Tips for Hosting holiday dinners in a New Home

hosting thanksgiving in a new home

The holidays are here and what better way to warm your newly moved into house than to throw a dinner party. Sure, it seems like the last thing you want to do, after having just unpacked a mess of boxes and decorated the place, is to have a party but it’ll be a nice way to enjoy your new apartment and share that joy with a few friends and family. It doesn’t have to be difficult either. Here are some tips to make your holiday dinner a little easier:

 

Prepared Dinner Kits

It’s like the supermarkets and online grocers in our great city know how hard it is to host parties in New York because most of them offer pre-made holiday dinners, which include Turkey and many side options. If you’re not going to cook or find that you lack oven or stove space, this might be a good route to go.

hosting thanksgiving in a new home

 

Make Shopping Lists

To avoid several trips to the same establishment, make a list for each specific store you need to visit. That way, you’ll (hopefully) make one trip to the grocery store, one to a bakery and another to a liquor store.

 

Keep it Simple

You don’t need 17 sides and a plethora of decorations. Stick to one main protein dish, a handful of sides and maybe one or two decorative items.  Try to include a starch like roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes or potatoes au gratin, a few greens like asparagus, spinach or Brussel sprouts, and a fresh green salad.

 

Ask for Help

The holidays are about sharing and what better way to do that than to split up the work. When your friends and family ask what it is they can bring, tell them. If every person brings a side or a desert, you might just end up a having to make the main course. Assign a few friends to bring wine and non-alcoholic beverages. Also, don’t say no when friends offer to help after dinner—a trip to the recycling room to take out bottles or a dozen washed dishes will cut cleaning time for you afterwards.

hosting thanksgiving in a new home

 

Don’t Over-invite

We live in small spaces and everyone who has paid us a visit knows the limitations of our environs. Keeping your dinner small will allow everyone to have a comfortable place to sit and eat in.

hosting thanksgiving in a new home

Seven Tips for Driving Long Distances

Tips-for-driving-long-distances

Moving from one corner of the nation to another can require lengthy drives. Some folks are experienced at covering a lot of ground on the road, while some are novices, nervous about all the lonely time, fatigue and boredom. Here are some tips for making your moving road trip a success:

 

Get a Roadside Assistance Plan

If you don’t have a plan through your auto insurance or an organization, such as AAA, make sure you purchase one for your long drive.  The last thing you want is to be without a plan when something goes wrong.

 

Get Listening Material Together

Make a playlist, download podcasts, purchase audio books and whatever else you need to keep you entertained during the long move. And keep your options open—one day you might need an upbeat playlist, while the next you might opt to listen to a crime novel.

 

Map Your Route

Long gone are the days when we relied on those large atlases and highlighters to figure out where we needed to go. There are many maps and mapping apps on the internet and smart phones that will not only help you put a route together but also pinpoint sites of interest if you plan to sightsee while on the road.

Tip-for-driving-long-distances

 

Make a Schedule

Put together a schedule of how much distance you plan on covering per day and stick to it.  Though you might one day have the urge to cover extra ground, not getting enough rest will have you suffering the next.

 

Dress Comfortably

Loose and breathable clothing, considering the weather, will keep you comfortable during long drives. Similarly, wear shoes that are appropriate for driving.

Tip-for-driving-long-distances

 

Pack Food and Water

Your drive might include swaths of land where there is no food or water in sight. Pack what you might need so you’re not frantically searching for something on an empty stomach.

 

Take Breaks

Be it bathroom, food or just to stretch your body, breaks allow you re energize and continue on the road safely. And make sure your breaks include a good night’s sleep. You put yourself and others at risk when you’re tired.

Tip-for-driving-long-distances

Tips for Moving a Garage

moving-a-garage

Though it might seem like it’s just like moving any other room in the house, moving a garage can pose special challenges. From tools to lawnmowers to bicycles, a garage is full of items that don’t quite fit in a house and not often part of the main moving plan. So it’s important to treat the contents of a garage a bit differently than the rest of your belongings. Here are some tips on how to do that:
 

Sharped Edge Items

It’s likely many folks have tools with sharp edges, like axes, saws, shears and the likes. Always cover and securely wrap sharp edges with blankets and bubble wraps so no one gets hurt during the moving process.

moving-a-garage

 

Long Handled Tools

Bundle long handled tools like brooms and rakes and tie the handles as a secure and tight bundle. And don’t forget to cover with blankets and bubble wrap.
 

Gas Operated Equipment

Siphon out any fuel left in lawnmowers, snow blowers, jet skis and other gas-operated equipment. Leaving fuel in during relocation is dangerous and many companies will not move equipment as such.
 

Vehicles

Contact your moving company prior to moving day to see if they relocate cars, motorcycles and such. If not, search for a reputable company that transports vehicles.

moving-a-garage



Bicycles

If you have a bike rack on your car, you can simply transport it yourself. If you would like the moving company to take care of relocating it, ask them if they supply special boxes and their suggestions on packing.

moving-a-garage

 

Knick Knacks

Small objects and tools should be packed in boxes similar to how one packs the contents of a home. Make sure everything is well protected with bubble wrap and packing paper as needed and all the boxes are secured with tape.

moving-a-garage

 

Label

Everything should be labeled. This includes not only boxes but also larger items transported loosely. Because, though it may seem intuitive that a bundle of long-handled tools go in a garage, on moving day when the movers are handling a multitude of items, they might leave things in the wrong location if not given clear directions.

Tips for Moving with Kids

Tips for Moving with Kids

Moving can be difficult on kids—they will be changing homes, potentially schools and even friends. All these changes, while exciting can also be scary to the little ones. So it’s important for adults to take extra care to ensure the children have a positive experience during relocation. Here are some tips on how to move when kids are involved:

 

Have A Talk

The first thing you want to do is chat with your little ones about your plans to move. Explain to them why you’re moving. Then, highlight the things that will remain the same while your residence changes—this includes family, pets and toys, among other things. Ensuring them that major parts of their lives will remain constant will help them feel safe.

 

Involve Kids

Kids love to engage in adult tasks, such as cooking, cleaning and the likes. Involving them in packing or labeling could be a fun way to get children into the idea of moving. You can also take them with you when scouting potential homes. This will allow them to get excited about the prospects of a new home.

Tips for Moving with Kids

 

Keep it Exciting

Kids love adventure and moving is certainly one! Explain to them how a new school, a new room and a new neighborhood could be exciting. Get them to realize all the new things they can discover and they might be more than happy about the move.

 

Stick with Routine

Keep bedtime, mealtime and other established routine (like pizza night) the same, before, during and post-move. Routine will help kids feel stable during a time when things are changing.

Tips for Moving with Kids

 

Keep in Touch with the Past

When in a new place, it’s important for kids to stay linked to the past until they establish new relationships and connections.  If close enough, plan play dates with their friends from their old school and neighborhood. If too far, help them stay in touch with family and friends through the phone, email, Facetime and the likes.

 

Create New Memories

Once moved in, start making new memories as a family. Take your kid to the playground, grab some ice cream and go to a new museum. This will help children start to feel like they really are on a new adventure.  

Tips for Moving with Kids

Six Places to Score Free Boxes for Moving

free-moving-boxes

If there was one essential item you should have for a move, it’s boxes. Without them, your move will be lengthy and messy. You can purchase boxes from the moving company who’ll be taking care of your relocation or from retailers. But if you prefer to cut some cost and not purchase boxes, you can score some for free. Here are six spots to check out:
 

Liquor Stores

Generally, boxes at liquor stores are smaller—good for heavier items like books—but since you’ll need a variety of sizes, this is one of our favorite places to make a pre-move stop.
 

Grocery Stores

Ask someone at the store what kinds of boxes they have. If they don’t have what you want on hand, ask them to save some boxes for you when they get their next shipment.

free-boxes-for-moving


Warehouse Clubs   

Places like Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club generally have boxes for their patrons right at the store. The boxes often don’t have lids but still they can be useful for carrying things you might be taking in your own car or not need top protection for.
 

U-Haul Box Exchange®

The message board created by U-Haul is meant to connect customers who need and want to get rid of their boxes. Because one person’s recycling is another person’s moving boxes.
 

Craigslist

You’ll often find folks getting rid of boxes on this online classifieds. All you have to do is show up and take the boxes off someone’s hands.

free-boxes-for-moving


Starbucks Coffee

These guys get multiple shipments of coffee and other such things each week. That means that there are a lot of boxes to be had. Let them know beforehand what you’re looking for and ask when you should show up to pick up. 

Hungry? Check Out These Brunch Spots

Moving is hard work. Moving to New York City, while exciting, can also be intimidating but we can help you get acquainted. In this post, we’ll share several brunch spots—though there are many amazing ones—that will make you realize why this mid day meal is such a big deal here. Here are five eateries you can hit your first few weekends as a New Yorker:


Café Mogador

This East Village brunch institution always has a line to get into on the weekends and once you eat at this here you’ll know why. You can get your basics, like eggs benedict or more Middle Eastern takes on the meal, like a Moroccan benedict. They have a Brooklyn branch too if you’re looking for a change of scenery.


Red Rooster

This Harlem restaurant’s food is for the hungry. Here’s where you can get your shrimp and grits fix or opt for some fried chicken and gravy and some mashed up potatoes. We’re sleepy just thinking about the post-food coma.


Aurora Williamsburg

There’s something about how a chef can pile prosciutto, truffle oil, ricotta cheese, eggs and hollandaise sauce on an English muffin and still manage to make the meal feel light, a poem in the mouth. The food at Aurora is fantastic, there’s hardly a wait and you can sit outside in the summer. In the colder months, they enclose the patio area so you can still enjoy the sun and sky.


Russ & Daughters Cafe Uptown

If you love the original Orchard Street menu, you’ll love this outpost of Russ & Daughters, a New York original. Here, you want to opt for dishes made with smoked salmon and sturgeon and sweet meals like Babka French toast or Challah bread pudding.

Jack’s Wife Freda

Rosewater waffles? Yes, please.  Eggs in green Shakshuka? Sign me up. That’s the kind of interesting takes you’ll get at this SOHO spot. The husband and wife team behind this uber cute spot enhance dishes you already know and love with new flavors.


Café Habana

We can’t stop thinking about the Chilaquiles Verdes con Pollo at Café Habana. Then again, come to think of it, pretty much anything we’ve had at this Cuban gem is thought worthy. You can’t go wrong with brunch at this place and it’s likely the only meal you won’t have to stand in line for here.  

Tips on Moving Valuable Artwork

Tips on Moving Valuable Artwork

Whether they are investment pieces or just artwork that’s special, it’s possible you might have several valuable pieces.  Moving them can be stressful and you might wonder how to pack and transport the pieces to ensure they safely arrive in your new home.  You might opt to use ad-on services by your moving company—skilled in safely transporting valuables—or you might decide to move the pieces yourself. Either way, here are some tips to help you:
 

Separate Artwork

Place all your artwork separately in a designated area of the home you are moving from. This will ensure your pieces don’t get boxed up with other items and transported without special care.

Tips on Moving Valuable Artwork


Build Crates

Paintings should be crated for safe transport. This typically means that one needs to build a wooden structure with piece-specific dimension to protect the painting. Sculptures will likely need padded crates. In both cases, make sure you protect the face of the pieces and corners with cardboard and bubble wrap.
 

Decide On Specialized Trucks

Delicate pieces and some pigments are sensitive to temperatures and humidity changes and extremes. If any of your pieces fit that bill, consider transporting them via climate-controlled trucks.
 

Consult Experts

If you are unsure and concerned about the value of your pieces or how to transport them, consider consulting an art appraiser or appraisal house. Then, find movers specialized in transporting art who can give you expert advice and help you with packing and relocation.

tips-on-moving-valuable-artwork


Get Insurance

If the pieces you are transporting are of value, don’t skimp on purchasing insurance for them. Though no one wants to think about damage, it can happen from time to time.
 

Unpack Carefully

As important as packing and transporting is, unpacking artwork is also vital to ensuring your pieces don’t incur damage. Take your time and unpack the pieces with care.

art-broken-explosion-glass.jpg