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Author Archives: Andrew Peck

Essential Kitchen Tools That Are Actually Worth Buying

Category: Brennan Builders

Kitchenware has gotten to a point where it’s almost overwhelming to walk down the kitchen aisle in a store or – heaven forbid – venture into a specialty cooking shop.

There are gadgets aplenty, single-purpose miracle tools, and frying pans in every conceivable shape and size. Even for a seasoned chef, it’s enough to make you want to run away. Everywhere you look, another kitchen tool you’ll use once and toss in a junk drawer forever.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. Some kitchen tools are essential, while others are better left on the shelf. We’re going to walk you through some of the most basic kitchen items that are truly must-haves (get out of here, weirdly-shaped-avocado-slicer).

We’ve pared this list down to five of the most essential, multi-functional kitchen tools. Of course, there are plenty of useful tools that didn’t make it on the list. But for barebones necessities, it’s perfect.

Whether you’re brand new to cooking or an accomplished cook looking to pare down their cookware, this is the list for you.

  1. Heavy-bottomed Pot

These pans are great for everything. Perfect for sauces, stews, fudge, and candies, the heavy-bottomed quality means you won’t immediately burn every ingredient you add. These pots are thicker at the base, which means they distribute heat more evenly. You’re less likely to have hot spots with a heavy-bottomed pot or pan compared to a thinner one.

We’re looking for even cooking here without the looming threat of burned ingredients every time you turn away for a moment. Selecting a nonstick interior is even better. I probably don’t need to tell you this, but it’s a real pain to scrub out stuck-on bits of burnt food.

Like most cookware, there’s a wide price range for these types of pots. You don’t need to go for a high-end option though. Any reasonable heavy-bottomed pot is an excellent addition to your kitchen.

  1. Dutch Oven

The versatility of Dutch ovens is impressive enough to make you want to go out and buy one RIGHT NOW. These multi-purpose pots can go straight from stovetop to oven to your counter. They’re big enough to hold an entire roast and come with heavy lids that keep liquid in for slow braising.

As a bonus, Dutch ovens often come in beautiful colors, making it a beautiful centerpiece on your dining room table. It’s a serving dish itself. We all know what that means: fewer dishes to take care of later. Score!

Le Creusetcookware is classic, of course, but you can turn to Lodge for a more affordable, equally hefty option. Choose an enameled Dutch oven to prevent sticking or the maintenance of cast iron.

  1. 9 x 13-inch Baking Pan

If you’ve ever looked at a recipe for brownies, casseroles, cakes, egg bakes, or any delicious baked dish, you’re familiar with this pan. It’s arguably the most called-for pan in the world! (Don’t fact check us on that one).

These pans are super versatile and don’t take up a ton of room. You can also use them to roast veggies or meat by popping a cooling rack on top. The grease drips down and keeps your food from getting soggy.

For those of you who attend a lot of potlucks, consider picking up a 9×13-inch baking pan lid. It makes transportation (and carrying home leftovers) a whole lot easier.

  1. Chef’s Knife (Yes, just the one)

This may not be the most popular opinion, but you don’t need more than one knife to do almost everything you need in the kitchen. Sure, knife block sets are a classic gift for newlyweds or folks striking out on their own for the first time. But how often do you actually use them?

A sturdy, sharp chef’s knife is great for chopping vegetables and slicing meat. Pick a chef’s knife with a medium-length blade and a sturdy handle; you’ll be surprised how much more control you have over it. With a professional knife, beginner chefs have the added benefit of learning proper grip technique to prevent accidents and boost efficiency.

You can find affordable, quality knives ranging from $20 up to ridiculous numbers (we’re talking triple zeroes or more). If you can test it out beforehand, even better. Find a knife with a comfortable grip, and you’re ready to go.

  1. Non-stick Frying Pan

Omelets? No problem. Browning meatballs? Great! Cookin’ up a stir-fry? No worries. A non-stick frying pan is there for you every time.

Since non-stick frying pans prevent food from sticking, you can use less oil when you’re cooking. It’s also easier to get tricky food out of the pan, meaning you’ll likely ruin fewer dinners (it’s happened to the best of us).

And you can use the same frying pan for so many things! You’ll want to make sure that you don’t use metal spatulas, silverware, or any other sharp tool or you run the risk of scratching off the non-stick coating.  If that coating starts flaking off, throw the pan away! You definitely don’t want that in your food.

So there you go. The five barebones, most essential cooking tools you can add to your kitchen. No frills, no gimmicks; just solid tools to help you tackle any recipe, no matter how complicated or fussy. Happy cooking!

~the Brennans

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Creating the Perfect Outdoor Space for Your Guests and Family

Category: Brennan Builders

Outdoor spaces are perfect for entertaining. With the proper setup, you could spend an entire party outside, cooking dinner, playing games, and enjoying the area late into the evening. Here are some of the many ways you can spruce up your backyard to create the perfect outdoor space.

Let’s Get Cooking

Whether you’re hosting an outdoor dinner party or just grilling for your family, including a place to cook is essential. Depending on your style and budget, that may be a simple charcoal grill or something more elaborate, like a full outdoor kitchen. Be sure to plan for a place to cook in your backyard design. You’ll undoubtedly appreciate reducing trips in and out of the house for food during a busy party.

Pick a Chair, Any Chair

There are so many different options for outdoor seating! If you plan to entertain, be sure to include many seating options, from chairs to benches and stools. Having a variety of seats accommodates your guests while adding personal flare. You can opt for cloth-cushioned seating or metal, weather-resistant sets. Just make sure you bring in anything at night that can’t stand the rain.

Start Acting Shady

Most decks and patios are uncovered, which can be a pain during hot, sunny summer days. It’s not just uncomfortable; it can be dangerous to spend too much time in direct sunlight. So keep things shady by adding an awning or umbrella near your seating area. Guests can retreat in the shade while enjoying the beautiful space you’ve created.

Enlighten Your Guests

What’s the point of designing a beautiful outdoor space if you can’t see it? If you plan on spending any time outside during the evening, you’ll want to include outdoor lighting. You can set just the right ambiance with paper lanterns, fairy lights, or permanent pendant lights.

Curl Up by a Cozy Fire

Everybody loves a good bonfire. Adding a fire pit, or even an outdoor fireplace, to your backyard is a wonderful way to bring coziness to your space. Not only will this keep you and any visitors warm on a chilly night, but it will also keep pesky bugs or mosquitos away. As a bonus, a fire pit brings calming, natural light to your backyard.

Don’t Forget the Music!

Who doesn’t like to boogie down in their backyard during a party? For any outdoor activity – from raking leaves to hosting a luau-themed party – music is a welcome addition. Install built-in speakers to different areas in your backyard or rely on a sizeable Bluetooth speaker to send music outside. Just make sure you’re not keeping your neighbors awake at night!

There are so many options for designing your outdoor space. From choosing furniture to installing lighting and speakers, you’ll be amazed at your backyard’s transformation. How will you create the perfect outdoor space?

~the Brennans

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Choosing Between a Deck or Patio

Category: Brennan Builders

Customizing and designing your home’s interior is an essential part of being a homeowner. With all the time you’ll spend in it, you’ll undoubtedly want to make sure each room is perfect. But in this post, we’re moving out into your front or backyard. We’re talking about decks and patios – the difference between them and what to consider when choosing one or the other.

The most significant factors in this decision are maintenance, cleaning, and customization.

What’s the Difference Between a Patio and a Deck?

First, let’s look at the difference between the two. A patio is built at ground level and often directly attached to a house. It can be made from an array of materials, like concrete or brick. Patios are generally uncovered and don’t necessarily need guard railings or fencing. They come with more privacy since they’re at ground level and can be hidden behind a fence.

Decks, on the other hand, aren’t usually built at ground level. They tend to take advantage of a view and are therefore at higher levels. For this reason, it’s a good idea to put safety railings or fencing around them. Decks are usually made of wood or other composite materials. You can build decks on uneven ground, and they often add higher resale value to your property.

Even from these definitions, it’s easy to see why it’s a tough decision. Both patios and decks can be attached to a home or built away from the house, and both tend to be uncovered outdoor spaces.

Maintaining Your Outdoor Space

The first question to ask yourself is: how much maintenance do you want to do?

Since decks are made with wood, you’ll need to take care of it every year. That includes scrubbing it down, power washing, or sanding, not to mention checking for loose or protruding nails and screws. If you’re not using composite materials, you’ll need to check for splintering or peeling wood boards.

With patios, the amount of maintenance is certainly less than with wooden decks. But that doesn’t mean you can build it and forget it. You may need to replace stone tiles or clean the concrete now and again. Generally speaking, it will also be cheaper to build and maintain a patio than a deck due to the cost of materials, the elevation, and ongoing maintenance.

Whichever you choose, you’ll need to put in regular work to make sure your deck or patio doesn’t fall to pieces. Choosing composite materials for decks or durable materials for a patio can keep your outdoor space looking good for years to come.

Keeping Things Clean

We just covered ongoing maintenance, but what about cleaning? Though cleaning falls under maintenance, it’s certainly something to look at when deciding between a patio and deck.

Since decks are often made of wood, it’s common to get mold. After all, your deck battles all kinds of weather – rain, snow, and humidity. You can get mold under, near, or on your deck. It’s not difficult to remove, but you’ll need to stay on top of it. If left unchecked, mold could weaken its structure and cause major problems.

Patios can get mold too, but not nearly as often as with decks. Generally, you can clear your patio of mold by power washing. When it comes to cleaning, you’ll get by with less when you have a patio.

Customizing Your Patio or Deck

How much personal touch would you like to add to this new outdoor space?

While both decks and patios can be constructed in different sizes, shapes, and materials, you may run into some restrictions along the way. For example, using a specific stone texture or concrete to build a patio may prevent future changes, whereas wooden decks can be stained or painted to any color or shade that fits your home.

Changes to patios may be more expensive. If you’re looking to switch out the brick or patio tiles, you will likely need to rebuild the entire patio. But with decks, you can sand and re-stain every year if you want without damaging the materials.

That being said, you certainly have more options with patios. You can construct patios out of almost anything – stone, brick, concrete, pebbles, pea gravel, or rock. With a deck, you’ll be using either wood or composite materials. So, if there’s a specific aesthetic you’re looking to match, keep building materials in mind.

Making the Choice – It’s Up to You!

Whichever you choose, you’re sure to enjoy this new space. Whether you’re looking for a more customizable, elevated area or a private, durable patio, either option is a great choice. What’s great is you can add a portable fire pit, outdoor kitchen, or grill to either (just make sure you’ve got a fireproof platform for your deck!).

~the Brennans

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Master Suite Design Trends You’ve Got to Check Out

Category: Trends

Master bedrooms are a calming space in your home. It’s where you spend most of your time, especially when you want to relax. You can let your style run free here, independent from the aesthetics of the rest of your home. Or you can think of your master suite as your personal spa, a place for relaxation and comfort. No matter what you want to do, here are some new design trends you’ll definitely want to try out.

Enhancing Your Bedroom Aesthetics from Above

Just a few years ago, accent walls were the hottest trend. You may even have one in your home right now. Accent walls let you add a pop of color or texture to an otherwise uniform room. But as with all trends, it’s started to fade in popularity, even prompting some designers to ask if the accent wall is dead!

There’s a new trend in town – and all you need to do is look up. Decorative ceilings are all the rage this year. You’ve got a lot of options with this: colorful paint, decorative ceiling tiles, architectural elements, faux beams or tray ceiling give the illusion of depth. Think of it as your master bedroom getting a fifth wall.

Organizing Your Master Closet Like A Pro

You finally got that walk-in closet of your dreams. It has space for everything you need. The only problem? These spaces can quickly descend into chaos. That’s why today, closet organization has almost become an art form. It’s inspired countless trends in minimalism shelving design, seasonal outfit sorting, and more. What are the latest organization trends?

  • Adding closet drawers to tame the clutter and keep things out of sight
  • Double-up closet rods for twice the hanging space
  • Optimizing closet nooks and corners with shelves
  • Building shoe racks at the bottom of your closet (you’re not using that space anyway!)

Turning Your Master Bathroom into a Relaxing Spa

Every master bathroom needs a place to shower or bathe. Whether you’re a quick-shower-after-a-morning-run type of person or an after-work-bath-with-red-wine relaxer, you need something that fits both your lifestyle and your bedroom’s aesthetic. Do you want a walk-in shower? A stand-alone bathtub? Some people would rather have a larger shower, while others want a tub-shower combo.

But have you ever considered both? More and more people are adding both a walk-in shower and a soaking tub to complete their master suite. If you have the space for it, this option gives you the best of both worlds. As a bonus, a standing shower and soaking tub give your master bathroom a wonderful spa-like quality.

Doubling Sink Space for Half the Stress

We’re back to your master bathroom with this trend. This time we’re focusing on the vanity – or in this case, a double vanity. If you’ve ever had to share a single sink, drawer, and mirror with a significant other, you know the situation is not…ideal. This new design trend seeks to prevent any squabbling over space: double or side-by-side vanities. Each offers your own quiet space – a separate sink, drawer, and counter room.

Whichever you choose may depend on the size of your master bathroom. If you’ve got the space, why not use it? Double or side-by-side vanities can add a dramatic or elegant element to the room. It’s a perfect way to optimize extra bathroom space.

Take the time to perfect your master oasis. After all, it’s a place just for you to enjoy!

~the Brennans

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Tips for Designing Your Home with Timeless Style

Category: Brennan Builders, Home Studio

Designing a home can be challenging, especially if you’re the kind of person looking for a low maintenance style that can endure the years. But it’s not easy to execute a timeless design. It’s easy to fall into trends that become outdated fads or over accessorizing a room until it becomes a cluttered mess.

To help you avoid all that, here are five general tips for creating a timeless home design.

Keep Your Home Fad-Free

This may be the most obvious piece of advice in this article. If you’re looking for a timeless style that requires no fuss or work year to year, stay away from fads. You may love a sleek and severe minimalist look right now, but it’s certainly not going to be in style forever.

Make Sure Your Designs are Functional

Each furniture piece should serve a purpose. In the same vein of creating a fad-free home, it’s best to make sure your furniture makes sense in the room. Ornate, fragile side tables or never-sat-in designer chairs may not factor into a timeless design.

Choose Subtle Patterns and Colors

Busy or decorative patterns and accessories can give your room a cluttered, outdated feel. Certain colors may be in style one year and suddenly out the next; don’t be caught with a pale green couch that’s horribly out of style within a year. Though these colors or patterns may appeal to you at a certain point, they certainly won’t stand the test of time.

Let Your Fabrics Bring a Room to Life

Painting and wallpapering are hassles, and it’s just not practical to put on a fresh coat each year. So instead of painting a bright accent wall that may not feel right a few years from now, use throw pillows, rugs, and drapes for that pop of color. It’s easier to change out these fabrics than it is to change wall color or carpeting.

Simplify Major Furniture

By major furniture, we mean sofas, dining room tables, and bed frames. If you simplify these pieces of furniture, you can use other elements in the room to add personal style without overdoing it. Simple furniture tends to be timeless and classic, whereas hyper-modern, antique, or ornate furniture can seem outdated or fussy.

Home design is a delicate balance of welcoming aesthetic and personal style. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, timeless design, follow these tips. You can create a balanced room without clutter or antiquated style. Imagine how relaxed you’ll feel each time you enter your perfectly timeless room.

~the Brennans

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5 Essential Safety Items Every Home Should Have

Category: Tips

 

Accidents happen. That’s an unfortunate fact. Though it’s not fun to think about, every year people deal with unexpected disasters like kitchen fires or carbon monoxide leaks. But with a little forethought and preparation, you can keep your home and family safe. Don’t be caught off guard; make sure you’re equipped with these five essential safety items.

  1. Fire Extinguisher

This may be the most obvious safety item on our list. Every home needs at least one fire extinguisher, but preferably more. One should stay in the kitchen within easy reach in case of grease fires or a towel getting too close to your burner (it happens to the best of us!). Make sure you regularly inspect it and replace the extinguisher when it’s expired.

One last fire safety tip: make sure everyone in your home knows where your fire extinguishers are and how to use them.

For more tips on buying the right fire extinguisher, check out Apartment Therapy’s concise guide here.

  1. Smoke Detectors

You may know your smoke alarm as the thing that beeps nonstop when the batteries run out. But smoke alarms can save lives in the event of a fire. It’s best to have a smoke alarm in every room of your home.

The U.S. Fire Administration recommends testing smoke detectors about once a month and replacing their batteries once or twice every year.

Along with smoke detectors, it’s also recommended that you install carbon monoxide detectors in each room. You can purchase combination smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, which can be easier to check on each month.

  1. First Aid Kit

Like a fire extinguisher, every home should have a regularly updated first aid kit. You can purchase a pre-stocked kit or make your own. Make sure your kit includes bandages in different sizes, a pair of tweezers, adhesive tape, and antibiotic ointment.

What’s great about having a first aid kit is all your essential first aid items are in one organized place. No need to scramble around junk drawers looking for a heavy-duty bandage or gauze.

You can find a full list of recommended first aid kit supplies here, which was put together by the Mayo Clinic.

  1. Emergency Contact List

Put together a list of important contacts, including poison control, the fire department, local police station, and primary care doctors. If you have pets, include the number of an emergency 24/7 vet clinic. Keep this list in an easy-to-reach spot and always let babysitters, house sitters, and dog sitters know where to find it.

If you have kids in the house, remind them to check the list in case of an emergency.

Set a reminder to review this list regularly. It can be easy to forget to change a doctor’s number or add an updated phone number. Be proactive with this list so you’ll never be caught off guard in an emergency.

  1. Outlet Covers

Whether you have kids in the house or if kids regularly visit your home, it’s a smart idea to get covers for your electrical outlets. Children are curious and get into everything – and are therefore at a high risk of shock and burn injuries around uncovered outlets. So take away the temptation and put covers over your outlets.

Don’t live in fear of home disasters. By taking the time to prepare for the worse, you can keep your family safe. Be sure to update your safety equipment and contact list regularly, and make sure everyone knows the plan in case of emergency.

~the Brennans

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Adding a Personal Touch to Your New Home’s Design

Category: Build Process

First of all, congratulations! If you’re building a house, that means you’re one step closer to living in a dream home.

Building a custom-designed home comes with a lot of challenges, especially early on. Not only is there extensive budget planning and vetting contractors, but you also need to decide on the layout and size. It can be overwhelming and frustrating, but you know it’ll be worth it in the end.

So let’s focus on the exciting parts of building your own home: adding your personal touch! Now’s the time to pull out that dream home list and start making it happen.

Start Walking on Sunshine Every Day

Since we’re building this home from the ground up, let’s kick this off by focusing on your flooring. Are you a big fan of gorgeous hardwood floors? Pick a wood grain and stain that you adore (and goes well with your furniture). Oak is a classic, but you have a wide array of options and designs here.

Do you like sinking into soft carpet when you wake up in the morning? Find the perfect carpet for the bedrooms and den.

Unlike with an inventory home or renting a home, you aren’t stuck with floors you can’t stand. No need to replace old carpet or scuffed tiling when you’re building your own home. Play around with different flooring materials until you find one that matches your style.

Let There Be Light

Lighting can be a polarizing thing. People don’t always agree on lighting types based on personal aesthetic or room design. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about having too little lighting or obnoxious fixtures on the ceiling.

Go as elaborate or minimal as you like here. Choose from decorative chandeliers, functional lighted ceiling fans, or recessed ceiling lights. You can even have electrical boxes installed to add cool features, like under-counter lighting in the kitchen or lit glass cabinets. Just make sure you specify all of this to your builder so that they won’t run into trouble later on.

Pick a Counter You Can Count On

Nobody’s ever said, “There’s just too much counter space in that kitchen.” When building your home, I sure hope you’re designing ample space for the kitchen counters. With that out of the way, another place to add a personal touch to your home’s design is the countertops.

There are so many options here: granite, quartz, concrete (a surprisingly popular trend), laminate, solid surfacing, and even butcher-block wood. Some look flashier than others, perfect for those of us who love hosting. Some can take a beating without wearing down, great for super active cooks or people who drop things.

Your Favorite Hardware, Everywhere

Kitchen cabinet handles, doorknobs, closet doors, window shades, and drawers… When you stop and think about it, there’s an absurd amount of hardware in every home. Though the sheer number may make a trip to the hardware store seem daunting, the personalization makes it worth the effort.

This is your home, and there are no hardware limits. You have complete control over every cabinet, every drawer, and even every door. They will all open and close with whatever hardware you like the most. Unlike with other home features, it’s not really possible to pick the “wrong” piece of hardware. A cabinet knob fits on any cabinet, and a drawer will pull out whether you’re using a brass handle or a cutout. So seriously, get a little crazy here.

These are four ways of many you can add a personal touch to your new home. Adding a bit of yourself to the design process will make the home that much more special to you and your family. So take some time and indulge yourself – it’s not every day you get to build your dream home.

~the Brennans

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Top 5 Furniture Layout Apps

Category: Trends

Whether you’re moving into a new home or simply feeling like redecorating, finding a great furniture layout can be challenging. Nobody wants to play a real-life game of Tetris, moving bulky pieces of furniture around to find the best fit.

Luckily, most of us (pretty much everyone, if we’re being honest) have a handy device in our pocket that can help. Need help organizing furniture in your home? Just like ordering pizza, checking your credit score, or turning on a security light – there’s an app for that!

Here are our top 5 picks for furniture layout apps.

1. Planner 5D(Android and iOS)

Are you looking to get hyper-detailed? If so, then Planner 5D is for you. This app lets you create both 2D and 3D floor plans based on the dimensions of your home or yard. That’s right; you can plan both interior and exterior layouts with this handy app. Create a floor plan based on your home’s dimensions, choose furniture from an extensive catalog, and create the layout of your dreams. This free app is available for both Android and iOS users.

2. Magicplan(iOS only)

The Magicplan app puts the power of 3D design in your hands.  You can turn pictures into floor plans, and then plan out your space in 3D. Add and arrange furniture with ease. The app itself is free, but you’ll be required to pay for a download version of your planned space ($2.99).

3. RoomScan Pro(iOS only)

For realistic, no-frills layout planning, go for RoomScanner Pro. This app boasts three different methods for capturing your exact floor plan: touching your phone against walls, scan the room and add in details via augmented reality, or manually draw the plan with added dimensions. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll get a completely accurate digital version of your home, ready for fast furniture layout planning. The app is currently free to download but will require in-app purchases to access many of these features.

4. IKEA Place(iOS, link to Android below)

Real talk: how much do you love IKEA? Do you ever find yourself clicking through their website or wandering through the warehouse-sized store wondering if that pine desk or stainless steel bar cart would fit into your home? Good news! The new IKEA app lets you literally place their furniture into your house using augmented reality. Check it out and place an order right from the app.

For Android users, here’s another App similar to this one (but without that neat AR functionality): IKEA Home Planner App.

5. Plan Your Room

Okay, so this technically isn’t an app. But Plan Your Room is such an easy-to-use layout-planning platform that we just had to mention it. Using a grid, you can map out your room and then add furniture pieces (represented with minimalistic line drawings) based on what you own – or want to own. It’s easy to use and free.

With these apps in hand, you have no reason not to give your home a little makeover. Or, if you’re moving into a new home, no reason not to get organized beforehand. There’s nothing worse than moving things around after the movers have left because you weren’t prepared to tell them where things needed to go.

So relax, download a new app, and play around. You’re sure to find the perfect layout; no heavy lifting required.

~the Brennans

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Tips for Preparing Your Family for the Big Move

Category: Brennan Builders

We all know that moving is stressful. Between coordinating moving trucks to organizing belongings and tracking details (did you submit a change of address form?), it’s easy to get lost in the chaos. As adults, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel: soon, we’ll be settled into a new home, in a new neighborhood, full of exciting opportunities. It’s harder for kids to see the big picture.

Changing homes can be traumatic for kids. For big moves – whether across the state or the country – they’re switching schools, breaking a routine, and maybe even experiencing new weather. It’s important to talk to them well in advance and prepare them for the move. But how can you get them excited about it? Here are some tips for getting your kids revved up about the big move.

Get Them Involved in Household Decisions

Does your new kitchen need a fresh coat of paint? Are you ditching your old couch in favor of shiny new furniture? Let your kids be part of the decision-making! You may be surprised at how much fun they’ll have helping you pick out furniture, fabrics, and colors. And it gives them a sense of control over their new surroundings.

Give Kids An Important Moving Job

Kids love feeling helpful. So on the day of the move, assign them an important job or let them be your assistant. Let them pack up their toys, carry small boxes into the house, and keep things organized. Younger children may need some extra supervision, but that’s another way to get older kids involved. Create family teams and finish jobs together.

Want to go the extra mile? Print up a to-do list or organization chart for them. With each completed task, they can check it off the list and see their accomplishments pile up.

Unpack Their Bedrooms First

You’re probably familiar with the sudden dread of being in a new space surrounded by full boxes. It can be daunting to anyone, especially after an exhausting day of moving. Don’t burden your kids with this on top of everything else. Be sure to unpack their rooms first and set up their favorite things – books, toys, or favorite pictures. Get them feeling comfortable in their new room right away, and they’ll feel at home in no time.

Take Breaks for Family Time

Tensions run high on moving day. Siblings fight, parents’ patience goes out the door, and frustration runs rampant. This is the point when moving days can turn disastrous.

Be sure to take breaks between packing, moving, and organizing for some family time. Take a 5-minute group stretch break or grab an ice cream cone together. Anything that helps relieve the tension, get everyone to relax, and have fun. When you’re ready, get back to the tasks at hand.

Take a Walk Around the New Neighborhood

Once the moving trucks have pulled away, and the last boxes are hopefully in the right room, why not take some time to explore your new neighborhood? Take a family walk around your block. Be on the lookout for parks or community centers close-by, and maybe even stroll past your children’s new school if it’s within walking distance.

By taking the time to introduce your kids to their new neighborhood, they’ll be more comfortable with the change. Maybe you’ll even discover you’re close to a nature center, an arcade, or a cool museum!

Moving doesn’t have to be stressful or traumatic. Prepare your family ahead of time, keep them on task and focused during the move, and settle them in right away after. Not only will the entire process go smoother, but you’ll also have a happier family ready for what lies ahead.

~the Brennans

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