Monday, October 31, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Throw a Party & GIVEAWAY!

Celebrate your new home, show it off and enjoy it with some friends and family.


 Throw yourself a little party.
Whether it's a house-warming gathering, a Tupperware party, a kids birthday event or just girlfriends over for brunch.
Party like a Rock Star!
Hell, you deserve a shin-dig just for following along for the last 31 days!
And what's a party with out party favors?
Just a little token to help you make something to dress up your new (or not) nest:
a $10 gift certificate to YouCanMakeThis.com!

Mandatory Entry:
Leave a comment letting me know which 31 Days to Settle in After a Move post is your favorite and why!
{Winner must be a Cherry Bubbins follower.}

Giveaway will be closed and winner will be chosen by random number on Monday, November 7, 2011.



Thanks for joining me on this quest to Settle in, if you've missed any posts from the series you can find them below. 

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Intro
{Day 1} Color me Mine
{Day 2} Carpet
{Day 3} Unpack
{Day 4} Ensure Privacy
{Day 5} Cleaning...or not...
{Day 6} Restock Your Kitchen
{Day 7} Don't Rush to Hang Pictures
{Day 8} New Purchases & Repurposing
{Day 9} Kids Rooms
{Day 10} Create Your Oasis
{Day 11} Buy a New Shower Head
{Day 12} Break in the Kitchen
{Day 13} Re-Establish Routine
{Day 14} Break in the Bedroom
{Day 15} Paint Your Front Door
{Day 16} First Impressions
{Day 17} Do You Smell That?
{Day 18} Beautify Your Walls
{Day 19} Family Cards
{Day 20} Accept the Imperfections
{Day 21} Make New Memories
{Day 22} Get Involved
{Day 23} You've Got Mail
{Day 24} Family Control Center
{Day 25} Live in the Moment
{Day 26} Settle Into Your Closet
{Day 27} Brighten Your Outlook
{Day 28} Pick Your Battles
{Day 29} Be Selfish
{Day 30} Get a Pool
{Day 31}This Post - Throw a Party




Happy Halloween!

Wishing you a Spook-tacular day! ~the Duran Clan!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Get a Pool

It will
keep your kids busy
draw every kid within a 2 mile radius
leave you with towels you know you never bought
make you wish you had a degree in chemistry
cost way more than you possibly imagined
and make your house the coolest on the block




can't get a pool?
a trampoline will probably give you similar results.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Be Selfish

 After each move my studio is the last room to be unpacked and squared away and sometimes it has been months before I am able to sew again.  And even though I am totally over-focusing on the task at hand - settling in to our new home- I am probably less productive because in the back of my head I wish I was doing something for me. Then I become grumpy & resentful. That makes me a fun person to be around. (We all know the saying "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.")

Learn from my (repeated) mistake.

Don't put your creativity on hold because you have a huge to-do list.
Don't let guilt keep you from doing something just for you.
Don't neglect your hobbies or passions.

Death, Divorce, and Moving are the 3 most stressful experiences in life.
Would you ever deny someone a creative outlet or time to enjoy themselves after a death? or a divorce?
of course not.
So why do we do it to ourselves during a move?




Take some time for you, whether it's reading a good book, enjoying a pedicure or getting your craft on.
Do it, and do it often.
You totally deserve it, don't put yourself last.




31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Pick Your Battles

Let's be real.
There are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week.


I recently read a post on The Happiest Mom titled "Cleaning and Organizing is a process, not a goal". It was a great post - with a fantastic concept that I think can be easily applied to a move. In it Meagan writes " you will never be able to brush your hands together, and say “That’s it! I’m completely organized and the house is neat and clean! Now I can just relax and enjoy for the rest of my life!” Settling in is a process, not a goal. There is always going to be one more thing to do, clean, buy, make or put away. I say, pick your battles, and don't sweat the small stuff.

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Brighten Your Outlook

Wishing you had a better view?
Wash your windows!



You'll be amazed at how much brighter your home will seem.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Settle into Your Closet

Having a hard time getting dressed in the mornings because you still can't find anything in your closet?
me too.
I went from a walk-in closet of my very own to a standard closet.
 I've paired down to 45 shoes and sent about 30% of my clothes to the DI. 
(I refuse to let go of anything else) 

You can see I managed to squeeze in whats left - I'm really good at "making it work"! 
For the most part I've got the clothes organized: pants, dresses, skirts  - and shirts by color and sleeve length.
Can you see where I'm struggling every morning?


It's the shoes!
(...and yes, I did just post a picture of my closet. I can't believe I'm showing you this...)

I worked in Womens Shoes at Nordstrom a lifetime ago, 
so I normally organize my shoes by color and heel size. Now they are such a mess. 
When I open this closet every morning I am reminded of  one more move-related thing I still need to do. 
Great way to start my day, right?!

I know if I just take an afternoon to get this together I'll feel better and my mornings will go so much smoother. 

Need some help getting started on your closet? Tiny Twig is doing a 31 day series on a "No Brain-er Wardrobe" and in her 6th day post she covers purging your closet. Even though she kinda lost me when she said no one needs more than 5 -10 pairs of shoes (gasp!) she's very motivating. 

What have you done to settle into your closet? 
What do you still need to do?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Live in the Moment

Today Kadence turns 11 years old.
I can't think of a better way to enjoy our new home than to celebrate her birthday.
Don't get so carried away in your to do list that you forget to enjoy life.
Live in the moment. 
The house will still be standing tomorrow.

Kadence Carolina
October 25, 2000

Monday, October 24, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Family Control Center

Identify your dumping grounds and collection areas.
 It could be by the front door, on your desk or all over your kitchen counter. 

In our home it's the kitchen (a habit I'm breaking) and by the garage door.

 I got tired of shuffling papers around my counter top after we moved here - especially since there was a perfectly good area already built into our family room we could use. It's near the phone, computer and filing cabinet. This seems like a pretty obvious place to put mail, notes, papers, etc, right?? It took a while and met some resistance, but the kids are finally catching on. This is now my "Family Control Center"


However, this bowl in the kitchen is still catching some items before they make their way home...



And you've all seen the garage door solution...


See my keys hanging off the top of the lamp? 
Tacky? definitely!
But have I ever lost my keys since we moved in? Nope!

Where are your dumping grounds and how do you wrangle the mess? 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: You've Got Mail


Have you ever upped your curb appeal to make your home more sell-able, and then wished you'd done it from day one so that you could have enjoyed it all along?

Isn't that kinda like waxing for a pap-smear but forgoing a shave before a trip to the beach?

Is your mailbox looking a little neglected? Mine is!


Everything else looks fine. 
Our yard looks nice, I love the flag pole and our front door is now a welcoming shade of red.
But that mailbox... eeshh!
crappy paint job, missing numbers....


Any one else singing "One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong." when they look at their mailbox?

You could buy a new one, or....

You could give it a fresh coat of paint



and add a little vinyl to personalize it




Decorate it for the season



Add some lovely plantings around it



try a different medium to make it your own



What can you add to your curb appeal to make it your own?
I'm feeling inspired to paint mine red, it definitely needs help! Maybe I'll get to that later this week.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Make a Difference!


Kadence and I will be at the Newgate mall working on quilts for the Childrens Justice Center.



What are you doing to make a difference today?



31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Get Involved!

A new job is a great way to network and meet new people...but some of us are in a place in our lives where we can't or maybe just don't wanna. That doesn't mean you have to be stuck at home in a new place all lonesome and pathetic. Get out there - start volunteering, join some clubs, take some classes. Become part of your new community.



There are so many opportunities to expand your world or make a difference.
Your church or kids school is a great place to start. But don't stop there.
When I Google'd "Layton UT Club" I got a plethora of responses - fom Mom clubs to Hiking clubs, there is something for everyone. If you have a talent or passion for something related to the arts, consider looking into a guild. Just a quick Google of "Layton UT Guild" brought up a Jewelers Guild, Artisans Guild, Quilt Guild, Screen writers Guild, Story Telling Guild, Opera Guild, Symphony Guild.....

I belong to the American Sewing Guild, it is a national organization - so every time we move one of the first things I do is look into my local chapter. It's an easy way for me to quickly make friends with similar interests, expand my sewing knowledge and help my local community.

 Take a chance, you may just make some new friends!


Friday, October 21, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Make New Memories

A new home is an opportunity to make new memories!

What is in store for you over the next 6, or even 12 months? Plan ahead for the next "event" - stir up some excitement, build anticipation, create your bliss!


  • Go ahead, dream about decorations, parties and gatherings. 
  • Dwell on the small things, from tooth fairy visits to romantic dinners. 
  • Celebrate all your "new" firsts, as if they were the very first firsts.


We got our first snow of the season a couple weeks ago. Sure, we've seen snow before, but there was a thrill to it being "the first snow in our new home" - even if it was only a pathetic dusting that quickly melted.


Start thinking now, what events are looming on the horizon for you? 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Join Me on Make a Difference Day!

You can make a difference for abused children.
Saturday is Make a Difference Day, a national day of helping others. 
If you live in the Ogden area, I hope you will consider joining us as we gather at the Newgate Mall to make quilts for the Childrens Justice Center. These quilts are given to children for comfort while they are interviewed and given medical examines, and they are then theirs to keep.  


My local ASG group has been doing this annually for around ten years and  it's become a cause close to my own heart.  Please check out  The Childrens Justice Center website for more information on how they make a difference everyday in the lives of abused children.

Please. If you can, just stop by, it doesn't cost a thing except a few moments of your time.



Looking for yesterdays 31 day post?
here it is: 31 Days to Settle After a Move: Make Family Cards

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Accept the Imperfections

This will never be like your last house.
...or base, town, school, church, neighborhood...

Moving constantly in the military we have discovered wonderful friends and crappy neighbors, shiny new appliances and lead paint warnings, scorching deserts and freezing snow. I've gotten to sew in a huge studio, a garage, a closet, a bedroom and a dining room. Each new set of orders brought a sense of adventure and a feeling of sorrow.

You miss your friends, your job, your old house, the weather, the neighbors, you name it - I have missed it.  When you move, everything changes, and sometimes you just need to change your state of mind. There is no sense in being miserable and hating your new place, even if you're only going to be there for a short time. Accept the imperfections, and if you can't learn to love it, learn to make do until you can. (check out the nesters wonderful  31 day series on lovely limitations for inspiration on making do) After all, how can you settle into your new home when you still haven't let go of the old one?

It's okay to reminisce, but try not to do too much comparing. That will just depress you and annoy everyone around you. 
Those of us who are military all know someone who starts every other sentence with:
"when we were stationed in..." 
"at my old base..."
"when I was at..."

Please, don't be that person.

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Family Cards

As you meet your new neighbors and make friends within your community you will (hopefully) start giving out your contact info. 
Here's an idea!
Give them something other than your name and number scribbled on the inside of a gum wrapper you just dug out of your purse.



Make "family" cards with all your new info, kids names, whatever, to hand out. 
You not only instantly appear to be so awesome and put together that everyone will want to be your new BFF, but it also helps save you the embarrassment of admitting you haven't memorized your new phone number after 3 months....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Beautify Your Walls

You've got your furniture where you want it, and the "big stuff" is taken care of. 
Now you can start focusing on the details.

Somethings have an obvious place.
I knew right off the bat that my double-faced Union Station Clock would go on this wall.



I love it here - I can check the time from the dinning area or right when I walk through the front door. It's one of my favorite things, and I love that it has a prominent place in our new home.

Somethings are placed out of necessity.
I used a card holder to cover this eye-sore of a phone jack.


 and a wreath to cover an oddly placed motion detector smack dab in the center of a wall.


Technically, you can still see it peeking from under the star. And I'm sure that eventually it will be taken care of in a more permanent manner, but for now this works.

Somethings place themselves.
My sweet friend is an artist, and after we moved in she brought me this water color knowing I favored it. I set it on the kitchen counter, knowing it would eventually speak to me and tell where it should live.



A few days later I realized that it was telling me that it liked where it happened to be just fine and I should leave it there thank-you-very-much. So by happy accident this watercolor found it's fixed place on my kitchen counter.

I am not done getting everything up on the walls, but getting closer. 
Whether it's frames, clocks, mirrors, shelves, stenciling or vinyl art - get it out and start putting it up.
What have you done to beautify your walls?

Monday, October 17, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Do You Smell That?

Have you ever noticed how everyone's house has it's own distinct smell? Some smell like candles, food, or cleaners,  and others more like cats or dirty socks?

Some smells are good, some are bad, and some, well - they're just not your own.

This is always a complaint of my husbands when we move.
It smells like paint.
It smells funny.
It doesn't smell like home.

Smell, more than any other sense, is associated with memories. Trigger memories of home for you and your family by getting your smell back.

Throw open the windows and let the place air out - especially if it's been empty for a while or you've recently painted. You may even want to open closet and cabinet doors while your at it.

A good carpet cleaning and general scrubing of the house helps you remove any previous owner funk while adding your own "clean" smell. (I use Method cleaners, and the almond scent from the wood cleaners has become one of our "regular" smells.)

If  you normally use air fresheners or candles then plug them in and light them up.

Other things that will help you recover your own smell are baking and cooking - even things like laundry and your perfume eventually permeate the house and make it smell like you.

Some smells are stubborn. They take more work.

In our last house I couldn't get a "stink" out of the kitchen. It kept coming from the fridge, but it was clean. I cleaned it. What the hell is that smell? Finally, when doing my thorough kitchen cleaning I was able to tackle it. I had to clean scrub behind and under the fridge. It was gross. I expected a dead mouse or something, but it was mostly moldy cookies and spilled who knows what... But it smelled much better when I was done!
 Worse than that, every time it rained or got seriously humid the house smelled like wet dog. Lovely!  This smell was emanating from the wood floors, and I honestly think the only way to eliminate that would have been to strip and refinish them. Not an option as renters. So needless to say, I went through a LOT of almond floor cleaner there.

Go on - get your own smell back.
It may not happen over night, but it will happen.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: First Impressions


By now your neighbors are probably getting brave enough to "welcome" you o the neighborhood. You know they've been scoping you out since the day you moved in - c'mon, they were peeking through their blinds sizing up your furniture as the movers were unloading. And if it was a while before you got the blinds up - well, don't think they didn't notice.

First impressions, we hate to admit it - but, they're important. You may only have to live next door to these people for a year - or the rest of your lives. Either way, a teeny bit of effort can go a long way. (And let's be honest, they don't need to impress you - the pecking order is already established. Your the newbie.)

When an unexpected neighbor rings the door bell it is entirely probable that you may be:

  • sweaty
  • dirty
  • covered in paint
  • lost in a box maze
  • putting out a kitchen fire from burning frozen waffles
  • surrounded by 2 nekkid toddlers with unidentifiable goo in their hair
  • holding a baby that has been decorated by her sister with a sharpie
  • threatening to leave your husband and join the circus
  • crying inconsolably
  • ranting about said neighbors dog, kid, yard, car, lack of blinds, etc...
  • all of the above
Even sweaty, hard working mamas can look decent.
One word girlfriends:
 Lipgloss.
Always keep it in your pocket, so when the door rings and you're surrounded by madness your neighbor will be so mesmerized by your shiny smile she wont even notice how unhinged you really are.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Paint Your Front Door


Paint your door red.




or blue.




or black. 



or yellow. 



or purple. 



or whatever. 








you get the idea.
make it yours.
I did, and it makes me so happy!


Friday, October 14, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Break-in the Bedroom

Have sex.
(Yes, I said it.)
Break in the bedroom - don't become so busy that you neglect your relationship.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Re-establish Routine

Yeah, you've moved - but life goes on! Sometimes it's the little things that keep us on an even keel.
So, if before the move you always made Friday your Date Night, or spent Wednesday afternoons scrappin' with the girls then renew those customs.
Don't put it off until your "settled in" - that's part of what being "settled in"  is!
Re-establish your routines: lessons, family night, lunch dates, cleaning, laundry, what ever. Both the fun - and the mundane. It'll help restore balance to your life.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Break in the Kitchen

Do you bake cookies? or make a mean lasagna?
Have you done it since you moved in?
If you've restocked your pantry then it's time to break in your kitchen.
(And if you re-stocked with nothing but frozen waffles then it's time to go back to the store.)

Remember before the move, before the stress and craziness, when you all sat down at a table and ate dinner together? Recapture that, cook a family meal.

Tonight we're having Chili. It's one of those things that's easy to put together and it makes the whole house smell yummy. As soon as someone comes in the door, I hear "mmm, chili for dinner?"

What comfort food does your family crave?


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Buy a New Shower Head

Moving is hard work. And while we may not all be the long, soaking, bubble bath type, we do all take showers (uh, right?)

Indulging in a hot steamy shower is a great way to relax those aching muscles.
So, if your shower head looks like this:
 White Showerhead
Do yourself a favor. Go buy a better one.
Seriously, you deserve it.
After all that scrubbing, pushing, lifting, screaming and crying? Splurge a little.

And, if your house already came equipped with a hand held adjustable shower head?

Zoomed: Waxman Brushed Nickel 6-Spray Handheld Shower Massager
Well, I still think you should replace it too.
And if your wondering why??
Well, I think your naivete is sweet.
Just trust me on this one. The previous owner may not have been quite as clueless....

Monday, October 10, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Create Your Oasis


o·a·sis/ōˈāsis/

Noun:
  1. A fertile spot in a desert where water is found.
  2. A pleasant or peaceful area or period in the midst of a difficult, troubled, or hectic place or situation.


Organize one room at a time - don't try to tackle everything at once. Just one completed room can be your retreat to normalcy. Your Oasis.

For us, it was the Family room.
Computer and componets, set up and ready - check.
TV and cable, mounted and ready - check.
Furniture in it's (permanent) place - check.
DVD's, organized and easy to find - check.
All the little things in their "place" - check.
Stuff on walls and "decor" added - check.

(Goodness, I guess it's obvious were our priorities lay... who needs a family meal? entertain me!)

At the end of the day, it was nice to have this one room where we could gather and - regardless of what stage of settled the rest of the rooms were in - we could, for the moment, just enjoy being home.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Kids Rooms

While you and your husband may be able to function while digging through a suitcase for clean socks and tripping over unpacked books on your way to the bathroom, living in a state of transition is especially hard on little people.

We moved into our home at the beginning of summer, the weather was beautiful and it was easy enough to kick Kadence outside to play while I got to work making our house a home. After about the first week tho, her new friends were becoming curious about her house, her room and specifically, all her toys. You should know, new kids are more than just new people to play with - they come with all kinds of new stuff to play with as well.

Over the last few years our house has become the house where all the kids congregate, this neighborhood isn't looking to be any different. I knew I had to get Kadences room in order quickly so she'd have that space to hang out with her friends, but more than that, I knew she needed the normalcy.

I know the to-do list is long, but move the kiddlets rooms to the top if you can. I'm not saying that your kids rooms have to be completely put together and decorated - Kadences room is still a work in progress, and I'm afraid Anthony's will be done just in time for him to go off to college. Try to get their furniture placed and toys put away. Make it a space where they can have friends come in and play, without a risk of being crushed in an avalanche of toys and clothes while trying to locate a missing barbie shoe.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: New Purchases & Repurposing

Some times it's the square footage, sometimes it's just the floor plan. What ever the reason, all your old stuff may not work in your new space. Before you run out and buy new furniture, get a feel for the space and what you really want in there.
Otherwise, you may regret it later.
Case in point:

Floor Lamp w/ Shelf - Charcoal (Includes CFL Bulb)
http://www.target.com

The door leading to the garage is a dumping ground for us. It's handy to keep keys by the door, I like my purse there, and Sarge drops all his gear there when he comes in from work. In our old place, there was a hallway, with hooks. Perfect. In this house, the door is right off the family room. Completely visible. I needed something near the door to house everything, keys, my purse, the his helmet bag and cover. We already had a floor lamp there, which I was told had to stay. So working within those parameters I came across this lamp one day at Target and impulsively bought it. Storage and lighting, that'll do.
It's functional, but I've regretted it ever since. Now it's not a major purchase, and I will eventually replace it. But still, I wish I hadn't given into the need to have something - anything - in that spot, and just waited until the perfect fit found me.


everything could fit neatly in its own drawer...

http://www.rhbabyandchild.com/

we could just throw our bags in, hidden behind closed doors....
Custom Order Deposit
http://www.etsy.com/listing/82143175/

everything looks better in a cubby...



Before buying something new - or ditching something you think won't work in the new home - try re-purposing. With all the moving we've done we've picked up a lot of random furniture. It seems like each new house has a spot that needs something we just didn't have... Then in each new house - you have to find a way to make that piece work. It's amazing how creative you can get when your put in a pinch.

Take this closet for instance:


This was bought in Charleston, our first base. It started off as raw wood and has been painted blue and then eventually the white it is now. In some of our homes it has lived in the garage (because this thing is frickin' huge!) Other times it was used as a play closet, a hall closet (when there was none), a room divider, in the laundry room, in a bathroom, in my studio and now back in the garage. In each house we just made do. (Sorry for the lame pic. Its the only one I have of it's long and full life. But that's another story)

This (faux) butcher block is also a remanent from our first base:



This has lived in several kitchens and dining areas for most of our marriage, until it finally ended up in the tiniest studio I've had to date. A windowless closet that was 3x9 feet - that was when it became my serger table, because nothing else would possibly fit. More recently it became my embroidery machine table, and now it lives on my back porch holding pool towels and sunblock.

So my advice? Feel the space out before making major purchases and  re-purpose where you can.

Here's a recap of this weeks posts:
Day 2 Carpet
Day 3 Unpack






Friday, October 7, 2011

Round Robin Valentine Block

I'm participating in a Round Robin (kinda like a swap) and this month I had to create a 14 inch block for a Valentine themed quilt. The owner had already supplied the fabrics she wanted incorporated, including the panels. 
(it's a Moda from a couple years back, can't remember the line...)


Now, I am not a quilter. I joined a quilt guild with the intention of learning to quilt.
With that said, I received this with 2 blocks already completed by other participants.
When this thing finally gets all put together I don't want my block to stick out like a sore thumb.
(oh, that's the one Leslie did. isn't that precious
and if you have never lived in the south, let me tell you, precious is not a compliment) 



You could probably already tell that this was the block I made.
It's way simple.
And, I totally cheated by using someone else's left over strip of pieced scraps.
Since I'm more of an embellish-er than a piecer I appliqued some hearts on the side and couched the word "love" onto my block. 



Honestly, I am diggin' the ric-rac "love".   
Now I'm wondering what else could I do with some ric-rac word art?

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Don't Rush to Hang Pictures

Our first few moves were not the smoothest. Like everything, there is a learning curve to moving and settling in a new home.

Here is a lesson that I learned the hard way:

Live with a furniture arragement for a while before commiting and hanging stuff on walls.
(or hide the nails from husband until you are satisfied the furniture will not be moved)

 As soon as the furniture was in the house my husband would break out the hammer and nails and start putting things up on the walls. The movers had barely pulled out of the driveway, and already he's banging away. I mean, c'mon, that couch isn't even centered yet.
See, for him - it just wasn't home if the walls were bare.
Obviously, this resulted in tantrums on my part, a few tears and much pouting.
Because, well, I'm thinking the couch would probably look better against that wall over there. And now this picture will look ridiculous in this spot and if we move it there'll be 6 holes because we didn't get it level/centered/right the first time.

It's exhausting just typing about it!

In the end, I don't know what is worse. A wall full of holes from the constant shuffling and re-positioning of pictures, or putting up with a picture that's not quite in the right spot. I've done both.

Now we wait a bit before taking that leap. Test drive the layout. I make sure it looks right, he makes sure there's no glare hitting the TV.

And we've invested in a level.
and a measuring tape.

So see? He did "get it" eventually. Partly, I'm sure, because he got tired of dealing with the ensuing melt-downs - but also, because I have always been right. The couch does look better against that wall after all.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Restock Your Kitchen

 Every time we move I think I gain 5lbs just from all the take-out we consume. First, we eat out because we're packing. Then we're on the road. Then we live in TLF (military speak for temporary housing facilities) for God knows how long. Finally we get into our new home - but then there's unpacking, painting, cleaning, organizing, shopping to do... the list goes on and on.

Signs you're family is eating out way too much:

  • You have no idea if the dishwasher works because you haven't used it yet
  • The girl working the drive through knows your order before you place it
  • You kids fight over who "got to pick the restaurant last night"
  • Even your panties are starting to feel tight


Time to restock your pantry and avoid excuses to go out. 

 If you've gotten your kitchen acceptably clean then your ready to go shopping. This first restocking trip always shocks the Sarge, I think it's an expense of moving that people tend to forget. 

 Start with a menu. Even if you're a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda girl when dinner time rolls around you can benefit from some version of a menu, at least for the first couple of weeks. Keep it loose, and keep it easy - just jot down some meals everyone likes and that you can prepare with little fuss. This will help you stay prepared so dinner is one less thing to worry about while you're in the midst of all this chaos.

 Make a shopping list of  items from your menu - plus basic groceries you'll need. Of course there's the obvious stuff, milk, eggs, bread. But don't forget the random stuff you don't purchase quite as often. Condiments, oils, spices, pastas. You don't want to start cooking and realize your missing something as simple as corn starch or salt. 


Something about a well stocked kitchen makes me feel all warm and fuzzy! There are a couple of basic needs that we all have. Food and Shelter. So you've got one down with the new place - but what about the other?






  .

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Cleaning. or not...

Some houses are move-in ready, others not so much.
The last house we lived in was a rental, and upon first glance it seemed, well, clean. It wasn't until I started to clean that I realized it was anything but. This is where I can easily get bogged down, first I'm wiping down the bathrooms, next thing you know I'm scrubbing out the window tracks with a toothbrush.  Once we were more settled I systematically cleaned each room, one by one. Top to bottom. It felt great to be done, especially since most of the move was behind us and I could really enjoy it.

This is where you may have to reign in your OCD. Only clean what is nessecary - don't get caught in minutia, that'll come later. The trick is to get the basics taken care of first, then you can devote time and energy to deep cleaning when you are ready.

Let's take your kitchen for example,
Necessary: Stove top, counters, things your food and family will come in contact with.
Unnecessary: Behind the fridge or stove.

Sure, you may want to wipe down your cabinets, put in some shelf paper - but you don't need to break out the Murphys Wood Soap and spend the next 3 days scrubbing each cabinet down till it gleams. 
Not yet anyways.
I'm not saying don't clean these things. You really should. Other peoples dirt is just icky.
I'm just saying don't worry about them right off the bat.
You've got bigger things to worry about, like your cholesterol after eating take out for 2 weeks straight.



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Ensure Privacy

Seriously, if you can't walk around nekkid, how is it home?
If they aren't already there, get some blinds, shades, curtains, drapes  - what ever - up on those windows. I don't know about you, but I feel like I live in a fish bowl when there's no window covering.

We've all seen that house, you know, the one you drive by after dark. 
The windows are all wide open, every light in the house is on, and you see every detail of their lives played out before the world. 
Don't be that house.
Unless you're an exhibitionist, and even if you are - keep in mind, no one looks good all the time.
The neighbors are already curious about the "new people" as it is. Do you really want them sneaking peeks at you as they walk their dog at night?

And I'm not talking about newspaper or foil here either. You do that and your neighbors shudder. They start to worry about cars up on blocks, 4 foot weeds and property values going down. Great start, right? Don't do it.

I have neighbors behind me, who may have moved in the day before we did or could have been there for 10 years. I haven't actually met them, but I probably know more about them than I should, since they had a blanket haphazardly draped over their family room window. Because of the lay of the land, I could see straight into their home from any window in the back of my house or back yard. The Sarge and I both rejoiced when they finally put up a curtain.

But, what if you can't decide what you want in that window? Start thinking about it now. And in the meantime, throw up some blinds - they're less than 10 bucks at Walmart.


Monday, October 3, 2011

MyMemories Suite Givaway & Promo Winner!

The winner for the Mymemories Suite Giveaway is:






rosewendy , who said I love the Modish pack
Congratulations!




If you didn't win that's okay, 
Mymemories.com  is still offering a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store ($20 value!)
Just use code: STMMMS80032 at checkout

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Unpack

  This one seems pretty obvious, but is one of the hardest to do! the M half admits in her comment that she has taken 2 moves and 5 years to unpack, and I don't think she's alone. 

  If you are being moved by contractors (Mayflower, Allied, etc) then make it easy on yourself, have them do the unpacking. It's part of their contract, so it's not an additional charge - and when they're done they take all the boxes with them. Of all the families I've seen move (there have been lots!) I don't think I have seen anyone besides us take advantage of this.
They'll say "oh, the movers just dump everything, they won't put it away." 
True. But it's a lot harder for you to ignore all those piles of stuff than boxes. This way you are forced to take action.
They also say "I don't want the movers handling all my stuff."
Um. too late. And there is a way to work around that, but that would be an entirely different post.

 And if you aren't so lucky as to have strangers rifle through your belongings and leave them in piles on your (hopefully now clean) floors, then it still has to get done. You could use the same method, just unpack it all at once. Our most recent move was a DITY (military speak for moving yourself) since we just moved locally. We had movers handle all the furniture but the "stuff" - that was all us. Mostly me. I used Rubbermaid containers for most of it. And a few laundry baskets. But I only had so many. So in order to get everything moved, I had to unpack right away - so I could run back to the old house and get more stuff. 

 Unpacking is a lot of work. A lot. But, you can't get things put away while they're still in boxes. And like I said, it's a lot easier to shove stacks of boxes to the side and say "oh, I'll do that when I have time" than to ignore piles of crap everywhere. 

 Maybe you're still not sure where everything will go? There is one way to figure it out. 
And I guarantee, when you first saw your new home all empty and full of promise you didn't squeal "oh yes! My 16 boxes of  craft supplies will fit here perfectly, and we can dig through the dish pack every night before dinner in this EXACT spot!!"

 One last note, if you have little people. There is a benefit to unpacking - besides not leaving their childhood memories full of  cardboard and unfound belongings - a yard full of empty boxes is a total. kid. magnet.  


 So, if you have boxes stacked somewhere, still unopened - pull 'em out. You may discover a lost treasure (OMG! So that's where it's been!) or just a bunch of crap you can live with out after all (why do I have this?).


Sunday, October 2, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Carpet

Today's tip is short and sweet.
Before you move in, or as soon as possible thereafter
Clean Your Carpets!
I don't care if you have them professionally done,
or if you do it yourself. 
But do it. Really.
Who knows what goes on in someone else's house? 
or on their floors?
Between pets, kids, and everything under the sun ... chances are your carpets have been exposed to all manner of bodily fluids, plus God knows what before you moved in.
'nuff said.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

31 Days to Settle in After a Move: Color Me Mine


If living in base housing has taught me one thing, it's settle in and settle in quick.
Take your time and the next thing you know, you have orders - forget settling in, it's time to pack again! We've PCS'd and moved enough that I've gotten pretty good at turning "Quarters" into a "Home" quickly. Over the next 31 days I'll pass on some of the things I've learned along the way  -military or not, most of us move at some point in our lives, and hopefully something I post here can help you with your transition - whether you're currently planing a move or your move was years ago!

Looking for 1 simple and affordable way to make your new home yours? 
Paint.


Even if the walls aren't white.
Do you really want to live with the previous owners choices?
They may not be too bad, but are they really you? Until I've chosen the colors myself, I still feel like I'm living in someone else's house. 
That is not settled.

Color lets you put your personal mark on a space. I think contractors must use cookie cutters to build houses. For many of us, our house really isn't that different from our neighbors. We all have one variation or another of  the same floor-plan. Paint is one way you can set yourself apart from the herd.

Honestly, if you're a kid, moving sucks. But painting your new room the color you want? That rocks!
Give your kids a thrill and let them choose their color. Okay, within reason.
Not all of us can be the super cool mom who lets her teenager paint his entire room black. 
But you can narrow the choices and let them pick. 


Kadences playroom - before it was a terracotta color, definitely not cool. She was not into this room at all.


Playroom After. A much better fit for Kadence. As soon as we painted it she could see herself  here. Simply put, painting this room made it hers.

If you can, save time and your back by painting before the furniture arrives, and before you clean the carpets too. Seriously, did you see my Studio post?  Can you imagine even trying to paint this after moving all that crap in??


Wanna settle in quick? Paint!


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