Packing for a Downsize

As American homes grow larger in size (and higher in price) many people say if they decided to move, they’d want to downsize. In fact, more homeowners would rather have a smaller house than a larger one (37% compared to 23%).

With that goal in mind – living large in a smaller home – here are some tips for planning ahead for a downsize:

  • Take an inventory – Before you tackle a downsize, knowing where you’re headed is key. How much space – inch for inch, room for room – are you losing? It’s important to have a general idea where your possessions will end up in your new residence, so estimate what amount you’ll aim to take with you before the packing begins. Better yet, draw up a general blueprint of your new home and note which major items will be placed in the new location.
  • Organize – With a general goal in mind, create piles (or designate space) for each room in your new residence. As you maneuver through each room in your current residence, place each item in its respective, new location. We recommend creating the following piles: items to trash, items to sell, and items to give away.
  • Identify and address duplicates – Have two toasters? Get rid of one. Only take what you need and utilize the purge/donate sell process with any duplicate items.
  • Purge – If any item didn’t make the cut for a donation or giveaway, save yourself some space and trash it. For ease, consider renting a roll off dumpster.
  • Donate – One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Instead of defaulting to throwing items away, donate them. Organizations like Goodwill will even allow you to schedule a donation pick up, saving you time and allowing you to continue packing for your move.
  • Sell – If your item has monetary value and you’re in the market for a little cash, consider resources like Ebay, Craigslist, or having your own garage sale.
  • Prioritize – When you arrive at your new home, what items will you need immediate access to? Consider things like medications, pet food, cleaning supplies, important documents, etc. Label boxes accordingly, detailing what is packed and what room it should be unloaded in upon arrival.

No matter the size of your moving load, Busy Bee Movers has the expertise to deliver your possessions efficiently and safely. Contact us to start planning your move today.

7 Tips for a Smooth Move into Your First Home

Congratulations! Moving into your first home is a major accomplishment, one worth celebrating with friends and family. But wait! Before planning that housewarming party, take care of these essentials for a smooth transition.

We developed a list of 7 tips to make sure your home is welcoming, safe and properly equipped. Take a look:couple in front of sold home

  1. Conduct another comprehensive inspection. Whether you’re renting or owning, you should do an overall inspection to document any damaged areas, or, in the case of a new build, areas that haven’t been completed. Check for leaking pipes or any other problems. For an extra measure of insurance, have a home inspector check things out. Document and have these issues addressed.
  2. Identify the essentials. Where is the electrical panel? Main water shutoff valves? Water meters? HVAC? Smoke detectors? Identify important equipment and make sure it functions. Doing so will help you establish a maintenance list and schedule.
  3. Change the locks. Even if you feel fairly confident that the previous occupant handed you all the keys to your new home, it never hurts to install new locks. It’s possible that one of their relatives or friends has an extra set. You’ll rest more easy knowing that you’re the only one with access to your home.
  4. Install a security system. You have numerous options for a security system, including wireless, cameras and smart locks. Check out the latest in digital security systems to ensure your home is safe from intruders. This is an addition that can make you feel more at ease in your new home.
  5. Do a thorough cleaning. What better time to clean than before all your belongings have been unpacked? If you can afford to hire a professional cleaning service to clean and disinfect your new home, make the investment. You’ll feel great moving into a clean environment. If you can’t foot the bill, invite a few friends or relatives to help with the cleaning duties.
  6. Paint! Just like cleaning, painting is much easier when you haven’t already unpacked all your boxes and started arranging all your furnishings and belongings. It’s your new home–don’t be afraid to go with colors that you would love to live in.
  7. Establish a maintenance schedule. Life gets busy. Home maintenance tasks can be easily forgotten if you don’t set a maintenance schedule. The best time to develop a maintenance schedule is immediately, before life gets in the way. Schedule time to check the HVAC, clean gutters and perform other tasks.

Ready to move? Let us help you. Contact Busy Bee today for a quote.

What to do if You Have Broken Items After Moving Day

Broken Glass After MoveUnfortunately, no matter how many precautions are taken, there may be a situation in which one of your household items was damaged during moving day. So, what do you do?

At Busy Bee, we are meticulous about our moving procedures. Our team is highly trained to handle all aspects of your move, from small, fragile objects to heavy, bulkier pieces. Yet, we realize that accidents happen. That’s why Busy Bee, which is licensed and insured, addresses your claim in a timely manner.

Prior to selecting a moving company or before scheduling your moving date, review these steps to make sure you know what to do in case of damage:

  1. Review the company’s insurance options. Busy Bee offers free basic coverage as a standard for all of our moving projects. However, you may want to consider different levels of coverage, depending upon the value of your items. Check the various options prior to the moving date to make sure you are comfortable with the level of insurance coverage.
  2. Inspect items for damage. After the move, take the time to inspect your belongings for damage. This should be done as soon as possible. By delaying the process, you could run the risk of not being able to file a claim. Pay careful attention to fragile items, like glassware and china. Also, check for areas in your home that may have been damaged including doorframes and walls.
  3. Take photos as documentation. As an extra measure, take photos of your items before and after the move to supplement any documents you may have about the damage. This lessens disputes. Using a date stamp also is a good idea.
  4. File a claim. Don’t delay filing the paperwork. We will guide you through the process. If you purchased additional moving insurance from another company, contact them to get additional information on how to file a claim.
  5. Avoid signing any documents that relieve moving companies of their liability. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a moving company cannot ask you to sign a statement relieving them from “all liability for loss or damage to the shipment.” If you are asked to sign such a document, do not hire this company to move your household goods. Consider it a red flag.

If you have any other questions about what to do in the case of a broken item, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to help.

10 Packing Tips for Moving in a Hurry

Regardless of the circumstances, moving under a time crunch can be stressful if you aren’t prepared. We’ve taken the guesswork out so that you have clear guidelines to follow for your move. How can you get everything done in time? Follow these 10 tips.

  1. Hire movers. There are many details involved in a move, and inevitably you will be consumed with the last minute things. Make the process easier by leaving the heavy lifting and specialized packing (furniture, electronics, antiques) to the experts.
  2. Create a to-do list. Make note of everything associated with the move, including:Utility disconnect dates
    • Utility turn on dates at the new place
    • Post office change of address form
    • Note new address when paying bills
    • Leases
    • Moving out responsibilities
    • Moving in date/time
    • Mover estimates, quotes and contract
  3. Source and/or buy boxes. Put the word out to friends, colleagues and local businesses to collect used boxes, but you may have to buy them if you’re in a time crunch. Movers can usually hook you up.
  4. Prioritize a “just in case” box. If anything goes awry and you are forced to stay in your old or new home without your belongings, have a box handy of the things you use in a day, for example: prescriptions, plastic/paper utensils, change of clothes, mobile devices, books or other entertainment.couple packing things into boxes
  5. Keep it consolidated. Tackle one room at a time, so that you can pack and unpack systematically.
  6. Move less stuff. Before placing everything in a box, do a quick assessment: what can you keep, give away or trash?
  7. Take pictures. As a protective measure, take pictures of items before placing them in boxes. If anything is damaged in the move, you have proof of the condition before items were transported.
  8. Color code boxes. Using tape, Sharpies or other markers, give each room a specific color so that you can find things more easily once you move.
  9. Keep clothes in dressers. If it is light enough for the movers, see if you can keep clothes inside and wrap them shut for the transport.
  10. Protect breakables. Newspapers are effective but they take time to gather. Chances are you can save time and kill two birds by wrapping fragile items in t-shirts and other clothing. Both need to be packed and with any luck, you will need fewer boxes.
  11. Mark fragile boxes accordingly. Moving boxes aren’t created equally–some are going to require more care when handling than others. So make it easy for the person carrying them and label fragile items visibly.

The best way to make sure your move goes smoothly is to hire respected movers. Busy Bee has been moving people throughout central Indiana for decades. Contact us for a free quote!

10 Places to Find Inexpensive Moving Boxes

Whether it’s a local move or long distance haul to the other end of the country, preparing for a move can be a hassle–and costly if not executed properly. One way to minimize cost is on affordable boxes. Your city is full of places that need your help collecting used boxes, including restaurants and retail stores. And you may find free boxes online or advertised on social media.

Most businesses need your help taking boxes off their hands because many receive packages daily. Ask someone at the front desk or call to see if and when you could pick them up. Also consider:

Liquor stores: boxes don’t always have lids, inspect them first.
Retailers: typically glad to get boxes off their hands.
Alleyways: usually lined with cardboard recycling bins. Of course, ask as a courtesy.
Apartments: office managers might know of tenants who want to get rid of moving boxes.
Bookstores: especially if you are moving a book collection.
Restaurants: boxes are considered strong and perfect for hauling.

You can also check these online resources:

  • Craigslist: check the “free” section. If you don’t have success there, find someone selling boxes and negotiate buying the boxes at a lower price.
  • Freecycle.org: is an environment-friendly, non-profit organization designed to help people find free stuff while saving the environment. Join Freecycle and post that you need moving boxes.
  • U-Haul Personal Connect: allows you to search for free moving boxes near you.
  • Facebook Groups: just post that you’re looking for boxes and wait for the flood of inbox responses. Your friends may have your back!

Now that you know where to find the boxes you need, follow our tips on how to pack your things efficiently. Check out our packing hints. Need to schedule your move? Contact us to get started.

8 Steps to Making Your New Town Feel More Like Home

Just moved to a new city? A new neighborhood? Or are you planning to make a major move a few months down the road? You’re not alone. Each year, about 15 percent of Americans move to a new location.

Whether you’re moving for a new job, to further your education, or other opportunities, exploring a new place can be exciting, challenging, and intimidating — all at the same time. That’s why some medical experts say that moving can be one of the most stressful events you will encounter in life.

To assist you in your transition, we compiled a list of 8 things that can help you more quickly adjust to your new home.

  1. Become a regular at a local cafe. There are still plenty of places where everyone (eventually) knows your name. You only have to visit them frequently enough to become a “regular.” Chat up the barista. Pull out your laptop or tablet and stay awhile with your drink of choice. Make the extra effort to say ‘hello’ to other regulars of the establishment. With time, you’ll enjoy running into familiar faces.
  1. Say ‘yes’ to work/school events. For some of us who are more introverted, the last thing we want to do after working 8 to 10 hours is attend another event. But just say ‘yes’ anyway. It will be a great opportunity to make some new connections.
  1. Join a Meetup group. If you’re really picky about the people you hang out with, join a Meetup group. No matter what your interests may be — cooking, hiking, theater, Star Trek, tech, photography, crafts, writing, or dogs — you’re sure to find a group that has common interests in your new home.
  1. Invite a friend or relative to visit. You know what it’s like to have friends and relatives visit from out of town. You want to show them a good time. What better way to get off the couch and explore the highlights of your new town by playing host to your out-of-town visitors? Take the time to schedule an itinerary before they arrive. And if it will be a while before they visit, explore those areas yourself first.
  1. Ask, ask, ask. Many of the residents in your new home town will likely be happy to help you get acclimated to your new surroundings. Don’t hesitate to ask neighbors, co-workers, or that barista for advice on the best restaurants, grocery stores, retail shops and other top spots in your neighborhood. Sure, you can look at Yelp and other online review sites, but you can connect with other people by just asking for advice.
  1. Navigate your new neighborhood. Explore the city in your car as well as with public transportation, if it’s available. Use Google Maps, Travelocity and Yelp to discover spots that are considered among the top destinations in the city.
  1. Volunteer. Overcome those feelings of isolation by volunteering to work at a social services agency. One great thing about volunteering is that organizations welcome the help, and they are apt to treat you as part of the team. You’ll also have more opportunities to meet like-minded people.
  1. Get a dog! If you’re a canine lover, maybe it’s time to consider adopting one into your household. Most dogs are notoriously friendly and can help you break the ice with strangers in the park or during walks. Of course, only take this route if you’re ready to commit to a pet for the long haul.

Adjusting to new surroundings takes time. Don’t pressure yourself to feel at home quickly. Enjoy the experience of exploring new places, destinations and friends.