Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Appliance Care

Stay out of the Splash Zone!

Something we often forget about before a move is our appliances, and it is important that we remember to care for them. Forgetting to drain or defrost your appliances could result in getting the inside of your packed truck very wet and could ruin your furniture. Follow these easy steps to make sure your appliances are ready to roll the day you move!

Defrosting your refrigerator/freezer
  1. Simply unplug your appliance 24-48 hours to properly defrost.
  2. Take out your food! For things you want to keep, place in a cooler, toss everything else.
  3. Place newspaper or old towels underneath your appliance to absorb melted ice.
  4. Most appliances have a drain hose, you may want to put a large bucket to catch runoff water.
  5. After everything is disconnected, open the doors and prop them open, this will speed up the defrosting process.
  6. Take a towel and wipe up any leftover water inside your appliance and you’re good to go!
Draining your washing machine
  1. Make sure you turn off and unplug your washer.
  2. Turn off the water from the wall.
  3.  Disconnect your hoses from the wall and place them in a bucket.
  4. Unhook your drain out hose from the wall (these usually just pull right out).
  5. Place a couple towels at the bottom of the washer, and give it a little tilt. Place something underneath the front end to prop it up. This allows the water to drain out the back.
  6. You will be able to hear any extra water moving around inside. If you can’t get it out, wait for the movers to get there and have them bring it outside at the beginning of the job and lay it down on its back to allow it to drain while they are working.

Remember that by taking care of your appliances and making sure they are properly drained, you are preventing potential damage to the truck and your furniture, saving you money and a headache. All appliances are different, so refer to your owner’s manual for more specific instruction on your particular make and model.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Cleaning Games

The Cleaning Games
August is right around the corner and we all know what that means; it’s time to get the kids ready to go back to school and do a little cleaning to get the house in order before class starts! With family vacations and other activities planned, it’s likely that you’ve neglected some cleaning that you’ve been meaning to get to, but that hasn’t stopped you from enjoying the summer weather and having a little fun (and let’s be honest, we all deserve a little break from our routine every now and then).

Some people might try to tackle this alone. Others might just neglect it completely. Luckily, you’re not going to be alone in this cleaning endeavor because you have your whole family to help you out, and you know that you can make it fun for the kids (or at least more fun than it has been before)!

Getting the little helpers going can be difficult, but make it a game with a little incentive and those nimble hands will be cleaning in no time! Kids love games and playing pretend, so why not use that to your advantage? Give them an apron, child-sized rubber gloves, get ready for a little imagination and see where it takes you!

That doesn’t work? Put together a chart of all the chores that need to get done and make a reward system. It could be something as simple as adding an extra hour to play time or boosting their allowance for each chore completed. You know your kids best, so come up with a reward system that is targeted toward them to get the most out of your cleaning games.

Sometimes the really little ones might be overwhelmed by cleaning an entire room, or might not be able to do really big tasks. If you can turn picking up toys and organizing them into bins educational, you and your child both win. Simply asking them to “put all the big toys in one bin” or “put all the red toys in this basket” all help on some level with developing your child’s basic skills. Kids are always learning, so why not make cleaning educational, fun and efficient.

Let’s not forget to have realistic expectations for your kids. They don’t all develop at the same pace so be patient. Praise their good work and give them positive encouragement. The happier you seem with their work, the more likely they are to do a better job!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Getting Organized

Feeling a bit cluttered? Let’s tackle that mess!
When it comes to getting organized, the task at hand can be daunting. Years of clutter building up can seem overwhelming, but follow these basic steps and you can get a head start on getting yourself organized.
  1. Sort first! Most people might like to think the first step to getting organized is going out and buying what you think you will need to store things in (storage bins, shelves, etc.) but in reality the best place to start is by sorting everything you have! By having everything you need to store in front of you, you can better judge what you need to buy before you go to the store.
  2. Label your bins! Whether you color coordinate or label your bins, make sure to clearly identify what you have inside. Making a master list of what you have in each bin will also help you quickly find what you are looking for; No more going through every box to find what you need.
  3. Stack high and tight. The most common mistake that people will make is to not use their ceiling and wall space. Using sturdy shelving units is a great way to safely optimize your space. Keep heavier items low and lighter items high.
  4. Check under the stairs. Stairs can create a bunch of dead space in your home, but we can use that! Stow away things that you might not need to have readily accessible under the stairs. Seasonal items like holiday decorations are great candidates for this space since you will only need to access it once a year.
  5. Don’t crowd your utilities. If you’re organizing your basement, you’re likely to run into things that you need to get to in case of an emergency. Try to keep your plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical units clear on the off chance they need emergency maintenance. It’s a good idea to use your storage to hide those unsightly units in your house, just make sure to keep it easily accessible.
  6. Keep everything dry! Most basements are cool and have a higher humidity that the rest of your house. If you have important things that need to stay dry you may want to consider a dehumidifier to keep mold from forming. Have a particularly wet basement? Place tarps under your first layer of boxes/bins for extra protection on the ground level.
  7. Let go! It is always a good idea to get rid of things that you don’t need or no longer use. If you want to get rid of things that are still in good condition consider donating it to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. They are always happy to take things that are in good shape off of your hands, and you will be helping those in need!

Keeping your items organized might become the hardest part for you. Remember to put stuff back where you got it from and stick to your organization! Work smarter, not harder; sometimes you need a little help and big projects can be overwhelming, don’t be afraid to call in support! At Rent the Help, there is no project too small for us to handle. Give us a call and see how we can help you on your next project!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tips for a successful move!

Moving out but don’t know where to begin? Here are some tips for a successful move!

  1. Have plenty of packing supplies. There is nothing as frustrating as being short a couple boxes or not having enough padding to protect that antique china. By getting more supplies than you need, you will save yourself the headache and stress of “will my stuff make it to my new home in one piece?” Also, most places that sell moving supplies have a return policy, so you can get your money back on leftover boxes.
  2. Go room by room in your house and make three piles: Keep, toss, and donate! By getting rid of things you hardly use, you’ll save time and space when you unload into your new home. By donating old clothes or furniture to places like Goodwill or The Salvation Army, you’ll be helping others who might need or want the stuff you are getting rid of (let’s not forget that tax write off too!).
  3. Utilize your boxes. Movers are strong, but they don’t all have superhuman strength. Use smaller boxes to pack up books, medium sized boxes for dishes, and large boxes for bedding and clothing. Moving yourself? This will save your back and help keep things organized by size.
  4. Label your boxes! Make a list of things that are in each box, that way you know exactly what’s in it. Also try using different color tape or stickers to label the boxes by room, this ensures that everything will get to the right room of your house the first time. You can make a master list of your color code, or label each room in the house to make moving in a breeze for you and the movers.
  5. Pack ahead of time. By doing this you reduce the stress of moving, and help make a big project feel smaller. Leaving all of your packing to the last minute will make things unorganized and a bit chaotic. Trying focusing on packing or organizing one room a day after work, before you know it, your house will be all boxed and ready to move!
  6. Keep your valuables safe. If you can, put valuables life jewelry, antiques, and family heirlooms in your personal vehicle for your move. It’s a good idea to check your homeowners insurance to see how you are covered during a move and see if you need additional insurance from the movers. Find out what paperwork you might need in case you need to file a claim for loss or damages.
  7. Important documents. Anything from birth certificates to bills to realtor info, put it all in a box and keep it with you. You never know when you might need important records, and it is smart to keep it out of the truck so you can get to it when you need it.
  8. Make a first night home box! Give everyone in the family their own box for whatever they might need the first night in your new home! This should include items like toiletries, towels, fresh sheets, phone chargers, keys etc. Don’t forget your coffee pot to help kick start your unpacking in the morning!

Monday, January 5, 2015