Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, a lovely retired greyhound, and a wife to a great husband. Needless to say, there are a lot of daily messes to clean up around our house. Daily Messes is my blog to share ideas on things to do with your kids, snack and meal ideas, crafts, and holiday fun. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

We've Moved! Part 2: My Tips

In this whole moving and selling process, we also learned a few things from our old house. I thought some of these might be helpful, so here are my learnings:

Fix things as they come along. We lived in our old house for 10 years and it was the first house either one of us had bought. We knew that there some things that needed to be done, but kept putting them off. Well, when we wanted the house to sell quickly, we knew we had to tackle those items. Cramming everything into a couple of weeks is a lot harder than just doing them as needed along the way. Plus, we were working so hard we didn't get to relax and enjoy the way the house looked. We had the hardwood floors sanded and restained after we pulled up ugly carpet and found good, but stained, wood floors. The water heater had been dying a slow death and we knew that it would have to be replaced before we put the house up for sale. We also finally tackled the kitchen. When we bought the house, it had small pink floral wallpaper, floral laminate floors, and a mauve/pink kitchen counter. Right after we bought the house I removed the wallpaper, but the floor and counters stayed the same. We knew that the kitchen would hold everything back. We also knew that we didn't have the budget to completely redo the kitchen, so we resurfaced the counters with Rust-Oleum Counter Top Transformation kit (we went with the Charcoal). It turned out great! We also applied a new laminate floor to help update the kitchen.

I learned a few things about kitchen updates too. Read the reviews. Amazon.com is a great place to read reviews on products. I received a lot of tips on the counter transformation kit, such as measure your space and buy an extra kit if you are close. We measured at 30 square feet of counter top, which theoretically could be covered with one small kit. However, after reading reviews I bought a second kit to make sure I had enough. Sure enough, I didn't have enough of the base coat with just 1 kit. Make sure you apply a thick base coat and work with two people. Have a bright light or flashlight to shine over the counter to make sure you didn't miss any spots. Cover and tape off everything. We thought the fridge and stove were fine, but ended up finding the decorative paint chips and a fine layer of dust everywhere, including inside the stove! It is a messy and dusty process, so make sure you cover your floors, etc.. My husband closed off the doorways with plastic drop clothes and it helped keep the rest of the house clean. It turned out great and it was a lot cheaper than buying new countertops!
Before, During, and After Pictures of the Kitchen

We also used Restore Concrete Restore kits on the porch. The back porch had a few spots where the concrete was different colors of grey. We used Restore to help make the color all uniform. The product has mixed reviews online, but it worked great for us! Our local Home Depot paint department gave us lots of tips that helped us be successful. You need to have this product mixed in the paint mixer and mixed well. You will still need to use a paint stir stick to help stir it before you use it (make sure you stir from the bottom of the can). The textured pieces tend to sink to the bottom of the can even after just 1 day of sitting. This is thick and textured, not smooth like paint, so go slowly. I found that going in a W shape helped make sure I had more consistent coverage. If you are painting next to your house, place pieces of cardboard or dropcloth against the house. This product will splatter as you roll it and it is really hard to get off of railings or your house.

Bubblewrap is awesome! Of course it helps protect the fragile items from being broken, but once we moved and were unpacking it helped keep the boys busy popping it. Other than Bernardo having his own room to keep his Ninjago safe, I think this may have been the highlight.

Introduce yourselves. Both times we have moved, we moved into already established neighborhoods. It's kind of like being the new kid in school; almost everyone already has friends and you sort of feel like the odd one out. We had one neighbor come over and introduce themselves, but the others we had to go to. I bribed them with baked goods. I made some flower cookies and cupcakes, which the kids and I delivered them to the immediate neighbors. 
  • DM Tips: 
      • To make the food plates look extra nice, try threading them with ribbon. See my Easy Food Gift Plates post. I couldn't find my hole punch anywhere. I guess it got lost in the move or it's in a really weird place and hasn't been unpacked yet.
      • A large full plastic water bottle makes a great rolling pin for sugar cookies. I had just stopped at the old house to pick some things up that we had left there and completely forgot the rolling pin. I didn't want to drive all the way back, so I washed the outside of a full plastic water bottle and used it as a rolling pin. It worked pretty well.

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