Friday, February 18, 2011

20 Questions

It's time for another round of 20 questions, the New House/Moving Edition:

1. What tips do you have for making a move easy on a child?

2. What did you pack up first and what did you leave for the end?

3. What is one thing you would do differently the next time you had to move?

4. Approx how many clothes do you have in your closet each season?

5. What do you know about consignment stores?

6. Anyone know a good piano tuner?

7. What are the first things that needs to be done in the spring to start a garden? When?

8. What is your trick for keeping your move organized?

9. What is your favorite way to realize a theme in a little boys room?

10. Any one have any kid potties they like?  (Now that we have room for one and we should start talking about that process..ugh)

11. Besides a place to sleep what do you unpack first?

12. Are housewarming parties tacky or fun?

13.  Who do you have to call specifically to change your address and who can you send a postcard/email to?

14.  What should you be sure to do in your new house before you move in?

15.  How do you go from college/hand-me down "chic" to some sort of real style without spending too much money?

16. Any other packing tips?

17.  What are must haves for lawn care/house care?  Lawn mower - what else?

18. What should I get baby goat for his birthday next week?

19. Which do you prefer - Tricycle, Big Wheel, or Balance Bike?

20.  Any tips for reducing moving stress?


Colleen said...

I have so much to tell you, but only enough time right now to answer #5, what do I know about consignment stores: EVERYTHING.

Remember my business idea!?!?!?? I'll happily make you my second customer. If you put aside everything that you think has some value that you'd like to get rid of, I'll help.

More later...

Kelly said...

We bought our first house together in June 2010, so a lot of this stuff is still fresh.

2. I packed up all the sentimental things/things we knew we weren't going to need (we had months between the decision to move and our move date), and left things like kitchen items till last, as we'd be using them up to moving day.

8. We went around our apartment and visually estimated how many boxes we'd need (my husband's very spatial). We then went and got that many boxes. (we used new boxes from U-Haul because we could) When we came home, we'd tape up 10-15 boxes and have them ready to pack. When those were done, we made up 10-15 more. Kept us moving along faster than taping up a box after using a box.

11. Bedroom, bathroom, kitchen are my top 3. Having the kitchen functional is critical to us unpacking the rest of the house.

12. Fun! It's a nice way to show off the house...

13. The USPS is critical - you can do it online or go get a form at the post office. That way, address changes you miss will get a forwarding notice. I would call each of your credit card companies and change it with them (or do it online if they allow). Make sure to change your driver's license (We still haven't....) - if you change the address where your vehicles are located online, that won't update your license.

14. Paint. We didn't, and it's hard to get the motivation to clear out a room to paint.

20. Make lists. Having things to check off helped me immensely, and it meant I dropped fewer balls, which was key to my sanity.

I have a recommendation for movers, if you're hiring them - we used A-1 Movers (affiliated w/ Stevens) in Hopkins and they were fantastic. 3 young, strong guys, who did amazing work for us (and came in under budget, which earned them a tip equal to the difference between the quote and the actual charge!).

It's stressful, but SO worth it!

EDH said...

Great post, which I will probably be bookmarking for future reference!

4. Um, a lot. I'm not good at this. I dream of having a pared-down wardrobe but I'm not good at minimalism, it seems.

8. No tips here. I am a TERRIBLE packer/mover. I always have good intentions, but at the end I wind up throwing crap into garbage bags... it's not organized and it's not fun. At all.

9. I'm not a theme person. My theme for Anna's room is "stuff I like." :) However, I think it's fun to pick a color - gives it a unified look.

12. Fun! Just write "no gifts" if you're concerned.

15. There are so many great home decor/DIY blogs out there. I especially love Apartment Therapy, Young House Love, and Making It Lovely, but there are thousands more. What kind of style are you looking for? Modern, vintage, somewhere in between? I have favorites for each genre - home decor is one of my favorite ways to spend free time! :)

20. Wine... like I said, I HATE moving. But, think of how wonderful it will be once you're done!

Melinda said...

I can only help with a couple of these, but here you go:

2 - I packed up the computer first (so that I wouldn't get distracted) and my husband's gaming console soon after that. When/if we move again, the gaming console will definitely be the absolute FIRST thing in the box (the computer will probably be second!)

3 - Hire professional movers! When we bought our house, it was only about 1 mile from our apartment and I let my husband talk me into moving things ourselves. HUGE MISTAKE!

10 - We have one, I think it's from Safety First. It is one that starts as a stand alone potty and then you can move it into a toilet-seat potty and a step. That one seems to work better for us than the Ikea ones we bought.

11 - I unpacked the kitchen, simply because it was the easiest place to get organized. Since just about everything goes in cupboards and drawers, it was easy to get the boxes unpacked, everything put away and the empty boxes out of there.

12 - FUN...not that we had one. However, we finally (after living here for 3 years) got our backyard in, so we will probably have a yard-warming party in the spring.

14 - If you need to paint, do that before you move anything in. It will be MUCH easier that way!

15 - I don't know, but if you find out, let me know! :-D

17 - Ladder, rake, broom, hose...

20 - See #3

Monkeymama said...

1. I pack the kids stuff as late in the game as possible and let them pack some of their favorites. I keep a large bag of super favorites with us in our car for quick fun in the new place. I talk up the new place and how awesome it will be.

2. I always pack from least used to most used. Stuff we never use is packed first (or tossed) and we're always throwing just washed dishes into a box as the truck is getting packed.

3. I don't want to even think about moving again!

4. I don't know - with preg., nursing, and all that I feel like I haven't used my real clothes in years.

5. Not much... the one in town is a rip-off.

8. I keep organized with lots of lists and I always have a box that I label really well for important things that I need to find quickly.

9. We don't really do themes either, but I pick a color or two and build around that.

10. We have some basic potty. The seat can come off the potty and go on to a big potty, but we've never done that. The base can turn into a step stool, which we do use once they are ready for the big potty.

11. I like to start with the kitchen. (And the kids rooms.)

12. We didn't have a big party, but I was really excited to have guests because it kept me motivated to keep unpacking.

13. I'd just start making a list of all the places that need your address and start working down it. A lot can be done on-line now.

14. Before you move in you should run around all the empty rooms shouting with joy! (If you have a chance to clean or do any painting that might be nice too.)

15. I wish I knew! I have too many bare walls and old furniture.

16. When we had the professional packers they put together a bunch of boxes and just started filling them without pausing. I tend to try to find things to perfectly fill boxes, think about if I want to keep stuff, or sort things. Less thinking is my tip.

18. Something fun for his new room or yard?

19. Joe got a balance bike this year. We have a nice trike and they both loved it.

20. Lists!

fritzfacts said...

So many fun ideas! We labeled each box with the exact room, then labeled each room door, that helped us stay organized and stopped people from asking me 9 people questions as I was trying to move stuff around.

Room themes...I didn't until long after we moved. Hunters room was easy, no theme just color. same with Boo really. She wanted girly.

I packed the non-seasonal stuff first, but made sure I packed a box a night at least.

I love consignment stores...that one is loaded so it depends on which store you go to and what you are buying/selling.

The first thing for yard in the spring..rake it! That pulls the grass away from the dirt and allows it to grow better. Don't mow for at least a week after.

MamaBear said...

I'd come up with some sort of marking for the boxes of everyday items so you can tell your movers (we always had friends and family help) that if the box has a star then it goes in a certain could also make a sign for each of the rooms so people know where to put stuff and the boxes make it to the correct room right away.

This last time we moved I really enjoyed having the majority of my boxes put in my garage so that my house wasn't over run with boxes. I just brought in a box at a time and unpacked as I went.

I think it really helps to plan out where your furniture is going to go so you can direct traffic efficiantly as the heavy stuff is brought in. You don't want to have to move stuff later! I loved drawing out plans for all my new space :)

Congrats on the new house!

Elizabeth said...

When we moved into our new house, we bought almost all of our furniture off craigslist. It did take over a year to accumulate what we wanted and you have to check every day or 2 to see what's new, but it saves a TON of money. Furniture is so overpriced in stores. But you do have to make the choice between time and money...

Kate said...

No one's answered #7, so I'll give that a go.

Starting a garden- first determine the sunniest part of your yard but you'll need to wait until the trees have full leaf coverage. A garden used to grow vegetables will require minimum of 8 hours of sunlight a day. Be aware of trees adjacent to where you want to start; if they're smaller trees, their growth could potentially cut off sun in future years. Determine how big you want to go and how much you wish to grow. If you aren't sure, start small in an area that can be expanded in the future.

Starting a garden is hard work. You need to cut the grass off the top, often can be done by hand or by use of a sod cutter. The soil underneath has to be broken up, using a tiller is best, or by old fashioned shoveling. Ideally, you want to enhance the soil at the time you break it up to enrich the nutrient profile. Dumping a load of composted soil on it prior to tilling is the best way. A fence is necessary to keep the area separate from the rest of the yard. And once the garden is planted, you would want to cover the soil with mulch to prevent weed growth. Dead leaves and grass clippings are good options.

#8- Moving is rarely organized, but make sure you label boxes clearly so you know where everything should go. Plan for it to be chaotic because it is. Prepare to be exhausted by it. Prepare to feel unsettled for a while. It's all normal.

#11- bathroom, kitchen, toys for E

#12- They're fun, but only if you enjoy throwing parties and having a house full of guests

#15- this is a gradual process, and doesn't need to be rushed. Determine your budget for a piece of furniture you want to buy and shop at a lot of furniture places to determine the best options.

#17- Good quality tools like rakes and shovels; lawn mower, snow blower, hand tools for the garden, a nice grill, some outdoor chairs, a portable fire pit, a good extendable ladder

#19 Tricycle

#20 Moving is one of the top three life stresses. You can't avoid it, and rarely can it be reduced. Prepare for it and expect it. Don't plan anything extra during the week surrounding your move. And most importantly- DON'T turn down anyone's offer to help. Give them a job, hand them boxes and point them to what needs to get packed. When we moved in 2003 we had almost more people than we needed and it went so fast and so smooth. And that goes for when you land in the new home too; have people set up the beds, put away the kitchen goods, unpack the toys, stock the bathrooms. Never ever politely say 'Oh we'll do it later.' You will be exhausted. Let people help. You can always adjust what they do later but at least all the stuff is in the right place.

Kate said...

Back to #17- If the house doesn't come with them, you'll need hoses, hand sprayers and sprinklers (unless you've got a sprinkling system installed). I highly recommend hose-winding reels with wheels to wind your hoses on. Much easier to keep them controlled. Also determine your garden placement based on how easy it will be to water. You may need multiple hoses if your house is short of outdoor spigots. We have two outdoor spigots and a complicated system of hoses to get water all around the house (and to the driveway for car washing) but it works.

trishatfox said...

The only thing I know about moving is this: I made sure I was incapacitated both times we did it, once by pregancy and once by foot surgery, so I really couldn't lift a finger. Is it too late for you to break an arm or something?

The only question from your list of 20 is that it would be awesome if you had a house warming party as I love to shop for house warming gifts and I super hope I will be invited. And I do not even care if it is tacky to say that.
Good luck with the move and much love.

Sharon said...

2) Pack up books first. Leave out a few to read, but they make a huge difference. Seeing empty shelves will motivate you to continue. Leave the stuff you need 'til last -- kitchen, bathroom, etc.

3) We would have moved more stuff ourselves. We have a weight limit for what my job will pay to move. We moved plants ourselves, but we would've done more boxes of books. To keep prices down, you can move the things you feel confident you won't break.

6) Yup, but not anywhere near you :(

7) Given all the newness, don't underestimate the fun of a container garden. This is also easier with a toddler. I love half whiskey barrels for veggies (tomato, cuke, peppers, string beans all do well). Flowers and herbs can be in smaller pots, and can be (re)arranged all summer. This is especially good the first year, as you're learning where you get sun/shade, etc. The only drawback to container gardening is that you need to water much more frequently. At least once a week, often once a day.

8) Label everything. Try to pack like with like. Toward the end, you'll end up with boxes of miscellaneous crap. But that's also usually not stuff you use regularly. Label what is in the box, also where you want the movers to put the box. (i.e. kids bedroom, living room)

9) Walk into a room that's already done!

11) Our first night in our house, we were without a kid. We had a TV without cable or antenna, and an inflatable mattress with sheets. Once our stuff was delivered, I worked on the kitchen. Not sure what Hubby did first...

12) Have someone else send out invites, then you avoid any sense of looking tacky. Or, just don't call it a housewarming party. Call it an open 'new' house!

14) Clean the carpets. Go borrow or rent a good quality steam cleaner. You will never have this chance again. We could borrow one from a friend, so we took a week to get every square inch of the house. SO glad we did.

15) First, realize that HGTV has done much to convince us that everyone has some kind of real style in their homes. Feel free to claim different priorities in your own life. That said, it's great to start with one room. When our hand-me-down couch was on its last legs, we did the whole room. Couch, loveseat, coffee table, and rug. It was an investment, but it was our favorite room in the house. And it lasted us for a long time.

16) Bubble wrap comes in rolls! Also, get help with the kitchen. There are so many little things to wrap, you will get frustrated and just start tossing things into boxes. If you don't want broken stuff, get help.

17) A 2-stage snow blower. The cheap ones can't handle deep or wet snow. And you can probably get a good deal if you get one at the end of the season. Also, plenty of storage shelves (in garage/basement) and tubs.

18) Really? This question doesn't fit your theme.

20) It's just a move. Remember that. All your loved ones are safe and healthy, you have a job, etc. It's a lot of work, but remember that this is a happy thing!

Jen said...

1. At his age, you shouldn't need to do much. But some people say to get the kid's room set up first and set it up just as it is in the current place.

2. First: anything decorative. Last: dishes and basic cooking utensils.

7. Check out the U of M Extension website.

8. Mark boxes for the rooms they WILL go in, not where they came FROM.

10. We always used the little rings that go on the real toilet. The separate seats gross me out.

12. FUN!

13. I think I did it all by mail/email.

14. Clean the carpets. It's a pain to do once you have furniture in.

17. Ladder

19. Tricycle now, Balance Bike later but make your own, don't buy one.