Moving In Together: Combining Two Spaces Into One

Moving In Together

So you and your partner are moving in together, but now have the tough task of combining your two differently-styled places into one new shared space. How do you do this, and what do you do with your extra stuff?

Prepare!

You each have things you don’t use, clothing you don’t wear, and old broken furniture you forgot was in the closet. Go through everything and decide whether or not you need it. Will it get used in your new life together? If not, make the break and get rid of it. Whether it is clothing or dining room chairs, decide what you will keep, toss, donate, or sell. Remember that selling prolongs the time it will take to finish going through everything. If you want to sell most of the items you’re getting rid of, make a deadline of when they have to sell by. If it doesn’t sell by then, donate it! The more you keep, the more you have to both pack and move.

See our tips for moving your bed and larger furniture items.

 

Decide On A Style For Your New Place

By deciding together what you want your new space to look like, you can identify some easy packing guidelines. If an item fits the vibe you decided on, it can be packed up. If not, it’s an easy way to put it aside to donate, sell, or get rid of.
Choosing between a modern, sleek, or cozy look might be challenging. If you can’t decide on one overarching theme, decide on different looks for each room, or decide which of your items go best with those of your partner.

 

 

Mixing Styles When You Move In

Each of you will have different tastes in what looks good, different opinions on throw pillows, and a different idea on how to mix patterns. Try your best to mix and match your things with theirs, but if compromise is not in the near future, consider buying something new together. If you’re interested in unique and high quality home furnishings, Arhaus is a great place to start for stylish pieces, which have the added benefit of being made from recycled natural materials. New furniture is a huge investment, so be sure to do your research to find pieces that will last a long time and also appeal to both of your design tastes. Check out the Arhaus Instagram Page for some inspiration for designing your new home. Moving in together is a big step that will come with it’s own conflicts, so don’t spend too much time arguing over whose lamp works best in the living room. If buying new things will minimize conflict, try to shop together instead.

Dealing With Duplicates

Now that you’ve gotten rid of all the things you won’t need in your new place, you both need to decide which bed you’re going to keep and which TV is best.

First, each pick a small amount of things that you can’t live without and bring those to the new place, no questions asked.  Make compromises about whose furniture will be kept and who will get rid of what. Look at your furniture logically- have you had the same, ratty, hand-me-down couch since college? Is it worth moving that rickety dining room table? Make choices with the future in mind, and choose to keep the item that will last longer and serve you better. Decide what combination of couches, beds, coffee tables and chairs best fit the space you’re moving into. Keep the better quality kitchen appliances, plates, silverware, and glasses.

If you and your partner have similar interests, you’ll also most likely end up with two sets of the same books, movies, games, and sports equipment.
· If you have two sets of the same book series, keep the more valuable one. If you don’t read them or use them anymore, throw your old, dusty books away or bring them to your local used book store.
· If Netflix has become your primary source of on-screen entertainment, throw away the DVDs you haven’t watched in years.
· If your Monopoly set is missing pieces, or you don’t have all the letters to your box of scrabble, toss it. If you both have the same game, make sure you have one full set between the two of you, and keep the best looking board.
· Lastly, if both of you have masses of sports equipment or yard games, sort through it all together and only keep what you’ll actually use in your new space. If you still have multiple pairs of soccer cleats from club soccer in college, pick one and toss the rest. If you both have a bucket  of tennis balls, golf balls, or baseballs, trash all the dirty, ripped, or water-logged ones, and cut the amount you have in half.

After The Move

You still might have too much stuff for the space. Decluttering doesn’t stop once you move in, so be ready to continue getting rid of things and needing to buy completely new things. A new space is a big investment, but remember that you’re creating a new space for your new future living with your partner.

Once you’re both ready to move, contact us at  800.222.4744 or fill out our form for a free moving estimate!

Countdown Checklist For Your Pre-Move Garage Sale

When it’s time to move to a new home, that could also mean its time to slim down on what you have in your home before the relocation.  A garage sale is the perfect way to do it & make some money while you’re at it! Here is a countdown checklist on how to execute the perfect garage sale!

One Month Before Garage Sale:

  • Get A Date in Mind. Once you have a target date, it will help you remain organized and work towards your goals for the big day.
  • Trash the Trash! As you begin to go through the things you no longer want, separate in to three piles. “Keep, Throw, Sell”
  • Look in to City Requirements & Regulations. Make sure your town or city does not have any specific restrictions that prohibit posting signs around town.
  • Do a some research. Do a little basic research, pricing on antique items and one of a kind pieces. The things you have could have more value than you expect them to!
  • Ask neighbors and friends for grocery bags. Also start to collect folding tables to display the items on.

Two Weeks Before the Garage Sale:

  • Go through the items in your “keep” pile, make sure you still want to keep them in your possession, if not move them over to the sell.
  • Begin to clean and organize your “sell” items – The better condition they are in, the more money they will be worth!
  • Start thinking about pricing – Buy pricing materials & stickers and start a tentative pricing list for the items.

One Week Before the Garage Sale:

  • Begin to distribute ads around town. Post on local town pages & Facebook. Let your friends and family know.
  • Finalize your pricing. Take the list you made a few weeks prior and begin to label all of your items.
  • Go to the bank. Make sure you have plenty of change, all size bills and coins should be in  your possession for the day of the sale.
  • Watch the weather. If rain looks like it could be a factor maybe make alternative plans
  • Have all your sales materials in order. Bags, change, newspaper wrapping, calculator & pens.

One Day Before the Garage Sale:

  • Make sure you have enough signs around town, the day before is the most important day for advertising!
  • Mark off things around the site of the sale as “Not for Sale” – you don’t want anyone trying to buy you potted plants!
  • Check the weather, again – make sure you are good to go for the next day!

The Day of the Garage Sale!

  • Wake up well before the start time of the sale to get everything arranged outside, put the small valuable things close to you so you can keep any eye on them.
  • Organize your items by category so it is easy for customers to browse your sale
  • Lock your home. When you’re busy selling you don’t want to have to worry about your home. Safety precaution!

The idea of a garage sale can be extremely overwhelming. When you break it down by week it can make the day of worry free! Once you know what you would like to move to your new home. We promise to provide you with exceptional service.

For more yard and garage tips, be sure to check out our other blog: Creating the Most Successful Yard Sale Possible

Done decluttering and ready to start moving? Request a free moving estimate online or give Olympia Moving & Storage a call at 800-222-4744

Conserving Energy in Your New Home This Summer

Summer months see a rise in electric and cooling costs. Olympia Moving has some tips on how to set up your new home to keep costs down after your big move.


Moving is a process. You’re uprooting your life from one place to another and unpacking takes up time. Something that may be pushed to the back of your mind is your new energy bill. We have some tips on how you can save money this summer while you enjoy your new home!

Unplug things you aren’t using. Are you keeping your laptop or phone chargers plugged in when you’re not home? What about your toaster or coffee maker? All of these are contributors to your electric bill. Unplug electronics when you are done using them, and use a power strip to be able to efficiently unplug whatever is not in use. Unplugging your computer alone could save you around $75 per year.

Placement is key. Lights and televisions radiate a certain amount of heat, which can affect the reading on your thermostat or air conditioner. Your air conditioner will run longer and take longer for your home to heat up to your desired temperature. Place these heat-emitting electronics away from thermostats and anything gauging a temperature reading to evenly distribute heat and cooling.

 

Switch out your light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLS) use less energy than incandescent bulbs and are made to last up to twelve times longer than regular bulbs. The upfront cost will pay itself off quickly when you take into consideration the length of time between replacement.
You should also ask yourself about the temperature you need to feel comfortable in your home. Running your air conditioner at a higher temperature saves up to 18% on electricity costs over the summer. Higher settings require less power to run and having a ceiling or floor fan to circulate air will help keep your home cool. Just remember to turn both off when you leave to save money; fans cool people more than they cool rooms.

 

Consider adding solar panels. If you just moved into your dream home for the long haul, consider going the extra step to save on your energy bills and help the planet.  Get a consultation for adding solar panels to your home. Solar Power Authority and this guide from Forbes are good resources for getting started.

 

Still looking for your new home? Request a moving estimate from Olympia Moving & Storage online or give us a call at 800-222-4744

Creating the Most Successful Yard Sale Possible

If you plan on moving you will be going through every last item that has been put away in your house for years. Whether you are downsizing and need to get rid of stuff or just realized how much extra “crap” you have lying around, a yard sale is a great way to declutter your belongings while also making a couple extra dollars. To ensure you have a successful yard sale you do need to plan a little ahead of time. Follow these tips to make sure your yard sale is a home run!

Preparing For The Yard Sale

Pick a Date: Your first step is to decide which day you want to hold your event. If you plan ahead of time you can even pick the best season to hold your yard sale. We suggest starting Saturday mornings and during the spring time. The earlier you start, the bigger the crowd you’ll get, as people are usually busier later in the day.

Gather Your Goods: Go through every room in your house and pick out things you don’t want or haven’t used in months. Be sure to even go through closets, attics, basements and garages. Even if you don’t want something, there are plenty of other people that would pay money for it. The worst case scenario is people won’t buy something.

Permits: Many towns now require that you have a permit in order to have a yard sale. If you’re not sure, then double check with the city or town hall to find out if you need one. If you try to have a yard sale without a required permit you can get shut down and fined.

Great printable signs at cul-de-sac cool

Advertising Your Yard Sale

The more people you get to your yard sale, the more you will sell. The better you advertise and people know about it, the more people that will show up.

Make & Place Yard Sale Signs: Most towns have laws prohibiting posting yard sale signs. Checking in with a clerk at your local police station will tell you what you are allowed and not allowed to do. If you are allowed to make signs then make sure they are easy to read from a passing car. Write “Yard Sale” or “Garage Sale” in large letters with your address and an arrow pointing to your house.

Online: The internet has become a critical advertising tool that all yard salers should utilize. People are using websites to look for Yard Sales in your area and you don’t want to miss out. When posting an ad online be sure to include dates, starting time and your address. If the site allows it, then also take some pictures of your hottest items to spark people’s interest. Some places online you can advertise include:

Preparing for the Sale

Cute ways to arrange displays at your yard sale (Via Good Housekeeping)

Now that you have your yard sale date picked out and people are going to stop by, it’s time to prepare for the showing.

Sort Items: In order to give your yard sale some organization and order, try placing similar items together.

Pricing Items: As a general rule of thumb, price items a quarter or third of what they would cost new. There are certainly exceptions to this rule, but at least it gives you a starting point.

Display & Ambiance: Make sure that your yard sale is easily visible from the road as catching people’s attention is crucial. Another tip to catch the eye of people is to place some of your more interesting items towards the end of the driveway. You can lure previously uninterested people if the see a handful of things that would make it worthwhile.

There is surely more that goes into a yard sale but hitting these main points will get your Yard Sale off to a great start.

After the Yard Sale

After your sale there will surely be things left behind. If you can’t give items away to friends and family hold off on throwing everything out.

Check out our blog posts on charities that will pick up furniture donations in Washington D.C. and Boston. You can also check out this furniture disposal directory from Wayfair.

You can also try listing & selling your leftover items on these websites and apps:

Done decluttering and ready to get moving? Contact us for a free moving estimate from Boston, Washington DC, and Philadelphia.

Spring Cleaning Tips – Make Your Move Easy

It’s spring, and that means it’s time to do some spring cleaning.

March 20th marked the official first day of spring – though some of us in New England are a little hesitant to say winter is officially over.

Just because we aren’t sure about the weather doesn’t mean we can’t start our Spring cleaning!clean house

At Olympia we think that feeling organized is one of the best feelings, just come by and look at our weekly checklists. What some people underestimate is how helpful pre- and post-move cleaning / organizing can actually be, so we thought it would be a great idea to go over some quick tips to start your spring off fresh.

Pre-Move Cleaning

Before you begin packing you’ll want to evaluate if you can downsize. Moving can be pricey, so why pay to move something you don’t need anymore? You’ll also want to take your new space into account. If your new place is smaller, you may be forced to part with some furniture.

Doing a deep clean before you list will be sure to make your listing photos shine and appeal to more buyers. If that seems like a lot of work you can even bring in the professionals to do the cleaning for you.

Post-Move Cleaning

Unfortunately not everyone is a good neighbor when they move, so there’s a good chance that there will be some unwanted items in your new home.

Give yourself a fresh start!

Rather than push past residents’ memorabilia to the depths of the basement, why not get rid of them so you never have to worry about it again? A lot of cleaning companies offer deals for pre or post move cleaning and you may be able to find a deal by doing a quick search in your area.

What Do I Do With All This Extra Stuff?

There are so many options when it comes to getting rid of unwanted items. Instead of throwing your things in the trash, consider donating your unwanted items to local organizations. There are a number of organizations looking for different types of goods but make sure you check their website for restrictions on what can and cannot be accepted. You can also check out this furniture disposal directory from Wayfair!

Okay, But How Do I Keep My Home This Tidy?

One of my favorite wind-down activities is going through my belongings once a month and making a decision about how necessary they are. You don’t have to be moving to tidy your home and feel more organized – We love this list of 50 items to remove from your home today from our friends at Ditch The Clutter!

If you think you’ll have a harder time staying on top of things you may want to consider professional help from a company like Flying Prince. Flying Prince is a full service, green, cleaning company that aims to provide top of the line service at an affordable rate while looking out for the environment. What better way to start off your spring than with a company that provides cleaning, organizing services, and recycling/compost programs?

Have questions about cleaning for a move or want more information?
Give us a call today at 800.222.4744 and we’ll get you started.

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5 Easy Outdoor Home Improvements

When you move into your new home and finally get settled you may be looking at making a few updates to the exterior that will transform your backyard into a sanctuary. Alternatively, you may be looking for some outdoor changes that will add curb appeal and value to a home you’re listing to sell. Either way, a relocation is the perfect time to consider some outdoor projects.

We’ve narrowed down some easy outdoor home improvement projects that are sure to get you the most bang for your buck. The best part is, these small changes will make a big difference and don’t require you to shell out a lot of money! Here are our top 5 easy outdoor home improvements for you to consider:

easy outdoor home improvements1. Add Landscape Lighting

Adding lighting to your seating areas and landscaping is a particularly easy project that you can complete on your own. Your best option is to use solar landscape lighting, which is simple to install and a great way to light your landscape without increasing your electricity bill. This type of lighting won’t require you to be fuss with hardwires. There are a variety of solar lighting options to choose from, including walkway lighting, accent lighting and string lights for your patio or trees. Outdoor lighting not only adds a nice ambiance to the front or back of your home, but acts as an extra security measure. For about $100, you can get two dozen attractive solar lights, so this investment won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

2. Replace Your Front Door

By replacing your outdated door, you can get a healthy return on your investment. Not only is a new front door a smart energy upgrade, it provides great curb appeal and needs virtually no maintenance. According to Chinese philosophy, front door colors and entryways have a lot to say about the character of whoever lives inside. This is a fun way to transform your new home to fit your individual personality. For example, in feng shui, a red door is thought to be welcoming and invites good energy. The owners of the home are thought to be full of life and hospitable. A new door will also be more energy efficient, keeping heat in and cold out. Older doors can be a huge source of energy loss, so with improving the look of your house, and improving energy efficiency, this project won’t break the bank and will make a big difference in the look and feel of your home.

Leaffilter eas outdoor homeimprovement3. Add Gutter Guards

You may not realize it, but when an unprotected gutter system clogs with dirt and debris, it’s only a matter of time before costly problems develop. When gutters become clogged, water will spill over the side and down your home, rotting your fascia and soffit, and causing foundation and structural damage. Gutter cleaning is a temporary solution to a permanent problem. By installing gutter guards, you can eliminate gutter cleaning for the life of your home. By choosing a gutter guard with no holes, gaps, or openings, like LeafFilter, you can prevent all types of debris from entering and clogging your gutters. The best part is that these gutter guards are professionally installed so you won’t have to fumble on a ladder to install them yourself. Installing gutter guards is also a great selling point to future homeowners.

4. Build a Pergola or Trellis

By adding a pergola or trellis, you can add a unique focal point to your backyard. Building a pergola over your patio or deck is a great way to benefit from subtle shade, while still getting some of that sunlight glow. Pergolas come in a variety of different shapes and sizes and can add a touch of elegance to your home. Can you imagine how great your pergola will look with string lights while entertaining outside? If a pergola is a little too lofty of a goal, building a trellis is another great focal point for your garden. Building a trellis in your backyard is an easy afternoon project. Use soil to outline or create a garden and plant bright colored flowers and vining plants along the base to create your garden. Your trellis is sure to add dimension, color, and decoration to a blank space in your backyard!

5. Add a Fire Pit

For a small investment, you can create a fire pit in your backyard that is great for relaxing or entertaining. If you have an outdoor seating area, the fire pit can provide a focal point for entertaining. You may choose to create a built-in fire pit from concrete, stone, or brick. Another option is to choose a portable fire pit that you can move around your yard. One of the easiest ways is to arrange pavers (most are $1!) in a circular shape and add a fire-pit insert for an attractive, yet functional, look. Additionally, you’ll want to invest in some movable patio furniture that is comfortable and water-resistant. These home improvement projects are sure to add charm and functionality to your new home, or value to a home you’re selling!

Once you’ve found the perfect home with the perfect fixer-upper yard, call 800.222.4744 for a free moving estimate from Olympia Moving & Storage, or request an estimate online.

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Home Staging and De-Cluttering Your Home

If you are in the process of selling your home, your realtor has likely discussed the possibility of “staging” with you.  For the uninitiated, staging is the process of configuring your residence in order to maximize your sales opportunities.  Typically this process involves removing furniture that buyers may not find attractive, de-cluttering (PDF download) the space, re-arranging the furnishings, and potentially adding in some small finishing touches.  Essentially, you are trying to help your prospective buyer to envision themselves living in the space.

Checklist Clipboard for Ways to De-Clutter Your Home

From an economic standpoint, the basic premise is that you sell your home in less time and closer to the asking price.  According to the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, homes that are staged spend 83% less time on the market than those that are not staged.  Any realtor worth their salt will tell you that staging represents a critical tool in their sales arsenal.

In light of this growing trend in real estate, Olympia Moving has put together a special “De-Clutter” program (PDF download) designed to work with home sellers interested in staging their properties.  The gist of the program is that Olympia will offer up to 2 free storage units for a maximum of 3 months.  While you are required to pay for the moving services, this represents a savings of up to $330.  We have had great success in working with several real estate and staging professionals on this program.

We view this program as a win-win – your home will sell faster and, once you have a chance to see our moving crews in action, we are confident that you will use our services to relocate to your new home.  For more information on Olympia Moving’s “De-Clutter” program, click HERE

Hiring Packing Services

At Olympia Moving and Storage, we understand that preparation and packing are critical ingredients of a successful move.  To this end, we invest hundreds of hours training our staff on best practices every year.  Whether you require the luxury of a full packing service, or are simply interested in having our team pack some of your fragile items, we are confident that we can address your specific needs.

Full Packing Services

Olympia’s full packing service allows you to focus on the myriad of other details associated with relocating your home.  Our crews work as a team, carefully packing, labeling, disassembling, and preparing each room for moving day.

Partial Packing Services

Partial packing services typically involves Olympia Moving and Storage handling the most fragile items; such as stemware, china and pictures.  We also use this as an opportunity to ensure that your residence is fully prepared so that we can expedite the moving process.

Unpacking Services

There is so much effort and planning that goes into moving, that boxes often are left packed weeks and even months after the move date. Olympia’s unpacking services help you get a jump start on settling into your new home and include box and debris removal.

Benefits of Using Packing and Unpacking Services

Some of the benefits of having Olympia Moving assist you with the packing and unpacking process include:

  • A more efficient (and less costly) relocation based upon the fact that your residence will be fully prepared for the arrival of our moving team.
  • Peace of mind that your belongings will be properly packed and protected.
  • An expedited and consolidated time frame for completion.
  • Minimizing time taken away from work and family.
  • Reducing the stress associated with your move.
  • Ensuring that your boxed items are fully covered from a liability standpoint.
  • Limiting the time in which your household (and lives) are in transition mode.
  • Better organization on the front and back end of the relocation process.

More About Packing and Unpacking Services

For more information about Olympia’s packing services, or to speak with a relocation councilor about your specific needs, please contact Olympia Moving at 800-222-4744 or [email protected].

Buying Packing Supplies

Need boxes, tape or bubble wrap?

Olympia Moving & Storage has thousands of moving boxes from which to select and often at significantly discounted prices. Whether you are moving with Olympia, or simply in need of boxes, bubble wrap, tape or other packing supplies, we have what you need. Please use the order form below to have boxes and packing materials delivered directly to your residence for FREE.

Terms for free box delivery service:

  • Free Box delivery requires minimum order of $50
  • Must be within 30 mile radius of Boston (MA) or Alexandria (VA)
  • All boxes and packing materials are subject to a 5% sales tax
  • Deliveries are made on Wednesday of every week

If you do not meet all of these qualifications, you can still order boxes from Olympia.   For customers beyond a 30-mile radius, a delivery fee will apply in most cases.  Or you can stop by our Watertown MA or Alexandria VA facility to pick up supplies.

To order moving supplies, please fill out the form below. Upon completing this form, a Moving Consultant will contact you to confirm your order and review the delivery schedule.

Every truck comes equipped with six wardrobe boxes. Wardrobe boxes typically hold 2-3 feet of closet space. Please contact our office if you feel that you will require more than six wardrobe boxes.

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    Don't overthink it, get started packing in a snap by ordering one of our packing materials packages.
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    Ideal for packing large apartments, townhouses, and small single family homes.
    Includes: 12 small boxes • 15 medium boxes • 15 large boxes • 4 large dish boxes • 4 small picture boxes • 2 large picture boxes • 2 reams of paper (25 lbs. each) • 8 rolls of tape
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Planning Calendars for Moving

To help with your move, download these Planning Calendars.  Remember that preparation and communication are the foundations of a successful move. Be sure to save yourself plenty of time to get your house packed properly so you are ready to move. Check out Olympia’s Packing Tips if you’re feeling overwhelmed with your move.  Contact Olympia Moving and Storage online or call 800.222.4744 if you have any questions regarding your upcoming relocation.