How to prepare your home for a child

Welcoming a child into your home is an exciting time, but most properties need a bit of work before they’re ready for little ones. Here’s how to prepare your home for a new arrival:

Babyproof everywhere

Babies and toddlers are natural explorers with an underdeveloped sense of danger. Take these steps to keep your little ones protected in a home full of hazards:

  • Replace blinds with safe pulley systems and install cord safety devices
  • Keep wires out of the way and plug all unused power sockets with covers
  • Install safety gates at the top and bottom of staircases
  • Consider every surface and ensure all sharp, heavy, breakable or otherwise dangerous objects are out of reach, if not out of sight

Protect yourself against noise

The sound of children playing can be a joy, but we all need our quiet time. Here’s how to absorb some of that noise through home decor:

  • Purchase some thick rugs and cushions for their bedroom or playroom
  • Install thick curtains around your windows
  • Line your shelves with books
  • Fill cupboards and cabinets with towels and linen

Create a relaxing environment

Children respond to the environment around them. The following steps will help create a relaxed yet stimulating atmosphere in your home:

  • Reduce clutter
  • Install artwork that gives off peaceful vibes, such as landscapes or watercolours
  • Paint your rooms in calming colours, such as whites and pastels
  • Invest in furnishings to match
  • Buy some indoor plants (but keep them out of reach!)
  • Install mood lighting

Need more room for an expanding family? Contact Pickfords for expert local, national and international packing and removals. Click here for a quote or find out more.

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Making the Transition Between House Moves that Little Bit Easier

Say goodbye to a much-loved home and settle in quickly to a new place with these tips for a smooth physical and emotional move

Full article originally published on Houzz

Jo Simmons, Houzz Contributor

Moving house is so much more than simply relocating to a different place. When we leave behind a home, especially one we’ve lived in for a long time, we also leave behind all those years spent enjoying it. Children who were tiny when you moved in have grown into strapping teenagers under its roof. Friends have visited, meals have been shared and the small dramas of everyday life have been played out here, so it can be emotional to walk away.

Equally, settling into a new home that still carries traces of its previous owners can take time. So in the rush and chaos of moving, take time to celebrate the home you’re leaving behind and get set to enjoy the place you’re moving to with these tips for easing the transition.

How to Say Goodbye to Your Old Home

Take photos of it
Before everything is swept up into packing cases, take photos of your home. Document each room, so you can revisit it later. If you have children, snap them, too, enjoying the house as usual: drawing at the kitchen table, playing in the garden, chilling in front of the TV. You are aiming to capture an emotional record of your house, as well as images of its beautiful kitchen or big windows.

Moving to a smaller home? Discover how to downsize happily

Snap it messy!
Take pictures of your home on a typical day, when it’s not clean and tidy. This will provide a more meaningful snapshot of your house and how you used it.

You could arrange all these images in an album, with the address and the dates you lived there on the front. This serves as a lovely record of your time, but also a realistic account. If you have mixed feelings about moving on, honest images of all the good and bad elements of your last place may help you feel more positive about your new home.

 

Leave your mark
Why not leave a little something of yourself behind, before you move out? No, that does not mean a sink full of unwashed coffee mugs! Try something more subtle.

You could go for the classic time capsule, hidden in the loft. Or write a letter to the new owners, welcoming them to the house and explaining what you loved about it. You could even sign your name somewhere and date it, perhaps on the ceiling inside a cupboard or on the rafters in the loft.

 

Hold a goodbye party
Celebrate your home and the life it has given you with a goodbye party. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already started to pack – your guests can happily negotiate a few boxes. String up some lights, play some music and enjoy the house with the family and friends you’ve shared it with over the years.

Toast your home
Raise a glass to your home, perhaps during your goodbye party or simply with your family. Moving is stressful and busy, but it’s important to pause, look around and say, ‘Cheers!’

How to Settle into Your New Home

Clean up
When you arrive in a new home, nothing looks, feels or even smells the same way, which can feel very unsettling. So start by cleaning surfaces, floors and inside cupboards with some familiar, fresh-scented products to help make the place feel like yours.

Browse these ecofriendly cleaning tips

 

Get fresh
Fling open the windows on the first day, too, to air the rooms and freshen up the whole house. In the evening, light a few scented candles.

 

Grab a few goodies
Piles of packing boxes and empty rooms do not help a house feel like a home, so treat you and your new place to a few goodies that will make it feel special. Arrange some fresh flowers, simply bought at the garage on the way to the house or picked from the garden, or buy some quality hand soap or a few new towels. When you are facing days of unpacking chaos, these little touches can really cheer you up.

 

Don’t forget the pets!
Dogs and cats may also take a while to settle into a new home, so try to ease the transition for them, too. When you arrive at your new home, shut the cat in a single room for safety, with water, a litter tray and her bed.

You can let your cat out at the end of the day to explore, but confine her to a few rooms so she doesn’t feel overwhelmed. Cats should be kept in the house for a week or so to prevent them trying to return to your old home.

Discover more beautifully designed kitchens

 

Do right by your dog
Dogs should be introduced to the house by you. Keep them on a lead and take them around the key rooms, one at a time, allowing them to sniff and explore, but under your supervision. You wouldn’t expect guests to run all over the house, upstairs and down, the moment they arrived, so don’t let your dog.

Point out where his bed is and even keep upper floors out of bounds at first, so he doesn’t feel overwhelmed by his new territory.

 

Personalise the place
Paint a wall, hang up photos or order some new blinds. Even if the rest of the redecorating will take months, a few small tweaks can really help you start to stamp your personality on your new home.

Find lots of wonderful home products on Houzz

Host a house-warming
Sharing your new home with family and friends can help you to bond with it, so host a party – no gifts required. You might like to invite new neighbours, too, as a good chance to get to know them, or simply keep it small and intimate.

How to prepare for moving in [10 tips]

Once you’ve booked your home move, there are several things you can do to make the day go extra smoothly. As well as preparing your old property for moving out (see last week’s blog), there are things you can do in your new home to prepare for delivery of your belongings:

1. Set out the essentials
Make sure every room has working light bulbs, and pop some loo roll and hand-wash in the bathrooms.

2. Clean everywhere
Pre-delivery is a great opportunity to carry out a deep clean of your new home before your belongings get in the way.

3. Take lots of photos
If renting, be sure to document any existing damage to the property to avoid unnecessary repair fees at the end of your contract.

4. Set up your utilities
Make sure your electricity, gas, water, TV licence and broadband are set up so you’re home is habitable as soon as you’re unpacked.

5. Sort out some snacks
Have some refreshments ready for everyone involved in the move.

6. Plan the new layout
Decide where your furniture and effects will go in each room so everything can be put into place quickly on arrival.

7. Make room for rubbish
In your layout plan, set aside a place to discard packing materials and keep empty cartons until they can be collected by your removal company.

8. Book any post-move services
Arrange a professional for any items that will require technical installation upon delivery.

9. Check your inventory
Track down your item list and read it through before your delivery arrives so you know exactly what to expect on the day.

10. Plan your evening meal
Sorting through belongings is hard work, so the last thing you’ll want to do is cook. Book a restaurant or track down the nearest takeaway for a post-move-day treat!


Ready to move? Contact Pickfords for a free removals estimate, or request a callback today.

How to manage your time in moving limbo [infographic]

When moving home, there’s often a gap between the time you sign for your new property and when you actually move in. We call this ‘moving limbo’. And while this waiting period can seem like an eternity, there are plenty of ways to distract yourself and stay productive in preparation for move day:

Managing your time in moving limbo


Moving limbo coming to an end? Contact Pickfords for a complete packing, removal and storage service. Find out more or get a quote today.

How to prepare for moving out [10 tips]

Once you’ve booked your home move, there are a few things you can do around the house to make packing and moving out go extra smoothly. Follow these tips to prepare your home for the big day:

1. Clean your attic or loft
This helps the removal team see everything that needs to be moved, ensuring nothing gets forgotten.

2. Disconnect, drain and dry all white goods
Ensure ease of movement for your fridge, freezer, washer and drier on the day.

3. Take down all curtains, blinds and fixtures
This will save a lot of time on move day. Make sure all pictures, mirrors and other hanging objects are taken off the walls.

4. Fold all bedding and linen
Lay everything out on the beds, ready for packing.

5. Pack all electronic devices in their original packaging
If not possible, your removal team can use specialist packing materials for your devices.

6. Clear out your garage or shed
Clean and bundle together any tools for easy carrying.

7. Arrange for your pets to stay with a neighbour
This prevents them becoming unsettled on move day.

8. Dismantle any fitness equipment
Another great time saver.

9. Wrap plants in newspaper
This protects them from drafts and stops the leaves bruising.

10. Set aside any items for storage
This ensures they can be easily identified by the removal crew on the day.


Ready to move? Contact Pickfords for a free removals estimate, or request a callback today.

What plug? An expat guide to power outlets [infographic]

When moving abroad, most electricals are compatible between different countries, but only with the right plug. There are a ‘shocking’ number different of sockets, and it’s easy to get confused as to which type you need for your destination country. Stay ‘current’ and find out which adaptor you’ll need with our handy infographic:

Plugs


Ready for your move abroad? Contact Pickfords for expert international packing and removals. Click here for a quote or find out more.

How to turn people off your home

Selling up? In this volatile housing market, small changes can make a big difference to the saleability of your home. To maximise buyer interest in your property, here are a few things to avoid:

Clutter

Forget letting your home feel ‘lived in’. Tidy, open rooms help buyers mentally fill the space with their own belongings. Put away, get rid of, or put into store anything that could be seen as clutter or mess.

Family photos

Leave your home too personalised and buyers won’t be able to see themselves living there. Keep visible family photos and other personalised items to a minimum.

Keeping everything in its place

Your current home layout may be functional, but opening up the space will increase buyer interest. Achieve this by:

  • Pushing furniture back to the walls
  • Reducing the number of visible chairs and coffee tables
  • Swapping out your flat screen for a smaller model
  • Putting up some mirrors, especially in the hallway

Dodgy DIY

DIY done right may save a bundle on labour costs, but make a mess and you risk putting buyers off. If in doubt, hire a professional.

Out-pricing your street

There are lots of great ways to increase the value of your home. But far outpace the value of your neighbours’ properties and yours will be seen as too expensive for the area.


Ready to move? Contact Pickfords for a free removals estimate, or request a callback today.