Archive for the ‘Before the Move’ Category

Let’s face it, moving day is a stressful time. Here are a few tips on how to be prepared for the big day.


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Here are a few fun moving supplies to purchase if you’re moving any time soon…..



Decorative packing tape by Fancy That!

Colored bubble wrap by Fastpack Packaging

Room labels from Container Store

Lace packing tape from Stylehive


Tiger Tacos at Container Store


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One of the most common things we hear about these-days are employees being relocated by their company, however they just can’t sell their house!  Many times this causes the transferee to have to move ahead of his or her family, while the spouse stays behind trying to sell the home.  So….I thought we’d help you out and get some tips from an Accredited Staging Professional! Fun {and helpful} right? 

So…compliments of Ms. Kelley Dillon, she’s provided us with her Top Five Tips for staging your home. 

“Home staging is about achieving a feeling.  It’s more than decorating and cleaning – it’s about creating a mood.  Staging makes your house look bigger, brighter, cleaner, warmer, more loving, and best of all, it makes home buyers choose your home over others on the market.  Research shows that homes that are staged sell faster and for more money.  A minimal investment can net thousands in return. 

The Top Five:

Eliminate Clutter…The number one thing you must do to stage your home is to ELIMINATE CLUTTER!  Clutter makes homes seem smaller and disorganized.  To quote Barb Swarz, the creator of home staging, “clutter eats equity”!  The “50% Rule” requires that you eliminate the clutter in your home by at least half.  This is sometimes the hardest thing for clients to do.  Why?  Because we love our stuff!  Our “stuff” reflects who we are – our memories, hobbies, and values.  So keep this in mind – we are selling your home, NOT your stuff.  We want to show case the space, highlight the windows, and show off those new countertops (NOT that ceramic piece from Cancun that you got when leaving the booze cruise)!

Laundry room eye-candy….NO CLUTTER! Note that laundry detergent, iron, stain removers, etc are all out of sight.

{image via young house love}

Go Neutral…The second thing to do is go neutral.  It’s a fact – neutral sells.  Try to convey an image of quality and neutrality.  Potential buyers walking through your home want to imagine themselves as the owners.  If you use styles or colors they would never select, you’ve just turned them off to the house. 

Case in point – paint, curtains, and furniture are all neutral below.

{image via hgtv}

De-Personalize…The next thing you want to do is de-personalize your home.  Remove objects that your potential buyers won’t be able to identify with.  For example, political and religious items may turn off entire groups of buyers, because they cannot “imagine” your home as theirs.  Buying a home is an emotional decision and you want potential buyers to make an emotional connection with your home by being able to see themselves in it. 

Fix It!…Another step in the staging process is to fix the various items around the house that need repairs.  Do you have cracked windows, a loose tile, or a leaking A/C unit?  If so, these items are going to come up on an inspection, so be proactive and fix them now.  The top five deal breakers are problems with the air-conditioning/heating, foundation, roof, electrical, and plumbing.  Having these items repaired or replaced before listing your home on the market is a smart idea. 

Don’t let potential buyers see something like this…get it refinished and ready to sell!

{image via hgtv}

Clean…The last thing you need to do is CLEAN!  Your home must sparkle and shine.  Make sure baseboards, ceiling fans, vents, doors, and door knobs, are dusted and cleaned.  Get your windows professionally cleaned because YES it makes a difference!

Going forward, you need to stage your home day-to-day.  Yes, you have to stage your home each day.  Make sure all sinks are clean, toilet seats are down, air is set to a comfortable temperature, put fans on low, leave lights on, open blinds and shades, and pick up your daily clutter. 

Before and after example

{image via staged perfectly}

Bottom line – it’s all about welcoming the new owner of your home.  Buyers typically make a first impression within 30 seconds of entering the home.  In today’s market, you must absolutely start your home selling process by staging your house.” 

Happy selling!

Kelly Dillon

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Per our entry here, Armstrong Relocation is committed to helping our employees live healthy lifestyles, however we’re also committed to helping our customers live healthy and stay healthy.  We know that the few days prior to the move and the few days after the move are extremely hectic and it’s definitely hard to still find the time (or the supplies) to prepare home-cooked and nutritious meals for your family.  So we thought we’d help you with this by providing a handful of delicious meals that require only SIX cooking supplies or less!  Now…this does exclude plates and utensils, as we figured you could pick up disposables at the grocery store.  But yes, these meals will only utilize six pieces of cooking equipment! 

So….wash your hands and let’s get cooking!

English Muffin Pizzas {Simply Recipes}


Supplies needed: Skillet, cutting board, chopping knife, spoonula or equivalent, baking pan {FIVE pieces only here}

Go to Simply Recipes to get the exact recipe

Linguine with Spicy Red Clam Sauce {Myrecipes.com}

Supplies needed: Large pot, skillet, spoonula or equivalent, cutting board, chopping knife, can opener

Go to My Recipes to get the recipe

Vegetarian Chili {Simply Recipes}

Supplies needed: Cutting board, chopping knife, wooden spoon, can opener, large pot, baking pan (Skip the lemon zest so you don’t have to mess with finding your zester…I think the recipe will get by without it!)

Go to Simply Recipes to get the recipe

Loaded Guacamole with Chicken Kebabs {Mark Bittman}

Supplies needed: Cutting board, chopping knife, food brush, large bowl for the guac, mashing utensil, skewers (if you use wooden skewers then you don’t have to worry about finding yours and you also will need your grill, however that should be readily available in your backyard!)

Check out the recipe at Mark Bittman.com

Chicken and Mushroom Pasta Bake {Jamie Oliver}

Supplies needed: Cutting board, chopping knife, large saute pan, mixing bowl, large pot, baking dish

(If you substitute chicken stock/broth from a tetra pak and used pre-shredded parmesan cheese, you won’t have to find your wine opener or grater!)

For complete recipe go to Jamie Oliver’s website.

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1. Check out this fun idea over at Pure and Noble that could easily be turned into a “moving” project.  Create a map with your kids from your old house to your new house and let them hang onto it during your travels.

{image via Pure and Noble}

2. Host a going away party for your kids and invite their closest friends.  Check out these pictures for some inspiration!

{image via Stanton and Rubi}

{image via Best Madison Realestate}

3.  Create a scrapbook to help your child document their old home, old room, moving day, and finally the new house and their new room.

4.  In preparation for the move, let your child know that they are your “special helper” and give them tasks to do to help your family get organized before the move.  You could even make them a special badge to wear during all of this.  Perhaps one similar to this over at papernstitch:

image via papernstitch

5.  Get a custom stamp from here or stickers from here made for your child that they can use when sending letters and cards back home to friends!

6.  Buy the Berenstain Bears Moving Day book before the move and read it a few times before the real moving day.  

7.  Suggest to your children that they can be pen pals with friends from back home and write letters, draw pictures, and send emails to them after they’ve moved.

8.  Find creative DIY projects that you and the kids can work on together to help decorate the new home…such as a front door wreath like this one from Pure and Noble!

9.  If you have large trees at your old home, help your child make a small and inconspicuous (for the new buyers’ sakes) carving that says something like SMITH FAMILY 1999 – 2011.  This will be exciting for your kiddo…and feel a little exciting and scandalous to you also! {grin}

10.  And finally, once the move is over and done with, find some creative and crafty things to do with all those used moving boxes.  Here’s some inspiration for you!

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When you move with Armstrong Relocation, you will be given a High Value Inventory form to complete.  This form allows you to add all of your “pricey” and precious items.  It also lets the driver and crew know to pay close attention to these and show them some extra love {grin}.

For your protection, you should use our High Value Inventory form to list all of the items of extraordinary value that you plan to ship with us.  High Value items are defined as items that have a replacement cost of more than $100 per pound per article.

Ideas for what to add onto your High Value Inventory Form!

When in doubt though – just go ahead and list it!

Here’s what it looks like!

High Value Inventory Form

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