Tips for Moving with Young Children

Happy Family With Cardboard Boxes Moving In A New HomeLet’s face it; moving adults is hard enough. When you add kids into the mix, you’re just asking for some trouble. If you’re moving to a new apartment with young ones, there is a way to make the transition without causing too many headaches.

Include the Kids in the Apartment Hunting Process

Instead of leaving the kids out, take them out while you’re apartment hunting. When they feel like they are part of the process, they may be more helpful come moving day. Change is really rough on kids too, so having them contribute to the apartment hunting process can make the change a little less difficult.

Get the Kids Excited for the Move

Your kids might be attached to the current apartment, but you can help break the attachment by getting them ready for the new one. Tell them about the amenities the new one has that your current apartment doesn’t have. For example, you might have a swimming pool at the new one or a better park nearby. Anything you can do to get them more excited the better.

Make a Party Out of It

The first night you are in the new apartment, throw a little housewarming party just for you and the family. Consider packing bags full of toys and fun activities for you to do as a family once you reach the new place.

Make a Scrapbook

To keep your kids from getting sad about leaving their old apartment, create a scrapbook of the old place. This way they can remember it long after you move and look back on it whenever they get homesick.

Assign Tasks and Make Them Help

While you might think making the kids help will make them resent the move, you would be surprised at how much of a difference it can make. Assign them tasks they can easily complete, such as packing up their toys, writing box labels or helping you track inventory. The more involved they are in the process, the less depressed about it they will be.

Do Some Packing at Night

While the kids are asleep, do some of the packing at night. This way they don’t feel like their entire day is spent packing or they feel they don’t get enough attention from you during the day.

Have Someone Watch the Kids

For the real little ones, hire a babysitter or have a friend or family member watch them for you. You need to focus while moving, and it’s hard on little ones to be in the middle of such a busy activity.

Unpack the Kids Stuff First

Instead of starting with the kitchen or living room, unpack the kids’ stuff first. This helps them adjust to the new place a little easier and gives them a sense of security too.

Mar 2014

Moving in the Rain? Check Out These Tips


It might be spring, but there is plenty of rain in California between April and May. If you haven’t heard the term “April Showers” before, you’ll see why soon enough. Unfortunately, the rain won’t care if it is your moving day either. So if it’s pouring rain or likely to rain in the forecast, there are things you can do to avoid rainy day headaches.

Take Steps to Protect Your Furniture

Any furniture that is exposed to the moisture could be left looking less than great once it reaches its destination. Wood furniture is prone to warping once went and cotton fabrics can soak up water and retain it – leaving you with a mold and mildew issue. Keep your furniture safe from the rain by wrapping it in plastic. You can buy it at your local moving supply store or some home improvement stores sell it by the roll just for covering furniture.

Wear Rain-Appropriate Clothing

Because it’s raining, the ground is wet. So wear shoes that are comfortable, but also have a good deal of traction. This is even more important if you will be going up and down stairs. The shoes should also be strong enough to withstand the elements, such as hiking boots.

Wear clothes that are water repellant and comfortable. You have to be able to lift and maneuver in whatever you wear, so be cautious about wearing thick raincoats. Try adding a pair of gloves to the mix so that your hands don’t get cold and wet during the move.

Use Plastic Moving Containers Instead of Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes and rain don’t mix. You’re likely to have soaked boxes before you even get to your destination — especially if you’re moving your items in an open truck bed. If you can, use plastic moving containers versus traditional cardboard boxes. If not, at least wrap your paper boxes in the same plastic wrap you use for your furniture to keep them from soaking up the water.

Cover Truck Beds

Cover the truck bed with a plastic tarp after everything is loaded. This will prevent water from getting inside and pooling around your belongings. If you’re using a moving truck, you may still want to use a tarp — in case the truck has any leaks in the cargo roof.

Use Towels and Rugs at Both Locations

Put down towels and rugs that you don’t mind getting dirty. This will keep mud and water from getting all over your floors, but also help give those helping you move the traction they need and prevent slips and falls.

Moving in California rain isn’t fun, but it can be done. Just take your time and get the right supplies and moving in the rain will go just fine.

Mar 2014

Tips for Grocery Shopping in Los Angeles Without a Car

298x232_GrocCart_08_07These days owning a car in Los Angeles can be expensive. You have to pay for parking, deal with the outrageous gas prices, and waste endless hours fighting the traffic. You would be surprised at how many LA residents don’t have vehicles. Without a car you don’t have to worry about the drive, payments, insurance or even the maintenance. But, no car means you need to be a little savvier about how you grocery shop – because there’s no trunk or convenience.

Plan Your Shopping Trip Carefully

Before you create a grocery list, think about the weight of the items you’re going to buy. You might have to split up your trip, such as buying the big thing of milk this trip and waiting on juice the next. Heavy bags are a lot heavier the longer you’re carrying them, so keep that in mind too. The more weight you can distribute evenly between trips, the easier your walk home will be.

Shop More Often

When you have a car, you can shop once or even once every other week. But, when you’re walking you might need to grocery shop a little more often. Try going once a week or multiple times per week so that you can get everything you need without making it difficult to get home.

Ask a Friend for a Lift or Share a Car

If you have a friend with a car, consider going grocery shopping together. Pay for gas or buy some of their groceries for compensation. This not only allows you to shop once and get as much as you need, but helps your friend save on gas too.

Pick Stores Near By

While there might be better prices at the store across town, it’s not going to do you much good if you have to walk there and back. Go for the grocery stores that are nearby and don’t worry so much about the prices. Because you’re walking, it’s unlikely you will splurge on expensive items you don’t need anyway.

Get Your Own Cart

You can eliminate the worry about how much you can carry entirely by buying your own wheeled cart. These are wire baskets on wheels that have handles. You can also find some that are water and rust resistant or enclosed ones to protect your groceries in the rain or snow. This allows you to take your food home easily with a cart and not carry everything.

Use Public Transportation to Get Home

A bus or train can help lighten the load. Take your items on board, sit down and relax as you get driven close to home.

You don’t need a car to grocery shop. You can still save money while living in Los Angeles, get the groceries you need, and avoid all of the hassle just by doing it right.

Mar 2014

Why You Should Live in Santa Monica

Santa MonicaSanta Monica isn’t always highlighted in California, but it is a great place to live. Nestled in between Los Angeles and Ventura County, you would be surprised at what this quaint little area has to offer. Just visit it once and you’ll see why those who move there never want to leave.

They Have Exceptional Schools

Santa Monica is separated from Los Angeles — even though it is part of Los Angeles County. They’re schools are not part of the LA Public School System, which means all of the schools in the area have more say in how kids are taught, the curriculum, etc. Santa Monica schools have a reputation for excellence in education — in fact, some of their students have some of the highest national test scores and graduate successfully.

It’s Huge — All Nice and Open

Santa Monica has a very open layout. You don’t feel like you’re stuffed up in a crowded city and there is always a little land in between you, your neighbors and the local stores. There’s tons of greenery in Santa Monica — and of course, tons of beach property. The streets seem wider in Santa Monica too, just making you feel as though there’s plenty of space for you and the entire city to share.

It’s a Prime Location

Santa Monica is a premier location. Even if you’re just renting an apartment, you’re renting in a high-end area with plenty to offer. Also, Santa Monica is the central access point to everything California has to see. You’re next to the PCH Highway, have instant access to the 10 and 405 freeways and you can get just about anywhere you need to go in about 30 minutes or less. There’s less traffic in Santa Monica and it’s more of a beach lifestyle too, making it the ideal place if you want an easier going day.

You’re Practically on the Beach

Anywhere you go in Santa Monica you’re bound to see the beach right there. The beaches in Santa Monica are stunning, bright and always clean. While they can get crowded on the weekends or holidays, they are nowhere near as bad as Los Angele’s beaches. The area itself is perfect for family get together or romantic date nights.

You’ll Never Be Bored in Santa Monica

While you might not be in the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Angeles, there is always plenty to do in Santa Monica. You’re within minutes from camping, surfing and hiking. If you want to shop, there are plenty of local strip malls to choose from, or you are just 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles and all of the shopping malls there are to find. You won’t be short of gourmet restaurants and local eateries either. And, because it is a beach city, there are plenty of activities to keep you and the entire family entertained all year long.

Mar 2014

Are You Connecting With Potential Tenants Over the Phone?

Talking to some clientsThese days there are a lot of ways for potential renters to get in touch with your property — social media, email or even online chat. But, when renters truly want more information regarding what you have to offer, they still go for the phone. The phone is the only way renters can get answers to the questions they need right away; therefore, it is still a powerful tool for turning lookers into actual tenants.

It is important you convince a potential renter over the phone to come down and check out your property — and that all starts by making a connection over the phone.

Schedule Your Staff Accordingly

There is no bigger turn off to potential renters than waiting on hold or having no one answer when they call. You can usually predict what days your office gets the most calls; therefore, schedule your staff accordingly. Try to have someone there at all times to answer the phone while someone is showing an apartment. If you can’t, return calls that you miss right away and always have an answering machine ready to capture calls you can’t take live.

Be Friendly

If you answer the phone or are rude to potential tenants, it’s unlikely they’ll ever stop by to visit your units let alone rent from you. Always answer the phone with a friendly greeting. Ask the caller how you can help them, what you can do for them, and answer as many questions as they have — even if it takes a few minutes.

Be a Listener — Not an Annoying Sales Person

It is your job to fill vacancies, but you don’t have to make that your sole purpose while talking to potential renters. Listen to what they have to say, ask questions and have an engaging conversation. Don’t just keep spouting off reasons to check out your apartment or spend the entire time convincing them to come down. It is easier to get renters to visit your apartments if they connect with you over the phone and don’t feel like they will be pressured into signing a lease just for visiting.

See How They Found You

Accepting calls is a great way to measure what marketing techniques are bringing in the most business. Ask every caller how they heard about you and write it down. That way you know if your online listings or local advertisements are working.

Close the Call with Action

Instead of throwing out the request for the caller to come down and see the apartments first, ask them at the end of the call once you have made the connection and answered their questions. When you close the call with an action, it is more likely the caller will take you up on the offer.

Mar 2014
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