Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 4/22/2019

Moving groceries is not the most ideal of situations. You’re left worrying about spoilage, spillage and, let’s be honest, having another thing to move. Lighten your moving day load by planning ahead of time so that you have little to nothing left in your fridge and pantry to take with you.

To do this well it’s important to start at least a month before the move. Start by cleaning everything out - the pantry, your fridge and your freezer chest if you have one. Get rid of everything that is expired, stale or you just aren’t going to eat.

Take inventory of what’s left and categorize this list much like you would when creating your grocery list. So categories could be: meats/proteins, frozen vegetables, toaster/microwave items, desserts, dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, sauces, condiments, and snacks.

Next, it’s time to get creative and meal plan around these ingredients supplementing with items from the store occasionally as needed. The idea though is to do as little shopping and use up as much as you can with your meals for the month ahead. If you feel stumped on how to use what you have on hand utilize recipe websites that can pull recipes based on the ingredients you input into their system.  

Write down the meals you plan into your calendar or day planner. If you use an app for planning you can write down the recipe and set a reminder to it. Apps like Trello, Evernote and Asana are all free and perfect for this.

A few meal ideas:

Use ingredients to create items that are more stable, like baked goods, to take with you. Make homemade pizzas, soups, stews, salads, omelets and casseroles. The beauty of these types of dishes is the variety of ingredients you’re able to use in them. Be playful and make hybrid meals - spaghetti on pizza, taco omelets, a buffalo chicken rice bowl, french fries in a casserole (similar to hotdish, a Midwestern classic).

Hectic. Chaotic. Busy.

Moving week is many things, but there is one thing it is not - the time to cook elaborate or the creative dinners you’ve been eating throughout the month to use up items.

Plan this week well ahead of time, if not first, and make it all the easier by planning freezer meals you can just pull out and heat up.

Cooking items to keep out as you begin packing:

Salt and pepper

Cooking spray or oil

Spatula and a pan or two

A chef knife

A mixing bowl

Enough cutlery for everyone

Enough plates, cups, and bowls for everyone

Sponge and dish soap

By using up all your items as much as possible before the move you are creating the perfect opportunity to start over with your pantry. As you clean out items take note of what your tossing and steer clear of those when restocking or note to buy a smaller package to avoid future waste.




Tags: moving tips   moving   moving day  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 4/1/2019

When you’ve gone through the lengthy and tiring process of seeking out, bidding on, and buying a new home and then sell your home, the last thing you want to worry about is cleaning your old house before you leave.

 However, there’s multiple reasons you’ll want to ensure your old house is clean before you leave. First, as a common courtesy, you’ll want the new owners of your home to have a good first experience and to maintain your rapport with them after closing day. However, there are also legal and financial issues at play.

If your contract states that your home needs to have been “broom-swept” or some other form of cleaning before you leave, then your new owners could technically postpone closing. Furthermore, some states have laws requiring that homes are cleaned by their previous owners before they move out.

 Although it can be difficult to define just how clean a home needs to be, legally speaking, your best option is to do your part to leave the home relatively clean, whether that means cleaning it yourself or hiring a cleaning company.

Legal reasons for cleaning your old house

As mentioned earlier, some states state cleaning requirements in the purchase contract when you sell your home. Their definitions of clean can often be vague, but usually include sweeping floors, wiping down surfaces, stripping nails and hangers from walls, and carrying out all furniture and garbage.

These rules are mostly designed to protect people who purchase a home from getting stuck with bulk items and other surprise issues that they’ll have to pay for.

An exception to this is when your home is sold “as is” or when you have some form of written agreement between you and the new owner that some part f your home will be left as is.

Cleaning your house

The ideal time to clean your house is once you’ve moved everything out. However, if you’re moving over a long distance, you might not be able to return to the house once it’s empty to give it a final cleaning.

In this case, your best option is to have your furniture and boxes packed away neatly in the garage, or in the corner of one room. Doing so will allow you to sweep, clean surfaces, wipe down cabinets, and so on, while your belongings are still in the house.

Just be sure to keep a broom handy once you’ve put everything on the moving truck so you can give one last sweep of the floor before you say goodbye to your old home.

Cleaning checklist

It can be difficult to keep track of everything you’ll want to clean before you move out, so here’s a list to go by:

  • Sweep all floors

  • Vacuum all carpets

  • Wipe down cabinets, shelves

  • Try to sweep under appliances, oven, etc.

  • Spray sinks and tubs, leave air freshener in bathroom

  • Wipe inside of refrigerator, if applicable

  • Remove all nails from walls

  • Do a final walkthrough and remove any trash you’ve missed




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 12/10/2018

Packing your entire house is a daunting task to say the least. We are always left wondering how did we end up with so much stuff?

A quick Google search will bring up “ultimate lists” of all of the “packing hacks” you could ever humanly think of. Making the process feel even more daunting.

Here’s your guide to packing tips you’ll actually be glad to know - and none of what you won’t.

Start by decluttering as much as possible.

Get rid of what you no longer need or use. The more you get rid of now the less you have to pack up, carry or even pay to have moved to the new house. Depending on your timeline try to give yourself at least one week where you go through each room one day at a time. However, if you have even more time available you can tackle this project by sections of each room. That smaller you can break down any task the easier and more manageable it becomes.

Schedule your move date.

Schedule your move day with movers at least a month ahead of time to guarantee your perfect time slot. Planning ahead in this way also leaves plenty of room to negotiate with your moving company to find the cheapest time of the month to move. If you have a flexible schedule or able to put in for the time off ahead of time you’ll open up even more possibility for snagging a great deal.

In fact, schedule everything.

Make a schedule and to do list for the moving process. Add it to your calendar, whether that be physical, digital or both! Know your disconnect times will be and when you need to bring back items like cable boxes. Call in for help at least a few weeks out so friends and family are able to make room in their own schedules to help you out.

Pack savvily.

Pack a little bit each day starting with the least essential items you can easily live without. Save money on boxes by asking your local stores, like the grocery or liquor store, for free boxes. Keep thick blankets out to wrap fragile items like your television in if your moving company doesn’t offer them or you’re moving on your own. Buy different colored packing tape to color code boxes by room. Assign one room to each color and label each box well by including its contents to make unpacking a snap.

Be prepared on moving day.

Find the fastest and shortest route from your old house to the new one. While researching be on the lookout for potential tie-ups like construction or a large town event. Have extra packing tape, light bulbs, and extension cords on hand for moving day. Before unplugging all of your electronics take pictures of your cord setup to take the guesswork out of setup at the new house. Defrost and clean out your fridge at least the day before move day. You’ll avoid messy leaks and can look forward to a like-new fridge on move-in day. Keep a cleaning kit on hand and at the ready, you never know what accidents might pop up during the moving process.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 7/9/2018

Life is complicated; however, your moving day experience does not have to be this way. In fact, there are many ways to avoid a complicated moving day experience, and these include:

1. Plan Ahead As Much As Possible

When it comes to moving day, it pays to be prepared. Thus, if you plan ahead as much as possible, you can identify any potential moving day pitfalls and address them before they escalate.

Pack as many items as you can before moving day – you'll be glad you did. If you pack in the weeks and days leading up to your move, you can avoid the stress of last-minute packing.

Also, box and label all of your personal belongings. This will make it simple to safely pack all of your personal belongings into a moving truck and find these items as soon as you reach your final destination.

2. Get Plenty of Rest Before Moving Day Arrives

Moving day likely will be a long, arduous experience, regardless of how much you plan for it. Conversely, if you get a good night's rest before moving day, you can kick off your move feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

In addition, you should start your moving day with a healthy breakfast. This will give you something to look forward to on moving day, and the breakfast itself will provide you with plenty of energy to help you seize the day.

Don't forget to plan regular breaks as you complete your move. If you do not take a break every once and a while, you risk wearing down quickly on moving day.

3. Hire a Moving Company

There is no need to leave anything to chance, especially if you're planning a big move. Luckily, moving companies are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these businesses employ highly trained moving professionals to assist you in any way possible.

If you intend to hire a moving company, don't wait. Remember, the longer that you wait to employ a moving company, the less likely it becomes that this business will be available when the big day arrives.

Furthermore, you should check out a variety of moving companies in your area. This will enable you to examine various moving companies' strengths and weaknesses and determine which business can fulfill your moving needs.

If you need extra help determining whether a moving company is right for you, it never hurts to reach out to the business directly. In most instances, a moving company can provide client referrals that can help you make an informed decision.

Lastly, for those who are uncertain about how to prepare for a move, it may be helpful to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you buy or sell a house, along with provide insights into what it takes to complete a successful relocation.

Want to enjoy an uncomplicated moving day experience? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can reap the benefits of a seamless transition from one address to another.




Tags: moving tips   moving   moving day  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 3/26/2018

Moving is a big adjustment for any of us, yet it can be hardest on the children in our lives. Moving can mean a new school for your kids and a whole lot of unfamiliar faces. There are a few ways that you can help kids adjust to the change of moving to a new place and help them to feel at home faster. 


Let Them Be Involved With The New House


As a child, it can seem like moving into a new house is all about adults. Kids may feel that they’re merely along for the ride. You can let the kids pick out some things in the house. What color should their room be? Can the kids give some input on a new piece of furniture? Make moving a family affair and allow everyone in the family to feel included to make the transition smoother. 


Get Enrolled In Local Activities


See what types of local activities are available for the kids (and you) to be enrolled in. From tennis lessons to summer camp to after school activities, there’s plenty of things in a community that you and your family can get involved in. If you can find an activity to participate in with your kids, it will only make it easier for them to feel comfortable meeting other kids. You can also get acquainted with other adults to get some more information and insight about your new community. Making new friends and doing something they love will help your kids to feel right at home. The kids will feel more comfortable i their new school as well if they get involved.  



Help Kids Stay In Touch With Old Friends


Moving isn’t all about making new friends. Kids can still keep in touch with their old friends. If you didn’t move very far away, schedule dates for your kids to meet up with their old friends. If you have moved across states, encourage your kids to keep in touch with old friends through phone calls and video chat meetings. They’ll know that someday, they’ll see each other in person again. These actions can help in the transition of moving as well, since kids will see that their old lives have not been completely lost and forgotten about.


Stroll Around The Neighborhood As A Family


One great way to get adjusted to a new neighborhood is to explore it by foot. Make it a point to take an evening stroll as a family. The kids can learn a bit more about the area and begin to feel more comfortable in their surroundings with your help. You’ll also make discoveries about your new surroundings as a family.




Tags: Buying a home   moving tips   kids  
Categories: Uncategorized