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You’re All Moved In: How to Throw a Housewarming Party

You unpack the last moving box, open a bottle of champagne to celebrate, and look around your new space: it still feels empty. You peer out the window, catch sight of your new neighbors, and wish it wasn’t so hard for you to make new friends. You peek up at the calendar hanging on the wall and see far too many empty days.

There’s only one thing to do:  plan a housewarming party.

Whether you’re new to the neighborhood or new to the state, housewarming parties are the perfect way to branch out, fill your schedule, and entertain new neighbors and friends. If you’re nervous, breathe deeply. Use this as an opportunity to develop new skills in the kitchen, new skills in decorating, and new skills in social situations.

Who to Invite?

Are you in a new area? Do you have any friends nearby? Are you part of a religious, academic, or social organization? The people you invite to your social gathering depends on your circumstance.

Start with Who You Know

First, start with people you know. If you haven’t moved far, invite old friends, co-workers, and neighbors. These people should want to celebrate your move and help you feel comfortable in your new home.

Meeting New NeighborsBe Brave

If you’ve transferred to an entirely new area, be brave and outgoing.  Open up at your new workplace and invite coworkers—promise there will be plenty to do, eat, and drink. Walk around your neighborhood and deliver an invitation with a plate of cookies. Chat with neighbors and ask them to spread the word. Your neighbors will be more inclined to come if they meet you beforehand.

Branch Out

If you have children attending grade school in your new area, go meet the teachers. Become a school parent and meet other moms and dads who volunteer in the class. The more you branch out, the better your chances are of meeting new friends and having more people over to celebrate.

How to Decorate?

You don’t keep-calm-join-the-housewarming-partyneed to spend a lot of money to transform your house into a party-worthy space. Instead, focus on your personal aesthetic and create a space that includes an allotment of seating areas, a mix of music, and plenty of ambient lighting.

  • Seating – Most people feel most comfortable when there is plenty of seating. Move your furniture around and consider renting extra tables and chairs depending on the amount of people you invite.
  • Music – Music can make or break a party. Create a mix of old classics and new tunes. Don’t choose anything that might make guests run for the door. Make sure to include a few upbeat tracks in case anyone is in the mood to dance.
  • Lighting – Ambient lighting will help everyone feel more relaxed and comfortable. Scatter candles and string lights throughout your space and turn the overhead lights low.

If you throw your housewarming party in the summer, prepare your yard for entertainment and invite everyone to sip their drinks outside.

What to Serve?

When it comes time to demonstrate your stellar cooking skills, go big. Wow your guests with an assortment of scoopable (pastas and salads) and pickable (kabobs, fruit slices, and bread)

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

foods. When everyone is near-full, pull out all the stops and serve up a delectable dessert: homemade donuts, parfaits, mocha mousse, tiramisù, profiteroles, cannolis, or cheesecake.

Although throwing a successful housewarming party may seem like an overwhelming feat, it doesn’t take much to pull it off with pizzazz. Once you know who to invite, how to decorate, and what to serve, most of the work is done for you.

If you’re the type who plans ahead and still have weeks before your move, contact your local moving company to get your belongings transferred to your new home in the safest way possible.

tax time

Is your move tax deductible?

When moving to start a new career or when relocated for your current job, federal tax law allows you to deduct your expenses with a qualifying move.  In order to claim your move as a deduction, all expenses will need to be reported on an IRS Form 3903 to be included with your personal tax return after you have made sure your move satisfies all requirements.

The three requirements are as follows:

  • Time & Distance
    • The move must be close to the start day of your new job
    • Your new home must be closer to your job than your previous home
  • Distance
    • Your new home must be 50 miles farther from your previous job location
  • Time Test
    • If you are a full time employee you must have worked at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months after you have arrived at your new home.

Tax Deductible Graphic_Bekins

For example:

Kourtney and her husband are moving because she was recently transferred from Downtown Cincinnati to the Glendale office in California. Currently, Kourtney travels 10 miles one way to her office. According to the IRS in order to qualify for the moving expense tax deduction, she will need to move closer to her new office and her new home must be 50 miles farther from her previous office.

Kourtney was transferred from Cincinnati on December 31, 2012 and she started her new job on January 15, 2013. As of February 2014 Kourtney completed the minimum requirement of 39 weeks of employment during her first 12 months in her new home. In April 2014 she filed form 3903 when completing her taxes. She was in fact eligible for the tax deduction and was able to write off much of her moving expense.

Working with Bekins proved much easier than determining her eligibility for the moving expense tax deduction associated with her long distance move. Her move was managed by a Bekins professional coordinator who assisted with planning, packing, loading options, and delivery.

customer-service-billboardOn the day of her move, the local Bekins agent arrived promptly at 8:00am with extra moving boxes in hand. The friendly movers assisted with last minute details and immediately started loading. Kourtney was concerned with the possible damage to carpet and hardwood floors, however the moving professionals laid runners and special padding to protect the home’s condition. As items and boxes were being loaded, the driver of the Bekins Truck took inventory of everything including its’ physical condition. Kourtney signed the Bill of Lading (shipping contract) which confirmed the level of service requested and delivery date and time.

On January 10th, Kourtney met with the Bekins movers who transferred her belongings 2,173 miles. After Kourtney paid for her moving expenses, the movers began moving each item. Kourtney checked off each item and its’ condition off of the inventory list and started moving into her new home.

As you can see, through Kourtney’s experience, she met the qualifications for the moving tax deductions and had a stress-free experience by choosing Bekins for her long distance move.


Tips to Safely Move Any Kind of Musical Instrument

You know that your couch, your dining room set, your clothes, and your books will all arrive safely at your new home. These items will stay solidly in place in the moving van, and they’ll show up at your front door intact. You don’t have to worry about them.

However, you probably don’t feel the same way about your musical instruments. These complex and somewhat fragile items could easily sustain damage during a trip across the country, even if the truck operator drives carefully. Instruments cost a lot of money, and they allow you to express your emotions through the language of music. If anything happened to yours, you would probably feel devastated.

Luckily, you can take steps to safeguard your instruments while they travel. Read the guide below to find out how.

Pianos and Organs

Most moving companies train their employees to safely move these instruments.piano You don’t have to worry about their wellbeing during the moving process. You can, however, take steps to prepare them for the move:

  • Close and lock the keyboard lid, if possible.
  • Remove any removable parts, like the music stand.
  • Provide blankets, towels, and lots of bubble wrap for wrapping the instrument. Secure all wrapping materials with packing tape or duct tape.
  • Put additional wrapping on the legs and pedals.

You can usually trust your movers to do all of the above. But if you want to supervise the process yourself, just follow those steps.

Violins, Cellos, and Other Stringed Instruments

Stringed instruments have more fragility than other instruments, which makes them tricky to ship. You don’t want fingerboards, bows, or sound-boxes to crack, but even something as simple as a speed bump could cause that kind of damage. Adverse weather conditions could also warp the wood.

To prevent cracking or warping, take the following steps:

  • Loosen the instrument’s strings a little bit. Don’t loosen them so much that the bridge falls over—just loosen them enough that the temperature won’t strain them. Cold temperatures will tighten them, while warmer temperatures will loosen them. Leave them loose so these changes won’t pull your strings so tight they snap the fingerboard or headstock.
  • Where applicable, loosen the bow’s hairs for the same reasons.
  • Where applicable, turn all the tuning keys parallel with the headstock so nothing can snap them off.
  • Add some extra padding. Bubble wrap makes for an excellent solution, but you can also use crumpled paper. Wrap your instrument and your bow in these items before placing them on the case. Do not use shredded paper or packing peanuts because these items could get inside your instrument. You’ll have a really hard time getting that back out.
  • If you don’t have a hard case, purchase one. Your instrument will stay safe from moisture and falls this way.

Once you’ve taken all these steps, very little could keep your stringed instrument from arriving at your new home intact.

Trumpets, Clarinets, and Other Brass or Woodwind Instruments

Luckily, most brass and woodwind instruments have fairly robust parts. However, a ding or dent in even one part could ruin the entire sound. Keep your brass or woodwind safe by doing the following:

  • Completely take the instrument apart.
  • Wrap all the pieces in bubble wrap.
  • Store them in a hard case. If you do not have one, purchase one. If you can’t purchase one, wrap the pieces in several layers of bubble wrap and towels. You don’t want the pieces to bump into each other or anything else.

These steps may seem simple, but they will help your instrument survive the trip unscathed.

Drum Sets and Other Percussion Instruments

Your drums only need simple protection as well. Simply buy a box a couple inches larger than the drum, then pad the sides, top, and bottom with bubble wrap. If you have larger percussion instruments, like a marimba, depend on your movers to relocate it the same way they move a piano. It will arrive safely.

Use these tips to keep your beloved instrument secure and intact as you move to your new home. Check out the rest of our blog for additional moving tips.


How to Effectively Pack Your Bathroom

After you pack large areas like the bedrooms or the kitchen, you might welcome the chance to pack a small space like the bathroom. However, packing a bathroom is not as simple as cramming everything you can into a few boxes and throwing on labels.

How many almost empty shampoo bottles do you have laying around the bathroom? What can you pack a week in advance and what do you need to keep through the move?

Packing the bathroom comes down to three principles: sorting, purging, and organizing. Use this guide to simplify your packing process.

Sort Your Stuff

First, you need to get a realistic idea of what you have and how much of it is necessary. After you sort through all of your stuff, you will have an easier time deciding what you should keep, what you don’t need, and what you need to replace.

Sort your stuff into the following categories:

  • Appliances and accessories
  • Cosmetics
  • Feminine and paper products
  • Hair products
  • Toiletries
  • Medicine
  • Towels and linens
  • Cleaning supplies and miscellaneous chemicals
Bathroom 2

Purge Unneeded Items

Appliances and Accessories

Take inventory of all your appliances and accessories. Do you have five identical curling irons and three blow dryers you’ve collected over the years? Test each of your appliances. Take into consideration how many people use each item to determine if you actually need duplicates.

If there are lots of girls living at your house, your bathrooms probably have accessory drawers full of hair ties, bobby pins, and headbands. Take the time to sort through the drawers and figure out which accessories you still use and want to keep.


How many tubes of old, dried-out mascara do you have lying around your bathroom? Cosmetics can be expensive, so many of us try to hang on to them as long as possible and forget to throw away the old stuff after we purchase replacements.

Go through your makeup and throw away anything old, dried-out, or broken. Don’t stop with the damaged items. If you never use certain shades of eye shadow or mascara, throw those away too.

Feminine and Paper Products

These items are light, so they shouldn’t cost very much to ship. You shouldn’t have to throw any of these away as long as they haven’t come in contact with moisture.

Hair Products and Toiletries

While you should sort these items separately to get an accurate view of how much you have, Medicine Cabinetyou can treat them the same.

Throw away any empty bottles or products you never use. While it may seem like a waste of money, if your moving company charges by weight, you will have to pay to ship products you’re never going to use.

If you have a large supply of unopened shampoo, conditioner, or any other liquid hair product or toiletry, ask yourself whether it would cost more to ship your storage or buy a new product when you get to your new home. If it would cost more to ship the product, consider donating your unopened product to a homeless shelter or a women’s shelter.


Most of us probably have a small pharmacy of unused prescription medication in our bathroom. With prescription drug abuse, this is not a safe practice-especially if you have children. Moving is the perfect time to clear out your medicine cabinet.

Safely dispose of your medication under the following circumstances:

  • It’s expired
  • Its label is illegible or not present
  • It causes new side effects
  • It seems ineffective
  • Its physical appearance or smell changed
  • It’s no longer necessary as you’ve completed the treatment

Don’t throw away or flush your medication. Flushed medication can introduce harmful chemicals to the environment, and too many people can access pills you throw away. Take your unused medicine to a local household hazardous waste facility.

Towels and Linens

This process is fairly simple; if your towels, rags, shower curtains, etc. have holes, rips, tears, or considerable wear, throw them away. You can also use old towels and rags to clean your home before you leave.

Cleaning Supplies and Other Miscellaneous Chemicals

Go through your cleaning supplies and get rid of any you can’t definitively identify. Some chemicals, when mixed, can emit toxic gasses. Additionally, you can’t use all chemicals on all surfaces.

If you have any old paint, use it to touch up your walls if necessary, then dispose of it.

Dispose of all chemicals, cleaners, and paints with your unused medicine at a local household hazardous waste facility.

Organize Your Boxes

You don’t want to put off packing until the last second, but you do need to use a lot of

bathroom items every day.

Once you are ready to pack the bathrooms, make everyone in your home packs an essential bathroom bag. This should include toothbrushes, any hair product or appliance they need every day, deodorant, makeup, and anything else they would pack in a travel bag for a weeklong vacation.

After everyone has done that, clear out every bathroom except one. All other bathrooms should have toilet paper, soap, and a hand towel-that’s it.

Organization Tips and Tricks

  • Wrap all opened bottles containing liquid in plastic wrap or put them in plastic bags.
  • Line the boxes containing appliances and accessories, hair products, and toiletries with towels.
  • Wrap fragile items in towels to protect them during the move. Label the boxes as fragile.
  • Pack unused towels on the top of otherwise heavy boxes. They’ll take up space without adding extra weight.
  • Label all boxes clearly.

Don’t let packing overwhelm you. Remember to take breaks when you need to and ask for help when you need it. If you sort, purge, and organize, you can pack your bathroom in no time.

Horses together

Against all Odds, Love and Patience Prevail

Giving back is a philosophy that is embedded in the culture of Bekins’ staff, agents, drivers and everyone connected with the van line. General Manager at Bekins A-1 Movers in Las Vegas, Nev., Nicole Timberlake, has lived that philosophy by finding a way to do her hobby while saving the lives of two horses.

When Nicole was two years old, she knew horses were going to be a huge part of her life. She was always active in riding and had horses growing up, but for ten years Nicole did not have a horse. She describes this as the “loneliest ten years of her life.” Nicole decided it was time to buy a horse in February 2014. She spent her nights researching  horses to buy. One night, someone reached out to Nicole asking if she would be interested in taking a horse in need. Nicole had this strong feeling inside her that she couldn’t ignore, so she made a call about a horse that no one knew what to do with named Tokyo.

Picture sent to Nicole of Tokyo

Picture sent to Nicole of Tokyo

After spending an hour on the phone and a few tear-jerking pictures, Nicole decided to take on Tokyo.

“I just felt I needed him as much as he needed me.  There was something in his eyes that pulled me in,” Nicole said. “He was skin and bones, covered in rain rot so bad it was confused as mud all over his body.  He had abscesses in his nose so big he was in constant pain just breathing. He was getting fed, but still losing weight.  I looked at those pleading eyes and thought he was the most beautiful mess I’d ever seen.  Through tears and then fear I began to arrange the transportation of this horse I’d never touched.”

Later that evening, Nicole received another call from a farm in Kentucky about a horse named Runaway Ruler. Runaway was going to be sent to a barn that was going to breed her year after year and Nicole didn’t want her to live a life like that. Within minutes Nicole had agreed to take on not one, but two horses in need.

Both horses had a history of racing, but both encountered very unfortunate circumstances and neglect. Nicole only heard their story through third and fourth party sources, but knew it was going to be a challenge for both her and the horses.

Runaway at the track

Runaway at the track

Runway’s past was bright as she was a promising race horse. Unfortunately, she suffered an injury and was pin fired – which is a treatment for an injured horse’s leg by burning, freezing or dousing it with acid or chemicals to help it heal. Pin firing is not taught in modern veterinary medicine and is considered barbaric and a cruel form of treatment. Due to the scars of pin firing, Runaway was then put in the “unwanted” category and ended up in a Kentucky facility for four years.

Tokyo racing in one of his 87 races.

Tokyo racing in one of his 87 races.

It was clear from the pictures Tokyo had endured some neglect. Nicole heard Tokyo was literally abandoned at a track when his owner/trainer died and the track was in the process of closing down. When he was finally found he was sent to a facility in Ohio that specialized in retraining and selling ex racehorses. Tokyo wasn’t able to be retrained, and he wasn’t wanted in that facility anymore. In fact, if Nicole did not take Tokyo, she was told he was headed to the slaughter house because he was mean and no one wanted to help him.

Getting the horses from Kentucky to Las Vegas was a difficult task. Nicole hired a driver to make the trek with both horses. During the trip, the driver called Nicole to let her know Runaway was down most of the trip and she seemed like she was in a lot of pain. The driver told Nicole he had been hauling horses for more years than he wanted to admit, and these two horses were the saddest cases he had ever seen. Nicole expected the horses to be in bad shape, but not as bad as they were in when they arrived.

Runaway in March 2014

Runaway in March 2014

The horses arrived at 2:20 a.m. on February 26, 2014. The driver and Nicole had difficultly getting Runaway down the ramp. When they finally were able to, they noticed she was walking on three legs. Then Tokyo wobbled off the truck barely being able to hold up his own weight, which wasn’t much to begin with.

“I knew this was going to rough, but seeing them in person was tough,” Nicole said. It was so tough that Nicole and the driver both hugged and cried after seeing the horses’ condition.

Tokyo's strangles

Tokyo’s strangles

Nicole’s vet, Dr. Shur, arrived around 11 a.m. the next day and was in disbelief at the condition of both horses. Despite not being able to walk on all four legs, Runaway’s outlook was good. The vet found an abscess which was causing her pain when walking. Runaway also suffered from hair loss and scabbing on her chest from wearing a blanket that was too small. Within three months, Runaway was back to normal.

tokyo 7

Rain rot on Tokyo’s legs

Tokyo on the other hand had a lot more to overcome. His issues extended with his weight, clenbuterol withdrawals, rain rot, strangles, abscesses, fear of being hit in the face, rocking horse knees and weak ankles. With lots of love and patience from Nicole, Tokyo overcame of the odds and recovered.

“Dr. Shur said I did an amazing job. She even said Tokyo was actually a little fat, which we will take a little fat!” Nicole said. “Dr. Shur also said Runaway was one of the most beautiful mares she had ever seen.”

A little more than a year later, Tokyo and Runaway, are completely recovered and spend their days running around their back yard and receiving lots of love from Nicole.

“I have hundreds and hundreds of hours wrapped up in caring for them and that has equated in thousands and thousands of tears of joy and great big smiles,” Nicole said. “I gave them a home, but they rescued me. Together the three of us are like a pack of lifesavers.”

Horses together


5 Ways to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Many times the hardest part of moving involves selling your previous home. The pressure of finding and persuading a buyer can become exhausting. Most often, you get one chance to make a positive first impression. So you have to make that moment count.

Help potential buyers feel welcome, safe and warm when they come to your home by using these tips.

Focus on Curb Appeal

The first impression often starts with the exterior of your home. Make sure your yard and front porch look as attractive as possible. You may need to plant fresh flowers, mow the lawn, and paint the door to create a beautiful entrance for potential buyers.

You may benefit from removing fencing around your yard. Most fences make yards appear smaller than they actually are. You don’t have to revamp your entire lawn, but focus on these hot spots to improve the overall aesthetics of your home.

Accentuate Your FoyerEntryway

You want potential buyers to step into your home and say “wow.” So start interior improvements in the foyer. Buyers often set their expectations for the home based on what they can see from the front door. Therefore, you have to make your foyer look bright and welcoming.

Consider applying a fresh paint coat, eliminating clutter, and cleaning the coat area. You may want to get a mirror or painting to create a focal point for this area. Then pick place a vase with flowers or bowl of potpourri to make sure your home smells clean.

These small additions help your home look both simple and sophisticated.


ghk-open-closet-with-clothes-0111-mdnA major turn-off for potential buyers is dirt. You want them to visualize their life in a place better than the one they currently have. Clean more than the day-to-day buildup. You will need to deep clean the carpets, repaint rooms, and store away or sell all unnecessary home pieces.

Every buyer looks for places that they can store their things. To make your home seem larger, remove half of your things from every storage area. Once you remove the items, organize the remaining items into neat piles. Buyers will look in closets and cabinets to determine the spaces available. Make sure your home looks as spacious as possible by de-cluttering every room.

Incorporate Natural Light

The lighting in your home can make a huge difference on buyer’s decisions. Fortunately, you can fix lighting issues easily and quickly. Wash your windows to give a clear picture of your view. Replace dark drapes with light colored window treatments.

Update light bulbs and consider adding overhead lights. As a rule of thumb, you should have 100 watts every square foot. You can also add floor lamps or task lighting to brighten your home.

Make the Kitchen the Highlight

Your kitchen can makitchenke or break the buyer’s decision. You have to make this room the highlight of your home. Otherwise, your potential buyer could knock down his or her asking price by thousands of dollars because he or she doesn’t like the kitchen. Even if you need to renovate the countertops, most homeowners get 85% return on the investment.

If you want to increase your chances to sell your home, consider updating the paint, countertops, and cabinets in your kitchen.

Use neutral colors so buyers have a blank canvas to envision their style in this space. If you have wiggle room in your budget, update appliances to give your kitchen a polished finish.

Once you have prepared your home to sell, take a moment to walk through the home as if it you were touring it for the first time.

This will help give you an idea of areas you can improve and add finished touches to the project.

Senior Moving

A Stress-Free Guide to Moving Elderly Parents

As your parents grow older, you may see them begin to struggle living day-to-day. Perhaps they have begun to miss bill payments or have fallen and broken a hip. They may need increased care after developing Alzheimer’s or dementia. At some point, you will need to move them into a safer living environment.

Where will they live? Initially you may consider your home. However, this decision is a major life choice and deserves some serious discussion from you, them, and the rest of your family. Here are some simple things you can do to make the moving process easier:

Coming to the Same Conclusion

Your parents may feel emotionally connected to their home. Expect apprehension when you first bring up moving. They will need time to ponder and accept the idea. Many times seniors feel that moving means losing control of their lives. To help them transition, explain that their opinion matters and that they have a say in where they live. Giving them time to come to the same conclusion as you will help them feel more confident and less distressed.

Talk with your parents at a family meeting with their loved ones. This will give everyone the opportunity to share his or her opinions and views. Active communication in the family will also build a better support system for your parents.

Deciding on Living Arrangements

During this meeting, discuss the level of care your parents will need in their new home. They may require constant supervision and assistance with daily living activities. Most of the time, seniors movingsenior’s care becomes more challenging over time. Consider speaking with a social worker for advice. They can provide valuable suggestions and insight on required care and living arrangements.

The housing situation you choose for your parents will depend on needed care, available facilities, location, and finances.

Create a list of pros and cons for each housing option in your area. Include the distance to relatives as this may cause concern among siblings. Often, family members who live closer have more opportunities to get involved with parents’ care. It’s essential to create an open dialogue with your family and come to an agreement on living conditions.

Understand that your parents have the final say during the decision-making. After all, the living arrangement will ultimately affect them the most.

Before you all decide on a living arrangement, visit the facility. This will help your parents get a feel for the environment, which may play a role into their decision. Take notes on how the employees interact with residents, what activities they provide, and transportation arrangements. You can also research online reviews from past guests.

Sorting Belongings

Most seniors have lived in their homes for many years, which means they have a lot of stuff to sort througsenior_downsizingh. Before you start to pack, go through your parents’ home and organize their belongings. Organize possessions into piles you’re keeping, donating, throwing away, and preserving as keepsakes.

Keep in mind the emotional state of your parents as you go through their things. Allow them time to decide which pile to put their belongings in and reminisce as you sort. Their possessions are more than objects-they’re memories.

As you organize, picture where possessions will go in their new house. How much room do they have? Where will the furniture go? Create a model of the home on paper to help you envision what their new living arrangement will look like.

Hiring a Moving Company

Booking a moving company will help ease the stress on you and your parents. In fact, your parents may feel more comfortable talking with a subjective third party than speaking with their children. Moving companies who specialize in moving seniors will offer comfort to the family. They also take on the burden of lifting heavy objects and ultimately make the process smoother for everyone.

You may want to consider having them pack belongings. They have the tools and knowledge to ensure valuables remain intact.

This allows you to focus on your parents as they transition to their new home.


Even if you hire a moving company, you will still need to clean the home. Whether you plan to rent, sell, or pass the home to a relative, have the entire family come and help. Also, repair any damages now to avoid the problems getting worse. These repairs will prevent rentpianoers or new owners from claiming fake damages.

Settling In

Your parents may need days, weeks, or months to adjust to the new living arrangements. Check in with them often to make sure they feel safe and comfortable. Every person reacts to moving differently. Some feel relief from not having to take of their home. Others feel hesitant to make friends. Most will feel some loss from the life change. Give your parents plenty of family support during this stage. Who knows, they may end up saying, “Why didn’t I do this a long time ago?”

Take the moving process slowly to ensure you and your parents have a smooth transition.


An Introvert’s Guide to Making Friends in a New Place

After a big move to a new city, you suddenly find yourself with no one to hang out with. The friends you grew up with live many miles away and you don’t have high school or a college campus to force you to interact with others.

Every single adult who moves to a new town faces the age-old problem of how to make friends. Even couples might find themselves wishing for other people’s company. As an introvert in a new place, try these tips to meet some people and build a new support system.

Don’t Retreat

If you value your alone time, you might feel tempted to back away from invitations to social gatherings in your new city. Even if you just want to try a new restaurant, you order the food to go and take it back to your place.

Resist the urge for solitude. If you want to make friends, then make this a time of putting yourself out there, even if it’s by yourself at first. Go to movies, bars, coffee shops, and restaurants and open yourself up to conversations with strangers. Even if you don’t make friends, you’ll hear some cool stories.

Meeting New NeighborsSay You’re New in Town

When you meet people around the city, always tell them you’re new in town. This opens the door for them to tell you about local places to check out and events to attend. This will also encourage them to include you in their social circles and invite you to get-togethers.

Own your rookie status and allow people to act extra friendly and inclusive.

Look for Common Interests

Start looking for friends in fun places. If you love theater, join a group of play-goers. If you knit a mean scarf, find a club in your area. When you meet up with these groups for the first time, exercise your “new in town” line and tell them you’re trying to make friends.

Not only will clubs and organizations bring you together with lots of people, but you can go in knowing these people share your interests. This gives you easy topics of conversation and good ways to connect with others.

Make Friends with Coworkers

You easily made friends in high school and college because you had no choice but to spend endless hours with your classmates. The adult version of school is work. Befriend a few of your coworkers and start inviting them to after-work events.

Although you don’t have a guarantee your coworkers share your interests, they will understand your workday rants. Making friends with coworkers can also have networking benefits and make your job more interesting.

Make Plans

To build friendships, you have to make time commitments. When you meet new people, make concrete plans about when you’ll hang out with them and what you’ll do. Plans add structure to your interactions and help you bond with others.

You don’t have to develop complex itineraries. You can make a plan to hang out at youKeep Calm Postersr place and watch sappy movies. Just establish a specific time and place to have it happen.

Accept Invitations

A new city presents a perfect opportunity to become a self-actualized “yes person.” Say yes to almost anything potential friends invite you to. Even if you wouldn’t normally spend hours outdoors during wintertime, say yes to that ice fishing trip. Even if you don’t usually like scones, attend that tea party.

Build on What You Have

After you’ve made a few connections and established a small social circle, expand it based on the people you’ve met. Start introducing yourself to friends of friends. If someone you know says their good friend likes the same band you do, suggest you all go to the concert together.

Throw a Party

Don’t count on other people to do all the inviting. Throw a party and invite everyone you’ve made connections with. You don’t even have to host an event at your house-you can easily make a group reservation at a restaurant or round everyone up for a pub crawl.

Enlist Technology

If you’d rather meet people from your living room, the internet has made it possible. Online isn’t just for dating anymore. Many apps exist to bring people together as friends. Use a service such as Meetup to find groups of people in your area with similar interests and hang out with them.

Dating sites have their place too. If you’re single, find a site you like and start talking by sending messages. Even if you don’t meet a new significant other, you might meet some good friends.

Follow Up

After parties or other events with people you meet, follow up with them. Friend them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, tag them in photos. Make social media work to your benefit and bring you closer to others.

Making friends in a new city doesn’t have to be hard. Use these tips to establish a social circle and build meaningful relationships.


Bekins Delivers Girl Scout Cookies to Arkansas and Arizona

It’s that time of year again!  Girl Scouts are pushing their delicious cookie assortment of Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, Do si Dos and Trios! Before your favorite cookies end up in your hands, did you ever think how the Girl Scouts have their cookies stored and delivered to them?

The moving & storage industry helps local Girl Scouts all over the country store and deliver the cookies. For Bekins Van Lines, two agents helped out their local girl scouts by storing and delivering cookies in their area.

Brandon Moving & Storage – North Little Rock, Ark.

Brandon Moving & Storage stored and delivered girl scout cookies for around 39 troops in the central Arkansas area. They stored approximately 57,000 cases of cookies, which is around 430,000-435,000 lbs.!

Brandon Moving & Storage dedicated two office staff members for bookkeeping. The bookkeepers were responsible for counting all of the cases as they were received and documented which ones were damaged. They then entered specific orders into the system  from the troops and invoiced the Girl Scouts for payment once all deliveries are complete.

In addition to the office staff, 6-8 people in the warehouse were tasked to unload the cookies as they all came in. They had to pull the cookies off in a specific order and load the trucks for delivery. Brandon also had 4-6 truck drivers make deliveries with 1-4 helpers, depending on the size of the orders and whether the cookies have to be unloaded by hand or if the receiving location had a fork lift on site.

Bekins Moving Solutions, Inc. – Tucson and Phoenix, Ariz.

Bekins Moving Solutions’ two facilities in Tucson and Phoenix, Ariz. covered the cookie deliveries for Girl Scout troops all over the state.

All of the cookies were received and stored at both facilities and then loaded for designated distribution locations.

At the Phoenix location, they handled approximately 152,000 cases and 1,824,000 boxes shipped throughout central and northern Arizona. Bekins Moving Solutions delivered to 22 out-lying distribution locations and five major locations, which were schools, around the Phoenix metropolitan area.

The Tucson facility held approximately 62,000 cases and 744,000 boxes shipped to southern areas of the state. Bekins Moving Solutions then delivered to 20 out-lying area locations and two major areas in Tucson. The largest major distribution location was at the Bekins Moving Solutions Tucson facility.

Once the cookies were taken to the designated distribution areas, the individual troops came and picked up the product.

Bekins Moving Solutions sent 2-6 crew members to the locations and had around a hundred individual vehicles to load all of the product. The Girl Scouts used numerous volunteers to assist in the distribution at all of the locations.

Director of Operations of the Girl Scouts of Arizona, Colleen Brinkley said “We appreciate the Bekins staff so much, they are AWESOME, every year!”





 Special thank you to the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona for pictures of their cookie drop event.


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

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Photo credit:

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.

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Photo credit:

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.