Home Maintenance Tips for Winter Allergies

Most of us think of summertime as the season for allergies. In this latest installment of our Home Maintenance series, we have advice on reducing dust, molds, pollens and other microscopic airborne particles that wreak havoc with sinuses during winter. Windy days bring their share of dust, and it is a big job to keep on top of it, especially if your family suffers from allergies or weak sinuses.

Drink Water.

The very first thing you can do for yourself to combat the ill effects of winter allergy symptoms is to drink lots of water. If you tip down three large glasses of water first thing in the morning, you might be surprised at how much that helps alleviate allergy symptoms, completely naturally. Although the thought of pounding that much water first thing might not seem too appealing, it can’t hurt, and you may be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Now back to the remedies requiring sheer elbow-grease!

Home Maintenance for Floors, Baseboards and Molding.

Take a stiff-bristle broom and sweep everything before vacuuming, even rugs where hair and dander can get trapped. Vacuum the floors, and with the brush attachment, vacuum all the baseboards and hard to reach floor areas. Fill a bucket with warm water and vinegar or floor cleaner, and using rubber gloves and a sponge wipe all the baseboards and walls. Squeeze out the sponge until practically dry and wipe down all pictures on the wall to get rid of dust and fly droppings.

Air Purifiers and Filters.

If you live in a particularly dusty or dry area, then cleaning out air filters and purifiers should be on your home maintenance list. At least twice a year call in professional cleaners to vacuum them out. Professional HVAC maintenance personnel will also recommend the proper filtration system for your home, based on square footage, number of pets and children, and proximity to dust creating environments, like highways, construction, etc.

Other Filters.

Consider investing in a vacuum with a series of filters for maximum trapping and dust containment. You can also keep windows closed and run a home purifier continuously.

Windows.

The funny thing about windows is that you never notice them until they’re dirty! Keep windows sparkling by cleaning them on the inside, and spray television dust repellant on the glass. This home maintenance tip pays dividends as it creates a slick surface that dust won’t cling to. If you have a lot of window blinds you want to treat, you can mix a batch of your own DIY dust repellent. How cool is that?

Call All Reasons Moving at 408-240-0244 for a no-cost, no-obligation estimate for all your moving needs.

Moving Efficiently with your Family, Friends or Pros – Part Two

Moving Efficiently: Tips for Organizing a Move

Welcome to Part II of Moving Efficiently. A little bit of pre-planning will help you organize your move. Whether family, friends, or hired moving professionals, no one wants to waste his or her time. It may sound a little self-serving to say “get the most from your helpers.” The truth is that people who help you will be happier when your  pre-planning saves them time and frustration.

People want to feel needed. They want to know that their time spent has made a difference. So do yourself and your helpers a favor by planning ahead for moving.

Last time we recommended assigning people to manage the specific tasks, including team leads who are responsible for supplies and food. This time we focus on how to stage work so that when help arrives, they can carry out their focused tasks quickly and efficiently.

1. What you must do first.

By now you’ve already decided whether you will have (or have had) a garage sale. There should be no trash in any closet or drawer. If there are items not moving with you, get them out of the way. The goal is to have your  helpers focus on packing anything they see. It’s a time waster if something gets packed when it shouldn’t.  And vice versa.

2. Have supplies at the ready.

By this point, you’ve assigned the task of purchasing moving supplies. On move day, their job is to make sure that every room is equipped with enough boxes, paper, tape and markers. That way an entire room can be packed quickly and efficiently. It’s frustrating for your moving helpers to have to rummage and search for scissors, a misplaced Sharpie marker, or run out of moving boxes.

3. Stage the work.

Direct your assistants where to focus. We recommend packing the least needed items first, and the most needed items last. This serves two purposes:

  • You will have access to your more needed items for the longest time, and
  • Your most needed items will be packed onto the moving truck last and will be unloaded first.

Label drawers or closet shelves so that people will know where to focus on packing first. When everyone knows their assignments, you’ll find the work gets done faster and you’ll save energy. You’ll need it… for when you unpack!

Call All Reasons Moving at 408-240-0244 for a no-cost, no-obligation estimate for all your moving needs.

Moving Efficiently with Family, Friends & Pros – Part One

Tips for Organizing and Moving Efficiently

Moving a home can be very stressful. Whether you’re organizing a team of family members or if you’ve hired pros like us, a move takes coordination. Chances are you won’t be performing every moving task on your own. You’ll be assigning tasks to your moving team. Many of us are not familiar with project or task management. Here are some tips to help you make your move more efficient.

Assign Team Leaders to Manage Certain Areas.

Even children can be responsible for some jobs. Moving can be a traumatic process. Making them feel part of the team can help. A huge time-waster is people standing around not sure how they can help. Or worse, having multiple movers doing a task that should only take one person.

Make a list of jobs and who is responsible. Then, tape it in a prominent place so your moving team can refer to it without having to bother you, the move manager.

1. Supplies Manager.

Not being able to quickly and easily find supplies is one of the biggest time wasters during a move. Several days or a week prior to move day assign someone purchase needed supplies. We recommend having these moving supplies on hand:

  • scissors
  • box cutters
  • strong tape and dispensers
  • Sharpie pens or other permanent markers
  • disposable cameras
  • extra moving boxes

Add anything to this list you think you might need and make sure you have enough. We recommend setting up a supply area in each room. That way each moving helper can manage himself.

If you don’t hire professional movers to supply wrapping paper and other moving supplies, you will need to use one of our handy charts to determine how many of which kind of boxes and how much paper you will need.

2. Food & Water Manager.

Moving is an extremely labor-intensive, tiring… okay, an exhausting job. Not only are you using your body intensively, often mental fatigue accompanies moving as you sift through precious belongings, making myriad decisions about them moment by moment. You need to keep up your and your team’s strength, and most importantly, stay hydrated. Assign one person (who can drive) to be responsible for maintaining a food and hydration table in a centrally located place. This person can also arrange for lunches and dinners between packing duties.

Call All Reasons Moving at 408-240-0244 for a no-cost, no-obligation estimate for all your moving needs.

Moving A Home Efficiently Tip: Add Music

Use Fun, Upbeat Music to Increase Home Moving Efficiency & Foster a Better Mood

Moving a home is generally known to be a stressful time. It is a time of renewal, change, discarding the old, and moving into the new and uncertain. The sheer physical requirements of moving a home are tiring. Now add the emotional component. It isn’t surprising that you may feel overwhelmed and exhausted when dealing with all the loose ends related to moving.

Why think about music during a home move?

Human beings are drawn to rhythm and music in widely varying forms the world over, from infancy until old age. Music brightens our world. It lifts our spirits and can change our outlook on things. It can calm, invigorate, inspire or make one nostalgic. Music is a universal language. And you can use it to your advantage during a home move.

Our advice: Put on some tunes!

When faced with a particularly distasteful moving task, like cleaning out the garage or basement, grab your iPod or your mini-speakers. Hook them up to your laptop or other favorite music system. If you have internet access, Pandora offers a way to build your own radio station with endless variety.

Blast it out! A lively salsa, peppy jazz, or just some good old fashioned rock ‘n roll will do wonders to keep your feet moving, your mind occupied with happier thoughts, and decision-making (as in what to throw out!) a breeze.

At All Reasons Moving we understand the human side of the home moving experience. Our clients aren’t robots; neither are their friends who are often on hand to help. Like plenty of good food and water, keep your movers happy and productive with rollicking tunes. After all, many companies play background music to inspire certain paces and behaviors. For example, visitors to Disneyland are hard-pressed to find a corner of the park unattended by peppy, upbeat chords. Is there any reason your home moving experience shouldn’t be at least as pleasant as the music at Disneyland?

At the final moving destination, be sure your tunes are within easy reach, too. They should be among the first thing you unpack. It’ll keep your mind clear, your feet moving and your face smiling.

Call All Reasons Moving at 408-240-0244 for a no-cost, no-obligation estimate for all your moving needs.

 

Home Maintenance: Painting Accent Tips

Home maintenance doesn’t just mean repairs. Sometimes we just need a change of pace, a refreshing pick-me-up. If remodeling or moving is out of the question, here are some tips for how to get a new bang out of familiar rooms for a fraction of the cost and with minimal time.

Painting Accents is Home Maintenance

In a previous post in our home maintenance series we discussed painting just one accent wall in a room. This quick, easy project can be done in a day! If you already love the paint colors in your room, try sprucing up one or all walls with these ideas.

  1. Faux painting. Using glaze paints, you can dab on layers of complementary colors with sponges or rags. This is an “adding” technique; there are also removing techniques, where you paint on a complementary color, then take some of it off by rolling old rags across the surface at random angles. Both techniques result in a marbled, faux effect that can be quite beautiful especially on an accent wall.
  2. Stenciling. Craft and hobby stores carry an assortment of stencils, stencil brushes and special stenciling paint. If you want a row of seashells as a wall border in the bathroom, or flowers around a window these are super fun do-it-yourself art projects. All you need is some masking tape to hold up the stencil while you dab in the paint.
  3. Stripes and masking. It’s easy to mask off lines, multiple lines at angles and straight-edged shapes for quick designs. Use masking tape and butcher paper to mask off the lines and shapes not to be painted.

TIP: When using masking tape, using the original (not the new) paint color and paint along the edge of the tape where the new color will meet it. No matter how hard you press, no masking tape is 100% seep-proof. By painting the original color along the edge of the tape, the original color will seep through a little. When you paint along the edge of the tape with the new color, the original paint will already have sealed off the tape edge, so the new color can’t creep underneath it.

Call All Reasons Moving at 408-240-0244 for a no-cost, no-obligation estimate for all your moving needs.

Home Maintenance: Clean Bedding for Better Health

Yes, All Reasons Moving is a home moving company, and we’re so much more! Because we care holistically for our customers — not only at point of move — we post regularly on home maintenance, inside and out. Tips include how minimizing clutter saves time and money, how managing the mechanics of your home — from window runners to kitchen disposals. These not only add to the enjoyment of your home while you’re still living in it, but will also help fetch top dollar upon selling, and keeping down moving costs!

With so much to gain, every small step taken to keep your home fresh, clean, safe and in good repair affects all of these positive outcomes. Renters and landlords also reap tremendous benefits from regular property maintenance.

Take Small Steps.

We steer off a yearly home maintenance calendar provided for us by Kelsey Lane, Realtor with Coldwell Banker, and there are lots of additional resources online and by specific retailers and manufacturers where you can find not only great tips on more detailed maintenance, but also product recommendations. This month’s focus is on linens and bedding.

Kill Dust Mites.

The main reason to deeply clean and air out bedding, whether on your bed or stored in the closet, is to kill dust mites, spores and other allergens. Dust mites are invisible to the human eye, and over time their minuscule droppings and body parts accumulate in the weave of mattresses and pillows, so much that in 10 years a mattress’s weight could literally double from the detritus. Mites feed off human skin shed during the night, and thrive in a moist, humid environment. Studies show that mite populations increase most during hot, humid months.

Wash Sheets and Pillowcases.

The most important thing you can do is wash sheets and pillow cases at least weekly either in very hot water (most home washers don’t get hot enough due to safety regulations), or with mite-killing detergent or additives. Once everything is washed, vacuum mattresses and pillows, then encase them in allergy-barrier casings to prevent mites from making a permanent home in your bed.

Other Home Maintenance Preventions.

Mites don’t only live in bedding, however. If you or family members suffer from extreme allergies, or wake up every morning with runny eyes and stuffy noses consider removing carpeting from the house, or at least from bedrooms, or install a HEPA filter. Pet hair and dander increase the presence of dust mites, pollens and other allergens. Your home maintenance routine should include regular vacuuming and deep carpet cleaning.

Call All Reasons Moving at 408-240-0244 for a no-cost, no-obligation estimate for all your moving needs.

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