Children learn the ins-and-outs of Bekins Van Lines

The children of Bekins Van Lines employees were able to experience a day in the life of the moving industry for Take Your Child to Work Day on Thursday, April 23. The students who took part in the one-day event at Wheaton | Bekins not only sat with their parents and mentors to learn their job role, but also participated in activities designed to highlight each department’s function in the company. The day included interactive activities, such as building an advertisement, programming a computer program, assessing claims damage, and conducting customer service training. The students also participated in a packing relay and toured a moving truck. The day concluded with a stop at the Bekins store where the students purchased items with their day’s “pay”.

Check out the pictures from the day below:



Protect Your Treasures: Tips for Packing Your Collection Before a Move

When a woman took her family baseball card collection for appraisal, she discovered that saving something for sentimental value can yield big rewards. At the “Antiques Roadshow” taping in August 2014, an expert examined the baseball cards, which feature some of America’s earliest baseball players, big names for the Boston Red Stockings in the late 1800s.

Before the appraisal, the owner had turned down an offer of $5,000, suspecting the cards were worth much more-and she was glad she did. The appraiser valued the collection at over $1 million.

But, the sentimental value still trumps the monetary value. The woman has no plans to sell and become an instant millionaire.

Instead, she wants to keep the collection in the family for many more generations.

As a collector, you may understand her reluctance to sell. Whatever you collect, the collection has worth in your eyes not just because of what it’s worth but because of what it represents. When you have to move, you don’t even question whether your collection will move with you. You just wonder how you’ll pack it up so it arrives safely at your new house. If that’s a dilemma you face in the near future, use these tips to pack your collection right.

Fragile Items

Many collectors display their collections inside curio cabinets or other prominent locations. They want family and friends to see their special items. If collectors’ items are fragile, they want that observation to take place with minimal touching.

That principle applies when fragile collections follow their owners to new homes. Protect your too-easily-broken valuables with these suggestions:customer-service-billboard

Buy special moving boxes. Many moving companies or shipping stores sell special boxes for common fragile items. These boxes have dividers to cushion delicate collectibles in transit. These boxes commonly fit dishware, stemware, wine or framed photos or art.

Stock up on cushioned packing materials. People rarely have sufficient bubble wrap, newspaper, and packing peanuts when it comes time to put collections into boxes. Start saving these items as soon as you know you’re moving. You can also put out feelers around the neighborhood and on social media letting people know you’ll take packing materials they get from online orders. Many people throw these materials away, so they probably won’t mind giving them to you.

Mark boxes as “fragile.” This tip should almost go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many times people forget to mark some boxes as holding fragile cargo. Be meticulous about marking boxes. Write “fragile” on more than one side as well as the top. And while you’re at it, note which way is up to avoid damaging the items with tipping and flipping.

Another way to ensure your fragile collection arrives safely is to use professional movers. Movers take care with every box they pick up, transport, and set down, even boxes not marked as “fragile.” If using Bekins Van Lines, talk to your local agent about the precautions that will need to be taken to protect your collection.

Large Collections

Some collections are notable not just for the individual value of each item but for the total items in the collection. If you own 500 snow globes or 200 Madame Alexander dolls, you know what we mean.

The challenge with large collections becomes packing each item with the same care. You also have to gather sufficient packing material for each part. Try these tricks to pack large collections:

Use original boxes whenever possible. Many collectibles come in boxes with custom Styrofoam that fits perfectly around the item. If you still have that packaging, take advantage of its original purpose and put your items back inside for the move.

Pack boxes to a reasonable weight limit. With a large collection, it’s tempting to put as many items as you can in the least number of boxes necessary. But, as any book collector knows, LRjimWrapGlasthat can yield heavy boxes that are hard to lift and easy to drop. Limit most boxes to 30-40 pounds, if possible. Try to keep each box under 50 pounds.

Pay for professional packing services. You might not have time to pack every item in your collection personally. You have a lot to handle during a move, so ask your mover about professional packing services. Trained movers will handle your items with care, so you won’t have to oversee the packing process.

Oddly-Sized Items

Are you a cinema buff who owns original props from your favorite film franchise? Are you bringing your collection of igneous rocks to your new home? Unique, organic, and oddly-shaped collectibles like these rarely come with original packaging to simplify the moving process.

If your collection has strange or one-of-a-kind items, first decide if you want to personally move the ones you value most. You might experience less worry if you bring great-grandpa’s phonograph in your car instead of packing it with everything else.

Next, get an estimate on the price of custom-fit foam packing. The extra expense might be justified on your favorite pieces. Plus, you’ll always have it whenever you need to transport the item later.

Finally, ask a professional moving company how they’d recommend packing unique items. Decide whether you feel comfortable packing it yourself. If not, put your collection in the hands of the pros. Remember, a little extra moving expense is minor compared to the cost of trying to repair or replace a rare collectible.

However you decide to pack your collection, using these tips will help your priceless items arrive at your new home safely.

Relying on professional packing and moving services can alleviate your worries about your collection and allow you to concentrate your energy on other moving considerations.

Moving while Pregnant

7 Tips for Moving While Pregnant

Moving is not an easy task and, if you’re pregnant, it becomes even more difficult. Whether you’re moving across the country or down the street, the packing and stress could leave you with anything from back pains to swollen ankles. Use these tips to avoid the strain and plan a successful, problem-free move for you and your baby.

  1. Find a Babysitter

Before you move, you will need to find a childcare provider in your new area. Looking beforehand will reduce stress and give you enough time to thoroughly search for the perfect person for the job. Use friend references and local ads to start the interviewing process early.

Once you find someone you feel comfortable with, have the person watch your children on moving day. This will act as a test run for the new babysitter and give you a chance to organize and pack without the distraction of your little ones.

If everything goes well with the new babysitter on moving day, you will have someone you can call when the baby comes.Pregnant Bloggin

  1. Start to Pack Early

If you can, start to pack six to eight weeks before moving day. Set a goal to pack two boxes a day and start with items you won’t need within the next few weeks.

Be extra careful when moving items as pregnancy shifts your center of balance. Your hormones also loosen ligaments, which can put extra pressure on joints. To avoid straining your back, place boxes on tables and countertops so you won’t need to bend all the way over to put items in them.

You may also want to hold a packing party with your family and friends. This will reduce the stress on you and allow you to spend quality time together.

  1. Arrange a New Doctor

Closer to the move, you will need to find a doctor in your new area. Talk to your current doctor and ask if he or she has any suggestions for a doctor you may want to contact. You can also look online for doctor reviews to help you narrow your search.

Find a doctor who is covered by your health insurance network and has high approval scores from patients. Once you find the right doctor, have your current doctor’s office transfer your prenatal and medical records to the new hospital.

  1. Pack a Personal Moving-Day Bag

You may have specific items that you like to have with you during your pregnancy. On moving day, pack a bag with any prescriptions, food, lotion, or books that will keep you calm and organized. Pack enough to last you at least a few days while you’re in between homes. These items will reduce stress and help you avoid digging through boxes trying to find your needed prescriptions.

If you’re in your last trimester, keep your hospital bag packed and ready to go. You will need all those items on-hand just in case the baby comes early.

  1. Ask For Help

Moving PregnantAs you go through moving while pregnant, never hesitate to ask for help. You shouldn’t risk your baby because you’re afraid to ask. Even though you may not normally ask for help, consider pregnancy an exception. On the same note, if your friends or family offer help, feel free to accept.

  1. Be Cautious Around Chemicals

Most moves involve deep cleaning and/or painting the old or new house. Be extra cautious around strong chemicals. Use nontoxic cleaning products such as white distilled vinegar or baking soda. If someone else paints or cleans for you, avoid the areas where you can smell these chemicals.

  1. Expect the Unexpected

Pregnancy is an emotional time. To avoid unnecessary stress expect the unexpected. Things may go wrong – deliveries may not come on time and things may break. If things do go wrong, don’t feel bad if you feel overwhelmed, cranky, or weepy. You may need to take a few moments to yourself to cry and then feel better afterword. Take a break and try to think of the positive.

Your number one goal through the moving process should be to take care of yourself and the baby. Drink plenty of water, rest if you feel dizzy, and stay out of the hot sun. You should also consider hiring a moving company to handle the heavy objects.

Now that you know the basics of moving while pregnant, check out our other blogs for more moving tips and tricks.


Most Affordable Places For 2015 College Graduates To Move

Blog is provided by Kristy Hessman of

Cap and gown season is nearly upon us. And for many new college graduates, the next step after accepting a diploma is to accept a new job in a new city. And that, inevitable, means moving.

Moving to a new city can be overwhelming, particularly finding an affordable apartment in a neighborhood you love.

New data out from the rental website HotPads can help new graduates moving to new cities and starting new jobs find the most affordable neighborhoods in which to start their rental search.

Say you are graduating from Purdue University with a degree in civil engineering and you’ve just accepted a job in Chicago. How much can you afford to spend on rent on your salary? And what areas does that mean you can rent in?

Civil engineers between the ages of 22 and 30 make an annual salary of $70,000 in the Windy City. That means neighborhoods close to Chicago’s downtown and Loop areas are fairly affordable. Such graduates will spend about 21 percent – $1,250 per month – on rent in Lincoln Park and an estimated 28 percent – $1,625 per month – in the Lake View neighborhood.

Law school graduates, who plan to move to Los Angeles, will start in careers earning an estimated $50,000 per year. Those individuals wanting to live in the beach towns of Malibu and Santa Monica, however, will have to spend 66 percent and 54 percent of their respective salaries on rent to live in those areas.  Law school graduates will spend 32 percent of tHotPads Dataheir salary – or $1,316 per month – in the popular Silver Lake neighborhood.

Those who are looking to move to New York City and want to move into an affordable flat would be wise to steer clear of the pricey Manhattan neighborhoods, particularly Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side. These areas could eat up more than 75 percent of a new grads gross salary, depending on their profession.

A teacher moving to New York may want to head to the neighborhood of Astoria in Queens where they will spend 34 percent of their gross salary on rent as opposed to 80 percent renting in Midtown Manhattan.

Soon-to-be college grads can search interactive maps in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC to find information on some of the most affordable neighborhoods in those cities.

HotPads also compiled a Rent Here Not There “cheat sheet” for new grads moving to cities throughout the US.

Explore all of the cities by profession, by clicking here.



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3 Steps to Organizing a Profitable Moving Day Sale

Over the years, you have probably accumulated everything from childhood keepsakes to old high school textbooks that you’ll never use again. Maybe you forgot to get rid of your old ski equipment that you only used once.

Now as you get ready to move, you realize it’ll cost a pretty penny to transport all of these items to your new home. Instead of throwing your things away, consider holding a moving sale. This will reduce the amount of stuff you have to move and help you make money for the rest of the moving process.

If you want to organize and host a profitable moving sale, you will need to create a thorough plan first. Follow these moving sale tips to make sure your sale goes problem-free.

Organize Your Items

Before you can sell items, you will need to find them. Look through your attic, basement, garage and closets to find items in good, sellable condition. Once you have the items you want to sell, choose an area in your home where you can organize these items. Then separate items into piles according to their functions. For instance, you can have a pile for your kitchenware and another pile for children’s toys.

Here is a list of possible items you may want to sell:

  • Souvenirs with no sentimental value
  • Magazines or posters
  • Unused CD’s
  • Children’s shoes and clothesgarage-sale-woman
  • Old textbooks
  • Sports equipment
  • Furniture

Don’t get overzealous and throw away items that have sentimental value to you and your family. Some items merit the cost of relocation.

After you have organized the items into categories, make a list of items you plan to sell and what you’ll charge for each item. This price list will help you in case stickers fall off during the actual moving sale.

If you’re computer savvy, consider selling high-priced items on eBay. You can sell these pieces faster and possibly make more money. Selling on eBay does require some extra efforts. You will need to take pictures, write descriptions and ship the items. However, you may make more using this method.

Schedule and Advertise the Day

If you don’t plan to move immediately, schedule your moving sale on a Saturday near the first half of the month. People are more likely to go shopping after they receive their paycheck at the beginning of the month. You should also hold the sale in the morning so you have all day to sell your items. Make sure you choose a day that has good weather forecasted.

After you’ve set a time and date, spread the word. Use newspapers and signs to lead people to your home. You can also advertise on the internet through local news outlets and your personal social media accounts.

yard-sale-imageDisplay Items Systematically

People like organized places, so try and keep your moving sale as organized as possible. Set items with similar uses next to each other. This will help your customers find items they need without having to dig through boxes or missing the items altogether.

Set tables out and place smaller objects in the front and larger objects in the back. You should also hang pictures and clothes. When people can look through items freely, they’ll see and buy more. Clearly designate prices. Often people don’t want to ask “how much does this cost” more than once. So make sure each of your items have a visible price tag.

Creating a clean, welcoming atmosphere will help you sell more. Therefore, create colorful signs, play music, and hang balloons. This atmosphere will help attract and maintain visitors as they look through your items.

Once you have your moving sale set up, sit back and let the people come. You should also consider hiring a moving company with the extra money you earn to make the moving process that much easier.

House Warming Logo

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