4 Tips to Help You Move at the End of the Year

No matter the reason or where you’re going, moving can be one of the most stressful life events you’ll go through. While it’s also exciting, doing it the “wrong” way can cause a lot of headaches for you and your family.

However, it’s often a fact of life. The average person in the U.S. moves 11.7 times in their lifetime. Unfortunately, you can’t always control when you’ll move. Maybe you’ve accepted a job offer or you want to get your kids into a new district. Maybe you want to be closer to your aging parents as quickly as possible.

If you have to move at the end of the year, the stress of the holidays can make things even harder. But, it’s not impossible to get through it with a few tips. 

1. Make a Budget

Moving can be expensive any time of year. But, when you’re trying to do it during the holidays, you’ll need to factor in your traditional holiday spending. Think about how much you spend each year on gifts, food, travel to other locations, and even your own home decor.

Creating a budget for your move can make it easier to determine where you might need to cut back this holiday season. Your moving budget should cover things like:

  • Packing materials
  • Hiring movers
  • Renting a truck
  • Unexpected expenses

Taking as much financial stress out of your move as possible will alleviate a lot of stress, especially during a time of year when things might already be tight.

2. Downsize and Declutter

If you’re starting to pack and looking over all your “stuff,” it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.  So, before you put everything in boxes, consider what you need, and what you really want to take to a new place.

Moving is a perfect opportunity to get rid of things you no longer use or want. The holiday season makes it the perfect time of year to donate some of your gently-used items to shelters or things like toy drives and clothing drives.

If you want to make a little extra cash for the move (or for holiday spending money!), consider selling some of your items at a yard sale or online. You’ll have less to pack up and take with you, which can alleviate some extra stress and make you feel good about starting with a clean slate.

3. Make Sure Your New Home is Ready

Moving into a new construction home is exciting. But, if you’re moving into a new home during the holidays, the last thing you want is a stressful transition. There are some potential delays you could face, including:

  • Delays in construction
  • Poor communication
  • Under-budgeting

When you’re ready to pull the trigger and make your move and your new home isn’t ready, it can cause a lot of problems. That’s especially true if you sold your current home and need to be out by a certain date.

The holiday season can slow things down for people, but it’s important to remain diligent if you’re moving somewhere new and make sure every box is being checked off along the way so the transition to a new place is as smooth as possible.

4. Change Your Expectations and Traditions – For This Year

One of the biggest challenges you might face when moving during the holidays is trying to balance all of your traditions with packing, scheduling movers, and getting your home ready. But, many holiday traditions include traveling to other family members’ homes, going to parties, or even hosting gatherings.

At some point, you might have to stop and tell yourself it’s too much – at least, for this year.

If you don’t want to deal with excess stress, lower your expectations around the season this year. Turn down that holiday party and cut back on a few of your traditions. It can be a little disappointing at first, but when you think about how much easier it will be to get things done and move into your new place, it’s well worth it.

Plus, you don’t have to give up everything. Once you’ve moved, make sure to set up your Internet quickly so you can get online and connect with family members and friends. If you’re moving far away from your family, consider hosting a virtual holiday event with everyone. You can create a schedule, plan for everyone to be eating a meal, and even have fun events like:

  • A virtual scavenger hunt
  • Gift opening
  • Holiday cards
  • Trivia
  • Contests

Even if your digital reunion is just for this year, it’s a wonderful way to feel close to your family when you can’t be there in person.

There are some things about moving that are always going to be stressful. And, while moving around the holidays can add to that stress, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Keep these tips in mind as you plan and prepare your move, and you can still enjoy the season while staying on track.

Artisan Home Decor Tips for First Time Homeowners

Artisan Home Decor Tips for First Time Homeowners


Becoming a homeowner is a huge deal. So, first of all, congrats on your exciting purchase! The real fun comes when you’re able to decorate your space. Having interior decorating skills isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. Adding artisan goods in your room sets your place apart from conventional design aesthetics. When you seek out artisan designs, you’re seeking out one-of-a-kind pieces that make your home truly interesting and dimensional. Making things by hand is a true skill and one worth learning, or at the very least, investing in. Read on to learn tips and tricks on how to effortlessly transform your new home into everything you have ever dreamed of with artisan home decor.

Support Local Artists

A fantastic place to start when you’re on the hunt for decor for your first-time home is shopping local! Rather than getting on the web and browsing, make it an adventure and shop locally. We can’t recommend supporting your local community enough when it comes to finding pieces for your new space. Locate a nearby gallery and find a painting or another piece of artisan home decor that speaks to you. It can be a rewarding process to build a room out based on a specific piece. Use that unique, one-of-a-kind piece to set the tone for the design of your room. This form of synchronicity makes decorating a new home a blast! Keep your eyes and mind open!

Stay Away from “Big Box” Stores

Staying away from the big box stores should seem obvious if you’re going for an artisan aesthetic in your new home. Stores like Walmart and Target, and even wholesale furniture companies run rampant on the web. They all carry mass-produced (and often poorly made) furniture and home goods. Stray away from these stores if you are on the hunt for unique and well-made items for your home.

The Right Light

Lighting is everything when it comes to achieving a desired aesthetic for your space. Once you become more familiar with your new home, pay attention to the natural light coming in from your windows. If you have an abundance of natural light, you won’t need to overdo it with lighting. Finding designer lighting that works in your home can be a real treat once the install process is finished. This is an area where a splurge can be justified. Depending on the space, you’ll want to choose between both overheads and floor and table lamps. Don’t look at what everyone else is doing. Be present in the room in question and be on the lookout for a piece that will complement the space beautifully.

Add a Beautiful Rug to the Mix

There is no question that a gorgeous rug can effortlessly and instantly transform a space. This is another must-have artisan purchase. You will really set your home decor status on an entirely new level if you go with a handmade rug. Although these can be expensive in nature, investing in a one-of-a-kind artisan rug will make your room stand out in an extraordinary way. You can bring added warmth, texture, and dimension to your space with the right rug purchase. This is one of those areas we don’t think you should cut corners on.

Mirror, Mirror

Mirrors can do wonders to opening up space in your new home. Give the illusion of extra space with the proper placement of a gorgeous artisan mirror. Try your luck at a nearby vintage store and bring a mirror with tons of character into your new home. Mirrors allow you to amplify the gorgeousness of your space. Proud of what you’ve done in a specific room? Throw a mirror into the mix and multiply the aesthetic in a natural way that doesn’t overwhelm but humbly exists in stylized brilliance.

Good Use of Your Space

Because your backyard is an extension of your house, make sure you pay attention to that area of your home as well when it comes to decorating. Plant lovely flowers and find interesting outdoor furniture that allows you to host in your backyard during the warmer months. We always suggest looking for antiques to fill your outdoor and indoor needs before buying something brand new.

Artisan home decor promises you an individualized style to be celebrated in your new home, rather than mass-produced pieces you could easily find in hundreds of other homes. Artisan can really be translated to design integrity. Individuality is key when it comes to decorating a place. There’s more joy in locating one-of-a-kind pieces that an artist has put their entire heart and soul into. You want to aim to fill your beautiful new home with good energy and beautiful art. Never stop being inspired by beautiful art and the opportunity to bring it into your home.

Author bio:
Carolyn Mitchell is a freelance writer and content strategist with a passion for home décor and maintenance. She can often be found re-painting and updating the furnishings in her home, and she is also a dedicated cat mom to two adorable kitties.

Interesting Ways to Update Your Home Using Paint

Are you tired of the way your home looks? Adding more and more new details to decorate the space won’t fix the dull atmosphere; it will only create clutter. So, maybe it’s time to refresh your home. How can you do that without spending a fortune?

Believe it or not, you don’t have to buy completely new furniture to update your home. Use your imagination and work with what you have. Something as simple as paint can completely change the way your interior looks. Here are some original ways to use paint to refresh your home.

1. Paint the furniture

One of the easiest ways to refresh your home and update its interior design is by painting your wooden furniture. Whether you need to give your old chairs a new glow, or you’re considering repainting them in a new colour and giving them a makeover.

For a modern look, try to use brown or black tones for your wooden furniture. If you’re more into shabby and rustic style, try going for the white or blue colours that will remind you of hot summers at the beach. Don’t be discouraged if the old paint shows below your new one. Simply, give your furniture another coat, and it will look exactly like you’ve imagined it.

2. Paint the cabinets

Surely, you’ve noticed that your kitchen doesn’t look as new as it used to. It’s natural for cabinets to get worn out during time and lose its colour. So, give your home a makeover by refreshing the colour of your kitchen cabinets. It’s not much, but it will affect the way your entire home looks.

Pick a suitable colour that will match with the already existing furniture and atmosphere of the kitchen. If your kitchen is a bit rustic, don’t opt for the colours that won’t match in that scheme. Choose white, mint, or baby pink to complete the atmosphere. Try to match the styles for a more effective upgrade. That’s how you’ll achieve the dream look you’re going for.

3. Refresh the windows and doors

Even though it may seem like an unimportant venture, painting the window frames and the doors can entirely change the way your home looks and feels. Instead of purchasing new windows and doors, try to give them another chance in your home by repainting them.

To properly paint the windows, tape a duct tape around the frame on the glass to prevent the paint from smudging your glass. Pick a smaller brush for this venture in order to be as precise as possible. On the other hand, for door painting, you can opt for a larger paintbrush. Just make sure the paint dries well on both, doors and windows before you start using them again.

4. Paint the walls

Who would’ve thought that the new coat of paint on the walls can do so much for your space? Over time, the colour on our walls fades and they get dirty. So, naturally, your entire space will look worn out and dull. That’s when the paint comes and saves the day.

To paint your room, you first need to prepare your house for this venture. Remove or cover the furniture and all the other things you don’t want to get paint on. Surely you can get the painting done yourself. However, for effective and precise painting, consider contacting specialists for spray painting services who will be able to completely refresh and update your space. You wouldn’t believe how much a professional spray painter can do for your home.

5. Create stripes and frames

Painting a wall in one colour can be refreshing for your home. However, using paint to create something different can really highlight some of the most important parts of your rooms. So, instead of using one paint for the entire house, try experimenting by creating stripes and frames on the wall.

Use paint to create colourful frames around your windows or wall décor. It can be an excellent way of upgrading a boring space into a lively-looking room. Besides that, you can use different shades of paint to create stripes on the wall that will visually enlarge your room. Experiment with it, you can always paint over it if you don’t like it.


As you can see, little paint can do a lot for your home. It can change the way it looks almost completely, giving some of the old furniture a new glow. Even something as simple as having your walls painted can freshen up your room and update your interior design.

10 Questions You Should Always Ask Before Renovating Your Backyard

When you’re finally ready to tackle the backyard makeover that’s been on the back-burner for years, it’s understandable to feel a mix of excitement and feeling overwhelmed.

Let’s be clear: renovating your backyard is far from a small undertaking. Before you embark on this journey (yes, it is a journey), it’s critical that you think through your project carefully. To get started, here are 10 questions you should always ask before renovating your backyard.

1. What’s My Reason for Renovating My Backyard?

Before you start your renovation, make sure that you have a firm grasp on why you’re renovating your backyard in the first place. Which part of the yard do you believe could use an update?

Maybe you’re interested in creating a space that will allow you to do more outdoor entertaining—an area featuring a pool table outside or an outdoor kitchen. Or, perhaps you’re more focused on making over your deck. You might simply want to upgrade your landscaping to boost your home’s curb appeal. Knowing what project you want to tackle is an essential first step before you commence your backyard project.

2. Which Materials Would I Like to Use?

After determining what aspect of your backyard to focus on for your renovation, you’ll need to determine the appropriate materials for your chosen space.

If you’re creating a brand-new deck, you’ll need to decide between wood and composite deck boards. Various materials—ranging from natural wood to stone, concrete and aluminum—can give the space different looks, so choose those that fit with your style and desired decor. If you’d like to give your back entryway a vintage farmhouse vibe, be sure to incorporate distressed wood, brass hardware and things like rustic wall sconces into your plans.

3. What Budget Am I Comfortable With?

This is another incredibly important question to ask, as it will ultimately dictate how extensive your project will be. Be sure to establish a budget that will be adequate for transforming your backyard into a family-friendly space that you’ll love occupying with loved ones in the years ahead.

4. How Much Maintenance Am I Prepared to Do?

This is another important question, as various projects require varying levels of hands-on maintenance long term. If you’re doing getting new trees, consider their proximity to your home and whether you’re comfortable cutting off limbs later down the road; many prefer to leave things like tree pruning services to the experts. If you don’t think you’ll be able to keep up with the maintenance duties associated with a given backyard project, like a new pool, then you may not want to do that project. After all, failure to perform these duties will most likely lead to the need for more repairs and more expensive projects down the road. A lower-maintenance backyard project would probably be a better option for you.

5. What Structural Factors Should I Consider?

Ask yourself if any above-ground structures will impact your backyard renovation project. For instance, in your exterior landscape, you’ll need to consider the proximity of your target renovation area to surrounding structures or buildings. In addition, pay attention to utilities and overhead wires in the area. Also consider if you will have limitations when it comes to space below the ground in your yard.

6. What Soil Factors Should I Take into Consideration?

Soil factors are also important to consider as you begin your backyard renovation. For instance, what are your soil’s drainage characteristics and pH levels? Also consider your soil’s toxicity, texture, and compaction level. Be sure to also look for any evidence of the recent disturbance of the soil layer there, as well as the site’s erosion level.

7. What Are My Yard’s Sunlight Levels?

This question is also important to ask, as it may have an impact on where you build your backyard garden or set up your deck. Your yard may feature full sun, filtered light, partial sun, full shade, or partial shade depending on its position and your climate.

8. When Should I Do My Renovation?

Consider the best times to start your backyard renovation depending on the type of landscaping project you’ll be tackling and where you live. If you’ll be doing a project that involves concrete, note that concrete is sensitive to temperature. Ideally, you want to complete this project in temperatures over 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re laying pavers and bricks, you can do this in any season if you’re able to dig a few inches down.

9. How Long Will My Renovation Take?

If you have a target completion time in mind for your backyard renovation, start going over all of the steps you’ll need to complete—for example, acquiring permits—before you finalize your project. This will tell you whether your ideal timeline is realistic.

10. Who Should Complete My Renovation?

If you are an experienced DIYer, then completing the backyard renovation yourself may be a viable option for you. Otherwise, start seeking out bids from contractors. Be sure to verify that your chosen contractor has strong online ratings and positive references before hiring him or her to create your backyard oasis for you.

Start Renovating with Confidence

As you navigate the process of preparing for your backyard renovation, it’s important that you have a solid plan from start to finish. This is critical whether you plan to hire a contractor to handle your project, or you intend to complete it yourself.

Be sure to answer these 10 questions honestly and fully before starting your backyard oasis or garden project to ensure you’re on the right path in the weeks and months ahead.

Author Bio: Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional. She enjoys writing about events, travel, decorating trends, and innovations for the home, but also covers developments in HR, business, recruiting, real estate, and finance.

Image Sources

Image 1: https://unsplash.com/photos/ZxDX8D9HHNM

Image 2: https://unsplash.com/photos/hsm-jZyTNeo

Image 3: https://unsplash.com/photos/TcBSi3qHn80

How Seniors Can Get Exercise During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost everyone’s lives in some way. If you’re a senior, you might feel especially affected by the pandemic, because you could be considered “at risk” for contracting the illness or experiencing more severe symptoms. Seniors have been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic, which is why it’s extremely important to follow safety guidelines like wearing masks, social distancing, and staying at home as much as possible.

Because of those rules, you might not be able to get to your local gym or fitness center. Many of them have shut down across the country, anyway.

But it’s incredibly important for seniors to stay active, especially during these times of uncertainty. If you find yourself stuck at home or unable to get out as much as you might like, there are still ways to exercise every day. Developing a regular ‘workout’ routine will help you to get through these long days, and stay strong and healthy in the midst of this pandemic.

Why Exercising Is Important for Seniors

Regular exercise is important for everyone, but it should be a consistent part of your routine if you’re older. Studies have shown that regular exercise, along with a healthy diet, can help to reduce the risk of certain chronic illnesses, including:

*Heart disease




In addition to lowering your chances of developing certain diseases, exercise can also help you feel good every single day. It boosts your immune system, can give you more energy, and will even allow you to sleep better at night.

Additionally, exercise can help to lower blood pressure and increase bone density, both of which tend to be issues for people over the age of 65.

Without regular exercise, your health may start to suffer. When that happens as an older individual, it often becomes harder to take care of yourself properly. You may end up relying on family members or friends to help you, or you may have to look into an assisted living facility. While regular exercise certainly isn’t a “cure-all” or a guarantee that nothing will happen, it is a great way to take your health into your own hands.

Exercises You Can Do at Home

Thanks to advancements in technology, it’s easy to exercise from home on your own. If you do have a gym you regularly go to, look into any information they might be sharing online. Many gyms are offering tips or pre-planned workouts you can do on your own. Others are hosting Zoom classes that you could join virtually with all the friends you’re used to seeing.

If you want to try something on your own, check out YouTube for free workout videos that are made for all fitness levels and ages. Some of the most popular fitness channels include:

*Fitness Blender

*Yoga with Adriene

*Walk at Home by Leslie Sansone


All of these channels have a variety of videos you can look through to find workouts that fit your needs.

There are also no rules in place that say you can’t get outside to exercise. Doing yoga in the park or simply taking a walk around your neighborhood helps to reduce stress levels while you’re still social distancing.

If you’re finding it hard to stay motivated when it comes to staying fit on your own, you may want to consider gifting yourself a fitness tracker you can wear. These trackers log your daily steps, heart rate, calories burned, and much more depending on your preferences. They are great for keeping your motivation up when you have to play the role of your own coach or trainer.

What to Do if You Have Limited Mobility

Over 18 million people in the U.S. and Canada have to deal with mobility issues for a variety of reasons. Seniors often struggle with mobility issues due to muscle loss that comes with aging, or conditions like arthritis.

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to exercise and stay healthy. In fact, regular exercise could help improve your mobility while strengthening your muscles and bones. The same is true for seniors who may be recovering from a medical procedure or surgery. If you can’t see yourself putting on your running shoes any time soon, there are still safe ways to exercise and get your heart rate up, including:

*Walking while talking on the phone

*Ankle or heel stretches

*Walking up and down the stairs

This pandemic has been hard on everyone. But, if you’re a senior trying to stay safe and healthy, one of the best things you can do is to stay home and social distance. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you need to ignore your health and fitness. Keep some of these ideas in mind to make exercise a part of your everyday routine, and develop healthy habits that will last long after the pandemic has passed.