Where to Find Discount Furniture in the Chicago Area

beltman7altIf you’ve just moved or are getting settled into the Chicago area, you might be interested to learn about some hidden places to find discount furniture. It always helps if you can save a little money on furniture shopping, especially if you don’t have to compromise on quality.

If you live in the city, you might have to plan on road tripping out to these hot suburban spots – it will be worth the drive when you see how much you could save.

Crate and Barrel Outlet

Located in the western suburb of Naperville, the Crate and Barrel outlet offers visitors deep discounts on overstocked, returned or damaged items. Before you plan your trip, you should call the store to ask when they receive their shipments. It will be best to coordinate going on a day when they just received shipments, as things tend to go quickly. Also, another tip – is to come prepared to buy and haul. When we visited a few years back, they did not offer delivery services and good things go quickly, so come prepared to haul anything you want to buy that day. Also, take careful inventory of the item before purchase, as some of it may be damaged. You will need to shop quickly. If there’s something of interest take the purchase tag on the item (to place it on hold) until you decide if you would like to buy it. You will then take that ticket/tag to the counter to pay. If you do not take the tag, someone else can take it and buy it out from under you!

The Dump

Located in Lombard, IL – The Dump touts 40-60% discounts on name brand furniture and home décor. They purchase closeouts, overstock, one-of-a-kinds, design samples and cancelled orders. They are a “no frills” marketing operation, so expect a basic shop, with minimal to no marketing efforts. They are only open 3-days a week, so be sure to call before you go. You might also want to check their inventory levels on the items that you’re looking for before you make the trip out.

Jayson’s Home

Modern and rustic home décor store located in Chicago offers a variety of pricey furniture options – that go on sale throughout the year. This is a watch and wait type of place. Either find discounts downstairs or wait until their annual flea market and warehouse sales. You can also check out their website for sale items as well.

Do you have any other stores that you think should make this list? Add them below and we may feature them in our next blog post.

2016 Cost of Living in Chicago

beltman5If you’re thinking about moving to Chicago, you might be interested in learning more about the cost of living. According to expatistan.com, the below list will give you a snapshot of how much you’ll need to live in Chicago. You may want to use this information if you’re looking to negotiate a salary or budget the cost to move.

First of all – Chicago is the 19th most expensive city in the world and 7th in North America and the U.S. So, cost of living consideration is extremely important as you think about moving to Chicago.

Food Costs:

$13                             Lunch in the business district

$4.85                         One lb of boneless chicken

$.89                            One liter of whole fat milk

$3.61                          One dozen eggs

Housing Costs:

$2,104                       Monthly rent for a 900 square foot furnished apartment (expensive area)

$1,498                       Monthly rent for a 900 square foot furnished apartment (normal area)

$201                           Utilities for one month for 2 people

$52                             Internet 8MB (1 month)


$.76                            1 Liter (1/4 gallon) of gas

$100                           Monthly public transportation ticket

$55                             Taxi on a business day, basic tariff (5 miles)


$45                             Basic dinner for two in a neighborhood pub

$25                             Two tickets to the movies

$243                           Two tickets to the theatre

$12                             One cocktail at a downtown club

$6                               One beer at a neighborhood pub

$81                             One month gym membership

For more details or information about the cost of living for Chicago, visit: https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/chicago for updated information and additional categories.

The Best Way to See a New City

Rush Hour With Defocused Yellow Taxi Cabs And Traffic Jam On 5ThYou’re moving to a new city, but you feel a little overwhelmed with how you’re going to go about getting familiar with your surrounding. Here’s your game plan — some traditional and some not-so-traditional.

  1. Get a Local Perspective. If you have a realtor, ask them write the following things on a piece of paper: favorite pizza, best place to catch a sunset, where to picnic, favorite activity for each season, best place for brunch, best place to watch a game, a place only locals know about and where you can get the best meal in town. If you don’t have a realtor, you can get the same information from your bartender, barista or waiter at a local restaurant. Be sure to tip well!
  1. Go on a Ride. Grab a bike and hit the streets. Whether it’s your own or a rental, a bike is a really fantastic way to first meet a city. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells up-close as you breeze through neighborhood streets and cut through side alleys. Ride through town on a lazy Sunday afternoon or right during the dinner rush for a different perspective on where people meet and which restaurants have the best smelling menu.
  1. Look at Google Maps: Check out the “satellite” view on Google Maps to get a bird’s eye view of your new city. Notice things like elevation and bodies of water – mark some spots to explore when you jump in your car next.
  1. Take a Ride: Some cities offer helicopter rides that allow you to get a narrated tour of the city from the sky. This is an exciting way to quickly understand the lay of the land.
  1. Take a Tour: Sign up for a tour of your new city. It’s a great way to learn the history and culture of your new town. Ask the chamber of commerce or visitor center about your tour options, some cities go a step further and offer culinary experience tours that could also help you decide where to go for the best local fare.

Moving to a new city will always give you a new outlook on life. Enjoy this new adventure and if you’re ready to find a moving company to help you make the leap, let us give you a free moving quote: http://www.beltmann.com/

Top Bucket List Items When Moving to New City


Moving to a new city can be an exciting adventure – one that can stretch you to new levels both emotionally and personally. A lot of times moving to a new city can bring about some anxiety, so it’s important to prepare yourself by setting new goals for branching out and making this transition a positive one. Here are a few suggestions for how to get the most out of this new experience. 

  1. Make Friends With a Local. You don’t have to be outgoing to make this happen. Even if you’re a self proclaimed wall-flower, striking up a conversation with a local will help you get the dirty-dish on the city quicker than reading the Chamber of Commerce website or some Trip Advisor review. If you don’t have the guts to make friends on the street, start with a restaurant server or barista. Ask them about their favorite places to eat, where to go for fun or the most popular local bands. 
  1. Be Curious. If your new city has tours, take them – take them all! I mean, what else do you have to do on the weekends right now? And, the extra information about the history of your city or a culinary excursion will help you get oriented with your surrounding in high-speed fashion.
  1. Try Something New: Once you get oriented with the city, take up a new hobby that’s popular with the locals. You are probably going to be bad at it (at first), but try, try again. Learning something new will keep your mind sharp and will put you in a good place to make friends.
  1. Join a Group: Check out a new church, club, sports team or networking group. Find people that have similar interests. This might put you a little out of your comfort zone, but it’s a good way to make friends quickly.

Moving to a new city will give you a new perspective. Take time to enjoy the new sights and sounds, take in what makes this city unique and

If you’re ready to find a moving company to help you make the leap, let us give you a free moving quote: http://www.beltmann.com/

The Do’s and Don’ts of Moving in With Your Significant Other


You’ve made the big, life-altering decision to move in together. And, now – as you start to pack up your things – your mind is reeling…how is this going to work? Will this last? How can we combine our lives into one space?

Here are some practical tips for how to give it your best shot. Some of these things may seem like common sense, but some might surprise you.

Do: Ask Before You Assume

Before you assume that hanging wet boxers on bathroom doorknobs is the best way to dry them out quickly, ask your partner if that would bother them. In this case, I’m pretty sure it’s a 100% yes. While, other trivial things like where to store seasonal clothes or coffee mugs – might just warrant quick conversations. The point is to just be cognizant of the fact that “your way” (or your old way) of doing things might need to be altered now that you’re sharing a roof with someone else.

Don’t: Bring Everything You Own

It’s worth taking inventory of everything you own to make sure you won’t be doubling up on large non-essential items. It will save you time and money in the long run not to move these things. Plan to donate them or having a garage sale prior to your move date.

Do: Discuss Roles & Expectations

One of the most important hurdles you will overcome as couple living together will be managing joint financial responsibilities and roles. Go someplace relaxing or fun to have these discussions. Bring your lap top and breakdown who will pay what and when. Then discuss how you will split up household chores. You want to know up-front if your partner is a more traditionalist or sees your roles as a 50/50 split.

Don’t: Be Over-Bearing With Your Style

Go shopping together for decorative items that will make your new place your home together. Be careful not to assume that one person’s taste trumps the others. Be sensitive and work on finding a style you can agree on. Try to have some fun along the way.

Lastly – this is a big step. Be sure you are prepared for a few bumps along the way and enjoy the adventure. If you’re ready to find a moving company to help you make the leap, let us give you a free moving quote: http://www.beltmann.com/


The Best Tips For Moving Elderly Parents

Asian FamilyIf you’re the oldest child or designated caregiver for your elderly parents, you probably feel quite a bit of pressure to help them make the best decisions about their living situation.

A move away from a life-long home or a transition to a retirement community can be very difficult for anyone. Here are some tips on how to make the move a smoother one for you and your parents.

  1. Find Support: Once you find a community, retirement or assisted living home for your parents, ask the facility if you could have reference numbers for new residents. These are the best people to talk to in regards to what you’ll need to know about the first few weeks. Ask if you can speak to a close family member who has supported them through their move, as their perspective may be a little different.
  1. Encourage Connection: The quicker your parents can make friends in their new home, the better. Ask about community senior centers, or welcome ambassador programs that might help make the transition easier. See if you can go and eat lunch at the facility a few weeks before the move date and help your parents make friends. Be sure to find a community calendar of events and circle some that your parents might enjoy.
  1. Be Sensitive: The first few weeks, could be an emotional roller coaster. Be prepared for some hesitation or regret about the move. Be ready with patience and positive comments about their new home.
  1. Take Up Something New: Focus on something new that they’ll be able to do once they are in their new home. Maybe start a patio garden or encourage them to take up a new hobby (one that will preferably get them out of their home and meeting people). A lot of senior retirement homes have bingo, scrabble, Bible study, knitting and craft groups – just ask around!

Being a caregiver to elderly parents is a difficult job, especially during a big life transition. Be sure to seek support for yourself if you are feeling overwhelmed and try to help them enjoy this new chapter in their lives.

10 Ways to Meet Your New Neighbors

Christmas homemade gingerbread cookies on table

It can be hard to meet your neighbors when moving to a new city. You don’t have to be isolated after a move; here are 10 ways to reach out to the other residents of your neighborhood:

  1. Knock and Say Hi — This is by far the easiest strategy for meeting new people. Simply knock on your neighbor’s door and introduce yourself. Many people will appreciate the friendly effort!
  2. Invite Them to a Party — Print out some invites and put them in your neighbor’s mailbox or on their door. If your neighbors are friendly and social, they’ll likely attend a small gathering at a new neighbor’s house.
  3. Drop off Cookies — Everyone appreciates a sweet treat! Drop off cookies with your neighbors to break the ice.
  4. Leave an Introduction Card or Letter — If you’re the shy type or don’t relish the idea of a face-to-face introduction, get the ball rolling by leaving a note or card on your neighbor’s door that provides a brief hello and introduction. They’re likely to stop by your home to say thanks, which is a great time to get to know them.
  5. Walk Your Dog — Walking your dog is a great opportunity to not only get some exercise with your pet but also connect with your neighbors. Smile and wave if neighbors are outside, or stop and say hello.
  6. Go to a Neighborhood Function — If your neighborhood has block parties or other seasonal events, make sure to attend and help with cleanup, which is a great way to meet lots of community members.
  7. Join the Neighborhood Association — Your neighborhood is likely to have a homeowner’s association or community association which you can join. Doing so gets you involved in your community and helps you socialize.
  8. Help a Neighbor in Need — If you notice a neighbor struggling with heavy shopping bags, offer to help. It’s the nice thing to do and a great way to say hello.
  9. Just Hang Out — If your neighborhood has a park, beach, or other common area, spend some time there. You’re sure to run into some neighbors that you can strike up a conversation with.
  10. Clean Up Common Areas — Shoveling snow and raking leaves in common areas of your neighborhood can give you a sense of belonging and help you bond with others in your community.

Making Your Move

If you’re planning a move, contact the Beltmann Relocation Group. We’re a moving company with the knowledge and experience it takes to achieve a hassle-free relocation experience.

How to Get Rid of Half Your Stuff in One Week

Boxes In Empty Room

Moving offers a fresh start, so what better time to downsize your belongings and simplify your life? By clearing out unnecessary items before your move, you’ll make the moving process easier and your new home will remain uncluttered. Here are some ways to cut your stuff in half within one week:

Have a Garage Sale

Before embarking on your Miami move, have a yard or garage sale to clear out your home. To make sure the neighborhood knows about your sale, put up flyers in the area or put an ad in your local newspaper. When pricing your items, keep them cheap, as garage sale shoppers are always looking for a bargain.

Try an Ebay Auction

Ebay auctions can be set to run for 3, 5, 7 or 10 days. If you have large numbers of the same item to get rid of — say, lots of books or a great deal of women’s apparel, group individual items into lots. That way, it’s less of a shipping hassle for you. Always offer free shipping to attract the highest number of bidders and keep your starting price low.

Use Facebook Local Sales Pages

Another way to get rid of your stuff in a hurry is by using Facebook local sales pages. Most communities have at least one page where residents can offer their items up for sale or trade. This is a good option if you don’t mind meeting with your buyer in person. As with all the other sales strategies, keep prices rock-bottom for best results.

Run a Craigslist Ad

Craigslist is another place to advertise your stuff for sale or even giveaway. As with Facebook, this is a strategy to use if you don’t mind face-to-face transactions. Include clear photos with your ad to cut down on hassle and show potential buyers exactly what they’re getting for the price.

Donate to Charity

The easiest way to get rid of half your stuff in one week is with a charitable donation. Many nonprofit thrift shops will even come pick up your items, making the process nearly effort-free on your part.

Moving to Miami

Before making the sunny, vibrant city of Miami your new home, contact the Beltmann Relocation Group. We’re a Miami moving company with a wide array of relocation and storage services to fit your needs. Get your free, no-obligation quote from our website today, or give us a call to speak to a friendly and knowledgeable moving specialist.

How to Organize Your Pinterest Boards for Your Upcoming Move

Hand holds Pinterest logotype printed on paper

Pinterest can be a great tool when it comes to planning a relocation. Before moving to your new home, use Pinterest to make the process easier — and more fun! Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that allows you to “pin” favorite photos, articles, videos, and more to boards that you can name whatever you want. Here are some ideas for organizing your boards before your move:

  • Interior and Exterior Design Boards — Let your imagination run wild on Pinterest when it comes to design. Consider creating boards especially for interior and exterior design. For example, you could have a board based around your favorite décor style, or a board based on landscaping the exterior of your home. You could even organize your décor boards by color or by room. The possibilities are unlimited!
  • Favorite Homes Boards — Consider creating a “Favorite Homes” board to save photos of homes you love. Or, you could create several boards based on home style, like “Ranch,” “Tudor,” “Victorian,” and so on — pinning photos of similar homes in the appropriate board.
  • Moving Tips Boards — Create a board for helpful articles related to moving and relocation. Although Pinterest is mainly a visual engine, you can still find a plethora of great articles on there. You might choose to create a board such as “Unpacking Strategies” or “Moving Advice.”
  •  Local Destinations Boards — This is another area where you can really get creative. Before your move, do some research into places you want to visit when you get to your new city. You could have an all-inclusive board for all of your potential destinations, or you could group them by more specific categories. Ideas include “Local Restaurants,” “Museums,” “Shops” and so on. That way, when you’re looking for a place to eat or a fun activity in your area, all you need to do is refer to your Pinterest boards!

Moving to a New City

If you’re planning a move, partner with the Beltmann Relocation Group. We’re a moving company with decades of experience and we can help make your move a success. We offer a variety of comprehensive moving and storage services for both residential and business clients and can create a specialized relocation plan that suits your needs. Reach out through our website today, or give us a call to speak to one of our moving professionals.

How to Build a Moving Day Kit for Your Move

Many moving boxes in empty room in front of a wall (3D Rendering

Moving day can be hectic, even with the services of an experienced moving team. This is especially the case if you don’t choose unpacking services as part of your relocation services. If you’ll be unpacking your own boxes, it’s imperative to create a “moving day kit” to keep you and your family happy and comfortable until you’ve had the chance to unpack your belongings. Here are some basics for your kit:

  • First Aid Kit — You’ll definitely want to include a first aid kit in your moving day box. In addition, don’t forget to bring all necessary medications.
  • Bathroom Supplies — Toilet paper, a plunger, a shower curtain, toiletries, and towels are the least you’ll need for the first night in your new home.
  • Electronic Necessities — Cell phones, tablets, and laptops are all included in this category. Make sure to bring all chargers as well so you don’t run out of juice.
  • Bedding — If your bed isn’t delivered on the first day in your new home, bring an air mattress. Either way, you’ll need pillows, sheets, and blankets also.
  • Entertainment — This is especially important if you’re moving with kids, even though adults need to have fun, too! Include boredom-busters like books, cards, and board games in your moving kit.
  • Snacks — Even if you’ll be dining out or getting food delivered, bring some snacks like fresh fruit and Ziploc bags filled with trail mix. Bottled water is a must — and don’t forget paper plates, napkins and plastic utensils.
  • Cleaning Supplies — You’ll probably want to do a little tidying up on your first night in a new home. You don’t need to include your entire housekeeping arsenal in your moving kit, but it is recommended to pack an all-purpose spray cleaner, dishwashing liquid, paper towels, and trash bags.
  • Pet Supplies — Don’t forget about your pets! Pack pet food, food and water bowls, a collar/leash (if you have a dog), and a toy or two with which your pet is familiar.

Contact the Beltmann Relocation Group before you make your next move. Beltmann a comprehensive range of local, national, and international moving services. We also have short and long-term storage solutions to meet your needs as well. Don’t suffer through an unpleasant relocation experience — request your free estimate from our website or call us today and partner with a team who can make your move easy and hassle-free!