Archive for June, 2011

5 Options for Dealing with Your Kids’ Stuff After They Move Out

Empty Nesters, opportunity awaits! Your kids have all moved out and your chance to reclaim some space has arrived. You may have been secretly planning your redecorating strategy for some time. It’s OK, no need to feel guilty. You’ve waited long enough for this day, and at considerable cost – both financially and personally. So let’s consider some ways to reward yourself, and even help others.

Here’s a list of five options for dealing with your kids’ stuff after they’ve moved out:

  1. Donate – Goodwill Industries or the Salvation Army are a couple of good options that can make good use of those items you don’t want to hang onto or store away. Why not put those clothes to good use and spare some other parents the expense of keeping their offspring in $100 jeans?
  2. Have a Yard Sale – You can help finance that vacation you’ve been holding off, by selling those items at a yard sale. Just don’t expect to actually get 100 bucks for those jeans. Make sure and put the furniture in the sale too. Now that you have them out of the house, you could use the money from the sale to redecorate their room.
  3. Consignment Stores – This option is sort of a cross between the previous two. A consignment store will put your merchandise on display and sell it for you (you can negotiate pricing beforehand). They’re an appealing alternative to retail stores for the family on a tight budget, and will save you the hassle of setting up and manning a yard sale at your house.
  4. Put it in Storage – Provided you’ve got either the space of your own, or the money to pay for storage, this option allows for the kids to reclaim those items that they may not have had room for when they moved out. There are definitely going to be things that you don’t want to give away or sell. It’s ok to hold on to it for awhile. They want to pass those baseball cards and matchbook cars down to their boys someday.
  5. Build a Shrine – Be honest. You miss them already. And you just know that eventually they’ll be moving back in. You’re a parent and it’s natural to have a hard time letting go. So face it, you’ll keep their rooms and closets just the way they left them. And you are very right about the moving back in part. At least once, they’ll be back for a few months or weeks. You might as well have it ready for them.

Whichever option you choose, just make sure that you and your spouse savor this time to be just a couple again. You never know when your kids’ old rooms are going to be filled with grand-kids and their toys. See? So many more memories for you to make after all.

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10 Most Common Types of Pictures People Hang at Home

Walls in our homes are the place we love to decorate with images from our heart. When it comes to pictures, we enjoy framing many things that have meaning to us. It doesn’t matter if others will not understand. We do it because of what it represents to us. There is no rule or set of standards for what is important. Every person has the freedom to express themselves. With them, we say something about ourselves, and what we cherish. Here are the 10 most common types of photos people often hang on their wall.

  1. Family. There is not much that is closer to our hearts than our family. We love to put up those pictures of our kids, since they grow so fast. Plus there are the ones of our parents or grandparents, that always are very important. Each represents a generation, one coming to be and the other behind us.
  2. Famous People. Maybe there is some celebrity or person from history who is personally inspirational. Having their photos on the wall can remind us of things we cherish.
  3. Vacations. Taking a once in a lifetime trip is something we all love to remember. Seeing the photo, from the place we only have had a chance to visit once, can often bring a smile to our faces.
  4. Collections. If we have a hobby where we collect items, we may want to show it off to others. If it is something we restored, or an item that is very rare, we might have even more reason to display that picture.
  5. Special Events. Who wouldn’t want to capture some holiday or reunion in film? It might be something we only went to once and is filled with lots of great memories.
  6. Scenic Spots. Perhaps some place is beautiful to the point that looking at the picture just relaxes or makes us feel calm in a unique way. Nature is often the subject of photos that are displayed in our homes.
  7. Friends. Best friends are such a cherished part of life. We can spend so much time with them like they were siblings. Having a candid shot of them can demonstrate the place of honor they hold in your life.
  8. Humor. Life has its stress points for all of us. Being creative, and having pictures that make us laugh, can be just what we need; a reminder of the fun moments of life.
  9. Pets. They are such dear companions in many ways. Capturing them in a moment of cuteness is just irresistible. Once they are gone, it becomes a memorial of sorts.
  10. Memories. Graduations, weddings and those moments we want to relive over and over, just deserve a place on our wall. They let us visit a time, we wish to enjoy more than once.

The wonderful thing with pictures is how they express something about a time in our lives, or a place we dream about, that has made an impact on us. In our homes, we acknowledge their prominent place in our lives by allowing them to live on our walls.

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10 Ways to Help Your Dog Get Used to a New Home

Moving from your home to a new residence can be a tense and stressful time, for your dog as well as for you. Here are a few useful tips to help both you and your dog have a low-stress move, and to help your dog accept and adapt to the new home.

Prepare your pet for the move.

  1. In preparing for a move to a new home, leash-train your dog well ahead of time, so that you can keep control of the dog during the move, and while familiarizing the pup with your new home.
  2. Another important step is to be sure that your dog is crate-trained. A crate gives your dog a home-within-a-home, a safe and comfortable place to be when the dog is confused or fearful, both during the move and once in the new home.
  3. Just before loading your pet for the move, be sure that all of the dog’s immediate needs are met; that he or she has been played with, fed and watered, and allowed to urinate and/or defecate.

Prepare your new home for your pet.

  1. Examine the home, from both human and dog’s eye level, to eliminate or secure any hazards to the dog, such as chemicals, poisonous plants, or tempting electrical cords. Also, see that there are no irreplaceable valuables within reach, that your dog may damage or destroy, or worse, that may be a choking hazard.
  2. Immediately on moving, you should set up the dog’s crate, some favorite toys or possessions, and the dog’s own food and water dishes, in order to give your dog a sense of the familiar, as soon as she or he arrives.
  3. Be sure that all doors and windows, and outdoor fences and gates, are secured against your dog’s possible escape, before allowing the dog to roam and explore.
  4. Before the move, it’s a good idea to choose a veterinarian that you feel comfortable with in your new locale. Trying to find and choose a vet in an emergency that happens during or immediately after a move can waste precious time that your dog’s health and well-being may not be able to afford.

During the move, and once you’ve moved.

  1. It is usually best to make the actual move with your dog in its crate, or otherwise secured safely and not allowed to roam free in the moving vehicle, just as you would with a child. Be sure that your dog is on a leash before exiting the vehicle, and immediately begin familiarizing the dog with the area outside your new home. Walk the perimeter of the yard, allowing your pup to sniff and explore while secured at your side. If there is a particular place that you want to designate for urination and defecation, take the dog first to that area and offer praise and perhaps a small treat as soon as either has been done.
  2. If the new yard is secure, this would be a good time to play with your dog, and associate the new location with fun and connection with you. This would also be a good time to introduce a new toy and offer another tasty treat or two.
  3. After potty and play time, re-leash and bring your pup into the new house and to the area where the crate, food, water dish, and familiar toys have been located, before you continue to explore the rest of the new house with your dog.  After you allow the dog to explore and become familiar with the new house, a meal and some time to relax together is appropriate.

These steps will help make the move easier for your dog to settle in and understand that this is now home. Remember though, that your dog will take cues from you and your family. If you are relaxed and cheerful about it all, your dog will be relaxed and accepting of it all, as well.

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