Category Archives: National Moving Month


Eat, Throw Away or Donate? What to Do with Your Food Supply Before Moving

When you’re in the hustle and bustle of moving preparations, you probably spend a lot of time decluttering. You hold a garage sale to get rid of the heavy old bookshelf and treadmill you never use. You strategize the best way to pack your craft collection.

But have you thought much about your pantry?

If you’re like most Americans, you probably have a decent store of canned goods and other non perishables hanging around your kitchen. And that doesn’t even approach all the food you have in your refrigerator and freezer.

You don’t like the idea of throwing food away, but you don’t want to pack stacks of canned goods in the moving van either.

Moving day isn’t far off-so you need a manageable strategy right now.

Complete a Food InventoryFridge

While you may keep a careful inventory of our furniture, books, and electronic devices, you probably forget about your food storage. If you don’t really buy a lot of excess food, congratulations. But if you believe in emergency supplies, you’ll need to do some counting and sorting.

To stay organized, divide your list into the following categories:

  • Frozen foods (meat, vegetables, ice cream, frozen entrées, etc.)
  • Perishable, refrigerated items (dairy products, eggs, vegetables and fruits, and condiments)
  • Foods in glass bottles (bottled fruit, drinks, olive oil, spaghetti sauce, and similar items)
  • Canned items (vegetables, fruits, soup, and so forth)
  • Boxed items (grains, cereals, and the like)
  • Plastic containers (containers for bulk foods like nuts, pasta or rice; and bottled water)
  • Food supplies in fragile containers (flour in paper sacks, bread loaves in plastic bags, etc.)

Plan for Your New Space

The best way to decide what to keep, eat, or throw away is to look ahead at your new home. Will you have more or less cupboard space there? Do you want to build up a new food supply once you arrive, or would you rather have a month’s supply of food already in place?

By asking yourself these questions now, you can better envision a food plan between now and then. Here are a few possible scenarios that could happen once you move into your new home:

  • If your new home has a pantry closet in addition to your kitchen cupboards, you may want to take more food with you.
  • If you need to downsize for your new place, consider a better division between food supplies and dishes. If you have too much of one or the other, you should probably give some things away before you move.
  • If you have a large family that goes through food quickly, you may want to move more food items with you. But pay attention to food costs vs. the cost of shipping. This can help you decide if moving all those cases of soup is really the best strategy.

pantryEat from Your Pantry for a Few Weeks

How much of your food supply can you use in your current menus? Be creative. Enlist the help of family members to decide what foods you can eat in advance.

In particular, try to use up items in glass jars. Glass is harder to protect during a move, so the fewer glass containers you have on moving day, the better. Do you really need all those glass jars of freezer jam? Consider donating any items you can’t eat before you move to neighbors and friends.

Of course, you have to be realistic when eating from your pantry. You may still have to stop by the store for a couple fresh ingredients. But you may surprise yourself when you see how many meals you can make completely from pantry foods. Don’t forget to use foods from your freezer as well.

Finally, get rid of expired goods before moving day. If you do your part ahead of time, you’ll still have what you need when you arrive at your new home-but without the hassle and expense of moving food items you didn’t have to.

Donate Your Leftovers

The cost of your move is based on weight plus distance of the move. Ways to cut back on your weight would be to get rid of food. Rather than throwing away non-perishable food, Bekins along with Move For Hunger make it easier than ever to donate your food.

Bekins Van Lines is a founding member of Move For Hunger. Participating local agents will pick up the unwanted, non-perishable food items and deliver it to their local food banks in the area. Your donation of food will not only save you money on your move, but will help feed a person or family in need.

Need more fresh moving tips? Browse our blog for other smart, low stress strategies before the big day.

Bekins Recaps: National Moving Month

National Moving Month

It’s been one month since National Moving Month began.  That means we’re one month in to the busiest time in the moving industry season.  To celebrate this month, Bekins produced a series of moving tips to help ensure a smooth and successful move. Now that we’re at the end of the month, let’s take a look back at the tips that we provided.

Bekins’ National Moving Month Tips:

  1. Invest in a high quality notebook. 
  2. Take pictures of your electronics before unhooking and packing.
  3. Keep your boxes as light as possible.
  4. Don’t forget to change the locks on your new house.
  5. Donate your non perishable-food items.
  6. Once you know the layout of your new home, sketch a floor plan.
  7. Use packing labels.
  8. Save your receipts.
  9. Clean your new house upon arrival.
  10. Update your driver’s license and license plate.
  11. Donate unwanted or unused items.
  12. Ensure your pets are ready for a move.
  13. Drain all the oil and gas from your power tools prior to moving.
  14. Use towels to stuff boxes.
  15. Prepare to move your appliances.

National Moving Month

Bekins’ National Moving Month Tip #15: Moving Appliances

15.  Prepare to move your appliances.

Many of your kitchen and laundry appliances – refrigerators, dishwasher, washing machines and others – require a bit of preparation to move.  It will make your moving experience much easier if you prepare to move these appliances several days before your actual move.  Bekins Van Lines knows that it’s overwhelming, and somewhat complicated – especially if this is your first move.  Don’t worry; Bekins has compiled a helpful how-to for moving appliances.

kitchen appliances

Photo via


Make sure that your refrigerator is turned off about 48 hours prior to your move.  Also, secure any attachments inside the appliance or remove and pack in another container.  If your fridge has a funny smell, try leaving an opened box of baking soda inside. It should absorb any unpleasant odor.


The freezer needs to be completely defrosted prior to your move.  Depending on the size of the freezer, this could take just a couple hours or days.  Judge to the best of your ability and remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Defrost ahead of time and remove all food.


It might be helpful to hire a third-party service to help disconnect the dishwasher from the water source. If you’re a total DIY-er though, make sure that the hose, inlet line and water valve are all disconnected and that the dishwasher has an ample amount of time to dry. Leave the door of the appliance open for at least 24 hours.


If you have a gas-powered oven, a third-party service provider will be very helpful. If you have an electric oven, make sure that the appliance is unplugged from the power source.  All removable parts such as burner pans, grates and the shelves inside the oven should be secured or detached completely.  As always, if time allows, it would be a bonus to clean the inside and outside of the appliance.

Washing Machine

The most important component to preparing a washing machine is ensuring that it’s completely drained.  No matter what time of year you’re moving – even if it’s the summer – the appliance needs to be completely void of water.  You’ll also want to make sure that the washer drum is secured.


You could benefit from hiring a third-party provider to help disconnect your dryer, especially if it’s gas-powered.  Regardless, the dryer should be disconnected from whatever power source its connected to and the cord should be taped to the back of the appliance.

Bekins has tons more moving tips that we’d love to share with you!

If you have any more helpful tips to moving appliances, let us know in the comments section!


Bekins’ National Moving Month Tip #14: Towels

14.  Use towels to stuff boxes.

Packing is an art, and just like any art, it can take a lot of practice.  It can be a challenge to fit items perfectly in to moving boxes and sometimes it can be nearly impossible! Bekins recommends though to not have any empty space in your box and the box also shouldn’t be more than 30 pounds, so what are you to do?

Stuff all the remaining space in your boxes with either towels or light linens.

You’re going to have to pack all of your towels and linens anyway, so they might as well serve some sort of purpose during a move.  Packing with towels, cloth napkins, table cloths, curtains, and other light linens is an efficient way to ensure that the boxes are full. Towels and linens are also light, so you won’t be straining your back carrying these boxes out of your house even if they are completely full.

What other materials have you used to pack your boxes? an assortment of colored towels

Check out Bekins other National Moving Month moving tips!

Bekins National Moving Month Tip #13: Oil & Gas

13.  Drain all the oil and gas from your power tools prior to moving.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re constantly thinking of things that need to be done before a move, it’s easy to forget.

lawn mowerBekins Van Lines, and any other van line, will not transport items that are flammable or have gasoline inside them.  Considering the price of gasoline, it would be unfortunate to forget about this prior to a move and waste a tank of gas.

Along with gasoline, here is a list of other items to leave behind when packing:

  •  Aerosol cans
  • Heating agents
  • Nail polish/remover
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Any type of gas in bottles or tanks, including propane or oxygen
  • Paints, varnishes, solvents, thinners and oils
  • Ammonia, bleach and other household cleaning agents
  • Chlorine granules or powders
  • Muriatic acid (aka hydrochloric acid)
  • Auto batteries
  • Charcoal/lighter fluid
  • Matches and lighters
  • Ammunition
  • Any other combustible product

Can you think of any other items you should leave behind when moving?

Be sure to brush up on your  moving facts by checking out the rest of Bekins’ moving tips. 

Bekins National Moving Month Tip #12: Moving with Pets

12.  Ensure your pets are ready for a move.

There’s no question that moves are stressful for all parties involved.  Leaving a familiar place to go somewhere completely unknown can be a traumatic experience, and not just for the humans involved.  Imagine an animal who has never known any place but their comfortable home.  To travel, sometimes several hundred miles, and turn up in a place that’s strange and new for them would be scary!

Many pet owners recognize this fact and want to do something to ease the transition for their furry friends, but are unsure how to do it.  Bekins has moved countless families with pets, and have gained some valuable information along the way.  Here’s one easy way to help your pet become more accustomed to the thought of change:

Bring some moving boxes into your home ahead of time so that your pet can get used to the idea of moving.two cats sitting in a cardboard box

Animals like to investigate. They like to sniff.  They like to feel as if they are in control of a situation.  Bringing these boxes in ahead of time will allow your pet to grow accustomed to this sight and not be so frightened on moving day.  Your pets might even like the boxes so much, they decide to take naps in them!

How else have you helped your pet prepare for a move?

Let us know on our Facebook page or Tweet us!

There are more helpful moving tips on our blog – check them out!

Bekins’ National Moving Month Tip #10: Head to the BMV

10.  Update your driver’s license and license plate.

There is a lot to think about during the moving process, especially once you’ve arrived to your new location.  There are boxes to be unpacked, furniture to be arranged, and schedules to coordinate.  Going to the BMV to change your driver’s license and license plate aren’t often high on people’s lists of things to do, but it’s something important to remember.

The time limit to apply for a new driver’s license and plate varies state-to-state, but a general rule of thumb would be to get in to the BMV within 30 days of your move.  Be sure to check the requirements for both the state you previously lived in and the state that you live in now.  Some states require you to leave your license plate behind while others will refund some of the money you paid when registering your car. This is a great source ofinformation for determining your old and new home state’s requirements.

Look on the bright side of this somewhat hassling task: You’ll get a second chance for a driver’s license picture – and maybe this one won’t look like a mug shot!


a graphic of the United States made out o license plates


Bekins has more moving tips – don’t miss out!

Bekins’ National Moving Month Tip #9: Clean

9.  Clean your new house upon arrival.

The idea of cleaning as soon as you arrive in a new house might sound unappealing.  There are so many other things to do – why should I waste time cleaning first thing?  Bekins understands just how much has to get done within the first few hours of a move, and yet we still suggest doing a bit of cleaning when you first arrive.

How often do you have the chance to vacuum your living room? Your whole living room. Without a couch or an entertainment center or a recliner in your way. Probably next to never.  How about your bedroom? Do you clean the floors underneath your bed very often?

When you move into a new house, you get a clean slate.  Everything is new.  There isn’t any clutter yet.  Take this opportunity of room vacancy to really clean those nooks and crannies that you can’t reach when furniture or other odds and ends are in the way.

Not only will you get the chance to clean spaces that aren’t normally touched, but you’ll also get peace of mind and reassurance knowing that your new house has been cleaned to your standards.  Even though whoever previously lived in your house probably cleaned it, you just never know.  It’s better to quickly run a vacuum or sweep than to do nothing and find something unsavory later down the line.

Do you have quick cleaning tips that you use to help speed the process along? Let us know! Leave us a comment, Tweet us, or share on our Facebook page.

clean empty room

Bekins also has more moving tips – make sure you check them all out.


Bekins’ National Moving Month Tip #8: Receipts

8.  Save your receipts

This might seem like an archaic habit, but saving your receipts during a move is extremely important.  Remember that blog post we had earlier about buying a notebook? If you buy a big notebook with lots of pockets to organize, it won’t be hard to save your receipts.  You’ll have a place to put them and you’ll know exactly where to find them.

If the notebook isn’t your thing, we suggest buying simple envelopes, labeling them, and using those as receipt holders.  You can even color code to make it easier. One envelope for moving company receipts. One envelope for remodeling receipts.  Another envelope for gas receipts.  You get the idea.  Saving these receipts are your proof-of-purchase, and during a move, you’ll be doing a lot of purchasing.

It’s better to keep them until everything is said and done. After the move is complete, you can have a fun receipt burning party.  Or if you want to commemorate your time, you could have a receipt framing party!  Whatever your feeling on the move, keeping your receipts will help the process go more smoothly.  It’s better to keep them all, than to not have one that you need.

an envelope full of receipts

What else do you save during a move? We want to hear from you! Leave us a comment or write on our Facebook or Twitter page.


Bekins has more moving tips! Find out some more easy hints to make your move go smoothly.

Bekins’ National Moving Month Tip #7: Labels

7.  Use packing labels.

During the packing and moving process, it’s tempting to want to stuff items haphazardly into boxes just to get the job done.  You will thank yourself though if you employ a little bit of organization to your packing process and pack by room.

Packing room-by-room gives you a head-start on unpacking.  If you indicate which box goes in which room, your movers will be able to unload much faster. It will also give you less work in the long run – you won’t have to haul boxes from room to room!

When you arrive in your new home on move-in day, print off or make signs to indicate the name of each room. For example, some options might be master bedroom, master bathroom, nursery, or linen closet.  If you attach signs to those doors and if you’ve labeled your boxes according to what room or closet they belong to, there will be no question where the boxes go.  This will speed up the moving process exponentially and also help you to find your items faster.

Attached to the blog are individual labels both in color and black and white for your printing pleasure.  These labels have space for you to also write what contents are in the box, speeding up the process even more.

The links underneath the pictures allow you to print off a whole page of labels instead of just individual ones.

Bekins black and white labels

Bekins’ black and white labels

Bekins colored box labels

Bekins’ colored labels


If you like this tip, we have more where that came from!