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Thursday, August 27, 2015

house number six - a "before" tour

It really was love at first sight for me.  Fifteen years ago on my very first visit to Charleston, SC, I fell in love with this city's beauty and charm; and I dreamed of one day calling it home.  It's been almost a month now since we closed on our home here, and I still wake up feeling like I'm on vacation......or like I'm still dreaming.........despite the unpacked boxes (yes, we still have boxes to unpack).

At first look, I loved the double front porches but wasn't crazy about the green color of the house .....but it's growing on me.....and I have some plans.  Initially I wasn't looking for a "new-ish" house.  I wanted something old with lots of character and tons of potential.  When our home in Kentucky sold (the original inspiration for the blog - hence the name "our fifth house") I was ready for number six to be an oldie but goodie and tackle a full-on renovation project.  But, as it turned out, this sweet young house is the one I fell head over heels in love with and the one where I could see my family living in for years to come.  She's got that fresh out of college, bright eyes, I can take on the world outlook, and I'm pretty pumped that I get to be her design mentor.  ;)

What I loved about the house, besides the open floor plan, gorgeous hardwood floors and backyard view, was the way I could see my family living in this space.  I had plans to give you a full empty house tour, but my camera battery died mid photo shoot.  And of course the charger was packed......and I couldn't find a store that carried a charger that would work for my battery...........and so there went my game plan.  So instead I'm going to give you a mix of empty room photos that I shot the day we were handed the keys and some photos from the MLS listing (so you can see how it looked when we toured the house).

I'm a fan of the glass paneled double front doors which let in tons of light in the entry foyer. The foyer is pretty large compared to any foyer we've ever had, and I can't wait to get started decorating this space. 

Watch out for our guard dogs!
The room to the right is what the previous owners used as a sitting room/living room, but since my hub works from home I'm setting it up as his home office/ the bar room. 

There's a little bathroom in the hallway leading to the kitchen, and I have big plans that may or may not include a fun wallpaper.......maybe.

I've showed you the kitchen before and shared my plans to give it some Phillips family personality.

 I liked that the stairs are off the kitchen, and I really love the open floor plan which is something we haven't had in a house since house #3 (in Richmond, VA).   The dining area leads right in to the living room, so while I'm cooking and cleaning up I won't be separated from all the family action.

The living room leads out to the screen porch which is what sealed the deal for me with this house.

I fell in love with the backyard view.  This house backs up to a large pond, and it is just so, so beautiful!

The backyard is pretty much a blank space, and I've got all kinds of fun ideas to make the backyard a great place to entertain. 

I'm pretty sure I squealed out loud when I opened the door to the laundry room/ mudroom while we were touring the house.  That built-in makes my organization-loving heart ridiculously happy.

The master bedroom with it's three large windows stays really light and bright throughout the day. 

And I'm pretty pumped about the fact that the hubs and I now have separate closets.......

..........and separate vanities as well. 

When we toured the house my hub thought this space at the top of the stairs was a giant waste of unusable space, but all I could see was the potential to carve out the perfect home office for myself.

Both kids have a decent sized bedroom.  This room is my boy's room, and it's already been painted.

This is my girl's room, and she's requested a light pink for the walls.

The guest room is a nice size, and it's at the top of my design to-do list as we've already got a bunch of upcoming guest visits on the calendar. 

This is the family hangout room and I have a bunch of fun ideas swirling around in my head for this space!

These little dormers are going to be so much fun!   I can't wait to get started!

So that's the before house tour friends.  Even though we won't be tearing down walls or gutting the kitchen and bathrooms (at least not any time soon.....maybe in 20 years or so) I hope you'll come along for the ride as we give house number six a big dose of Phillips family personality.  We're all excited to be living in our dream city, and I can't wait to let the decorating and design adventures begin!

Friday, August 21, 2015

weekend diy - days of the week hangers

Admittedly, calling this a "diy" project is a bit of a stretch.

diy days of the week hangers

I mean all you need is some wooden hangers (grab a 20% off BB&B coupon and get you some) and a big black Sharpie (hit up The Home Depot, Staples or even Walgreens sells them I think).  

diy days of the week hangers

Why do you need days of the week hangers?  Well, need is the operative word here.  I'm using them in my little girlfriend's closet because the good Lord knows if we don't pick out her school clothes for the week in advance we will never make it to school on time.........and I mean never.  Our back to school routine involves choosing a weeks worth of outfits on Sunday evening. 

I used command hooks (Target) that I prettied up with black and white striped ribbon (Michael's) to create a " weekly wardrobe station" on the back of her closet door. 

simplify your morning routine - create a weekly wardrobe station on the back of a closet door

As each day passes she knows exactly what to put on when she's getting dressed in the morning.

mom tip  - create a weekly wardrobe station in your kids closets to make morning routines run smoothly

Creating a weekly wardrobe station and choosing the outfits for the entire week on Sunday evenings is the one mom tip I swear by.  It really does make a world of difference in our daily morning routine!  It just makes the week run so much more smoothly!

mom tip  - create a weekly wardrobe station in your kids closets to make morning routines run smoothly

It's such a simple thing yet it makes such a huge impact! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

moving? - painless packing & unpacking tips

As many of you already know my husband and I just moved our family from Lexington, Kentucky to Charleston, South Carolina.  What you may not know is that was our eighth move in fifteen years of marriage!  #wheresourprizepackage  I'd say we've garnered enough experience to start our own moving company, which is why a couple weeks ago I shared my five best tips for a less stressful move.  Today I'm sharing a list of simple tips and tricks to make the packing and unpacking process less of a headache. 

If you google packing or moving tips you'll find an abundance of information on the web.  Most of which is great information to prepare you to make a successful move.  You will find everything from color coded systems to detailed inventory lists and those are good, better yet great ideas; but in my experience the ideas that work best are the ones that are the simplest to execute.  Because the truth is moving is a TON of work and anything that adds to the work just makes things more complicated.  So here's my list of 15 packing and unpacking tips that are easy to execute and really do help to make the process a little bit less chaotic.

Moving?: 15 painless packing and unpacking tips

1.  Boxes are boxes.  But all packing tape is not created equally.  You want the good stuff.  Go ahead and splurge for the good packing tape.  I've personally found Scotch Brand packing tape to be the best.  And no, I'm not being paid to say that.  There is nothing worse than a packed box busting open because the tape didn't hold together.   #askmehowIknow

2.  Speaking of boxes, check Craig's List and your local grocery stores for used boxes.  Many times people who have just moved in will either sell or give away their used boxes.  Many grocery stores are happy to let you have what they would be putting in their recycling bins.  And when you get to your new place and you've unpacked be sure to do the same.  *We just sold a bunch of our broken down boxes via Craig's List. 

3.  Use what you have for padding.  The most expensive packing material is bubble wrap and packing paper which is what you'll need to keep breakables safe and secure in transit.  But, before you go out and buy a bunch of packing supplies look at your stuff and figure out what you already have that can be used for padding.  Comforters, blankets, sheets, towels, dishrags, socks, scarves, sweaters, jeans and even purses can be used to pack and pad those valuables.  

packing tip - use what you have to wrap and pad breakables

4.  Label the top and sides of boxes.  Be specific.  Write not only the room but also the contents.   For example - Kitchen, dish towels, pots and pans.   Labeling will make the unpacking and finding of things much simpler. 

5.  Anything that can't be replaced, don't pack.  Move those items with you.  Grandma's casserole dish or that special Christmas plate with your kid's handprints on it is not something you will want to risk breaking, and the truth is there is really no rhyme or reason to what ends up breaking in transit.  Sometimes it's the items you double, triple, quadruple wrapped with bubble wrap and then padded with fleece blankets that end up cracking into a million pieces.  So don't risk anything that is precious or too valuable to replace.

6.  Make friends with a pack of post-its.  When you get to your new place use post-its to label drawers and cabinets and even closets, so you'll know exactly where you're going to put things when you unpack them.  This is super helpful especially if you've got a friend or family member helping you unpack.  It's a giant waste of time to have to keep explaining to people where things are supposed to go. 

unpacking tip - use post-it notes to label where things will go

7.  Speaking of friends and family, don't be afraid to ask for help.  Like most things in life, it takes a village. 

8.  If you're using a moving company, use post-it's to label the door of each room, so the movers know where to put your boxes when they arrive.  It's a giant pain and waste of money having to move boxes around your new home after the movers have left.  #youpaidthemtodotheheavylifting

9.  Use a notes application on your phone to write down how many boxes you have in each room, so you can take a quick inventory upon moving in to your new place.  If you know you've got 15 boxes in the kitchen and only 14 show up at your new place, you'll know one is either missing or has been put in the wrong place. 

10.  Put a big star on the top and sides of those boxes you want to be sure to unpack first.  If you have 15 kitchen boxes, seeing one with a big star on it will make it easier for you to get the keurig machine unpacked right away.  ;)

11.  Some things don't ever really need to be unpacked.  For example, you might just want to keep your old dance recital costumes and high school yearbooks packed neatly in a box.  Label those boxes so that you know what's inside, and mark them so you know you don't need to bother opening them.  You really don't need to waste your time unpacking things that don't need to be unpacked.

12.  Wear something with pockets or put on a tool belt when you're packing and unpacking.  Sounds crazy, but there is nothing worse than constantly misplacing the packing tape, your big black sharpie or the box cutter.  #aintnobodygottimeforthat

13.  Create a game plan for both the packing and the unpacking.  What rooms do you want to pack or unpack first?  The game plan can work like a checklist to help you make sure you didn't forget to pack anything.  It also helps you to feel accomplished at your new place as you start crossing rooms off your list. 

14.  Set a timer and then stop and walk away.  When it comes to unpacking it can feel really overwhelming.  Moving into a new place comes with a list of things you need to accomplish from finding new doctors and registering kids for school to getting a new driver's license and figuring out where to grocery shop.  It's a lot to take in all at once so I recommend biting off the unpacking in chunks.  Whether you decided to unpack a handful of boxes a day or you choose to set aside an hour or two each day to devote to unpacking until you get it all done, I think doing a little at a time makes it feel less intimidating and ultimately makes the process less stressful. 

15.  Last but not least, organize as you go.  It might make the unpacking take longer, but it will be so worthwhile in the long run if you take the time to organize each cabinet, drawer and closet as you unpack and put things away.  I know it's easy when you're staring at a mountain of cardboard boxes in the middle of your kitchen to throw up your hands and just start shoving things anywhere you can, but in the end that is only going to make more work for you later on down the road.  Try to really take the time to think, sort and organize each item as best as you can up front to make your life simpler once you get unpacked and settled in to your new place. 

There's no doubt that moving can be super stressful and really overwhelming, ummmmmm........ ask me how I know...................

moving? packing and unpacking tips

but I always try to look at the positive side of things.  And the truth is moving is also an opportunity to hit the reset button as it forces you to purge, sort and rethink not only what you have but also where you keep the items you own.  If you have any tried and true packing and unpacking tips to share I'd love for you to share them in the comments section below!

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