go to the Box Elder Services website, email, stop in at 16 N. Buckeye St., or call (612) 236-5482.

Chuck Nowlen

Chuck Nowlen joined the Star-Observer team as a business, township and general-assignment reporter in April, 2014 after a three-decade career in newspapers and magazines, and as a newsroom-management/business-planning consultant.

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