Category Archives: Get Ready To Move

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Frequently Asked Questions about Packing

Once you have hired a moving service, you will have to decide whether to purchase additional services, and one of those services is packing. Packing is a tedious task that can be done for you, or you can do it yourself. Regardless of what you choose, here is the compiled a list of frequently asked questions when it comes to packing.

What packing services does Bekins offer?

Bekins offers a variety of packing services:

  •  Full-service packing, crating and unpacking
  •  Packing only difficult and/or fragile items
  •  Special packing for sensitive home electronics
  • Advice and quality packing materials

Of course, you can pack you own belonging and Bekins agent can offer suggestions and a full line of packing materials at competitive rates.

All Bekins movers are trained to handle your belongings with the utmost care and attention. To obtain packing materials including boxes, your local Bekins agent can provide these at competitive rates.

Can I leave the items in my dresser drawers?
Yes, you can leave clothing in your dresser drawers if your shipment will not need storage. If you will need storage at one of Bekins’ agencies, we recommend that all items in your dresser drawers be packed. We also recommend that all non-clothing items be packed, regardless of your storage needs.

Will the mover load the boxes that I packed?
Yes, the driver will load the boxes that you packed as long as the driver deems them safe for transport. Please note, the liability coverage for boxes that you pack yourself is not the same as the liability coverage available to you for carrier-packed boxes.

Can I pack and move my plants?
Typically, it is not advisable to move your plants. Most professional movers will only accept plants if the shipment is not going more than 150 miles and/or delivery will be within 24 hours. In addition, if you are moving across state lines, check with federal and state regulations for quarantines or other restrictions. Several states even require that plants be inspected and declared “pest free.”

What items cannot be packed?
Bekins wants your belongings to arrive at your new home safe and sound.

That means not moving certain items. Aerosol cans and hazardous materials are unsafe for transportation on a moving van. In addition, perishable items and those of personal importance are recommended for your individual transport. Read our comprehensive list of What Not to Pack.

How should I move my jewelry aDSCF3144nd other valuable items?
Bekins recommends you do not pack or ship your fine jewelry, precious metals, important papers (titles, tax forms, bank books, deeds, etc.), medical and dental records, prescriptions, coins, currency, stock certificates, notes or bonds. These items should be carried with you during your move.

How should I prepare my appliances?
All major appliances (washer, dryer, refrigerator, freezer, stoves, etc.) should be properly disconnected before the mover’s arrival. An authorized service firm can disconnect and prepare each appliance for transport. All refrigerators and freezers should be defrosted, cleaned and dried before the movers arrive. For more information, visit our how to move appliances page.

Will Bekins move my automobile?
Yes, Bekins has the capability to transport your automobile. There are several options for this service, including in-van service or use of a third-party carrier. If you elect to use in-van service, your automobile will be transported on a Bekins moving truck with your household goods. You can also elect to use a third-party carrier to transport your vehicle. Whichever option you choose, your local Bekins agent can arrange this service for you.

How will my mirrors and pictures be protected and packed?
Your local Bekins agent can pack all of your mirrors and pictures using specially designed cartons and wrapping materials to provide maximum protection for your goods.

What type of protection options do my belongings have during transport?
Bekins offers different levels of valuation options for your belongings. These options are not insurance, but provide for protection of your goods during shipping. Learn more about Bekins Valuation options.

More packing resources:

Bekins Packing Guide

Bekins Moving Checklist

Bekins Printable Labels

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Frequently Asked Questions when Preparing to Hire a Moving Company

Relocating your household goods is an extensive and complicated process, which can raise a lot of questions. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions when choosing a moving service.

What is an interstate move?
Interstate moving is defined as those moves that cross state lines to get from their origin to their destination.

What is an agent?
An agent is a local moving company that books long distance moves through its van line. An agent usually performs local moves, intrastate moves, packing, storage and perhaps other services. Bekins Van Lines offers a network of 370 agents all over the United States.

What is the difference between a moving broker and a moving carrier?
Moving brokers are often described as a middle person between the customer and the moving company. A moving broker does not have the operational and logistic capabilities that moving companies have. Moving brokers are sales teams that book your move and sell it to an actual moving company. The broker provides a customer the opportunity to have access to many competitive moving quotes, however, despite there being reputable brokers, there are also rogue brokers who have left customers in bad situations.

A moving carrier, such as Bekins Van Lines, has operational and logistical capabilities, such as truck fleets and warehouses. We employ highly trained moving professionals and are licensed, insured, accredited by major business, transportation and regulatory organizations. Moving carriers are also responsible for lost or damaged goods and work very hard to prevent mistakes.

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When is the best time to move?
Whenever is the right time for you. However, the months of May-September have the highest demand in the moving industry. During the non-peak season September 15-May 1, Bekins has a special offer for customers moving during those months.

When should I begin researching and contacting companies about upcoming moves?
We suggest to start researching moving companies around eight weeks before you move. Many moving companies offer online options to receive a ballpark estimate, which would give you an idea if a moving company is in your price range. Once your narrow your search down to three companies, then request an in home estimate for the most accurate price. Then choose the right moving company from there about four weeks before your scheduled move.

What is an in-home estimate?
A local Bekins agent will come to your home and complete a visual survey of your belongings that you are planning on moving. The estimate is based on a wide variety of factors, the two main ones being shipment weight and distance to destination. In addition, the agent will evaluate the need for professional services, such as pack and unpacking, appliance preparation and custom crating and storage. Make sure all the items that you are planning on moving are in plain view, including items from the attic, garage and basement. If there are any household items are not making the move, make sure to point those out as well.

Along with providing a written estimate, your local Bekins agents will be able to explain the different types of estimates, your rights and responsibilities and valuation options.

What is a non-binding estimate?
A non-binding estimate is the carrier’s approximation of the cost, based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. The final cost will be based upon the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided and the tariff provisions in effect. To verify the weight of your shipment, the driver will weigh his trailer prior to loading your shipment and then reweigh his trailer once your shipment has been loaded.

DSCF0239What is an Order for Service?
An Order for Service is a signed written agreement made in advance with the moving company, authorizing the company to move your goods.

What is a Bill of Lading?
A Bill of Lading is the written contract between you and the mover which lists the terms of the agreement (services, dates and actual charges, etc.). The Bill of Lading also serves as your receipt for your belongings.

What is an inventory?
The inventory is the form that lists all of the items that you are moving and their condition. Both you and the driver will sign the inventory after the shipment is loaded and unloaded. The inventory is also used to document any change in the condition of your items or any missing items at delivery.

What are my rights and responsibilities when I move?
All moving companies are required by federal law to provide each customer a copy of Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move. Your primary responsibility as outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is to select a reputable household goods carrier, ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of the contract, and understand and pursue the remedies that are available to you in case problems arise. You should talk to your mover if you have further questions. The moving company will also furnish you with additional written information describing its procedure for handling your questions and complaints, and a telephone number you can call to obtain additional information about your move.

What is Valuation?
Bekins goal is to delivery your household goods to your home in a safe and timely manner. Although Bekins takes every measure to assure that your items arrive at your new home without incident, sometimes damage occurs. To be sure that your goods are protected, we offer various levels of transit protection from full value protection to basic liability. Learn more about your valuation options and the different levels of transit protection.

What are the methods of payment Bekins accepts for my move?
Tariff provisions require the move is to be paid in full before the shipment is being unloaded at the destination. You can pay for the move at the time of delivery with cash, money order, traveler’s check, certified check or cashier’s check. With prior credit approval, there is an option to charge the cost of your move to a personal credit. Bekins accepts major credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express.

What questions do you have about your upcoming move? Ask below and we will answer!

 

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This is Moving – Terminology

The moving world has its own lingo and when preparing for a move it is important to understand the terminology.  Below are common words that you may come across in the moving process:

Accessorial (additional) services – Services, such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking or stair carries, that you request to be performed (or are necessary because of landlord requirements or other special circumstances). Charges for these services are in addition to the transportation charges. Learn more about Bekins Additional Service.

Advanced charges – Charges for services performed by someone other than the movers. A professional, craftsman or other third party may perform these services at your request. The mover pays for these services and adds the charges to your Bill of Lading charges.

Agent – A local moving company authorized to act on behalf of a national van line. The agent may handle the booking, origin, hauling and/or destination services. Find your Local Agent

Agreed delivery date – The agreed delivery date can range from one day to several depending on the weight of your shipment. Your salesperson will discuss the transit times with you prior to registering your shipment with Bekins Traffic Department.

Agreed pick-up date – The agreed pick-up date can range from one day to several depending on the weight of your shipment. Your salesperson will discuss the transit times with you prior to registering your shipment with Bekins Traffic Department.

American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) – The trade organization for the moving industry.amsa-logo

Appliance Service by Third Party – The preparation of major electrical appliances to make them safe for shipment. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line-haul charges.

Auto inventory – A form used when relocating an automobile, motorcycle or boat that lists the vehicle’s miles and condition at both origin and destination. Can also be referred to as motor vehicle inventory.

Auxiliary service or Shuttle Service – Use of a smaller vehicle to provide service when the residence is not accessible to the mover’s normal equipment. Shuttle service involves offloading the goods from the original equipment and reloading to a smaller vehicle. Depending on the weight of the shipment, this could involve several trips with the smaller vehicle. The shuttle charge is based on a rate-per-hundred weight.

DSCF0237Bill of Lading – The receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. It is your responsibility to understand the Bill of Lading before you sign it. If you do not agree with something on the Bill of Lading, do not sign it until you are satisfied that it is correct. The Bill of Lading is an important document. Don’t lose or misplace your copy.
Bingo sheet – A form that allows a van operator or customer to easily check off items as they are delivered. Also called a check-off sheet.

Booking agent – The agent who prepares the estimate of cost from the information obtained during a visual survey. The booking agent does not necessarily have to be located at or near the origin. When the booking agent is located at the origin, they will also be the origin agent and perform the visual survey.

Bulky article – To ensure safe transportation, some articles included in a shipment (e.g. big screen television, motorcycles, hot tubs, etc.) require extra handling and/or blocking. There is an extra charge for such items.

Carrier – The moving company holding the operating authority required to transport household goods.

Cash on Delivery (COD) – Transportation for an individual shipper for which payment is required at the time of delivery at the destination residence (or warehouse).

Certified scale – Any scale designed for weighing motor vehicles, including trailers or semitrailers not attached to a tractor, and certified by an authorized scale inspector and licensing authority. A certified scale may also be a platform or warehouse type scale that is properly inspected and certified.

Commercial shipper – Any person who is named as the consignor or consignee in a Bill of Lading contract who is not the owner of the goods being transported but who assumes the responsibility for payment of the transportation and other tariff charges for the account of the beneficial owner of the goods. The beneficial owner of the goods is normally an employee of the consignor and/or consignee.

Consignor – The person at origin who arranges for the transportation of the shipment.

Crating – Refers to the process of building a custom wood crate for the purpose of protecting certain items during transport.

Cube – A measurement of the capacity or cubic space of a truck or container. The industry average of is seven pounds per cubic foot.

Cube sheet – A document used to determine the cubic feet that furniture, appliances, cartons and miscellaneous articles occupy in the van. By converting the cubic feet into pounds, an estimated weight is acquired that is used in calculating the estimated cost for a move. Also referred to as a Table of Measurements.Bekins Table of Measurements (Cube Sheet)

 

CWT – An abbreviation for “per 100 pounds of specified weight.” Per-hundred weight.

Department of Transportation (DOT) – The federal agency which governs the interstate transportation industry, including movers of household goods.

Destination agent – Affiliated agent in the city to which the customer is moving. They are required to furnish storage at destination, unpacking and arranges for appliance service, if requested.

Disassembled by owner (DBO) – Items are disassembled by owner rather than by the moving company. Bekins is not responsible for the reassembly of these items.

Dispatcher – Assumes the task of communicating the route of a shipment to van operators and agents, making sure that instructions are carried out accordingly.

Estimate: Binding – This is a written agreement made in advance with the moving company. It guarantees the total cost of the move based upon the quantities and services shown on the estimate. Learn more about estimates.

Estimate: Non-Binding – This is an approximation of the cost by the moving company, based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. A non-binding estimate is not binding on the mover. The final charges will be based upon the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided and the tariff provisions in effect. Learn more about estimates.

Estimated Weight – An approximate weight of a shipment determined by multiplying the estimated cubes by seven pounds.

Expedited Service – An agreement with the mover to perform transportation by a set date in exchange for charges based on a higher minimum weight.

Extra delivery – A portion of a shipment unloaded at a location other than the destination address indicated on the Bill of Lading. Also referred to as an extra stop.

Extra pick up – A portion of a shipment loaded at a location other than the origin address indicated on the Bill of Lading. Also referred to as an extra stop.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – Established within the Department of Transportation to regulate the safe operation requirements for commercial vehicle drivers, carriers, vehicles and vehicle equipment.

Flight charge – An extra charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs.

Fuel surcharge – The moving company’s tariff provides for a percentage adjustment to the transportation charge (and SIT Pickup and Delivery) to aid in recovery of the increased cost of fuel. The surcharge, which can change twice monthly, is based upon the national average cost of diesel, as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Gross weight – The weight of the truck after a shipment has been loaded. Also referred to as the heavy weight.

Hauling agent – The agent who owns the van assigned by the van line to transport your household goods from origin to destination.

Helper – A peDSCF3289rson hired by the van operator or agent to assist in the loading and unloading of goods. Bekins requires all helper labor be certified.

High value article – Items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound. These items should be disclosed with the mover to ensure they are protected accordingly. Also referred to as items of extraordinary value.

Household goods (HHG) – Personal goods or property used in a home.

Household goods descriptive inventory – The detailed descriptive list of your household goods showing the number and condition of each item. Also referred to as an inventory.

Individual shipper – The individual requesting movement of a shipment and paying the transportation charges.

Interstate move – The relocation of goods in the United States from a place in one state to a place in a different state.

Intrastate move – The relocation of goods within one state that never crosses state lines or includes a segment outside of that same state. Intrastate moves are NOT regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Inventory – The detailed descriptive list of your household goods showing the number and condition of each item. Also referred to as a household goods descriptive inventory.

Items of extraordinary value – Items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound. These items should be disclosed with the mover to ensure they are protected accordingly. Also referred to as high value article. Learn more about replacement value protection.

Leave over – When articles to be shipped are left behind due to insufficient space on the primary van. An additional van(s) is then utilized for transportation and delivery. Also referred to as an overflow.

Light weight – The weight of a truck before a shipment is loaded, including all essential loading equipment and packing materials. Also referred to as the tare weight.

Line haul – The charges for the vehicle transportation portion of your relocation. These charges apply in addition to the accessorial service charges.

Load spread – Agreed pick-up dates.

Local move – A move within a particular geographical area like a town or district instead of a state or country. Learn more about local moves.

Long carry – An added charge for carrying articles excessive distances between the mover’s vehicle and the residence. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line-haul charges.

Motor vehicle inventory – A form used when transporting an automobile, motorcycle or boat that lists the vehicle’s miles and condition at both origin and destination. Also referred to as auto inventory.

Net weight – The actual weight of a shipment obtained by subtracting the tare weight from the gross weight.

Operating authority – The government permit that defines the scope of a carrier’s operation by area and commodity.

Order for Service – The document authorizing the mover to transport your household goods.

Order (Bill of Lading) number – The number used to identify and track your shipment. The number appears on all documentation and correspondence. Also referred to as the Registration Number.

Origin agent – The agent responsible for performing packing and preparing necessary documentation for the move. Click here to find your local agent.

Overflow – When articles to be shipped are left behind due to insufficient space on the primary van. An additional van(s) is then utilized for transportation and delivery. Also referred to as a leave over.

Packed by owner (PBO) – Used on the inventory to identify cartons that have been packed by the customer. Learn more about packing.

Packing date – A date set aside for packing. It is usually one day prior to loading of the goods.
Permanent storage – The warehousing of a shipment for an unspecified duration.

Pickup and delivery charges – Separate transportation charges applicable for transporting your shipment between the storage-in-transit warehouse and your residence.

Planner – Assumes the task of assigning a hauling agent to load, transport, and unload shipments as they are registered in Bekins Traffic Department.

promover_colorProMover Program – A certification program created by the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA). The program gives consumers an easy way to separate reputable, professional movers from rogue movers. ProMovers must meet stringent requirements and agree to comply with the regulations set forth by AMSA as well as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Surface Transportation Board (STB). Bekins and all its agents are certified ProMovers.

Purchase order – A written authorization for billing a relocation to a company. It is sometimes used in place of the Order for Service.

Reweigh – When there is doubt about the origin weight of a shipment, a reweigh may be requested by the customer at destination. There is no charge for the reweigh; however, charges are calculated on the new weight.

Scale ticket – A voucher providing the weigh scale reading for tare weight and/or gross weight of a van.

Shuttle service – Use of a smaller vehicle to provide service when the residence is not accessible to the mover’s normal equipment. Shuttle service involves offloading the goods from the original equipment and reloading to a smaller vehicle. Depending on the weight of the shipment, this could involve several trips with the smaller vehicle. The shuttle charge is based on a rate-per-hundred weight. Also referred to as auxiliary service.

Spread dates – The combined dates for the agreed pick up and the agreed delivery.

Storage-in-transit (SIT) – Temporary warehouse storage of your shipment pending further transportation. For example, if your new home isn’t quite ready to occupy. You must specifically request SIT service, which may not exceed a total of 90 days of storage, and you will be responsible for the added charges for SIT service as well as the warehouse handling and final delivery charges.

Stretch wrap – The material and process used to protect overstuffed furniture (except leather and suede) from damage. Also referred to as shrink wrap.

Surface Transportation Board (STB) – The agency within the Department of Transportation responsible for the regulation and monitoring of railroads and rates for the household goods industry.

Table of Measurements – A document used to determine the cubic feet that furniture, appliances, cartons and miscellaneous articles occupy in the van. By converting the cubic feet into pounds, an estimated weight is acquired that is used in calculating the estimated cost for a move. Also referred to as a Cube Sheet.

Tare weight – The weight of a truck before a shipment is loaded, including all essential loading equipment and packing materials. Also referred to as the light weight.

Tariff – The mover’s required, published price, list of rules, regulations, rates and charges for the performance of interstate moving services.

Transit time – The time from when your belongings are picked up to when they are delivered to the designated destination.

Transportation charge – The cost of a single loading, transporting and unloading of goods comprise the charge.

Uncrating – Refers to the process of removing the wooden crating material from items that had been crated.

Unpacking – Services required to remove or undo packing of goods at the end of a shipment’s transportation. Learn more about Bekins unpacking services.

Valuation – The degree of “worth” of the shipment. The valuation charge compensates the mover for assuming a greater degree of liability than that provided for in the base transportation charges. Learn about Bekins valuation options.

Van line – A motor carrier with local agents that coordinates the movement of household goods and special products.

Van operator – The individual who oversees the loading, hauling and unloading of your household goods.

Visual survey – A visual survey is performed by the origin agent to determine which items are to be moved. The amount of packing required and any special services necessary to properly service your shipment are determined during the survey. A cube sheet is prepared and used to determine the weight. The weight is the basis for the moving cost. All elements of the survey come together to determine an estimated cost for moving your goods.

Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move – A government-required publication given to all COD customers. Learn more about Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.

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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.

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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/

 

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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!

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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/

5 Questions to ask during an In-home Estimate

Knowing the right questions to ask during an In-home Estimate is crucial to making it a success. Time is of the essence, so make your next estimate worth it by checking out a few must-ask questions.

promover_colorAre they a Pro-Mover?

A good question to ask when considering a moving company is whether or not they are Pro-Mover certified. Avoid a loss of time and money by ‘scammers’ by asking a few simple questions. Look for the Pro-Mover certification confirming that the company is indeed reputable and professional.

Full Explanation of a Pro-Mover.

Are there reviews readily available?

Do a little research on the company. Ask where you can find organic reviews and feedback from customers who have used their services. Of course being realistic and using good judgment when reading reviews is necessary. Also consider awards that the company has received.  Viewing Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List are both reputable companies to start the review research process.

Online sources through social media outlets can be resource to use when searching for reviews. However, keep in mind using realistic judgment is necessary when reviewing. Extreme opinions are often expressed over social media platforms, yet still might be worth checking out.

What is an estimate based on?

Be sure to inquire what the estimate is being based on. There are many ways that the costs of a move can be calculated. It will be in your greatest interest to fully understand the way in which your estimate will be based.

What does the travel look like?

The moving and storage industry is a unique industry and often more complex than one might assume. Inquiring about the route your household goods will be taking once departing from your home isn’t a bad idea.  This can prevent miscommunication and misunderstanding throughout your relocation process.

QUESTIONWhat questions do they have for you?

It’s equally important the moving company asks you questions. You can assume the move will be detailed oriented and professionally handled when a company inquires about the specifics on your move. Any company that does not go the extra mile to consider every aspect of your move should be removed from your list.

 

Less is More: Housing Market Trends

Small house_don't careThe popular saying of ‘less being more’ couldn’t ring more true in today’s housing market. What are buyers really looking for when searching for a house to call home? According to recent housing trends, it is less about the space available and more about having a cozy, well-maintained property. And can you blame them? Properties requiring less keep-up are becoming more attractive for today’s buyers, who have many other demands of their time.

No surprise, purchase price is also a huge factor in buyers’ decision making process. The current market puts house hunters in a great spot to get the best deals. Don’t be shocked when a counter-offer is thrown back from buyers; it’s a competitive market. However, this shouldn’t be problem for well-kept spaces that offer a great deal of value to the buyer. Use this as a selling point when marketing your house.

Small AND Mighty

While the houses trending on the market today are smaller, they are not to be underestimated. Potential homeowners put a tremendous emphasis on the value the house will have when it comes to resale. Decorative details are important. Buyers are more attracted to upscale finishes such as granite countertops and wood floors compared to laminate countertops and tiled floors. Such details can make the difference to the prospective buyers.

Filling the rooms with high-end furniture and upscale decorative choices is preferable to having large spaces. Having updated, quality details will compliment this trend well.  The need for large houses with several rooms is a thing of the past to current buyers.

The Great Outdoors

In addition to a desire to downsize, the housing market is seeing a demand for greater outdoor spaces. The outdoor amenities have almost equal importance as the indoor ones. Therefore, taking careful consideration of curbside appeal is extremely important. Maintaining the outer appearance of a house is arguably one of the most important selling points for home buyers. A well-groomed lawn and exterior of a house can go a long way when selling your house.

Well, there you have it. You have all the secrets that the buyers are looking for in a house. When the big moving day comes, don’t stress of the boxes and relocation of your household goods – leave that up to Bekins, it’s kind of our area of specialty. Check us out at: http://www.bekins.com/.

Moving Your Antiques

Antique_Cropped  As a child, some of my favorite memories are times spent with my great grandmother. Every year, she would plan a week-long visit during the winter While visiting, my family could be sure we would get our fill of home cooked meals and endless stories. My great grandma lived to be 100 years old and we cherish the fond memories of her. After she passed away, she left me a picture frame that hangs in my home. It has quickly become a prized possession of my family.

Like you, I understand the importance of keeping your antiques items safe during a move. Below are some steps to properly prepare and ensure fragile antiques go unharmed when being transferred to a new location.

Before the move

The first step in protecting your antiques is getting them appraised by a qualified person. Knowing the value of your personal items will be necessary for your homeowners’ insurance policy. It also will assist you in choosing the proper valuation level with your mover. It also won’t hurt to do some research on your antiques. Do they need special cleaning treatment before or after the move? Visit local antique and hardware stores for cleaning products for such items.

In addition to getting an appraisal of the items, it is a good idea to take photos of each of the antiques before the move, paying special attention to any scratches or damages as you’ll have to note this on your mover’s inventory.

When you get your in-home estimate be sure to point out to the agent the high dollar or fragile items so special packing arrangements can be made. Although you may pack yourself, it’s a good idea to trust the professionals with your specialty items. We can build special, customized cartons to suit each item and ensure it’s fully protected.

 Moving day

It is crucial that you or a trusted individual is present during the packing process. This ensures any questions that the Bekins representative might have concerning your valuables can be answered. It is a good idea to address such details before a move, rather than trying to pick up the pieces afterwards.

Arriving at your destination

When you arrive at your destination, it is important to take inventory all of your household goods, especially your high dollar possessions. If your belongings need immediate attention upon arrival, make arrangements with your destination agent to do so.

Taking these steps will help your antiques and memories arrive successfully to your new home!