Archives for October 2015

Favorite Scents {Autumn Candles}

Favorite Scents {Autumn Candles}

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It wouldn’t be fall in the house if we didn’t invite in the good scents of the season. Am I right? Some people go window shopping just to look at things, but I like going around the store to all the candles and smelling each one. I’m sure I’m a salesclerk’s worst nightmare, touching and smelling everything in sight.

My girls and I were in Anthropologie a few days ago and nearly caused a huge calamity trying to smell some adorable little candles in glass jars that were piled high in a wood cubby. Now, it wasn’t our fault that the candles were stacked so precariously to begin with, but you know, the fact that we were pulling them out to smell them was a little risky. Worth it, though, all around.

I brought home a new “Sweet Vanilla Cinnamon” candle (#2, above) that has been a favorite for awhile now. I love the jar just as much as the scent!

Making a house smell delicious makes me feel a little more cozy this time of year!

Update: Come see a more natural way to scent your home so it smells delicious all year round!

What’s your favorite fall scent? 

Top 10 Tips for Planning A Move {Part Two}

Top 10 Tips for Planning A Move {Part Two}This post was sponsored by PODS®

Hello friends! I’m back today sharing the rest of my top ten tips for planning a move! If you missed part one with the first five tips for planning a move, you can catch up on MOVING TIPS PART ONE here. Now we’ll continue on with the rest of the tips!

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6. Make a master to-do list and assign tasks.

There are so many details involved with a big move. Everything seems to be slightly more complicated and take more time than you expect, so it is easy to feel like you are forgetting things or losing your mind. Making a list of what you need to do can help ease your mind that important things won’t be forgotten. Keeping a list on a physical piece of paper and clipping it in a clipboard or in a notebook that we could refer to all day long was very helpful. You’ll be adding to it and crossing things off constantly so keep it where you can see it! Our minds were put at ease when we could easily see what was left to be done so we could stop being stressed about things we had already crossed off.

The best thing we did to make the “planning to sell the house and move” stage go as smoothly as possible was to divide and conquer. We figured out what we knew we could do ourselves or what we had time for, what each family member could do to help and what we felt was best left to hired help.

Top 10 Tips for Planning A Move {Part Two}
We hired
PODS to deliver their containers, as well received a referral from PODS to Hire-A-Helper who arranged help from Washington Labor Services (they were wonderful!) on the day of our loading (but not packers, we packed most everything ourselves), we hired a housekeeper to help us polish everything up the week our house was listed so we could focus on other details, we hired a window cleaner to give the windows a spring cleaning, and a landscaper to keep up on our yard work so we had one less area to worry about when our house went up for sale.

Top 10 Tips for Planning A Move {Part Two}

In many of our past moves, we did all of those tasks ourselves. But since we were busy with so many other things throughout this process (like, I’m writing another book that is due in a few weeks and continuing to run The Inspired Room!), we gave ourselves the gift of a little less stress. Whatever you are able to delegate and get help from friends and family or hire out, DO IT! You’ll feel more on top of the process and less exhausted, too.

If you want to find out about hiring Hire-A-Helper in your area, click here.

Top 10 Tips for Planning A Move {Part Two}

7. Be flexible

Moving is such a crazy time (have I made that clear yet? ha!). No matter how well organized you are, things won’t always go according to plan. Every time we had an unexpected turn of events, we just had to adapt and go with reality.

When we ran out of time for a garage sale, we put things out on the street with a free sign or donated them to a local agency. We didn’t make the money we wanted to by selling things, but we made people happy and that was a good feeling. When the offer on the house we wanted fell through, we were sad, but we just picked ourselves up and had faith we’d find the right one for us. When we found a house that wasn’t exactly what we had pictured, we looked at it in a new creative way. When there were challenges to overcome with making offers, dealing with banks, sellers, or delays in moving dates, or issues on inspection reports or other things that just didn’t go exactly like I wanted to in my fairytale mind, I had to just take a deep breath and let things go.

Things most often work themselves out if you are patient and calm, you don’t want to make life more complicated by being overly emotional or getting yourself stressed out.

8. Prepare for extra moving expenses

Moving is always more expensive than just negotiating the price of your new home. It’s astounding really, how much it costs! I never fail to be shocked at all the fees and expenses involved even to move just across town (or across the water, in our case!). You’ll be much less stressed if you prepare for it in advance. You might start to feel like you’re throwing around money like it grows on trees so setting aside “moving funds” far in advance will help make this whole experience less painful to your budget.

You’ll need supplies like bubble wrap, boxes, strapping tape, take-out dinner because you are too busy to cook, hiring movers, and if you are buying a new home, you might need extra for staying in hotels while house hunting or waiting for your house to close, you’ll need to plan for earnest money, home inspections and repairs that might be required, appraisals, reserves, realtors, excise and other taxes and other even unexpected items like repairs on a new home or fees to set up your utilities or other move-in expenses.

Setting aside extra funds (in advance) for moving expenses is really helpful. Your bank will start keeping a close eye on your accounts if you are applying for a loan, too, so being prepared for all the extra expenses can make your home buying purchase much smoother.

If you want to raise a little extra cash to help with the expenses of moving, plan some time several months in advance to list some of your sellable items on a website like Craigslist or eBay to sell them. If you plan out some ways to save and earn money in advance, you won’t be as time crunched in the end and lose money you could have had in your pocket. You can also search online sites for used moving supplies or get them for free from someone who is just trying to get them out of their house.

Top 10 Tips for Planning A Move {Part Two}

9. Gather bins, boxes and supplies.

Even if you’ve decluttered prior to the move, you’ll need plenty of bins and boxes to transport everything else. Winging it with duffle bags will make moving more time consuming and stressful, so thinking ahead to what types of boxes and supplies you’ll need is important.

We were going to do much of the packing ourselves, so we wanted to have supplies and ready to go. Our favorite smaller boxes were banker style boxes with lids. They are sturdy and hold even heavy items like dishes and books, but are still easy enough to carry. You can order them from Amazon or find them at Costco (the box that the banker boxes came in at Costco doubled as great art and frame boxes!). We ordered tape and bubble wrap online, but did have to go out to get more later, so I recommend ordering more than you think you need!

We also purchased a number of clear plastic tubs from Costco for items we planned to keep stored in our garage long term (similar to these).

Upon researching the best way to transport awkward or slightly larger decorative items, we discovered that you can actually rent plastic bins that can be delivered to your old home and picked up from your new place!

Top 10 Tips for Planning A Move {Part Two}

We rented from EZ Binz in Seattle and would absolutely do it again. This service meant that we didn’t have to hunt around for lids that fit old boxes or use lots of strapping tape. They have attached lids that are are easy to snap close, they are environmentally friendly, and they offer the perfect size for packing most items. They are sturdy to protect belongings and easy to stack in a moving truck, too. As a bonus, they’re great because you will unpack within a shorter time frame in order to return the bins, rather than putting off unpacking boxes for later. They were also delivered with a dolly, which ended up being a lifesaver for us on numerous occasions.

They were delivered right to our house and stacked up in our garage, ready for us to grab and pack! EZ Binz services the King County area. We highly recommend renting if you need a lot of bins or want to be doubly sure your breakables are in sturdy containers.
Top 10 Tips for Planning A Move {Part Two}

Having the bins of uniform size really made packing the truck much more efficient. See the great selection of bins offered here!

Order specialty boxes in advance for anything especially tricky or breakable. We ordered these TV boxes and art boxes from Amazon (we used the boxes that the big boxes came in for bigger items!). You can also order wardrobe boxes, which might be a more convenient way to move clothing and keep it organized than throwing everything in garbage bags! Ask me how we know that. :)

For inexpensive packing using what you already have, use your rolling suitcases for books or clothing. You can sometimes keep items like clothing in dressers if it isn’t too heavy to transport, which saves a step and boxes.

You can often gather boxes in advance for free from grocery stores. Stop in your local favorites and ask if they have available boxes in the months prior to your move. Ask for boxes when you shop at warehouse stores, too, and save them up for your move.

If you have freestanding cabinets and dressers that you are bringing with you and using in the same way as you did before, pack each of them one by one and label the boxes with the cabinet and drawer they go in. You’ll be happy when you move and can return to some sense of normalcy instantly by unpacking directly back into those cabinets!

Top 10 Tips for Planning A Move {Part Two}

10. Focus on the essentials.

I recommend packing an “essentials bag” to carry with you when your move is near. This will save you the stress of finding out essential information you needed to look up (or papers you were supposed to sign to enroll your kids in school next week) are somewhere in one of your 150 boxes.

Consider your move like a trip! You’ll be away from the comforts and routine of home for awhile, even if you are moving directly from one home to another. Things will get lost, or at least feel in disarray for awhile so pack things separately that you’ll know you want to find right away.

I packed a bag of essentials like tooth brush and toiletries and multiple changes of clothing for when we would be “in between houses” (or the first week at the new house) and a bag to carry my laptop, iPad, phone and computer chargers, important notebooks, moving papers and bills, and anything I knew I would need to have handy.

It’s also helpful to visualize your first few nights in your new home and what types of things you’d want easily accessible. You don’t want to have to hunt down your sheets and pillows that first night when you are already exhausted, so pack a box or two that you keep with you to unpack right away so you can get a good night’s sleep and make a few simple meals.

In our last move from Portland our moving truck was delayed by a snow storm so we had to go shopping right away to have the basics! We could have avoided that additional expense had we packed a couple of boxes for our first few nights.

If you’re in the process of moving and I’ve completely stressed you out with all of this information, don’t worry! Remember that the only thing you can do is take it one day at a time, checking tasks off your to-do list! Say no to as many ‘extras’ as you possibly can during the move process. You won’t be able to keep up with everything, so focus on the essentials. Your house will likely be a mess for awhile. You’ll likely end up wearing the same clothes for a week. You might never figure out what happened to your favorite spatula.

Eventually, you’ll finally get settled. You’ll look back on the moving process and laugh, and vow to never ever move again. Right?

What are your best moving or packing tips? Please, feel free to SHARE ADVICE OR MORE TIPS IN THE COMMENTS! You can find PART ONE HERE.

Thanks again to PODS for their partnership in our move!

See more on our “move out day” post and our “move in day” post!