Category Archives: Get Ready To Move


Bekins Van Lines Offers Updater, a Tool to Help Streamline Your Move

We get it – finding a new home is stressful enough, never mind everything you have to do in order to actually prepare for your move. You’re hit with a million and one moving tasks, from filling out your change-of-address form to finding home service providers in your area.

That’s why we’re trying to take a bit of the weight off of your shoulders.  Bekins has officially partnered with Updater, a time-saving tool that helps you save hours by streamlining the moving process. Through this partnership, Updater will be offered to all Bekins interstate moving customers.

With an Updater account, you can quickly and easily:

  • Update accounts and records: Automatically update any of over 15,000 business and account records including magazines, newspapers, charities, retail loyalty and frequent flier accounts, etc.
  • Connect home services: An Updater moving concierge helps set up your digital services including phone, Internet, and cable, identifying the best prices available and scheduling in-home installation appointments.
  • Forward mail: File your official U.S. Postal Service mail-forwarding form without setting foot in a post office.
  • Send digital moving announcements: Create a custom digital e-card to post on social media or send via email, notifying friends and family of your new address.
  • Claim exclusive move-in offers: Gain access to special offers and exclusive deals on moving expenses, such as discounts on professional cleaning services, packing supplies, local fitness classes, and more.

Interested in using Updater? Contact your local Bekins agent today to learn more about getting access to your own Updater account.


Five Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Move

Moving is expensive, but it doesn’t need to empty your wallet. The price of an interstate move is based on the weight of the shipment and the distance of a move. Local moves are calculated by handling time and added services, like packing. The bottom line is simple: the more stuff you move, the more it will cost you.

Cutting the cost of your move and staying organized will also alleviate the stress that comes with relocating. The key to a stress-free move is to get organized before your move and stay organized throughout the move. The more organized your move is, the more money you will save in the process.

The infographic below shows simple, effective ways to save money on your upcoming move and relieve the stresses that come with relocating.

Bekins - how to make your move profitable



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Reading with Kids

8 Books to Share with Your Kids Before a Move

The transition from an old house to a new house affects children in different ways than adults. Many children lack previous experience with moving, so they don’t know what to expect with such a major life change.

As a parent, you want to make a move as comfortable as possible for your children. One tool that helps you in your efforts is children’s literature. In a previous blog, we listed some helpful children’s books about moving. In this blog, we’ll name even more titles about moving created for children. Choose a few books from the list below to help your child prepare for your upcoming move.

For Toddlers

1. I Want to Go Home by Tony Ross

The Little Princess from I Want My Potty makes more demands in this fun story. This time she insists that her family move back to their former castle despite the extra room available in the new castle. This hilarious story will help children realize t he perks of moving house.


2. Bunny Bungalow by Cynthia Rylant Bunny Bungalow

A family of bunnies moves to a new bungalow and spruces it up to their liking in this short rhyming story. Toddler-aged readers will enjoy the whimsical illustrations. As you read, point out ways your child can personalize his or her new room just like the bunnies do with their bungalow.

For School-Age Kids

Chester's Way3. Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes

Chester and his friend Wilson are best friends, but when Lilly moves in down the street, the dynamic of their friendship changes. Teach children to be nice as the new kid or to other new kids with this book. It’s a must for fans of Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.


4. The Berenstein Bears Moving Day by Stan and Jan Berenstein Bernstein Bears

Your child’s favorite talking bears move into their well-known tree house from their former home, a cave. Your kids will notice the Bear family doing typical moving activities, such as packing belongings into boxes, and feel more prepared for your move.


5. Alexander, Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move by Judith Viorst alexander who's not

The same Alexander who had a terrible, horrible day puts his foot down about moving in this picture book. Read through this book with your strong-willed child if he or she has negative thoughts and feelings about moving.


6. Big Dan’s Moving Van by Leslie McGuire; illustrated by Joe Mahtieu Big Dan's Moving Van

Use this book to introduce your kids to how moving companies help with your family’s move. Readers follow Dan on a typical work day, from loading furniture into a moving truck to driving it to a new home. The story and the colorful illustrations familiarize children with moving professionals and reassure them that they’ll see their packed belongings again soon.

For Advanced Readers

7. Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon by Paula Danziger Amber Brown

Advanced elementary school readers will appreciate the candor and humor of the Amber Brown series as they approach your family’s move. In this first book in the series, Amber Brown does not move, but she deals with moving in two ways. First, her parents are separated, and her dad is moving to Paris. Second, her best friend and his family will be moving soon. Both situations cause Amber to confront the painful emotions caused by change and separation.

8. Superfudge by Judy Blume Superfudge

The hilarious cast of characters from Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing returns in this novel for pre-teens. Peter feels unhappy when he learns his family will move out of Manhattan to the New Jersey suburbs for a year. In their new neighborhood, Peter makes friends, tries new activities, and learns to handle the change.

If you’re preparing for a move, share these books with your children. Use them to start discussions about the good and difficult things about moving so your kids feel ready when moving day arrives.


Top 8 Cities for Professional Women

As a business professional, your moves have a huge impact on your life. Where you live determines your available jobs, earning potential, and lifestyle.

Whether you prefer a beautiful range of seasons or perpetual sunshine and you are considering moving, find your place in one of the following top eight cities for professional women in the continental United States.

1. Austin, Texas

Austinites focus on diversity, eclecticism, and local business. In this progressive hotbed, you’ll find a host of occupational opportunities, as well as cultural, musical, and artistic events. Enjoy the atmosphere as you soak up the sun in this temperate southern city.

Full time female workers in Austin earn a median salary of $40,356. Women lead the educational, healthcare, sales, financial, and engineering sections.

2. Boston, Massachusettsboston

The little big city of Boston has the feeling of a cozy hamlet with the industry of a major urban area. Immerse yourself in the history and flavor of New England while pursuing your career goals.

Working full time, women earn a median salary of $42,562. Women dominate Boston’s healthcare, education, professional service, and technical service industries.

3. Boulder, Colorado

If you work hard during the week and want to play just as hard over the weekend, consider Boulder. The metro area represents a haven for liberal ideals and higher education. Outside the city, however, the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains in over 36,000 acres of recreational land. You’ll have plenty of opportunity for fun.

Here, full time working women earn a median income of $49,691. Boulder sets itself apart as one of the best places for female entrepreneurs.

4. Bridgeport, ConnecticutBrideport1 CT

Connecticut offers high living quality for its residents, including a myriad of educational opportunities. Specifically, Bridgeport features many parks, museums, and theaters.

Full time working women earn a median of $54,844 here. In Bridgeport, women lead the administrative, psychiatric, and educational sectors.

Minneapolis5. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Head north to Minneapolis to become part of its historical culture. Originally home to the Dakota Sioux tribe, the area’s notable population includes artists like Franz Marc and musicians like Prince.

Full time female workers in Minneapolis earn a median of $42,331. Women run nearly a third of the city’s businesses. And the city hosts a number of organizations, like Women Venture, designed to help female entrepreneurs optimize their businesses.

6. Napa, California

Known for its expansive vineyards and popular wine trail, Napa values culture and art. The area boasts more than 300 wineries, which provide many of the jobs (and enjoyment opportunities) in the region.

In Napa, women working full time earn $48,985-a full 94% of the median male salary. While wine represents Napa’s primary business, the city ranks high as one of the best places for small businesses and new careers.

San Fran7. San Francisco, California

San Fran’s diversity and stunning Victorian architecture attracts visitors and residents alike. Enjoy the various backgrounds, political perspectives, and methods of artistic expression in the Golden Gate City.

Here, women make a median income of $54,376 when working full time. Women also represent a significant portion of the workers in professional, scientific, and technical services. Professionals can also find opportunities in healthcare, sales, accounting, and auditing.

8. Seattle, Washington

Seattle represents a haven for education-more than 58% of residents have at least a bachelor’s degree. The city has one of the highest business-to-resident ratios in the U.S.-12.5 businesses for every 100 people.

Women here make a median salary of $51,158 when working full time. The city offers jobs in industries from fashion to computer programming.

As you prepare to move, consider these cities. The right location could get you off to the right start in your professional, personal, and recreational life.

Labeling Boxes

How to Prepare Your Belongings for Temporary Storage

Whether you’re in the process of moving or your office is in the middle of a renovation, temporary storage is something to consider with all of your moving and storage options. It provides a safe place for you to store your belongings until it is convenient for you to finish moving.

In general, there are two types of temporary storage: an on-site unit kept at a moving company’s facility and a portable unit that you can have delivered to your new home at a time that is best for you.

Temporary storage can simplify your moving process. But haphazardly shoving things into boxes and dumping them into your unit could cause stress and frustration. Follow these steps to organize your packing and your unit.

Choose a Unit to Fit Your Needs

No matter if it’s a stationary unit or a portable unit, you want to select an appropriate size. A unit that is too big will end up costing more while a unit that is too small will make it difficult for you to fit everything. As a general rule of thumb, choose a unit that is a little Economy Moversbigger than what you actually need to help cut down on expense and stress.

If choosing the right size seems a little daunting, talk with your moving company. They can tell you approximately what size you will need based on what you plan to store. For example, furniture will take up more space than boxes of files, so your size decision will depend on what you need to temporarily store.

Pack Wisely

Because this is temporary storage, you don’t need to worry about taking special care to prepare your things for a long-term stay. However, you still want to protect your belongings so they aren’t damaged.

When packing your boxes, avoid stuffing too much in them or else the box might break. Invest in bubble wrap, furniture covers, and other packing materials to ensure your possessions arrive safely to the unit and then safely back to your home or office. To help with packing, defrost your fridge and freezer, drain your lawn mower and other machinery of fuel, and remove batteries from your devices. These extra precautions will keep your possessions safe.

As you pack, remember to label your boxes so you know what’s in them. This will make it easier for you to locate items in your unit later on. You can save yourself some time by deciding which boxes you will need access to during the transition period and grouping them accordingly. DSCF0301Then, when you pack your car or truck, you can put the boxes that you want at the front of your unit and the ones you won’t need at the back.

Remember to leave anything perishable or flammable out of your unit. Your moving company might have a few other restrictions on what you can store, so ask them if they have any specific regulations. Some companies might even pack and load your things for you.

Know Where Everything Is

To make a temporary situation even easier, you can create a diagram showing where everything in your unit is. This will save you time if you need to get something from your unit before moving day. If you’re planning on keeping only some of your possessions in the unit, you can also make a list of everything you have in your unit so you know what’s there and what is still in your car, hotel room, or elsewhere.

Take advantage of the convenience of temporary storage and the stress it will save you. By organizing and preparing your belongings, you will be able to save time and worry less. This will keep your possessions safe during a transition to a new home or a remodel at your office.


How to Make Sure Your Rental Passes Inspection After Moving Out

If you live in a rental apartment or house and are in the middle of moving out, it’s time to start thinking about cleaning. Most landlords require a move-in deposit that covers any damage or dirt left behind once you move out. Instead of giving up your deposit, you can almost guarantee a passed inspection with fool-proof cleaning tips. A few extra hours of deep cleaning can save you a precious few hundred bucks. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

Follow a Cleaning Checklist

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of cleaning tasks in front of you. Instead of keeping your mental to-do list in your head, write it out. Or better yet, find a cleaning checklist online. Print it out and physically check off each item as you complete them. A good rule of thumb is to complete the following cleaning tasks after the basics are covered:

  • patch nail holes with spackle and repaint
  • wipe baseboards with soapy warm water and a washcloth
  • scour the bathtub, but don’t use steel wool (it scratches the shiny porcelain layer off)
  • rent a carpet cleaner and deep clean all carpets twice
  • wash windows inside and out
  • dust off obscure areas (tops of ceiling fans, air vents, and ceiling corners)

rentalFocus on Curb Appeal

Especially if you rented a house, it’s important to spend time fixing up your outside area. If you moved in to a pristine yard and pleasant curb appeal, your landlord will expect the same appearance when you move out.

Get outside and weed the garden, mow the lawn, and trim the trees. Go the extra mile to plant some new flowers or water the grass more often than normal before moving out. If your car has leaked oil, use a rented pressure washer to clean off the driveway.

Spend Time in the Kitchen and Bathrooms

Real estate agents always say that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. It’s true that these two rooms are the most distinct rooms in your home. Because of their unique functions, they’re also the easiest to get dirty. Spend extra time making sure they look spotless.

Clean your microwave, oven, and dishwasher fast with two ingredients: vinegar and water. Place a heat-safe container with 4 parts water and 1 part vinegar inside each machine and run them. The heat and moisture will make it easier to wipe off grime.

Wipe down bathroom fixtures with a mixture of water and lemon essential oil. It’s naturally antibacterial and leaves a fresh scent without all the chemicals. Pull out that vinegar mixture again, pour it in a plastic bag, and tie to your shower head. Let it sit for an hour, then run the hot water and see clogged spouts clear out.

rental-agreementThink Like a Landlord

Simply put, landlords care more about the cleanliness of the homes than you do. In all reality, they are the ones who have to present it perfectly clean to the next tenants.

After you’ve done most of your cleaning, put on your landlord goggles and walk through your home again. Be nitpicky. Look for small messes or damages that would raise a red flag to your landlord. Try to eliminate all of those red flags before you lock the door for good. A dirty door frame might be something most people overlook, but a landlord would not.

Hire Professional Cleaners

If you’ve got a particularly picky landlord, it might be best to bite the bullet and hire a cleaning company. When you’ve cleaned for hours (or even days) and still feel unsure about passing inspection, call the professionals in. Pay for a few hours of cleaning, and enjoy your full deposit later. It’s a small investment that has great returns. As a plus, your landlord can’t dispute a professional cleaning job.

When you go the extra mile before moving, you’ll pass your cleaning inspection with flying colors. Make your move even easier with help from professionals such as a cleaning or moving company.


3 Strategies to Downsize Your Home Without Regret

When you downsize your home, it often feels like you’re downsizing your life. However, clearing your life of extra possessions can leave more room for what matters-people and experiences.

There are many ways you can sort your items to determine what to leave behind. However, going from the biggest and most obvious items down to the most sentimental is more manageable for many people. Read below to learn how to carry out this strategy during your next move.

1. If It Doesn’t Fit, You Don’t Need It
This strategy works best if you’ve already walked around your new place. Once you can gauge DSCF3144how big your new rooms are, you’ll have a better idea of what furniture you’ll need. You’ll also know which furniture items you’ll need to replace with smaller versions.

The main items to downsize in the furniture department are couches, shelves, and tables. If you are moving to a smaller home because all your kids are grown, do you really need a dining room table that seats eight? If you now live alone, do you need both a couch and a loveseat?

If you’re moving to a condo, apartment, or a smaller yard, you can apply this strategy to outdoor equipment as well. If you don’t need a riding lawnmower and it won’t fit in your new place, don’t keep it.

The key is to sell what doesn’t fit so you can put that money towards high-quality items that you will use and love. If you don’t need a full-size couch, you can indulge in a brand-new loveseat that will suit you much better.

2. Be Ruthless with Your Clothes
Most people have far more clothing than they ever wear. So how do you get rid of the extras? The simplest way is to use the three-box method. Label three boxes as “donate,” “trash,” and “keep.” If it has holes or deodorant stains, it goes in the trash. If you wear a shirt multiple times a month, keep it.

a box full of clothes to be donated.Your “donate” box is for clothing that you don’t actually wear. If you haven’t worn something in over a year, you probably won’t wear it ever again. Be ruthless-you’ve had plenty of chances to wear those pants, but you didn’t, so give it to someone who will.

Donating your clothes to a reputable charity can help you feel better about losing your belongings. A pair of dress pants you wore once can help someone get a job. A t-shirt you got for free can clothe a child in foster care.

Of course, you can feel free to exempt one-use only items like wedding dresses from ruthless purging.

3. Preserve Sentimental Belongings that Make You Happy
senior_downsizingWe all have belongings that mean something, whether they’re your grandmother’s china, your daughter’s baby clothes, or a stack of your child’s drawings. Sentimental items are the hardest to part with because of the emotions that they stand for.

This means that instead of being completely logical about it, you need to get your emotions involved if you want to part with them. Only hold on to things that make you feel happy, not things that bring up bad memories, resentment, or other negative emotions.

As you sort, touch every item and ask yourself, “Does this make me feel joy?” If not, consider donating or selling it. If it’s something large, take a picture. You can also scan children’s drawings and keep them in a digital album.

Downsizing can seem like a stressful process, but when you follow these steps, it can go smoothly and cause less emotional strain. If you’re relocating or downsizing, call your local moving company for a moving estimate.

Infographic: Countdown to a successful move

You are moving and you have so much to do with so little time. Don’t panic! The best way to combat the stress of moving is to organize and set deadlines of when to accomplish everything on your to-do list.

Below is a countdown infographic to help achieve a successful move with less stress.

Countdown to a successful move - Bekins


For useful moving tips and tricks, please visit Bekins Van Lines website. If you have any questions about your upcoming move, talk to your local Bekins agent.

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Potted plants

Moving your Plants to your new Home

If you garden at all-anything from a small succulent in your kitchen window to a full-blown vegetable garden in your backyard you put a lot of time, effort, and care into growing your plants. Because of the hard work you’ve put into them, it may be difficult to leave your plants behind.

Movers typically don’t transport plants because of state regulations and extreme temperature and lack of sunlight in the truck can be fatal. Double check with your local Bekins agents before you pack your plants. After you make sure the place you’re moving to has the right climate and soil for your plants, you can easily pack them up and move them yourself.

Here are a few different common plants and how to best move them.


First, trim down bigger, sturdier plants to about 6-12 inches. This makes them easier to

move, it encourages regrowth when you replant them, and it’s actually healthier for the plant. If you leave lots of stems, leaves, or flowers, it can stress out the plant because it’s trying to keep so much more of itself alive.

After trimming down the plants, dig them up-making sure to keep a lot of dirt around the roots-and put them in paper bags.

Make sure you’re using paper bags instead of plastic so the plants can still breathe. If you have to use plastic, poke some holes in it. The plants should be fine for a couple of weeks as long as they don’t get too hot or dry. Just make sure they’re in the shade during the move.

Potted Plants

The first thing to do is to make sure that you’re not moving your potted plants in nice ceramic pots-you don’t want those to break on the road. Move the plants to plastic pots a couple weeks before the move to give them a chance to get used to the new pots. Potted PlantA couple days before the move, water the plants; not too much, not too little. You don’t want them drying out, but you also don’t want them molding.

Next, put the plants in boxes and make sure they’re snug. You can stuff paper or bubble wrap around the pots to make sure they don’t get jostled around. If possible, keep the top of the boxes open to ensure they don’t get crushed by something else.

Also, don’t forget: plenty of your outdoor plants can move to pots. Things like herbs are commonly grown in pots. As long as you give them enough time to readjust to the pots before the move, they should be perfectly fine to travel.


You have two options here, and your choice depends on your space and resources. Your first option is to dig up the entire plant and replant it in a large bucket, such as a five gallon bucket used for food storage. These buckets should sit in your personal vehicle.

Tomato plantThe second option is to cut the plant and put the cutting in a floral tube, making sure it stays moist by covering it with wet paper towels. If you don’t have a floral tube, you can use a potato soaked in water. This method is easier and safer than trying to relocate an entire tomato plant.

When you get to your new home, replant the plants right away. The less time they spend in limbo, the better. Keep in mind that your perennials and vegetables might not look quite as large and beautiful as they did before the move, at least for a while. If they stayed dormant during the move, they can put their energy into root growth once they’re replanted.

If you use these tips to move your plants, next year they should be big and beautiful again-you just have to give them time to recover.

Baby Relocating

Moving with your Infant: 7 Ways to make it Safe & Easy

Have an infant but need to relocate?

Don’t worry. You can achieve a safe and easy move even with your small child in tow. From advanced planning to packing and basic moving tips, the following guide covers everything you need to complete your move with a happy, healthy, and cared-for baby.

Before the Move

Advanced planning is an absolute must when you have an infant. In addition to your regular moving to-dos, add these items to your list:

  1. Create a Meal Plan

Packing boxes and organizing transportation is no easy feat. You might struggle to find time to feed your baby, let alone time to feed yourself. So before your move, take the time to plan a few simple meals to keep up your energy levels. Stick with simple foods you can take on the go, like sandwiches and trail mix.

  1. Book a Babysitter

You and your significant other can take turns packing and watching the baby, but you’ll Moving with a baby 2definitely need help on moving day. You don’t want to worry about your child crawling under foot or crying unnoticed in the corner as you load boxes into the truck.

So hire a professional service, or ask a friend or family member help. Make sure your sitter knows the right date and time, and give plenty of advanced notice. If you worry your go-to sitter might not be available, ask a back-up babysitter to help, just in case.

  1. Find a Pediatrician

Your baby could get sick before, en route, or once you’ve arrived at your new place. To avoid a stressful situation, find a good pediatrician before your move. Ask around, read reviews, and visit your child’s new doctor.

Also, keep copies of your child’s medical records on hand, or mail them in advance to the pediatrician. This way you can keep your child up-to-date on his or her immunizations despite the move.

During the Move

Now that you’ve planned your entire move, it’s time to prepare you and your baby for the official moving day.

  1. Put Together aMoving In Travel Case of Baby Essentials

Think everything you use to care for your baby day and a night. Since moving services may deliver your items before or after you arrive, you’ll want to keep certain essentials with you. This could include:

  • Diapers and wipes
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Changing pad
  • Changes of clothes
  • Toys and snacks
  • Plenty of baby food
  • First-aid kit
  • Plastic bags for trash
  • Stroller
  • Portable crib
  • One or two blankets
  • Sunscreen

Although packing these items can sometimes seem look more hassle than its worth, you’ll be happy you have them during an emergency.

  1. Take Extra Time En Route

If you are traveling to your new home via road trip or plane, realize that it will take extra time when you have an infant. Plan for frequent stops along the way for feeding, bathroom, or just to take a break.

Bring a noisemaker or recorded sounds that soothe your baby during the trip.

After the Move

Congratulations! You made it through the journey to your new hoSmallerme. But you’re not finished yet.

  1. Enjoy Your First Meal in Your New Home

Upon arrival, plan for an easy takeout meal on the kitchen floor. You can turn this into a fun picnic by spreading a blanket out and taking your meal together with some paper napkins.

  1. Catch Up on Your Sleep

After you’ve eaten and fed your infant, take a few minutes to unpack your basic essentials. This could include a few blankets to sleep on, or finding your toothbrush in your toiletries bag. From there, do what’s necessary to settle in and enjoy your first night in your new home.

If you can, try to remain consistent with your infant’s sleep schedule. Soon you and your family will adjust to your new home and new routine.