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.

How to live with roommates…successfully

According to your standards, is leaving your shoes on the dining room table unacceptable? What may seem obvious to you may not be to a roommate.

Recent studies suggest that roommates are replacing spouses in the 20th Century. As a Millennial who has successfully lived with the same roommate for three years, I’m here to tell you successfully living with a roommate is possible.

Talk, talk, talk
Communication is a little detail that can make a BIG difference when living with others. Open and honest communication between roommates is crucial. This is especially true for roommates with a strong history of friendship. Confronting your roommates about a problem will be worth it in the long run. Allowing it to fester will only allow passiveness to pry its way into your living space.

Start with chores
As silly and elementary as it may sound, having a chore chart can save a lot of drama. Get as creative and cute with your chore chart as you want. Visit the craft store and decorate your chore chart to your heart’s desire then simply list each roommates’ name with the rotating chore(s) for which they are responsible. Understanding who is to do what around the house will establish expectations.

Expectation
In a perfect world, one could assume that everyone would have common courtesy when it comes to ‘rules of the house’. However, that’s not always the case. Clearly communicating one another’s expectations is a must. Here are some conversation starters:

  • Are we going to allow pets in the house? Who will be responsible for them?
  • Will we divide up the cost for food? Or will this remain separate?
  • What boundaries will we have for the common areas?
  • Any rules for visitors: family, friends, significant others, etc.?
  • Will there be a quiet time? Ex: During the week days after 11:00 p.m.

I am certain that with these tips, some cheap wine and good laughs, living with roommates can be some of the best years of your life!

Sponsoring Disneyland

Opening Day at DisneyOn July 17, 1955 in Anaheim, Calif. Walt Disney delivered these words to some 28,000 eager guests:

“To all who come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts which have created America … with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

Bekins was privileged to have been among those who received Walt’s speech opening day of the theme park. Moreover, Bekins is proud to have contributed to the success of opening day by sponsoring Disneyland and the lockers located on Main Street starting in 1955.

Bekins_Disney_Bekins’ iconic horse drawn wagon was located outside of the space serving as the lockers area on Town Square. This area is now part of the Emporium. Bekins remained a sponsor until 1963. 

For more details and photos on the sponsorship, visit some of the following ‘Disney Fanatics’ blogs.

Visit: Matterhorn1959: Stuff From The Park  for more photos and information.

The famous horse drawn Bekins moving van can be found in several Town Square photos and postcards. For additional information, visit: Matterhorn1959: Stuff From The ParkBekins Carriage

 

Allow your mind to travel back in time with this virtual experience of opening day at the ‘happiest place on Earth’. 

If this video inspires you to make a trip out to Disneyland and you fall in love with Southern California, we happen to know a good moving company. Bekins has several agents that would be more than happy to assist you with your relocation process.

Antelope Valley Van & Storage

Bekins Moving Solutions, Inc. (Chatsworth, CA).

Bekins Moving Solutions, Inc. (Santa Fe Springs, CA).

 

 

Bekins Employees Get Moving: Indy Mini-Marathon

Let’s just say Bekins employees ‘get moving’ on many levels.  When they are not focused on relocating household goods with intricate care, they are on the move training for half marathons such as the 2014 Indy Mini-Marathon that will take place on May 3, 2014.

Five employees from the corporate office out of Indianapolis, Ind. will be participating in the Mini-Marathon. Of course signing up and committing to some 13 miles does not happen overnight. It takes motivation, endurance, and for some, extensive training. So kick your feet up and enjoy the stories of these dedicated ‘Mini-Marathoners’.

Meet the Group

Corp Employees_Indy Mini Runners_ 2014

From left to right:

Ron Borkowski, Damodara Yemme, Emmalee Strait, Jerrod Carter. (Not Pictured: Gary Reynolds)

 

Jerrod’s Story:

CIO, Jerrod Carter has worked at Bekins for some six years working within the Information Technology Department.  With a history of running, this will be Jerrod’s seventh Indy Mini-Marathon and ninth half-marthon overall. In addition, he has run three full marathons.

“I just genuinely enjoy running marathons,” said Carter. “I ran three last year and hope to set a personal record this year.”

More confident than ever, Jerrod feels that this race is sure to be a success after maxing out on miles per week ran during his training.

“My advice to someone considering running a mini-marathon is to stick to a training plan,” said Carter.

Last year, Carter ran enough that he was able to join the ‘Half Fanatics’ group. So watch out for ‘Half Fanatic’ #5163 at the Mini-Marathon this year!

Meet Damodara:

Damodara Yemme has been working at the corporate office for eight years within the Information Technology department.  Yemme’s motivation behind running is to fulfill his New Year’s resolution. In addition, he feels that it is a great way to stay active, a social outlet and hobby.  Yemme has run two races prior to the Indy-Mini, including Sam Costa Quarter Marathon and Carmel Half Marathon.  He contributes a great deal of his preperation to both of these races.

“ Running is a great way to maintain my health and physical condition,” said Yemme. It is also refreshing after a long day at work. “

Yemme is a big fan of the Run Keeper App that he has downloaded onto his phone. This app allows several functions that will make tracking your run simple.  It is also the ‘keeper’ of his playlist of ‘pump-up’ songs to finish each run stronger than the last.

Look out for this determined ‘First-timer Indy-Mini Runner’, it might just be the first of many for him!

Catch up with Gary:

Vice President of Operations, Gary Reynolds has been employed at the corporate office for 12 years. Reynolds has particpated in nine Indy-Mini Marathons prior to this one. Primarily a walker, he is dedicated to keeping in shape by walking for the half marathon. “ Advice on completing a half marathon,” said Reynolds, “just get out and do it.” Reynolds suggests that walking is a ‘futile attempt to escape advancing age’.  He also suggests that instead of plugging into some great tunes, walking is a great time to be alone with your thoughts.

Catch this swift walker among the pros come May 3rd at the Indy-Mini!

Getting up to speed with Ron:

Assistant Vice President of Operations and Director of Traffic, Ron Borkowski has a long history with Bekins. Starting with the company in 1986 as a traffic planner and has held a number of positions throughout the years.

In addition to a long history with Bekins, he also holds a long running history.  Borkowski has successfully completed somewhere between 15-20 full-marathons, including the Boston Marathon last year. This will be his 16th Mini-Marathon.

The challenge of the marathons inspire and motivate him to continue his marathon streak. His training consists of a combination of weights, mixed with cardio, such as biking, stair climbers and ellipticals. 

He advises starting out easy with training, if you are new to running. He also suggests that running can provide a great way of staying in shape, alone time, and a challenge to work towards.

With years of running, he offers some great insights into running. “You should know what level of support you need in a running shoe, “said Borkowski.  “Specialty running stores such as Blue Mile will video your foot strike and then analyze it in slow motion to determine what class shoe is the right fit. “

Watch out for this running expert, he might just be leading the pack!

Jogging with Emmalee:

Content Development Specialist, Emmalee Strait just came on board with Bekins in November of 2013 in the Sales and Marketing Department.  After taking on a new job, she also decided to take on the task of running the Indy-Mini Marathon for the first time.

Motivated by staying in shape and healthy throughout the winter months, she has been training with some close friends for the race.

“I am anxious and excited for the Indy-Mini,” said Strait. “I am running the half marathon with my college roommates, so the memories being made mean the most to me!”

She attributes accountability from training with friends to be one of the best help when preparing for the race.  Like Borkowski, she joined the Blue Mile running club which has helped prepare her. With good friends, a good playlist, and some good training – she is ready to hit the road running on May 3!

 

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.

 

Less is More: Housing Market Trends

Small house_don't careThe popular saying of ‘less being more’ couldn’t ring more true in today’s housing market. What are buyers really looking for when searching for a house to call home? According to recent housing trends, it is less about the space available and more about having a cozy, well-maintained property. And can you blame them? Properties requiring less keep-up are becoming more attractive for today’s buyers, who have many other demands of their time.

No surprise, purchase price is also a huge factor in buyers’ decision making process. The current market puts house hunters in a great spot to get the best deals. Don’t be shocked when a counter-offer is thrown back from buyers; it’s a competitive market. However, this shouldn’t be problem for well-kept spaces that offer a great deal of value to the buyer. Use this as a selling point when marketing your house.

Small AND Mighty

While the houses trending on the market today are smaller, they are not to be underestimated. Potential homeowners put a tremendous emphasis on the value the house will have when it comes to resale. Decorative details are important. Buyers are more attracted to upscale finishes such as granite countertops and wood floors compared to laminate countertops and tiled floors. Such details can make the difference to the prospective buyers.

Filling the rooms with high-end furniture and upscale decorative choices is preferable to having large spaces. Having updated, quality details will compliment this trend well.  The need for large houses with several rooms is a thing of the past to current buyers.

The Great Outdoors

In addition to a desire to downsize, the housing market is seeing a demand for greater outdoor spaces. The outdoor amenities have almost equal importance as the indoor ones. Therefore, taking careful consideration of curbside appeal is extremely important. Maintaining the outer appearance of a house is arguably one of the most important selling points for home buyers. A well-groomed lawn and exterior of a house can go a long way when selling your house.

Well, there you have it. You have all the secrets that the buyers are looking for in a house. When the big moving day comes, don’t stress of the boxes and relocation of your household goods – leave that up to Bekins, it’s kind of our area of specialty. Check us out at: http://www.bekins.com/.

Packing 101: 2014 Spring Breakers

palm treeIt’s been a long winter and you couldn’t be more ready to hit the coast of somewhere beautiful. No matter where you are heading for spring break, understanding how to pack like a pro is a must.  Whether you’re packing for a permanent relocation or a short-term vacation, Bekins has you covered.

Where do I even start?

We understand the struggle of over-packing in fear of forgetting something.  Why not bring all closet25 pairs of sandals to have options, right? Switch up your thinking this year with a minimalist mindset. What do you consider to be necessities?

Get back to the basics.

closetThink through your trip. What types of events will you attend? Will your trip include lots of outdoorsy adventures? Or more indoor museum related activities? After considering these questions, pack realistically according to your plans.

Assuming that your get-away includes warmer temps, it’s a good idea to pack several tanks and shorts that can be easily layered with choice long-sleeved sweaters. Bringing along one pair of casual long pants and a jacket is also a good idea. Pick out one or two dressy outfits for a nice dinner out. Select one or two pairs of sandals, one pair of tennis shoes and a pair of shoes for your night out. Don’t forget the small, but important details. A sufficient amount of undergarments, socks and at least two bathing suites, to allow one drying time from the previous day is something you won’t want to forget.

Small, but important details

beach bagBring your large beach towel and sunglasses. Be sure not to forget a bag to tote your essentials from the pool or beach to your room. Bring your latest reading material, and your new favorite playlist. Equally important, remembering to pack your phone charger can be a game changer for the trip!

Also, important are your toiletries. Don’t throw hygiene out the window while you’re on vacation. Bring your toothbrush, toothpaste, any face wash, travel shampoos and conditioners and so on. Save yourself a trip to the store while on vacation and spend your time relaxing!

Check out our Essential Spring Break Packing Guide on Pinterest for a complete list of packing strategies and ideas!

Packing 101: for 2014 Spring Breakers

palm treeIt’s been a long winter and you couldn’t be more ready to hit the coast of somewhere beautiful. No matter where you are heading for spring break, understanding how to pack like a pro is a must.  Whether you’re packing to permanently relocate or for a short-term vacation, Bekins has you covered.

Where do I even start?

SandalsWe understand the struggle of over-packing in fear of forgetting something.  Why not bring all 25 pairs of sandals to have options, right? Switch up your thinking this year with a minimalist mindset. What do you consider to be necessities?

Get back to the basics.

closetThink through your trip. What types of events will you attend? Will your trip include lots of outdoorsy adventures? Or more indoor museum related activities? After considering these questions, pack realistically according to your plans.

Assuming that your get-away includes warmer temps, it’s a good idea to pack several tanks and shorts that can be easily layered with choice long-sleeved sweaters. Bringing along one pair of casual long pants and a jacket is also a good idea. Pick out one or two dressy outfits for a nice dinner out. Select one or two pairs of sandals, one pair of tennis shoes and a pair of shoes for your night out. Don’t forget the small, but important details. A sufficient amount of undergarments, socks and at least two bathing suites, to allow one drying time from the previous day is something you won’t want to forget.

beach bagSmall, but important details

Bring your large beach towel and sunglasses. Be sure not to forget a bag to tote your essentials from the pool or beach to your room. Bring your latest reading material, and your new favorite playlist. Equally important, remembering to pack your phone charger can be a game changer for the trip!

Also, important are your toilet-trees. Don’t throw hygiene out the window while you’re on vacation. Bring your toothbrush, toothpaste, any face wash, travel shampoos and conditioners and so on. Save yourself a trip to the store while on vacation and spend your time relaxing!

Check out our Essential Spring Break Packing Guide on Pinterest for a complete list of packing strategies and ideas!

Celebrate St. Patty’s Day with Bekins

ShamrockWe are almost as excited to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as we are for your next move – almost. But the point is, life is short and therefore, we must celebrate whenever the opportunity presents itself. So allow us to assist you in making this St. Patrick’s Day the best yet.

 

 

First things first

To have an appreciation for the holiday, you must know the history. While at a glance, the day may seem to be a celebration dedicated to dying canals and river green, parades, and beer – but do you know why all of these traditions are taking place?

Who is Patrick, anyway?

St. Patrick was born into a wealthy family in Britain nearing the end of the fourth century. At 16 years of age, Patrick was taken captive and held a prisoner to Irish raiders. The raiders were attacking Patrick’s family estate and wealth and took him captive in Ireland, where he would spend six years of his life. He spent most of the years as a shepherd with very little contact with people. These pivotal years played a vital role in his reliance on his faith in Christianity.

With his strong sense of faith, Patrick felt a calling from God to escape slavery and flee Ireland. In order to do so, Patrick walked several miles, escaping to Britain. Once in Britain, he felt another calling to return to Ireland as a missionary. It is believed that St. Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.

Patrick died on March 17, 460 A.D. Thus, the day is celebrated and associated with everything Irish – which in modern day, means anything we can dye green (beer, rivers, hair and the list goes on). However, for those that are celebrating the traditional day often offer prayers to missionaries around the world.

St. Patrick’s Day made its way to the United States with Irish Immigrants who were passionate about carrying on their traditions and celebrations.

It’s your lucky day!

 The shamrock icon for St. Patrick’s Day comes from the traditional Irish background. It is said that he used the ‘lucky three-leaved clover” to demonstrate the Christian Holy Trinity.

St. Patty’s  Day Snacks & Crafts

 St. Patty’s Day certainly wouldn’t be complete without some crafts and snacks. So be sure to check out our Holiday Snacks board on Pinterest for simple yet festive holiday recipes. Also, be sure to check out our Holiday Craft board, for some fun and festive projects for the day!

What you need to know before signing a lease

It’s important that you have a complete understanding of the terms of agreement that you are bound to in a lease. While there are numerous things you should consider prior to signing at the dotted line, Bekins has narrowed it down to a few specifically important details.

What is my payment Plan?

  • When is rent due? How much is rent? Who do you turn rent in to? While these may seem like obvious questions, you do not want to get ahead of yourself and forget the simple questions.
  • Is there a pro-rate rent? Relocating doesn’t always come at a convenient time. If you are moving in closer to the middle or towards the end of the month, ask the landlord if you can pro-rate the cost of rent. You don’t want to be spending any unnecessary money!
  • So there is an awesome work out facility and car portals, convenient for the winter months, but are they included in the rent? Be sure to ask and specify what amenities are included in rent before you are sold on the apartment.
  • In addition, it is vastly important to inquire about utilities. The price of rent might not be outrageous, but the price utilities can be a game changer.   Be sure to clarify.

Can I bring my furry friend?

  • A lot of apartment complexes have limits on pets that they will allow. Inquire about the size and types of pets allowed. Our pets often become regular members of our family, so do them a favor and double check before you accept a lease!

Talk to current residents

  • While the landlord will give you every reason to believe that living in this apartment will be comparable to spending everyday in paradise – selling the apartment is his or her job. Therefore, checking in with current residents is a great idea. Make casual conversation with the surrounding units. This is a great way to interact with your potential neighbors and get a feel for the sense of community. It is also a great way to get realistic answers that are not based on a sales pitch.

Is there a property manager on site?

  • Your dishwasher goes out – who will fix it?  Is there a maintenance manager on call? Who handles emergencies or minor maintenance issues? Be sure to request information on the process for filing a maintenance request.

Make sure to consider some of these topics before committing to your next lease!