Moving with dogs doesn’t have to be ruff

Moving is stressful. Ugh, boy do I know moving is stressful. I’ve written a few other posts about managing your stress on moving day and if you were with us earlier this week, you’ll see I wrote about moving with our finicky feline friends. Moving with dogs tends  to be easier as they are generally more adaptable to changing environments. But properly prepping you and your canine friends can make your moving day less ruff.


making moving with dogs easierI have a golden retriever who hates seeing a suitcase or box. She does love grocery day when a bunch of bags are being brought into the house but hates trash takeout day because she assumes all bags, boxes and containers leaving the house means somebody is leaving her. Her sweet little face gets me every time and I have to remind myself each move with her is for the best.

For dogs like this, you’ll want to introduce the moving kit a few weeks in advance for them to get used to the idea. Packing slowly and keeping a routine is important. Maintain your evening walks even if you have to shorten them a little so you have more time to pack.

You’ll also want to get your dog used to the car if they aren’t comfortable with it already. Take them with you to fill the car up with gas so they get used to short rides and doors opening and closing, all with you being nearby.

Making sure they have an id tag on their collar that is up to date with your contact information is important. At this time you’ll also want to let your vet know about the move and if your dog is microchipped, alert the company of your new address.


Put dog in crate when movingIs your dog crate trained? They usually feel super safe in their crates if so, so choose to utilize that on moving day in a quiet room away from the hustle of the loading. Otherwise keep your dog in a secure location, like a bedroom or potentially the backyard with access to food and water.

Another really great option is to drop your dog off with a friend or family member for the day. This gets them out of the way and you don’t have to worry about them escaping or getting underfoot. Placing them in a secure environment with somebody they know can also reduce their stress levels of seeing/hearing all those moving boxes being loaded up.

If you’re bringing your dog in the car, obviously never leave them unattended as cars get really hot really quickly, even on moderately temperature days. Please don’t do something dumb like putting them in the back of the moving truck. That’s a bad idea.


Moving with your dogsSo you’re in your new house. Like with a cat, I would choose one room that is the room you’ll want to introduce your dog to first. Set that room up first and let your dog out of the crate or off the leash, give them some reassuring attention and let them explore one room. Make sure they have access to food, water and their favorite bed or toys. Let them explore the house in its entirety but I would watch to make sure they don’t mark anything for territory.

Since you probably haven’t even started unpacking, you’re going to want to make sure all dangerous items over the next few weeks are always out of your dog’s reach. Dogs are dumb sometimes and will pick irrational items as toys. My golden like to pick unripe oranges off our tree and play with them like a ball even though I can see how much she dislikes the bitter taste. But still, she lumbers on with the intelligence of, well, a dog. Maybe for your dog it’s the rocks in the backyard or that poisonous plant you intend to hang in the front window.

Take your dog for walks around the new neighborhood and give them a new toy or two to let them associate your new house with a place of fun. Walking your dog is also a great way to meet your new neighbors and start some friendly conversations. Ask them where the best dog park is or if there are any brunch places in the neighborhood with dog-friendly patios. Keep a regular schedule as much as possible and make sure they’re not overeating in this transition time. Your dog should transition much quicker than the cats but still I would advise with all the unpacking, you may notice signs of stress for about two weeks. Give your dog a little extra assurance that entire world revolves around them and you’ll be together furrrever.


With all pets, you’ll want to have recent, clear photos of them in case they do happen to slip out and go missing. Keep those photos in an easy to access place if this happens while you’re moving or still unpacking. You don’t want to waste any time getting the word out because you cannot locate those photos. And routine is really important, not just for them but for you too in helping to control stress manage time.

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Moving right meow with your cats

How to move with animals

I should preface this by saying I have two cats and a dog and have moved with all of them and it’s the most dreaded part of any of my moves. It’s traumatic to me to see how stressed my precious babies get by the change of scenery which is probably only adding to their stress. What’s it called when a snake eats itself? Ouroboros? That’s kind of what moving a pet is like for me.

That being said, you should accept the animals will be stressed but there are ways you can help reduce this stress. Let’s talk about cats first since they are truly creatures of habit and environment. Below are tips to help you and your feline friends are ready to move right meow. And remember, the first move you make with a cat is the most traumatic for them. Each one after gets easier. There is light and you will survive this.


Moving with catsYou will want your cat to feel pretty comfortable in their carrier. And trust me, you’re going to want a cat carrier for moving day. Since I have two cats, I have two soft carriers that I can unzip the top. Since cats are cats and love getting in boxes or containers of any sort, I make a point a few weeks before to pull the carriers out of the closet and place them in the living room. It’s not a sightly decoration tip but the cats are curious and will hop in and out. I make a point to incorporate the carriers into their playtime (one has a fake fish toy she adores) and I’ll fling a toy in the carrier to make them jump in. Occasionally I will zip up the carrier closed with a cat inside so they can feel what it is like to be in a space they are comfortable without the stress of being carried around. They get so used to this and so relaxed, even after I unzip the top, they have been known to take a nap in there. This is really good!

You can go an extra step and start feeding the cats in their carrier but this isn’t something I have done before so I can’t speak to the effectiveness of this trick. My cats are just such messy eaters I don’t want to deal with cleaning up the carrier.


How to move with a catMake sure your cat has had a bit to eat in the morning to reduce upset stomach. It’s also likely they won’t be very interested in food after the move for a little bit so this will give you some peace of mind.

If you can, keep your cats in a neutral location so they won’t be bothered by the hustle of moving day. Since my parents cat-sit for me on occasion when I am out of town for longer periods of time, their house is a great place for me to drop them for a day or two. They’re comfortable there and don’t mind that transition. If you don’t have that option, keep them in a room with a closed door, especially if they are strictly indoor cats. Make sure they have access to food and water and ask your helpful movers to please not enter the room as they won’t need the extra stress of meeting new people on this day. This means all of your moving boxes and furniture needs to be out of that room before everybody arrives. Remember take take down the artwork and pack into picture mirror boxes and move to the staging area. Every time you open that bedroom door is added stress for your cats.

If your cat is especially anxious, you may want to ask your vet for a sedative you can use on this day. It will reduce your pet’s anxiety and calm them throughout the process. My cats don’t particularly love car rides so you’re going to need to brace yourself to be strong when they seem upset. Staying calm yourself will help your animal. You may be in for loud meows and claws on this day. This is the part where the sedative seems a wise investment.

If your moving day isn’t just around town but rather you’ll need to spend the night in a hotel, make sure your hotel is pet friendly. You never want to leave Mittens in the car overnight as temperatures can vary wildly even when the outside temperature is mild.


Moving with catsSo now you’re in your new home. My number one suggestion: Pick a room for the cats and get that room mostly set-up first. This has always been my bedroom so I can interact with the cats in the evening after everything has settled down. So I set-up my bed, stick the dresser and other bedroom furniture where I’m happy with it for at least a few days and only then do I place the cats in their carriers in the room. With a closed door, I’ll let them stay inside the carrier for awhile, possibly up to an hour depending on the animal. Leaving them there alone while you finish unpacking will be good for them to adjust to their new quiet space.

After opening the carrier, I don’t force anything. Make sure the room you’ve chosen has a litter box, water and food for the animal and maybe a scratching post of an old moving box or two. Also make sure it’s void of any poisonous plants and any escape routes like an open window or spaces they shouldn’t be in are blocked. Wires need to be secured since your animal may be acting out of character. Let them choose to explore the room. Having things that are familiar to them, like the bed, and blankets that have a scent they are familiar with will help your cats adjust.

I typically leave the cats in my chosen room for a few days. The typical response is for them to hide under the bed unless I am in the room and I know I can start opening the bedroom door to the rest of the house once they start sleeping on the bed with me again.

With the rest of the house, again you’ll want to make sure wires, plants and escape routes are all secured. I find by simply opening the door and making my presence in another room, like the living room sitting on the couch very calm, they feel safe enough to explore. It’s going to take time for them to feel in charge of the place and that’s okay. I let them do it on their own and only move on to further steps once I gauge from them they are ready. Overall I would expect the transition to take two weeks for your pet to adjust.


I’m going to talk about how to reduce stressful moving day for dogs in the next post so stay tuned.

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Essential tools for Moving Day

Items you should have on hand for success

So you’re working on packing up your home and are considering what you should leave out or around for the most efficient and successful moving day. While these are suggestions, these basics are so basic that they’re easy to have on hand and making moving day a success. You have enough on your mind, let us help you think of these little things that will ensure your tools for moving day are not forgotten about until they’re packed deep in a moving truck.

  1. Tools to have on hand on moving daySmall Tool bag – There’s always going to be something you will need to disassemble or nails you’ll need to remove from walls that once held framed artwork. Keep a small toolkit on hand for any last minute alterations of your home. Hammer for removing nails, a variety of screwdrivers, measuring tape for figuring out if that couch will fit on the moving truck before attempting to load it.
  2. Overnight survival suitcase – This should include your prescriptions you will need, a change of clothes and clean socks. You should consider if you’re moving across country all the essentials you’ll need to survive until your boxes are delivered. Or if you’re moving across town, that you have everything you need to rest easy night one and not have unpack all the boxes to find a clean pair of underwear the next day.
  3. Devin Munro photography

    Helping Hands – Maybe you’re lucky enough to have professional movers, they’ll schedule enough helpful hands according to the size of your space. If you’re DIY moving, ask people to show up at a reasonable time, and remember to be clear with your intentions. I helped a friend move recently and one of his free helpers did nothing more than organize his moving container for maximum space efficiency. You could say he was grateful for this very specific help.

  4. Bottled water. I can’t emphasis enough how grateful your helpful movers will be to have access to a clean, cold drink without getting anything additional dirty in the process.
  5. Soap – Moving is a dirty business. Cardboard boxes dry hands out and don’t help the process. Keep soap on hand and a roll of paper towels in the bathroom for everybody to use as needed.
  6. Toilet paper – Please don’t pack all of your toilet paper and leave your helpful movers stranded when they need to go tinkle.
  7. Tools for moving day success

    Even Beyonce takes selfies

    Camera – So there’s no need to indulge in some selfies on moving day, though we’re not judging if you do. But you’ll want to take a picture of your old space after everything is emptied out to record any damage you’ll have to address later. You’ll also want to photograph your new space before the boxes and furniture starts getting loaded if you haven’t done this already. The camera on your smartphone is now likely to be as high quality as you need. Make sure to file the digital photos for easy access in the future.

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Holiday boxes reinvented

Reusing boxes for forts

I am not a parent so maybe I shouldn’t even contemplate this but what happens when you’ve gotten your children the perfect Hanukkah or Christmas gift and the day comes around for them to unwrap and instead of loving the toy, they’re stoked about the box it came in. Is that a feeling of disappointment you parents get? Or are you excited to see your kid’s imaginations run wild?

A few months ago I helped a friend move apartments in San Diego. The first night I stayed on an air mattress in his empty apartment, void of anything except me, some blankets and a few chairs. When he showed up the next morning, he found me curled under a fort I had made from the chairs and blankets reading a book in the sunshine that was streaming through the window into my fort. He laughed but the fort stayed for another day, people taking turns to sit inside and spark their own creativity. Sadly it was in the way of the couch so it had to be disassembled.

The best part about forts of any kind is that they instantly transport you. You watch your kids and they’re suddenly an astronaut or a train conductor. And even when you’re standing on the outside, you are instantly transported to being a kid and letting your imagination run wild. I mean, I’m romanticizing forts but wouldn’t you if you sat down to write about them?

Items you’ll need:

  • Boxes. Wardrobe boxes and large & extra large box sizes are ideal.
  • Box-cutter or exacto knife. Not safe for kids!
  • Tape. Duct tape. Packing tape. Whatever you’ve got on hand.
  • Markers. For decorating. Obviously.

A) This was an item for sale on and is no longer there. Looks like Mom or Dad is an architect. Hard to compete with and actually really attractive but it’s up to you if you want to recycle your box materials or pay somebody else to do something for your kids they’ll be excited to do for themselves. Or yourself. By letting kids make their own really lets them take ownership.

B) Just because it might be an eyesore in your living room doesn’t mean it’s not the greatest thing to the kids.

C) Don’t pretend you didn’t do this in college. Or at least want to. That might have just been yesterday or a few years ago. A box maze sounds like a-maze-ing fun

D) Cats! Because, cats!

Holiday boxes revival fort

Fort E –

E) This looks like a façade castle version of the old western false front. Did you know there was a reason for those false fronts? It’s cause store owners didn’t want to invest in their building until they knew their new western town was sticking around for awhile. Now you know!

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Moving Playlist

Moving Day Soundtrack

Maybe you’ve seen a few moving playlists out there and they all included the same songs. You might be tired of the same Willie Nelson On the Road Again or Edward Sharpe’s Home. Here are some deeper cuts to keep you interested and motivated. Our songs aren’t just about home but moving, moving on and moving up. Come dance it out with me. Or at least sing along in the moving truck or from sitting on the floor packing those boxes. Its cathartic, I promise.

Quick question: Which is worse? Packing to move or unpacking after getting home from a vacation? At least with packing you’ve got this moving playlist.

Here are our suggestions for your Moving Playlist. Pick up those packed boxes and your feet. Stress, managed. Motivation, high. You’re ready! Add your own motivators in the comments.

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Holiday packages for those who can’t be home

Shipping meaningful gifts for the holidays

There’s bound to be somebody in your life who can’t make it home this holiday season to spend time with their loved ones. But that doesn’t mean you’re not thinking of them. Holiday packages let a person know you’re thinking of them and they are not alone.

Of course you’ll need to assess your recipient. Are they in the military, traveling overseas or simply can’t afford the time / money to fly? Each person will have a unique situation you’ll need to account for. Note that packages being sent overseas may have restricted items. Check online prior to making a trip to the shipping office.

Send a package that lets them transport their mind away from the stressful situation they may be in. A good book, homemade cookies, their favorite treat. Handwritten notes are a special touch that everybody can insert. Send an actual printed photo or two to let them know how you’re doing. You may get the opportunity to speak with them on the phone quite often but they don’t always get a chance to see your face.

Overseas traveler

Holiday package for the backpacker or overseas travelerTwo years ago, on a whim I bought a plane ticket to India. My flight left LAX at 9am on Christmas Eve and I was terrified I had gotten myself in over my head, I didn’t eat at all that morning. The international flights I have been on have been notorious for overfeeding me. There always seems to be an attendant wandering the aisles trying to push snacks and meals in my face. I wasn’t worried about having enough food but when I opened up my carry-on bag I found my dad had slipped a giant piece of our family’s Christmas Day traditional coffee cake nestled in a plastic container. Something so simple but thoughtful nearly brought me to tears.

Travelers are tougher to arrange shipments to. If they’re stable, make sure you’re choosing a fast enough shipping method to reach them in time. If a box full of goodies isn’t an option, send an email with some photos attached their way. They’ll love it all the same. And schedule a time to have a conversation with them over Skype, Facetime or other video chatting service.

Holiday package for those who can't travel this seasonFamily unable to be with you this holiday season

If they couldn’t afford to visit you this year because of time or money or simply because they had other obligations (maybe going to their new wife’s family side for festivities) doesn’t mean you can’t be there in spirit. While in most states it’s not legal to ship wine, you are able to ship other lovely liquids like fancy olive oil. Have a favorite bakery or deli? Let them pack up some goodies and ship them safely to your recipient.

As we wrote about before, you can use your moving supplies for shipping reasons.

  1. Make sure you’re following the shipping restrictions.
  2. Make sure you’re securing everything. More open room in a box means more room for things to get damaged or crumbled in transit.
  3. Be personal! Have fun.
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Being Thankful and Giving Thanks(giving)

On Gratitude

Thankfulness, Thanksgiving and gratitudeDan Harmon, writer, creator of the television show Community and overall creative keeps a blog where he was accepting questions from strangers looking for advice or guidance. A few weeks ago he posted this question and answer that resonated with me. I thought it would be nice to share as it obviously ties into our industry and is relevant to the theme of gratitude this week. Both life and moving are hard stuff and we all need a little perspective retrospective.

I’ve paraphrased the question and answer. I apologize for the language.

Q: I feel like I’m using people. How do I love people without taking from them?

A: What a question.  If only more people asked it, every day.  If only I had spent more of my life asking it.

I think I slip from the right kind of “giving” to the wrong kind without noticing because they’re identical in terms of behavior.  One minute you’re carrying a box because you want to help your friend, the next minute, you’re carrying the same box to be a good person and a few steps later, after not getting some thank you you decided you deserved, you’re carrying a box because your asshole friend is a selfish piece of shit and you can’t wait to move out of your house just to make him lift a piano and you hope it crushes him to death.  In one conversation’s time, you can end up eighty miles from the nearest patch of honesty, still insisting that you’re where you are because you’re a hero.  And you could pass a polygraph test while saying it, because you’re not exactly lying, you’re just… lost.

And I think your question, which is also my question, is its own answer.  We can stop sucking other people’s necks and start giving more than we take if we ask ourselves how we can do it and make sure we don’t block the real, honest answer.  Sometimes working hard is the hardest thing we can do, and sometimes it’s just our really easy way of trying to take stuff from everyone around us.  Sometimes the hard thing is the easy thing.

I think what is difficult is life moves so fast. All. Of. The. Time. It’s really difficult to maintain perspective. What would you do if you got a free coffee and the barista messed up your order? Let’s stop making these tiny slights into enormous flaws with our lives. You’ll be much more satisfied when you do, I guarantee it.

In honor of Thanksgiving, let us reflect on the abundance we have to be grateful for.



Hey, you’re still alive aren’t you?


We are like, really funny. Our office is a fun place to be. The laughter throughout the days keeps us subjectively sane.


I love Thanksgiving. I love the extravagance of taking an entire day to be with people I love I may not get to see very often. Sitting around the table laughing with my family and friends is a luxury that helps me with perspective. As Kurt Vonnegut wrote, “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” Take that moment on Thanksgiving and every day. Plus, turkey is delicious. We’re big trypto-fans (you see what I did?!) here. Roast, fry, smoke, bring us the turkey!

Blog 25 Vonnegut

Some other lovey stuff.

I mean, assess your own life, bozo. I mean that in the best, most loving way. You happy about your boyfriend or favorite restaurant? Maybe your favorite hiking trail? Good food, good drink, good company. Life is what you make of it. So go make something of it. Stop letting it pass you by.


Not least of all, we’re grateful for you. Thanks for showing up online every day and purchasing our product and supporting our brand. We truly stand behind our products and are proud to present them to you. Thanks for reading this, you. And thanks for letting us bring the best free shipping moving boxes and moving blankets all with free shipping every day. Aww, let’s hug.

Thanks and gratititude

Now that we got that out of our system, who is making an advent calendar out of left-over moving boxes this year? Think how amazing that could be! Oh, I hope a puppy is in one of those boxes!

Thanks, friends. Back to your turkey plans.

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How to: Save money on your move

Reduce Your Moving Expenses

How to save money when movingI understand whether you are organizing a DIY move or hiring movers to come in and do it for you, it’s expensive and there are other ways you’d rather spend your money. Every time I move, I have made the statement to my loved ones, “I feel like I am single-handedly jump-starting the economy!” The expenses of moving add up quickly so let’s talk about a few ways you can help reduce the cost of moving.

  1. Purge the things you don’t want or need any longer. By removing your unwanted items, it means less items to pack which means less moving boxes will be needed. If you are paying professional movers, they can charge by box count or by total weight of your items. Reduce that number! Bonus: If you call your local charity to come pick up your gently used items for donation, you’ll save gas money and time driving them to the donation drop-off yourself.
  2. Selling your things so you don't have to move them saves you moneyConsider having a garage sale for your purged items. But weigh the cost of the time and effort of the garage sale compared to donating your items to charity or selling them on Craigslist or Ebay. Bonus: Yay, a little bit of wiggle room money!
  3. It will be tempting but don’t use free boxes from the grocery or liquor store. Remember there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Think about those free boxes and the cost of infesting your items with bugs, germs or other residue that could be left in those free boxes. Not to mention the cost of driving around town looking for enough free boxes. We’ve discussed before in depth why you shouldn’t do this. Bonus: If you order your moving boxes and moving supplies from BoxesAZ, they come straight to your front door with free shipping within one to two business days.
  4. Spend a few dollars now to save a lot laterMake sure you’re purchasing a specialty moving box for your valuable items like your flat-screen TV. There is nothing worse than having to replace valuable items because they were damaged or broken in the move. Would you rather spend a few dollars now or a thousand dollars in a week? Bonus: Unless it’s the holiday season or you have a Costco membership, it’s not likely you’re going to get a screaming deal on a new television in a moment’s notice. You’ll also need to consider the cost of disposing the old, damaged television.
  5. For lighter carpets, especially in inclement weather, you’ll want to place a rug, piece of carpet or tape a flattened moving box down to protect your floors on moving day. Don't spend more money than necessary on moving dayThere might be no expense you’d like less than if movers with muddy shoes tracked through rain or snow into your new white carpets. I would place an industrial mat (or any other option) outside the door and another one inside so shoes have a chance to get as clean as possible while moving your heavy items inside. Don’t lose your cleaning deposit or have to call the carpet cleaners when you haven’t even set-up your new home. Bonus grammar tip:  Did you know “inclimate” isn’t even a logical word since climate is not an adjective? The word we’ve all been meaning to use is inclement, meaning not mild or not gentle.
  6. Unpacking your kitchen and making a market run should be a priority. Take-out food can add up quickly and should be factored into your moving budget. Ordering a pizza on night one seems acceptable but you shouldn’t be eating out every night for a week or more. Bonus: By cooking your meals in your new home, you’ll have a better chance of eating healthier and feeling more at home more quickly.
  7. Things like blankets and towels can be used as filler items for moving boxes. While we recommend utilizing moving blankets specifically for your furniture, there are ways you can use your current household items to save you money. Consider lining the perimeter of your dish box with bath towels for a snug and secure moving box. You’ll get to protect delicate items and reduce the number of moving boxes in the process. Protip: Never try to save on packing paper by using newspaper. Save moving receipts to deduct on taxes - saving money on your moveNewspaper ink easily transfers onto your dishes meaning you’ll have to wash them again after you unpack. The ink is also very likely to stain your porcelain or china.
  8. Some moving costs can be deducted on your taxes. Keep your receipts and check with your accountant before filing.

Those are just a few ways you can save money on moving. Bonus: Now you know more and knowing is half the battle.

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Optimize kitchen and storage space

Kitchen organization self-storage organizationI am like so many Americans who have a self-storage unit for the things I cannot fit in my home and cannot bear to part with. It’s a blessing to me because it gives me room to store the items I don’t need for daily use. Seasonal clothes, seasonal sports items, luggage and extra-bulky kitchen items are part of my rotating cast of storage materials. Of course, don’t forget about those holiday decorations that I only utilize once a year.

With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I’m taking inventory and starting to pull items out to stage for the next month. Since I don’t roast a turkey every month, I keep my turkey roaster in storage to free up my kitchen space for the other items I need on a regular basis. I’m pulling that out of the storage box that contains those items I’ll need for the turkey day festivities.

Optimize self-storage spaceI found that by grouping the items I used together most often, I made it easy for me to grab and go from the storage unit rather than make a list or sort through boxes I may have mixed up since they were last labeled. Here are some examples of how I best utilize my kitchen and storage space.

  1. Turkey Box: Roasting pan, large pot for brining turkey, large pot for potatoes
  2. Braising Box: Incredibly large cast iron dutch oven for braising – my meat of choice is braised short ribs.
  3. Extra dishes box: Since I don’t usually feed fifteen people but I have enough dishes to host a larger family gathering, I keep the unnecessary dishes packed in a kitchen dish box.
  4. Baking Box: I am not averse to baking year-round but I don’t usually bake a large amount of cookies or pastries at once. So I keep the minimum in my kitchen and store the extra sheets, racks and pans out of sight unless needed.
  5. Camping box: This is just a box I keep for the kitchen materials needed when camping. Obviously this is useful for car camping where you won’t have to haul everything in by backpack. Cast iron pan, utensils, spice containers, metal plates and bowls. Long handled cooking spatula and spoon. Temperature safety gloves for moving pans around the fire. Spears for roasting marshmallows.

Make sure all of your items are properly protected in a moving box from dust and bugs. Storage may mean the items will need to be rewashed once you pull them out for use, but my guess is your pans and bowls will need to be rewashed if they sat in your cabinet long enough to collect that dust anyway. Also make sure your boxes are secured for safe transport back and forth between your storage unit.

Organize self-storageDo not pack boxes heavier than you can lift.

Make sure the packing tape is still strongly adhered.

Make sure boxes are snug by filling gaps and voids with packing paper and bubble wrap.

Take this idea and run with it with each room in your house. Seasonal clothing is the next obvious step. By making each box a package deal, you spend less time in your storage unit and more time doing what you like. Your time is precious and freeing it up from sorting through a dusty storage unit is something you’ll definitely thank yourself for.

Kittens doing dishes image via Library of Congress

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How to: Thrive in your new neighborhood

Finding the silver lining in moving to a new neighborhood

Welcome to your new neighborhoodThere are a lot of articles out there helping college students survive their first week of school. Great for them but that is a very niche market. You only enter college once, and each return to college is more routine and not as scary. These lists and articles are also generally geared towards brand new baby adults. With advice like, Embrace Your Independence and Put Batteries in the Smoke Detector. You’d like to have a takeaway from that but you’re already independent. You know what it means to wake up on time every morning for work simply because that’s how life goes. So what about for the rest of us? I’m going to give you some things to think about in your first days and weeks in your new neighborhood. This is coming from a single, “young professional’s” point of view so I apologize if my insights into family and couple life are shortsighted.

Whether you have moved a thousand times or this is your first, these are things to think about when adjusting to a new neighborhood. A lot of the tips below are about finding space outside of your home to call home, a place you feel comfortable and know you’ll get exactly what you need – caffeine or a cozy corner to get out of the house. But they’re really about practicing self-care. Are you taking care of yourself in this transition? Maybe you don’t have time or funds right now to get a massage but certainly you can treat yourself with a bike ride to your new favorite pizza joint for a slice.

Mail / address checklist – Are you aware of a wedding invite that is supposed to be coming your way soon? Make sure your updated address gets out to more than just the electric bill and your car insurance. Since you were smart to forward your mail through the post office, you’ll receive those pieces in the next few weeks but make sure anything that gets forwarded receives an updated address from you. – Coffee is important. I don’t even drink coffee and I recognize its importance to making the world go round. I love exploring coffee shops for more than their caffeinated beverages. They have great atmospheres. Where do you think all of the artistic talent met in Paris? Finding your new coffee shop is fun. You can meet people or find the perfect place to read a book.

Market – Finding your market can be tricky. Make sure you are not judging the market on the first appearance. I have the luxury of being located minutes from a biweekly farmers market. This supplies me with as much seasonal produce as I can carry and really great egg, cheese and meat options. But for simple items like rice, pasta or flour, I have to make a three mile drive to the closest grocery store. Initially I hated the grocery store but I grew to love it once I discovered the best times of day to go in.Market produce

Bar – So unlike any other place in the world, the neighborhood bar has consistently been the place I have met more new friends than anywhere else. Mine is an old house converted to a craft brew alehouse. It has a beautiful porch and a tiny bar to cozy up to with a book in the corner on an evening I’m not ready to go home. This is like the coffee shop except it’s a place you won’t dash in to buy a scone. Atmosphere is important here. Do the patrons and employees make you feel welcome? You’ll know you’ve chosen the right place when you show up alone or with a group and always leave with contact information for a new friend. Don’t give up on this if it’s not immediately apparent. I personally have chosen a place with a patio and lots of windows instead of the sad place a block away that’s like walking into a cave and makes me feel sad. – This is a broad one. Do you commute in from work? Check google maps the week before your first trip to the office from your new home. Try checking it at the time you would be traveling to get a good understanding of the traffic flow at that time of day. Give yourself some extra time to get there in case you get turned around or run into unexpected traffic. Transportation also includes finding the best tree-lined bike routes. Or how to use the lightrail or subway from your current location. Do you know the best way to get the kids to school?

Meeting new people – So this can be a daunting one but it’s something I have really come to enjoy. Getting out of the house to say hello to a neighbor for a few minutes and share some harmless gossip is a great change of pace for a moment. Stepping into your neighborhood bistro and having the employees know your name. It’s comforting. So you might have left the neighborhood with the best biscuits and gravy you’ve ever had but that doesn’t mean the best is behind you. Take some time to get to know the immediate people in your neighborhood. They’ll be faster in the morning than AAA if you need your car jump started and a blessing for a missing egg or cup of sugar. They’ll also be great for recommending the best chai nearby.

Pizza – Because who doesn’t love pizza? And when doesn’t pizza help anything? Had a rough day at work only to come home and realize there is still more kitchen dish boxes  to be unpacked? Pizza will make you feel better.


So start unpacking those boxes and take some breaks to make your new neighborhood home.

Posted in Getting involved, Housewarming, How To, Meeting the neighbors, Moving Tips | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment