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Packing for Your Move - Part 2

by The Jana Caudill Team

This is a continuation of our last blog, “Packing for Your Move - Part 1”.

  1. Use your move as an opportunity to de-clutter.  We all have stuff we have been hanging onto for far too long.  Clothes we no longer wear, or that have been out of style for decades; that old barbershop chair in the basement gathering dust; VHS tapes, rotary phones, vinyl record albums.  Some of it may very well be collectable.  Some of it may just be gathering dust.  Have a garage sale, and donate any leftover stuff.  Now’s the time to pull out everything that really has no business on the back of a moving truck, and no place in your new home.  Use the proceeds from your garage sale to buy pizza for lunch for your moving crew.
  2. Have a toolbox handy for taking apart bed frames, tightening loose screws, removing wall-hanging hardware, etc.  Be sure to have one or more box cutters in the tool set for unpacking, and be sure the toolbox is placed in a central location in your new home on move in day, like the kitchen, so you don’t have to look for tools when it comes time to reassemble bed frames, etc. at the end of an exhausting day.
  3. Use blankets to drape over delicate surfaces like electronics and furniture to prevent breakage and scratching.  Plastic garbage bags full of t-shirts or towels are excellent for stabilizing fragile items in the back of the moving truck, as are couch cushions and bed pillows.
  4. Ask for help.  Moving is by all means a daunting job, so don’t be shy.  Friends, neighbors, family – even the children!  If you’re worried about things getting broken then handle the computer monitor and your great-grandmother’s antique full-length mirror yourself.  Enlist more troops to handle the rest of the grunt work.  Children can help more than we often give them credit for.  They can carry smaller boxes, or at a minimum babysit the family dog in the back yard while the adults take care of all the lifting.  Kids love to feel included in all the excitement, and to have their own very special job assigned to them is all it takes.

This by no means is a comprehensive list of helpful tips to ensure a successful move for your family.  Check out this detailed checklist for more useful information.  And don’t forget to call on us when buying or selling in Northwest Indiana!

Packing for Your Move - Part 1

by The Jana Caudill Team

It takes more than boxes and tape for a successful move into a new home – it takes planning, organization, and a little help.  Here is the first of two beefy installments with some packing and moving tips that will ensure a minimum stress, minimum trouble, maximum efficiency move.

  1. Start early.  Begin saving empty boxes well in advance of the big day.  Visit local grocery stores and ask for their good used boxes, just be sure to take a pass on boxes that have produce residue or traces of odor.  Purchase good packing tape; duct tape doesn’t adhere very well to a cardboard surface.  You want to make sure what you put inside the box stays there until you’re ready to unpack.  Visit your dry cleaner and ask for some used plastic garment bags.  These can be used to protect clothing on hangers from dust, and tied off at one end they double as trash bags.
  2. Pack up any off-season belongings you may have first.  If you’re moving in June go ahead and pack up your Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations, and cold weather wardrobe.  The more you can get done ahead of time the better.
  3. Pack heavier items, like books or music CDs in smaller boxes; pack lighter items in larger boxes.  The fewer boxes you have to move the better, however you don’t want to pack boxes so heavy you risk a back injury.  Be sure to securely tape boxes as well.  We’ve already covered this, AND it bears mentioning again.  An over-packed box bursting open on its way to the moving truck is not the way to start moving day.
  4. When packing, label the box with a permanent marker for the room it is being moved into, not the room it is moving out of.  You may have two children currently sharing one room who will now each get their own bedroom in the new house, or you may have decided to store some items from your basement into your new spacious garage.  Label individual boxes for the appropriate destination room.

Check back next week for Part 2 of “Packing and the Move” for more tips.  In the mean time here’s a great comprehensive moving checklist to help keep important tasks from falling through the cracks.  And remember, whether you’re moving into, out of, or around Northwest Indiana we’re here to help.

The Great American Garage

by The Jana Caudill Team

Here are three quick tips for freeing up space in your garage:

  1. Bicycle Racks.  Whether you have a lawn mower or a snow blower (or both) everyone has large, heavy equipment of some sort taking up valuable floor space in the garage.  Bicycles take up a good amount of space as well, but they are much lighter.  Install one of a variety of bicycle racks in your garage to get them up, off the ground, and out of the way.
  2. Clear Storage Bins.  Used cardboard boxes have always been a staple of garage and basement storage.  But even when the most detailed of us labels each box with its contents often it is still difficult to find what we’re looking for when the boxes are stored up high on shelves, in lofts, or up in the attic.  Try using clear bins for storage.  Multiple bins are all of uniform size and easy to stack, AND you’ll make locating that last box of holiday decorations easier because you are able to see the contents of each bin right through the clear plastic.
  3. Go vertical!  Use the ceiling of your garage to help maximize space for storage.  There are many companies who sell motorized lifts for the lifting and storage of, among other things, bicycles.  If that’s a little pricey for your taste what about adding ceiling or wall mounted shelving units to get boxes and bins up, up, and away?

Come back and visit our blog for more great tips for home buyers, home sellers, do-it-yourselfers and more!

Getting Rid of Drain Flies

by The Jana Caudill Team

If you live in Northwest Indiana you’ve seen them before.  They don’t have the annoying buzz of the regular house fly, and they don’t do flybys over your dinner plate.  In fact they seem to float quietly along, not really heading anywhere or intending to bother anyone.  But they are a nuisance, and they always seem to appear out of nowhere, usually in the kitchen, sometimes in the bathroom.

Drain flies can take over any drain in the house, but more often than not they show up close to their main food source, slime covered garbage disposals in the kitchen sink.  You can find them in bathroom sinks where gunk is beginning to build up around drain plugs, but most likely you’ll encounter them in the kitchen.  They lay their eggs in the gunk coating the grinding mechanism down in the disposals.  The problem is, although hot water and ammonia can get rid of the adult flies it does little to eradicate the eggs.  And simply running the disposal even with a standard disposal cleaner won’t get rid of the gooey stuff.  You need to use an enzyme like DF5000 that will eat away both the slime and the eggs, right down to the metal.  Just keep in mind, the more crud deep down inside the disposal, the more applications you will have to use to completely clean out the drain.  How will you know when the drain is clear?  When the flies are all gone you’ll know your job is done.

5 Inexpensive Value Adding Repairs

by The Jana Caudill Team

If you’re looking for some inexpensive repairs you can do to your home to add resale value you’re looking in the right place!  All of the entries on this list have reasonable price tags, and some of them won’t cost you anything but a little elbow grease and time to help you effectively stage your home:

  1. Clean up.  That’s right.  Not really a repair, I know, but think about the last time you walked into a home that smelled like the family dog, or had stacks of clutter everywhere you looked.  Let your mantra be “Pick up, put away, get rid of, clean!”  The house will be more presentable, and the rooms will look larger with less in them.  Vacuum then shampoo carpets.  Wash all your windows.  Fall is here with winter just around the corner.  If weather becomes prohibitive focus on the inside, and plan ahead for the outside…
  2. Exterior.  We’re talking curb appeal!  Same thing as above, just outside.  Now that the inside of your home is clean and presentable, don’t turn buyers away with yard clutter, the old broken down lemon in the driveway, or a mailbox slumping sideways on its post.  Tidy up and restore order, both in the front yard and back, before heading into winter.  In the spring and summer don’t let prospective buyers get stuck at the curb by dead grass, weeds, overgrown shrubs, peeling paint.  How about some colorful flowers?  Your mantra here is, “Mow, trim, paint, plant.”  If the entire exterior doesn’t need a paint job, consider painting just window and door trim to freshen things up.
  3. Flooring.  Buyers notice dirty carpets, rough wooden flooring, and chipped tile right away.  Yes, I’ll say it again, shampoo carpets!  Also clean and wax wood floors, and replace damaged tiles.  It may be necessary to completely replace flooring in certain rooms.  Be sure to go with neutral colors if you’re selling in the next few months or planning ahead to do so in the next few years.
  4. Bathroom and Kitchen sink fixtures.  Remodeling bathrooms and kitchens can be cost prohibitive.  Consider replacing leaking or outdated plumbing fixtures with something contemporary.  This is a great inexpensive fix that gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
  5. Let there be light!  Change dim outdated lighting for more fashionable and brighter alternatives.  If painting interiors, going from dark to more neutral colors will make rooms feel larger.  Raise blinds and open curtains to let in more natural light!

Here’s a great resource to get an idea of your return on investment for more costly professional versus do-it-yourself projects.

Displaying blog entries 41-45 of 45