“19 for 19” Update

Somehow it’s already mid-July and I’m feeling that sense of “where the heck is summer going!?” It feels like we had to wait so long for it to arrive (our spring was long, cold, and very wet) so I’m trying to soak up as much of the warm weather and sunshine as possible!

In January, I posted my list of goals for 2019 (find the original post here) and today I thought I’d just give a little update on how my list is coming along so far. Some of my goals were one-and-done things, while others are more ongoing. Some I’ve accomplished and some I have put zero effort into. We’ll see what the second half of the year holds for the list, but in the meantime, here’s how it’s going thus far:

My 19 for 2019

1- I didn’t initially share what this one was, but I’m ready to now. My #1 goal for 2019 was . . . BABY #2. Justin and I both felt very ready to expand our family and hoped to at least get pregnant in 2019, even if baby didn’t actually arrive until 2020. Now we’re just over 5 weeks away from meeting baby #2!

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2- Plan an adults-only trip for Justin and I – This one is completed! We planned and took an adults-only babymoon to the Bahamas and it was just what we needed. It was relaxing, fun, and just a wonderful vacation for us to reconnect and enjoy time together.

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3- Update instagram account and create Chatbook for LJ – Still working on this one. I have SO many pictures and it’s taking a while but I have put some work into this.

4- Select pictures for family photo albums – Zero progress on this one so far. I want to do one for each year of marriage and we’ve been married 6 years. It’s just a huge project and I have so many photos to sort through!

5- Plan out family photo albums – Again, zero progress. I can’t plan the albums until I have the photos selected, so hopefully I can get at least a little momentum on picking them out.

6- Create a master list of my top book recommendations – This one is done! I wrote a blog post about my top recommendations that you can find here. Now I just need to remember to periodically update it when I find new books I love!

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7- Replace our ugly brown recliner – Justin’s $20 brown recliner from college is still with us. Since we moved to a new house and had lots more space it didn’t feel like the right time to eliminate furniture. BUT it has been relegated to the basement for now so at least I don’t have to see it every day. 😉

8- Write and track our monthly spending budget – Justin and I did great with this for several months, but we’ve fallen off the wagon with this.

9- Send birthday cards – I’ve done okay with this one. I have sent many birthday cards, but my pregnancy brain has also caused a lot of them to be belated. So . . . I’m trying.

10- Find a local tailor – This one is also done! I found a local tailor that fixed my pile of clothes that needed attention – everything from pants that needed hemmed to clothing with holes to my bridesmaids dress for my sister’s wedding. Yay!

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11- Find a reliable, nearby babysitter -I would say this is partially done. We finally found a good babysitter at our last house, but then we moved. I have a lead on another babysitter but I have yet to use her. I actually plan to reach out this week so I’m hoping she’s a good one!

12- Have house siding washed -Done! Except we did it for our old house . . . and now our new house needs it too! We’ll probably wait to do the new house until next year but it did feel great to get our previous home look so clean!

13- Find comfortable black heels – Pregnancy is probably not the time to be searching for heels haha! I haven’t looked into this at all, so maybe after baby comes I’ll feel more inspired.

14 – Plan our will with an estate lawyer – Not done yet, but I’ve emailed a lawyer to get this process started so some progress has been made!

15- Invest in buying plastic alternatives – This one is ongoing, so it can’t really be “done” but I have bought stainless steel straws and another glass container to store and take along food. Progress!

16- Set up accounts for LJ’s future – We’ve set up his 529 plan! Whoo hoo!

17- Have budget meeting with Justin for each paycheck (roughly 2x/month) – Again, we did really well with this for several months but haven’t really kept this up lately. This check-in is good motivation to get back in the habit!

18- When buying clothing or shoes, look for fair trade, ethically made options – Honestly, I haven’t bought any shoes this year, and the clothes I’ve bought have all been maternity. While I haven’t necessarily bought fair-trade, I have bought a lot second-hand which is at least a very sustainable option and I’m happy about that!

19- Learn more about finances (401K, 403B, investments, etc.) – I’ve been doing this! Mostly by listening to various podcasts but there are also some books that I’ve read that have been helpful as well.

Overall, I’m pretty proud of how things are going with my list. If you made goals or resolutions for 2019, have you accomplished them? I’d love to hear!

A Day in the Life {7.9.19}

Good morning! Once again, I’m linking up with Shay and Erika for their monthly Let’s Look and today’s topic was “Your Typical Day” – the perfect time to document another day in the life of our little family right now. I did this back in the fall (read that post here) and I love that it just gives a little snapshot into what life looked like on a random day. It’s funny how there are things in each stage of life that you think you could never forget, yet they somehow do fade over time. I’m thankful I’ll be able to look back on these posts in the future and remember this sweet time at home with just LJ.

So here’s what a regular “day in the life” looked like yesterday! One disclaimer: Justin doesn’t start his new job until August 1 so while he isn’t “normally” home, he is for much of the month of July and we’re loving having him around more!

July 9, 2019

LJ woke us up around 5:20. That’s right friends, 5:20. We have had some rough sleep schedules lately and the fact that we had to share a room with him for many nights of our vacation last week did not help. We’re trying to get him back on track but it’s been tough! I got up to try to coax him back to sleep but he was not having it. Around 6:00, Justin came in to tag in and I went downstairs to start my day.

I like to get a few things going right away when I come downstairs so I emptied the Roomba (we run it at night), started a load of laundry, fed the dogs and let them outside.

I poured myself a bowl of cereal and sat down to read a little bit of The Fringe Hours (I really love this book, although I un-ironically am reading it in super small segments whenever I have time so it’s taking me a while to get through).

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By 6:30, Justin and LJ had come downstairs so I got a bowl of oatmeal ready for LJ. He is becoming much more independent lately and loves to feed himself!

After breakfast, Justin took LJ and I headed upstairs to wash my face, brush my teeth, and get dressed for the day. My morning “beauty” routine is super simple in the summer – splash my face with water, tinted moisturizer, a little balm under the eyes, deoderant, and contacts. Done! I’m also loving my Baobei support band for this stage of pregnancy – it’s like a sports bra for my belly and really helps relieve the heaviness of my bump throughout the day!

I still hadn’t unpacked from our vacation so I set to work on unpacking our suitcases.

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Justin and LJ had come upstairs and snuggled in our bed. After the suitcases were done I jumped in to join them for a few sweet snuggles. The days are long but the years are short my friends! Take the time to snuggle while you can!

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Justin got LJ changed and I headed down to switch the laundry over to the dryer.

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By 7:35 I was at my computer finishing up yesterday’s blog post and working a little for my stay-at-home-job. (I work part-time from home as an administrative assistant for a nutrition counseling company. You can read a little more about it here). While I worked, Justin played with LJ and fed him some cottage cheese.

Around 8:30, Justin took off to run some errands and LJ’s speech therapist Sarah showed up. She comes weekly on Tuesdays to help with his speech. LJ is totally on track with every other area of development and his receptive language is solid, but his expressive speech is a little delayed. Sarah comes to our house and plays with him and works with him on imitating sounds/words. We’ve only had about 4 sessions so far but I’m already seeing little improvements! I continued to work nearby while they did therapy on the floor. (Please note Macie snuggled up next to Sarah – she loves her as much as LJ does! Haha!)

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Sarah left around 9:30 and I grabbed a little snack (I have to eat a little something about once every 2-3 hours at this stage of pregnancy or I start to feel sick) and LJ and I packed up our things to head to Chik Fil A to meet some friends at the playplace. LJ had fun with his little buddies and I enjoyed adult conversation with my friend Amber.

We left around 11 and headed into Target quick for a few things (Toddler + Target gets a bit chaotic so there’s no picture but you can see the random things I bought ha!) Then home + lunch! Justin had finished up his errands and mowing and was working on yard work but he took a break inside to join us.

After lunch, Justin took LJ upstairs for a nap and I threw the dishes in the sink, put my shoes on, and started my Expecting and Empowered workout. Normally I like to do these first thing in the morning, but since I woke up so early I adjusted and made it my top nap-time priority (while Scout watched nearby).

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I like to listen to a podcast while I workout and yesterday I listened to “Mom Brain” while I worked through the lower body day. I’m really thankful for these workouts to keep me on track during pregnancy because this is a hard season to get to the gym consistently. LJ was refusing his nap (another fun part of our sleep journey right now…) so after some quiet time upstairs, Justin took him outside where he was setting up some patio furniture while I finished up my workout.

Around 2:00, I finished up my workout and sat back down at the computer to get a little more work done for my job. Around 2:30, I went to get LJ from Justin and brought him inside for a snack. My little desk area is situated right by our living room and playroom so I put Daniel Tiger on in the background (no shame in my mama game!) and LJ played happily by my chair and watched a little TV while I finished up work.

Justin had a work-related meeting around 3:30 so when he left, LJ and I headed outside with the dogs to play. It was a gorgeous, HOT day! We played with trucks, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, t-ball . . . all the toddler activities ha!

We came inside for water and to get a break from the sun around 4:30. I quickly folded laundry and responded to a few personal emails.

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Oh and in the interest of keeping things real around here, LJ had a pre-dinner tantrum because, you know, that’s what happens when toddlers boycott their naps.

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Justin made it home by 5:00 and we started getting things around for dinner. He fired up the grill while I chopped up veggies. We had some friends come over for our first meal out on the patio followed by a walk around the pond. We had a great time hanging out!

After they left, it was a quick bath for LJ, get him in pj’s and down for the night.

I showered and got ready for bed quick. My night routine is also pretty simple but I added a few things like a charcoal mask and actually rubbed some belly oil on the bump. I honestly think stretch marks have more to do with genetics and I know I’m lucky to not have gotten any with either pregnancy, but about 1x a week I still rub oil on it just to keep it soft and smooth.

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Justin and I watched a few episodes of New Girl on Netflix while he gave my little preggo feet a much needed massage.

Then it was off to bed! So ends another day in our life. 🙂

 

 

Virginia Vacation 2019

Good morning!

Last week, Justin, LJ, and I loaded up our minivan and headed east to visit his family in Virginia. His parents have a timeshare at a resort there and we were excited to get to spend lots of time with Justin’s parents, his sister, brother, sister-in-law, and our nephew and nieces. It was a wonderful week full of lots of fun: swimming, fireworks, games, and just spending lots of time together. Rather than a full recap, I thought I’d just share a few pictures that give a glimpse into our week. I honestly didn’t take a ton of pictures because I was absorbed in family time but these at least give you a little look at our week. Enjoy!

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LJ absolutely loved getting to hang out with his six-year-old cousin. They are the only two boy cousins (for now – we’ll see in August if another one is joining!) and their bond is just so so sweet. Our nephew dotes on LJ and LJ wanted to do everything that he did. Look at how cute this little reading moment was! ❤

We spent a LOT of time swimming and hanging out with the kiddos at the pool. There are currently 4 cousins ages 6 and under so it was fun to see them interact and play.

One day we spent the morning at a little children’s museum and even though there were SO many cool activities for little ones, LJ mostly just wanted to hang out at the train and plane tables. He knows what he likes! I honestly think he could have stayed there all day and happily played. 😉

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We stopped for ice cream after the museum – LJ loves ice cream just like his mama!

No missed workouts on this trip. I’m thankful for Expecting and Empowered which kept me on track with a couple workouts in the gym and a few cardio stroller walks in the morning.

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Another day, another pool. 🙂 LJ loved this pool because it had a nice big shallow place for littles and he loved running in and out of the water. I just love how he’s perched here on his little sibling – nothing like a 32 week baby bump to use as a seat!

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This is a side note, but I gave this stuff a try last week and loved it! It gives just a hint of a bronzy glow, which is nice because I never wear makeup to the pool, it goes on smooth, doesn’t feel greasy, and it doesn’t have lots of yucky ingredients. Win win!

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Pool time with my babies. I’m so thankful that I’ve had a pretty enjoyable third trimester so far and felt great during the vacation.

We spent a day at the waterpark, which LJ absolutely LOVED. He had so much fun sliding, splashing, floating the lazy river, and just playing. It was such a great day!

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Mommy and baby spent lots of time floating the lazy river and it was wonderful!

LJ is super into exploring right now and he loved finding little treasures (aka rocks) outside and point me in the most interesting direction. I can just hear his little mind going “come on mama!”

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Reading material for the week. This was an excellent read that I’m excited to review in my monthly post!

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At dinner one night, the restaurant had a little fish pond and our nephew was so sweet to hold LJ up so he could see. Melts my heart!

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We loved our time away with family – it was such a great week of memory making!

Simplified Guest Prep

Good morning!

We have a big weekend coming up in a few days: after seven years of schooling and residency, Justin is finally finished with all his career training and has a graduation celebration on Sunday. To say we are excited is a huge understatement!

Justin’s parents are coming into town for the weekend and it got me thinking about our overnight guests. I really don’t stress out too much preparing for guests to stay with us because there are a few things I have already put into place, and today I thought I would share some of my little tips in case it helps anyone else simplify their guest preparations.

I want to note that we do have a dedicated guest room used solely for guests (although there may come a time if we have more children where we have to use that bedroom for kids). Even if you don’t have a separate guest room, many of these tips can still help you think through simplifying preparations for guests.

Wash sheets immediately

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After guests leave, I strip the bedding and wash all the sheets with my next load of laundry. Then, I re-make the bed so it is ready to go for the next guests. I prefer to get it back to “baseline” right away because then the bed is ready to go whenever guests come, even if I’m not sure exactly when that will be at the time. Plus, if we get last-minute guests, it’s ready to go and I don’t need to scramble to get it ready. It’s one less thing to check off the to-do list in preparation!

Have empty drawers/hangers ready

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I like to have a few empty hangers hanging in the closet and at least one empty drawer in case guests want to unpack a few things. Most guests don’t need to unpack much, but it’s nice to have a few spaces where they can if they want to.

Stock shower with simple extras

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In our previous home, our guests used a hallway bath that would have eventually also been our kid’s bath. In our new home, the guest room has an attached bathroom for guest use only. In either situation, I keep a few extra shower supplies (shampoo, conditioner, body wash) ready to go in the shower so guests have options in case they forget their own.

Toiletry Basket

I keep a little basket with a bunch of commonly used toiletry items in the guest room in case guests forget anything. I let guests know about the basket and tell them to help themselves if they need anything in it, no need to ask for permission. The basket contains contact solution + case, toothbrushes, q-tips, cotton balls, feminine products, mouthwash, a new disposable razor, dry shampoo, lotion, face wash, soap, etc. I just double check it after each visit to see if I need to re-stock anything and then it’s ready to go for the next guests!

Extra Blankets and Pillows

And finally, I keep a few extra blankets and pillows on hand in the guest room closet so guests can be as comfortable as possible. By always keeping these handy, I don’t have to run around looking for another blanket if it’s colder or hunt through closets for spare pillows if a guest needs one. These items are stored in an accessible way so I don’t have to ever waste time and energy gathering them up in preparation and guests can help themselves to whatever they need.

And there you have it! These are things I keep ready at all times so I’m never scrambling to prepare the guest space right before guests arrive. It means that once guests leave, I get all of these things back to “baseline” right away while I’m thinking about it, so the space is prepared and ready to go for the next time. This hugely helps my stress level – I can just focus on straightening up the rest of my home or preparing food or whatever else I need to do before guests come without having to worry about the guest room.

What tricks do you have for preparing for guests?

Catch-Up on Life Lately

Back in May, I shared a little blog post about all the things that we had going on in May/early June. It was a very busy six weeks! Now that we’re through that incredibly busy season, I thought I would use today’s blog post as a bit of a catch up to reflect on life lately.

We moved into our new home and are slowly adjusting to life here. There is still a lot of unpacking, organizing, and updating to do and I’m enjoying dreaming about how we will turn this house into our home. LJ has definitely adjusted to all the space and he especially enjoys and makes good use of his larger playroom.

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Justin and I took a babymoon to the Bahamas. It was the perfect relaxing getaway after all the stress of moving!

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We celebrated my sister with a super fun bachelorette party. I have two younger sisters and my youngest sister and I enjoyed planning and surprising our middle sister with a day full of friends, pedicures with our mom, wine tasting, yummy food, and a somewhat scandalous scavenger hunt. Most of the pictures are for our eyes only but here’s a few from the beginning of our day. 😉

And look at these AMAZING cookies that my friend Amber made for our day! We had some cookies to take along and snack on while we drove to various wineries and then some fun lingerie ones for once we returned back to my house for games and gifts. They tasted as amazing as they look!

In sadder news, my grandmother, who has been in declining health for several years, took a turn for the worse in early June and passed away on June 6. While not entirely unexpected, it was a bittersweet time for our family. LJ and I went to visit her on Wednesday when she was in the beginning stages of heart failure and we had a really pleasant final visit with her. I’m so thankful we had the chance to see her one more time and say our goodbyes. She was a fantastic lady and we’re thankful that there has been an end to her suffering here on earth. Her memorial service was held on June 12 and it was a nice time for our family to get together and reflect on her life and her influence on all of ours. Love you forever, grandma.

And then Saturday, we celebrated my sister’s wedding! She was a gorgeous bride and her wedding was uniquely her. She kept things simple with a backyard wedding at my parents’ house and while it did rain and we had to move the ceremony under the tent, we were able to get some pictures before the rain came. It was a fun day and I’m thrilled to welcome a new brother into the family!

And that’s a wrap on life lately! Luckily, things are going to really slow down for us in June and July, which sounds just about perfect. I’m glad we’ll have a chance to relax and enjoy our last few weeks as a family of three before we welcome another little one in August!

 

Let’s Look: What’s in my Suitcase?

Good morning!

I’m once again joining Erika & Shay for their monthly “Let’s Look” link-up and today’s topic is “what’s in my suitcase?” (Previous posts were looks into: our coziest spots, favorite reads, people in our family, pantries, and #ootd). Today’s is a topic I probably never would have considered blogging about (kind of like the previous pantry post) but here we go!

Justin and I recently went on our babymoon and I took a few pictures as I was packing up. This was a beach vacation, so obviously what I pack would be different for different kinds of trips. Instead of focusing on exactly what items went in the suitcase, I just wanted to give a general feel for how/what I pack.

Packing Cubes

I have to give Shay credit for this one, as she wrote a blog post a while back about her love of packing cubes and it got me curious so I decided to try them out. Oh my gosh I LOVE them! They keep my suitcase so organized and I feel like I can pack so much more with them. It always amazes me how much can fit into a cube!

Check this out! Our swimsuits +my coverup packed up nice and condensed.

I delegate one packing cube to all my clothes . . .

. . . and one to all of Justin’s. This helps us keep our clothes separate and makes things much easier to find once we’re at our destination.

The only problem with packing cubes is that it allows me to pack SO much that it’s easy for me to go over the weight limit for checked bags – after one $50 lesson learned on our February trip to Florida, I became much more conscious of the weight and it’s been fine ever since. Just something to be aware of 🙂

Carry On (Divide & Conquer)

Whenever we have to check a suitcase, I always divide out a portion of our clothes to put in the carry-on. I make sure we have at least one change of clothes and a pair of underwear. This way, if our bag happens to not make it on our flight and we get to our destination without it, we at least have something to wear until our bag arrives. For this trip, I set aside a casual and nice outfit and a swimsuit for both Justin and I so that if we happened to not have our suitcase right away, we could still enjoy the first day at the resort. And it all fit in (you guessed it) one packing cube!

The carry-on also carries a small Ziploc bag with the travel-sized toiletries that we absolutely need, such as contact cases and solutions so we’re not stranded without them.

Bags in Bags

I’ve always used lots of smaller bags when packing so I don’t just throw a bunch of loose items in a suitcase. For this beach vacation, I took all our sunscreens and other beach items (travel size Wet Brush, phone protector) into a cute little canvas bag I got for $1 at Target. I double bagged the sunscreen in a gallon Ziploc in case of leaks. I like using this little canvas bag too because when we were at the resort, it made it easy to toss everything we needed at the pool into my tote bag and keep it all together.

I was gifted this monogrammed travel toiletry bag several years ago and I love using it for travel because it keeps its shape so my toiletries don’t get squashed. Plus, it’s thickly lined so if there was a leak, it keeps things contained. I try to keep my skin routine super simple when I travel so I only take the necessities and they all fit in this bag. I use the large bottom portion for toiletries and the top for jewelry.

I also keep my makeup routine super streamlined and simple on vacation and take everything along in my little makeup bag.

I also have a stash of various sizes of Ziploc bags that I use and reuse for things like hairspray, lotion, or anything else that did not fit in another bag shown.

Also, I forgot to take a picture, but when I pack my curling iron, I always bring along my heat-resistant cover (see a similar one here) so that I can pack the iron while still warm if I need to. It’s come in handy so many times!

I’ll fill in our shoes in between all the cubes and toiletry bags, and I also always make sure to take my phone charger, headphones, books/magazines, etc. and fill those in in the front pockets of my suitcase. And that’s about it!

Now all this talk of packing kind of makes me want to take another trip … 😉

What are your packing must haves?

A “Simplified” Move

Moving Day 2019 is finally behind us and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

Let’s just get this out of the way: I strongly dislike moving. I think it’s stressful, a TON of work, and just an overall pain in the butt. Even though I purge closets regularly and consider myself to be a minimal-ish person, I’m always blown away by the sheer volume of things we possess that we have to pack up and move. It takes weeks of preparation and hours upon hours of work and even then there are always odd things towards the end that are just hard to pack up until the last minute so it’s inevitably still a little harried in the day or two before moving. Plus in the weeks leading up to moving, my house fills up with packed boxes, half-filled boxes, packing materials, piles of things to pack/sell/donate, and it stops feeling like a cozy little home and starts feeling like a messy warehouse. Have I painted a clear enough picture? Moving = not my cup of tea.

That being said, I do think there are ways to make the move as simplified and stress-free as possible. This is the third time Justin and I have packed up our entire lives and moved in our almost 6 years of marriage, so I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way that have helped ease the burden of moving and today I thought I’d share them with you. These tips don’t eliminate stress and in my experience, there will always be a certain level of complexity and chaos when packing up and transplanting your entire life. It’s just inevitable. But these are some things that worked for me to help reduce stress and keep things as simplified as possible. If you’re planning an upcoming move, I hope you can find a helpful tip or two here!

Start Packing/Collecting Boxes Early

A lot of things need to wait until closer to moving day to pack, but there are many things you can get out of the way early on. I started packing up infrequently-used items about 6 weeks before our moving day. I’m talking seasonal items, our china dishes, things that we can definitely go without missing for several weeks. I started storing these packed boxes in our garage so they were still out of the way from our daily life but it felt really good to have a head start! I also started soliciting boxes and packing materials from family and friends around this time – I personally don’t want to pay for moving boxes when I can find enough good used ones if I just start looking soon enough. My dad and my aunt both work in places that get a ton of shipments and they had access to a lot of boxes that had already been used that I could have for free. Score! I also love to find sustainable solutions when I can and re-using boxes and collecting newspapers to use as packing materials helps gets even more use out of these items before they get recycled. In this day and age of online ordering + shipping, it’s not hard to find a friend who loves Amazon Prime and has plenty of boxes and packing material to set aside for you to re-use if you just ask. 😉

Seal Boxes with Colored Duct Tape

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This tip is one of my favorites. I scored a bunch of different colors of duct tape for super cheap years ago and I use different colors to seal boxes depending on which room they’re going to go in. I used yellow duct tape to seal any box that was destined for the kitchen, green duct tape for anything going into the living room, blue for the basement, purple for our master bed/bath, orange for LJ’s room, etc. Even though I do still use a permanent marker to label what is actually in the box, I love the duct tape method for these reasons:

  1. On moving day, our friends and family can easily identify where a box goes without having to ask me. This saves me from having to delegate/micro-manage and I can be working on cleaning or unboxing rather than feel like an air traffic controller directing people every two minutes. I have a “master key” by the door that identifies what color goes in what room and after the first few trips inside, everyone has the hang of the layout. It is easy for the friend helping to see “oh, green tape, this goes in the living room” and take it to that room than to say “hmm, this one is labeled ‘books’ . . . let me ask Justin or Sarah where the books should go”
  2. It’s way harder to lose a box. If I’ve labeled correctly, it’s super easy to see if a box accidentally got put in the wrong place. For example, I was looking for my spare power cords and I knew I had labeled that box blue for basement. I went to the basement, looked at the blue boxes, and quickly found the one with power cords. If that box had accidentally got taken to the living room instead, a quick scan would have easily shown me a blue-taped box and I could have gone straight for it rather than have to look through the labels on EVERY box in the house to find the misplaced one. Saves me SO much headache!

Duct Tape 2.0 – Mark Fragiles Separately

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A bonus tip with using colored duct tape: I add a funky duct tape in addition to the color if the box contains fragile items. For this move, zebra stripe meant fragile. I do still write “fragile” on the box, but it’s such a different pattern from the solid colors that it jumps out at anyone lifting to be extra careful with that box. It worked out SUPER well with this move because since we only moved about 15 minutes, we had some friends drive their cars in addition to our moving truck and any box with zebra tape got packed up in their cars instead of the big moving truck. Made it super easy to identify the fragile items to put in cars and everything got delivered safely!

Cushion breakables with Paper Products

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I bought a large package of paper plates and paper bowls prior to moving for two reasons. First, it allowed me to actually pack up our everyday dishes a few days before we moved and we still had something to eat off of. Second, when packing dishes I alternated a paper plate in between each regular plate to help cushion them so they wouldn’t break in the move. I do this with all our bowls too and it works really well! (In our last move, Justin didn’t put paper bowls between our everyday bowls and most of them cracked. 😦 ) Then when I unpack, I just keep the paper products to use for cookouts or whatever in the future (as long as they didn’t get dirty or super banged up in the move).

Store in drawers as much as possible

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Maybe this is obvious, but I don’t box up anything that is already stored in a furniture drawer. My nightstand drawer can get taken out of the nightstand to move downstairs, and then the drawer just gets put right back in the nightstand on the truck. Same with dressers: you can make the work lighter by taking the physical drawers out to move the dresser onto/off of the truck, but during transport, just put the drawer back in the dresser with all your stuff in it. I also packed a ton of extra things in our guest bedroom dresser (seen above, since it is normally empty for guest use) and this saved space and boxes.

Use clothing or towels to pad breakables

Breakables have to be moved. Clothing has to be moved. Why not move them together? We did have some newspapers and packaging material such as bubble wrap for some of our most fragile items, but between decor, dishes, picture frames, mirrors, etc, there was just WAY more stuff that needed extra cushioning than we had packing material for. We used towels and blankets to wrap some larger items like mirrors, canvases, and frames (top right picture) but for smaller items like dishes, glasses, ceramics, etc. I took clothing like t-shirts and scrubs (Justin works in a hospital setting and has tons) to wrap around items (top left picture) and this worked great! Obviously, things are wrapped much tighter than the picture shows, but I had to loosen things up so you could actually see what I had packed.

Use garbage bags to transport hanging clothes

It seemed really silly to me to take all our clothes off their hangers and pack them in boxes to move. Instead, I left all the clothing on the hangers and pulled a garbage bag around as many as could fit (usually about 20 items fit). Then I took the loops from the bag ties and hooked them around each end hanger so the bag would stay up and I could just carry the bag into my van. Once we got to the new house, I carried the bag to the closet, hung up the hangers, and removed the bag. Done! A few items fell off the hangers in transport, but the good news is they all stayed in the bag so it was very easy to retrieve them and put them back on the hanger in the new house. I did this with all my tops and dresses, Justin’s suits, our dress pants, belts, ties, literally everything that had been hanging on something in the closet and it worked like a charm!

MOVING DAY TIPS

Accept help

It can be so hard to ask for and accept help sometimes. But we knew that we couldn’t move alone, especially since my pregnancy prevented me from a lot of the lifting, so we reached out to friends and family. We also had some people offer to help without our asking, and even though my initial reaction was ‘oh, that’s okay I think we’ll be fine,’ we humbled ourselves enough to graciously accept all offers of help. And I’m SO thankful we did. We had friends not only help move our stuff but offer trucks/vehicles, an extra dolly to move heavy furniture, and one friend even volunteered to watch LJ at her house all day so we didn’t have to worry about him being in the way or trying to get him to nap with all the commotion going on. We were so thankful for the generosity of our village, whether they could help for an hour, for the morning, or all day. And it would have been far, far more stressful and difficult if we had tried to do it without their help.

Outsource food

If you’re having friends and family help you move, feed them! These people are taking time out of their day to help with a super unpleasant task. Honestly, no one wakes up on a beautiful Saturday and thinks “gosh it’d be fun to lug a ton of boxes around today’ so these people are rockstars for lending a hand. That doesn’t mean you should stress out about food. We bought some bagels and muffins from Costco and a coffee tote from Panera to have at the first house for people who helped in the early morning. Then we had waters, chips, cookies, and sloppy joes for people to grab for lunch as we unloaded at the new house (also, a neighbor/friend of ours couldn’t help with the physical move but offered to make sloppy joes and once again, we humbled ourselves enough to accept her generous offer and I’m SO THANKFUL I did because it was one less thing to worry about!) Our move miraculously finished up much earlier than we thought, but had it gone longer we were planning to order pizza for dinner as well. Don’t try to prepare food and add to the stress – this is the day to outsource and use all paper products!

Whew! Here’s hoping I don’t have to move again for a long, long time! What tips and tricks do you have for moving?