blog post by Chasity Rodriguez
IN A TIME DEFINED IN many ways by the coronavirus pandemic, everyday life is affected constantly as we adapt to changing circumstances. One of the many effects of the pandemic is that more and more people are buying or adopting pets, sometimes referred to as “pandemic puppies,” than ever before.
Simultaneously, an increasing number of people are sheltering in place or being uprooted and going through multiple moves due to major life shifts in how they work or go to school. For many families, that means packing up and making a move with their furry friends in tow.
Moving is not necessarily a fun activity, and we often don’t take into consideration just how stressful it can be for our four-legged friends. Animals, like people, need time to adjust. But with smart preparation and planning, you can make the move successful and easier for your pet, for you and for your new home.
Here are five tips to make moving with your pet as pleasant and stress-free as possible:
Visit Your New Home Before Moving Day
Introduce your pet to your new home and surroundings the way you might introduce young children to the space (they’re called “fur babies” for a reason, after all). Most people bring their children to their new home a few times prior to an actual move to get them excited about the house and neighborhood. This gives them time to explore and visualize themselves in the new environment and can alleviate some of the stress that may carry over with the major transition.
Try this with your dogs, too – let them sniff around while you’re taking measurements for furniture. Take them for a walk around the block so they can start to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings. Seek out any local dog-friendly parks and research where the best veterinarians and doggy day cares are. You’ll both come to rely on these resources, and it’ll be a great way to meet new people in your neighborhood.
You may be tempted to throw away old, worn-out items prior to your move, but you’ll be glad that you didn’t get rid of your dog’s favorite chew toy or your cat’s beloved scratching post. Having these familiar items present in their new spaces will be key to helping them acclimate and feel right at home.
If you really hate that old dog bed, it doesn’t have to stay in your new house long-term. Keep it around for the first few weeks until the dog adjusts and feels comfortable in its new space. Think about how you would feel if someone tossed your favorite pillow that you simply cannot sleep without.
The same goes for cats. You may feel inclined to get a brand-new litter box for your new home, but hang onto the one they’re familiar with while they get used to the new setting.
Keep Them Away From the Action
No one enjoys the mayhem of moving day. The house is a mess, movers are rummaging around and you’re scrambling to do your best to make sure it all goes as smoothly as possible.
It may be a smart move for families with children to send them to stay with a family member or friend on the actual move day, and do the same with your pet, if possible. You don’t want them to associate their new home with the inevitable chaos and the frazzled mood you are sure to feel on moving day. If you don’t have someone that lives nearby, drop them off at day care or ask a new neighbor if they’d be willing to help.
Prevent Accidental Damages
A move can make pets act abnormally – your dog may decide to use the floor as a bathroom or a cat may scratch up the carpeting. To avoid these potentially costly damages, try to protect your new home as if you were dealing with a new puppy or kitten with some simple precautions.
Lay floor mats down or cover the couch temporarily until you know all the moving jitters have subsided. An accident can create more stress for both of you, and tarnish what should be a loving and peaceful new environment.
Give Them a Room, Then Room to Grow
Cats, in particular, are more likely to feel anxious about their new surroundings. A way to ease their anxiety is to limit their initial access to the whole house or apartment. Create a home base for them in one room that has their favorite toys, water, treats and a litter box, and allow them to acclimate on their own time. Once they’re comfortable there, you can open up additional space for them to explore room by room. If your cat’s home base isn’t the final destination for its litter box, slowly move it closer to the permanent location each day.
Finally, don’t forget to change your pet’s address tags when you relocate. With time, patience and smart planning, everyone will start off on the right foot (or paw) in your new home.
By Allison Chiaramonte, Contributor
Social Media Director
Windermere Mill Creek
10 Basic Rules for a pull together look in any room of your home
There are so many ways to fill a room but where do you start? I’ve complied 10 simple tips to help you pull together any room whether its filled with furniture or not. These tips will help determine where to put things, where not to put things and help you decided what is important and what’s not.
1. Think about the the function of the room and how are you using the space
Ask yourself how do I want to use the room and how many people will use it? That will help you decide the type of furnishings you’ll need and the amount of seating that will be best fit your needs.
2. What will your focal point be in the room
Decide what your focal point will be in the room, fire place, the television or even the view. If you plan to watch television in the room, the recommended distance between the set and the seating is three times the size of the screen (measured diagonally). Therefore, if you’ve got a 40-inch set, your chair should be 120 inches away.
3. Start with priority pieces
The largest pieces of furniture should go first, such as the sofa in the living room or the bed in the bedroom. You want these pieces to face the focal point. The recommended space between chairs are 8 feet apart to facilitate conversation. Of course if your room is small avoid pushing furniture against the walls.
4. Give some thought to Symmetry
Symmetrical arrangements work best for formal rooms and asymmetrical arrangements make a room feel more casual. I think this is a super helpful tip because you will know right away what you prefer your space to feel and look like. Do you want casual or do you want a more formal feel? These are the questions I would ask myself.
5. Create a Traffic Flow
The flow of traffic through the room generally is the path between doorways. You don’t want to block that path with any large pieces of furniture if you can avoid it. The general rule is to allow 30 to 48 inches of width for major traffic routes and a minimum of 24 inches of width for minor ones.
I would direct traffic around a seating group, not through the middle of it. Or you can create two small seating areas instead of one large one.
You can vary the size of furniture pieces throughout the room, this is so your eyes move up and down as you scan the space and avoid putting two tall pieces next to each other. Also, balance a large or tall item by placing another piece of similar height across the room from it.
7. Build in Contrast
Combining straight and curved lines to add contrast can make a huge difference. I really love the idea of straight lines with curvy lines. If the furniture is modern and linear, throw in a round table. If the furniture is curvy, mix in an angular piece. You can also combine a leggy chair with a solid side table, and a solid chair with a leggy table.
8. Design for Easy Accessibility
Place a table within easy reach of every seat and make sure every reading chair has an accompanying lamp. Also, coffee tables should be located 14 to 18 inches from a sofa to provide legroom. I personally think you can adjust this one because sometimes you just do not have the space.
9. Allow for Flow
In a dining room, there’s a recommendation for at least 48 inches between each edge of the table and the nearest wall or piece of furniture. This is to give space to move around easily.
In bedrooms, the recommendation is at least 24 inches between the side of the bed and a wall, and at least 36 inches between the bed and a swinging door.
10. Do some Planning
Before you move furniture test your design thought on paper. Measure the room’s dimensions, making sure your noting the location of windows, doors, heat registers and electrical outlets. You can use graph paper or use a digital room planner to test various furniture. This process can be fun!
Of course these are all just suggestions and the exact measurements on spacing furniture out can be adjusted to fit your needs. Just have fun with it and remember you can always change it.
Written by Chasity Rodriguez
Social Media Director
Windermere Mill Creek Real Estate