The Basics: Housewarming Parties

    Moving into a new home is an exciting thing—why not share the excitement by throwing a party?! Whether you’re moving in-town or cross-country, this article will give you some tips on throwing the ultimate housewarming party to celebrate your new home.

    The first step is preparation. Cleanliness and organization are key. Moving in is often hectic, but it is also the perfect opportunity to smartly organize and make it easy to keep the home tidy. Organize and put away your unpacked boxes to keep your rooms clutter-free when friends arrive. Don’t forget to have toiletries in the restrooms for your guests!

    Food (and drink) is the next most important aspect to the ultimate housewarming party. If weather permits, a backyard barbeque always a fun and social option. If you have a small fire pit (even an inexpensive portable one), you could even gather ‘round to heat s’mores or hot dogs. The easiest and most affordable things you can cook outside are burgers, hot dogs, and large cuts of meat (brisket, pork butt, etc).

    Inside, there are endless options to provide buffet-style appetizers—from cheese and crackers to cocktail weenies to sliders—that guests will definitely remember as a highlight to the party. Dips, casseroles, and pizzas are some easy ways to feed a large group. Your guests will probably offer to contribute in some way. Allowing them to help will not only lighten your load; it'll give you a chance to make your guests feel appreciated.

    A cooler full of ice cold beverages is a necessity. What you fill your cooler with will depend on your audience, but having bottled water, popular sodas, and sugar-free drinks will guarantee that you've covered all your bases. Never be afraid to ask your guests to bring the beverages they prefer.

    Who to invite? Friends and family that like fun, food, and drinks! If you have moved to a new city, this part can be a little intimidating. However, there may not be a better opportunity to meet your neighbors. Break the ice by inviting your co-workers, neighbors, or other new acquaintances for a Friday evening housewarming party—who doesn’t like new houses and free food?

    Aside from tidiness and food availability, there are a few more small things you can do to make your housewarming party hip. For one, have a playlist of your favorite music or easy-listening music going as a background (but not too loud). Have board games out, especially if there are kids, and outdoor games like badminton or horseshoes if the weather is nice. It’s also a great idea to keep out an address book to exchange information.

    With these tips in mind, you’ll be on the way to settling into your new home the right way by hosting an awesome housewarming party!

Affordable Ways to Furnish Your First Home

Moving into your first home is a time of great excitement and adventure, but the stress of furnishing and decorating it on a budget can dampen your spirits. A few simple steps can help save you money and relieve some of that stress.

First, don’t be afraid to ask your family or neighbors if they have any extra furniture from home they are willing to give or sell to you. They may have the basic necessities that will get you started, and while it won’t help you get that brand new wide-screen television, it may help you avoid spending a lot of money on brand new pieces.  

Second, check out websites like Craigslist and Freecycle, or online garage sales. These are great places to find items in your area, and people are usually willing to negotiate prices.  The items may not be brand new, but look for items that are in good shape and will fit in with your decorating style. Most sellers will expect you to go to their home or to meet at a central location to pick up an item, so if you know you’ll need help moving it. Remember to always be safe when linking up with anybody via the internet. Always bring a friend with you.

Another great way to find furniture and decorations is by scoping out yard sales and estate sales. When you’re driving around your neighborhood, make it a habit to keep an eye out for yard sale signs, and remember that most people willing be willing to haggle in order to get an item sold.

You shouldn’t feel rushed to have your entire home decorated the week you move in, so take some time and shop around for sales. Make a list of items you need most, and compare prices at different décor and furniture stores. If you know a particular item will go on sale, resisting the pressure to buy it right away can save you money. Don’t forget to look online – online deals are often much better than in the stores. If you do end up purchasing something online, check shipping costs to make sure you are getting lowest price. Most retailers will offer free shipping if you have the item shipped to the store for pickup.

While you’ll be able to move small items yourself, you may need to contact a professional moving company for help. Movers transport your furniture and appliances in one trip, and they make sure to take care to not damage your belongings. Brandon Moving is always here to help!

Clutter Removal Tips

Once you decide to start decluttering, taking it one room at a time makes tasks more manageable.  Choose one room to begin cleaning out and organizing – don’t start multiple projects at once.  You will likely be much more productive if you choose one task to tackle and complete before moving on to the next.  The most common places with a lot of clutter are closets, pantries, garages, and kitchen drawers.

The first step in decluttering your closet is to sort through your clothes.  Get rid of, or donate, any clothes that you have not worn within the past year, any clothes that make you uncomfortable, or any clothes that do not fit.  Next, do the same with your shoes.  Get rid of any that are too worn out or are not comfortable to wear.  All of those clothing items you no longer need can be donated at a local second-hand store.

In the kitchen, begin by getting rid of food you think you will never likely use. Non-perishable food items can be donated to a local food bank or homeless shelter.  Clear out unnecessary items in kitchen drawers, and reorganize frequently used utensils and cookware.  Many people have junk drawers in the kitchen – this is also a good place to clear out clutter and reorganize commonly used items.

In the garage, extra space can be used to store organized items to reduce clutter. You can start by sorting items—beginning with items that can be thrown away, items that can be donated, and items to be kept and organized. If you have room, organize the items you must keep into boxes or onto shelves, making more convenient to access particular items such as tools when needed. As you begin to sort through your garage, as with other rooms and closets in your house, you may find that you have accumulated things that you have forgotten about and no longer need. Throwing away or donating such items will help maximize the space in your home and will certainly make moving easier.

Keeping your home decluttered will help if you are preparing to move. Many people find that the smaller items in their homes take the most time to gather and pack than larger items.  You can save time by keeping smaller items in organized spaces and getting rid of excess. This will also make it easier to avoid accumulating unnecessary items that cause clutter.