Thursday, April 28, 2016

Make Your Move Easier

Moving is never easy, whether moving a few blocks or thousands of miles away. Here's a checklist from the moving pros to help you prepare for your move.

4 Weeks In Advance:
Make reservations for your moving company. Hold garage sales, donate to charity or throw away items you won't be taking with you. Get change-of-address cards from the Post Office. notify magazines, charge account companies, insurance companies, clubs and other organization of your change of address. Get owners manual for appliances in new home, if possible.

2 Weeks In Advance:
Make a survival kit of things for the last clean up (broom, dust cloth, etc.), as well as a snack. If you decide to pack yourself, label all boxes. Write the destination (by room) on top and sides of each box. Schedule dates for disconnecting gas, electric, water and telephone services. Arrange for refunds that are due to you. Schedule connections for your new home. Cancel cable TV, lawn maintenance and other services. Make travel plans and arrange for a hotel stay, if necessary. Arrange to move pets. Check with the mover about moving houseplants (some movers will not move them). Dispose of all items too dangerous to move, including flammable liquids. If necessary, have your automobile serviced and ready for the trip.

1 Week In Advance:
Mail in your change of address forms. Clean the stove. If necessary, reserve an elevator for pickup and/or delivery dates. Cancel your newspaper delivery. Have enough medication to last at least two weeks. Have prescriptions forwarded to a pharmacy at your new destination. Set aside valuable items to carry with you, including jewelry, vital documents, money and valuable small items.

1 To 2 Days In Advance:
If you're having movers pack your goods, have them do that now. Empty, defrost and thoroughly dry refrigerator and freezer. Get cash to tide you over.

Moving Day:
Complete information on the mover's bill of lading (freight) and carefully read the document before you sign it. Make sure you have your copies of the bill of lading and inventory. Before the van leaves, take one final look through the house to make certain that nothing has been left behind. Give the driver directions to your new home. Notify the driver and the van line where you can be reached during the move.

Delivery Day:
Be on hand to supervise unloading and unpacking. Check carefully for any damaged or missing items. Note on the inventory any damaged boxes or other items before you sign anything.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tips To Declutter Your Home

As an interior designer, I know how overwhelmed my clients can feel about too much clutter. The key to decluttering is to break down the project into smaller, manageable tasks.

Work in scheduled blocks of time. Keep sessions short. Mark this time on your calendar like any other appointment. Schedule times when your energy level is highest.
1. Attack the visible clutter first.
2. Move into the simplest room and tackle that, or pick just one closet or one drawer
     at a time.
3. Find a friend to work with---a clutter buddy that will commit to helping you.
4. Schedule a reward after each session, like coffee at your favorite café.

1. Sturdy garbage bags.
2. Markers
3. Packing tape
4. Removable stickers
5. Boxes.  Label five of them as follows: Give Away, Other Peoples' Stuff,
     Put Away, Shred and Recycle,  Sentimental

1. Do I like it? Do I love it? Have I used it, worn it or read it this year?
2. What is the worst that will happen if I give it up?
3. Does someone else in my circle of family and friends love it?
4. Is it ugly? Do I feel great in it?
5. Does it contribute to my lifestyle and vision now?

1. Regularly schedule time to put things away where they belong.
2. Invite a friend over regularly to keep you on track.
3. Remember your vision. If you haven't already achieved it, go through the
    steps again.
4. Review the Sentimental Box. If your interests have changed or you realize
    you don't need or use it, then let it go.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bathroom Bling On A Budget

Are you longing to create a personal bath retreat but have limited space and/or budget? Here are ideas to create a smaller bath with glamour and functionality.

1. Create a vertical spa shower. Customize your shower with body sprays, showerhead, rain showers, hand showers, multi-function transfer valves and temperature control systems. These showers offer the relaxation and luxury of a whirlpool without the space required for a large bathtub.

2. Freshen your bathroom with a high-quality shower curtain or glass doors. Today's shower curtains come in great designs, colors and materials. For glass shower doors, choose from clear, smoked or etched glass and with or without metal frame details.

3. Gain more space and storage with a single vanity. Today's vanities look like a furniture piece with decorative feet accents and framed mirrors. This cabinetry can also contain special storage spaces like linen towers and vanity drawers.

4. Replacing the faucet set is an easy and inexpensive way to upgrade the bath. Faucet sets come in numerous designs and finishes, also with marble and colored interchangeable accent stone pieces.

5.  Medicine cabinets and mirrors can become a focal point of your bathroom.  It will do wonders for your bath design to replace a rusty or outdated cabinet.

6. Lighting takes up little space but can make a dramatic change in your bathroom.  Styles from modern to retro and traditional are available in many finishes to coordinate with your bathroom fixtures.

7. Neutral tones will make a small bathroom appear larger. But neutral doesn't have to mean boring. Consider specialty finishes and techniques such as crackle, color washing, metallic and glazes that add texture and unique effects.

8. Use accessories to increase storage space. Add a glass shelf to display collectibles or for storage. Hooks, towel racks, cup and toothbrush holders can look classy while hold bathroom necessities.

9. Use a pocket door in place of a swing door.  This will eliminate doorway clutter and free up extra space.

10. Window treatments are another way to add style to your bathroom décor. Valances, drapes and curtains can be an element that pulls you bathroom's look together.

No matter what the size and budget of your bathroom project, you can add warmth, style and elegance.