Author Archives: Deandra Danch

think green

Color Your Move Green

Making your move environmentally friendly is easy! Here are a few guidelines to color your move green!

Sell or Give Away non-essential items:

Moving is a great way to get rid of things that are no longer needed, which will in turn reduce the cost of your move!

  • Yard Sales, CraigsList, Ebay are great resources to sell your items that you no longer need.
  • Donating items to charities, which are tax deductible and are helping others in need.
  • Books can be donated to local libraries, and most schools will be happy to make use of old computers.
  • Donate your excess food to local food pantries or to Move For Hunger.
  • Cut down on junk mail at your new address by filing a temporary change of address with your post office rather than a permanent one.

Use recyclable and reusable packing materials:

  • Your local Bekins agent can provide you with gently used cartons for a reduced fee, or no charge.
  • Use towels, sheets and blankets to wrap breakable items rather than bubble wrap, peanuts or packing paper.
  • If you do need to use peanuts, use cornstarch peanuts because they are biodegradable.
  • If you have room in your basement, garage or attic, keep some boxes for your next move or use them for storage of holiday décor and out of season clothing and shoes.
  • Use recyclable packing paper.
  • If you don’t want to keep your boxes take them to your local recycling center.

Use Eco Friendly Cleaning Supplies

  • Look for products that are non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable resources (not petroleum).
  • Since cleaning supplies are not permitted for a move, you can make your own cleaning products with some vinegar, baking soda and warm water.

Natural cleaners. Vinegar, baking soda, salt and lemon.

Staying Green Post Move

  • Set up a recycling station in your kitchen or garage.
  • Upgrade your insulation – this can improve your home’s energy draw by 20-30 percent.
  • When buying new appliances, consider buying Energy Star-qualified.
  • Buy a new houseplant to improve air quality in your home.
  • Filter your tap water to avoid buying water bottles.
  • Pay your bills electronically, usually there are discounts and perks when you do this.
  • Reduce use of bug sprays and pesticides.
  • Unplug phone and computer chargers when not in use.
  • Use compact fluorescent, LED or halogen light bulbs.
  • Adjust your heat/air conditioning when no one is home.

 

Lola 4

Moving Lola

Today is National Dog Day – my favorite day! I wanted to share my experience about moving with my dog, Lola, and how to prepare for moving pets on interstate moves.

When my fiancée Pat was offered a relocation from Charlotte, N.C. to Indianapolis, Ind., the first thing we thought about was how our dog Lola would deal with the move?

Around three and a half years ago Lola was found as a stray and we decided to give her a home. She suffers from separation anxiety and we knew a move like this would be difficult for her.

Lola 3

Lola, Pat and I after a hike in Charlotte, N.C.

Before our relocation, I made an appointment with Lola’s veterinarian. I spoke with her about the challenges that we may face when we moved. She suggested she may act out and although it could be frustrating we shouldn’t punish her because she is just confused. She recommended that we keep a close eye on her during the moving process and in our new home so she wouldn’t run away. We made sure all of Lola’s vaccinations were up-to-date and acquired a current veterinarian record to give to our new vet in Indianapolis as well as any boarding/grooming places that require vet records.

I also checked the US State and Territory Animal Import Regulations Web site to verify what to do when moving across state lines. I notified Charlotte Animal Care and Control that we were moving and gave them our new address. I updated the address for Lola’s microchip and identification tags, as well, in the event she does run away.

When we were packing all of our stuff, Lola noticed things were changing and this caused her to act increasingly anxious, which we were prepared for. We tried to do our best to make her feel comfortable and increased her daily exercise. This helped tire her out and not act out as much.

When we were loading our household goods onto the moving truck, we arranged for Lola to go to our neighbor’s house during this time so she would not be in the way. This is recommended for any household that has pet during a move.

For the ride to IndianLola 1apolis, it was a challenge to figure out what was needed for me and Pat, but also for Lola. We brought her bed, a few toys, bags, a water dish, water and food. With every stop, we made sure she was properly hydrated and well-fed. She slept most of the 10-hour drive. We stayed in a hotel on the way and used Pet’s Welcome Web site to determine which places permitted pets.

After 10 hours and a hotel stop we finally made it to our new home in Indianapolis. We allowed Lola to sniff around the house and acclimate herself to the new surroundings. Although we have a fenced-in yard, I still kept a close eye on her to make sure she wouldn’t escape. Lola is a notorious escape artist and fences don’t always do the trick.  When the movers came with our stuff, I kept Lola out of the way by keeping her on a leash outside.

Lola getting comfortable in our new home in Indianapolis

Lola getting comfortable in our new home in Indianapolis

It took a few weeks of adjustment. She went through a bit of a mourning period (she missed outrneighbor and her dog) and didn’t eat. I was worried and consulted with my vet. She explained that this is normal for dogs that experience a drastic change and she would eventually eat when she got hungry, which she did. I made sure that Lola had plenty of exercise by walking her frequently on the Monon Trail, a 13-mile trail in Indianapolis.

We also met our neighbors and let her play with their dog. By talking to our neighbors, we learned about the best places to take Lola, including parks, vets and boarding. We also used Angie’s List and Yelp to help find the best pet places around town.

We are all settled in Indianapolis now. Hopefully Lola’s moving experience can help you prepare for moving with your pet!

Tell us your story about moving with your pet!

For more about moving with pets, please visit http://www.bekins.com/planning-guides/moving-with-children-and-pets/

 

Keatons Korral_4

World Humanitarian Day and Bekins

Today is World Humanitarian Day, which is a dedicated day to raise public awareness of the work undertaken by humanitarian organizations. We not only specialize in moving your household goods, but giving back is embedded in our corporate culture at Bekins Van Lines. For today’s blog, we are shining the spotlight on the organizations with which we work that are dedicated to making the world a better place.

Give Kids The World Village

gktwcastlelogo
Bekins is a major sponsor of Give Kids The World Village near Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., as well as the main sponsor for Keaton’s Korral located in the village. Give Kids The World Village is an organization that provides memorable, magical, cost-free experiences for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The village is a 70-acre resort that has welcomed more than 130,000 families from all 50 states and more than 75 countries.

A wall of letters from children that have experienced Give Kids The World Village found in the Bekins corporate office.

A wall of letters at the Bekins corporate office from children that have experienced Give Kids The World Village.

Keaton’s Korral
At Keaton’s Korral, more than 7,300 families each year have been able to experience the fun of horse and pony rides, while wearing cowboy hats and living out their cowboy dreams. Keaton’s Korral was named for Keaton White, an alumni wish child who spoke at the 2003 Wheaton | Bekins conference shortly before he lost his battle with cancer. His story touched so many of the agents and employees, as he told of his dream to ensure every child got to experience the joy he felt during his time at the Village.

Bekins Chairman, Stephen Burns with Keaton White, who inspired Keaton's Korral at Give Kids The World Village

Bekins Chairman, Stephen Burns with Keaton White, who inspired Keaton’s Korral at Give Kids The World Village

“Give Kids The World was one of the happiest times of my life,” White said. “I just want to be sure that someday another little boy or girl and their family are loved just as much as me and my family were loved.”

The 60th Annual Wheaton|Bekins Conference from November 5-8 in Scottsdale, Ariz., will be hosting a silent auction to raise money for Keaton’s Korral. You can also click here to donate to Keaton’s Korral and Give Kids The World Village.

Move for Hunger:

Move For HungerMove for Hunger is a nonprofit organization that works with relocation companies to collect unwanted food from people who are relocating and deliver it to food banks all across North America.

Bekins Van Lines currently has 34 agents participating and has collected 55,812 lbs., of food all-time and 29,138 lbs., of food in 2014 alone. It’s a win-win for all parties – food banks get a much needed boost all year long, customers feel good about the donation (and may even offset some of the cost of their move by reducing the weight of heavier canned goods), and Bekins participates in a nationwide initiative to combat hunger.

To learn more about Move For Hunger and how you can help, visit MoveForHunger.org.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center – The Tissue Bank collects blood and tissue samples from donors and makes the samples available to Susan G Koman Tissue Bankresearchers across the globe who are seeking to find a cure for breast cancer. Since 2008, Bekins has transported equipment for the Tissue Bank to collection events across the country. Visit KomenTissueBank.IU.edu to learn more about the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

Bekins logo

The ULTIMATE Check List For Changing Your Address

Between hiring a moving company, packing up your household goods, and preparing for a new home, it is hard to find the time to change your address through various organizations. To better organize your move, Bekins Van Lines has created a list of everywhere you might need to change your address before and after moving.

Utilities:
America Move Assist can help finding new utility companies in your area

o    Electric *
o    Gas *
o    Water *
o    Garbage/Recycling *
o    Telephone/Mobile *
o    Cable *
o    Internet *
o    Fuel *
o    Water/Sewage *
o    Lawn/Garden Services/Pool Services
o    Housecleaning Services
o    Internet sites – iTunes, amazon, Netflix, etc.

Finance

o    Banks  – Make sure your current bank has branches in the area, if not, you may want to switching banks
o    Major Credit Cards
o    Department Store Credit Cards
o    Loan Institutions
o    Insurance Agencies * – Check to see if your coverage will need to change when moving to a different state or area.
o    Pension Plans
o    Air Rewards Programs
o    Accountant/Tax Consultant
o    Professional Memberships/Licensing Boards

Government Public Offices

o    DMV – Most states make you change this within 90 days of moving. Some states require a written test before obtaining a license
o    Vehicle Registration
o    Social Security *
o    Post Office *
o    Veteran Affairs *
o    Income Tax/IRS *
o    Pension Benefits *
o    Unemployment Insurance *

Personal
o    Register children for school * – Free school reports
o    Find new physicians and dentist
o    Find a new place to a new place of worship

* Changing your address is recommended before you move

dorm 2

Successfully Move into a College Dorm

Freshman year of college is an exciting and nerve-wracking time. For most first-year students, the first step of college is moving into a dorm room. This can be a challenging process due to the limited space and the distance from home. Here are some tips to help streamline the moving process and start your college career on the right foot.

  • Talk to the resident halls and contact your roommate: Find out what is provided in the dorm room as well as the dimensions. You will need to figure out how your things must fit without overcrowding. Usually, the housing department will provide your future roommate’s name. It is a good idea to contact them to ask what they will be bringing and avoid having duplicate items in the room.
  • Take Inventory: Before you begin shopping and packing, go through your closet. Donate items that are no longer needed. Depending on the climate, pack clothes for the approaching seasons. It is best to be prepared until winter break.
  • Pack only the essentials: Space is very limited, especially when living with a roommate. It is important to only pack items that are absolutely necessary. If you have more than a car load, you’re probably taking too much.
  • Use Storage Bins: Packing clothing and supplies in plastic storage bins will ease packing the car and hauling them up the stairs. With the help of bed risers, storage bins can be kept under the bed with out-of-season clothing and supplies that are not needed on a daily basis. Tips for arranging your room

dorm

  • Develop a Plan: Before moving in, plan out the move. When packing the car, pack the items that are necessary for the move so they are easily accessible. Strategize how to arrange the furniture in your room and show your parents where you would like things to go.
  • Get there early: The earlier the better when moving to avoid the crowd. An impromptu shopping trip will most likely be needed for items that were left at home. If you live far away, consider driving the night before and staying in a hotel.
  • Decorate last: After packing away your clothes and everyday supplies, spend some time making your space your own.

Good luck with your first year of school! It goes by fast, so enjoy it!

truck

What’s Inside Bekins’ Trailers?

Bekins’ trucks and trailers travel all across America packed to the max with household goods. Here is what an empty, brand-new trailer looks like before it is it put to work!

Bekins Truck 1

Semi-trailers at Bekins are 53 feet long and have side doors on them. Some have one side door, but this new one has two.

Inside the trailer 3

Trailers can pack 25,000 – 28,000 lbs. of household goods with the maximum weight capacity of 80,000 lbs. for your standard 18 wheel semi truck and trailer.

Inside Bekins Truck

Bekins’ trailers hold more than just your household items. Our semi-trailers come equipped with 200-250 furniture pads to keep your furniture beautiful and comfortable. For the more cumbersome household items each Bekins trailer has a detachable walk board (incline ramp) and other equipment to help with the move.

Roof of Bekins Truck

The numbers on the roof are cubic foot measurements to help the movers gauge how much space is available inside the trailer.

Outside of closed door Bekins Truck

If you are concerned about your odd-shaped items each trailer can accommodate with the belly box underneath each trailer.

We want to see what you see! Post to our Facebook and Twitter pages when you see a Bekins truck on the road!

RichmondVA_Skyline

Happiness is in Richmond, Virginia

Want to move to the happiest place in the country? Looks like you are headed to Richmond, Virginia!

According to the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research, Richmond, Va. was ranked as the “most contented area in the country” and contented equals happiness. What makes Richmond the most contented place in the country?

Fellow Richmonder, Teresa Bonifas, explained why she thought they were ranked as the most contented place in the country. “The best thing about Richmond is there is always something to do at any given time. The southern charm and history of Richmond along with the many festivals, restaurants, outdoor activities and central location will make anyone fall in love with this city.” Bonifas continued, “Richmond is a place where people say please and thank you and give an appreciative wave when driving while also coming together to support the city’s many programs.”

Here are some other facts from visitrichmondva.com:

  • Richmond has hot summers and generally mild winters.
  • In September 2007, Richmond was ranked the third-best city for business by MarketWatch.
  • The Richmond Region has more than 18,000 hotel rooms and 900 restaurants with prices to fit every budget. They also have a growing food truck and craft brewery scene.
  • Richmond is located along the James River, which offers bike trails, hiking and nature trails, various water sports and scenic overlooks.
  • Several colleges and universities call Richmond home, including Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and University of Richmond.
  • Richmond has a long, rich history, including being the capital of the confederacy in the Civil War. Richmond offers several Civil War attractions throughout the area.
  • There are six Fortune 500 companies that are headquartered in the Richmond Region, which is among the top 15 cities in the nation with the most Fortune 500 company headquarters.
  • The Region hosts a variety of sporting events throughout the year, including two NASCAR races and Dominion Riverrock, and is home to minor league sports teams Richmond Flying Squirrels (baseball) and Richmond Kickers (soccer).
  • There are more than 80 attractions in the Richmond Region. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Henricus Historical Park, the James River, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Kings Dominion and numerous Civil War sites are just a small sampling of all the Region has to offer.
  • Parenting.com named Richmond as “America’s healthiest city and one of the best cities for families” in 2010.
  • Trail Runner ranked Richmond as one of the nation’s “Top Seven Cities for Trail Runners” in 2009.
  • MovieMaker named Richmond one of the nation’s “Top 10 Cities for Filmmakers” in 2011.
  • Forbes.com ranked Richmond as one of the nation’s “100 Best Bang-For-The-Buck Cities” in 2009.

Richomonders have a lot to be proud of and have no problem showing it. “Richmonders love showing their pride whether it is displaying a RVA sticker on their car, flying a U of R flag on their house, or walking down the street in VCU apparel,” Bonifas said.

Below is the top ten list of the “Most Contented Area in the Country. ”For more about the Happiest and Unhappiest places in the country,visit http://www.cbsnews.com/news/passage-the-happiest-and-unhappiest-cities/
1.    Richmond-Petersburg, Va.
2.    Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, Va.
3.    Washington, D.C.
4.    Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
5.    Atlanta, Ga.
6.    Houston, Texas
7.    Jacksonville, Fla.
8.    Nashville, Tenn.
9.    West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Fla.
10.    Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, N.J.

References:

http://www.visitrichmondva.com/media/media-kit/fastfacts/

http://www.richmond.com/city-life/article_eb55921e-1270-11e4-aa55-0017a43b2370.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/passage-the-happiest-and-unhappiest-cities/

skd273191sdc

Buyer Beware: Read This Before Buying a Flipped House

When relocating you will more than likely go through the process of finding a new home. Buying is a huge commitment, and it will be important take your time to ensure you find the perfect house for you and your family. During your search, you will most likely come across flipped homes for sale. A flipped house is a redevelopment of distressed or abandoned properties, fixing them up and selling them for a profit.

According to RealtyTrac, homes flipped in 2013 accounted for 4.6 percent of all U.S. single family home sales during the year, up from 4.2 percent in 2012 and up from 2.6 percent in 2011. There are a lot of people that are great at flipping houses, but there are some that do the bare minimum — mainly cosmetic improvements – to sell the house and make a buck. If you’re considering purchasing a flipped home, below are a few extra steps to ensure you purchase the best home for you and not one that was just cosmetically flipped.

  • Do your research.  Check online, ask your realtor and talk to the neighbors to find out about the house prior to the renovation. Realtors will have disclosers if the current owner received them, so make sure to ask for all documentation.
  • Hire an experienced home inspector and have your inspection done as soon as possible. A home inspector will be able to tell if the work on the house was complete and done properly.
  • Look for structural problems. Tip-offs include cracking in the exterior brick, evidence of tuck-pointing in the area, unleveled floors and bad finish work. If you suspect issues, consider hiring a structural engineer.
  • Check for permits on the house – unpermitted work is a bad sign. Make sure the permits were pulled and closed out properly with inspections done at completion.
  • Pay attention to details. Does the dryer and heater vent out of the house? Is there a new circuit breaker panel with a state inspection sticker on it? Ask to see the manuals of the new appliances as these should be on hand if they were recently bought. Check to see separate hot and cold knobs in the shower, this usually points to old plumbing.
  • Who worked on the house? Find out what contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc., that made improvements on the house and check their reputations online, such as the Better Business Bureau website and Angie’s List.
  • If you are considering buying a house that was up for auction, talk to your realtor about the risks. These are generally without warranty or any guarantee of clear title.

There is nothing wrong with buying a flipped house, but there are always some bad eggs in the basket.  It is important to do your research, pay attention to details, and, if all else fails, ask an expert before making a commitment to buy the perfect house for you.

References:
http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/post–5-questions-buyers-can-ask-about-a-flipped-home
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/buying-a-flipped-home-be-careful-2013-08-26
http://www.zillow.com/blog/problems-with-flipped-houses-78938/
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/07/how-to-spot-a-home-flip-money-pit/

 

roadtrip

Family Fun with Road Trip Games

All of your household belongings are packed in the Bekins truck and now you are making a road trip to your new home. Make your journey interesting with a few of these road trip games. It is a great way to pass the time as well as bond with your family as you embark on your new adventure.

Spot the Bekins Truck
Here at Bekins, one of our favorite games to play on a long road trip is spot the Bekins truck. Count how many Bekins moving trucks you pass while traveling to your destination. Whoever spots the most wins! One of the Bekins trucks could be the one moving your belongings!

Bekins_Triple Crown Muffucci

I Spy
This is possible one of the most popular games of all time. One person chooses a nearby object and says, “I spy with my little eye something that begins with ____________ or something that is the color ________.” The player who guesses the correct object gets to go next. Remember, it’s best not to choose something that will be out of site in a few seconds, such as a moving car.

Banana Game
Similar to “Spot the Bekins Truck,” anyone who spots a yellow car shouts “Banana!” and gets a point. You can make up your own point system. For example, a school bus could be worth five points or a little yellow corvette could be two points. It’s your game, so you make the rules!

License Plate Game
There are many ways to play the license plate game and adjustments can be made depending on the age of your kids. Young participants can call out spotted license plate letters in alphabetical order. The first one to Z wins. Next, have them look for doubles of letters or numbers on the plates. Older kids can spot out-of-state plates they see. To make it harder, they would have to spot state license plates in alphabetical order.

Name that Tune
The winner here is the one who figures out the name of the “mystery song” first. You can sing, whistle, or hum a tune after choosing a theme for the game, such as show tunes, movie or TV themes, or contemporary music. The winner gets to be the singer for the next round. You can also guess songs on the radio by hitting the “seek” button.

I’m Going On A Picnic…
One person begins by saying “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing…” and then whatever they choose to bring, according to a special pattern or rule that only they know. Maybe it’s only things that are a certain color or start with a certain letter. Other players try to guess the secret theme of the picnic by suggesting their own items to bring. The picnic planner then tells them whether or not they can bring that item based on the secret pattern. The first person to guess the pattern wins and gets to lead the next picnic.

Seven Questions
The rules are simple: Players must take turns asking each other questions. Any player who hesitates, laughs or actually answers a question loses. The game can be played for points or just for bragging rights of not getting disqualified. Of course, the best way to win is to get into your opponent’s head: “Are we still playing?” “Did you just hesitate?” “Do you think we can pull over soon for a bathroom break?”

What are some fun games that you and your family pass the time on a long car ride?

 

 

 

References: http://www.minitime.com/trip-tips/Top-5-Road-Trip-Games-article, http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/top-10/top-10-road-trip-games.html, http://www.pbs.org/parents/summer/road-trip-games-for-kids/