Category Archives: Organized Move

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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

moveforhunger.org

moveforhunger.org

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.

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Decorating Your New Place with Your Old Decorations

When you first step into your new place, you may struggle to picture this house as your home. You can make this transition easier by decorating your new space. Adding small details in the room, like family pictures and flowers, will help everyone feel more comfortable.

You may want to grab your wallet and head to the furniture store because you think a new place deserves new stuff. However, decorating doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Use your old decorations for a more affordable solution. Not only will decorations make your new house look better, but they’ll help your kids feel more at home as well.

Below, we’ve listed some ways you can incorporate your old décor into your new place.

Assess What You Have

a box full of clothes to be donated.Before you pack up to leave, assess what furniture and décor you have. Keep in mind that you don’t have to keep everything.

Decide what you really want in your new place. This will save you from packing and transferring junk you don’t need.

As a rule of thumb, try and get rid of 25% of your old stuff. Take this opportunity to rid yourself of faulty appliances in the garage that you haven’t used in years. Auction your things off on eBay or have a garage sale. You may make a few extra bucks on decorations you would never use. Consider this move a fresh start.

Sketch a Floor Plan

Now that you know what you have, make a plan for your new home. Have fun with this step by choosing color pallets for each room. Decide where furniture will go and what child will have which room. If you want to go in-depth, visit the new place and take measurements. This way, you’ll know exactly what furniture will fit in what room.

Consider using a floor-planning program on the internet. Most are easy to use and will help you visualize the result.

Don’t forget to keep portion, balance, and scale in mind. Avoid crowding too many oversized furniture pieces into a small space.

Consider the dimensions and ceiling height to determine how much you can comfortably fit into the room. Don’t put a small dining table and picture into a large room with high ceilings or large furniture into a small room. The space will come off awkward and unsatisfying.

Planning will also help you stay organized as you pack. Mark boxes with which room they will occupy in the new house.

Start with Your Bedroom

Nothing beats sinking into a soft bed after a long day of organizing and unpacking. Start your decorating hiatus with your bedroom. This will give you a beautiful place to retreat to after working hard all day.

Most homeowners have at least a bed and dresser to incorporate into their new place. Next, choose a bedspread to mix and match with pictures and décor.

Don’t limit the possibilities with décor you previously had in your bedroom. Use décor from the entire house. If you have a flexible budget, consider painting the walls to match your bedding. Or maybe you want to keep the wall paint the same and buy new bedding. Try to plan these details before you buy anything. Planning will save you time and money.

Choose Small Details to Update

Small details can make a big difference. Rather than demolishing an entire room and

Photo credit: cuteandcompany.com

Photo credit: cuteandcompany.com

starting from scratch, decide on one or two small details to update. For instance, freshen kitchen cabinets with paint rather than replacing them. You can also update a bathroom by painting the cabinets or replacing a light fixture.

Replacing light bulbs with less “yellow” bulbs is another way to update a space. This small detail can brighten a room and make it feel newer.

Unify the Room with Color

If you move into an older home with furniture from the 1960s, don’t worry. You can easily unify the room by incorporating similar colors in the space. For instance, imagine you have a chair that has a small fabric detail that could match your main room color. You can draw attention to that small detail by painting a wall a similar color. Suddenly that chair matches the rest of the room.

Photo credit: http://denverdisco.com/collections-of-color-schemes-ideas-for-living-rooms/color-schemes-for-living-rooms-living-room-color-schemes-for-inspirational-divine-living-room-ideas-for-remodeling-your-living-room-5

Photo credit: http://denverdisco.com/collections-of-color-schemes-ideas-for-living-rooms/color-schemes-for-living-rooms-living-room-color-schemes-for-inspirational-divine-living-room-ideas-for-remodeling-your-living-room-5

You can use that same principle by matching colors with a rug, curtain, or accessory. Decide the room color from a décor item that you love.

Once you have chosen a main color, let the rest of the design branch from that color. Use neutral colored furniture around the room as a foundation. Then use your main color in accessories. The neutral furniture provides consistency if you ever want to change the main color of the room. And if you use this strategy, you won’t spend more money replacing or painting furniture.

Don’t stress about using the exact same color in the space. Retail stores would love if you bought an expensive bedroom set that matches exactly, but you don’t have to. You cannot go wrong as long as most of the hues in the room match. Use your previous décor to bring your personality to the space.

Now that you know the basics to make your house a home, check out our other blogs for more moving tips.

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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.

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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.

goodhousekeeping.com

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

goodhousekeeping.com

goodhousekeeping.com

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.

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The ULTIMATE Check List For Changing Your Address

Between hiring a moving company, packing up your household goods, and preparing for a new home, it is hard to find the time to change your address through various organizations. To better organize your move, Bekins Van Lines has created a list of everywhere you might need to change your address before and after moving.

Utilities:
America Move Assist can help finding new utility companies in your area

o    Electric *
o    Gas *
o    Water *
o    Garbage/Recycling *
o    Telephone/Mobile *
o    Cable *
o    Internet *
o    Fuel *
o    Water/Sewage *
o    Lawn/Garden Services/Pool Services
o    Housecleaning Services
o    Internet sites – iTunes, amazon, Netflix, etc.

Finance

o    Banks  – Make sure your current bank has branches in the area, if not, you may want to switching banks
o    Major Credit Cards
o    Department Store Credit Cards
o    Loan Institutions
o    Insurance Agencies * – Check to see if your coverage will need to change when moving to a different state or area.
o    Pension Plans
o    Air Rewards Programs
o    Accountant/Tax Consultant
o    Professional Memberships/Licensing Boards

Government Public Offices

o    DMV – Most states make you change this within 90 days of moving. Some states require a written test before obtaining a license
o    Vehicle Registration
o    Social Security *
o    Post Office *
o    Veteran Affairs *
o    Income Tax/IRS *
o    Pension Benefits *
o    Unemployment Insurance *

Personal
o    Register children for school * – Free school reports
o    Find new physicians and dentist
o    Find a new place to a new place of worship

* Changing your address is recommended before you move