4 Of The Most Helpful Moving Tips Ever

Nothing’s quite as exciting as moving house–and, for many people, nothing’s quite as stressful either. Luckily, there’s plenty you can do to help keep your stress levels as low as possible when moving time rolls around. If you’ve got a move coming up, read on. This article will present four tips for avoiding unnecessary stress.

Pack high priority items in a clear bin.

Unpacking your belongings is a long, intensive process–one that can take days, if not weeks, to accomplish. During that time, there are certain items you’re not going to be able to do without. These include:

  • box knives
  • trash bags
  • phone chargers
  • toilet paper
  • basic dishes and flatware
  • power strips
  • screwdrivers and other tools

To make finding these bare necessities easy, pack them all together in a clear plastic bin. This allows you to see what’s in the bin with a single glance. Not only that, but it will also stand out easily from the piles of cardboard boxes soon to be occupying your new home.

Don’t bother unpacking your drawers.

Desk and dresser drawers tend to accumulate a large amount of stuff. Sorting through it all and then packing it into new boxes can be a needlessly time consuming process. Instead, simply seal the drawer as-is by winding them up with a roll of plastic wrap. This will allow the drawer to be conveniently transported as a self-contained unit.

When in doubt, color code your boxes.

Labeling boxes is one place where lofty intentions often give way to outright chaos. That’s because, in the heat of the moment, it can be easy to forget to stop and write down the contents of every single box. The good news is that there’s an easy way to ensure your boxes end up where you need them: color. Just pick a different color for each room of your new house, and then use either markers or colored tape to label each box accordingly.

Use plastic wrap to seal the tops of toiletries.

When it comes to the bathroom, it can be tempting to just sweep all those bottles and tubes right into a box. But as often as not, that strategy leads to leaks and spills. Avoid this scenario by taking off the lid of each item, placing a square of plastic wrap over the hole, and then reattaching the lid. This will form a leak-proof barrier, thus protecting against messy leaks.

If you’re looking for a moving company, visit Frank and Sons Moving and Storage Inc. Agent for Wheaton World Wide Moving..

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3 Tips For Selecting Fabrics The First Time

If you are new to sewing, choosing the right fabrics can be more challenging than you think. Without the right fabric, your project could lack the quality that you desire. To help ensure you make the right selections at the fabric store, here are some tips. 

Check the Bolts’ Labels

Each bolt of fabric in the store is labeled with vital information that you need in your selection process. The label is either affixed to the end of the bolt or can be found on a tag attached to its cardboard tubing. A label typically has the fiber content, the width of the fabric, its price per yard, and how much it costs to buy the entire bolt. You can even find the country of origin on the label. To ensure you have the right fabric for your project, read the label. 

In addition to all of the other information on the bolt’s label, the washing instructions are also included. Make note of the washing instructions for the fabric you choose so that you can care for the sewn item when it is completed. 

Be Creative With How You Use the Fabrics

Fabrics are typically categorized into different sections of the store. For instance, you could find some fabrics are designated for use as curtains or clothing. Even though they are categorized in this manner, you are not limited to using them solely for the recommended purposes.

You can choose to be creative and pick fabrics that you feel could work for your project. For instance, you could use denim found in the clothing section to create a tablecloth or curtain. 

Watch the Cut of the Fabric

Ideally, you know the measurements of the item you want to sew. This can help determine just how much fabric you need to complete your project. When having the fabric cut by an employee, there are a couple of things to remember. 

Ensure that the cut is straight. If the employee opts to cut from a bolt that is on display or hanging, the line could be crooked. As a result, you could lose some of the inches that you need. You should also consider asking for more fabric than you need. A few extra inches of fabric could come in handy if the measurements were incorrect or there are mistakes made while sewing. 

The first time you visit a fabric store can be daunting, but luckily, selecting the right fabrics gets easier as you gain experience. 

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How To Decorate A Country Kitchen

Are you moving into a brand new home, or are you redecorating your present kitchen? Either way, if you have selected a country theme, consider these ideas to establish a cozy and warm atmosphere for you to enjoy with your family members and your friends.

The Walls – Selecting the wallpaper will be a good place to start your country decorating.

  • Do you want wallpaper? If so, think about selecting a design that contains small flowers, old-fashioned bonnets, kittens, puppies, or farm yard animals.
  • If you would rather have paint, consider selecting colors that you would find in nature. Embellishing the top of the walls with stenciling would add some pizzazz to the room, too. Strawberries, apples, pears and combinations of fruit are all ideas that would be good stencil designs.
  • Another idea is to select a mural for one of the walls. A scene depicting a meadow of flowers, a farm house or children playing outdoors are all good choices.

The Furniture – Think of using a lot of wood to keep a country flavor in your kitchen.

  • When you select your kitchen table and chairs, think of giving your country look a bit of a twist by choosing tall pieces. Adding a basket of sunflowers or a bowl of apples, real or artificial, would add a country touch, too.
  • A wooden sideboard from which you can serve buffet meals would be a good addition. Selecting one with a country flavor would add to the charm.
  • Another idea is to select a roll top desk. Besides adding to the country look you’re wanting to establish, it would be a great place to keep a your computer out of sight when you don’t want anything electronic to disturb the country look.
  • Check out a local used goods store if you’re on a budget, or visit a local furniture store such as Tristate Furniture to find what you’re looking for.

The Decor – Shopping at antique stores, resale shops, yard sales and even museum gift shops may result in you finding one-of-a-kind pieces that will add to the charm of your country kitchen.

  • For your curtains, think about using large embroidered dishtowels with colorful ribbons for the tie-backs.
  • A grouping that contains framed family recipes, antique cookie cutters, and shadow boxes with collectibles like silver spoons, thimbles, and miniature china animals would be great.
  • Think about having each of your family members dress up in old-fashioned country clothes and taking photographs that you’d finish in sepia tones to be framed an hung on one of your kitchen walls. Denim overalls, long calico skirts, bonnets, aprons, suspenders and straw hats for the guys would be great touches.

The fun of decorating a country kitchen is that you can add pieces as time goes by. Consider a wooden corner hutch on which to display your collectibles.

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Use Lighting To Make Your Home More Welcoming

If you would like to start inviting more family and friends to your house for events or gatherings, you may be looking at different ways to make your home more accommodating for guests. While adding something like an outdoor patio would certainly do the job, that’s a pretty big project that you might not have the time or money for right now. One other way that you could change the look and feel of your home without getting involved in a major project would be to simply pay a little more attention to the home lighting fixtures that you use to illuminate your home. The right lighting can change the perception of a room and create the perfect kind of atmosphere for the occasion. Here are three ideas for changing the lighting in key areas of the house where guests may gather or mingle.

The Dining Room

More often than not, if you are inviting guests to your home, you may be offering them a meal or a drink. If you intend to use your dining room to entertain guests, you want the lighting to help you set the tone for the rest of the evening. Traditionally, you should make sure the dining room table is the most illuminated place in the entire room. One nice touch might be to add a chandelier above the table. You can still have lights elsewhere in the room, as long as it doesn’t draw too much attention. For example, a couple of small lights that light up the inside of the china cabinet will create a friendly, warm glow.

The Living Room

There are multiple ways to light a living room, but start by taking a look at what you currently have. If your living room already has an overhead light installed, consider getting a dimmer so that you can adjust the lighting and perhaps call more attention to other parts of the room. Try to have at least 3 corners of the room lit with some other source of light, such as table lamps. This will allow guests to see each other clearly as they talk across the room. Try using a lamp to illuminate only a specific object, like a plant, to help give the room a more relaxing feel.

The Kitchen

It’s not uncommon for guests to congregate in the kitchen early in the evening before dinner is served to grab a few snacks and drinks with each other, or in the case of relatives, perhaps even to help the host prepare the upcoming meal. When it comes to buying lighting for your kitchen, you want to focus on illumination that will help you get the job done. Overhead lights above the stove and other key areas are important. Consider adding some lights inside the cabinets to help everyone see things like pots and pans clearly. You likely will still have a central lighting source somewhere, but you can experiment with something like a table lamp or adding another dimmer.

If you want to change the look and feel of your home without too much work, investing in some new home lighting fixtures is a great way to do that. The right lighting can make your dining room, living room and even your kitchen more welcoming to guests while also serving needs like allowing you to see better while cooking.

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How to Tackle the Three Hardest Parts of Cleaning Your Windows

Cleaning the windows is a chore many people despise. It’s not so much wiping the glass that’s difficult, but cleaning the crevice between the window frame and glass pane, the little corners of the window sill, and those pesky, narrow blinds. There are a few tricks you can use to make the hardest parts of cleaning your windows easier.

The Blinds

Wiping each blind individually with a rag is certainly time-consuming. An easier way to tackle those blinds is to put on a pair of cheap, cotton, or polyester gloves. Spray some window cleaner or an all-purpose cleaner directly on the fingers of the gloves, and then use your fingers to wipe each of the blinds. It’s a lot easier to get your little fingers in there than to try stuffing a big rag between the blinds. When one glove starts to look too dirty, switch to a new one. Wash the gloves in your washing machine, and you can use them again and again.

The Window Sill

Often the issue with the window sill is that the dust that accumulates down there becomes moist and caked-on when condensation builds up in the window sill. This makes it hard to just wipe the debris away with a cloth. An easier way to get rid of this dirt is to prepare a mixture of half vinegar and half water. Heat it in the microwave until it is warm, but not hot enough to scald you. Carefully pour some of the vinegar mixture into the window sill. Let it rest for about 5 minutes; it will loosen up the grime. Once 5 minutes have passed, absorb the vinegar with a sponge of cloth, and wipe out the window sill. The grime should come up easily.

The Juncture between the Frame and the Window Pane

This area tends to get skipped when you wipe down the flat surfaces of your windows because it’s hard to get the cloth right into the crevice. A good solution is to dip a cotton swab in some window cleaner, and run it along this juncture. You’ll be surprised how much grime you pick up. Use a new cotton swab every time yours gets dirty. Don’t press too hard — you don’t want to loosen the pane from its frame, which may happen with older windows.

By following the tips above, your ensure your windows and your blinds get truly clean when you wash them. Stand back and admire the gleam of a job well done. For assistance cleaning your blinds, talk to a blind expert like F & R Interiors.

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Thinking About Installing A Water Softener? Here’s What You Need To Know!

If you live in an area that has a hard water supply, then you might be thinking about having a water softener installed in your home. With a water softener, you can have your home’s hard water supply filtered through salt as a means of removing unwanted contaminants, such as minerals. Before you decide to invest in a water softener, however, there are a few things you should be aware of in order to make a well-informed decision.

Water Softeners Can Protect Your Plumbing

First and foremost, a water softener does require a bit of an upfront investment (especially if you’ll be paying a professional to install it for you), but in many cases, that cost is more than worth it in the long run. That’s because soft water is a lot easier on your home’s plumbing appliances; since there is less scale buildup and fewer mineral deposits, your home’s pipes and plumbing appliances (such as dishwashers and clothes washers) tend to last a lot longer.

Water Softeners Require Very Little Maintenance

Another nice thing about water softeners is that they are almost maintenance-free; really, all you need to do is keep the salt levels stable by adding salt to the tank every so often. There’s no need to clean out your water softener tank or follow any other maintenance regimens. In most cases, there is also no need to have your water tested before you have one installed.

Be Careful Not to Overfill Your Softener

When it comes time to fill your water softener tank, the one thing you will want to be careful of is making sure not to overfill it. A lot of times, homeowners think that if they fill the tank past its capacity, it just means that they can go longer without having to fill it again. However, in reality, overfilling a water softener tank can lead to what’s called “bridging,” where the tank is so full that the water supply isn’t able to properly filter through. The end result is water that doesn’t get adequately softened.

Soft Water Might Take Getting Used To

Finally, understand that soft water feels different on the skin, so if you’re taking a shower or bathing in a soft water supply, it’s going to take some getting used to initially. However, once you do get used to it, you’ll likely find that your skin feels smoother and healthier!

For further assistance, contact professionals, such as those from Dupage Water Conditioning.

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3 Cheap And Portable Ways To Add Light And Ambiance To Your Next Backyard Party

If you like to entertain at night in your home’s backyard, then you will be happy to know there are some inexpensive items you can use to improve the ambiance, light, and look of your backyard. Since backyard space is always at a premium, each of the suggested items is portable and easy to store away in your garage or shed when not being used for a party.

Here are three inexpensive items you can purchase to make your backyard look amazing and inviting this summer:

Item #1 – Lanterns

You can purchase some cheap lanterns online and hang them around your backyard. Paper lanterns come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and styles to fit any home style. For a birthday party, you can purchase lanterns that look like colorful balloons. For a more subtle look, you can purchase simple black or white lanterns.

Paper lanterns use a small tea candle to create their glowing light and they can be safely hung from tree branches and your patio’s cover.

Item #2 – Tiki Torches

Inexpensive tiki-style citronella torches add a variety of things to your backyard party, including:

  • insect repellent
  • extra light
  • a glowing fire element

You can easily stick the spike of the torches into your garden and lawn areas without causing any permanent damage to your landscaping. Your guests will like the look of the burning torches and will also appreciate the lack of flying insects to bother and bite them as well.

Item #3 – A Chiminea

A chiminea is a Latin American-style portable fire pit. Chimineas are sold at all home improvement stores and fit nicely along with any decorative style. Since chimineas are self-contained and made of lightweight terracotta clay, you can easily store it in your garage or shed when you are not entertaining.

When you add a chiminea to your yard, your guests will be able to warm themselves around the fire and they will even be able to roast marshmallows to make s’mores. Any party that includes s’mores is a party that will be remembered!

By adding cheap paper lanterns, tiki torches, and/or a chiminea to your backyard space, you can add a nice layer of ambiance and light for your party guests. If you have any additional questions about how to improve your home’s backyard space, you should talk with a sales representative at your local home and garden center. 

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