Monthly Archives: November 2015

Cut Your Moving Costs

Cut Your Moving CostsIf your lease has expired or you are moving to a new home, you might have thought about hiring professional moving services. This is a good option, but availing these services can sometimes turn out to be expensive. The best option would be carry out the entire task of relocation as a DIY project. That would definitely be cheaper, but more time-consuming and tiring. Hence, hiring a moving service provider or company is a smarter albeit pricier option. However, employing certain ways to pack and hire can cut down on your moving costs significantly. If you intend to hire a moving company or service, it is imperative that you hire a reliable one.

It is highly recommended that you check AMSA’s list of certified ‘ProMovers’. You can also check reviews of the service provider on various websites, and visit their social media pages to gain more knowledge. Apart from this, you can compare price quotes of various companies or professionals to get a fair idea about costs and services. After having done the hard part, here is the easy part in the form of a few guidelines that will tell you how to cut costs when moving.

De-clutter
There are many things which we hoard in our houses when we could do away with them any day. For example, if your son has out grown his crib, you might as well sell it or donate it. There is no point in packing and moving things that will hardly be of any use to you.

Compare the Options
Don’t just hire the first moving company you see on the internet. Compare costs and benefits of various moving companies. As an extension to what I mentioned above about finding the right moving professional, you can even consider recommendations from friends and family about moving companies. The point to emphasize here, is to choose a reliable company or professional who will help you move your stuff at an affordable price.

Dismantle and Reassemble on Your Own
Many times furniture items like shelves, beds, sofa, etc., need to be dismantled before moving. Also, if you have heavier gym equipment, you will have to disassemble it. Instead of asking your moving company to do it, disassemble and re-assemble it yourself and save money.

Pack on Your Own
You can further curtail packing expenses by undertaking the entire packing and moving task as a DIY. Unless the stuff is fragile, like an LCD screen or a crystal lampshade which requires special packing, pack on your own. This will help save a significant amount on packing costs. Keep all the things packed, ready, labeled and coded for the moving day. You can avail help of companies like PODS and 1-800-PACKRAT which will send a storage unit at your doorstep for loading all your stuff.

Move During the Off-season
Most people plan to move during summer (mid-June through mid-September) after their children begin their summer break. However, summer is peak season and the moving rates are sky-high. Plan your move during the winter when the rates are low. Also, try to move during the middle of the month as the beginning and end of the month have higher rates.

Rent Reusable Boxes
Instead of spending a large amount on environmentally hazardous cardboard boxes, rent reusable ones. You will be surprised to know how much are able to save by using these boxes.

Moving Discounts and Coupons
Keep an eye on advertisements in the local newspapers, direct mail, magazines, etc., for discount coupons and offers. Many moving companies offer such discounts, especially during the off-season.

Rent/Share a Truck
If you don’t have a lot of stuff to move, you can share the moving truck with another person. This way, you will also collectively bear the cost of the truck. However, beware that there can be a mix-up of boxes, and this can lead to further expenses, not to mention the hassle of returning and picking up stuff. If you plan to carry out all the moving on your own, then you can rent a truck, and ask for help from friends and family to load and unload your stuff. However, it is essential that you know about the mileage and fuel charges before you rent a truck to avoid last-minute surprises.

Get Insurance
You must insist on getting a moving insurance. Remember that your goods can get lost, stolen, or damaged during the journey. Hence, if you are covered, you can avail compensation for lost or damaged property. Check if your items are covered under the homeowner’s or renter’s policy.

Inform Any Change
Any last-minute change to move certain goods should be immediately informed to the moving company. If you dropped the old bicycles from your list of moving, let your moving company know about it. Make a list of all the items to be moved so that an accurate estimate can be made. This will reduce the cost. Confirm with the relocation company about the total cost of moving and packaging, overhauling up the stairs, lifting heavy stuff, etc. The last thing you would want is to be charged for stuff that you were unaware about.

Pack Light for Long-distance Moves
If you are planning to move to a long-distance location, the moving company will weigh all your items to determine the moving cost. This is exactly why you should get rid of the heavy treadmill which you no longer use.

Avail Tax Deductions
If you have decided to relocate for a new job, you can deduct expenses incurred during moving, like storage, transportation, and packing, from your annual tax returns.

As mentioned above, moving or relocating can be expensive, whether it is within the state or across the country. But you can surely cut down on your expenses by a little planning, preparation, and information. What’s more, the money that you save on moving costs can be used to decorate your new home.

Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Kitchen Cabinet DoorsThe choice of every individual differs when it comes to designing the interiors of his/her home, which is why, it is imperative to observe the minute details that go into making a house a home. What is the first thing you notice when you enter the kitchen? It isn’t the gas stove or the sink but the layout and design of the cabinet. The next thing you notice is the style and pattern on the doors and the drawers that make it appear contemporary, stylish, chic, or modern. The style can be anywhere from simple and elegant to elaborate and grand. Given below are the styles you are most likely to observe in different homes.

Beadboard Cabinet Door

Beadboard is nothing but a series of vertical planks with ridges or indentations known as beads. The characteristic traits of this type of door are the deep, clean cuts, and vertical beads that create a striped or paneled effect. There are two styles of beadboards: (i) traditional tongue and groove boards that fit together; and (ii) beadboard panels that are molded to give you the effect of the actual material that aid in rendering your kitchen a traditional farmhouse appearance.

Distressed Cabinet Door

Want your kitchen to emanate an old cottage charm? Opt for distressed cabinet doors to give you an antique look to your home. Preferably made from reclaimed material, the doors and drawers of the cabinet appear old and worn out. New furniture can be given a distressed look by sanding the surface and rubbing a hint of glaze into the wood.

Flat Cabinet Door

Simplicity at its best, flat cabinet doors are just that. They have smooth finishes without any visible detailing. The only visible design is the natural grain of the wood in case of pure wood doors, and a shiny surface in case of laminated doors. They not only look neat but also make it easier to clean.

Frosted Glass Cabinet Door

Add flair to the cabinets with frosted glass cabinet doors. It is better than clear glass doors as it succeeds from hiding stuff behind it, giving them a hazy appearance. You can use it to camouflage your pots and pans, and is especially beneficial to create a warm, fuzzy atmosphere.

Grill Style Cabinet Door

Quirky, out-of-the-box cabinet doors allow you to increase the artistic appeal of your home and kitchen in particular. The grooves and patterns that you can try out are numerous and known to add style to your cabinets. Wire mesh-inspired doors though, require a lot of maintenance to keep them looking new for a long period of time. You can opt for a glass-backed grill-style cabinet door to enhance the look of the kitchen.

Louvered Cabinet Door

The horizontal slats on the door help keep the cabinet well-ventilated, thus, preventing it from a strong musty smell that occurs over a period of time. They are attractive and stylish, and can accentuate the look of just about any kitchen. It is the preferred choice for storing appliances that require ventilation.

Shaker Cabinet Door

Simple clean lines that emphasize utility is what the shaker cabinet door is all about. Ideally made from five individual pieces of flat panels, the shaker is the most common door style used for kitchen cabinet doors. It is a classic style, and rest assured it will never go out of style.

Thermofoil Cabinet Door

Laminate surfaces that feature silky smooth finishes are the norm of thermofoil doors. These doors are made by pressure binding medium-density fiberboard together. The laminate distorts with heat; hence, placing an oven near these doors is not advisable.

Framed Glass Cabinet Door

Glass front doors help render the kitchen a large and airy feel. It can be used to highlight artistic pieces of dinnerware. Remember, a glass door will do little to hide clutter, which means you have to take extra efforts to keep it organized at all times.

While a kitchen done up with any one type of door will lend a symmetrical look, a kitchen with a combination of door styles will surely enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home. Lastly remember, it isn’t just about the doors and drawers that make the kitchen the activity hub of a family, you also have to pay attention to the minute details that go into making it complete.

Room Furniture Layout

Rightly placing the furniture units makes a huge difference in the appearance of the room. There might be various units of varied dimensions that need to be occupied in that place. So, you need to consider the space available and the maximum units that can fit in. Finding other areas to fit in the rest of the objects is the best idea, instead of dumping all of them in the same space. Let’s get to know more about some basics of room furniture layout.

Arranging in the Living Room

The living room is the primary area of the house, which is why it is essential to arrange its furniture in the best possible way. Firstly, you need a proper conversation area. Creating a “U” or say, a “C” shaped sitting area is the best idea. Many go for an “L” shaped area, which is much inconvenient. For this, you can have a “C” shaped sofa to fill up a spacious area; complement it with a set of same-colored throw pillows and rugs. You can also go for an “L” shaped sofa and get a set of 2 – 3 chairs that can be placed together.

The accent piece or the focal point of the room could be the entertainment center, a fireplace mantel, or the bay window. So, place the sofas and other seating units facing this focal point. The next important point is to keep the entrance free; do not place any furniture piece right at the entrance. Placing the largest piece first and then, playing with the rest of them is an easier way of deciding the layout. You could also place the entertainment center first, and then arrange the rest of the pieces. For the living room, coordinating the colors of curtains or blinds, rugs, carpet runners, pillows, and the rest of the furnishing with each other and with the wall paint colors, as well is important.

Arranging in the Bedroom

Well, this is the most favorite area of the person whom it belongs to. It’s like “my space” for this person, so first decide what all “you” need to have here. You need to decide how you wish to arrange the bed, wardrobe, dressing table, and the bedside tables. According to the aforementioned rule, firstly decide the placement of the bed. You can place this facing the large window, instead of placing it against it, as many do. While you rest, you will have a beautiful view from this window. You can either place this, touching the wall, and add a stylish headboard, or place it in the center of the room. This is a classic idea to opt for, in case of a large bedroom.

Next, place nightstands besides the bed to balance the look. You can place the wardrobe behind the bed in case it’s in the center. While placing the dressing table, make sure that enough area is free in front of it. Also, make sure that the furniture is arranged in such a way that there is enough space for at least two people to dress up comfortably. You can also add cabinets, floating wall shelves, a table and chair, if space permits. One of the modern bedroom plans is to complement the furniture units with a lot of elegant and textured pillows and ultimate bedding, along with rugs, curtains, valences and have a grand looking area.

Furniture layout is an important part of interior decorating. Make sure that you get in good quality pieces and that in decent colors to match the rest of the home decor. Adding lovely accessories to the different sections of the house will give the finishing touch to it in entirety.