Step-by-Step Guide to Decluttering Your Life

Decluttering Your Life

It makes total sense to declutter your life before you move – and even more important before you start getting estimates from moving companies. The more stuff you have, the more expensive your move will be – so it’s a good idea (if you have the time) to schedule a time to go through the below items.


Go to your shelves and baskets – disregard old magazines and books that you aren’t planning on reading again. You can even think about gifting some of your favorites to friends that you think might enjoy the read.


Things like receipts, bills, paperwork, that you do not need to keep for tax purposes, can be shredded. Many of us have pounds of paper filed away, that doesn’t need to be transported. It’s smart to keep tax documents for at least 5-10 years, but if they’re older than that you might consider shredding them up.


This might be an obvious one, but be sure to be throughout and realistic. If you haven’t worn it in two years, if it no longer fits, is worn out or is out of style – put it in a donation pile. Be sure to check storage area for seasonal stashes as well.


Sift through your medicine and throw away bottles that have expired. You will be surprised how much you’ll be able to throw away.


Go through your bathroom cabinets, closets and storage areas for makeup, lotions, soap, gifts or shampoo items that you haven’t used. If it’s still good, keep it in a small tote, otherwise donate things that are used or throw it away things that have been used.


Jewelry can be a tricky thing to declutter, because some might have sentimental value or might be worth something – so you aren’t sure if you can get rid of it. A good rule, if you don’t wear it and/or can’t will it to someone in your family, decide if it has value. If it’s pure gold, has stones – you might be able to visit a local jewelry store to see if they’ll buy the gold or stones. You can always try selling online or at pawnshops.


As you get closer to move day, you’ll want to par down your food supply. Start creating a plan for either incorporating the food into your menus or donating to a local organization. Some moving companies are a part of “Move for Hunger” and will help pick up donated non-perishable food items and distribute them to local food banks. Beltmann is affiliated with this organization, so we make it easy for our customers to donate – ask your moving rep for details.


This might be a tough thing for you to do, but consider being very cautious about what you keep in the “memories” sector of your life. Some people become unrealistically attached to keep things to remember people, moments or stages of life. And, that’s completely fine – just be realistic with how much you really need to keep and if you really think it’s something someone else would want to inherit once you’re gone.


This is a big one – now that electronics are created to become obsolete in just a few years, if we aren’t careful we could all have mountains of chords, gadgets, warranties, accessories and cases hogging up a drawer or storage space. It’s hard to throw these things away because of their value. Before you take them to a recycling facility, do a quick Amazon or eBay search to see if any have sold recently, if you feel like it – you might be able to get some money for your extra items.  Check out websites like to see if your items qualify for their program – it’s an easy way to get some quick cash for your old electronics.


We all have that drawer – you know the one, the catchall that has a random assortment of everything you didn’t know what to do with. Well, it’s time tackle the beast and throw away all of those old sticks of gum and pens that only work when you shake them. This would is probably the easiest, if you get a drawer organizer and stay very strict with what goes in each section.


Oh, this one sounds intimidating doesn’t it? Well, start with one area – maybe the toolbox or cabinet and then move your way to the walls and storage boxes. If you plan to have a garage sale, there’s good news, you can keep the items you plan to donate in the garage in a separate pile.

If you go through these items, you will be one your way to a minimalistic lifestyle, if you notice you aren’t throwing away much – you may have to enlist a trusted friend to help you get over the initial shock and offer some tough-love. As always, we look forwarding to making your upcoming move a smooth and easy one, if you have any questions for your favorite global moving company, please give us a call at (866) 251-8588.

3 Things Most People Forget When They Move

beltmann-7-6As you hustle and bustle around the house preparing for your move, there are a few things that many people tend to forget on moving day. Being involved with moving day-in-day-out we wanted to prepare you for a few things you may not have thought of – that way you’re prepared for the day ahead.


When your mover comes to give you an in-home estimate, be sure to show them your storage areas. Remember: attics, sheds, walk-in closets, basements, hall closets and large storage bins – everything adds up! If you do not account for these things, you could be in a bind on moving day when you have way more items than estimated.

The Awkward Items

Especially if you’re moving across town and are planning on hauling some things in your car, remember that the bulky and awkward items have to be packed too. Don’t leave all of those until last, be sure to have a plan for where they will be stowed or – better yet – realize that it will be worth the time and headache to go ahead and buy the packing services. You won’t believe how many people wish they had on moving day!

Leave Important Things Out

It’s a really good idea to keep important papers like birth certificates, social security cards, checks, bank information, wills and important contracts with you (vs. packed into the moving truck). Also, high valued items or things that are collector’s items, you may want to keep with you as well. Things like jewelry and sentimental items, you may want put in your car. It’s a good practice to buy a few extra totes that will serve as a way to transport these important items.

If you have any questions about your upcoming move, someone on our team would be happy to assist you in thinking through move day details.

How to Figure Out if Your Move is Tax Deductible

beltmann-7-7Moving can get expensive, so it’s nice to know that it could be tax deductible. Although we are not accountants – we can offer you two tests to determine if your moving expenses may be eligible. You must qualify for both tests in order to qualify for a tax deduction.

Test 1: “The Distance Test”

If your new job is at least 50 miles further from your old home than your old job location was to your old home – you qualify. So, for instance, if you used to drive 30 miles to work from your old home – then distance from your new job must be at least 80 miles from your old home to qualify in this category.

Test 2: “The Time Test”

If you’re an employee, you must work for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months after you move to your new home. If you’re self-employed, you must comply with the above – plus, work full-time for a total of at least 78 weeks during the first 24 months, after you arrive in your new work location.

The Exceptions:

There are some exceptions to not meeting “The Time Test” – for instance if death, disability or involuntary separation occurs, you should talk to your accountant to see if you may be exempt from meeting the time rules. Also, if you’re a member of the armed forces and your move was made because of a permanent change of station location, you do not have to satisfy the distance or time test.

Again, if you have specific questions – please call your CPA and they will help you navigate through your tax deduction.

13 Moving Terms That Could Save You From Being Scammed

beltmann-7-8Although, at Beltmann Relocation we try to walk you through the process and make things as simple as possible – during the time when you’re deciding on a moving company, you might be surprised to learn that some of the terms that moving companies use may feel like a foreign language.

It’s important to know what these terms mean in order to make the best decision you can about whether you want to hire a mover. Knowing these terms will also ensure you do not get scammed, as you will see there are multiple options for your moving estimate and quote.

Accessorial (Additional Service) – Services that would fall under this umbrella would be things like packing, unpacking or if you require a shuttle service. These will be charges added on top of your transportation fee.

Advanced Charges – If you see these charges on your bill, you will know they were services not performed by the mover. It was required because of (most likely) your request – these services required a 3rd party.

Bill of Landing – This is just a fancy word for a receipt of your goods, which also includes a contract for transporting your items to your destination. It’s important that you read over this contract carefully to make sure you understand your responsibility versus the movers. If you do not understand everything, do not sign it. Also, it’s important to keep a copy for your records.

Binding and Non- Binding Estimate – When you get an estimate from a mover, there will be two options. The first is a binding estimate – which will guarantee that the cost of your move will be based on the quantities and services included in the estimate. A Non-binding estimate is a quote that is just that – an estimate, on moving day you will be charged for what is actually moved – including the weight of your items and the tariff provisions in effect on that day. Beware of “low ball” non-binding estimates — they appear low in the estimate, but the prices are jacked-up on moving day.

Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Service – Some moving companies will offer a service by which they guarantee pick-up and delivery dates and they provide reimbursements for delays.

High Value Articles – These items are defined as something you would like to move that is valued at more than $100 per pound. You should disclose these items to the mover or consider purchasing extra insurance protection for them.

Inventory – Inventory is a list of things you are moving, which includes the number of items and the condition of each.

Transportation Charge – These are charges for vehicle transportation.

Order for Service – This is a document that allows the mover to transport your household goods.

Pickup and Delivery Charges – These are charges that are separate from the transportation line item; these include a fee for transporting your items from the warehouse to your residence.

Shuttle Service – Sometimes (especially in big cities), your move may require the use of a smaller vehicle, so you will see a charge here for shuttle service.

Storage-in-Transit (SIT) – If your move requires temporary warehouse storage, you will see the charge under this line item.

Valuation – Valuation is how much “value” is placed on your shipment. This number will determine the ultimate valuation charge, which can go up or down – depending on how much liability you would like to place on the mover. The standard valuation is normally included in your total moving costs, which is .60/pound – but if you have items that are of higher value – you might want to consider purchasing more valuation in order ensure a higher compensation rate if something should happen to your items during transit.

What You Need to Know About Gypsy Moths Before You Move

beltmann-7-5Gypsy moths may not be on the top of your list of things to think about before you move, but it’s becoming something that must make the checklist. If you haven’t heard much about this issue – here’s some background.

The gypsy moth is a pest that deforests tens of thousands of acres of land in the U.S. each year. It’s becoming a large issue in the following states – specifically:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Gypsy moths are typically spread when someone moves from an affected area to an unaffected area. Gypsy moth eggs will attach to outdoor items such as grills, lawn furniture and outdoor toys. The Federal Law has now mandated that anyone moving must inspect any outdoor items that they plan to move to ensure they are not transporting Gypsy moth eggs during their move.

Here’s a checklist that includes how you should look for Gypsy moth eggs. It can be tricky to find the eggs because the egg masses look almost like a splotch of mud – it has a brown tone and looks almost like a splatter.

If you find gypsy moth eggs, it’s your responsibility to destroy them before your move date. This form will need to be filled out and signed before your move as well to acknowledge that you inspected your items and that they’re free of gypsy moth eggs.

If you have any questions, our team would be happy to help answer them. Thank you for doing your part in stopping the spread of these pests.

How to Keep Your Movers on Track With These Dollar Store Finds

beltman_06-8Here’s a genius way to keep your movers on-track when unloading boxes at your new home. You may not have thought about doing this, but it’s inexpensive and will be very helpful to anyone on your moving crew especially if they beat you to your new home or you’re not able to be at the house.


  1. Get a copy of the floor plan for your new house
  2. Give each room a color
  3. Buy these color coding labels at the Dollar Store (see above)
  4. Place a colored sticker on each box, indicating where it should be placed in your new home and in the corresponding room on your floor plan.

Give your movers a copy of the floor plan to take with them so that they know where each box should be put, if they should get there before you they will have no issues finding where each box should be placed.

Also, while you’re at the Dollar Store, be sure to grab:


Markers for labeling boxes and totes to keep a few things that you’ll need for night one in your new house.


Dollar Store Finds to Entertain Your Toddler During a Move

Beltmann-06-7Toddlers are constantly on the go – which makes it extremely difficult when you’re trying to move. Whether you’re telling your movers where to put the boxes or you’re on the road, on your way to your new house, it’s important to have a few (inexpensive) entertainment tricks up your sleeve. Here are a few things I found at the dollar store that have seemed to keep my little one entertained. They can be easy transported and kept in their own box, so you know where they are during the move process.



I love a good old school game of riddlie-riddlie-ree and so does my toddler. Although object finding might require a few “hints” – make a game of it in the car. Give your child these reward stickers for finding 10 things that are yellow. Offer a reward for getting 50 stickers. You can also create a reward system for the move, talk them through your expectations for their behavior and things you would like them to help with throughout the day, when they do these things give them a reward sticker.


Inflatable Ball


It’s a great idea to have an inflatable ball handy for yard or rest-stop play. The best part is that it travels well and can be blown up when you’re ready to play. Run your toddler’s energy off by taking turns bouncing or kicking the ball in between two trees.




Sorting Cups


I found 4-5 different colored cups with lids at the dollar store a few years back and my kids love them. I purchased pom-poms that could be color sorted into each cup, so not only did they have fun taking the lid off of the cups, but it was also an educational color game.




State Game


If you’re traveling across a few states for your move, it might be fun to give your toddler the state to hold while you’re going through it. Tell them about the state and how it’s different from the others. Make pit stops and try native food or off-highway attractions. Grab mementos and put them into a small cup so you can remember that state and talk about it when you reach your destination.

5 Ways LinkedIn Can Help Your Spouse Find a Job

Beltmann5If you’re uprooting your family for a job, you might be struggling to find a perfect fit for your spouse or partner. As a nationwide moving company, we see this happen on a daily basis and have worked with the experts at IOVMedia to suggest the top ways people are using LinkedIn to help their spouse find a job and here’s the round-up (please forward it along to them).

  1. Profile Makeover is a MUST:
    You can scroll down to the rest of our tips, but if you don’t get #1 right, it will all be in vain. So, first things first – be sure you follows a basic list of things that need to be updated in order for your profile to be found. Why not let your profile work for you, instead of the other way around? Sprucing up your profile also ensures prospective companies get the best version of your experience when they (inevitably) research you online.
  2. ABC: Always Be Connecting
    Your network is only as good as its numbers. It’s important to reach out to past colleagues, alumni, friends and family – connect with them online. It’s important to connect with people that you actually “know” – it’s not going to be helpful if you can’t ask these connections for referrals or endorsements. You can add connections by going to “Network” – “People You May Know” or by going to “Network” – “Add Connections” and then connecting to your e-mail platform.
  3. Keyword Your Profile (Naturally)
    What jobs are you looking for? Are there certain terms recruiters might be using to look for candidates? Be sure to include them in your headline, experience, and summary portion of your profile under “specialties” or within your “skills” section.
  4. Be a Thought Leader
    Post, share and/or write about things that are hot trends in your industry. Stay sharp by following other influencers. Join conversations around topics that are important to your network.
  5. Look for Connections
    When you find a job and want to apply, log into LinkedIn and search for the HR manager or a contact that you might know in that company. By having a large network, you’ll be able to have a better chance at having a 2nd degree connection, which would allow you to ask your connection for an introduction, which may lead to a job.

Surprising Things Your Moving Company Can’t Move

Beltmann-06-6You may not know this, but the law prohibits movers from hauling a number of normal household items. Many of our customers are surprised when we hand them the list. It catches them off guard and leaves them scrambling to figure how where to take or donate items that we can’t move.

If you are moving state-to-state or across the city, you always have the option of taking these things with you in your car – but it’s nice to know now how much space to leave.

Here is a list of things that you probably know a moving company can’t move:

  • Ammunition
  • Guns
  • Lighter fluid
  • Oil or gas
  • Paint cans
  • Aerosols

Obviously, the above items are flammable or dangerous and could cause harm to the driver or put your items at risk. Here’s a list of things you might not know are illegal for movers to haul:

  • Charcoal
  • Cleaners containing bleach or ammonia
  • Nail polish remover
  • Pesticides and poisons
  • Refrigerated or frozen foods
  • Plants
  • Pets

In addition to this list, you should also be extremely careful when packing jewelry, collectibles, sensitive papers/documents, keys, and heirlooms. Although, Beltmann can take extra care when handling these items – some we would recommend you may want to take with you. Hopefully knowing this list ahead of time will help prepare you for a smooth move ahead.

Top 3 Ways Our Partnership with Go North Habitat Will Make Your Move Better

Beltmann5Beltmann Relocation has partnered up with Habitat for Humanity ReStores Donation program. The ReStores program helps to keep their resale outlets stocked with merchandise so that Habitat for Humanity can stay focused on what they do best – building homes. The Go North Habitat for Humanity ReStore donation program has specifically partnered up with the moving industry so that people who are moving have the opportunity to donate unwanted, gently used items to a local Habitat ReStore. The donated items are then used either in a new Habitat home or sold — with the proceeds going to fund more homes in your local community.

So, here’s how it works:

  1. You notify your moving consultant and let them know that you would like to participate in the program during your in home estimate
  2. The consultant will give you a donation inventory form
  3. You fill it out before your move date
  4. You place donation stickers on the items that you would like to donate
  5. You give the donation form to your mover on the move day or you can e-mail it to your coordinator
  6. You keep a copy for taxes
  7. Beltmann will deliver your donation to your local Habitat ReStore

Here are the top 3 ways this makes your move better:

  1. You move will be less expensive: By getting rid of unwanted items pre-move, you will pay less, because you will be moving less.
  2. You can get a tax deduction: By donating items you will be eligible for a tax dedication.
  3. It can save you a trip and the hassle: With our easy system you just put stickers on the items you want donated, no loading/unloading or hassle.

Not to mention you will be helping your community along the way. For more information, please visit: