Relocating and Moving Into a Smaller Space

Relocating and Moving Into a Smaller Space

Whether you’re moving as an individual or you’re moving as a family, the number of personal belongings can often multiply without notice. If you’ve lived somewhere for a long period of time, this is especially true. Brandon Moving & Storage of Central Arkansas has some tips and tricks for preparing to make the move into a smaller space much easier.

Simple Steps to Help Plan for Your Next Move

There’s a lot that goes into moving into a new home. However, moving doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Like most tasks in life, having a plan will help you succeed. Here are a few simple steps to help plan for your next move.


Step 1: Think about the logistics. Visualizing how the move will go, and where your items should go, will make your move less stressful. Make an appointment with your moving company and go over the details of moving day with your moving professionals. You can also make a simple floor plan of your new home to help visualize where furniture and other items should go when they are unloaded, and how to make the best use of space.   


Step 2: Get rid of the clutter (so it doesn’t follow you to the new home). Reducing the amount of stuff you have to move will make the process more manageable. Since you’ll be going through your things anyway, use the move as an opportunity to go room-by-room and clear out unused items. Try starting in the kitchen, where you can throw away older items that have been crammed in the backs of the drawers and cabinets. Older clothing and toys, etc. can be donated. You may even find some items around the house you can sell, if you have the time to do so before your move (online or garage sale). No matter how you do it, you’ll thank yourself for setting aside time to clear out what you don’t need before your move.


Step 3: Prepare the right equipment. Your move will go more smoothly if you have what you need when the time comes. Assess your belongings to determine how many boxes you will need, as well as packing tape, bubble wrap, etc. Gather these items early to maintain peace-of-mind! (Or we can always just do it for you.)


Step 4: Organize and pack. It’s extremely important to stay organized when you begin packing. Don’t just throw stuff in boxes—plan what items can be safely packed together to save space. Items that you don’t use often can be packed first, and when moving day gets closer, you can begin packing the items you use every day. For instance, you might want to save essential items such as bedding, shower curtains, soap, and a few dishes and silverware for last so they are easier to access when you arrive at your new home. Finally, don’t forget to label each box clearly so you won’t waste time guessing what to unpack first!

Protecting Your Move from Scams

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!

Brandon Moving How-To: Find the Best Insurance Rates for Your New Home

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. 

home insurance

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. 

best rates

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.  

The Basics: Housewarming Parties

    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!

Great Areas of Central Arkansas Volume 7: North Little Rock

North Little Rock is another excellent place to live in central Arkansas. Located on the other side of the Arkansas River from Little Rock, North Little Rock provides a vast array of inviting neighborhoods, and the downtown area has experienced impressive growth over the past several years. The city’s neighborhoods offer the same quality living as in Little Rock, but generally at a more affordable level.

NLR's Argenta Area

NLR's Argenta Area

Founded as Argenta, North Little Rock officially became a city in 1901. The name Argenta refers specifically to downtown North Little Rock, and this area continues to honor its history by brilliantly preserving its beautiful early twentieth century buildings. The City Hall is one of these buildings, which still bears the name “Argenta.” The Argenta area is celebrated to this day—the Arts & Entertainment District has become an increasingly popular hub for community events, farmers’ markets, live theater and comedy, excellent new restaurants, craft beer, vibrant night life, and much more. You will definitely want to experience everything the Argenta Arts & Entertainment District has to offer! If you like the downtown scene, there are also great apartments and town homes in the area. And in the spring, don’t forget to catch an Arkansas Travelers baseball game at Dickey Stevens Park, and take a tour of the World War II submarine USS Razorback!

The USS Razorback

The USS Razorback

Beyond Argenta, North Little Rock offers many other great locations for living. The Park Hill and Lakewood areas are beautiful suburban neighborhoods that provide boundless options for family living, all within a lusciously green suburban area. Here you will find a wide variety of home sizes and architectural styles to suit your taste. Tucked away in the Lakewood neighborhood, in the T.R. Pugh Memorial Park, is The Old Mill, a distinctive and beautiful historic landmark that was featured in Gone With The Wind. Further east, you can shop, dine and stay in the McCain Mall area, which offers a vast array of stores and restaurants. To the west, splash on down to Wild River Country, Arkansas’ largest water park!

The Old Mill

The Old Mill

This article mentions just a few of the many attractions and excellent neighborhoods that North Little Rock has to offer. If you are considering a move to Central Arkansas, you don’t want to miss out on seeing the beautiful areas of North Little Rock and the increasingly popular Argenta area!

Great Areas of Central Arkansas Volume 6: Benton & Bryant

If you are looking for a place outside of the big city, the Little Rock area has some delightful suburbs that offer affordable home options with access to all the amenities of city living. Benton and Bryant are two of these Little Rock suburbs well worth looking at when searching for a new home in the Little Rock area!

Benton Square

Benton Square

Located just southwest of Little Rock along Interstate 30, Benton is the county seat of Saline County and has enjoyed significant growth over the past few years. Benton is a colorful and sunny community with plenty of Southern charm. The increasing popularity of the city is evident by its population increase of about 30% over the past ten years, and the community continues to grow and develop today.

Benton offers excellent value—the city has the advantage of providing a quality of suburban living equal to that of Little Rock, but with a more affordable price range. Benton residents have said that the city boasts an increasingly strong business community and an active chamber of commerce organization, and is an excellent environment for raising a family. Benton also has excellent ratings for schools and education.

Also along Interstate 30, between Little Rock and Benton, is another delightful suburb. Although smaller than Benton, the City of Bryant also offers great value for comfortable suburban living. The Keep Bryant Beautiful campaign and the Jumpstart urban revitalization program are also examples of Bryant’s vibrant and active community that will enjoy significant growth over the coming years.

Bryant High School

Bryant High School

The Southern charm of this area is perhaps the most attractive characteristic. Located between Little Rock and Hot Springs, both Benton and nearby Bryant provide antique seekers ample opportunity to search for treasures with several antique malls on both sides of the interstate. The Saline River has excellent fishing, scenery and back-country floating for the outdoors enthusiast. Aside from antiques and beautiful natural attractions, there are plenty of signature dining options in Benton and Bryant. Brown’s Country Store and Restaurant, for one, is an iconic attraction in Benton along I-30, and is a long-time favorite stop for Arkansans, out-of-state travelers, and local residents alike.

All in all, the Benton-Bryant area is an excellent choice for suburban living. If you’re looking for a new home for your family, the value is hard to beat! These beautiful Little Rock suburbs provide quiet suburban living with the amenities of the big city, as well as strong, family-oriented communities.

Countdown to Your Move

Being prepared for your move to Central Arkansas is very important. There are many things to do and details to take care of before you move to a new home. Making a plan to take care of those things in the weeks leading up to your moving date will help make the process MUCH less stressful and ensure that you have time to address everything that must be done before the move. Try using the following time table to prepare for your next move!

Four weeks before your move: 

    Submit an address change form with the post office. You can do this online at If you have children in school, notify the schools of the address change, along with your church, magazine subscriptions, etc. Gather all of your family’s medical records and if you are moving to Central Arkansas (Little Rock, Benton, Bryant, Maumelle, North Little Rock, etc.) from a different city, ask your current doctor for recommendations in the new location. It is also wise to begin creating an inventory of each possession, including the date purchased and the estimated value. Then, contact your utility providers to schedule a shutoff date and turn-on date for your old and new homes. Also include newspaper delivery, trash pick-up, and lawn services.

Three to two weeks before your move: 

    If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, contact your carrier to transfer the insurance to your new home. If you are moving long distance, make arrangements to move any plants and pets you have. Also, finalize any travel arrangements to your new home. It’s also important to dispose of any flammable items like gasoline, matches, bleach, cleaning liquids, and aerosol cans before leaving your old home. Don’t forget to drain the gasoline from your lawnmower or any other gas-powered lawn equipment.

The week before your move: 

    Arrange the payment at your new destination. Determine which items you will travel with personally, such as jewelry or other small valuables, and prepare adequate travel packing for them.

The day before your move: 

    Whether or not you are moving long distance, prepare a box of things you will need when you arrive at your new home. You can take this box with you and have your Brandon Co. driver load and unload it first. Also make sure that all packing services have been completed before signing for them.

On moving day: 

    Plan to be at your current home when Brandon Co. movers arrive to supervise the loading of your shipment. If you are not able to be at your home during that time, be sure to give the Brandon Co. driver the name and number of the person you’ve designated to be there for you. As your items are being loaded, our representative will check the condition of your possessions and inventory them with you. After the loading, make a final walk-through of your home to ensure that nothing important has been overlooked. Sign the Bill of Lading while double-checking that your new address, phone number, and chosen valuation are correct. Before you leave, don’t forget to lock all the doors and windows and turn off the lights one last time!

    Plan to be at your new home a day early if possible to ensure that the utilities are connected and to plan the placement of furniture and other large items in your home. Finally, plan to be present to pay the driver prior to the unloading of your possessions and to review and approve the inventory checklist. More important than anything, though, is to relax and enjoy your brand new home!


    It’s important to take measures to protect your belongings from damage. When moving to a new home, many people are unaware of the options that are available to protect their valuable items.

    First, you must know what your belongings are worth. Valuation is the process by which the customer makes a declaration of value of the possessions before the items are loaded for moving. Begin by making a list of all of your possessions and their approximate value. Primarily, this list should include the most expensive and valuable items. Don’t worry about smaller, less valuable items until you have valued your more expensive possessions. TVs and other electronics, appliances, and furniture are the most important to value, and this estimate can be easily calculated. You may be surprised how much everything adds up to! If you have valuable hobby items or collectibles—golf clubs, musical instruments, firearms, etc.—be sure to include a valuation of these in the overall estimate.

There are two levels of basic liability any moving company has to offer: "‘full value’ and ‘released value,’ or ‘basic liability.’  These are known as "valuation" coverage.”  This coverage is not insurance.  With full value protection, the moving company is responsible for the entire value of your possessions during the moving process.  “Full value protection” costs more, and the moving company is required to repair, replace, or make a cash settlement for any items that become damaged.  

With "full value coverage," charges are based on a declared value and a deductible amount chosen. Your belongings would be replaced at the value declared minus the chosen deductible if the item cannot be repaired. For instance, a flat screen TV valued at $1,000 is compensated at $1,000 minus any deductible, if the item cannot be repaired.  

Released value coverage,” more commonly referred to as “basic liability,” comes with protection that is provided at no charge, but the protection for any damaged items is minimal. “Released value coverage” is based on item weight, not item value.  Your shipment would be reimbursed at a value of 60 cents per pound, per item. A flat screen TV valued at $1,000 that weighs 56 pounds would be compensated at $33.60 (56 lbs. x 0.60).


When moving, it is important to remember to protect your possessions from any potential damage that may happen.  Always ask the moving company about the types of coverage they offer for customers.  


The City of Maumelle is another excellent place to live in the Little Rock area. Located on the West side of North Little Rock and extending west to Interstate 430, this family-oriented city offers comfortable suburban living at very reasonable prices. Maumelle includes everything its residents need—from a vast array of restaurants and stores to excellent golf courses—all just a stone’s throw away from the attractions of Little Rock and North Little Rock. Perhaps the best aspect of Maumelle is its combination of comfortable suburban living options and beautiful natural attractions.

Maumelle is a largely residential area marked by its peaceful suburban neighborhoods. This area was developed beginning in the 1980s and has expanded significantly in the years since. Family-sized homes are abundant and affordable, and many new and beautiful apartment complexes and condominiums have developed in the city, such as the Fountaine-Bleau Apartments just northeast of Maumelle Boulevard. The subdivisions surrounding Lake Willastein and the Maumelle Country Club, as well as those surrounding Odom Boulevard are excellent places to find a suitable family home or luxury apartment.

Aside from its many living options, Maumelle also provides a great environment for the outdoor enthusiast. Maumelle Campground sits along the beautiful Arkansas River, offering boating, fishing and birding. The campground offers 128 spacious campsites with electric hookups, along with eight large group picnic shelters. Amenities include a dock, hot showers, a boat ramp and playground. Further, Pinnacle Mountain State Park is just two miles from the campground. The 13 mountain trails at Pinnacle range from easy to strenuous, and each one promises captivating scenery. Maumelle has two recreational lakes, Lake Willastein and Lake Valencia, both surrounded by park land, bicycle trails, and wooden bridges. Picnicking and fishing are available at both lakes. Maumelle also has one of the most extensive municipal bicycle trail systems in Arkansas (13 miles) that offers access to wooded greenbelts.

For the golfer, the Maumelle Country Club offers an 18-hole championship golf course featuring beautiful terrain and natural surroundings. Maumelle Country Club offers the perfect mix of leisure and competitive golf. The Club holds monthly tournaments through the Men's and Women's Golf Associations, as well as numerous couple's and Pro Shop sponsored events throughout the year.

Maumelle is also the home of Brandon Moving & Storage! Over the years, we've come to appreciate the convenience and beauty of Maumelle. It's a wonderful place to call home!

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Clutter Removal Tips

Once you decide to start decluttering, taking it one room at a time makes tasks more manageable.  Choose one room to begin cleaning out and organizing – don’t start multiple projects at once.  You will likely be much more productive if you choose one task to tackle and complete before moving on to the next.  The most common places with a lot of clutter are closets, pantries, garages, and kitchen drawers.

The first step in decluttering your closet is to sort through your clothes.  Get rid of, or donate, any clothes that you have not worn within the past year, any clothes that make you uncomfortable, or any clothes that do not fit.  Next, do the same with your shoes.  Get rid of any that are too worn out or are not comfortable to wear.  All of those clothing items you no longer need can be donated at a local second-hand store.

In the kitchen, begin by getting rid of food you think you will never likely use. Non-perishable food items can be donated to a local food bank or homeless shelter.  Clear out unnecessary items in kitchen drawers, and reorganize frequently used utensils and cookware.  Many people have junk drawers in the kitchen – this is also a good place to clear out clutter and reorganize commonly used items.

In the garage, extra space can be used to store organized items to reduce clutter. You can start by sorting items—beginning with items that can be thrown away, items that can be donated, and items to be kept and organized. If you have room, organize the items you must keep into boxes or onto shelves, making more convenient to access particular items such as tools when needed. As you begin to sort through your garage, as with other rooms and closets in your house, you may find that you have accumulated things that you have forgotten about and no longer need. Throwing away or donating such items will help maximize the space in your home and will certainly make moving easier.

Keeping your home decluttered will help if you are preparing to move. Many people find that the smaller items in their homes take the most time to gather and pack than larger items.  You can save time by keeping smaller items in organized spaces and getting rid of excess. This will also make it easier to avoid accumulating unnecessary items that cause clutter.

Watch Your Back!

In the process of moving, it is tempting for people to take on the lifting of heavy items themselves while neglecting the possible risk of back injury. This oversight can have painful, and sometimes permanent, consequences. Lifting heavy items improperly can cause damage in the muscles, joints, and spinal discs of the back. 

When lifting, be aware of your movements and know your limits

When lifting, be aware of your movements and know your limits

You can decrease the chance of back injury by using proper form when lifting. Take a look at these easy preventative steps to take to save your back:

Posture! The first and most important step should be to ensure that the back is kept straight. A common mistake that leads to injury is allowing the back to curve during lifting, which puts harmful strain on the muscles in the lower back. You can keep your back straight by keeping the chest pushed forward. Do this while bending at the hips and knees. This form will allow the back to remain in a straight orientation and will prevent curvature while lifting weight. Furthermore, using this form will allow the muscles of the legs and hips to do the work, saving your lower back from harmful strain.

Don’t do the twist! Lead with the hips while lifting to avoid any harmful twisting motion. It may be tempting to lead with the shoulders, which runs the risk of twisting out of a straight posture and putting strain on the wrong muscles. Such a motion combined with heavy weight can cause damage to the joints in the back, as well as to the pelvis. The shoulders should be kept aligned with the hips—nice and straight ahead.

Watch your center of gravity! The center of gravity is the point at which the entire weight of a body may be considered as concentrated so that if supported at this point the body would remain in equilibrium in any position. Be sure to keep the weight close to the body during the entire process of lifting. This may be a rather obvious point, but holding weight further away from the body (and thereby away from the center of gravity) will make lifting much more difficult and can put unnecessary and harmful strain on the lower back. Keeping the weight centered and close to the body ensures the most efficient lifting, requiring the least possible amount of effort to lift.


Next time you are moving something—whether it’s a refrigerator, a piano, a big chunk of lead, heavy boxes for that friend who asked you last-minute to help him move, or even barbells at the gym—don’t forget to watch your back and keep these three tips in mind to avoid injury.


Posted by Brandon Moving & Storage, Central Arkansas' premiere movers