Archive for May, 2008

Move It Or Lose It

This weekend we helped John’s sister and brother-in-law move into their fabulous new home (that they just happened to design themselves) and along with some obligatory back pain we took away some pretty fail-safe moving advice. And now that we’re in the know, we figured we’d share the wealth. After a picture of their breathtaking new kitchen of course:

Moving Tip #1: Clean top to bottom. When you’re cleaning something in your new home (like the kitchen cabinets before you load in all your dishes, or a closet before you add the linens), it only makes sense to start from the top. This way any spare dirt or dust that doesn’t stick to your rag won’t end up dirtying the shelf below that you’ve already cleaned.

Moving Tip #2: Touch things once. If you’re carrying a huge box of bathroom stuff, it makes no sense to toss it into the foyer assuming that you’ll get to it later. If it’s already in your arms, you might as well take it to its final destination. Why bend over twice?

Moving Tip #3: Save the seated tasks for last. It’s much easier to rest when you’re doing stationary projects that can be accomplished in a seated position, so save folding clothes or organizing drawers for the very end of the day when you can pull up a chair or sprawl out on the floor. (Here’s one of the last projects that I completed while perched on a stool: installing dish dividers into their island’s fabulously deep drawers).

Moving Tip #4: Don’t bother unhanging clothes. Unless you’re moving across the country and have to ship your items, drop your clothes (hanger and all) into oversized black garbage bags. Instead of wrestling hangers and clothing into a restrictive box (or taking the time to unhang and rehang everything) it should only take a few giant bags and a few minutes to pack your whole closet. Then simply deposit the bags into the right room, and you’ll have everything back into the closet in about 60 seconds.

Moving Tip #5: Toss stuff you’re so over. You’ll probably move lots of stuff that wasn’t even good enough for your old house (so you sure as heck won’t be whipping it out in your new one). Even though you moved it all the way to the new place, cut your loses and toss it (or donate it) before it takes over the closets and cabinets in your new abode. From editing glassware and silverware to old clothes and even bathroom stuff as you unpack, you’ll feel fabulous about your fresh start (look at all the stuff Emily and Todd left out for the garbage man).

Now it’s your turn to share the wealth. Tell us your favorite moving tips for the next time we get roped into helping our seemingly nomadic family and friends. And stay tuned for the stunning “after” photos of their amazing new home in the coming weeks…

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Dig This

It’s been so long that I betcha forgot about our front walkway project, didn’t you? You can get a full refresher here, but the gist is that we ripped up our shoddy old path and used leftover slate to piece together a bigger and better walkway to our front door. It was a weekend full of work and we left off with the simple task of digging all the slate into the ground. Here’s a pic to jog your memory (before the big dig):

That simple task of digging in 48 pieces of stone turned into a four-day back-breaking adventure, all in hopes of engineering a wobble-free perfectly-graded welcoming walkway to our house. Which is why my follow-up post is coming so late. But in the end, victory was ours.

Why did it take so long? Let’s just say there was a lot of trial-and-error involved in digging perfectly shaped holes for each piece of slate. Some people use a bed of sand to make this process easier, but we feared that it might jeopardize our chances of getting grass to sprout in between the slabs of slate, so we did it the hard way. No guts no glory, right? Making sure the stones didn’t rock when we walked across them ended up being more art than science, and it typically took 4 or 5 tries to get it just right. Not to mention keeping all the pieces level with the slope of the yard.

But it’s done and you can now walk to our front door without twisting an ankle. And as of last night we laid grass seed along the seams and are now just waiting for some green to show. So there’s one more “after” photo still to come… just don’t hold your breath.

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