Category Archives: Moving Tips

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How to Adjust to Moving to a New Time Zone

You’ve decided to move abroad for work, school, or pleasure, and you feel excited. You have an adventure in front of you, and you can’t wait to get started. You’ve spent months preparing paperwork, hiring a moving company and scoping out the local culture-but you haven’t finished preparing yet. You still need to get ready for one feature of moving abroad: living in a new time zone.

A new time zone may not sound like a big deal, but picture this. When you wake up at 8 am in Indianapolis, people in London have just returned from lunch at 2 pm. Meanwhile, people in Moscow have just sat down to dinner, and people in Sydney have long since gone to bed.

Depending on where you move, you could have a difficult experience while you transition to a new time zone. You might experience jet lag, except you’ll have to put your new house together at the same time, so it might feel even worse. Streamline your transition by using the tips below.

Before the FlightTravel background air

1. Slowly adapt to the new sleeping schedule.

A month to two weeks before you leave, start reorienting your sleeping schedule to match your destination’s time zone. You should do this slowly by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each day. Keep adding an extra 15 minutes until you’ve fully adjusted. This way, your body will already have the energy it needs to start moving in when you arrive, and you won’t walk around in an exhausted stupor.

2. Rest for three days before you leave.

If you want your body to feel rested after your flight, you’ll need to do most of your resting before the aircraft ever takes off. For three days before your flight, keep activities to a minimum. Don’t leave all of your packing and moving to the last minute.

3. Cut back on alcohol, caffeine, and sugar before you leave.

These substances don’t just keep you awake; they also make it harder for your body to adjust its circadian rhythm. They make your body stressed, which means it’ll feel tight and exhausted when you arrive. Cut these things out of your diet for at least three days prior to your flight. You should also avoid heavy meals the day before your flight. Your body uses heavy meals as part of its circadian rhythm; if you avoid eating them until after you arrive, you’ll adjust more quickly.

4. Drink plenty of water.

A hydrated body also adapts to a new sleep schedule more quickly. Make sure you drink eight cups of water daily during the week preceding your relocation. Your body needs to get used to feeling hydrated-a single glass of water before your flight won’t help you fight jet lag.

During the Flight

1. Drink some more water.water

Your hydration won’t last if you don’t drink water on the plane. Aircraft cabins have very dry air, and they’ll dehydrate you quickly. By the time you arrive at your destination, your body won’t have the water it needs to adjust. Maintain your hydration by drinking plenty of water during your flight.

2. Sleep or stay awake (depending on arrival time).

If you’ll arrive early in the morning, you should sleep during the flight. Take off your shoes and curl up with a blanket and pillow. You’ll arrive feeling ready to greet the morning. However, if you will arrive in the evening, don’t sleep. Force yourself to stay awake by stretching and walking down the aisles. Just make sure you don’t disturb the other passengers.

Even if staying awake exhausts you, you’ll arrive tired enough to go to bed at the correct hour for that time zone. This will give you a head start on your transition.

3. Reset your watch.

While you fly, you should get your mind used to thinking about the time in the new area. Set your phone, computer, MP3 player, and watch to the new time zone.

After the Flight

1. Go to bed or eat breakfast (depending on arrival time).Business_Woman_Walking_Through_Time_Zones_Horizontal
If you want a quick transition, you need to act like you’ve always lived in that time zone as soon as you arrive. Don’t take a quick nap, and don’t eat a heavy meal if you plan to go to bed. Do whatever the locals do at that hour.

If you arrive in the morning, go for a brief walk. The sunlight will help your body regulate its rhythm. Breakfast will too. But if you arrive at night, feel free to have a small snack and go straight to bed.

Don’t worry if your body feels strained at first. You have to force it to adapt. It won’t like it at first, but it will catch up eventually.

2. Use melatonin.
If you have trouble falling asleep in the new time zone, take melatonin. You may have to buy it before you go abroad though many countries don’t offer it over the counter.

Now that you know how to adjust to your new time zone, you can go forward with confidence. You won’t have to postpone your adventure as you try to recover from your move. If you use these tips, you can jump into the new culture as soon as you land.

Contact your international movers if you have any further questions about moving abroad.

Fridge

9 Ways to Eat Healthy During a Move

We’ll be the first to admit that moving can be exhausting and stressful. It might seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything on your seemingly endless to-do list done. And chances are, cooking and eating healthy might be the last thing on your mind.

But by focusing on eating right during your move, you can save money and a keep few inches off your waistline. Eating healthy foods will also boost your energy, which will provide some much-needed motivation throughout your move.

Keep these healthy eating tips in mind as you prepare to move to your new home.

Before the Move

Free Bekins Weekly Meal Planner

Free Bekins Weekly Meal Planner

Preparation is the key to any successful move, and the same is true for eating healthy during your move. Before you even start packing, be sure to take the following steps:

  1. Make a plan.

How far out is your move? If it’s two weeks away, create a daily menu for what you’ll eat each day leading up to the move. Good meals to make during a move include soups and stews, casseroles, and pastas. You can make these dishes in bulk, so you’ll be able to eat them for at least two or three days.

Creating a menu will help alleviate the stress you feel as your schedule gets busier and busier. Once you’ve made your meal plan, set aside any utensils you’ll need to make these meals. You can pack these utensils together right before you actually hit the road.

  1. Clear out your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.

It’s tempting to eat out every night leading up to a move. But you’ll save a lot of money by using food that you already have. Plan your daily meals around what you already have in your refrigerator and freezer. You should only buy food to complete these meals.

Bekins Weekly Meal Planner

While You’re Packing

While looking for a home and filling out paperwork is stressful, packing your belongings is perhaps the most stressful and chaotic task of all. Keep the following tips in mind as you strive to eat healthy while you’re packing:

  1. Keep time in perspective.

At the end of a long day of packing, all you’ll want to do grab some fPositive family preparing lunch togetherast food or order a pizza.  Keep in mind that it will take about the same amount of time to prepare a meal as it would to have a pizza delivered. Plus, you’ll feel less guilty after preparing a home cooked meal than you would after eating pizza.

  1. Ask for help.

Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of your friends or family members. Chances are, your friends or kids would be happy to whip up a healthy meal. Remember: many hands make light work.

While You’re Traveling

Whether you’re moving a few miles away or across the country, driving will make you tired. And when you’re tired, a burger and fries might sound like the most delicious thing in the world. But heavy, processed fast food will make you even more tired. Eat healthy while you’re on the road by doing the following:

Land O Lakes blog

Land O Lakes blog

  1. Pack your meals ahead of time.

Prepare a few meals the night before you hit the road. Store them on ice in a cooler, and be sure to replace ice as needed along the way.

Foods that travel well include:

  • Fruits: apples, oranges, grapes, and bananas
  • Vegetables: carrots, celery, snap peas, and bell peppers
  • Cold pasta
  • Green salads (be sure to keep dressing in a separate container)
  • Hummus
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Jerky
  • Pre-cooked or chilled meats: turkey, chicken, salmon
  • Pre-made wraps or sandwiches

Be sure to pack separate meals for every person in the car. This will eliminate the hassle of taking out all of the food and divvying it out to each person.

  1. Plan ahead if you’ll be eating out.

You don’t have to completely avoid eating out en route to your new home. If you want to eat out on the road, find a restaurant that serves healthy options.

  1. Stay busy while you drive.

Driving on long, wide highways can be boring. To keep yourself from dozing off, you may want to munch on salty or sweet snacks. Keep your munching to a minimum by listening to music and talking with those in the car.

After the Move

AhealthyfooditemsArriving at your new home will surely bring a huge sigh of relief. To continue your healthy eating habits and settle in as quickly as possible, keep the following in mind:

  1. Unpack kitchen utensils first.

Remember that box of kitchen utensils you packed right before you moved? That should be the first box you unpack in your new home.

Rather than ordering a pizza from a local restaurant your first night in the new house, make dinner. You can run to a local grocery store to pick up a few items to make your first meal in your new home. This will help make your new house feel more like home.

  1. Keep your meals simple.

You’ll want to keep your meals as simple as possible until you unpack all of your boxes and really settle into your new home. For simple, healthy meals, stock up on proteins and produce.

Moving doesn’t have to take a toll on your emotional and physical health. By eating healthy during your move, you’ll be able to tackle your to-do list and maintain a positive attitude.

King Park Indianapolis

The Secret of Moving to the Suburbs Without Losing the Perks of City Life

When you first moved to the city for college and stayed to build your career, you may have resolved never to leave. But now you’ve established yourself in your career and settled down to raise a family. At this stage in life, you’re not alone if you no longer view city life through rose-colored glasses. Gradually, you realize you’re tired of facing the realities of city life like:

  • Finding parking spots
  • Carrying groceries through streets and up flights of stairs
  • Dealing with noisy neighbors
  • Wrangling toddlers in small apartments with no yard space

Still, the city hasn’t entirely lost its allure. You hate to sacrifice what you love about the city just to overcome a few annoyances. Lucky for you, many suburban communities offer perks similar to city-dwelling but without the stuff that bothers you. If it’s time to consider a move to the suburbs, here’s how to do it without giving up what you love about city life.

Experience the Ambiance

The move from the city to the suburbs often causes people to wax nostalgic about the unique aspects of city dwelling. They don’t want to say goodbye to all-night take-out places, one-of-a-kind clothing boutiques, and well-maintained city parks. But, many suburban centers have similar perks. Plus, these sites are usually less crowded outside of city limits.

Make a list of your must-haves or nice-to-haves for a suburban community. Think rec centers, local theaters, concert venues, bars, nightclubs, or whatever else you typically do in the city. Then drive around and look for those options every time you go house hunting. Park the car and take a walk downtown. Go into the shopping mall. You might be surprised at the array of stores it offers. In short, be on the lookout for places that can become your new favorites.

However, be cautious about clinging too much to any one suburban downtown area. It’s only one factor in what creates a community’s atmosphere. Interact with the people you pass on the street. Many suburbs have replaced the isolated, city-life mindset with more neighborly patterns of interaction. Strike up a conversation with someone at the local coffee shop and ask about the area. Watch for friendly interactions among store clerks and customers to get a sense of the community atmosphere.

Visit Local Schools

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

In the city, a top school frequently means an expensive private school. But your kids can obtain a quality education at a public school in the suburbs. No wonder almost every family moving to the suburbs has “top-rated school system” at the top of their must-have list-even families without kids yet. As you evaluate area schools, examine these factors:

  1. Look beyond test scores. Kids are more than their test scores, and so are schools. Test scores are only an end way of measuring a school’s performance. Class size is a better indicator of how much personal attention your child will receive from teachers-smaller is better.
  1. Examine all grade levels. You might be making the move to the suburbs when your children are barely in preschool, but you could live in your new house until they head off for college. With that in mind, visit schools for all grade levels in the area. Make sure the middle school and high school options meet your education standards, too.
  1. Make sure your favorite extracurricular activities have community support. You can’t predict which hobbies your kids will adopt as they get older, but you can make a few good guesses. If you take your kids to the theater frequently, make sure the school district has a strong history of supporting the arts. If you attend sporting events, look for a school with an established sports program. You want your kids to have options when they start developing their non-academic skills.

Consider the Commute

For many people making the switch from city to suburb, the extended commute becomes a primary consideration. After all, what’s the point of finding a larger, quieter living space if you’re hardly home to enjoy it? For any community you consider moving into, think about these factors that will affect your commute:

  1. Public transportation. Does the thought of fighting rush hour twice a workday send your blood pressure through the roof? If so, look for a suburb with public transportation options built for commuters. Don’t just locate the local train station on the map. Actually visit it. You need to know about parking availability and overall convenience. You could even take a test train ride into the city to time the trip and gauge the crowds.
  1. Carpool lanes and toll roads. If you don’t mind driving, you’ll probably still want options to speed up your commute. When you make the hull out to the suburbs to house hunt, pay attention to the highway and calculate the cost of paying for less-crowded toll roads. Look out for carpool lanes. If you see any, ask around at the office if any co-workers would share the ride with you.
  1. Working from home. Increasing numbers of suburban dwellers have cut their commute down to the time it takes them to walk from the bedroom to the office-they telecommute. That might not be an option every day, but your supervisor might be willing to let you work from home a few days a week.

Finally, estimate how often you envision yourself heading into the city for reasons other than work. If you think you’ll visit it more than once or twice a month, look for suburbs just outside the main hub to cut down on your travel time. That way your favorite city spots won’t be too far away.

Your trek to the suburbs can yield many of the amenities that city life does. Use these tips to find the perfect community and home for you. Once you’ve found it, call a moving company to arrange moving your belongings. Get ready to make new memories that will last a lifetime in a space that won’t feel cramped as your family grows.

If you want to make the move from the city to the suburbs, a local agent  in your area will be able to assist you with all of your moving needs.

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10 Ways to Pack for Your Next Move on the Cheap

When planning a move on a tight budget, the last thing you want is to spend money on expensive packing materials. To help you pinch your pennies, this list will spark your creative problem-solving skills and save you money while packing for your next move.

1. Never Buy Boxes You Can Have for Free

Before you buy boxes for your move, look around your community for used boxes that people no longer want. Many businesses receive weekly inventory shipments, so they have an overabundance of cardboard boxes. These boxes may be yours, if you only ask.

Here are a few places you can ask for boxes in your area:

  • Online Classified Ads - Many people that have recently moved want to give away their moving boxes.
  • Home Appliance Retailers - Big stores like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy often have large boxes for items like fridges, washers, and electronics.
  • Grocery Stores - Grocery stores often have plenty of spare boxes. If you find old produce boxes, make sure they are dry and sturdy before you bring them home.

2. Pack Heavy Objects in Liquor Boxes

Wooden liquor boxes are designed to carry heavy glass bottles and cans, which makes perfect boxes for moving your heavier belongings. These crate-style boxes often come with handles, which also makes them easy to carry.

Ask the staff at your local liquor store if they would be willing to give you their used boxes, or at least sell them to you at a discounted price.

3. Use Clothing to Pack Breakables

Instead of buying bubble wrap, cover fragile or easily-scratched items with clothing. Delicate items could include silverware, plates, picture frames, and ceramics.

Line your boxes with your sweaters, pajamas, and other soft clothing before you pack your breakable items into boxes. This method not only saves you on packing material, but it also saves you packing space. You won’t have to pack your clothing in separate boxes, and you won’t have to throw away countless piles of bubble wrap after your move.

4. Pack Your Glasses and Stemware in Clean Socks

While sweaters and pajamas work well for larger, yet delicate, items, they don’t do as well for glasses and stemware. Fortunately, clean socks make perfect impromptu covers for packing glassware. Just slip each of your glasses into a sock and pack them snuggly into packing boxes. The socks will act as a buffer to keep them from clinking together during the move.

5. Use Dollar Store Balloons as Packing Materials

Instead of using expensive air-pillow packing materials, buy a few packs of balloons from the dollar store. Partially inflate the balloons and use them to fill open space in your boxes. Balloons absorb impact without popping as long as you don’t over inflate them. You can buy various balloon shapes to fill up different sized gaps in your boxes so your items stay secure.

6. Line the Sides of Your Boxes with Egg Cartons

Egg cartons are strong and lightweight. Take advantage of their design by using egg cartons to buffer the insides of your boxes. Egg cartons can take a beating, so they add a layer of protection for your belongings during the move.

7. Use Shredded Paper Instead of Packing Peanuts

Give your paper shredder another purpose in life. Use your shredded documents as filling for your boxes instead of packing peanuts. Shredded paper is good packing filler that would otherwise go to waste.

8. Put All Your Containers to Good Use

Gather your baskets, hampers, and luggage and pack them full of your things. This will cut down the number of boxes you will need for your move. You can also pack heavier items in your wheeled luggage to make it easier to move. Watch the weight, though! You don’t want to break your wheels by rolling around a shelf’s worth of books.

9. Sell Bulky, Unwanted Items on the Internet

You can cut packing and moving costs by selling some of your big, unwanted items before you move. If you have old items you can easily replace, don’t waste money moving them. Instead list them on a local classified site and pocket the proceeds. The fewer things you have to move, the less you will pay to pack them.

10. Donate Your Other Unwanted Things

Collect remaining items in good condition but that you aren’t able to sell. Bring the items to a local charity or give them to your friends. If you donate them, you may be able to write off the value on your taxes.

Follow these 10 simple tips to save money while packing for your move. The money you save may help you stay within your moving budget. And since these tips encourage re-purposing household items and reusing boxes, you can also help the environment by relying less on new materials.

old-couple-boxes

How to Take the Stress Out of Your Moving Process

You might be really excited about your new home, new job, or other changes happening in your life. But you have to admit: you don’t love the idea of packing up all your items and hauling them into a moving van.

On top of all the time and effort you’ll spend, you risk injury by transporting furniture and other heavy objects.

You can make your household moving process easier by hiring a moving professional or using the following tips to help make a plan and to safely lift heavy objects.

How to Get Started

Even if you are in a rush, think ahead before you start grabbing boxes. Wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes and clothing you can flex in. Decide what path you will take to move each object and make sure there are no obstacles in your way.

Consider the weight of each object before you lift it. Professional movers estimate that a piece of furniture weighs about 7 pounds for every cubic foot (up to 10 pounds for sturdier materials). You increase your chance of injury by lifting items over 50 pounds, so you may want to leave those extra heavy objects to the professionals.

Depending on your size and strength, you will most likely need help from another person or moving equipment for some large pieces of furniture. You can use the following equipment to help lift heavy objects:

A stair roller. This metal device attaches to a single step and features a rolling bar in which heavy objects can glide over,allowing you to quickly slide heavy items down the stairs. Stair rollers are used most often for IMG_8260moving pianos.

Moving blankets or pads. With a moving blanket, you barely have to lift the heavy object. Slide the blanket underneath your furniture or appliance and pull. Use the moving blankets to cushion your products in the moving truck afterward.

Furniture sliders. These tools have a plastic base and foam pad that conform to the shape of your furniture. They work like moving blankets; you put one slider under each leg and push the item across your floor.

A dolly. Dollies come in two types: one that stands upright with two wheels and one with a flat base supported by four wheels. Either type can help you move multiple items at a time.

Tips for Heavy Lifting

After you have a plan 7- heavy boxand all the equipment you need, all that’s left to do is to start lifting. Be kind to your body, and use the following proper lifting techniques:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep one foot slightly ahead of the other for balance.
  • Don’t bend your back; instead bend with your hips and knees. Keep your shoulders back, your back straight, and your head up.
  • Straighten your hips and knees to lift the object.
  • Hold the load close to your waist, around your belly button. This method works better than just gripping the object with your hands. Never lift an item above shoulder level.
  • Don’t twist or lean when lifting an object. Move your feet to turn.
  • Squat once more with your hips and knees to set down your load, then position your load after you have put it down.

By following this method or by hiring a professional mover, you won’t put as much stress on your back and spine, and you can avoid injury.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Moving Day

What can I expect on moving day?

On moving day, you can relax and leave all of the hard work to the professional movers. When a Bekins driver arrives at your home, he will conduct an initial walk-through of your home. This is a good opportunity to let the driver know what items will be shipped and which items will stay. This also allows the driver to visualize how your belongings will best fit in the truck.

The driver and his crew will then prepare your house by protecting the floors and doorways. Once loading is ready to begin, the driver will use the inventory form to document the items, and their condition, going on the truck. The driver and his crew will wrap furniture pads (specially designed blankets) around your furniture to protect it from scratches and other damage. Overstuffed furniture (couches, etc.) will be wrapped in stretch wrap to help prevent damage. Once an item is properly protected it will be loaded on the truck.

After your belongings are loaded on the truck the driver will ask you to sign some paperwork, including the Bill of Lading, High Value Inventory, and Inventory.

Do you take protect certain areas of the home when moving the furniture?

When moving your household goods, Bekins Van Lines takes precautions throughout the home to make sure no walls get scratched and no mud on the carpets. Before actually moving anything, the crew from Bekins will go through the house and put protection on the carpets, stairs, walls and doorways to ensure nothing gets damaged while moving your belongings to or from the house.

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Do I have to be there the whole time?

It is recommended for you to be present on loading and unloading day to avoid any possible errors in communication. On loading day, you must be there to review and sign the Bill of Lading, which is a receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. On the day of unloading, you will need to be available to check and review your inventory as it is coming off of the truck.

When will you be able to let me know about the weight of the shipment?

Most of the time, the driver will be able to let you know within one to two days. The weighing is all dependent on what time the loading is completed and if the driver can get to the weigh station when it is open.

Will I have the same driver/helpers at the destination?

There is a possibility that your driver will be different from loading to the delivery. The crew will be different as they are usually from a local agent in the area that you are moving to or from.

What is a shuttle?
bekins small truck Shuttle service is a smaller vehicle to provide service when the residence is not accessible to the mover’s normal equipment. A Shuttle service at origin involves loading the goods onto a smaller vehicle then transporting and offloading them onto the mover’s normal equipment. The process is reversed at destination. 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.

How will I know when my shipment is going to be delivered?
Your driver will contact you 48 hours prior to the delivery of your belongings. Confirm with the driver your destination contact information prior to his departure from your origin residence.

Who do I contact if my shipment is delayed beyond my delivery dates?
In the unfortunate situation that your belongings will not be delivered within the delivery spread that is stated on the Bill of Lading, please contact our customer service department at 1-800-932-7799. A customer service representative will be able to answer your questions and provide delivery updates. You should also feel free to contact us electronically if you prefer.

Who do I contact if my household goods were damaged during my move?
In the unfortunate instance that an item was damaged during the move, please contact Bekins claims department at 1-800-992-5202. A claims adjuster will be assigned and he or she will review the claim and contact you, if necessary, with any further instructions. Please take note of the following details on the claims process:

  1. All claims must be filed in writing, within nine months of the date of delivery to residence. If your goods were placed into storage-in-transit, and remain in storage in excess of 180 days, you have nine months from the date of conversion to permanent storage in which to file a claim.
  2. Please do not discard or repair any items without prior authorization from this office, as we reserve the right to inspect all claimed items.
  3. If you are claiming any damaged items which were packed, please indicate whether or not the carton was damaged. Please also save the packing material and carton for our inspection.
  4. Please describe the nature and location of damages for each article claimed, and furnish repair estimates whenever possible to support the claim.
  5. Please provide the manufacturer’s name, the model, and the serial number of any appliances or electronics equipment claimed as missing or damaged.
  6. Copies of original purchase receipts should be submitted with your claim for items requiring replacement.
  7. Please make certain that all items you wish to claim are included on your claim form, and that the claim form does constitute your complete and entire claim.

Learn more about the Claims Process.

Are there any questions about the moving/loading day that we might have missed? Ask below!

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6 Creative Ways to Reuse Your Boxes After You’ve Moved

You’ve finished moving. You can feel the stress slipping from your shoulders and the exhaustion setting in. But now you have a giant pile of used moving boxes in the middle of your floor, and you can’t stand to look at them anymore. You have too many to fit in your dumpster, but you probably wouldn’t throw them in your dumpster anyway. That’s a lot of cardboard that’ll go to the landfill-so it’s best to recycle them somehow instead.

In an earlier blog post, we gave you a couple tips on how to recycle your boxes. However, this blog will go beyond recycling and give you other creative solutions as well. You could simply recycle your cardboard moving boxes at the nearest recycling facility, or you could just keep them in storage. But why not use them to help put your new life together? You can use your cardboard moving boxes for all kinds of tasks all over your home.

To get you started, we’ve given you a few creative ways to reuse your moving boxes below:

1. Storage Organizers
Even if your new home has a lot storage space, you still have to create a working system for organizing your storage. You could spend lots of money constructing a storage system, or you could useDSCF3191 a resource you already have: your moving boxes. They can help you store several different items, including:

  • Food storage
  • Christmas decorations
  • Halloween costumes
  • Winter/summer clothes
  • Important documents and keepsakes
  • Crafts and art projects from your children
  • Any extra dishes, sheets, electronics, etc.

Just remember to sort and label the boxes after you put storage items in them. After you’ve done that, you’ll have a storage system in place-and it won’t cost you a cent to create.

2. Weed Killers
Don’t have time to sit there and pull weeds as you acclimate to the new town? No problem. Your cardboard moving boxes can do it for you. Simply follow these steps, and you’ll have a weed-free yard in no time:

  • Flatten the boxes and tear them into single-layer sections.
  • Place the boxes over particularly weedy areas in your garden.
  • Cover the cardboard with mulch.
  • Wait until the cardboard heats the ground and kills any weeds and weed seeds. This could take a few days or a few weeks.

The cardboard keeps weeds and seeds from getting any sunlight, which prevents them from growing. It also insulates the ground, heating it until it kills any plant life beneath it. Remember that you can’t plant any desirable greenery in these areas while the cardboard does its work. You’ll have to wait until after the weeds have died.

3. Mess Guards
Need to check for leaks under your car or in your sink? Need to paint something? Put cardboard down under the area to protect your floors from damage. You should flatten the boxes if you plan to do a paint job, but you should keep them taped and whole if you want to protect your home against leaks. The box will catch any escaping liquid/debris and hold it until you can dump it out.

http://www.thepetproductguru.com/pet-supplies/8635-why-do-cats-love-boxes/

http://www.thepetproductguru.com/pet-supplies/8635-why-do-cats-love-boxes/

4. Toys for Kids or Pets
Cardboard boxes also make great toys for the little critters in your home, be those critters children or pets. If you have children, you can turn your cardboard boxes into a creative project. Some great projects include:

  • Creating a puppet theater out of a larger box
  • Building a backyard fort out of several boxes
  • Making a costume-you can create a robot, knight, or simple “box man” costume out of a few smaller boxes.
  • Creating a temporary sled out of a collapsed box-you can even use these sleds on grass in the summer
  • Building play furniture

If you have pets, you probably won’t have to alter the box much to make it entertaining. Cats love cardboard of all kinds. You can build a miniature house for them, or you can leave the box whole-they’ll still love it. Dogs will also love chewing on or sleeping in the box, especially if they have blankets and toys to accent their new play space.

5. Gift-wrapping Boxes
Sometimes you need to put a gift into a box before you can wrap it. Stuffed animals, clothing, and other soft or abnormally shaped items don’t wrap well by themselves. If you keep your moving boxes around, you can simply place your gift in one of them and easily wrap the entire ensemble.

6. Mountings for Posters
Have posters that you want to frame? You can keep them from drooping inside their frames by giving them a cardboard backing. But even if you don’t want to frame them, a cardboard backing could also keep them from drooping on the wall. Glue the poster to the cardboard and pin or tape it to the wall from there.

Don’t think of that pile of cardboard boxes as a curse. Even though you’ve finished moving, those boxes can still have useful purposes. Use the tips above to reprocess your box pile and take control of your new home today.

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An Employee’s Guide to Corporate Relocation

So you’ve been offered your dream job. Congratulations! However, this dream job has one big caveat-it’s located far away from where you currently live. Deciding to make the move may seem like a hard decision, but actually making the move could be even more difficult.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the idea of a difficult move. Instead, use these tips to take advantage of your job opportunity-no matter where it takes you.

1. Find out if your employer offers a relocation package

Before the economic downturn, many firms offered generous relocation packages to their employees to acquire the best talent. Now, fewer companies offer financial compensation for their employees to move. But it never hurts to ask.

And if you take time to negotiate, your company may compensate you for at least a few of your expenses.

Relocation packages could cover:

  • Trips to find a new home in the new location
  • Professional moving services
  • Moving costs for specialty items
  • Travel costs for you and family members
  • Rent of temporary housing for a short period of time
  • Loss-on-sale protection (if you lose money selling your current home)
  • Closing costs
  • Relocation bonus

You should also ask your new employer if you should take advantage of preferred providers. The company may work closely with certain real estate agents or moving companies, and they may only reimburse you for moving costs if you use those providers.

business handshake2. Ask how you will be compensated for relocating

Companies have different types of relocation packages: lump sum, reimbursement, direct bill to employer, and third-party relocation packages. Find out which method your company uses before you start spending money on moving.

Lump sum: Your company will give you a one-time payment that you and your employer previously agreed upon. There are no restrictions on how you spend the money, but you won’t get any more.

Reimbursement: Your company determines an amount that they will reimburse you for moving-related expenses. You typically need to show receipts to receive the reimbursement.

Direct bill to employer: Your company pays all or some of your moving bills directly through the moving company. Generous employers will combine this payment type with lump sum payments or reimbursements.

Third-party relocation: Your company uses a relocation company to coordinate and manage your move in its entirety. You may be required to pay the relocation company yourself, or the company may contribute with one of the payment plans above.

3. Figure out how much money you’ll spend out of pocket

Your company will likely not cover every single cost of your move. You’ll probably have to pay for the travel expenses of you and your family, your food, any stays in hotels, and home selling costs.

Here are some costs you should think about (note that some are also listed in possible relocation package bonuses):

House hunting trips: You should research your new location thoroughly. Many people who relocate take at least one trip to the new city to search for a new home. Do your research before you arrive. You should look at school systems, crime rates, cost of living, home values, and any other information you think is valuable. Then when you get there, schedule walk-throughs of several potential homes so you can decide which one suits you.

Remember, the expense of traveling to search for a new home may fall on your shoulders, so be economical with your time. If you fly, take rental car expenses into account.

skd273191sdcLease cancellation or closing costs: If you’re currently renting, you will typically have to pay a cancellation fee to get out of your lease. The cost could range anywhere from one month to three months’ rent.

If you sell your home, you may have to spend as much as 10% of the price of your home to get it sold. Take into account real estate agent costs, listing costs, and closing costs. You may also have to accept the possibility of selling your home at a loss.

Miscellaneous expenses: Remember to account for the little things. You may have to store your belongings in temporary storage while you wait to move into your home. You have to prepare your home for the move. You have to get the new home ready to move into. You’ll have to pay security deposits for utilities in your new home.

4. Find temporary or rental housing

If you’re selling your home, avoid paying two mortgages at once. Unless your current home sells right away, live in a rental unit for a portion of your time in your new location. Often, people who relocate for work live in temporary housing for 1 to 3 months. 3 months is more typical if you owned your previous home.

Living in temporary housing gives you a chance to live in your new environment before you make a final purchase of a home. You don’t risk as much of a monetary investment. If you hate your rental housing, it’s not a big problem, because you can easily move.

5. Make the move

Now that you know where you’re going and who’s paying for your move, you’re ready to move you and your family to your new location. Visit our Corporate Relocation Services page for more information.

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Don’t Chip the Glasses or Crack the Plates: How to Pack Your Kitchenware

Few things are more stressful during a move than packing the items in your kitchen. Delicate stemware, bulky pots and pans and an over abundance of Tupperware are difficult to box up without breaking a few plates along the way.

So what can you do to keep your kitchen ware safe before your next adventure? These tips and tricks will start you on the right track.

Protect Your Glasses
glass pack sm Cups, goblets, stemware and sundae glasses have awkward shapes and are easy to break, especially if they’re made of glass or fine crystal. To keep your glasses from chipping, use a divided box designed for shipping wine and liquor bottles. If you can’t find a divided box, carefully line a small box with bubble-wrap to protect your glasses.

Once you’ve found the right box, grab your largest and widest cup and lightly line the outside and inside with newspaper or packing paper. This reinforces the glass sides.

Repeat the lining process with your second cup, and then place it inside the first cup. Continue placing each glass inside the ones before it until you can’t insert anymore (you’ll likely fit three or four glasses in each group before running out of room).

Place these glasses in their separate cells, and when the box is full, cushion the top with tissue paper and use bubble-wrap to fill in the gaps. Seal the box and mark it as “fragile.”

Pack Your Plates
As with cups and glasses, you can find cardboard boxes specifically for packing plates. These boxes, also known as dish packs, are stronger and thicker than the average cardboard box. This enables them to absorb shock and protect your dishes. Your local agent can provide dish packs at a competitive price.

When you’re ready, put a plate on a sheet of newspaper. Place a thin sheet of bubble-wrap on the top of the plate. The bubble- wrap should be just big enough to cover the surface of the plate.

Place the next plate on top, with another sheet of bubble-wrap. Repeat the process until you have three stacked plates, then use the newspaper to wrap the entire set. Seal the package with tape; then stack the wrapped plates on their side in the box(rather than stacking them flat).

Continue placing plates in the box until you fill it. Use packing peanuts and crumpled paper to fill in any gaps. As with the cups, you’ll want to mark this box as “fragile.”

Manage Pots and Pans
Pots and pans are sturdier than glassware, so you can use a generic large box to pack these items. Line the box with styrofoam packing peanuts, and moving-boxes-mediumyou’ll be ready to pack.

With pots and pans, you’ll want to use the same technique you used with your cups. Start with your largest pan (without its lid), and line it with newspaper or bubble-wrap. Then, nestle your smaller pan inside. When you’ve nested three pans together, use newsprint and packing paper to wrap the three together.

Place the bunch in the bottom of the box and fill in the gaps with newspaper. If you have lids for your pans, wrap them individually and place them in the sides of the box. Mark the box as “Kitchenware” or “Pans” to help you stay organized.

Don’t Forget the Silverware
Because silverware and utensils are sturdy, you maybe tempted to toss them last minute in the bottom of another kitchen box. However, forks and knives have pointy, sharp edges that could injure you or your movers if handled incorrectly.

To prevent injury, roll forks and knives in tissue paper first before packing them away into a box. If your utensils are genuine silverware, do not wrap them in newsprint – this tarnishes your silverware.

If your knives are part of a chopping block, use tape on all sides of the block to hold the knives in. Cover the entire block with packing paper, and mark the package as “knives” so you remember to handle them with care.

What to Do With Tupperware
Tupperware and other food storage containers stack easily and resist damage. Unlike other dishes, they don’t need a bubble-wrap lining because they are plastic.

If you’ve acquired an extensive amount of Tupperware and similar containers over the years, they can add to the clutter of your move. To simplify the process, sort through and discard any items that you won’t need. Make sure each container has its own lid, and throw away any containers that are extensively stained or worn.

Once you’ve decided what to keep, stack your containers in the same way you’d stack your cups: nest each small container in a large container (without their lids). Put the stacked Tupperware in the box, and then place their corresponding lids along the sides of the box.

Of course, this is a lot of work. If this isn’t for you and you would like to have someone else do it for you, Bekins offers various packing services for your moving needs.

Need Additional Advice? These tips and tricks will help you pack your kitchenware safely. For more household moving tips and tricks, don’t be afraid to ask your local Bekins agent for advice.

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Don’t Lift That: Items to Leave to the Household Movers

Still debating about whether to hire a professional to move your household goods? Even if you feel comfortable moving boxes and furniture yourself, some objects are harder to manage. By lifting these items without proper training or tools, you not only risk physical strain but also irreversible damage to an expensive item. It’s better to call in a team of professional movers to lift the following items:

Piano Whether you own an upright or a grand piano, you should hire a moving company to get your instrument in and out of the house. Pianos have an irregular shape and hundreds of working parts. To keep your piano functional and elegant, find a mover specialized in handling these circumstances.

Pool Table Moving a pool table definitely isn’t fun and games. Depending on the model you own, your pool table could weigh between 500 to 1,000 pounds. As you search for a moving company, ask whether the movers will transport pool tables and what their process is for doing so. Many movers will disassemble your table first to prevent damage.

Hot Tub You may have moved your hot tub around the backyard, but moving it to a new home is a different story. Ask your moving company what steps to take beforehand. You’ll likely need to drain the hot tub and remove the equipment pack. Then leave the rest to the professionals.

Fragile Non-valuables We recommend keeping your most iDSCF3289rreplaceable valuables with you. That includes jewelry, special collections, and family heirlooms. Even though movers use the utmost care, you don’t want to risk damaging those items. However, an expert, with years of experience, can better protect your mirrors, china, glassware, artwork, and other delicate items with special packaging. While you may want to oversee the handling of these precious items, leaving the packing and moving of them to the professionals is the safest way to go.

Remember, above all else, that moving isn’t a job you have to undertake alone. Hire a professional mover. Enlist friends and special equipment. Whatever your plan, know you can ease the burden of heavy objects-and the stresses of moving-with a little help.