Category Archives: Moving Tips

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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.

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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.

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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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Kitchen Decluttering: How to Spend Less than an Hour Tidying Up

Any family that has recently relocated or moved into a new home, knows the importance of time saving organization and cleaning tips. Dividing your home (and each room) into zones that make it easy to spend less than an hour a day tidying your spaces. Lets start with the busiest room in the house-your kitchen.

Ideally, once you’ve set up your routine, it will take you less and less time each day. However, if you’ve not been as diligent as you need to be in your kitchen, the first time around may take you a little longer. That’s okay. The important thing is just to start.

Preliminaries

Before working in each zone, take heed to a few preliminary tips. According to www.flylady.net, you should carry a timer with you before you start cleaning. Also have on hand three baskets or boxes labeled as “throw away,” “give away,” or “put away.”

The FlyLady also suggests working in clockwise order in any room. This helps you focus on one area at a time.

Here, then, are a few strategies for getting the clutter under control in your kitchen, zone by zone. If it makes sense to re-order your zones according to the clockwise pattern mentioned above, do it.

Zone 1: Cabinets

Set your timer for 15 minutes, and have your boxes nearby. Open each cupboard door one by one. If a family member has put a kitchen or food item in the wrong cupboard, take it out and put it in your “put away” box. Don’t actually put it in the correct location yet! Just stick it in the

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box.

Next, take out any food items that are over six months old (pay attention to expiration dates) and put them in your “throw away” box.

Give your cabinet doors a quick wipe down. Stop when your timer goes off, even if you haven’t finished. You can do the rest of the cabinets another day, starting where you left off. This helps keep you from burning out on your tasks.

Zone 2: Under the Sink

Set the timer for 5 minutes. That should be enough time if you’re doing maintenance; if this is the first attempt, it will take you longer. Just try to work for 5 minutes and see how much you can do.

Throw away old cleansers and rags. If you have few items under the sink, take them out and wipe down or sweep the cupboard floor. Then wipe down both sides of doors with a damp cloth and return all items.

To streamline future organization, look into stacking baskets or adjustable-height shelving-you can get even more organized space this way.

Zone 3: Hanging Storage Areas

Set your timer for 5 minutes and have a wet cloth and duster handy. You’re going to tackle the overhanging pots rack, if you have one, plus any areas where you have dishcloths or towels hanging off the stove or fridge. Quickly scan all the areas where you have hanging items, then you’ll be more efficient.

Remove and quickly wipe down each item to remove dust or grease, then replace. Throw dirty towels or dishrags in your “put away” box; those will go to the laundry room later.

Zone 4: Drawers

Set your timer for 10 minutes. Keep a cordless vacuum and damp cloth/dusting cloth handy as you go along.

Working in a clockwise fashion, wipe down drawer fronts and pulls, then remove items that may be in the wrong location (just as you did for your cupboards). Put these items in the appropriate box and move along quickly. Don’t be tempted to dawdle over a given drawer; just take out what doesn’t belong, throw away trash or junk, and take care of anything you want to donate.

If you see lots of crumbs or dirt, use a small cleaning brush attachment on your small vacuum to get rid of the dirt. If it’s not problematic, though, save the deep cleaning for another day. Just move along quickly.

Zone 5: Work Surfaces & Countertops

Set your timer for 5 minutes (if you get really good at this, it will take you probably 2 minutes). With a damp cloth, quickly wipe down spills, dust, or grease on your counter-tops and back-splash areas. Replace counter-top items as you go rather than taking them off the surface first. This will save time.

If you notice misplaced items as you go, put them in the appropriate box.

Zone 6: Refrigerator & Freezer

Set your timer for 5 minutes. This is not a deep-clean; you’ll have to set aside an additional 30-60 minutes for that task another day. Right now you’re simply getting rid of clutter and doing a quick wipe down.

Begin by throwing out all spoiled food (in both the refrigerator and freezer)-just put it in your regular garbage can or your “throw away” box.

Wipe down top, sides, and doors, then gently wipe the door seals, as they tend to collect dust, crumbs, food spills, and grease over time.  That’s it-you’re done!

goodhousekeeping.com

goodhousekeeping.com

Zone 7: Pantry

If your cupboards basically are your pantry, you can skip this step. If you have a separate pantry, set your timer for 10 minutes.

Follow the suggestions listed for zone 1!

Zone 8: Kitchen Table

You don’t even need to set your timer for this one; just wipe down your table with a damp cloth, removing and replacing items as you go. If you have a wood table, you can use a dusting spray now and then to maintain the wood finish.

Enlist the help of family members to take care of the “put away” box. Once that’s done, congratulate yourself on a job quickly done, then go put your feet up and relax.

Travel background air

Don’t Miss a Detail: Tips for International Relocation

Despite the playful title, where your money goes and what paperwork you need to fill out is the single biggest obstacle to conquer. If you already have a position lined up, you are likely aware of embassy registration in your new country. You likely have a sponsored visa for you and your family members as well. Some less-obvious things to consider are your current debts, mortgages, loans, and credit cards.

Talk to your lenders immediately to determine what you should pay off before you leave, what can be frozen, and what you can continue to pay off while you are in your new country. Are your credit cards valid in your new country? What are the exchange and interest rates?

The other large, potentially challenging obstacles to overcome are health and safety concerns.

Check the Center for Disease Control’s Travelers’ Health Menu for an idea of what immunizations you’ll need and what you could be exposed to in your new country. Binge on doctor visits before you go, getting any surgeries, dental work, or eye wear before you go. While it may add a bit more stress to your relocation-focused mind, it will prevent a medical emergency in a new country.

Another critical question to ask is whether or not your current health insurance will still be available to you. If your new employer offers you insurance or your new, foreign country has socialized medicine, determine the lapse between the end of your current coverage and the beginning of your new coverage.

The U.S. Department of State has a Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which may be worthwhile for you to explore. It has pertinent information about the risks Americans face when they travel or move to a new country.

Deal with Your Stuff Second: Organizational Tactics and Hard Decisions

Decide what to bring, and then weigh it.

Ask your moving company when your items will arrive in the new city and pack in your luggage all the things you’ll need until the rest of your items arrive. Once you think you have the least items you can survive with, weigh the luggage to see if it’ll pass as a carry-on, checked baggage, or oversized luggage.

Be ruthlessly minimalist about what you want to bring to your new country.

Reassess, and then purge.

Sell extra items on eBay or Craig’s List, or hold a garage sale. Donate whatever else you can’t seem to sell. Set a deadline for your for-sale items, and if they are still at your house, donate them, too.

Take an inventory.

Once you feel good about the items you are going to bring with you, create a list to track them. You might feel like you have it under control, until the day comes when you are looking for your cell phone charger, your child’s favorite stuffed animal, or your comfortable house slippers. Whoops. Avoid this in advance by reviewing your stock and tallying each item.

Organize things into categories.

Separate your family’s items into categories, and then make an inventory list. Pack category items together in order to maintain organization for the unpacking process.

Think About Your Loved Ones: Relocating with Children and Pets

Children often have difficulty adjusting to an international move. Throwing them a goodbye party and encouraging them to stay in contact with friends via social media and email are excellent ways to ease the transition.

Look for schools that offer an International Baccalaureate program because they offer a standardized, transnational curriculum. The options for international schools may be limited in certain countries; if this is the case, a local school might be a better option for your children, especially if you are moving permanently. International Schools Services offers a worldwide list of English-speaking schools.

Now, another big decision-what about your pets?

To bring or not to bring, that is the real question. It’s hard to imagine life without your furry friends, but life for them can be substantially harder in a foreign city.

Look at where you are going to be living. Is there a yard? Is there a dog park nearby? Where can you take your dog for a walk? Will you be working long hours without the ability to come home at lunch? If you think your pet will suffer more with you abroad than it will in a new home, then it is time to think about adoption.

If you choose to bring your pet, every country has pet importation forms and veterinary clearance standards. Your pet likely will need immunizations and a clean bill of health from your vet.

If you do decide to bring your pet, complete the paperwork, certifications, and immunizations, then purchase a hard carrier case and spill-proof water container. Your vet can provide your pet with sedatives.

Taking your pet to a foreign country involves a difficult airplane ride. Ask your airline for information about when you can travel with your pet because there are black-out dates. How much is the surcharge for bringing Fido? Which pet friendly airports can you travel through? Will your pet be stored in-cabin or under-cabin?

On the day of the flight, arrive three hours early for security purposes. Between flights, confirm your pet has been boarded on the next flight during a layover.

Pack your pet’s go-to food brand, and after arriving, compare it to the current country’s food ingredients. Slowly mix in new kibble one quarter at a time until your pet gets used to the new food. Talk to neighbors about places to walk your dog.

These tips will help you ease into your new city. Remember that you don’t need to do this alone. An international professional moving service can circumvent most of the packing, shipping, and unpacking issues involved with international relocation.

think green

Color Your Move Green

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

Sell or Give Away non-essential items:

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

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

Use recyclable and reusable packing materials:

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

Use Eco Friendly Cleaning Supplies

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

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

Staying Green Post Move

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