Moving House? Here’s How To Make It A Bit Easier

They say that one of the most stressful things a person can do is move home. It’s a major life upheaval, and can be pretty exhausting from start to finish.

However, there are a number of ways that you can make your life easier during the process.

First up, stop trying to keep everything in your head. Unless moving house is the only thing that is currently going on in your life, you’ll tire yourself out before you’ve begun! Make lists off all the different tasks you can do. The first list should be for admin tasks and things to do with your estate agent and buyer. You can then make more lists for each room in the house, and what you need to do. Then, once you’ve compiled all of the lists, prioritize. Some jobs will become more expensive the longer you put them off, so add these to the top of the list too.

Once you’re to do lists are done, make a budget plan. You probably won’t be able to stick to it, but having an idea of how much money you might spend could be handy. By seeing the different costs written down, you might be able to see clearer where you can save money. You might notice a certain figure next to something and think; “Wait, I can definitely get that for cheaper!” Having a house moving budget will also keep on track, and prevent you from spending money unnecessarily.

Next up is getting help from outside sources. No, we’re not talking about your estate agent! Let your family and closest friends know that you are moving house. Before you even need to ask, they’ll probably offer a helping hand. If they do, take them up on the offer. You would do the same for you. Arrange an afternoon for a few of them to come over and help you pack things into boxes. If you lay on some snacks and a couple of beers or bottles of wine, they won’t mind at all. Play some music or have the TV on in the background, and it will make a kind of party atmosphere.

During the house move period, your current house will descend into chaos. There is pretty much no way around this. But what you can do is reduce the amount of chaos you’re faced with. One method to ease up the process a little is to use a storage company, like Space Maker. Pick a company that offers self-storage. Once again, this reduces levels of stress, because you can access your space whenever you want. You also aren’t at the mercy of extra charges every time you need to go and get something. Pick a storage center close to either your new or old home, to save travel time.

Soon enough, the time to actually move house will approach. For this to be less stressful, you’re going to need the right size of transport. The last thing you want is finding out that you can’t fit all of your items into the van! When it comes to getting quotes, they will ask you how much you have that needs transporting. It can be tempting to say less than you have, in the hope that it will lead to a lower price. However, you then run the risk of not fitting everything. In the long run, this is going to cost even more. Your transportation company might not have the time to do more than one trip, and even if they do this will be a real hassle.

Here is another suggestion. If you can swing it, book the days leading up the move, and the days immediately preceding off work. This will give you a lot more time to deal with things. It will also mean less stress. Dealing with work responsibilities alongside house move responsibilities could lead to a bit of a meltdown! If you are moving with a partner, ask them to get time off too. If you have children, you might want to hire a childminder. Or, consider whether or not you have friends or family who can look after them for a few days. Moving house is hectic enough without needing to think about changing nappies or feeding hungry mouths.

Throughout the process, it’s really important to keep your eye on the prize. Let it slip and you will start to wonder if selling your home and buying a new one was worth it. Something as simple of keeping a photograph of your new house can help. When things start to get too much, take yourself to one side and get it out. Remember that once this is all over you’ll be settled into your new home.

Credit: Don O'Brien, Flickr
Credit: Don O’Brien, Flickr
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Planning a Niagara Falls Honeymoon on a Budget

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For over two centuries, Niagara Falls has been a popular destination for honeymooning couples all over the world. Although the U.S-Canada destination may not be known by its previous title of the ‘honeymoon capital of the world’, it certainly still attracts thousands of newlywed couples thanks to its spectacular views and potential for making happy, lasting memories. If you are dreaming of a Niagara Falls honeymoon, you might be wondering how much it will cost. Thankfully, a romantic Niagara Falls getaway doesn’t have to break the bank – with careful planning and preparation, you can keep the cost of your trip down as low as possible.

Set a Honeymoon Budget

When you visit Niagara Falls on your honeymoon it can be seriously easy to overspend. Not only are there plenty of activities that you’ll be wanting to do, there are also a lot of shops, shopping malls, souvenir stalls, markets, restaurants and bars where you could easily spend all your money if you don’t have a budget to stick to. If, like most couples you have a wedding budget which includes the cost of your honeymoon, don’t forget to include spending money in that budget as well – or you could come home poorer than you bargained for!

Finding a Hotel

With the huge range of hotels in the Niagara Falls area, there is no need to spend a ton of money booking a deluxe honeymoon suite. When it comes to choosing a hotel there are many different price ranges for you to choose from or you could even look for a bargain by choosing accommodation that isn’t in the main tourist area and hiring a car or using public transport to getting to the falls area.

Honeymoon Packages

Because the Niagara Falls area is so popular with couples enjoying their honeymoon, it’s no surprise that there is a range of different honeymoon packages that you can choose from which could result in your saving money overall. Packages which include accommodation, entry to the main attractions and activities along with meals can be a lot cheaper than paying for everything separately. If you start looking early enough, you can find lots of different bargains on honeymoon deals online.

Dining

When it comes to dining in Niagara Falls you can find plenty of restaurants that have a wonderful romantic atmosphere without the huge price tag. Many of the restaurants situated at the Niagara Falls offer great prices, and along with the stunning views of the falls this makes them ideal for budget-savvy honeymooners who aren’t too bothered about getting a fine dining experience. You can find a great selection of restaurants on both the Canadian and U.S.A. side of the falls – perfect for couples who want to make the most of their trip by visiting both sides.

Avoid Expensive Attractions

When you’re choosing which attractions you want to see at Niagara Falls, it’s a good idea to steer clear of anything expensive and instead focus on the natural beauty and attraction of the area. The best thing about Niagara Falls it that it costs nothing to actually see the majestic waterfalls, so you could genuinely spend a day there without spending a penny and still see the stunning views. The falls themselves are definitely the main attraction as they have been for centuries, and there are plenty of perfect points where you can use the waterfalls as a gorgeous backdrop for honeymoon pictures of the happy couple. If you cross to the U.S. side, the falls are set in a national park and there are a lot less tourist attractions – you can cross via a footbridge when you show your passport.

Planning What to Take

When packing, it’s a good idea to keep in mind the type of weather conditions around the falls at the time of your honeymoon. If you’re planning a summer wedding in June, July or August and will honeymoon straight after, you’ll be visiting at the warmest time of the year – but remember to take a raincoat in case you get close to the falls, as you will get sprayed by the mist. November-March are definitely the coldest months to visit Niagara Falls, so if you are planning a winter wedding then make sure that you pack your warmest clothes. Don’t forget about currency exchange, either – even if you’re travelling over from the U.S.A. you’ll need to make sure that you exchange your cash for Canadian dollars.

Share your own Niagara Falls honeymoon (or even general travel!) tips in the comments.

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How to Create a New Summer Wardrobe without Spending a Fortune

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We all love to wear new clothes. Retail therapy is the ultimate feel-good exercise and if you are on a bit of a downer, a trip down to your local mall is the best way to perk your mood up again. The problem is that buying new clothes and shoes can be expensive.

Celebrities have it easy – all they have to do is mention a particular designer in a tweet and almost immediately, that designer will send them free samples to promote the brand. The rest of us have to save up our hard-earned cash if we like to wear upmarket designer labels. The good news is that you don’t need to buy designer labels to create a fun and funky summer wardrobe. There are lots of ways to reinvent your closet without spending a fortune, so if you are bored with your current set of clothes, read on for some useful tips on how to shake it up a little.

Find Out What’s in Fashion

There is no point throwing everything in your closet away before know what’s hot and what’s not. You may discover that some ancient garments tucked away right at the back have been there so long they are now back in fashion.

Start reading fashion magazines and look at who’s wearing what online. Websites such as Instagram are ideal for budding fashionistas. Millions of women post photos of their favorite outfits, so start following the most inspirational accounts you find.

Online and offline research will give you a good idea of the latest trends and which styles are in right now. Once you have a fair idea of what to look for, you can go through your closet and remove any items that don’t fit the mold. Hopefully, you will be left with a few evergreen garments, such as a little black dress or a white tee shirt that can be reworked with a few up-to-date accessories.

Figure Out Your Style

We don’t all suit the same styles. Body shape plays a significant part, but personality matters too. Just because your best friend looks fantastic in bodycon dresses and sky-high heels, it doesn’t follow that you suit the same style. In order to create a new summer wardrobe, you need to figure out what suits you – and what doesn’t. There will be an element of trial and error during this process, so be prepared to experiment until you find your unique style.

Look for Bargain Buys

Replacing everything in your closet is an expensive process, but it is possible to keep your costs down by creating a capsule wardrobe and only investing in bargain items. The best way to do this is to go shopping online.

There are lots of online women’s clothing retailers to choose from. You can browse from a selection of the latest fashions, all from the comfort of your armchair. Order as much or as little as you like and then wait for it to be delivered. If the items fit – great – you can add them to your summer closet, but if they don’t, it is easy to send them back to the store for a refund.

Thrift Shop Finds

Don’t always assume that new garments are the only option. You can easily create stunning outfits if you mix and match thrift shop items with one or two brand new garments. For example, say you find a cute pair of retro denim jeans in a thrift shop; you could wear these with some new leather sandals and a plain white tee. The key to success is to think outside the box and don’t dismiss a used item on the basis someone else has worn it first. More often than not, people sell their used garments on eBay for peanuts and these items have hardly been worn, so you could pick up some excellent bargains.

Get Creative

Making garments is not as difficult as you might think. There are lots of patterns and technical resources available online and as long as you have access to a sewing machine, it shouldn’t take you long to create a few cool garments. The best bit about making your own clothing is that it will be unique. How cool is that?

Don’t forget to mix and match items to create lots of different outfits. That way you won’t need half as many garments as you think. A few statement pieces of jewelry and some nice shoes will completely change an outfit, so get creative and see how many different looks you can make from your new summer wardrobe.

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