So, it’s been a month since you moved into your new home. The empty boxes are stacked in corners like miniature Leaning Towers of Pisas and you are missing some key pieces of mail. The moving checklist guided you day by day, but now that the moving storm has subsided, how do you complete the settling in process?
Ready for the best news ever!? Unlike your two-month long moving-in check list, there is a short list of tasks that will not only ensure you don’t miss the next People magazine, but will also help Mother Earth and others in need. Too good to be true? You can thank me later. Follow these five steps and you will forget you ever moved.
1. Boxes! Boxes!
To truly feel moved in, the first task is to get rid of all the empty moving boxes. So many of us are guilty of just leaving the empty boxes in the garage or attic to gather dust. Instead be green and save green by asking your moving company if they have a box return program. For instance, NorthStar Moving Company will give you back 25% of the original cost of their boxes if you return them.
Other ways to reuse boxes is to flatten them and put them out on recycling day or use them for storage of keepsakes, holiday décor and other items you only need on occasion. The most creative and inspirational way to reuse moving boxes is to join the Global Cardboard Challenge to celebrate child creativity!
2. Mail Yourself
Does your mailbox seem light? While you may be thankful to not be getting all of your bills you certainly don’t want to miss a due date. Check in with the post office to make sure they have your mail forwarding service set up correctly. Then send a friendly postcard to yourself, address it to you at your old address and wait and see if it gets forwarded to your new address.
3. Update Your Driver’s License & Consider Becoming a Donor
No one enjoys visiting the DMV and the good news is you don’t have to! You can change your address online. You must report your new address within 30 days of your move to the Department of Transportation Registry of Motor Vehicles.
This is also an opportunity to revisit being an organ donor. You can register to become an organ donor on your state’s DMV website as well. The number of donors willing to make organ donations are not growing as quickly as the number of people who need them. 20 people in the United States die each day while waiting for organ and tissue transplants. The number of patients in the U.S. waiting for transplants is currently over 116,000 people. Even more are waiting for much-needed tissue transplants.
While you are on the subject, consider a program to donate your whole body. The organ donor symbol on the back of a driver’s license is different from body donation, they are completely separate programs with entirely different consenting processes. Only 1% of organs donors specify to donate their whole body. There is a great need. You could potentially make a difference in the lives of many people.
4. Survey Your Stuff
After a month of living in your new home you now know what furniture, kitchen tools, artwork and even clothes fit into your new place. Rather than stumbling over the stuff that you don’t need, give it to someone that does need it and will give it a good home.
Create two labels: “donate” and “give to friends & family.” Donate clothing and household items that don’t have sentimental value to your local favorite charity such as Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore for someone else to enjoy.
For the items that are sentimental, keep them in the family by giving them to loved ones. But, don’t just hand it to them, throw a party, a reverse housewarming party! Instead of having your friends bring a housewarming gift, ask them to pick one (or more) of your items and take it home with them. This is a great way to reunite with old friends and meet new friends after your move. Your unneeded things will be in a home where you can visit them often.
There is no “debate” that every American needs to cast their ballot, so it is vital to register to vote. Your voter registration does not move with you. If you move within your existing county, you must complete a new voter registration form to update your new address. If you move to a different county or state, you must re-register with your new county and/or state.
Visit the EAC website to download and print the National Mail Voter Registration Form. Once you have completed the registration form, mail it to the address listed under your state in the “State Instructions.”
See, in just five steps you are now clear of moving remnants and clutter, sipping coffee with your New York Times and are the shining example of being a responsible citizen. Enjoy your new life!
We have organized the guide into three sections: Before the Move, Moving In and Baby Proofing.
By NorthStar Moving Co-Founder Laura McHolm
On the move with a little mover in tow? Every parent knows having a baby at home is an adventure. Take that everyday baby voyage and mix in moving your home, now your adventure is more like a hike up Mt. Everest! Here’s the good news, if you plan ahead and take simple steps that trek will become a walk in the park (well maybe not, but a manageable stroll up hill.) Before you pack up and gear up for the baby + move exploration, check out this complete guide for parents moving with a baby to ease the stress and enjoy the transition.
We have organized the guide into three sections: Before the Move, Moving In and Baby Proofing. You can think of it like pregnancy, nesting and then labor!
Before the Move
Stick to Routine: Baby’s love and need their routine. Don’t let the moving to-do list and packing get in the way of your regular daily routine. Instead of pulling an all-nighter to pack, try to pack over a long period of time. Use naptime and baby’s early bedtime to get packing done in bits. Baby & parents need their sleep!
Create a Moving Calendar: To keep your head from spinning, it is best to plan your move 8 weeks out. Here is a Moving Day Count Down Calendar to copy, print and hang it up where you can easily refer to it while feeding the little one. This way you can take it day-by-day and get the satisfaction of checking off moving to-dos!
Use Childcare: During the actual moving day, when boxes and furniture are being moved, little ones should be somewhere else. Ask a trusted babysitter, friend or family member to take your bundle of joy for the day. It is also ideal to use childcare for days leading up to your move so that you can get more done on your moving calendar. There are great nanny and babysitting services that help you find qualified childcare.
Talk To Your Current Pediatrician: Your pediatrician is a great resource. If you are traveling long distance, ask them for tips for keeping your baby happy on a plane or long car ride. If you need to find a new pediatrician, make sure you get a copy of all of your child’s medical records to give to your new pediatrician. Get copies of all your child’s prescriptions and have them called into a pharmacy near your new home. Ask your current pediatrician for recommendations on how to find a new pediatrician close to your new home. When finding a new doc, it is recommended to set up a meet and greet appointment as soon as you move.
Pack a Baby Bag: You know the daily drill; pack half the nursery to carry with you wherever you go. Well, this time the baby bag (box or small suitcase) should include all of your needs for three days (if you’re moving a long distance, you may want at least one month of supplies with you rather than on the moving truck). Once you move into your new place, you may not have easy access to diapers, baby food, pacifiers and the important squeaky toy. So be sure to pack everything you need for three days (or more) in one place that you keep by your side for easy access on moving day and the first few days after.
Unpack the Nursery First: When moving in you should set up the nursery first. This will allow you to change your baby and easily put them to sleep on the first night in your new home. Arrange the nursery as closely as possible to your previous nursery. The familiarity will help you and your baby in the transition.
Setting Up The Crib: All new cribs on the market today meet the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). When setting up a new crib or reassembling your crib look for the following suffocation and strangulation hazards:
- Sharp or jagged edges
- Missing, broken or loose parts
- Loose hardware
- Cut out designs in the headboard or footboard
- Crib slats more than 2 3/8 inches apart (width of a soda can)
- Corner post extension over 1/16 of an inch high
- Gaps larger than 2 fingers width between the sides of the crib and the mattress
- Drop side latches that could be easily released by your baby
Use Safe Bedding: Soft bedding can suffocate a baby, blocking the baby’s airway during sleep. Babies can suffocate when their faces become wedged against or buried in a mattress, pillow or other soft object. Use a safe crib with a firm, tight-fitting mattress covered with a crib sheet and nothing else in it. To keep your baby warm, use a sleep sack (wearable blanket).
Baby Proofing the New Home
I turned to the uber knowledgeable folks at Safe Kids Worldwide for a Baby Safety Checklist:
Crawl Through Your Home: The first step to a safe home, say the experts at Safe Kids, is to look at the world through your baby’s eyes. See what looks interesting and what can be reached. And I mean it literally – get down on your hands and knees in your new home and check for small things your baby can choke on. You will be amazed at what you discover! If you question if an item is a choking hazard, take an empty toilet paper roll and put the small object in it. If it fits completely into the roll, don’t let children under 3 play with it.
Test Alarms: Have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors inside all bedrooms, outside all sleeping areas and on every level of your new home. Test alarms monthly and change batteries once a year.
Install Gates: Install stair gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Stair gates at the top must be attached to the wall with hardware.
Secure Furniture: Secure furniture to the wall to avoid tip overs.
Check Windows: When decorating your new place, be sure to use cordless window coverings.
Mindful Unpacking: When unpacking, be sure to lock up medicines, vitamins, cleaning products, pet food, alcohol, poisonous plants, and chemicals (like paint, gasoline, etc.) and store them high out of your baby’s reach.
Your baby’s arrival was certainly the most blissful and incredible life change. Now you get to start the next chapter together in your new home. A home that is safe for your little one to play, grow and explore!
Laura McHolm is an organizational, moving & storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award winning, “A+” rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services. www.northstarmoving.com
When Coldwell Banker and Adopt-a-Pet.com announced they would once again work together to help find homes for adoptable shelter dogs, the sales professionals at East Tennessee’s Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, Realtors® knew they wanted to join in.
After participating in the “Homes for Dogs” project for the past couple of years, we wanted to do something really unique to help extend our mission of guiding the way home to deserving adoptable pets in our area.
First, we decided to continue our work to support the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley, our local Adopt-a-Pet partner. We reached out to the HSTV staff to find out which adoptable shelter dogs might need a bit of extra love and promotion to find their forever homes. After putting out a call to our agents and our community, these posts were shared hundreds of times, reaching approximately 30,000 social media users.
So far for the month of September, the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley has posted “Gotcha Day” photos for more than 50 adopted dogs on their way to their new homes, including the ones we shared in our campaign!
Spreading the Love with Wish List Donations
The second part of our project with the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley was collecting items from the shelter’s wish list at each of our six area office locations. We placed special donation containers in our office lobbies and people were invited to drop off greatly appreciated items. Our agents also took part, spreading lots of love with donated items.
We were able to donate six large bins of much-needed items to the shelter, to add a little comfort for those adoptable shelter dogs and cats that haven’t yet found their fur-ever families.
Gone to the Dogs Event
As part of this project, real estate agents at our Farragut office went to the dogs, literally! They hosted a special event on Friday, September 8, complete with doggie costume contests, a puppy photo booth, and delicious snacks for both human and canine attendees.
They also collected items for the Humane Society’s wishlist and used this event to spread awareness about the “Homes for Dogs” initiative. This fun event was a huge hit and everyone was on their best behavior, including some of the more frisky pups.
Helping Show the Way Home
The final part of our project was a special “Homes for Dogs” Open House event. Finding homes for adoptable shelter dogs is a wonderful undertaking, but we’re also in the business of finding homes for people. Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, Realtors® ran a featured ad in our local newspaper and held a number of properties open on September 10 as part of this special event.
We invited the public to visit any of our open houses that day where they were able to register to win one of six GPS pet trackers being given away. Our intent with this aspect of the project was to help a few beloved pets make sure they always find their way back home.
Our company is lucky to have called East Tennessee home since 1936 and since then, we’ve had the honor of helping thousands of neighbors find their Knoxville home. Many of our more than 350 sales professionals are passionate pet owners, and they were thrilled to take part in this campaign to help find loving homes for adoptable shelter dogs in our community.
Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, Realtors® is participating in the National Pet Adoption Weekend and the Homes for Dogs Project during September by promoting adoptable dogs and holding a special “Homes for Dogs” Open House event on Sept. 10th.
Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, Realtors® has been showing East Tennessee the way home for more than 80 years, and we’re excited to once again extend our mission to help find homes for dogs in our area.
Dogs Make a House a Home
Since 2015, the Homes for Dogs partnership with Adopt-a-Pet.com has helped find homes for thousands of deserving shelter dogs.
But it’s not just the dogs who benefit from being part of a loving home. There is research that shows how dogs can positively impact our psychological as well as physical health. It isn’t a coincidence that you feel better coming home to your dog after a long stressful day. Studies have found that during heart rate and blood pressure testing, patients were calmer and had better test results when a dog was present.
Plus the exuberance dogs show when you start to put on a pair of sneakers is a great motivator for enjoying more active time spent together outdoors.
Helping Dogs in East Tennessee
Coldwell Banker’s Homes for Dogs project is now in its third year, and at Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, Realtors® in East Tennessee, we are ‘doggone’ happy to be taking part again.
All across the nation, real estate agents are doing their part to participate in the National Pet Adoption Weekend September 9th and 10th, 2017.
In Knoxville, we will be working with our local Adopt-a-Pet partner, the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley. First, we’ll be promoting adoptable shelter dogs with our “10 Days of Dogs” campaign on social media. Beginning September 1st, a different shelter dog will be featured each day across all the company’s social media platforms. We hope that by helping to showcase some of these amazing furry friends, they will be that much closer to finding their forever homes.
We’re collecting items from the shelter’s wish list at each of our six area office locations. We have placed special donation containers in our office lobbies where consumers can drop off greatly appreciate items that we will deliver to the shelter. Click here to find a list of items needed by the shelter.
Finding Homes for All
Since we’re also in the business of finding homes for people, real estate agents at Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, Realtors® will be holding a number of properties open on September 10th as part of this special event. We invite the public to visit any of our open houses that day and register to win one of six GPS pet trackers being given away. We’re hoping to help a few beloved pets make sure they always find their way back home. Consumers may also bring donated items for the shelter to any of our open houses on Sept. 10th.
Our company has been fortunate to be part of the community in East Tennessee since 1936. It has been our great honor to help thousands of our neighbors find their Knoxville home for more than 80 years. Many of our more than 350 sales professionals are passionate pet owners, and they look forward to taking part in this campaign to help find homes for dogs, our favorite four-legged friends.
Source: Coldwell Banker Blue MatterBlog
Coldwell Banker and Adopt-a-Pet.com Host the Homes for Dogs National Adoption Weekend September 9-10, 2017
Su Amsden and Casey Lukowski with Coldwell Banker Coastal Alliance in Long Beach, California, have always had a love for animals. So when Coldwell Banker launched a program to help find homes for adoptable dogs three years ago, they immediately got to work on hosting an adoption event in their own community.
“It was a no-brainer,” Amsden said. “There are thousands of shelter animals who need homes. Adoption gives them a second chance at life.”
On September 9-10, 2017, hundreds of Coldwell Banker Real Estate offices and animal shelters across the country are joining Coldwell Banker Coastal Alliance for the Coldwell Banker Homes for Dogs National Adoption Weekend. The event is part of the “Homes for Dogs Project,” a program launched in 2015 by Coldwell Banker and Adopt-a-Pet.com, North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website.
In 2015 alone, the project helped facilitate more than 20,000 adoptions through a national adoption weekend and countless local events like the ones Su and Casey hosted. Coldwell Banker made the “Homes for Dogs Project” the centerpiece of its advertising campaign to raise additional awareness. This past spring, the real estate brokerage dedicated its March 2017 commercial “Somebody to Love,” to the program, which was was applauded by the New York Times and rated one of the highest ranking ads of all time by Ace Metrix.
“Coldwell Banker is a unique position to touch local communities because of the sheer scope and passion of our network,” said David Marine, senior vice president of marketing, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “The ‘Homes for Dogs Project’ is more than just a campaign. It’s a unified movement that we can all rally around and know we are making a difference.”
Amsden and Lukowski agree. “Our event brings awareness to the community and is a great morale booster for the volunteers, most of whom are agents who work hard at what they do. This really brings joy to everyone involved,” said Lukowski.
Want to participate in the Homes for Dogs National Adoption Weekend? Visit: http://www.adoptapet.com/homesfordogs.
Inman Connect San Francisco brings together more than 4,000 of the most important people in real estate including top-producing agents and brokers, CEOs of leading real estate franchises and tech entrepreneurs to embrace and leverage the change that surrounds real estate.
Coldwell Banker showed up big this year. From the stage to the lobby Gen Blue was seen and heard – reminding the industry why it is real estate’s most iconic brand.
Below are some highlights from the week.
The President and CEO of Coldwell Banker, Charlie Young, gave an inspiring keynote from mainstage about how the Empowered Agent is bringing positive disruption to real estate and is a force to be reckoned with.
Charlie also wrote a piece for Inman on how to identify, embrace and support these talented specialists as we look to the future.
Lindsay Listanski, Senior Manager Media Engagement for Coldwell Banker, ran a social media crash course on how to implement geographic marketing using Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
The audience ate it up and so did Inman. Lindsay’s presentation was packed full of how-tos, best practices and helpful tips on how to take your social media marketing to the next level and wow your sellers. You can catch her full presentation here.
David Marine, Senior Vice President of Marketing, predicted the future of real estate marketing. Spoiler alert: the future is video. He covered everything from local television advertising to how to effectively use video to bolster your listings. He also addressed how real estate brands should think about using tools like Zillow and Trulia to their advantage.
Agents and brokers heard from Nest CMO Doug Sweeny about the future of the connected home and received a preview of what Nest is doing to support real estate Smart Home specialists.
Come back to CB Exchange for a new suite of marketing assets next month!
The networking and fun continued at the invite-only Coldwell Banker cocktail party – Smart Cocktails and Smart Conversations.
Even if you weren’t there in person you can catch up on everything you missed right here:
- David Marine on Why You Should Consider Advertising on Local TV
- David Marine on Zillow and Trulia
- Sam DeBrod on Why Brokerages Still Matter
- Terri King on the Value of a Franchise Brokerage and Coaching Your Team
- Charlie Young on Mainstage: The Empowered Agent
- Lindsay Listanski on Geographic Marketing using Facebook, Instagram and YouTube
Coldwell Banker sales associates can also stay in the know with Gen Blue News. Now available on Amazon Alexa, just enable Gen Blue News on your Amazon Echo or Echo Dot and say “”Alexa, Open Gen Blue News” or download the podcast through iTunes.