Full Service Moving Companies 101

Full service moving comapnies, avoid the woesLook here Mr. Fancypants, just because you can afford something doesn’t mean you should necessarily pay for it. Your big corporate job with all the great benefits and your paychecks, maybe those aren’t all working up to hiring full service movers. Maybe your big paycheck should be saved for college funds or rainy day funds or, get this novel idea, travel funds. Yeah, don’t be afraid to leave your stuff behind and pick up and just go to another country or another state or anywhere.

So what if your funds have already been saved into buying a house funds or you value your free time or you don’t have enough friends to call in favors for. Maybe you’re pregnant and are not supposed to be lifting heavy things. So go ahead and hire those full service movers. But! But, here’s a few things to keep in mind when you do. And don’t say we didn’t tell you I told you so when you get the bill after and you had to give up your fancy travel plans. Don't give away your money when going with a full service moving comapny

  • Use the internet to research your moving companies. Yelp is a great place to start for honest reviews form passionate customers who have already experienced the service. Obviously take these reviews with a grain of salt but take in an overall tone here.
  • Ask friends and families for referrals from companies they have used. Sometimes they’ll get a nice kickback for referring you and then maybe you can all go out to Happy Hour, on them of course since you’re brokebrokebroke.
  • Carefully read the contract regarding expensive and delicate items. Did you know how incredibly fragile large flash screen TVs are? I have an aunt and uncle who just moved from Connecticut to Florida and used a full service moving company and while the overall experience was positive, their 60″ flat screen TV was damaged and wouldn’t turn on after they arrived. They spent two weeks using a baby TV while waiting for the repairman to come out and look at it. Of course, if you had moved yourself, the same issues might have come up.
  • You may want or need to purchase additional movers insurance, specifically to cover incidents like I noted above with the TV. That is another cost to consider.
  • A general rule of thumb is movers won’t touch your plants. You’ll need to make other arrangements like giving them way to neighbors or transporting them yourself.
  • You’ll need to hire a specialty mover to handle items like pianos and wine. Your average mover is aware how sensitive these items are and while they are certain they could handle safely, it’s better to leave to the guys who are willing to take up that liability.
  • Important documents should never be left with movers as insurance and contracts may expressly noted they won’t cover. This means you might have to buy a small package of medium sized moving boxes, perfect for documents and other items you’ll need to pack yourself and keep in safe keeping.
    If you’re worried you’re a victim of a scam or moving fraud, visit the US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Household Goods Program at www.protectyourmove.gov for more resources.

charlie-brown-lucyOf course, follow your gut instinct and don’t be afraid to speak up if you think something is not right when you are managing your move. Be polite and kind and you’ll find that kindness and warmth is returned. Really, be nice to those guys. There’s a reason you didn’t want to lift that heavy couch yourself.

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Housewarming party ideas

Housewarming parties are parties you get to throw for yourself. They’re parties you get to celebrate your existence outside of your birthday! How can you hate a housewarming party? A whole party to say, Yay! Look at all I have accomplished! Look at me, I own a couch! I have walls with maybe artwork on them! I’ve done it, look at how fantastic it all is! And then to continue celebrating you being you, people bring you gifts! For no reason other than they are excited you are you and this is your life! Congratulations on unpacking/hiding/incorporating into your decor the still full moving boxes! Here, congratulations on doing this thing called life, here’s a bottle of wine, let’s marvel at the funny/tiny/great storage/bathroom/antique doorbell.

The moral of this story is, always throw yourself housewarming parties. And if you’re invited, always go to them. They’re so low pressure, you can grab that bottle of three buck chuck and gift it to this person and it doesn’t matter, let’s all celebrate our existence.

Housewarming parties should then be enjoyable to put together. It shouldn’t feel like a chore. Well, maybe cleaning the bathroom before the party is a chore but soon your house will be filled with people you love! It’s going to be like, and will most likely literally be like getting a hug from all the people you love. Make that house a home with all those hugs and love.

Ideas for housewarming parties. Keep it lighthearted and easy. No chores.

Housewarming party ideas and tips

Idea: Have a craft housewarming party where you make flower crowns with your guests

Tip: Keep it seasonal. Don’t try to usher everybody on the patio if the weather is extreme in any direction. Maybe grilling hamburgers and sitting around the patio isn’t the best idea for a rainy day. But that really is as low key as you can get. So there’s an idea. I’ll bet you have condiments in your fridge, buy some meat and buns and cheese. Cut up fruit and put out some chips. Leave a cooler full of ice for people to stash drinks. Use paper plates and disposable cups and forks. Have some tunes for people to dance to if they want. Don’t make it so loud nobody can hear each other, this isn’t the bar you go to on Friday night looking to bring somebody home. You know why they keep that music so loud? So you keep drinking and so you can’t talk to realize what a dumb decision you might be making. And then continuing to drink does help with the making potentially dumb decisions. And in the morning, that person opens their mouth and you’re like, gross, word vomit you’re terrible what have I done. But that’s not what housewarming parties are! So, whew! Keep that music low enough for people to like each other still.

Housewarming party ideaOther housewarming party ideas. Make meatballs, set up chairs and play a constantly shifting game of Apples to Apples or charades where everybody is winning.  The meatballs aren’t important, they’re just a flexible food you can make in advance.

Party idea. Ask everybody to wear one specific color. Whoever wears the color that matches your new painted wall color the most wins.

Party idea. Use your place as the jumping off point for an evening of fun. Have your friends ride their bikes over. Have an appetizer (hummus! Pretzels! Maybe something fancy like a veggie platter!) and a drink and go out on an adventure of dancing/singing karaoke/museum browsing.

Carl Sagan housewarming party ideasParty idea. Ask everybody to dress like a philosopher or scientist or English professor. Hopefully everybody comes dressed like Carl Sagan. Make the party about photographing your brilliant and beautiful friends. Hang the Polaroids on your wall as a live art installation.

Party idea. Say hey, I’m having an open house. I have a fire and some drinks and some popcorn. It’s in a tin container, we’ll shake it over the fire to pop it. Stop by, my doors will be open from 5-11. Literally keep an open door and point and laugh at how great this is.

Party idea. Have a celebration of all things southern party. Drink bourbon, play yard games like croquet and badminton. Catch fireflies in jars. Stain your feet purple with fallen mulberries. Roast hotdogs with onions and peppers in a firepit. Wear fabulous hats.

Housewarming pizza party tipsParty tip. Be easy. Be welcoming. Be happy. Wear sweatpants if you want. Have a movie night. Have a craft party. Make flower crowns. Eat pizza. Everybody loves a pizza party. You know what you should be doing if you weren’t throwing a housewarming party? You should be delivering pizzas because that is the greatest job because nobody ever was anything but happy to see the pizza delivery man.

You see that? You see how I did that? Housewarming parties are so easy. Really, stop stressing, this is going to be the best ever. There are so few parties you get to throw for yourself in your lifetime, really embrace this. Low key, low cost, low pressure. And welcome home, you brilliant and beautiful creature.

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3 easier ways to move

Since moving sucks, how do you make it suck less?

Easier ways to move!There’s no sugarcoating it. Moving sucks. It sucks your time and money and energy. And that’s just the packing. The actual moving and subsequent unpacking are different deeper layers of hell we won’t get into right here. While it might be fun to move into a new space and getting the option to paint your walls and decorating is always a little fun part. Even if you are looking forward to this move, here are three simple tips to help you deal with your upcoming move.Easier way to move is don't move

  1. Don’t move. Extend your lease. Never leave mom’s basement. Decide that no matter how many kids you have, they can all share a room. So I know this isn’t really a tip but it is the most effective way to save that stress and time.
  2. Hire a full-service moving company. This means they will come in and pack your boxes for you. Its mega expensive compared to the DIY option and it means strangers will be touching your things. But hey, happiness comes at a cost.
  3. So options 1 & 2 aren’t an option to you? They aren’t for me either. Sorry, buddy. The only other thing is to actually do the thing. Don’t procrastinate. Stay organized. Don’t rush. Use a moving checklist and actually do the things. Buy a moving kit online. Get your packing supplies and do all of the things.

Do all of the things~I know it’s painful but as the old saying goes, This too shall pass. Go get it, my movers and shakers.

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Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide Safety

Staying Safe Inside the Home

This a bummer post. Carbon, specifically in the form of monoxide is bad for you. We all hear about our carbon footprint and maybe I’m not the only one, but I always imagine a series of footsteps made from black coal across a white carpet.  That’s not what carbon is like at all. It can poison you and kill you. Sometimes you can’t see it, sometimes it’s going to kill you. Bad, see?

Carbon monoxide safety in the homeCarbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas. It’s deadly to you in high concentrations by doing things to the oxygen cells attached to your red blood cells. Things like evicting oxygen and taking over, like a slumlord kicking out Tiny Tim’s family without even providing them with moving boxes. You find carbon monoxide in your home because appliances are doing a thing they shouldn’t do. Mostly imagine space heaters, water heaters and ovens. But those aren’t the only culprits. It’s also emitted in the car exhaust which is why you never run your car in the garage. The real reason you never run the car in the garage is because you want to be alive, you big dumb lovable idiot.

Blog 6 carbon 3You can help yourself from not dying by purchasing and installing (and keeping live batteries in it) a carbon monoxide detector. They’re affordable and they tell you if you’re going to die or get really sick from a thing you can’t see or touch or taste or feel until your big old dumb brain high on lack of oxygen puts 2 and 2 together to discover you need help. Even then, treatment isn’t exactly high tech. The hospital will be like, Here, suck on this oxygen, maybe that’ll do the trick. And your big old dumb brain will get dumber and dumber.

New life rule: Buy a carbon monoxide detector. Do that. They can be either near the ceiling or near the floor since carbon monoxide is very similar density to oxygen and won’t gather like smoke in one level. I did a bunch of research on carbon monoxide detectors so you don’t have to. Carbon monoxide detectors range all over the place in price. I can’t recommend brands or models for you but they do last about 2-6 years and then they need to be replaced because the detector-y part of it runs out and isn’t going to protect you after its lifetime. Some plug right into an outlet but if you get a kind that runs on batteries, using lithium batteries will mean you shouldn’t have to replace the batteries before the entire detector runs out.

carbon monoxide safety

Carbon monoxide can be emitted from the fireplace

You should keep several detectors in your home. Near bedrooms and main living areas are the important spaces. It seems to depend how big your space is by how many detectors you should have in your home. Read the owner’s manual to see what your detector company recommends for square footage. How many you need in your home varies widely but a general rule of thumb is to place near all sleeping areas and where fuel burning appliances are located. Carbon monoxide poisoning initially can look like the flu or a rough night out drinking. The detectors you’ve purchased and placed smartly in your home are what are going to save you.

Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, is not something you should be fearing but instead celebrating. Carbon dioxide is responsible for important things like turning that sugar into alcohol in beer and wine. It can be a trace gas, is soluble in water and isn’t always impeccable for the environment but more people should toast to the mighty carbon dioxide, especially if your drink was created or cooled with dry ice. Dry ice is frozen solid carbon dioxide! Crazy, right? Anyway, you’re not going to get poisoned by this in your home though it’s not for sure yet what kind of role it will play in the shrinking ozone / warming earth trends.

So there you go. That’s all you need to know about carbon, unless you’re a carbon research scientist then you should know a lot more. I want to call carbon monoxide the silent killer but that’s heart disease so let’s just call the poisoning part of carbon monoxide preventable!

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Animal dens

A comprehensive case study comparing animal homes to people homes, obviously

Ever look around your place and think, This place is a pigsty? Or a pigpen? Or I’m a pack rat? Animals get a bad rap for being untidy and messy but there’s an order involved in the homes animals make for themselves. And just like us humans, animals have lots of fun names for their homes. They have dens and hills and burrows and we have bungalows and quarters and mansions. Animals, they’re just like us! Or is that anthropomorphism?

Take a look at a few comparisons and start thinking about, if you had to pack it all up and come back to do life all over again as an animal, what would you choose?

Animal homes

Fox Den vs Basement Apartment

Fox den – Fox dens are cozy and dark little homes that foxes use when rearing their kits. They don’t stay in one place long and usually have a food storage area in the den, separate from their sleeping facilities. Fox dens are like that basement apartment you had when recovering from a bad breakup. Cozy and dark, you slept in bed a lot, surrounded by blankets and mugs of half-drunk tea with a clear trail from the bed to the kitchen for another spoonful of  ice cream. And when you left your cozy little den apartment, you blinked in the sun like a baby kit coming out to explore and play and learn and grow.

Animal dens

Bat Cave vs Windowless Studio

Bat Cave – Bats are flying mammals, the only true flying mammal. They’re beneficial to have around because they are great at controlling insect populations and spreading seeds. Bat homes are actually called roosts and usually a large, open and dark area which is why caves are ideal homes for bats. Bat caves, or roosts, often resemble the studio apartment without any windows you rented at the end of or right after college because you were broke. You went there to sleep at night but spent the rest of the time out and about, working your three jobs or scavenging for food.

Animal dens

Underground MoleHill vs Ranch Style Home

Underground Mole Tunnel – These are often long complex tunnels that have food storage areas for worms they have left alive by paralyzed with their saliva. They remind me of the long ranch homes that were so popular to build in the suburbs in the 70s. A long stretch home as a series of rooms of varying sizes on a wide lot with plenty of room to expand.

Animal homes

Ant Hill vs Mansion

Ant hill – Ants! I’ve listened to some fascinating podcasts recently about ants and they are crazy and complex little creatures. They have social constructs like loyalty. They’re like little gangs with the violence and the feeling of belonging. Ants hills were the things of little boys dreams, with a magnifying glass in hand and the sun at his back, that summer afternoon was full of destruction and death for the ant hill. Recently, science has found a way to cast molds of ant hills and, oh boy, you gotta watch the video. They’re crazy complex! And so, so, so beautiful. I would hang one of these molds in my home as art! Anyway, ant hills remind me of mansions or old, old estates. Full of staircases to get to plenty of different levels with rooms that never seem to end. Probably a long-forgotten secret passage, the stuff dreams are made of.

Ant colony casting. You have to watch this.

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How to: Prevent injuries

Don’t Get Hurt On Moving Day

How to prevent injuries on moving day

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

Do you know the way to move, well, anything really, without injuring yourself in the process? There’s more than one thing to remember, even if this isn’t your first move. Here’s a quick outline of things to do.

  • As you know, lift with your knees, not your back. It must be said in case you forgot.
  • Team lift whenever necessary. Communication is key to successful team lifts.
  • Don’t be an idiot.
  • Keep your body square with the item you are lifting. DON’T TWIST. That’s lifting with your back, ya dummy. Remember, keep your nose aligned with your toes.
  • Pushing an item is safer than pulling in most instances. Make sure to push at the item’s center of gravity.
  • Don’t load dollies above your shoulder height. Recipe for disaster if you don’t listen to me.
How to move without injury

You’ve moved one box into your new house. Now is not the time to take a break.

  • LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Listen, you bozo. It’s telling you things you should listen to. Take a break when your body is calling for it. Hi! Hello! Sit. Down.
  • If somebody says, I’ll help with that. Let them. Let your ego take a small hit and stand aside so the big burly muscles don’t get an ouchy.
  • Wearing work gloves can protect your hands from the wear and tear moving wood furniture and cardboard boxes all day. They can also help improve your grip.
  • Maintain good posture as much as possible throughout the entire day.
  • If it’s really cold outside, don’t crank the heater up in the house. Going from cold to hot and hot to cold can cause your muscles to cramp. It can also cause you to sweat excessively, putting you at risk for illness when you’re back outside in the cold.
  • If it’s wet, make sure to take preventative measures not to slip on tile floors. Tape down with duct tape or packing tape an empty moving box at doorways for a disposable door mat that will soak up moisture.
  • Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated can help your body to function like you want it to.
  • Keep walkways and doorways clear of obstacles. Don’t be your own stupid reason for injury.

Don't get hurt lifting boxesAlright, I think that’s enough to think about for now. You is kind. You is smart. You is important. You is uninjured. Go forth, use your smarts.

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For the love of (road trip) snacks!

Road Trip Food

Road trip food that won't make you want to dive out the windowI love road trips. I love the journey as much as the destination and I thoroughly love spending lots of time with a favorite person in the car next to me as we journey across the United States. Road trips are a time to see parts of America or the world you may have not seen before. Road tripping I have randomly stopped in New Mexico to try alien beer or the border of Arizona and California to try a date shake. Once I ended up in a small town on the original Route 66 where I had lunch with the locals, got to participate in a town-wide horseshoe competition and watch a community beer pong tournament. These are experiences I couldn’t have planned and wouldn’t have had the opportunity to try without a good old fashioned road trip.

Portable road trip snacksRoad trips to me are about music, conversation and snacks. After spending a long day/s in the car, you’re not going to want to eat Munchies and beef sticks day after day. Those high-fat snacks can ruin your diet or simply make you feel lethargic and contribute to road weariness. I have the added fun that my body doesn’t enjoy lots of processed food as I end up with killer headaches from consuming too many Pringles. Let’s talk about lighter, maybe even healthier fares you can manage for a road trip of any length. Time to get out of the house and get moving.

  • I like to keep a small moving box, leftover from a recent move or shipment, for corralling non-perishable items. The box helps keep them contained. Also consider having some plastic bags from the grocery store for trash.
  • Herb and Season Popcorn. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods sell this beauty but I’m sure you can find similar options in a market near you or even make your own prior to setting out. It’s cheap, it’s light and it doesn’t make me feel guilty for snacking when I’m sitting on the couch.
  • Fruit and cheese platter. This sounds fancy and healthy but, oh my, it’s not really either one of those things. I discovered this as a snack item when my boyfriend who was getting progressively more hangry (hungry + angry) when I made us stop to buy cat food on the way to dinner one night. A bag of Welches fruit snacks and a bag of Goldfish. Mix this up how you like – Mott’s or Annie’s any of your favorite fruit snacks and choose any cheese cracker – Cheez-its or whales or whatever you happen to have salty. Fun and hits all the sweet and salty notes plus you get to sound so fancy when you brag to your friends about the fruit and cheese platter you ate on the road trip.
  • Individual packets of peanut butter or almond butter are a great way to add protein into your snacking. Add to fruit or crackers for a more sustained  filled feeling. Road trip snacks
  • Granola is a really great healthy option to keep you fueled throughout your drive. If you’re doing store-bought, check the sugar content as they can often get quite unhealthy. If you’re making your own (and I highly recommend you do because it’s so easy and so good), throw some dried apricots and raisins into the mix to give yourself a nice variety of Vitamin C and potassium. Potassium in dried apricots will prevent you from getting leg cramps or Charlie-horses. Bonus: You can use that granola to bulk up yogurt container for a breakfast on the go on the cheap. Double Bonus: This is my favorite granola recipe.
  • Easy to prepare veggies like pepper strips or grape tomatoes are great to pop as desired. This will take minimal effort to get veggies prior to leaving your house. Or pick up a veggie tray on your way out of town. Best to keep these items in a cooler or on ice.
  • Apple slices can be purchased in those packages. Or you can do your own at home before leaving by soaking slices in a bowl of cold water with a pinch of salt for 3-5 minutes. Or you can do a bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice for 3-5 minutes. This will keep the fruit from oxidizing and browning quickly.
Road Trip snacks

Flickr user Xiao Yang


  • greasy foods like corn nuts
  • crumbly foods like cookies
  • foods that make you feel bad
  • really salty foods that will make you thirsty

Alright, keep it clean and keep it fun. Roll out!

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How to: Pack shoes for moving

Keep those kicks fresh, son

Packing shoes in moving boxes

Image via Pattern A Day

Shoes are an investment. They cost money and you’ve spent time looking for just the perfect pair. If we learned any stereotype from Sex and the City, it’s that every woman is shoe obsessed. Whether you have a hundred pairs or are more like me (2 pairs of heels: one nude, one black, one pair of boots, one pair of running shoes, one pair of hiking boots, 2 pairs of flats: one black, one brown, one pair of sandals, one pair of moccasins) you’ve somehow accumulated 9 pairs of shoes without even trying.

Like everything, you’ll want to pack shoes in shoe boxes if you still have them. That will help shoes get to the next destination without scuffing, being misshapen or losing one of the pair.

For the rest of us who toss the box out because we don’t have walk-in closets to host even our small shoe collection, here are instructions how to pack shoes for the rest of us. While the running/athletic shoes can probably take a beating (and you’ll likely be wearing them on moving day), the rest of the shoes will need some love.

How to wrap shoes for packingPop quiz: Do you live in a hot and humid climate? Or is it hot and humid even part of the year? Do you have a basement you’ll be storing your shoes in? If you answered yes, please don’t toss your shoes in a box, seal with tape and then leave it.

Fact: Leather retains moisture. Moisture + heat + weird foot bacteria = mold. Moldy shoes, is that what you want? Well if you just toss them in a box that’s what you deserve. And that’s why we can’t have nice things. Thanks, you.

So how do you pack shoes without their original box packaging? Why, you! Thanks for asking! Let me tell you!

Start with a flat work area. Lay a stack of ink-free packing paper on the work surface. Have pile of shoes nearby, like real close to you without it being all up in your business. This is a very quick process and you’ll want all supplies close by to make this efficient. Wrap shoes in pairs. Start with one shoe, place on one corner of packing paper. Using one sheet of packing paper, roll shoe forward in packing paper until covered, then nestle the opposite shoe the opposite direction the first, wrap and roll until packing paper is nicely tucked into shoe shape. For most shoes this will leave you with a nice rectangle shaped package.

Since shoes are not very heavy, they can be used as top layer items in other boxes or can be packed into a moving box small, medium or large.Pack shoes with paper or socks to retain shape

You can stuff shoes with socks or crumpled packing paper to help them maintain their shape in transit. Bonus: you may need those socks you stuffed inside the shoes. If you do, that may help motivate you to unpack a box.

It is important leather shoes are never wrapped in plastic / bubble wrap because leather needs to breathe. Let them breathe! Those cows and alligators already suffered murder to be placed on your feet, give them some respect. If you don’t listen to this plea and let’s say it’s summer when you’re moving and don’t need those winter boots so you leave them packed up until the fall when you’re ready to frolic in the changing leafs, don’t be surprised to pull out some moldy shoes. Again, this is why we can’t have nice things.

Obviously heavier shoes go on the bottom of the box with lighter and more delicate heels on the top. Medium and large sized moving boxes works well for this task, you’ll want to choose the size that fits your collection. Wrapped shoes can also be placed on the bottom of a wardrobe box, before you hang clothes from the metal hanger. Once you’ve packed your box full of shoes, secure the box for moving shoes with packing tape and do the obvious, label box on all sides. Hello, congrats, we told you this was a quick task! Now give yourself a cookie.

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Organizing and beautifying your home with storage solutions

Multipurpose in-home storage options

Chaos and order - Home organization and storage optionsRaise your hand if you closed out the recent holiday season by taking stock of all the new things and following it up with a sigh because you are lacking storage. I’m raising my hand and looking around my space wondering what to do about all of it. While Getting Organized wasn’t one of my New Year’s Resolutions, it is one of my life goals to stay on top of the clutter before it becomes chaos. This is hitting especially close to home this morning since I spent the last five days sick, mostly spent in bed, except for the clear trail of dirty clothes from the closet to the bathroom and the trail of blankets I left draped over chairs while I heated up more soup. My little space looks like a warzone after only a few days of neglect. I’ve got to tackle this before it gets worse.

The situation presents several opportunities or options. Option 1. Have less stuff. Purge, donate, toss, sell. Option 2. Get a self-storage unit. Pay a monthly fee to hold onto the things you have but don’t need immediate access to whenever you need it. Great for seasonal items. You probably don’t use that kayak year-round. Option 3. Craft up some in-home storage to organize your home and beautify it in the process.

Sure, you can purge and toss but that doesn’t necessarily mean after, you’ll have enough space to store your items efficiently. There are lots of reasons to not get a storage unit including accessibility and cost. Maybe you’ve already gone through and packed all the seasonal items into storage boxes and there are still items in your home that don’t have a home. We get you. It’s cool. Maybe your house is a dream come true with built-in bookcases, shelving and cabinets. In which case, congratulations, you are living the dream. I don’t say that full of envious sarcasm, no no not at all. Or, if you signed a lease for a house based on the beautiful light that streams through the windows and didn’t think about where you would be storing those extra linens, well, we’re (yes, I may have made that decision) gonna have to get crafty together. That leaves us with option 3, to create storage opportunities in our current space.

I think people fall generally into two camps. They’re crafty and love altering existing items. Or they just want to go to Pottery Barn and not worry about the proper way to spray paint anything. Hopefully this list of suggestions covers both camps and some spots in between. I personally do not mind a little DIY extra leg work if I get a personal and affordable option I love.

While you may need some hardcore shelving units and there are plenty of options out there for that, I’m going to present some dual purpose furniture that will allow you to incorporate storage space into your everyday living space. Don’t be afraid to use color on these pieces to inject some new life into your space. They could be a fun accent piece to your room.

Organizing with storage options

Storage Bench – Make room for this versatile piece of furniture. Use in your welcome area of the home as a shoe storage space (and place to sit and put shoes on before you leave the house) or get a bench with a lifting lid for more private storage needs. Maybe place this at the end of your bed for additional seating options in the bedroom as well as a place to store extra linens.

Purchase option

Litter Box enclosure / cabinet – Is there anything more awkward than inviting company into your home and they have to see your cat’s litter box hanging out in the bathroom or living room? It says, yes, please come in, eat some of the delicious selections off my cheese board. Oh, and take a look at my cat’s poo. Gross. Beautify your space by offering your cat a place to poo in peace. Also, depending on the design of the cabinet, you get to reduce the litter that follows your cat when they exit the litter box. Use extra space inside the cabinet to store the extra bag of litter and the scooper. Utilize the top to display the curios you have collected over the years and pray the cat won’t be a cat and knock them all off.

Purchase option

DIY instructions

Stackable wood boxes – Choose a customizable option. I purchased a set of wood open front boxes from Ikea for cheap. You don’t have to stick with one box option. Think untreated wine boxes as well. Wood is so easy to stain and paint for an easy customizable accent storage piece. I took some leftover stain my Dad had laying around and some bright acrylics for a fun, personal and stackable storage option. You could store linens, toys, utilize as a creative bookshelf option. This option is somewhere between the DIY and purchase as you can take this as far into the customized realm as you’d like.

Purchase option

Repurposing thrift store finds – file cabinets, industrial metal furniture, tool shop storage are all great ways you can take existing or really cheap pieces you run across and make them fun, colorful and customized. Why spend hundreds on a file cabinet when you could buy one from your thrift store for $5, spend a few dollars on spray paint and get a completely custom item that brightens up your room? Bonus feature: add wheels to any of these pieces and make them easy to move.

You can take flat file drawers and utilize them for storing the silver flatware and the delicate china plates. Or tablecloths or drawings from your kids you’re not ready to part with.

Attractive bike storage options


Bike storage options – You’re like me. You love your bike and outside storage is not an option at this time. But there’s nothing worse than coming in your front door, hands laden full of grocery bags and having to squeeze by your bike you’re storing in your front entry. Not ideal! Bikes can take up a lot of valuable floor space and aren’t exactly the decoration technique you imagined as an adult. This big problem can be rectified by storing your bikes beautifully in your home without any tacky industrial garage hooks options. You know the kind I’m talking about.

Purchase option

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Reflections and Resolutions

Resolutions 2014

Resolutions What meWhere in the world did 2013 go? Or as I called it, Twenty Bakers Doz. And now 2014 is upon us and I’m still unsure what clever name I’m going to call this new year. Did you make a big change in 2013? I certainly did and I’m really proud to say I came through alive, more cultured and knowing myself better. I saw a statement recently that said, Grow Through What You Go Through. Moving is something all of us do and it’s a big stressful event no matter how well prepared or excited you are for this change. I moved twice this last year which, in my personal opinion, is two times too many. But my new place is lovely and feels like the warmest hug from all my friends so I’ve been blessed. Now I don’t regret a single one of those cardboard moving boxes.

Congratulations if you’re in greener pastures now, too. For those of you who are looking to make a move in the upcoming months or year, a little preparation and budget making will make for a smooth move to come. Please keep hanging out with us for more ideas how to prep for upcoming moves, tips how to move more efficiently, and tricks to make your new house a home. We’d love to hear from you and would love to share any tips and tricks. We’re on Twitter and Facebook, reach out to us anytime. Blog 36 types of fireworks

Back to the end of the year though. Do you like to reflect on the last year and make plans for the next one as the dates change? Are you the resolution type of person? I tend to make resolutions year round instead of hyper-extending myself in the beginning of the year. Because, hey, every day is the first day of the rest of your life. This new year has a double effect of being a New Moon on January 1. Whether you believe in the validity of astrology, you cannot deny the moon’s powers over the earth. New Moon, New Year, New Beginnings, New Opportunities, New You. Resolution suggestions below.

  • Read – Try reading a book a month or simply making a resolution to tackle a work you haven’t yet gotten to. Moby Dick or Infinite Jest.
  • Get fit – If your goal is to run a marathon, then yes you should be making small incremental goals to be running more miles each week until your marathon date. But don’t say you want to lose fifty pounds. I would approach this one as “I want to eat healthier (not diet! Just healthy), enjoy what I eat and be comfortable in my own skin at any weight.” Yeah, son. Get it!
  • Take a trip. Yes, yes, yes forever a thousand times. Taking a trip doesn’t have to mean you’re going to Abu Dhabi to buy gold out of a vending machine (real thing!). Be a tourist in your own town, learn some history and visit a place that is of cultural significance. Explore and relearn something you may have forgotten. John Mayer may be cheesy but you are a wonderland so exercise that brain.
  • Get organized. Assess, purge, let go, free yourself from all the weight of the clutter that surrounds you. Start small, make monthly goals. Maybe start with disposing of all those credit card and auto insurance offers that come in the mail.
  • Start a new hobby. You know what’s amazing? Being a whole person with likes and dislikes and interesting things to say. You can meet new and fun and amazing people this way and when you do, you’ll be a person with a whole interesting life you’ll be excited to invite them into.

Goals here at the BoxesAZ box office.Kindness resolutions


  • Live more in the moment. Travel more. Live the kindness mantra. Be kind, be kind, BE KIND. Remember, remember. Take off one accessory before leaving the house. But not the smile. A smile is the best accessory anyone can wear.
  • Leave the past behind. Move with heart shining forward.
  • Stop engaging in conversations that do not serve us. Forget small slights that do not change who I am. In the words of Mark Twain, Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
  • Participate more fully in a healthy work/life balance. We love all of our customers but we must also love ourselves and our families.

Every day is the first day of the rest of your life. Every day you and everybody else are going through a battle. So be kind. Be kind to yourself. And Happy New Year, friends! Let’s make it a great moving year together.

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