Real Estate

Things to Do Six Weeks Before a Move

Being a military family we did numerous moves. I like to think I am a pro when it comes to moving, and am happy to share what I’ve learned with my clients. In the military we could move across the country or around the world, and planning was essential to keep it from becoming overly stressful.

When should you start planning the move? I like to have six weeks. This allows ample time to get everything done, and to take care of any situations that may come up.

The first thing I do is get a notebook and title the top of three pages, these titles are “Going”, “Staying”, and “Charity”. I then pick a room and get started by deciding what furniture is going, what is staying, and what is being donated. All these furniture items are listed on the appropriate page. Then, still working in that room, I get three boxes and mark them “Going”, “Staying”, and “Charity”. You may be asking why I have a “Staying” box. In this box I will put any instruction manuals, keys, extra batteries for home systems, paint color information, Homeowner Association contact info, and anything else the new owners may need.

I do this in each room, and can get through the entire house in a couple of days. I always end up with several boxes of items, and some furniture that we will donate to charity. I call the charity and schedule a pick-up. This is really convenient, and is a great way to get rid of things in good condition. Please know I don’t touch the garage, that is always Dean’s thing and if I started tossing what I thought wasn’t important, let me say he wouldn’t be happy.

Once the house is organized it is time to call the movers. In the military I was fortunate because Dean always took care of that through admin. He would schedule for them to come to the house so they could figure the weight total and number of boxes. For my clients, I tell them to call three separate moving companies and setup appointments to get estimates. I include a contact sheet for several companies in their seller’s packet.

It is also important to contact your insurance company and make sure your belongings will be insured while in transit. I learned, before a cross country move, that the popular insurance company we had been with for years would only give 10% of the total value should something happen in transit. When I heard that and thought about our belongings crashing down a mountain in a mass of flames (totally over dramatic) we immediately dumped them and got better insurance.

Also during this sixth week be sure to have your family’s necessary paperwork together. I like to keep it together all the time. These papers include passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates, marriage license, insurance policies, and so on.

Last thing to do in the sixth week is tell the people who do services at your home that you are moving. This includes contracted pest company, gardener, pool service, window washer, and anyone else who does things around your house. You can settle your account, and let them know when the last date of their service is needed. Be sure to write a list of all these companies plus their contact information for the new homeowner. You guessed it, it goes in the “Staying” box.

Countdown through other moving weeks to follow.

Amazon Finds

Amazon Find: Panasonic Cordless Iron

When the lockdown started, in March, it took Dean a couple of weeks to get used to his new schedule. Not being able to teach, go to the gym, or even hangout with his friends at the coffee bus, he decided to venture into a new area.

Since masks were hard to find he went online and started watching sewing videos. He then headed to the local sewing store where he bought a machine, some fabric, thread, and everything else he needed to make his first mask. He began with a simple pleated mask, but soon decided to take the design further. You see, Dean is really great at mathematics, engineering, and design and is always wanting to improve things. He went through various design changes to make the masks more comfortable, easier to breathe and talk in, and created templates for custom sizes.

Then after using the masks for a bit he decided something in the design was missing. He would get in the car, remove his mask, and then forget to put it back on at the next stop. He got tired of going back to retrieve it, and that led to his detachable lanyard design. They are soft, pliable, and are machine washable like the masks. I really like that the lanyard matches the mask.

The one thing he disliked when making the lanyards was our iron. When he made the lanyard bias tape it was difficult to iron, because the cord kept getting in the way. He got online and soon learned about cordless irons. He decided on this Panasonic NI-WL600 Cordless Steam/Dry Iron from Amazon, and has been using it since October. He really likes it, and says the only drawback is it doesn’t stay hot for a very long time. It has to be put back in the cradle for a minute to continue. Otherwise, he likes the weight of the iron, ease of use, and overall design.

Dean’s multi-layer masks are great. I find them comfortable to wear, breathe in, and I can talk in them with ease. I’m really proud of him, and that he has given away countless masks and lanyards to local charities, family, friends, and acquaintances.

Dean’s Amazon find score: 4/5

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Real Estate, Style

What Paint Is Right For You?

Choosing the right paint color isn’t the only consideration when doing your latest paint project. You also need to think about the type of paint, as well as what finish is right for your room.

I am a big fan of paint samples. No matter if I use Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, Home Depot, or Lowes they all offer test pots of paint in all varieties of finishes. I think the most I have paid for a test pot is around $7 US. This is a small investment to make sure I don’t make a more costly mistake.

I used to apply a couple of coats of the test paint directly to the wall, but learned that putting it on a poster board makes it easier to see how it will dry, look, and I can move it around the room to see how it looks throughout the day and evening.

The two types of paint are water based and oil based. I don’t mess with oil based paint because of the smell, clean up, drying time, and the overall application is much more difficult. If I were to hire a paint crew I might be tempted to have them use an oil based paint in the laundry room or bathroom, simply because it is a great for humidity and moisture.

Now the color is chosen, the type is picked, so what finish is best? Matte, Eggshell, Satin, or Semi-Gloss. Just as I am a fan of water based paints, I love a matte finish.

Matte: It is easy on the eye with the smooth appearance. I believe it allows for better saturation of natural light during the day, and is relaxing at night. It can be more difficult to clean, so having paint in a touch up bottle is necessary.

Eggshell: Has a bit of sheen that makes it more reflective. It is easy to clean, this makes it great for high traffic areas. Satin & Eggshell are relatively close, with Satin being a touch shinier. My office is a smaller space and I used an Eggshell finish because it lacks natural light, and needed something a bit extra to bring the space to life.

Semi-Gloss: This type is what I like to use on finishes. The issue with Semi-Gloss is it is highly reflective, so using it in a large space can be overwhelming. This is why I like to use it for doors, baseboards, window trim, and other types of trim.

Paint color, type, and finish are personal choices. Choose what is aesthetically pleasing to your eye and makes you love how the room looks and feels. You can also mix the finishes with an accent wall, stripe, or other decorative way. Explore your options and most of all have fun, because it’s just paint.