5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR MOVE

Moving is a process, and that’s taking it lightly. Whether you’re buying or renting it takes a lot of work to get to the anticipated moving day. A lot of the work can be done before you reach that one exciting and frightful day and the more of it you do the better!

They say failing to plan is planning to fail right? That goes for moving times 10! In order to make this process easier for you, here are some simple tips and tricks to make moving day better for you:

  1. Account for all costs before committing – There tend to be a lot of hidden or unexpected costs when it comes to actually moving out of one space and into another. Maybe it’s a moving truck, dollies, movers; maybe its boxes and packing peanuts, whatever you’re needing, it adds up.   Even a weekend of pizza and paper plates while unpacking can be an unexpected cost that inevitably happens. Instead of watching your bank account slowly fade away, plan for these costs the same way you plan for a down payment or first and last months rent. It’s all costs you can’t really avoid, so be ready and set those funds aside early in your search process so your funds stay in check.
  2. Use your current home as a tool – Once you’ve committed to moving, it’s fun to start visualizing how great it will be to get there. Instead of jumping to your new home, use your current home and how you use it to your advantage. Do you have that closet full of ‘who knows what,’ or that shelf of kitchen tools with parts mismatched? Yeah, me too! Use how you use your current home as a guide to declutter; there’s no use bringing old junk to your new digs.
  1. Pack yourself, move with others – The most frustrating part of moving can be losing track of where things are. In order to avoid that extra headache of searching later, pack yourself. Let your friends, family or movers help physically move instead of packing to move. That way you’ll have a better idea of which box the coffee pot ended up in – you’ll need to unpack that first anyway.
  1. Delegate where you can – Hiring movers is the best way to delegate and its worth every penny. They won’t have other ideas or overstep their boundaries with opinions that loved ones may; use this to your advantage so your stress level moving day is slightly lower.
  2. Start today – Once you’ve committed to your moving date, there’s work to be done! Start with out of season clothing or your bookshelves and work backwards in usage. Getting your non-daily items done early will make everything orderly and manageable.

Your moving day will be here before you know it and the less work you have the night before the better. So plan ahead, and use these tips as soon as you’re able so moving day is easier to celebrate.

DIY KNIT THROW PILLOW

One of the easiest ways to transform a space is adding extra texture.  This can be through blankets, curtains, wood, metallic accents and so much more.  It always adds visual excitement and gives the feeling of warmth thats especially perfect this time of year.

A throw pillow can add the perfect amount texture but some of these options can be pricey.  Here are some really great warm and wintery options that add the perfect pop of texture and warmth, they are just outside of my accent pillow price range..

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While wandering the aisles of my local Forever 21 however, i found this winter scarf on sale for $6.45 and fell in love with its visual texture.

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I am always trying to find new ways to use everyday items but this one was clearly made to be transformed into a throw pillow.  Its the perfect size and it has the most wonderful silky touch.  A minimal about of creativity and DIY effort transformed this scarf into the knit throw pillow I was looking for but under $10! Winner.

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Find any neck winter scarf in your local sales bins to make something similar and follow along below to get the same look.

Supplies:
Knit ring scarf
Scrap fabric in coordinating color
Pillow Stuffing
Cashmere like Yarn (I found mine for under $2.00 on ebay in the perfect color)

First cut the spare fabric into 2 squares the same size as the scarf for an inner lining, since the knit pattern of the scarf I used was so wide, this was necessary to hold in the stuffing over time.  I sewed the lining first to the inside of the scarf, added the stuffing and sewed the scarf to itself to close both openings.  After a bit of fluffing, your throw pillow is complete!

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Incorporating textural pieces like this to your daily decor adds a feeling of expense, and doing it yourself keeps that expense way down.

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OUR NEW HOME

I’ve been talking a lot about moving here lately, and as I am sure you’ve caught on, we’re moving!  It’s been a major topic of conversation in our lives since deciding to take the plunge and so I thought I’d share a bit more about our end result.

We live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and are blessed to able to live in one of our favorite cities. Since it’s such a special place to us, and since both our families are in the suburbs nearby, moving was never going to take us far.

One of our favorite parts of this city is a neighbor called South Philadelphia; it’s where we spend all our spare time and where we look forward to getting to again and again. When we started thinking about moving, this was the first part of the city that came to mind and we started searching immediately. It’s a big step to move, especially when its not too far away, but its something I knew we’d regret 10 years from now.

After months of searching for a place, and really narrowing in on our must haves and ideal streets, we found the perfect little place for us. I wanted to share some blank slate pictures of our new home before we make it ours. It’s a gem and it’s ours, even if it’s “just” a rental.

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I hope you’ll come back, check in, and see what’s to come for this little apartment of ours. I have big plans and I think they’ll inspire you and your loved ones to take on some similar projects too. If nothing else, I hope you check back in to see more of these windows – they are just swoon worthy.

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VALENTINE’S DAY CRUSHES

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In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’ve been rounding up some of my blogger crushes.  Since deciding to start this blog, I am more inspired than ever by these rockstars, and they deserve some love this time of year too.

These La Croix valentine’s are the perfect quick and thoughtful treat for friends.

A dessert this easy is great when Valentine’s Day falls during the week.

DIY chocolate boxes couldn’t be cuter for your special someone.

Balloon magic like this is such a fun way to celebrate someone you love!

And finally, the dream outfit for a Valentine’s date.

I hope you enjoy your Valentine’s weekend with the ones you love the most!

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The Declutter Project

Now that we have a finalized moving date and plan for the future, our next step is decluttering our lives before we move into the new space. I am an avid follower of The DIY Playbook, and they recently shared THIS POST about how they keep their closet clean and organized.  So I’m taking notes from the dream team and I am implementing this house wide for 10 days.  

Since the process of a big clean can be daunting and overwhelming, especially right before  packing to move, my goal is to make organization more streamlined.  Since a move is a great way to refresh and restart, I want to prioritize the decluttering of our life before getting to the new place.   

So, here’s the plan:  In every area of our home that acts as storage I am leaving a brown bag with the intention of purging as I live.  Every time I remove something from the closet or pantry and I don’t end up having use for, I will place this item into the brown bag then as these bags fill up, I remove them and give it away as donations or trash slowly.

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Even though the girls of DIY Playbook use this method in the closet, it’s a plan I can’t wait to try house wide.  With a large pack coming soon, I think it’s a more manageable approach to getting rid of clutter and moving with less.  

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How to Find the Perfect Rental for You

The month of January I have been admittedly MIA.  At the risk of sounding like I am making excuses, we have been in the process of looking for a new rental and the process is a far bigger deal than I was prepared for.

I have moved many times. Moving doesn’t scare or stress me. In fact, I am looking forward to packing and unpacking somewhere new.  The difference with this move, is it’s purely out of choice.  We currently live in a great building, in a great part of town, where we both get to walk to work.  We want for nothing and have no actual complaints, which made seeing new places and options far more daunting.

Every Philly style town home we saw, I knew we could make it work.  I know any place would be fine for us, but I realized we wanted a place worth moving for.  We saw gorgeous brick walls and amazing roof top patios, both Philly style assets that I love.  These places also came with ‘buts;’ busy corners, further from public transportation, no dishwasher, or the high end of our price point.  There was always something that didn’t push us enough to take the plunge.

We were getting frustrated and struggling; not because good places weren’t available but we were viewing everything as ‘we could live here’ instead of ‘we can’t wait to live here.’

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While in hindsight it’s easy to reflect on these places and other options, here’s how we took a step back and finally found the perfect place for us.

  1. Stick to your ‘must haves’:  If you want a parking spot, a roof top, a basement, stick to it.  Narrow down the things that will improve your living space and always aim to improve from where you are. Reminding ourselves of this really helped us eliminate places that would work but that weren’t worth moving for.
  1. Don’t judge rent at sticker value: A lot of places are willing to work with tenants to improve the rent or add on other amenities.  We had 2 places prior to finalizing on our new apartment that offered reduced rent, more accommodating moving dates and more parking options included in the initial sticker price when we showed true interest.  Don’t be afraid to ask – and don’t be startled by sticker price.
  1. Have an open mind: Just because you’re renting doesn’t mean you cant make the space work for you.  Try and think outside of the box when it comes to storage, usage and space layout.  A lot of hidden gems are left unrented for longer because people don’t take time to think of other ways of using the space than the prior owners set up.

Thanks to Zillow we were finally able to find the perfect place for us.  They allow you to filter by your ‘must haves’ which makes the search far more manageable.  Once we found something we were interested in, communicating with the realtor was always fast and easy.  We saw multiple places and all with ease.  Zillow is a great source for anyone thinking about renting or already on the hunt.

Stay tuned for more details on our new place and all the plans we have for it.  Things tend to fall into place right when and how they should, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

To Bigger and Better and a Year to Remember

It seems surreal that it’s 2017 already, an exciting surreal, but crazy nonetheless.  

While I have ZERO complaints about 2016, I always try to use the start of a new year as a time refocus my goals and get organized to improve. Who doesn’t?!

Whether you have personal goals, business goals, health goals, or just areas you’d like to improve on, now is a great time to get started.  

Here are some tricks I am trying to implement this year to stay focused on making 2017 the best year yet!

  1. Get organized – clean out your desk, closet, apartment, whatever you use frequently.  Having a clean slate is the best way to set yourself up for success and help to make more time for time and space for new goals
  2. Get planning – set aside the time you need to make your goals happen.  Whether that means meal prepping time on sundays or making time around work schedules for side projects, setting aside the time to stay on top of your resolutions will make it harder to get off track
  3. Write it out – Writing out my schedule, to do lists, and plans helps to keep me accountable and on track when it feels like there is not enough time in the day – which is most days.  
  4. Have patience – We’ve all heard “it takes 3 weeks to make a habit” – so this year I am focusing first and foremost on the next 21 days.  21 days of being extra strict and for staying extra true to all the new resolutions I want to uphold.  If I can make these changes into habits, it’ll make sticking to my plans for 2017 even easier in the months to come.   
  5. Just do it – this year i have some serious plans and goals for myself.  So I’m starting the new year with a fresh new attitude and ‘get it done’ mentality.  

Here’s to making 2017 the best year yet and to being accountable to every goal we set.  

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