The great ordeal, time to unpack!

Success!  You have gotten moved!  All of your belongings are again housed inside a structure other than a moving van or your truck and/or trailer.  You can be proud of yourself.  Ok, that’s long enough!  Time to start to unpack!

What should I  unpack first?

We think that the obvious place to start is in the kitchen.  Even though you and your family have enjoyed sampling the dining offerings at ALL the local eateries, it will be nice to eat a home-cooked meal, even if it is only hot dogs.  Therefore, getting the kitchen even somewhat setup makes a good place to start with the unpacking.  We know that you have marked your boxes so that you can put your hands on everything you will need to get things cooking in your new kitchen.  Right?  Well, anyway…

Once the kitchen is at least somewhat sorted out, you can begin unpacking your bathroom.  You have been able to make do with the two towels that you put in the dreaded  “last box”, but now, it will be nice to change them for some other of your favorites and give the moving towels a week off.  Laundry will be the next stop for those towels!

Where else should I concentrate?

Since your furniture should be approximately where it will be placed in your new home, you should try to get your laundry up and running.  We told you to plan for about a week of clothes left out, and you probably are ready to wash them, as well as anything that got dirty during the move.  Hopefully, your soap and other laundry products are clearly marked and accessible…

How about my clothes?

We know that you packed your clothes where you could find them. It’s no fun to wear the same five shirts and two pairs of jeans much past a week, so locate your clothes boxes and get them back in the dresser or hung in the new closet.

By this time, you should be well on your way to being completely unpacked!   Yay!   Congratulations!


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Time to pack, you’re moving!

Spring is the very best time to sell a home, and Spring is finally here!  If you need to move soon, we want to be sure you are ready.  Here are some great tips to help you pack!

Do you have enough  supplies?

We tend to underestimate how many supplies we will need.  Things like boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, markers, and other filler packing material.  Unused supplies can be returned if you purchase it from your local big box store or a moving and storage company.  Then you can buy plenty and not worry about running out, or of having way too much after the move.  Lots of small boxes, some medium boxes for lighter things like plastic kitchen containers and bedding or towels, and some large boxes for especially fragile things that will need to have extra layers of packing and not too much per box.

What to pack first?

Begin by packing everything that you don’t need to be comfortable but want to keep.  Things like art on the walls, extra bedding and towels, books, CDs.  Remember, an excellent time to dispose of anything that is not being used or at least appreciated is while packing.  The Goodwill would love to have your unwanted but useable discards, and do you really need that fourth cheese grater?  Probably not!

What’s next?

Pack clothes that are out of season but you want to keep.  Pack Costco-sized packages of things like paper goods and leave out only what you will need until after the move.  You probably won’t miss the one hundred extra rolls of toilet paper that you store, just in case.  These things are very nice to keep in stock, but try to think about how much you will really use between now and when you unpack in the new home.  Pack all extra clothes and leave out enough to see you until you can do laundry in the new place.

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Your grass, how is it looking?

Spring is here, time to think about outside projects.  Could your grass use some love?  Here is the hot ticket to get your lawn looking lovely again!

Get-ready checklist

When was the last time that you sharpened your lawnmower blades?  Many lawn care maintenance companies sharpen their blades daily, but you probably don’t need to.  However, especially if you can’t remember the last time you did it, perhaps you should before cutting your lawn.  Did you change the  oil before you put it away for Winter?  If you did not Winterize it, you really should change it’s oil, too.  Make sure your mower is happy before you tackle your lawn!

Mow low!

For the first cutting at least, you should set your mowing height lower so that you remove excess thatch that builds up in your lawn over the cold weather.  Some thatch is good for your grass, helping it to hold in moisture during the Summer.  However, too much keeps moisture from reaching the roots of your lawn, and that will make it die in Summer heat.  After you have mowed it once or twice, you will want to raise the blade height up again to allow your grass to grow.

Do you plant grass or kill weeds?

You can either apply pre-emergent weed killer or you can plant grass seed to fill in gaps and bare spots in your lawn.  You cannot do both at the same time.   The whole reason that pre-emergent works is that it keeps the seeds from germinating.  Therefore, if you use it to kill weeds, you don’t want to plant grass seeds.  Do one or the other!  And, in our climate, it is better to plant larger areas of grass seeds in Autumn than now.

How about fertilizer?

If you must fertilize now, please give your lawn a light dose.  If you fertilize too much or too early, your grass will grow rapidly, however it will not be hardy enough to withstand the hot Summer weather.


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Easter, the vernal equinox and the solstices, oh my!

What is the vernal equinox?

What is the vernal equinox and what does it have to do with Easter you ask?  Well, the equinox is the two days that the Sun points directly at the Earth’s equator.  Still what does that mean?  That means that for two days each year, usually around March 20 and September 23, the sun hits the northern and southern hemisphere equally.  On those dates, day and night are roughly the same length of time.  Because the solar terminator (edge of day and night) is perpendicular to the equator.  Confused?  No need!  On we plunge!  Easter is always on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.  Does that clear it up for you?  No?  Well, it gets worse!

What are the solstices?

There are two solstices, too.  One in Winter and one in Summer.  They are the longest daylight and shortest daylight days of the year.  This is because the planet is tilted either towards or away from the Sun which creates the longest day or night of the year, depending on the season.  On December 22, the sun is farthest South so the daylight hours are the shortest of the year.  Therefore, on the Summer solstice, June 22, the Sun is farthest North.  Hence, the longest day.  In the northern hemisphere, of course.   The solstices also mark the beginning of Winter and the Summer.

So what about Easter?

As we told you before, the date of Easter is determined by the vernal or Spring equinox and the phase of the moon.  The date  roughly coincides with the Jewish celebration of Passover.  That holiday commemorates the freedom of the Jewish people from captivity in Egypt.  The dates for both of these religious holidays varies each year, but both are important, and come in early Spring.

We sincerely hope the we have helped clear all this confusion up for you!

Happy Easter!


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Have amazing rental property !

2Last time, we discussed three good ways to spruce up your rental home or apartment.  Here we go again!  This time, three different great ideas to make your rental property stand out with the renters out there!

Number one, tile that entryway!

After you have replaced your entry door and perhaps its hardware,  what about tiling the entryway floor?  It is the next thing the hopeful renters will see when they enter the space, and especially now, with Spring on its way with rain and mud on everyones feet, consider tiling at least a small area in the entry.  It  helps the rental flooring by giving visitors a “staging area” for leaving wet or muddy shoes or boots.  In addition, adding some decorative tile will add tons of character to your rental, character that other rentals lack.  This, in turn, will make your property stand apart from others the renter may be considering.

Number two, paint the trim!

Sometimes, if you have updated the interior paint recently, all you need to do to make it look bright and new again is to paint the trim.  It is amazing what a coat of contrasting but harmonizing trim paint will do to refresh your property.  Also, paint colors go in and out of favor and you want your paint color to reflect a current trend.  However, remember, you want your space to appeal to a wide variety of potential tenants, so don’t go too crazy with either wall color or trim color!

Number three, what about a new mailbox?

How does that mailbox on your rental home look these days?  Has it seen its share of use, is it looking tired?  Well, if that is the case, replace it!  Mailboxes are readily available, come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, are inexpensive, and will make an immediate statement to potential tenants.   Again, choose one that compliments your rental home and will be appealing to anyone.

In conclusion, use the easy inexpensive tips and get that rental rented!

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