Get Inspired for Your Next Home Makeover
When looking to create a new look in your home or if you’re looking to move into a new home, most people will browse through a few decorating magazines or ask their friends and family for some inspiration… but why stop there?
Here are 4 of the best new ways to get your creative juices flowing and help inspire you to design an incredible new look for any room in your house:
It’s worth keeping hold of your holiday photos, not just for the memories but also for design inspiration. Whenever you’re away from home, be watching for a new look for your home. Take your camera along and get snapping. A color scheme in a Moroccan restaurant, an ornate wall hanging in a Parisian theater or even just a combination of colors seen in an English summer carnival can be all you need to dream up a wonderful design for your home.
2.) Television Shows
Have you ever watched Pride and Prejudice and wished you could live is a stately country home like Mr Darcy? The answer for many is yes and this is just one of the looks that have inspired would-be designers across the country to have a go at creating their own vintage look. Or perhaps you prefer something more modern, like the apartments seen in Friends or Sex and the City? You don’t have to copy the entire look exactly but a borrowed touch here and there can really look amazing. It’s worth paying attention to the TV shows that you love and getting inspiration from there.
Nature isn’t just about green and blue – there is a rainbow of colors out there to see – in a rainbow for example! Look closely at the colors of beautiful bird feathers or in wild flowers and you can find great combinations that will transfer easily into your home. You can even utilize nature inside your home as well, with stunning flower arrangements for your dining table or artistic landscapes hanging above your fireplace. If you are lucky enough to enjoy the sounds and smells of the English countryside in a particular room of your house, then try adding flowing curtains that will move in the breeze. You can find customized drapery by The Shade Store if you’re looking for a particular style to match your decor.
This may not seem as obvious as the others on this list but music can be a powerful motivator. Listen to your favorite album in the room you wish to decor and see what comes to mind. Do you see passionate reds, calming blues or vibrant pinks? Do you want leather furniture to reflect the drums in your song or would you prefer a soft bean bag chair and a fluffy rug to chill out to on a lazy afternoon? Music can help you come up with ideas you might not have considered before and will also give your room a deeply personal look that means something to you.
About the Author
Anna is a freelance writer with an interest in interior design and home makeovers. She loves working in a project, crafting, music and a good book. @a_jonesyjones
I recently had a friend ask me where the best places are to pick up free moving boxes. If you’ve ever had to move before, you know what it’s like to hunt down boxes for everything. No one ever KEEPS their boxes from the last time because there is never room for a million boxes! I did a bit of thinking and researching to come up with eight categories of where you’ll have the best luck.
1. Social Media
First, access your social media outlets – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Throw out a quick blip about needing moving boxes. Chances are that someone in your area just moved and would be happy to have you pick up their boxes rather than having to break them all down and hall them to the dump!
2. Local Grocery & Supercenters
Next, try local grocery and super centers. Walmart, Target, and your local grocery stores go through countless boxes each day. Make a list of those closest and give them a call before driving all around town. You may not have to look any farther!
3. Liquor Stores
If you’re still not having any luck, there are still several places left to call. Liquor stores are a good place to check out because they use sturdy boxes so the glass bottles don’t break! Again, I’m sure most employees would be happy to give the boxes away rather than taking the time to break them all down!
4. Coffee Shops
Coffee shops are another good place to check out, as they are constantly receiving shipments of syrup bottles and other merchandise. Call your local Starbucks or Caribou store to see when a good time would be to come in.
5. Book Stores
This was not an idea that came to mind right away but it makes perfect sense. Have you ever had to move boxes of books? It only takes one time to learn that A) books should be packed in SMALL boxes and B) those boxes better be darn sturdy. So, like liquor stores, book stores are definitely a good place to find sturdy boxes.
6. Apartment Complexes
If you live in a fairly large city, there are likely people moving around all the time. Apartment complexes would naturally have new people coming in and therefore needing to get rid of their used boxes. Call or stop by these different complexes and ask if there are any you can have.
7. Office Supply Stores and Newspapers
I grew up in a Newspaper family and we had tons of people coming to us over the years asking for used boxes. All paper reams come in sturdy boxes, typically with handles and lids. In my opinion, they’re only one grade down from plastic bins! Office supply stores obviously sell the same merchandise and so have the same type of boxes. These are the best boxes!
8. Online Resources
Finally, you can search Craigslist and FreeCycle for local areas and people who have free boxes. As always, use caution and common sense when meeting people through sites like these. They can be fantastic resources when used wisely!
I hope this makes the process a little bit easier on those of you facing a big move. It’s a lot of work but having the inside scoop can lighten the load! I am also uploading a checklist sheet for you as you search local spots for your boxes. It is at the bottom of this page.
And if you happen to be an expert mover, please feel free to share some of your secrets to finding free boxes in the comments below.
So you’re packing up and moving to Houston! You are headed in a great direction. Whether you’re transitioning for work or merely in search of a warmer climate, Houston is a happening city full of rich culture. From shopping, art, and entertainment to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, there is something for everyone.
If you happen to have kids in your crew, check out the Downtown Aquarium. It boasts a 500,000 gallon aquarium with more than 200 aquatic species from across the globe. In addition to the amazing aquatic exhibits, there are games and rides. It’s a fun attraction for the whole family.
The Children’s Museum of Houston is also a great place to visit. Inside, kiddos can tour Kidtropolis, the city for kids, run by kids! They can run for office, use an ATM, shop in the grocery store and even own a business. Along with having fun, kids learn how to manage money and work alongside their peers.
Sites & Attractions
Whether you have kids, or not, museums are a major advantage of Houston life. At the top of this list is the Houston Museum of Natural Science, which has eleven permanent exhibits, including Paleontology, Ancient Egypt and Energy Hall, as well as various special exhibits. One of the current popular exhibits in their planetarium is Experience the Aurora, which was created by photographers over the course of seven months using “all-sky” lenses in the Arctic Circle. It allows you to experience the Aurora Borealis, commonly known as “Northern Lights.”
And as long as you are standing in awe of the world we live in, you may as well take a trip to Johnson Space Center, where you can have lunch with an astronaut and discover what it’s like to live in space. There are several different tours you can take of the station. The advantage to actually living in Houston is that you can purchase annual memberships and if you’re a student or educator, you can participate in different camps and programs offered throughout the year.
Beyond museums, Houston offers all types of entertainment ranging from rodeos, athletics and parades to fine arts. The largest rodeo in Texas, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, lasts the entire month of March each year. Many people go just to see the concerts, whether you’re a country fan or not!
For free concerts and events, visit Discovery Green downtown. They have a wide selection of activities from yoga, young writers classes and boat rides to concerts and running trails for you and your four-legged friend.
Houston also has world-class entertainment in the realm of fine arts. The Houston ballet offers famous showings throughout the year like Swan Lake and the Nutcracker. If, like me, you have not had much experience with the opera, Houston’s Grand Opera will help you enter that world with ease. They have lectures and symposiums to prepare you for the real deal! For something more along the lines of Broadway musicals, you’re in luck. Houston actually has Broadway plays! Their theater schedule is bound to keep you entertained. Finally, our orchestra lovers are not left behind with the Houston symphony performing hits, such as the scores from the 2003 blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean.
If sports and athletics are your deal, you have a wide variety of choices from watching the pros to playing yourself. For major league baseball fans, pull on your navy blue and orange gear and take a trip to Minute Maid Ballpark in support of the Astros! NBA fans may choose to spend more time in the Toyota Center, cheering on the Rockets. Or if you want to get in on supporting the youngest franchise in the NFL, the Houston Texans joined in 2003. You could join this legendary fan base from its near beginnings! (Impress existing fans with a little trivia: there are two teams to which the Houston Texans have never lost – the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins.) Soccer fans have the Dynamos and though Houston rarely has natural snow and ice, hockey fans have the Aeros!
For the more shopping-focused crowd, you are in luck because Houston is home to the largest mall in all of Texas – The Galleria. The upscale mall hosts over 375 stores, several dining options, an indoor ice-skating rink, arcade and much more. The mall contains two Westin hotels and even has three office towers, one of which houses a financial center. A short distance from the mall will also lead you to one of the city’s most photographed location, the Water Wall.
If you are looking for a more laid back shopping atmosphere, Old Town Springs is your spot. The Springs has a long list of shops and places to eat as well as events like their Texas Crawfish & Music Festival. You almost take a step back in time when entering this historic, turn of the century railroad town.
After a long day out on the town, there is no doubt food will be on your radar. And Houston has whatever your taste buds are craving! They’ve got everything from Greek, like Niko Nikos to Tex-Mex. Tex-Mex is the most famous in the region so if you want something local, head to Pappasitos. At either of these places, count on getting there ahead of time because there is always a line for their spectacular dishes!
While there is enough within Houston to keep you busy for a long time, you are also not far from some really great spots. For instance, Glaveston, Texas is an hour from downtown Houston and has beaches, shops and restaurants.
About the Author: Victoria is trudging away in her Master’s classes while working for HireAHelper. She’s in love with her dog, Lilly, and enjoys summer thunderstorms, stars and road trips! Go Huskers!
That’s right, it’s official! Our friends at self-storage marketplace SpareFoot.com have declared that today is National Moving Day (the Tuesday after Memorial Day). It’s the busiest day of the year for self-storage facilities (the last Saturday in June is the busiest day of the year for movers according to our handy moving infographic).
Their research shows that moving is becoming a pretty popular activity (1 in 6 US adults moved in the last year) and as such, they wanted to kick off the busy summer moving season by sharing the results of their massive study on moving America as well as some tips from key moving industry players. Our very own CEO, Mike Glanz, was even mentioned!
Are you moving? Where to? What caused the move? A new job? School? Family? Leave a comment.
Do Movers Charge Extra for Stairs?
This question comes in all the time from people when they are getting ready to hire movers. It’s a great question to ask yourself as you prepare for those extra fees that always seem to pop up! However, after picking the brains of some of my veteran co-workers who have worked several years for HireAHelper and speaking with various other moving companies, I’ve discovered that most movers don’t charge extra for stairs, especially if you’re on the third floor or below.
It also depends on the region of the country you live in. For instance, the east coast has more movers who charge extra for stairs simply because so many of their customers live in high-rise apartments. As a girl from Nebraska, my first thought when hearing that some companies charge this extra fee was that it was just another way some moving companies try to gouge customers. But after imagining workers carrying couches and dressers down twenty flights of stairs, my heart softened a little for their choice to charge extra!
While there is no universal answer to this question, my best advice would be to ask each moving company about their particular stair policy. Another great resource is to check www.hireahelper.com as most of the helpers will specify in their description whether or not they charge for stairs. It makes it super easy to compare the different companies and their costs!
(Photo courtesy of Oatsy40 (flickr.com/photos/dionhinchcliffe/))
TL;DR – A move in town can cost between $200-$400 to rent a truck and hire loading help. A move across the country can cost upwards of $3,000-$5,000.
I almost feel silly writing an answer to such a big question in just one blog post, but it gets asked so often and searched for so frequently on the web that I felt compelled to offer some sort of guidance (read our more specific guide to New York moving costs here). How much your move will cost depends mostly on how large your pile of stuff is and how far you’re moving it. So there’s a pretty wide range of answers to this question. The fact that we spend twice as much on moving as we do on ATM fees* suggests that most Americans are spending too much on their move, unaware of the cheap moving options available right at their fingertips (*ATM fee stat source in our moving infographic).
For example, moving a 2 bedroom apartment across town within Los Angeles can be done for $355 ($325 for 2 movers through HireAHelper for 5 hours of loading and unloading + $30 Budget moving truck). But if you’re moving out of town or out of state the price goes up. Or, if you’re moving anything more than a small apartment, the price goes up.
That said, this post looks at how much it would cost to move a specific sized home a specific distance. The cost of your move may vary from these estimates, but you can bet if your move is smaller or shorter, it should cost less and if it’s larger or farther, it will cost more.
This post is written to answer the following:
How much would it cost to move a 3 bedroom house (contents equaling 7,100 lbs) about 1,240 miles from Los Angeles, CA 90032 to Billings, MT 59101?
$3,700 (Option #1) Hire Loading Help + Reserve Professional Transportation
The cheapest way to move, a la carte, is also my personal favorite because it gives you more control over your stuff and more say over who’s doing the lifting, driving, and unloading (Oh, and I work for the most amazing loading and unloading help website in the world. So I’m a little biased). Hiring loading and unloading help through HireAHelper.com for a 3 bedroom house (about 7,100 lbs in stuff) will cost about $940 (Breakdown: $470 for 4 helpers for 4 hours loading in Los Angeles and $470 for 4 helpers for 3 hours unloading in Billings, MT. Prices vary by location).
Reserving space on an ABF U-Pack Moving truck to move from LA to Billings is estimated to cost $2,791. You can also use a portable storage company like PODS or 1800Packrat to professionally transport your items across the country. Pricing might be even better through one of them, and they have some pretty amazing storage options in case you’re new house isn’t quite ready to move into.
$3,880 + gas (Option #2) – Hire Loading Help + Rent a Moving Truck
Similar to Option #1, this option is often called a “self-move.” hire local movers to load you through HireAHelper, but instead of having someone else transport your stuff, you’ve got to rent and drive a moving truck. You also have to fill it with gas. This option is more labor intensive on your part (long days driving, finding big parking spots, picking up & returning the truck, etc.) and costs more than option #1. The upside to this option is you are in direct control of your items at all times. You know exactly where they are at any given minute (because they’re directly behind you in the moving truck) and you have control over how long it takes. No waiting on delivery estimates from someone else. If your stuff doesn’t arrive to your new house on time, there’s only one person to blame.
$5,100 (Option #3) Full Service Mover or Vanline
The “simplest” way to go about moving across the country like this would be to call a big, national vanline. One with a long, reputable history as a pillar of the American economy. They’ve got agents all over the country and hundreds of trucks ready to move you anywhere, almost anytime. There are two GIGANTIC downsides to using a vanline for your move:
According to MoveSource’s moving cost calculator, a vanline move of this size is expected to run about $5,100!
- Damaged or Lost Items
According to a recent J.D. Power & Associates study, almost 1 in 3 customers of full-service moving companies reported broken or missing items during their move.
All that to say, your costs may be very different from the ones in this post. But at least now you know there are a few cheaper options. And if you happen to be doing that exact move, from Los Angeles to Billings or vice versa, let me know in the comments, and I’ll get you a discount on some loading & unloading help. Otherwise, lets talk on Google +.