Guest Post: 8 Ways to Have Fun Cleaning

While everyone wants a sparkling house, getting there can be…well, a chore. For working and stay-at-home moms alike, jam-packed schedules often limit the time available for cleaning, and it can be easy to do a lackluster job or simply not do it at all some weeks.

Some people hire a housekeeper to clean for them, but if you don’t, here are eight ways to make cleaning fun for yourself and your family:

1. Create a Theme
Parties and special events often have themes that make them special. Borrow that magic for cleaning day. By adding a simple theme, you can turn chores into fun. Pick something like Pirate Adventure. Everyone in your family can dress up in leftover Halloween costumes, play music like the soundtrack toJake and the Never Land Pirates and talk like a pirate while cleaning. Make cleaning silly and you’ll forget that you’re actually working.

2. Make it a Race
Becky, a mom and cleaning expert who blogs at Clean Mama, recommends that you: “Time yourself and try to beat last week’s time.” If you’re the ultra-competitive type (even with yourself), this can be a great way to get motivated. Challenge your kids to see who can make a bed the fastest and give a prize to the winner — maybe they get to pick the next flick for movie night.

3. Get the Family Involved
Cleaning isn’t just something that mom handles. Every member of the family should pitch in. “I like to involve my kids in the chores so we are doing them together,” says Becky.

Like Becky, Jan Dougherty, cleaning expert and author of “The Lost Art of House Cleaning,” says cleaning should be a family affair. Dougherty believes cleaning is an important life tool all children should learn. “Give your children the proper tools to do a good job. Rather than instructing them to clean their room and walking away, give them one-on-one instruction,” she suggests. Kids will enjoy the personal attention and feeling of importance you’re giving them.

4. Shoot Hoops
If you’re getting the whole family involved, set up a few trash bins around the room you’re tackling and have family members take turns trying to throw trash or other items you’re getting rid of into the bins. This can be fun in its own right, but for a little extra motivation, you can award the person who makes the most baskets a prize. The prize can be anything from a homemade “MVP Cleaning Trophy” to even getting to opt out of the chore of their choice for next week’s cleaning duties.

5. Head Outside
We mainly think of cleaning as things to do inside the home, but there’s plenty of work that needs to be done outside as well. Get some fresh air while tackling yard work. Have the kids help rake up leaves and then have fun jumping in the piles before scooping the leaves into garbage bags. In the winter months, getting the kids to help shovel the driveway is easy when you promise they can use the extra snow to make igloos and snowmen when the shoveling is complete. And teach them how to garden by starting with easy tasks like weeding and watering.

Learn more Tricks to Get Kids to Do Yard Work »

6. Skate to Clean Floors
Who doesn’t love that scene from Pippi Longstocking where she puts sponges on her feet to mop the floors? Have everyone remove their socks and shoes and tear up old towels so that everyone gets their own pair of “skates.” Fill up the sink or a bucket with soap and water and have everyone dip their skates into the soapy water before putting them under their feet and gliding around the room. To dry the floor, grab an oversized towel and have everyone jump on board, single file to create a cleanup choo-choo train.

7. Multitask
Cleaning can be a great way to sneak some exercise into your life. Kill two birds with one stone by wearing light ankle weights or watching your form while you polish the counter tops. If you aren’t interested in the weights, Becky recommends you “wear a pedometer and see how many steps you can take while you do your house cleaning.” Cleaning can be great cardio if you’re willing to look a little foolish in your own home. Who knows? You may be motivated to take more steps, and thus, clean more.

8. Entertain Yourself
One of the best ways to make cleaning fun is to make it entertaining. Becky recommends playing music or putting on a kid-friendly movie while you all fold laundry. In the same way music can motivate you to workout harder, it can also pump up your chores. After all, who hasn’t used their mop handle to pretend they were Adele at the Oscars? Put on some upbeat tunes and dance around the house while de-griming. You will be done in no time.

Cleaning doesn’t have to be tedious and boring. By taking it step-by-step and incorporating small games and challenges into each chore, you can make it a fun, family activity rather than bemoaning all of the things you have to do. The next time cleaning day rolls around, bust out your MP3 player, put on some ratty clothes and get down with your bad self.

This post was generously written by Alaina Brandenburger, a Contributor for Care.com (www.Care.com), the largest online care destination in the world.

 

7 Time Management Tips for Thanksgiving

For some people, the Thanksgiving holiday is a source of stress. Whether it’s the hosting responsibilities, the cooking, the traveling, or dealing with family, it is perfectly normal to feel a bit overwhelmed this time of year. In preparation for the big day, we’ve come up with 7 tips for managing your time and minimizing stress this holiday.

1) Prep Early: Much of the day’s stress comes from preparing such a large meal. Lighten the cooking load, by preparing certain items a day or two ahead. Things that work well for this include, veggie chopping (onions, carrots, etc.), pies, bread doughs, and baked goods.

2) Use a Cooking Timeline: Having a set timeline or schedule for when dishes will be made can assist in keeping you on track. We’ve developed our own version, called The Turkey Timeline, which is available in our printable Holiday Planning ebook.

3) Clean as You Go: In order to minimize the after-dinner cleaning efforts, attempt to clean as you go. You should also aim to have a load of dishes running in the dishwasher before you sit down to eat, so you will have an empty washer to use after the meal.

4) Enlist Help: Just because you are the chef in the family doesn’t mean you have to do everything by yourself. Enlist help (children, partners, family members) for tasks that are easily handled, such as setting the table, taking out the trash, or organizing the beverage station.

5) It’s Okay to Cut Corners: While we would all love to play Martha Stewart for the day, sometimes it’s unrealistic to think that everything will be made to gourmet standards and from scratch. Cut corners with things like frozen pie crusts, pre-chopped veggies, and pre-purchased Honey Baked Hams. You can also utilize a YouTube video trick for pealing potatoes that cuts the prep time down to practically nothing.

6) Schedule Personal Time: Don’t forget to schedule in time for things like getting dressed and showered, socializing with friends and family, and having fun. Taking a few minutes away from the kitchen can help you relax and make the day more enjoyable.

7) Oven to Table Strategy:  Whenever possible, cook items in the dishes you will serve them on. For example, if you are cooking a side dish, make sure that it’s already in the presentation dish you will later use. This will cut down in time needed for transferring items around.

We hope these tips assist in making your Thanksgiving a happy and efficient one.

TWOW

Getting Ready for the Holidays: Decorations

Holiday decorations are an important part of the season. They help to get us all in the holiday spirit and bring a touch of fun into our homes. While each family has their own traditions for how and when they will decorate, we’d like to offer some suggestions on how to prepare for the decorating process in an organized manner.

Before you decorate:

  • Remove your holiday decorations from storage and review the contents. If anything is broken or needs repair set the items aside and take appropriate action. Then determine if there are gaps in your collection that need to be filled or if there is anything special you’d like to add this year. Take care of all decoration shopping before you start the actual decorating process.
  • Decide if you have a particular theme or type of decoration that you’d like to highlight this year.
  • Check your Christmas lights to ensure they are working properly.
  • Double-check that you know the location of miscellaneous, but important items, such as the Christmas tree stand or stockings.

If you are limited on time, there are several local options for enlisting help for your decorating needs:

  • Tradition Trees in Metro Atlanta offers a service that will deliver, install, remove and recycle your Christmas Tree. They can also provide wreaths, roping, and other related items. Prices vary depending on tree size, so visit their website for details.
  • The Christmas Light Pros also in Metro Atlanta provide professional holiday light hanging services, including installation and removal in January. Call for a free estimate.
  • And of course, The Well-Organized Woman offers full interior holiday decorating services, including decoration purchase, concept design, and organized packing following the holidays.

For more tips and ideas about the holiday planning process, check out our recently released Holiday Planner eBook on Lulu.com. The printable planner is filled with helpful worksheets, checklists, and timelines to assist in your organized planning process.

TWOW

 

Emergency Preparedness Checklist

Hurricane Sandy currently has a lot of people in the Northeast frantically making last minute preparations for the storm. As planners, we’d prefer to ready ourselves for possible inclement weather before it is ever an issue. In order to help prepare for future weather-related emergencies, we’ve put together a list of must have items. This checklist was developed in part from the emergency preparedness lists of FEMA and the CDC, as well as our own recommendations.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS SUPPLY LIST:

Baby

  • Diapers, 5 day supply per child
  • Baby Wipes, 5 day supply per child
  • Formula or baby food, 3 day supply per child

Clothing

  • 3 day supply of clothes per person, accounting for cold and warm weather
  • Rugged or distance type shoes

Documents

  • Copies of S.S. cards, birth certificates, marriage records, immunization records, passports, and drivers licenses for all family members
  • Copies of insurance policies for home, health, and vehicle
  • Checking & savings account # information
  • Current photo of each family member for identification purposes
  • Written phone numbers and addresses for important contacts

First Aid Kit & Contents:

  • First Aid Kit Box with contents inside
  • Tweezers
  • First aid booklet with CPR ‘How To’
  • Two pairs of latex or other sterile gloves
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Ipecac syrup (induces vomiting)
  • Needles
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Safety pins
  • Scissors
  • Razor Blade
  • Cleansing agents or soap and antibiotic towelettes
  • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection
  • Burn ointment to prevent infection
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Thermometer
  • Prescription medications for family members that need them, check expiration dates every year
  • Petroleum jelly or other lubricant to prevent dryness, chafing, or cracking of the skin during extreme weather conditions
  • Calamine lotion (sunburn/insect bites)
  • Prescribed medical supplies
  • Nonprescription drugs, such as non-aspirin pain relievers, feminine supplies and personal
  • Antidiarrheal medications, antacid for upset stomachs, and laxatives

Food & Water

  • A 3-day supply of water (1 gallon per person per day; more if you live in a warm climate)
  • A 3-day supply of ready-to-eat foods, such as canned meat, canned fruits and vegetables, and ultra-high temperature milk (also called UHT milk)
  • High-energy foods such as peanut butter, nuts, dry cereal, granola, and crackers
  • “Stress foods” such as hard candy or cookies
  • A manual can opener
  • Eating utensils and supplies (for example, paper plates and plastic forks, spoons, and knives)

Hygiene:

  • Tampons or pads
  • Towlettes
  • Bar soap
  • Tooth Brush and Toothpaste for each family member
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand Sanitizer

Kids:

  • Games and activities for children

Medical:

  • Extra prescription eye glasses, contacts, hearing aid or other vital personal items

Money:

  • Several hundred dollars in small bills
  • Quarters for phone calls

Safety:

  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Hand crank-powered radio
  • Dust masks for each family member
  • Batteries in several sizes
  • Work gloves
  • Plastic garbage bags and ties for sanitation
  • Flares
  • Candles
  • A whistle
  • A wrench or pliers to turn off utilities (such as water or gas)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape for sheltering in place
  • Universal or wind-up cell phone charger
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Emergency reference materials, such as a first-aid book or a photocopy of such a book or manual
  • Warm blanket or sleeping bag for each person
  • Rain gear – ponchos or rain jackets, umbrellas
  • Paper towels
  • A fire extinguisher
  • A tent
  • A compass
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Signal flares
  • Paper and pencils
  • Medicine dropper
  • Household chlorine bleach, which you can use as a disinfectant to clean surfaces (mix nine parts water to one part bleach). In an emergency, you also can use it to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water.
  • Eyedropper for bleach
  • Backpack, bin or other portable bag for ‘Go Items’
  • Ziplock Bags to keep everything separated in the bins
  • Pocket knife
  • Safety ladder for second floor evacuation

We encourage all of our readers to work on putting together their emergency supply kit as soon as possible. You never know when it might become needed.

TWOW

14 Ways to Prepare for Fall

Fall has arrived and that means it’s time to start readying our homes for the change in season. In order to prepare you and your home for the cooler weather, we’ve put together a list of simple organizing projects.

1) Warm Season Gear: Organize and store items such as pool toys, beach towels, and outside sporting equipment.

2) Garden: Prune your perennials, add a layer of insulating mulch for plant warmth, and trim trees that could provide a threat to your home during a winter storm.

3) Reorganize the Kitchen: Relocate warm weather items, such as ice cream makers, to higher shelves and shift down things like the crockpot and soup bowls.

4) Pool: Schedule an appointment for your pool to be winterized and mark the close-up date on your calendar.

5) Weather-proofing: Determine if your windows, doors, or pipes needs weather proofing or insulating. Clear out gutters and downspouts.

6) Heater check: Have a professional firm come and inspect your heating system before turning it on. If applicable, have the chimney swept.

7) Closet Changeover: Conduct the Fall closet changeover using the process outlined here. While you’re at it, purge summer items that were not worn this year from the collection.

8) Artwork: Set up a system for displaying, temporarily storing, and keeping children’s school artwork.

9) Prep the Coat Closet: Clear out space and organize the coat closet to accommodate for regular use.

10) Reverse Ceiling Fans: Keep the warm air down by reversing your ceiling fan blades.

11) Clean out the Pantry: Review the contents of you pantry and toss anything that’s expired or not being eaten.

12) Roof: Inspect your roof and repair any broken shingles.

13) Lawn: Have your sprinklers winterized and prep the lawn for the cold weather.

14) Deck: Put down a fresh coat of sealer on your deck and get patio furniture covers, if needed.

 

Good luck with your organizing projects and have a happy Fall season.

TWOW

Get Organized for Halloween

Halloween may not be one of the most important holidays, but for families with children the day can require much preparation. In order to avoid last minute scrambling, we’ve put together a list of things to get organized ahead of time.

1) Costumes: By shopping for costumes earlier in the month of October you’ll not only have a better selection, but you may also get a better price. Costume stores typically offer coupons in early October, so keep a look out in your coupon mailers or check online sites like retailmenot.com for discount codes for online shopping. For optimum organization, you should aim to have all costumes purchased by the second week in October.

2) Decorations: Halloween decorations can help to get your family and neighborhood in the holiday spirit. Plan on decorating your home and yard by the weekend of October 20th. If you’re carving pumpkins, ideal timing is the weekend before (27th) Halloween to ensure they stay fresh. Keep in mind when you are decorating that the weather changes quickly this time of year, so if you have delicate ghosts or spider webs, be sure to bring them in before any rain hits.

3) Candy: Stores like CVS, Costco, and Target have deals on large bags of candy early in the month, so now is the time to stock up on the sweets you’ll need for trick-or-treaters.

4) School Activities: Schools often plan Halloween activities, such as costume parades and trick-or-treating. Find out the dates of these events now and mark your calendars to ensure your child will be prepared. In addition to the activity dates, also add deadlines for costume and accessory (candy pails) purchases.

5) Trick-o-Treating Plans: Plan on setting up your trick-or-treat plans two weeks ahead of time. If you are coordinating with other families, set a meeting time, location, and plans for child supervision and safety. It’s also a good idea to assign each child a ‘buddy’ to stay with for the evening to ensure no one is left alone.

6) Party Plans: If you plan on throwing a Halloween party, you’ll want to send out invitations the first week of October. During the second week, you can start to plan decorations, food, theme, music, and other party needs. The third week is the time to firm up these plans and finishing buying necessary non-perishable items, such as decorations. The last week leading up to the party is the time to decorate your space and complete the grocery shopping. On the day-of, you’ll prepare the food and drinks, set up last minute items, don your costume, and get ready to have a spooky evening with friends.

7) Holiday Food: Although Halloween is best known for candy, some people have traditions that include certain Halloween foods. Ensure you’ll be able to make these for friends and family by making a list of foods and necessary ingredients two weeks before the holiday. When making the list, keep in mind the little items, such as spices for pumpkin seed roasting and drinks such as apple cider.

We hope that by getting a head start on your Halloween plans this year you’ll have more time to enjoy the festivities on the day of.

TWOW

How & Where to Get Rid of Stuff

We are often asked what’s the best way to get rid of things being culled from the home. While some of the decision is personal preference, there are certain items that are best suited for specific removal strategies. Below we discuss the various options, along with the pros and cons of each.

Clothing Consignment Stores: Although it would be great if everyone could make money off of their excess clothing by consigning, the reality is these stores are extremely picky with what they take. The types of items that are best suited for consignment are new or like-new, in good condition, nicer brands, and most importantly, in-season. If you have winter clothes that you are looking to cull from your closet in the summer, this is not the place to take them. A tip we recently heard for successful consignment is to only do one trip per season. This way you can more easily track your sales and store time limits.

Specialty Stores: Places like Once Upon A Child are excellent options for donating specialty items such as baby products. They will pay you on the spot for your wares and you can feel good about passing along the things your family no longer uses. Play It Again Sports is also an excellent option for offloading old sports gear.

Donation Shops: GoodWill, Salvation Army, and other donation shops will take just about everything you’d like to give them. Although there is no cash payout, the tax deduction can be helpful.

Ebay: This site is most effective for items of slightly higher value that are new or in good condition. Managing the process can be tedious and learning the strategies of becoming a good seller can also be a challenge. However, there is excellent money to be made off of certain types of items.

Garage Sale: Yard sales are best conducted when there is a large amount of stuff to sell all at once. The process requires significant preparation and organization, but it is a good way to offload a variety of items. Keep in mind that prices should reflect severe discounts as your shoppers will expect to see bargains. For more garage sale tips, check out our past post.

Estate Sale: This type of sale is most appropriate for households will extensive collections of valuables. Most often they are conducted by professional estate sale planners who manage the pricing, sale, and delivery of purchased goods to the buyers. Estate sales are most common following the passing of loved ones, but they can also be great options for downsizing and long-distance relocations.

Craigslist & Freecycle: Craigslist.org offers the ability to sell or give away anything you could possibly imagine. Increase your sale odds by being descriptive in your posting and including photos. If possible, get original manufacturer information from other online sources and include in your ad for increased legitimacy. Freecycle.org is another option for giving your belongings away for free.

Recycling Center: If the stuff you are looking to remove from your home is simply not donation or sale worthy, recycling centers will gladly take the items for repurposing. In GA, the North Fulton Recycling Center accepts dropoffs of things like paint, batteries, electronics, books, clothing, ink cartridges, and most everything else you can think of.

No matter what method you chose, we commend you for your efforts to minimize personal belongings.

Good Luck!
TWOW

International Moves: How to Prepare & What to Do

Recently, WOW has been assisting a client with her impending move to a foreign country. Although any move can be stressful, an international relocation adds much complexity to the process. It is important to prepare for such a move months ahead of time and maintain an organized strategy. To help with this, we have created the below list of tasks to address prior to your move. Follow this list and you’ll find yourself living in the new country without issues left over from the U.S.

Tasks to address in your current home:

  • Prepare home for move: cancel lease, sell home, engage renters, etc.
  • Contact utility companies and schedule service end-dates; arrange to pre-pay final bills or have a new billing address/system set up
  • Disengage services: maid, gardener, pool maintenance, etc.
  • Donate non-relocation items to Goodwill. Arrange for a pickup one week prior to move
  • Return any borrowed items and retrieve anything you’ve loaned to friends or neighbors
  • Pack house and all belongings. If shipping your belongings, be sure to pack with extra care

Tasks to prepare for the relocation:

  • Research your new location and secure housing
  • Request digital statements for all necessary incoming mail and bills
  • Make arrangements to obtain copies of school, medical, dental and veterinary records
  • Make preparations for schooling in the new city
  • Obtain list of all schools your kids attended and dates, including contact names and addresses, original transcripts or report cards, list of current text books and course outlines (This will assist you and the new teacher in determining what level your child is at), test results of tests, in particular any standardized exams, particularly for English, Maths and Sciences.
  • Determine if immunizations are required in order to enter new country
  • Double check that passports and travel documents are up-to-date
  • Prepare for communication in new country (international calling plan, etc.)
  • Secure an international drivers license, if necessary
  • Obtain insurance in new country (health, driving, personal, etc.)
  • Meet with an immigration official, if necessary, to discuss required documentation (visas)
  • Check with your account regarding tax requirements in the U.S.
  • Get custom forms for household goods if shipping
  • Arrange for access to funds while overseas (maintain one U.S. bank account)
  • Communicate your new forwarding address to family, friends, interested parties
  • Exchange some money prior to leaving for arrival expenses

Shipping Belongings vs. Selling/Leaving Everything:

  • Determine if you will be engaging an international shipping service or if you will sell all items prior to moving
  • Research at least 3 international freight companies that ship to your new location and compare estimates
  • Make a list of all items being shipped, including values
  • Purchase shipping insurance
  • Prepare to have items packed and ready up to 3 days before pickup
  • Confirm destination location, pickup/drop-off procedures, tracking, and contract details
  • Research airline baggage policy to ensure maximum allowances are not exceeded if bringing many belongings via commercial airlines

Items to carry on the plane:

  • Hard-to-replace documents: passports, birth certificates, immunization records, ID’s
  • Jewelry and other valuables
  • Medications
  • 1-2 days worth of clothing and toiletries

Good luck with your exciting journey!

TWOW

Organized Moving: A Checklist

Many of our clients have recently moved into new homes. While a move can be an exciting event, it can also trigger many chores and responsibilities. In an effort to keep you organized and minimize the stress associated with moving, we have created a basic checklist of tasks to execute before, during, and after a move. In our experience, preparing for these common issues and needs can help to create an easy transition.

4-6 Weeks Before the Move:

  • Research and book a moving company or organize for friends and family to help.
  • Purchase or acquire moving supplies. Moving supply stores are great, but if you’re on a budget you can usually find free boxes behind major retail stores.
  • Sort, organize, and purge while you pack. Ensure an easy move, by carefully labeling boxes with room and contents.
  • Create a moving list inventory and organize a strategy of what will go where.
  • Measure your current furniture and the new space to ensure you have enough room. Door dimensions and tight corners should also be taken into consideration.
  • Investigate new professional service providers and organizations that you may need and set up relationships. These can include doctors, dentists, schools, vets, pharmacies, banks, etc.
  • If you are moving in or out of an apartment building, secure the elevator for your moving day. If your moving truck will need to block anything or park in a designated area, make the necessary arrangements and notify those affected.

1-2 Weeks Before the Move:

  • If repairs or improvements are needed in the new home, attempt, if possible, to get them done prior to the move. They will go more smoothly without furniture or family members interrupting.
  • Set up a change of address with USPS and notify your subscriptions and bill providers directly. This is also the time to send out moving announcements to friends and family.
  • Call utility companies (gas, electric, water, garbage, sewage) and organize for the new home to be switched into your name. Schedule a turn-on time for the new place and turn-off time for the current home. Don’t forget to ask the waste management company what day pickup occurs.
  • Research cable, internet, and phone providers in your new area. Set up appointments for service installation.
  • Start using up perishable items and liquids that can be difficult to move. Throw out flammable or potentially toxic items prior to the move.
  • Procure or update items pertaining to your address, including insurance policies, car registration, voter registration, and driver’s license.
  • Empty, defrost, and clean your fridge 24 hours before the move to ensure there will be no leakage.

Moving Day:

  • Verify licenses of movers if applicable.
  • Prepare payment, including tips for the movers.
  • Pack snacks and drinks and/or order lunch for those helping you move.
  • Organize for a cleaning crew to come following the movers departure from the old home.
  • Leave all sets of keys and garage door openers in the old home when you are officially out.
  • Take a wrap up inventory to ensure nothing is missing or broken, prior to signing any close of move documents.

Following the Move:

  • Replace smoke and carbon monoxide batteries. Mark the next replacement on your calendar.
  • Consider having locks re-keyed for safety.
  • Locate your circuit breaker box, water shut-off valve, and fire extinguishers for emergency purposes.
  • Create a filing system for documents related to the new home. The following categories are useful: warranties/purchases, insurance policies, repairs/home improvement, and tax write-offs for moving related expenses.
  • Determine if you need any new storage items, furniture, or other household goods in the new home to create organization from the start.
  • Ask neighbors for referrals for pool maintenance firms, gardeners, and cleaning services. Since they are already in the neighborhood, you can often get a discount.

Remember, the key to a successful move is organization and planning.

Good Luck!
TWOW

Consolidating Two Households

Spring is a popular time of year for weddings. Following this joyous occasion, many will be tasked with the process of joining of their two households. This consolidation often requires tough choices and concessions to be made, but if you tackle the task in an organized fashion it does not have to be painful. In order to help decrease the possibility for complications (and marital tension), we’ve created a guide for how to execute a merge in the WOW way.

The first step in merging two households is to take an inventory of everything. With a complete inventory you can then determine if there are duplicates (keep the newer/nicer version) or items in need of purging (old, broken, unused). Although many duplicates will be obvious, others are easily overlooked, such as linens and kitchen tools. Following the removal of the these types of items, you should then assess the amount of combined belongings versus the amount of space in the new home.

If space is limited, begin discussing which items are must-haves and which are negotiable. In this process, keep in mind that just even though you hate his old Lazyboy chair, it may be his favorite piece of furniture and thus a keeper. If these discussions are particularly heated, consider inviting an impartial third party, such as WOW, to make the final judgement. The outsider does not have the same emotional attachments and thus can make decisions based on quality, necessity, or space requirements, etc.

While reviewing the inventory, take notes as to which items are moving and which are being purged. You should also note the new location of where the item will live to ensure that you actually have space for it. If the intended storage location is to remain unpacked in the moving box, in the basement, it may not be something you absolutely need to keep.

After you have conducted the move, the next task is to thoughtfully merge the items in the new home. Many find it to be a challenge to blend the design aesthetic of two individuals, so we often recommend several things. First, assess the two looks and determine if a few new purchases will help create a smooth synthesis. Small items like new throw pillows can seamlessly blend artwork or other items that would have otherwise looked out of place. Couples can also mix their styles by finding new and creative uses for furniture doubles that simply cannot be parted with. For example, if you end up with two beloved dressers, repurpose one to be a dining room console or hallway storage unit. A final option is to enlist the help of an interior designer.

Although many aspects of this process will be stressful, having an organized and beautifully merged household will be conducive to long-term harmony.

Good Luck!
TWOW

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