Category Archives: Moving Tips

Meet new neighbors after a relocation by shopping for groceries with your dog

Ripley after our relocation to Indiana. He loves hanging out at the local farmers market.

Ripley after our relocation to Indiana. He loves hanging out at the local farmers market.


Relocating from Oklahoma to Indiana was a stressful experience for me and my family. Our relocation was prompted by my husband’s job transfer. Essentials had been packed and taken with us on our drive to get us through a few days until the professional relocation company delivered our furniture. We arrived in Indiana to an empty house. The first few days were a little like camping. After a long car ride and sitting in an empty house, the family was starting to get a little stir crazy.

New to the city and neighborhood, we decided to get out and about. So, we leashed up our dog, Ripley, and went to the local farmers market. It was a great experience! We met lots of locals and several of our neighbors as well as many local farmers. I even met a local rancher and purchased some meats to grill that evening. Our dog enjoyed exploring and meeting new canine friends, too. Many people stopped to chat with us because Ripley helped break the ice. It was a win-win and made us feel at home more quickly.

If you just moved to a new community, get out and explore by taking a trip to the local farmers market. The markets are free to roam, many have live entertainment and most have some prepared foods and snacks, which are perfect if your appliances haven’t arrived yet. Just being outside around other local people and the fresh, brightly colored fruits and veggies makes you feel more welcome.

Our family has gone to the local farmers market every Saturday it’s open. I love having the option to take my dog shopping for groceries!

Click here for a list of farmers markets in your area.

Relocating with Rhonda

Rhonda Baker (second from left) joined Bekins' Sales & Marketing team in early Spring

Rhonda Baker (second from left) joined Bekins’ Sales & Marketing team in early Spring


Relocating is a unique experience for everyone. It’s exciting for some and dreadful for others. One of the best ways to understand the process is by seeking advice from those who’ve experienced it first-hand.

Sales and Marketing Project Manager, Rhonda Baker joined the Bekins Van Lines team this spring. Prior to her job and life in Indiana, she lived in Oklahoma City with her two sons and husband. When her husband’s job required relocating, they packed up their life and headed to Fishers, Ind.

“I grew up in Oklahoma,” said Rhonda. “It’s all I had known my entire life.”

Adjusting to such a major change is no easy task. Rhonda’s advice – Don’t overlook the milestone. In the weeks leading up to the move, be intentional about spending time with friends and family for a proper goodbye.

“Relocating definitely makes you appreciate friends and family,” said Rhonda. “You won’t take any time together for granted. It inspired me to make more of an effort to get together with close friends and family.”

Rhonda said she looks forward to planning several trips to visit her two sons, lifelong friends and family who still live in Oklahoma.

“I was most surprised about the amount of planning involved,” said Rhonda.

Rhonda attributes a great deal of the success of her move to the attention to detail in planning prior to relocating. She went as far as measuring their current furniture and comparing it to measurements of the new house. This saved time, money and space when it came to deciding what items to move.

“Downsizing and adjusting to a new home was definitely a challenging aspect of moving.”

She suggests diving into your favorite hobbies soon after relocating. For Rhonda, it is gardening and sprucing up her outdoor space. This made the new house feel like a home and took her mind off the move.

She also suggests asking a friend to ‘dog-sit’ for moving day. The last thing you want is your precious pooch running away on moving day.

“Having Ripley running around the new house made it feel more like home. Pets can play a huge emotional role in moving.”

Heed the advice of someone who has seen moving from the professional standpoint as well as personal.

5 Questions to ask during an In-home Estimate

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

promover_colorAre they a Pro-Mover?

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

Full Explanation of a Pro-Mover.

Are there reviews readily available?

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

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

What is an estimate based on?

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

What does the travel look like?

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

QUESTIONWhat questions do they have for you?

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

 

Free Infographic: Relocation for Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers never cease to be one of the most intriguing and talked about generations. Things seem to be getting more interesting for the Baby Boomer generation as retirement approaches for many. Use this free infographic for detailed insights on relocation for the Baby Boomers.

This infographic sorts through trends of the Baby Boomer generation’s moving patterns. It breaks down easy to read statistics on when, where and why this generation desires to relocate. It also assists in formulating a plan for the relocation.

Get in touch with a Bekins representative who can provide you with additional information on relocating for Baby Boomers.

Bekins-infographic-Baby-Boomers

 

 

 

Easy Moving Recipes – Part Two

Bekins Van Lines understands the difficulties of trying to prepare a meal – on top of moving and unpacking – it can seem like an impossible task.

We’re here to ease the stress with three more easy-to-make recipes. Did you miss last week’s? You’ll want to check it out. It includes the recipes for easy fried rice, taco casserole, and more.  If you want more dinner ideas, be sure to visit our Pinterest board for more delicious meals.

Bisquick Chicken Nuggets

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves cut crosswise into 1/2″ strips
  • 2/3 cup Bisquick mix Bisquick Chicken Nuggets
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 450 degrees
  • Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray
  • In a resealable freezer bag (a big one), mix Bisquick, cheese, salt and paprika
  • Dip half the chicken nuggets into the egg and then place in the resealable bag. Seal the bag and shake. Place the chicken on the cookie sheet and repeat the process for the remaining chicken.
  • Drizzle your butter over the chicken and bake for 12-14 minutes, turning them over halfway through.

Mac and Cheese Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of Kraft Thick and Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
  • 1 pound ground beef Mac and cheese lasagna
  • 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Directions:

  • Prepare the macaroni and cheese according to the package directions. You can prepare it using half the amount of butter and skim milk to reduce the fat.
  • While the macaroni cooks, brown the beef in the skillet and drain. Add the spaghetti sauce to the meat and stir to combine.
  • In a 9×13 dish, spread half of the meat mixture to cover the bottom of the pan. Follow with a layer of half of the macaroni and cheese. Repeat the layers with the remaining meat mixture and mac and cheese.
  • Sprinkle the mozzarella over the layers and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Homemade French Fries

Ingredients:

  • 2 potatoes Easy Homemade French Fries
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 415 degrees
  • Slice potatoes in half and then in strips and place in bowl
  • Add the seasoning mixture to the bowl
  • Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with olive oil or cooking spray
  • Spread out the fries so that they are all laying flat
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes and then flip
  • Bake for an additional 15 minutes until golden brown

 

Easy Moving Recipes – Part 1

Great Dinner Recipes

It’s your first week in your new home, and you still haven’t managed to find the box with most of your cooking supplies. By the end of every day it seems like you’re verging on near exhaustion.  This is unfortunately what many people experience after a move, especially after a move that has taken you all the way across the country, like many moves that Bekins performs.  Don’t fret though, you will eventually get your house and your kitchen unpacked, but in the meantime, here are a few easy recipes that your whole family will enjoy – and won’t break the bank.

All of these recipes were found on Pinterest. You can access the recipes on Bekins’ Pinterest board entitled Easy-to-Make Recipes.

Easy Fried Rice with Chicken

We love recipes that don’t require a lot of ingredients and this one is about as easy as they come:

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beatenfried rice
  • 1 cup uncooked carrots, shredded or diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • Chicken or shrimp – you choose how much you’d like to add

Note: You can add whatever frozen or fresh vegetables that you typically prefer in your fried rice. Customize based on preference — and what you have in your kitchen!

Directions

  • Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; warm pan over medium-high heat. Add eggs; tilt pan so that eggs cover bottom.
  • When eggs start to set, break them up into pieces with a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until eggs are cooked through, about 1 minute more; remove eggs from skillet and set aside.
  • Off heat, recoat same skillet with cooking spray; set over medium-high heat. Add carrots and all but 2 tablespoons scallions; sauté until carrots are crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in cooked rice, peas and soy sauce; cook until heated through, stirring once or twice, about 1 minute. Gently stir in cooked egg and remaining scallions; heat through. Yields about 3/4 cups per serving.

Tuna & Pasta Cheddar Melt

Ingredients

  • 1 can Condensed Chicken BrothTuna & Pasta Cheddar Melt
  • 1 soup can water
  • 3 cups uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 can Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 Tbsp. Italian-style dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp. butter, melted

Directions

  • Heat the broth and water in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat to a boil. Stir in the pasta. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the pasta is tender, stirring often. Do not drain.
  • Stir the soup, milk and tuna in the skillet. Top with the cheese. Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the tuna mixture. Cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling.

Taco Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onionTaco Casserole
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) taco sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 package (12 count) taco shells, broken
  • 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided
  • Optional: chopped tomatoes, green bell pepper, sour cream

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Spray with cooking spray 11×7 inch baking dish
  • Cook beef and onion in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned
  • Drain and discard excess fat
  • Stir in taco sauce, water, chiles and seasoning mix; bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat to low
  • Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Layer half of broken taco shells on bottom of prepared baking dish
  • Cover with half of meat mixture; sprinkle with 1 cup cheese
  • Repeat with remaining incredients
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted
  • Serve with desired toppings

Stay on the lookout for more recipes that will grace the pages of our blog. Until then, follow Bekins Van Lines on Pinterest for more recipes, DIY home decoration ideas, and moving tips.

 

Bekins University: College Moving Tips

It doesn’t matter how old you are.  It doesn’t matter if you’re moving across town or across the country.  Any type of move is a stressful event for everyone involved.  In the next few weeks, millions of American college students will experience the rite of passage known as Freshman Move-In Day.  For some students, this is a day for celebration.  For others, it’s a day filled with heavy emotions that go along with relocating, heightened by the fact that this is the first time that many have ever lived independently of their parents.  No matter the feelings involved, a move is a move which means it’s probably going to be stressful and not a whole lot of fun.

Earlier this week, Meredith Slavens, Online Content Development Specialist at Bekins Van Lines, shared her own personal freshman move-in story.  Today, she shares some tips she’s gathered from her many moves throughout college.

College move-in graphic

College Moving Tip #1:  Be picky about what you take

In college, your living spaces or dorm rooms are small.  Unfortunately, there’s just no way around it.  It’s better to take less than to take too much and not have room for it.  Be choosy as to what you bring. If you haven’t used it in a year, then chances are you won’t use it in college either.

College Moving Tip #2:  Organize Wisely

In college, I used four trusty plastic containers to store a lot of my stuff in, such as shoes, toiletries and craft supplies.  Not only did the containers help to contain a lot of my possessions, but it also made it easy when I went to move.  All of those loose items were already packed and organized in easy-to-carry containers.

Dorm Room Closet

My closet – that I shared with two people! The plastic containers saved my life.

College Moving Tip #3  Bring a fan

I got my tower fan as a high school graduation present, and still to this day I maintain that it was the best present I received.  In the summer months, your dorm room will be really hot – especially if you don’t have air conditioning. In the winter, your dorm room will still be really hot due to the heaters in your room. You can’t win in terms of temperature, so do yourself a favor and bring a high-quality fan with you. As a bonus, it will also drown out the noise of snoring from your roommate!

College Dorm Room

A view of my freshman dorm room, complete with not one, but TWO fans.

4.  Don’t splurge on furniture…yet

If your college experience is like mine, you’re going to have to move a lot in college.  There’s really no point in buying nice, expensive furniture at this point. It will just get banged up in the countless moves that you’ll inevitably have to make.  If you do have to buy furniture for a house, I suggest buying secondhand from a consignment store or donation center. There’s a time and a place to buy new furniture, but it isn’t while you’re in college.

5.  Coordinate with roommates beforehand

College is a time for the wonderful world of communal living.  While there are definitely pros and cons to living with a handful of other people, one of the major pros is that between each person, you and your roommates will probably have everything needed to furnish a dorm room or house.  The biggest obstacle in determining this though is communicating well enough to know that before moving in.  I suggest spending a few days during summer break creating and sharing a Google doc spreadsheet where each person can all write which items he or she has.  For even more organization, divide the spreadsheet up by room.  This helpful document will give your room or housemates a good idea of what still needs to be bought and what can be left behind.

 

What other college-related moving tips would you give to an incoming freshman? Let us know! Leave us a comment on our blog, Tweet us using the hashtag #BekinsU,  or write on our Facebook page.

Reasons to Move: College Move-in Day

I’ll never forget the feeling of packing up my whole life into just a few boxes.  As an 18 year-old who had never lived anywhere but New Castle, a small town in rural Indiana, I’d known all the same people since I was about five years old. I felt very secure in my life and also very comfortable living at home with my parents.  It’s not that I wasn’t excited about moving off to college – I definitely was – but more than anything, I was terrified of the unknown… and also stressed out about packing.

College Move-in Day

College move-in graphicFor someone who had never moved before, going through 18 years of possessions and trying to decide what should and shouldn’t go off to college was nothing short of a herculean task.  How could I not take my nightstand? What about my collection of Harry Potter books? Of course I need all of my shoes!   If I could give advice to anyone who is moving, it would be this: Simplicity is best. Pack less and buy what you don’t have.  This is especially true if you’re paying someone to help you move – the lighter the load, the cheaper it will be. If only I would have known this back then…

Moving In

As my parents and I made the 50 mile drive from New Castle to Butler University, a small liberal arts college located in the heart of Indianapolis, Ind., my stomach began churning with nerves.  As we pulled up to Butler, I saw the picturesque view of college, complete with  fraternity boys grilling hamburgers and hot dogs in the  front yard of the frat house situated right across from my dorm. As I walked up to my dorm room in Schwitzer Hall, I was struck by two things:

  1. This whole no air conditioning thing might be really unfortunate
  2.  This move is really happening.

The rest of the day was a whirlwind of running up and down stairs, plugging in my mini fridge, connecting my laptop to the internet source, running to the store to buy forgotten items like power strips and plastic containers, making my bed with my brand new Twin XL sheets and unpacking all of those special touches that make a generic dorm room feel more like a home.

The College Experience

The rest of my freshman year of college progressed and before I knew it, I found myself College graduategraduating and receiving my diploma, physical proof of everything that had happened from that move-in day back in the fall of 2008 to graduation day in the spring of 2012.  That diploma represented not only all that I had learned in the classroom, but also all the lessons learned outside of the classroom. It represented the not one, not two, not even three, but eight moves that I made during college (moving tips to come – watch for the blog!)  It represented four years of growth and experiences that I will never and could never forget.

So, my advice: don’t fear, freshman. Move-in day is overwhelming, there’s no doubt about that. It’s an anxiety-induced 24 hours, but it’s just that – 24 hours. Before you know it all of those 24 hours will have strung together to make four years and you too will have that coveted diploma. Enjoy move-in day for all that it is and know that the best is yet to come.

 

Meredith Slavens is the Online Content Development Specialist at Bekins Van Lines. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Arts Administration from Butler University.  Meredith has moved ten times in the last five years, so she considers herself a bit of an expert when it comes to moving.  She enjoys helping others make their moving experience a little simpler by sharing some of her own personal moving tips.  Feel free to contact Meredith at meredith_slavens@wvlcorp.com