Relocating for Less

moving day It’s that time again, and you are about to make your next house move, or if it’s your first time, your very first home move. This is often a stressful and chaotic time and it’s essential to plan and budget your move. It’s essential to plan before you begin your move, not the day before or the actual day of the move.

First of all, what budget have you got to work with? An estimate is better than nothing, but if you know how much you can spend, you can also plan where you can spend it. So get pen and paper out and jot down an approximate budget; this can be adjusted as the plan evolves.

Every room you pack up and move will have different types of furniture or items that might be delicate or expensive. Separate your plan into a room-by-room itinerary. Your bulky furniture will take up space, so packing these items together is a good idea.

Items like your TV and electronic equipment will need to be treated as delicate, or else you might well blow your whole budget on a new plasma screen (try to avoid doing that). Smaller items and clothes are usually the easiest thing to pack, but it’s always useful to use this time to sort of things that aren’t needed. Clutter isn’t something you should take with you to your new home, so get rid of it now. You’ll thank yourself later.

Think about the day of the move when you purchase the boxes you plan to use. Cardboard boxes are cheap but they are also flimsy, and have little to no protection from knocks and scrapes. Purchase some sturdy plastic containers. They come in a variety of sizes and can be reused for additional storage, and they often fit into one-another, helping to secure your possessions when you relocate. Label everything as they are packed away. Why? Because it becomes a nightmare trying to unpack. It’s always better to put in the niggly work now, rather than ripping open every box or container later when you are trying to locate the kettle.

Now it’s time to think more about the day of the move. Are you able to move from your current home to your new property on the same day as the move? If yes then you are fine in this respect, but if there’s a delay, then you need consider some sort of storage, so please take this into account. If there is any delay in moving from one property to another there are various options available for self storage. It might help to get everything packed away if you are considering doing any paint work or remodeling at your new place.

 

Your plan should be coming together nicely.  Now from plan to action: the big day has arrived. There are a few options to consider. You can hire a van and move everything our self, you can hire a packing and Removal Company to relocate you in London or your new city, or, you can pack everything into your car and make multiple trips. Budget all of these out and get the actual costs. Insurance is essential, so you’ll need to have this in your budget. Remember the plasma screen? Trust me; you don’t want to have to buy a new TV.

Move in the bulky furniture first. It is the most difficult to maneuver and you won’t want anything getting in your way.  Then move in the expensive things. Some TVs and electrical equipment will need additional brackets so have your power drill ready. Then get the rest in. You might have the luxury of leaving these things in boxes.

However you choose to pack and move to your new home, please ensure you plan as much as possible before you start the actual move. It might sound boring – to be honest it is – but it will save a lot of frustration and grey hairs later. Give yourself plenty of time and start at least a month before you plan to move. Know what is in store, know your budget, and you’ll be able to spend wisely. Make sure you get a good level of insurance for your possessions. The more you do now, the less stress later.

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

Vacations are About the Laughs

family camping When I think about vacations as a child I do not remember how much money we spent or lavish hotel where we stayed. Instead I remember the things that went wrong and how funny it was to us. It seems like a holiday could not go past without something going wrong. Even as an adult I look back on those moments and am thankful that my parents were able to turn what could have been a disaster into something funny and memorable for us kids. To illustrate my point here are a couple of the stories that we laugh at today:

Two Dogs, Three People, One Tent

I remember one vacation in which my brother, my mother, our two dogs and I went camping. This was a last minute trip and we were ill prepared. With little to go on but our three man tent, an extension cord and a small fan we camped out in the woods of Texas in the middle of summer. To say it was hot and humid is an understatement. You have never felt humid until you have felt South Texas in August. Anyway, we set up our tent just as the sun was going down. We also had a small television with a built in VCR along for the ride. We all settled in to watch a horror movie (a bad choice for a dark night) and fell asleep soon after. Of course, three man tents really only sleep two so we were snuggled in very close with the dogs panting at our heels. The roots of the tree dug into our back as we discovered we were lying on an incline and slowly squishing towards the side of the tent. Then in the middle of the night as the quiet hoots of owls and chirping of crickets faded to an eerie silence we head the howling cry of an animal and the ferocious barking of a large dog in the not too far distance. After a few minutes of this raucous there was a gunshot and then silence. We all sat up and looked at each other as the night sounds began again. Who was shot? The dog or the animal? We were not going to stick around to find out. As soon as it got light out we had the tent packed away and were ready to move on to a nice, safe hotel.

Attack of the Mosquitoes

Another camping adventure gone wrong on that trip happened in Florida. A lovely park on a beach island turned sour when night fell. We stayed in the back of the minivan we drove to avoid having to put up tents. However we covered the windows with mesh netting to keep out mosquitoes and get circulation. One night it seemed like the mosquitoes would not stop coming. We swatted and killed until the roof of the van was splattered with black and red. I was near tears and wondered how they kept getting in. It was then that my mother discovered we had left the back vent open on the window and as soon as we shut it we were okay again. Then it was the journey to the bathroom that got us. As we crept through the darkness with our flashlights, snakes slithered out of our way, warming themselves on the stone paths. The bathroom itself was covered in Daddy Long Legs and spider webs. Needless to say I learned to hold it while we were there.

Family vacations do not have to be perfect to give kids great memories. Sometimes it is about treasuring the things that go wrong as well. I remember all these stories that have been told and retold in my family with many laughs. We enjoy remembering our misadventures ad relish the time we have to spend together. Make your own memories and do not worry about making everything perfect. It is the mistakes that make things really memorable.

Author Bio:

This post is contributed by Linda Bailey from housekeeping.org. She is a Texas-based writer who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more. She welcomes your comments which can be sent to b.lindahousekeeping @ gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Tips For Becoming A Frugal Homemaker

cash Being a homemaker is a lot like running a business. You have to manage other people and their schedules, keep the place well stocked on supplies, and maintain a balanced budget. You are responsible for what comes into the house as well as what goes out. You are in charge of keeping everything and everyone safe from accidents and when something goes wrong, the unhappy parties come to you. Yes, being a homemaker requires a lot of thought, planning, and skills. Especially in this struggling economy, many homemakers are also tasked with keeping the house running on a lower budget than it may have in the past. There are a number of ways for homemakers to save money, below are just a few to get you started.

 

Save on your heating and cooling bills by setting a thermostat. One very easy way to cut your costs is to save money on your heating and cooling bills. There are a number of ways to save money on these costs but the easiest one can also have the biggest impact. Most thermostats these days come with timers in them, but a lot of people forget to set them. There is no reason to keep your house heated or cooled when you are not there. Using a timer will turn these utilities off automatically, saving you time, money, and energy.

 

Start cooking at home instead of eating out or ordering in. A lot of people get into the habit of ordering in takeout – whether it’s pizza, Chinese food, or even health foods – or dining out, largely because it’s convenient and saves time. But it also costs a lot of money to do this. Cooking will cut your food costs and your calories. It is almost always healthier to dine in than to eat out!

 

Cut your water use. Another bill where you can save money is your water bill. Small changes can make a big impact. The Nest provides the following advice, “Fix a dripping faucet, which can leak as much as 100 gallons per day, or 3,000 gallons per month. Check to see if your municipality offers a rebate on low-flow toilets. If you can’t afford one, take a liter soda bottle, fill it with water and place it in your tank to reduce water use each flush. Run the dishwasher and do laundry only with full loads.”

 

Make your own cleaning supplies instead of buying them at the store. Like cutting your water use and your heating and cooling bills, making your own cleaning supplies is not just good for your budget but it also beneficial to the planet. Mixing together some baking soda and vinegar creates an effective cleaning solution and it works on almost all household surfaces. Got some scrubbing to do? Mix baking powder with just enough water to create a paste and use it for the scrubbing. Just test an area first – the abrasive scrub can damage some surfaces.

 

Replace meat with other high protein alternatives. If you and your family eat a lot of meat, you are not only shorting yourselves on nutrients and other health benefits found in other protein sources, but you are also upping your grocery bills. You do not have to make a full switch to vegetarianism. Start by replacing one normally meat meal a week with something else, like a bean or egg dish. These foods also have a lot of protein. Veggie chili is another great option for a hearty vegetarian dish.

 

Use cloth diapers on your infant. If your baby is wearing disposable diapers, then you know that it creates a lot of waste. It also costs a lot of money. Consider using cloth diapers instead. Although they cost more on the front end, they will save you a lot of money later down the road. According to HowStuffWorks, “One case study showed that a family with a newborn spent around $600 total on cloth diapers, compared to $1,500 to $2,500 that families tend to spend on disposables over three years [source: Jackson]. If you have more than one child the cost is even lower, since you can use those same cloth diapers for baby number two (and three!) And you aren’t contributing to the landfill.”

 

These are just a few ways to start saving money on your household costs. There are always more out there. The key is to find cost cutting tips that work for you and your family and to stick with them.