Five Ways to Ring in the New Year at Home

Ring in the New Year at Home

If you just moved into your New York apartment, you might be looking for a low-key New Year celebration. Despite all the activities of our bustling city, it’s nice to stay home where it’s warm and cozy and to not have to worry about transportation, which can be crowded and at times scarce. Here are five ways to ring in 2017 from the comfort of your apartment:

 

Game Night

We’re not just talking Charades and Monopoly. There are so many fun games designed for adults (like Loaded Questions or Wits and Wagers) that you wouldn’t have trouble picking up a few new ones to play on the last eve of 2016. Invite a few friends, get some snacks and drinks and you’ll be sure to have a fun night.

 

Cozy Dinner

Be it a dinner for one, or two or a larger group, there’s nothing nicer than having a pleasant meal at home. You don’t need to get fancy and can keep it simple with dishes like pasta with a store bought sauce or an oven-roasted fish or meat.

Ring in the New Year at Home

 

Desserts and Bubbles

If cooking isn’t your thing, plan a night of sweets and sparkling wine. A nice pie or cake, some cookies and chocolates should do the trick. If inviting friends, you can ask them to bring over their favorite sweets or bubblies. That way you can enjoy a variety of after dinner goodies.

Ring in the New Year at Home

 

Movie Night

This one’s pretty easy: Load up the Netflix or Hulu or whatever services you subscribe to and have a cozy night of watching your favorite flicks. Then, when the new year rolls around, you can switch to the television, watch the ball drop and count down to a shiny new year.

 

Make Resolutions

Be it with friends or alone, you can spend the last night of 2016 writing down your goals for the new year. More than just jotting down the goals, come up with a list of action items to bring each resolution into fruition.

Ring in the New Year at Home

Incorporating 2017’s Color of the Year into Your Décor

Last week, Pantone announced 2017’s color of the year as being a yellowish green called Greenery. This vibrant shade of green, reminiscent of spring, is one that can easily work in homes to bring that fresh bit of nature indoors. If you like the shade as much as we do and you’re looking to incorporate it into the décor of your newly moved in apartment, here are some tips:

 

Paint a Wall

Research has shown that the color green enhances creativity. So if you’re in the arts, you might consider painting the wall above your desk or workspace this shade of green. You might think of using this color in your living quarters too, because it brings in that bit of nature we’re always missing in NYC.

 

Decorative Pillows and Throws

We love using decorative pillows and throws as a way to change up the look of a room without investing too much time and energy. Look for colors close to Greenery at your favorite retailers and if you can’t find what you need, head on over to the Garment District to search for the right shade of textile. Even if sewing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of tailors in New York City who will make pillow covers and throws for a reasonable sum.

 

Bed Linens

Be it a duvet, shams or even sheets, you can easily use this cheery hue in bedding. Things will automatically look up when the morning sun angles its way into the room and your eyes land on the fresh color.

 

Kitchen Accessories

Anything that’s out in the kitchen can bring in the color of the year: teapot, kettle, toaster, dishtowels and even fridge magnets. Get imaginative and if you’re having a hard time doing so stare at Greenery. We hear it inspires creativity!  

What Licenses Should Your Movers Have?

licenses movers should have

When you’re deciding on the movers that will handle your belongings, you should always look for a company that is legally allowed to operate in the United States. Some relocation companies may claim to be insured and licensed, when in fact they are either not, or not licensed through a legitimate entity. So it’s important to familiarize yourself with industry standards.  Here are licenses to look for to ensure your movers are legit:

 

The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)

This agency was created to regulate carriers that operate interstate and assigned Interstate Commerce Commission Motor Carrier (or ICC MC) numbers to moving fleets. Although this designation was phased out in 1995, many older and established moving companies still display this number on their trucks. When a moving company still displays an ICC number you know they have at least been in business since 1995.

licenses movers should have

 

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Moving companies that operate between states are required to have an FMCSA number. This number designates what each company is allowed to transport and what area they can operate in. There’s a code for each specific item type each moving company can carry. For example, if the moving company engages in interstate transportation of household goods, they will have a number that begins with MC.

licenses movers should have

 

Department of Transportation (DOT)

Moving companies are required to be registered with the department of Transportation—basically meaning they are registered with the government and are legally allowed to operate.   Always make sure your mover has an assigned USDOT number. You can search for a company’s DOT or MC number and safety ratings on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration page.

licenses movers should have

Tips for Beating Moving Stress

Tips for Beating Moving Stress

Moving takes a toll on your wallet, schedule and, most importantly, your sanity. With the many various tasks and chores you have to keep tabs on and perform, you’ll likely be stressed and tired pre, during, and post move. There’s no sure way to eliminate all the stress that comes with moving but there are methods to make the strain less impactful and help you better cope. Here are a few tips we have for beating the stress that comes with relocation:

 

Sleep

Anxiety is an inherent response to change and you’ll likely find it hard to sleep and relax on the days leading up to the move. But getting your Z’s is especially important so you have enough strength and agility left to handle the move. Plan on getting your eight hours of sleep for several nights prior to the move. If you’re having trouble relaxing, opt for some relaxing tea, such as chamomile, or take a hot bath before hitting the sack.  

Tips for Beating Moving Stress

 

Plan Meals

Those last few days before the move, you’ll likely be running around and eating whatever you can grab at the deli or take-out counter. But it’s especially important to nourish your body with foods that will fuel you. Plan easy and nutritious meals several weeks before the move and buy the necessary ingredients beforehand.

Tips for Beating Moving Stress

 

Unpack Slowly

We advocate having a packing and unpacking schedule and sticking to it. But there’s no reason for the schedule to strain you. Plan to do a little each day and stick to it, but if you find yourself approaching your limit, take a break or delay the day’s chore. The box will be there tomorrow.  

 

Ask for Help

It’s nice to be independent and handle a move all by yourself but sometimes a little help can go a long way. Your family, friends and neighbors will be more than happy to lend you a hand and them doing so will make your life a whole lot easier. And if you have several helpers on hand, be sure to delegate tasks.

Tips for Beating Moving Stress

 

Treat Yourself

Anytime, during or after a move, take a moment to pat yourself on the back with something that makes you happy, whether that’s grabbing ice cream, taking a spa day or getting away for the weekend.

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.