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Category: Home Decor

five ways to make moving suck less

So, as you probably know since I’ve mentioned it about 4700 times here, we recently moved. I am no stranger to moving — I’ve moved about once a year since starting college an unmentionably long time ago. Logic would indicate that this would mean moving gets easier every time, right? Friggin WRONG. This recent move was the hardest yet. So much STUFF. For a few days after we moved, everything hurt. My fingers hurt. (Well now your back’s gonna hurt, cause you just pulled landscaping duty!)

Guys. If it’s just going to get harder every time…that means we need to to it better every time. We need to be smarter than the move. Here’s five tips that have helped me — maybe they’ll help you, too. Plus, some pictures of the new house cause ain’t nobody got time for a post full of pictures of moving boxes.

1. Purge *before* packing.

KonMari the sh*t out of your home before you even think about packing. And if you don’t KonMari, at least go through room by room and get rid of the stuff you don’t use. I think the key is to do this significantly ahead of time, maybe a few weeks or even a month before your move. That way, you don’t feel pressured and can take your time to do it right. Oh, and Austinites — you can now take your donations to the Austin Pets Alive! thrift store. It’s what I call a win-win-win where you get rid of your stuff, you then don’t have to move stuff you don’t need, and you help adorable puppies get adopted. Come ON.

dining room mint windsor chairs

2. Pack yourself an overnight bag.

The last thing you need on moving day is to wake up wide-eyed like a very stressed out child on Christmas morning (just me?) and realize you packed your deodorant in a box that is now under three other boxes. Pack yourself an overnight bag with toiletries, an outfit for moving day, and other stuff you know you’ll need like scissors, tools to put furniture together, and your phone charger.  

marfa bathroom

3. Hire movers you trust (big bonus points if they also make you laugh.)

Pretty much the worst case scenario in life is your movers not showing up. I have two tricks to avoid this: 1) book the earliest time slot of the day to minimize the chance that your movers are running late or held up with another move (normally 8-9 a.m.) and 2) book a reputable company. Austinites and other Texans — I use Army Ant Moving and have for my last three moves. They are always prompt, work quickly, and they make me LAUGH. And they’re the ones doing the hard work! How?? I’m over here carrying plants to my car legit being like “ow my fingers hurt moving is hard” and they’re over there having a blast with like, my dresser on their back. Also, they are super careful with furniture, actually read boxes when it says FRAGILE!!! (must be Italian!), and they called Matt “Matteo” all day so yah, I love them. (Check the bottom of the post for a special rate if you’re in need of movers!)

midcentury patio furniture

4. Don’t forget sustenance.

I may never forget the move where I forgot to eat. You think you know hanger… ::softly chuckles and shakes head:: you have no idea. Don’t be like me, yall. Eat something. I like to run out in the morning for coffee and something protein-y (breakfast tacos), and I use that stop to buy waters for us and the movers, too. Then, after the move is done and before unpacking starts: eat something again. Might I suggest…tacos? 🙂

pastel guest bedroom

5. Wash bedding and towels ASAP.

This is my favorite thing to do. As soon as we get to the new place, I do a few loads of laundry starting with sheets and towels. (So, label your boxes and make sure you can find these as well as the laundry detergent.) Washing these right away means that at the end of the day you have a fluffy clean towel when you get out of the shower and a bed with fresh sheets to climb into. Even if everything else is a wreck, those two things really make for an enjoyable first night in your new home! I use exclamation points when I talk about clean sheets!!

So those are a few of my best tips. I’m dying to hear yours, since apparently this is only going to get tougher. What are your moving secrets?

This post is sponsored by Army Ant Moving. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support this blog. Mention this post while booking your move to receive 10% off their hourly $110 rate.

five ways to make moving suck less

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the blue door house intro

I’m so excited to finally introduce you guys to the The Blue Door House. We’ve been here eleven days now — we’re starting to remember where we put the measuring cups, we’re only bumping into furniture and walls a few times a day, and we’ve tried two new local taco places, so we’re on our way to feeling settled. It’s a pretty big change for us – moving from a gated apartment complex/fortress situation to a single family home in a new-to-us neighborhood. The move hasn’t been without its challenges, because duh, moving is the worst. But when we make time to throw a ball around with Finn in the yard at dusk when the fireflies are out, it definitely seems worth it.

The Blue Door House Floor Plan

So, the deets: it’s a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, ~950 square foot ranch house built in the 50s. We’ve also got a single carport and a nice-sized fenced yard with a small concrete patio. And a big storage closet off the carport that we’ve somehow already filled?? It’s kind of crazy because technically we’re only gaining about 150 square feet of interior space, but the house is so well-appointed that it feels like we’re getting a lot more house than that. I’ll always appreciate squeezing the most function out of a small home. There’s just something so darn practical about it.  Like how all the closets fit together. It’s like a little puzzle.

I snapped a few quick and dirty iPhone pictures of how the house looks today — try not to forget the part where I said we’ve been here eleven days. 😀

royal blue ranch

small white 50s kitchen

mint windsor dining chairs with white round table

original pink tile bathroom

blue door house master bedroom

blue door home office

blue door home patio

blue door home guest room

Some highlights – the original pink tile in the bathroom is in fantastic condition, the yard is yuge, our king-sized bed fits in the master, the guest bedroom exists, and there’s a good amount of storage. Not pictured but hugely significant: not having to park in a parking garage and lug our groceries ten minutes from the car to our door. I wish there was more counter space in the kitchen and the flooring isn’t my favorite, but honestly it could be a lot worse and that’s what rugs are for. Also, since I feel like I heard the sharp intake of breath when you all saw the bathroom picture — there’s a ton of built-in storage behind the door. All is not lost.

It kind of felt like the house ticked off every single box as we were looking at it, and then some. The windows are brand-new and energy efficient, as is the AC unit. There’s covered parking. The yard is so perfect for Finn. It had three bedrooms when we would have been okay with two. There’s a dishwasher — a surprisingly uncommon feature of rental houses in Austin. As much as I tried to talk myself into the no-dishwasher thing I just couldn’t. More power to those of you who can and have!

Now that the move is behind us, the fun part begins. Sooo many more words to come on The Blue Door House! Let me know if you have any questions, like where’d you get that Austin print or why did you burn my eyeballs with these ugly pictures? (Lol seriously though, I’m sorry – I really wanted to get this post up and didn’t have time to bust out the real camera.)

 

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saying c-ya with cyanotype: DIY cyanotype key sunprints

So, good news first: we found a place to lease next year! A bona fide house with a yard and storage and everything! We are thrilled: me, to be done with house-hunting and to start planning a new space, and Matt: to have me done with the house-hunting part. Let’s just say I take to house-hunts like a fish to water. An incredibly stressed, frazzled fish who systematically checks five different housing websites every six hours.

But, sad news: did you guys know that moving to a new place typically means leaving the one you’re living in currently? The first lease you signed together, the first time you made a home together, the place where Matt finally watched The Office all the way through? I’m super sentimental and even though I could not be more excited about our next place (it is SO cute and having a house will be so fun and now we can actually have more than two people over for dinner and not make them eat on our couch AND A YARD FOR FINN) but I can’t stop the feels about leaving our cozy little apartment. Home means a lot to me.

DIY cyanotype key sunprint

Commemorating our first place together seemed important. When I saw Little Green Notebook’s cyanotype prints for her playroom, I knew that would be perfect. Cyanotype prints work really well with flat objects – leaves, dried flowers, etc., so I thought I’d make a print of the key to our apartment. The cobalt color of the paper is so pretty, it looked pretty easy, and I could order the kit on Amazon which is just so dang appealing. Here’s the quick how-to:

how to make a cyanotype key sunprint

How To Create a Cyanotype Key Sunprint

 

What You’ll Need:

  • Sunprint paper kit (this is the one I used)
  • House key
  • 9″ x 12″ tray or dish
  • Water
  • Paper towels or paper bags
  • Heavy books

making a cyanotype key sunprint

  1. Keep the paper in the kit while you’re setting up – any exposure to sun will start the reaction, so keep it protected until you need it.
  2. Fill a tray or long pan with water. You’ll submerge the paper when it’s done sitting in the sun, so you want this ready to go. 
  3. Lay some paper towels or paper bags on the counter so that you have a place to set the wet paper to dry.
  4. You’re ready! Take a sheet of paper, lay it outside in direct sunlight, and place the object you want to make a print of in your desired position on the paper. Let the paper sit in the sun for anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes or so. The longer the paper is in the sun, the deeper the blue hue will be when it has processed. I experimented with different times and liked the ones in the 3-4 minute range. Probably a good idea to buy some extra paper if you want to experiment a lot or are looking to make several prints. 
  5. When the paper has been in the sun for the desired amount of time, pick it up and lay it in the water, completely submerging it to stop the chemical reaction. 
  6. Gently remove the paper from the water and lay it down on the paper towels or paper bags to dry.
  7. When it’s dried completely, use some heavy books to sit on top of it to remove any wrinkling or curling on the edges.

DIY cobalt cyanotype key print

Voila! A pretty sweet way to commemorate your first home together. Or your first place of your own. Or the key to your shop. You get the gist. And since I technically spent a grand total of about $1 on the print, I wanted to dress it up in a really special frame that I might not normally splurge on. Enter Framebridge!

framing a DIY cyanotype key sunprint with Framebridge

Framebridge was the perfect answer to a frame for this pretty but unusually sized print. Here’s how it works: you go to their site, choose a digital image or upload a picture of your physical art, enter the dimensions of the art, and then click through their frames where they mock up how the art will look in the frame. It’s incredibly satisfying if you’re super visually-motivated like I am. As soon as my eyeballs saw the blue key print mocked up in the burl-wood Cairo frame, they fell out of their sockets like a cartoon boy dog looking at a cartoon pretty girl dog. 

Framebridge review - pretty details!

Once I got the eyeball situation figured out, I sent off my print to Framebridge in a package they provided with a shipping label also provided. A few weeks later, I got my got-dang gorgeous frame back and had to deal with my eyeballs all over again. They even dress up the backing with this pretty Matisse-style print. LOVE. And bonus for yall: use the code bigadventure15 to get 15% off your first Framebridge order!

framing a DIY key sunprint with Framebridge

cairo burl wood frame from Framebridge with a cyanotype print

Still a little sad about moving, but I’m really glad to have a little physical memento of a home and a time that was pretty great to us. And yes, I realize that I also have two years of blog posts, but who knows how long this “internet” thing will stick around. 

 

I was provided with product by Framebridge, but all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the companies that support ABA!

How to make a DIY cyanotype key print
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