Finding the perfect home is very important. How do you know where to start? It’s important to have a plan in place when you’re searching for your dream home. Here are a few important things to begin with...
All of us here at Brandon Moving & Storage are honored to have been named June Mover of the Month by Move For Hunger! Supporting the community and helping our friends and neighbors is important to us, and our partnership with Move For Hunger helps us give back on an extraordinary level.
"CONGRATS Brandon Moving & Storage Team!
You are Move For Hunger's Mover of the Month for June 2017! Thank you for all you have done to fight hunger in your community."
Move For Hunger is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working with relocation companies to collect non-perishable food items, and deliver it to food banks all across North America. Currently, they are working with over 700 relocation companies across 50 states and Canada. Move For Hunger has delivered over 8,000,000 pounds of food to food banks across North America.
Nearly 570,000 people in Arkansas are food insecure, and Brandon Moving & Storage, partnered with Move For Hunger, is dedicated to helping combat the hunger in our state and nation.
Moving to a new home? It’s the perfect time to declutter your life! Decluttering is a great way to get a fresh start. Here are some ways to get rid of clutter and unwanted items while supporting your local non-profit organizations and thrift stores by donating extra items.
Have you recently moved to Central Arkansas? As a newcomer, you’ll be excited when you learn how many possibilities the area has to offer. Miles of breathtaking natural beauty surround Arkansas’ unique historical and modern landmarks and provide a backdrop for a growing hub of business and commerce. You’ll find plenty of opportunities in the center of the Natural State!
In Little Rock, the state’s capitol, a must-see is the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. The Clinton Presidential Center opened in 2004 and features a museum boasting an extensive archive and items from the Clinton years and beyond. World-renowned art and cultural exhibits are regularly displayed here, and documentary films are often screened in the library’s event hall. The museum even has a direct replica of the Oval Office! Find out more about visiting the Clinton Presidential Center at https://www.clintonlibrary.gov/.
The Museum of Discovery in Little Rock is also a great destination. The MOD is Arkansas’ premier science center and is considered to be one of the best science museums in the country. The Museum’s scientist Kevin Delaney has even appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon! MOD always has exciting events and exhibits such as the Tesla Theater, Tornado Alley, and Tinkerfest. Science After Dark provides fun exhibits—along with food and adult beverages—for the older crowd. https://museumofdiscovery.org/
Central Arkansas has an impressive assortment of natural landmarks to experience and enjoy. West of Little Rock, Pinnacle Mountain is a defining characteristic of Central Arkansas, standing over 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River Valley. Pinnacle Mountain State Park features a huge variety of hiking and biking trials, some of which end up at the summit! Beyond the mountain terrain, you should consider visiting Arkansas’ many beautiful lakes. About an hour west of Little Rock, outside of Hot Springs, sits Lake Ouachita, along with the man-made Lakes Hamilton and Catherine. Greers Ferry Lake, another popular boating and water recreation destination, is about 60 miles north of Little Rock. These are just a few of the many indoor and outdoor attractions that Central Arkansas has to offer. As a newcomer, you will not be left with limited options for entertainment!
Central Arkansas is also the hub of the state’s economy. The Little Rock area has enjoyed significant economic and population growth in recent history and continues to grow. According to the City’s website, Little Rock and the Central Arkansas area have seen over $2.5 billion in economic development since 1994. This growth has been both characterized and facilitated by an increasingly active private sector and a highly dedicated Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Central Arkansas is a great place to start a business—Arkansas offers tax incentives for industrial and economic development. Major industry has also been increasingly active in Central Arkansas. Aviation, for instance, has been and continues to be a dynamic industry in the Little Rock area. Little Rock is home to the facilities of companies such as Dassault Falcon Jet, Raytheon, and Central Flying Service who contribute greatly to the economy and provide tons of jobs.
So, welcome to Central Arkansas! Now what are you going to do first?
Moving is such an exciting feeling. The prospect of a new life and new environment, whether you’re moving one town over or a couple states away! Newton’s third law says that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So just as you’re excited about the move, you can also feel nervous or even scared. Have you given yourself enough time to prepare? Do you have a “plan B” if something goes wrong? If you’re moving in the summer are you ready for the heat? It’s hot, it’s humid, and it’s muggy (especially in Arkansas). And to remind you just in case you didn’t see it, it’s hot! This can be quite overwhelming when you think about all the factors that go into relocating your life, but we’re here to help! Here are some tips to get you through your Summer move:
Plan ahead. If you think you have time before you need to focus your attention to the details, you’re wrong! Give yourself 4 to 6 weeks to contact your moving company and get a quote. Summer is a very popular time to move and you don’t want to be left in the dust. Try to avoid weekends and holidays, especially Memorial Day. Do plan on moving during the middle of the month as these are a little less busy and aim for the morning time while it’s still cool.
Pack it up, pack it in. Are you sure you want to pack your stuff by yourself, or do you think you’re going to need help? The mindset of packing a little at a time weeks in advance can turn to packing everything the night before. Some items shouldn’t go in the moving van or even be in a hot car for very long. We’re not just talking about candles and electronics, we’re talking about items that you need easy access to. Medications, dog food if applicable, and school records should be packed separately. Consider downsizing such as cleaning out closets, furniture, and having garage sales to lighten the packing and make a few extra dollars (there’s that silver lining)!
Play it cool. The day of your big move let’s start things the right way and crank up that air conditioning. We know it’s going to be a rough day but that little bit of cool breeze can make it a little more bearable, especially if you have pets or children. Have ample amount of water and sports drinks available. Dehydration and heat stroke are problems that you don’t want so it’s okay for you or the movers to take a break! Once at your new home start off the way you started leaving your old one, by turning on that A/C again! Try to unpack one room at a time and if you’re not completely exhausted yet, introduce yourself to your neighbors.
Finally don’t forget to enjoy the beginning of your next step in your life!
Graduation has finally come. It’s a beautiful day because after four years (maybe a little more, maybe a little less) have all come down to today and you can finally have something tangible to reflect the late nights and justify buying copious amounts of Starbucks. Then, affter the euphoria of graduation day has past, reality doesn’t just slowly hit you -- it sucker punches you right in the face. What do you do now? Do you have a job? How are you going to afford living expenses now? Where are you going to live?
We always strive for customer satisfaction. As cliche as it may sound, we want nothing more than for our customers to be happy, especially when they've gone through an exhausting move. For us, the best compliment is one of our customers telling everyone about the great experience they had with us! Here's one of our amazing customers talking about working with us during their recent move...
"I just want to take the moment to brag on Kyle Pryor and his moving team for a moment.
Many of you know I spent some time living in Dallas, Texas for a while and didn't expect to pick up and start travel nursing across the country, but one thing lead to another and I did. It was when my Dallas apartment lease was up and I was living in Denver, Colorado I found myself looking for a company willing to package, load, ship and unload my fully furnished one bedroom apartment. His name popped up and one thing lead to another and his team was the one to do it.
While it wasn't cheap, but extremely competitive pricing for what I was asking them to do, I could not be happier! As I've been going through boxes I haven't seen in almost a year and half, I'm amazed at the great and detailed job they did. I mean, they even carefully package my sugar 😂
No, but really.. If you're looking for a moving company or know someone who is, PLEASE know I HIGHLY recommend him and will most definitely use them again if needed!! Thanks Kyle!"
Moving is a big deal. Because you have to pack up all of your valuable belongings and transport them, it’s usually a stressful undertaking. According to the US Census Bureau data, between 20 and 60 million households, or families, move each year.* Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, it’s best to hire a professional moving company to carry out your move, to ensure that your property is delivered safely to your new home or business location. Hiring a professional moving company you trust will give you peace of mind, knowing that your belongings are in the hands of trained professionals.
If you are planning to relocate soon, you might be needing to sell your current home. To attract potential buyers, you’ll want to have your current home looking clean, fresh, and inviting. Your home might even be in need of aesthetic or functional upgrades. If you’re putting your home on the market soon, take a look at these four tips to keep in mind to make it a stress-free and profitable experience!
Is your business or office planning a move? Commercial moving is never easy, and there are so many different things to take care of—relocating employees, taking items out of storage, hiring movers, etc.—that can raise your stress level. With all of these things come the possibility of mistakes or oversight that can set you back and cause unneeded frustration. You don’t want your business to suffer from wasted time during a poorly-planned move—making the move as efficient as possible should be your #1 goal!
Are you moving to a new home? For most people, it’s a stressful time—to put it lightly, things don’t always go as planned. Hiring a moving company shouldn’t be one of those things! Since you’re moving everything valuable to you, you want to put the move into trustworthy hands. Don’t let yourself put your belongings in the hands of poor quality movers, or even worse, a moving scam!
As time goes by, the cost of living tends to increase. Some parts of the United States have higher costs of living than others, which depends on many different factors. Let's take a closer look at the cost of living in Arkansas...
According to bestplaces.net, the average cost of living in Arkansas is 84.3 on the cost of living index. This means that overall, the cost of living in Arkansas is less than the national average of 100. Out of all the factors taken into account in this average figure—grocery, health, housing, utilities, transportation, and miscellaneous—housing is the lowest factor. Housing costs in Arkansas scores 64 in comparison with the national average of 100 (costs registering over 100 are therefore higher than the national average).
Another website provides 2016 data on a breakdown of different living costs in Arkansas. With housing for instance, the average monthly rent for a 900 square foot apartment or home in Little Rock ranges from about $850 to $1,095, and the monthly cost of utilities averages at about $120 for a small studio apartment.
According to recent cost-of-living research, the cost of living in Central Arkansas (Little Rock, North Little Rock, Conway, etc.) is generally about 3% below the national average, while the cost of healthcare in this area is above the national average. Average childcare, housing, and transportation costs, however, remain below the national average. Moving away from the metropolitan areas, the cost of living decreases to 4% below the national average and beyond. However, in Northwest Arkansas (Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, etc.), living costs average 7% below the national average. Pine Bluff and Jonesboro reflect a cost of living similar to the rural areas of Arkansas, which ranges from 10% -12% below the national average. In Arkansas’s rural areas, transportation costs are higher, but taxes, healthcare, childcare, and housing all remain below the national average.
What does this all mean? Generally, it means that Arkansas offers a relatively low cost of living. A Talk Business & Politics article from 2015 explained that the cost of living in Arkansas is the second-lowest in the nation. This means that money earned in Arkansas “goes further than just about any other state.” Even with higher state sales taxes, people earning income in Arkansas have greater buying power than in other states and are able to afford better housing due to the lower housing costs. The only other state in the nation with a lower cost of living is Arkansas’s neighbor, Mississippi.
When the time to move to a new home draws near, chances are your kids may not be looking forward to moving day. Like in the movies, some kids may be experiencing a range of emotions, from anger, to sadness, to excitement, as their parents drive them away from their old house past the “SOLD” sticker pasted over the For Sale sign. However, moving with kids does not have to be this dramatic. This article will discuss some easy steps to get your kids on board for a worry-free and fun move!
Before moving day, plan on gathering the family for a “move meeting” to calmly go over the details and schedule of the move. If your kids feel more involved in the decision making, they are less likely to feel like it’s something they have to do. Try making a moving-day plan with lists to check off as steps are completed, with the kids completing tasks along the way. Keeping the kids focused on those tasks may just help the time go by faster!
Next, allow the kids to begin planning their new spaces. Taking them to the new home and letting them brainstorm about how to arrange their new rooms will turn a potentially drama-filled experience into an exciting adventure. It’s likely your kids will also enjoy taking part in deciding how to arrange furniture, what colors to choose for the walls, and how to decorate the living areas.
Writing a letter to the new owners of your old home can also be a fun and novel activity. Gather the family to sit and write about things each person loved about the house, or why the house is special. Maybe include some favorite stories of pets or funny things that happened there. Bringing together the family for an activity like this will help the kids keep a positive attitude about the move and will result in some lasting memories.
On moving day, utilize the extra help your kids can provide by assigning tasks to each child. You can even make it a game with rewards for finishing packing or cleaning! Also have each kid compile a “moving-day box,” which should contain their essentials and favorite small items. The kids will likely feel more comfortable keeping these more valuable items separate from the chaos of the rest of the moving boxes. Ease of access = ease of mind!
After the hectic throws of moving day are over, it’s time to go exploring the new environment! After the essentials are unpacked, get the kids outside to walk around and breathe in some fresh air. They’ll start taking in their new surroundings, and maybe even meet some other kids in the neighborhood.
The most important tip for moving day is to have a positive attitude. Your mood affects your kids’ moods more than you may realize, and it’s important to project a sense of positivity and confidence when tackling an obstacle like moving to a new home. Stay positive and energetic, and your kids will too!
When you move to a new home, getting a fresh start is important. One way to start is committing to making your new home environmentally friendly. The moving process may involve a lot of work and stress, but keeping your new home environmentally efficient doesn’t have to. For example, environmentally friendly upgrades can be as easy as installing a new door or water filtration system. Here are a few tips for making some simple upgrades your new home and keeping it green.
A smart thermostat is an easy upgrade that will reduce environmental waste and also save you money. Programmable thermostats allow you to have more control over the climate in your home and when the air conditioning runs. Newer smart thermostats even “learn” your schedule, reducing energy waste by keeping the system off when it’s not necessary and adjusting to fluctuations in temperature. It’s a win-win: reduces waste to the environment and your energy bill!
Replacing doors that allow air to leak from inside your home is another simple green upgrade that can be made. Many homes waste energy because of air escaping under—and through—front doors. Hollow wooden doors, for instance, are much less efficient than insulated steel doors. Installing a thicker door with foam insulation will increase efficiency by keeping out wind and chill and moderating the temperature in your home. With a properly insulated and sealed door, you’ll waste less energy, save money, and stay more comfortable. Also, who wouldn’t want an attractive new entryway on their new home?
Using a water filtration system is another easy green improvement that can save you money. Americans use millions plastic bottles per year, most of which end up in landfills. People are more inclined to use plastic bottled water when they don’t like the quality or taste of tap water. Luckily, Central Arkansas’ water is some of the best in America, but if you’re looking for purity, try installing a basic water filter on your sink to avoid spending money plastic water bottles that end up as waste.
Speaking of recyclable items, setting up a recycling system is another simple way to go green. Even if your neighborhood has recycling pick-up, as many do, you can begin the recycling process by sorting recyclables in your home. Try keeping separate bins for plastic, paper, and glass in your home so that you can stay on top of the pile-up. The bins can be small or large—either way they will help your kitchen stay neat and organized, reduce clutter, and most importantly, keep you in the habit of recycling!
If you are buying or renting a new home, you’ve probably learned by now that home insurance is expensive. Many people become discouraged and end up “settling” for a policy that doesn’t have great coverage. This doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some tricks to choosing the right insurance coverage plan and keeping it affordable:
Insurance agencies are companies, like any other, that are willing to offer incentives to get your business. Many insurance agencies offer bundled coverage—allowing you a better rate when you buy multiple policies together. Doing this simplifies the claims process and can save you as much as 30% on the cost. These days some insurance agencies are offering life insurance policies within bundles, which can save you even more.
Upgrading security at your home will also reduce insurance rates. Having functioning smoke detectors, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors will help keep your premium low, but installing advanced detectors and alarm systems can keep them even lower. For instance, you can cut your monthly premium by up to 20% by connecting to a central monitoring system. If you are renting and cannot install a central system, you can still lower your renter’s insurance rates by installing upgraded door locks and smoke detectors, as well as making general upgrades to the security of the property (of course, get your landlord’s permission before making any major alterations).
Like any product, you want to consider different insurance policies from different companies before you buy it. Instead of signing onto the first policy you find in the chaos of buying your home, take the time to shop around for the best rates. You should compare coverage policies and premiums from at least three different insurance providers and weigh the value of each policy offered.
Keeping a good credit rating is important. A high credit score doesn’t just allow you finalize your home purchase, lease, or loan—it also keeps your insurance premium low. Make it a point to pay all of your bills on time and keep your credit card balance low to keep your insurance premium low.
Lastly, raising your policy’s deductible is another way to save. Your deductible is the set amount of the damage you agree to pay out-of-pocket for a claim before insurance covers any damages. If you can afford to pay a little more out-of-pocket if you do have to file an insurance claim, you can raise the deductible to lower your monthly interest rate. The drawback, however, is that you could end up paying a large amount out-of-pocket if your house was significantly damaged. But insurance is, by nature, a gamble.
Don’t be afraid to take the time needed to evaluate all of your insurance policy options before you sign. If you are renting or buying a new home, keep these tips in mind and find the coverage you need without overpaying.
Moving into a new home is an exciting thing—why not share the excitement by throwing a party?! Whether you’re moving in-town or cross-country, this article will give you some tips on throwing the ultimate housewarming party to celebrate your new home.
The first step is preparation. Cleanliness and organization are key. Moving in is often hectic, but it is also the perfect opportunity to smartly organize and make it easy to keep the home tidy. Organize and put away your unpacked boxes to keep your rooms clutter-free when friends arrive. Don’t forget to have toiletries in the restrooms for your guests!
Food (and drink) is the next most important aspect to the ultimate housewarming party. If weather permits, a backyard barbeque always a fun and social option. If you have a small fire pit (even an inexpensive portable one), you could even gather ‘round to heat s’mores or hot dogs. The easiest and most affordable things you can cook outside are burgers, hot dogs, and large cuts of meat (brisket, pork butt, etc).
Inside, there are endless options to provide buffet-style appetizers—from cheese and crackers to cocktail weenies to sliders—that guests will definitely remember as a highlight to the party. Dips, casseroles, and pizzas are some easy ways to feed a large group. Your guests will probably offer to contribute in some way. Allowing them to help will not only lighten your load; it'll give you a chance to make your guests feel appreciated.
A cooler full of ice cold beverages is a necessity. What you fill your cooler with will depend on your audience, but having bottled water, popular sodas, and sugar-free drinks will guarantee that you've covered all your bases. Never be afraid to ask your guests to bring the beverages they prefer.
Who to invite? Friends and family that like fun, food, and drinks! If you have moved to a new city, this part can be a little intimidating. However, there may not be a better opportunity to meet your neighbors. Break the ice by inviting your co-workers, neighbors, or other new acquaintances for a Friday evening housewarming party—who doesn’t like new houses and free food?
Aside from tidiness and food availability, there are a few more small things you can do to make your housewarming party hip. For one, have a playlist of your favorite music or easy-listening music going as a background (but not too loud). Have board games out, especially if there are kids, and outdoor games like badminton or horseshoes if the weather is nice. It’s also a great idea to keep out an address book to exchange information.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be on the way to settling into your new home the right way by hosting an awesome housewarming party!
Our very own Wardell Miller has been named driver of the month by Bekins/Wheaton. This is the second time in a year for Wardell, a very rare occurrence. We're proud to have wonderful people like Dell on our team. Truly, they are the heartbeat of Brandon Moving & Storage.