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9 Family Fun Things to Do In L.A. County

Family Fun Things to Do In L.A.

When you’re in L.A. it means it’s time to play… and we’re not just talking a trip to Disneyland! L.A. County is bursting with family fun activities and exhibits and we’re serving them up hot for you to enjoy!

So gather the kids, pack up the car and get ready to make some memories- we’re talking 9 fun things to do in L.A. County today!

 

  1. Annenberg Community Beach House
    For summertime fun, this is a MUST STOP for the whole family! With a splash pad, amazing views, pools and beach sports, there’s certainly no shortage of wet and wild fun at the Annenberg Beach House!
  2. California Science Center
    If you want some educational family fun, then you have to take a trip to the California Science Center! Boasting an IMAX Theater, Ecology Cliff Climb, High Wire Bicycle Ride and a Discovery Room for Little Learners, there is something for everyone here! Plus, starting in May of 2017 and running through February 20, 2018, families can enjoy the brand new Body Worlds: Pulse exhibit that showcases the human body, health and wellness!
  3. Descanso Gardens
    Get outside and enjoy the scent of fresh flowers in bloom at the Descanso Gardens! Take a ride on the Enchanted Railroad, visit the gardens in full bloom or surround yourself in the beauty of the Japanese Gardens.
  4. Grand Park
    Who doesn’t love a great… or should we say GRAND…. park with something for everyone to enjoy? Lush lawns perfect for lounging, a small stage for events and a fountain splash area to cool off, you could spend all day enjoying the fun and sun! And to top it all off, the brand new Grand Park Playground has Dr. Seuss vibes with enough jumps, climbs and tubes for everyone to explore!
  5. Griffith Park
    If you want a one-stop shop of fun, then look no further than Griffith Park! Here you’ll find major L.A. County monuments and hotspots, such as the famed Hollywood Sign, a bird sanctuary, botanical gardens and even a Zoo! Pack a lunch and spend the day, because Griffith Park has all your entertainment, just waiting to be experienced!
  6. Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
    What more could you ask for then visiting the fishes right next to the Pacific Ocean? Stop into the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium to meet the true locals- of the ocean variety- and gently touch the hermit crabs, sea urchins and beautiful sea stars!
  7. Kidspace Children’s Museum
    Let your imagination run wild- and the children too- at the Kidspace Children’s Museum! Have fun in the amphitheater, go on a fossil hunt, visit the green house or let the kids play all day in any of their many hands-on exhibits and play zones. This is a place to visit time and time again- and we think you’ll always find something new!
  8. Tongva Park
    Splash pads, a children’s discovery area and observation hills are just some of the attractions at Tongva Park. Enjoy the shaded areas for relaxation or take a stroll through the many gardens and wild flora!
  9. Disneyland
    OK, OK, OK… we said there were tons to do outside of Disney… and clearly there are… but who are we to not mention the ultimate place of happiness? With non-stop action, attractions, rides and places to eat, Disneyland is the supreme final destination for family fun in L.A. County!

 

6 Tips to Packing and Unpacking Like a Pro

Tips for Packing and Unpacking

The proof is in the pudding and when it comes to moving, nothing can throw off your game plan more than a dysfunctional packing system. Packing for the big move is only half the battle, because finding places for everything, knowing where to look and unpacking in your new home or office location is just as important. Use our guideline below for our top tips in packing- and then unpacking- like a pro!

 

Organize and Eliminate

When you’re moving to a new place, it’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking about ALL of the “things” to move. Of course you will need to keep the major items and big furniture, but this move is truly a great opportunity to organize, sell, donate or trash the things you no longer use.

 

By eliminating things from your current home before the move, you will have fewer items to pack to bring to your new home! Additionally, throughout the organizing process, you will get a better grasp of where everything is, for when it comes time to actually pack.

 

LABEL LABEL LABEL

Simply put: labeling will be your new best friend. Whether you decided to go the old-school route of permanent marker or get high-tech with a shiny, new label maker, the results will remain the same- success!

 

Organize and label boxes into specific rooms, such as kitchen, master bedroom and office. Use checklists to make sure that everything is in each box, to be able to account for it, or check it back in, once you’ve moved. This inventory list will save you time and stress throughout your moving process.

For a more detailed list on the packing process, check out this blog post by us at Eastern Van Lines, here!

 

Loading the Truck

When packing the truck, make sure to load it correctly, so that nothing fragile or valuable can break throughout your trip. Also, you will want to pack the boxes you’ll need first in the front for best accessibility and to save you time and effort, before you start climbing over boxes and bulky furniture.

 

Unpacking With Purpose

Now that you’re in your new location- be it at a home or office- bring the skillfully packed boxes into the rooms they are pre-designated for. Why pile everything into the living room or community space, when you can save yourself a trip and do it right the first time?

 

Since you have already pre-labeled the front of the boxes, this step should be a cinch and save you time in the long run!

 

Prioritize Your Unpacking

Remember, not everything is going to get done in one day, but consider the things you need first. If you have small children, you will want to unpack their favorite toys or sleeping buddies to help them with the new move. If it’s an office, you will certainly need access to your computers, phones and files ASAP.

 

Take your time to do it right, and understand that your bedroom, or dining table, may not be set up on the first night. Take this opportunity to inject some fun and whimsy into the moving event and set up a picnic on the floor or a sleepover on an air mattress for the whole family. It’s only a few nights at most, but it can truly leave irreplaceable memories for everyone involved!

 

Take an Inventory

Finally, as you unpack, remember to check your inventory list to ensure that everything arrived successfully. Check for broken items, pieces that have multiple parts and keep a list of things you realize you need to replenish from the move.

 

 

7 Questions to Ask Your Moving Company

What To Ask Your Moving Company

Prior to the big day, it is important to have a list of questions prepared for the company you ultimately choose to help with your move. At Eastern Van Lines, we believe that by asking these questions beforehand, you can ensure fewer surprises after the fact.

 

  1. Ask For References
    This should never be a big deal to any reputable company. With great services, comes great reviews and they should be happy to supply you with many.
  2. What Is Included? What Is Considered “Extra?”
    How many times have you gotten your bill at a restaurant, only to see a few “extras” thrown in there?  Before you know it, you’ve racked up a few extra bucks for things like extra, add on items and refills.  Well much like that bill, without knowing what is included and what is considered additional fees, you can bet that your bill will come out to something other than what you expected.
  3. Is Your Company Licensed?
    Make sure that your moving company is licensed to transport goods in all states that include your new and old home.
  4. How Do You Prevent Property Damage?
    Costly mistakes, repairs and additional cleaning should not be on your list of To Do’s when moving. Make sure your moving company comes prepared with all of the necessary equipment, tools, and manpower needed to successfully avoid any loss or damage.
  5. And If Something IS Broken?
    By knowing about their insurance plans you can make the right decision as to what keeps you covered and protected.
  6. What Are the Pick Up/ Delivery Dates?
    Nothing is worse than waiting around for an eventual appointment or service time. Solidifying the window for pick up and delivery makes your day more convenient and efficient, on an already jam-packed day.
  7. What Do You Need From Me?
    Finally, if you’ve asked all you can think of to ask, give them the opportunity to ask any questions. By asking them what you can do or what they need from you, you can ensure open communication with your moving company and an effortless day of move.

 

 

Preparing yourself for all likely events is almost impossible.  As exciting as moving to a new location or home may be, it is inevitably hectic.  By hiring a great team, such as Eastern Van Lines and asking the right questions, your move just got a little bit easier!

Best School Districts in Los Angeles County, CA

These Are The Best School Districts in Los Angeles County, CA

School is becoming more and more important each and every day. Children are learning concepts at a young age and becoming more successful as the years go by. Enrolling your child into the correct school district has a huge impact on their life in the society we have today. Luckily, Los Angeles County has many notable school districts to choose between.  

San Marino Unified School District

The San Marino Unified School District provides a safe and supportive environment while giving students opportunities for learning, collaboration, and discovery. Their vision is to deliver a world-class education with recognized excellence in academics, arts, and athletics.  They use advanced technology in their state of the art facilities to produce world-class programs. They also have multi-lingual opportunities for their diverse students.

Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District

Serving the Peninsula cities and the unincorporated areas of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District aims to please. With about 11,500 students, the district has a reputation for having a high quality-education. Thier suburban location attracts many families who are looking for a successful opportunity giving school district. They are a close-knit district whose parents and volunteers make the difference when it comes to supplying classroom needs and anything else the district may need. On top of education, the PVPUSD seeks to help all students reach their full social, emotional, intellectual, and creative potential. Even though that is not a small task to complete, this district manages to find a way which is why so many people choose to go there.

Arcadia Unified School District

With students who continue to score among the highest in Southern California, Arcadia Unified School District is dedicated to their education.  They believe that families and the community are partners for student success as long as the district is providing engaging, meaningful school work that involves critical thinking and reasoning. Students are held to a high standard in this district because the district believes that students need to develop ownership for their lifelong learning, respect for diversity, and contribution to society. The Arcadia Unified School District prepares their students beyond class work education; they prepare them for lifelong learning.

Irvine Unified School District

Committed to the highest quality of educational experiences, the Irvine Unified School District is a community of leaders. With nationally recognized schools, sky-high student performance rates, and comprehensive programs all across the board, this district knows what they are talking about. Not only do they care about education at their level, but they want students to be successful when they are out of their care as well. Preparing students for college is a big part of what this district does since there is a college located near them. The IUSD wants to enable all students to become contributing members of society with the knowledge and values they gain while attending school in their district.

There are many resources to get more information, one of which is http://www.greatschools.org/

where you can look up the ratings and reviews for individual schools within the districts.

 

Dealing With Taxes After A Move

How Should You Deal With Taxes After A Move?

We all know that moving to another state is expensive. There are costs for transportation, storage, and the new home itself. However, what might not seem glaringly obvious are how taxes can be impacted. Sometimes dealing with taxes after a move can seem like a bit of a hassle, but if you take the necessary precautions, it will be much easier.

Income Taxes

When thinking about relocating, consider moving to a state without income taxes. Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wyoming, and Florida all do not have tax income. While Florida may not have personal income taxes, they do impose taxes on the value of certain business assets. Plus, New Hampshire and Tennessee only tax dividend and interest income. Moving to a state without income taxes can save you a large chunk of money in the long run so take them into consideration when searching for a new location. Unfortunately, if you decided to move twice during the same calendar year and end up having lived in three states, you may end up paying state income taxes in all three states.

Moving Expense Deductions

Federal tax laws allow people to deduct moving expenses if their relocation relates to starting a new job or transfer to a new location for your present employer. There is only one catch, the distance between your new job and your former home must be at least 50 miles farther than your previous employer is from that home. You also have to work full-time for a minimum of 39 weeks during the initial 12-month period that starts the day you arrive at your new locations.

You can deduct quite a bit of the moving expenses. The transportation of household items, renting a storage unit, and traveling to the new location can all be deducted. Plus, if you drive to the new location in your personal vehicle, you can include the cost of oil, parking fees, and highway tolls. For long distance moves, the cost of airline and train tickets can also be deducted. Make sure to keep detailed records and receipts.

Claiming the moving expense deduction is one of the few tax deductions you can claim before knowing whether you satisfy the time test until the following tax year. However, if you do not satisfy all the requirements at the end of the 12 month test period, you must reverse the deduction.

Tax Help

Luckily, many places are able to help with all of this important tax information even though it is still important to take into account before you go through with the move. Don’t be afraid to ask for help since taxes can get a little messy.

5 Reasons Why Every Household Needs a Professional Mover’s Help

Why Every Household Needs a Professional Mover

 

Moving can be a big ordeal at any location, but it can be especially challenging to move out of Los Angeles. Instead of facing the battle head on and single handedly, look to a trusted professional moving company for help on moving to your dream home. Moving does not have to be hard or tricky especially with some help of movers who are experienced, know the city, and are willing to make the process go as smoothly as possible. Below you will find numerous reasons on why it is important to get help from one.

The City Layout

Let’s face the facts, navigating the busy and often tourist filled streets of the area can be a little overwhelming at times especially when you are hauling all of your precious belongings. Don’t waste time looking at a map or listening to the GPS that could send you driving in circles for hours. Use the help of a trusty moving company that knows all the important highways and roads in the city. The movers can help you plan ahead too so that you aren’t traveling when the traffic is terrible.

It’s Hot!

Don’t sweat all day long on the streets. There’s no need to be sweaty and sticky right when you get to your new home, so sit back and relax as the moving company relocates all of your precious belongings with the utmost care.

Experience

A moving company can help you in more ways than one, but if we are being honest, one thing moving companies have that the average person doesn’t is experience. Moving companies have played this rodeo before. Boxing everything up, packaging with newspapers and bubble wrap, and putting plastic around all pieces of furniture comes like second nature to them. They know what to do, and they do it well. Let them do what they do best because it will make your life easier. Besides, who wants to carry all that heavy furniture from one place to another anyway?

The Weather

California is known to have crazy weather. Instead of summer, fall, winter, and spring, it has earthquake, fire, mudslide, and drought. Moving out during mudslide season may cause you a bit of trouble and you better bring your best pair of rainboots in order to be prepared. However, instead of worrying about what the weather is going to bring you, leave the job up to a handy moving company so you can sit back and enjoy the process of relocating to your new home.