How to Prepare for Your First Night in Your New Home

Given the laundry list of things to plan, you’re bound to overlook a few details when moving to a new home. Just don’t make packing the all-important “first night” bags one of them! Trust me, you don’t want to spend the very first 24 hours in your new place rummaging through all of your boxes in search of underwear, toothbrushes and pajamas. Especially when you could be kicked back on a couch, enjoying the fruits of your labor.

If children and pets are also in the picture, then it’s particularly important to prepare for the first night well in advance. Searching for diapers, kibble, toys and applesauce while juggling the demands of a baby or puppy will be hard enough as it is. So make it easier on yourself by boxing up family and home essentials in an easily accessible box prior to the move.

To help you stay organized in your digs (and have fun while doing it!), we’ve included a few tips on how to properly prepare for spending the first day and night in your new home.

Pack a “first night” bag for yourself

Whether it’s the week or the night before the big move – at some point during the packing process, I highly recommend organizing all of your first night essentials into one easily accessible place. Otherwise, you could end up sleeping in yesterday’s clothes. Packing your essentials in a “first night” bag, box or suitcase will not only give you peace of mind once the movers have left, but it will also make the entire experience less stressful overall. Of course, if you’re embarking on an interstate move, and your movers aren’t slated to arrive for another week, you’re going to need to pack enough clothing and personal essentials to last you during that time. Your “first night” bag should really be more of a “first week” suitcase.

Here are a few examples of items you should consider when packing personal essentials:

  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Toiletries
  • Medications
  • Chargers for phones, computers and other necessary electronics
  • Pajamas
  • Extra underwear
  • Clothing and outerwear for the first couple of days
  • Shoes
  • Sleeping sound machine (if moving to a noisy city)
  • First aid kit
  • Wallet and credit cards

Pack a home essentials box

After you pack a first night bag for yourself, I recommend packing a separate suitcase or box with all of your home essentials for the first few days. If your move is same-day, simply pack a clearly labeled “first night home essentials” box to be included with the other relocation boxes. If the move is going to take a week or two, I recommend taking these home essentials with you on the move.

Packing these items will not only save you a trip to the CVS, but your sanity as well. Especially when it comes to things like finding toilet paper. Here’s what I recommend packing for the home:

  • Snacks, a few canned goods and sandwich basics
  • Sheets and pillows for the beds
  • Trash bags
  • Bottled water
  • Bath towels
  • Extra batteries
  • Toilet paper and a roll of paper towels
  • Small bottle of laundry detergent
  • Shower curtain (if needed)
  • Paper plates, utensils and cups
  • Lightbulbs
  • Flashlight
  • Can opener
  • Essential cleaning supplies

Pack a “first night” bag for kids and pets

Moving with children and pets makes the relocation process all the more challenging. Thankfully, by preparing a separate overnight bag, you can thwart a lot of those first night problems for Fluffy and the kiddos. Moving is stressful and chaotic enough for both pets and children, so prepping a “first night” bag with familiar items will not only help to keep their anxiety at bay, but will also make their experience a fun one.

Here’s what to consider when packing an overnight bag for your kiddos:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Clothing and pajamas
  • Something to keep them contained, such as a portable bouncy seat or pack n’ play set.
  • A toy
  • Books or an iPad to play games
  • Snacks, formula, juice, food, etc.
  • Sippy cups or bottles
  • Pacifiers
  • Medications and first aid kit

Don’t forget fido or fluffy! Here’s what to consider when packing for your pets:

  • Enough food for a few days.
  • Food and water dishes
  • Poop bags or kitty litter box/scooper
  • Leash
  • Toys and bones for your dog to chew on
  • Cat toys
  • Crate or carrier
  • Blanket

Which items to unpack that night

In addition to preparing the first night essentials, it’s a good idea to plan out which items and rooms you plan to unpack that night. Personally, I don’t recommend being overly ambitious the first night in your home. Moving is exhausting, and no one is expecting you to be completely unpacked the first week in your new home. If you’re going to unpack anything at all, I suggest starting with the bedrooms – especially if you have children. After putting the sheets on the bed, head to the kitchen and unpack the items you’ll need during the first week, such as forks, knives, plates, mugs, coffee machine, etc.

How to enjoy the first night in your new digs

After you’ve successfully unpacked your essentials and settled in, it’s time to enjoy your new house! Tonight is not the night to stress about the little things. You have plenty of time to fix that leaky faucet, strip the wallpaper and repair the disposal that suddenly decided to stop working. Relax! You’ve just accomplished a major move and it’s now time to celebrate. Here are a few ways to enjoy your new home on the first night:

  • Pop some bubbly.
  • Instead of stressing yourself out over cooking, order take-out or delivery instead.
  • If your place is a trainwreck, go out to eat.
  • Play a game with your family. Chances are, you may not have cable when you arrive. Be patient! If you planned ahead, it should be installed in no time. In the meantime enjoy spending quality time with your family.
  • Read a book.
  • Meet your new neighbors. The first day in your new home is as good of a time as ever to introduce yourself to the new neighbors. If you have kids, find other neighbors with children to befriend.
  • Go for walk in your new neighborhood. Get out the house and explore the area with your family.
  • If you’re going to insist on unpacking boxes, I suggest spending the first night making sure each box is in the right room to start with.

Article Reference: https://www.moving.com/tips/first-night-in-your-new-home/

How to Decide on the Perfect Backsplash

1.) Color or Neutrals?

Color is usually one of the first decisions you’ll make.  You’ll need to decide if you want your bacskplash to be colorful, or if you want to remain in the neutral zone.  Although a colorful backsplash has immediate impact, a neutral backsplash can add just as much character to your space.


It all comes down to the other colors and materials being used in your kitchen and how your tile will pair, and your overall color preference.  Some people are drawn to color, while others find a sense of calm in a neutral space.


2.) Backsplash Height

Backsplash height is often a design detail homeowners overlook.  The backsplash has to end somewhere, but where it ends is up to you, although cabinetry can often be the deciding factor.  if you just want a hint of tile, only bring your backsplash up to the bottom of your cabinet or first shelf in an open shelving design such as the one below.


If you want more tile, you can often extend your backsplash to the ceiling in areas where there are no cabinets, such as over the sink, or over a stove.  A counter to ceiling installation makes the tile a focal point in your kitchen, so if you choose to bring it to the ceiling, make sure you’ve chosen a color, size and layout that you love.


3.) Material

The material you choose for your backsplash is just as important as color.  You’ll need to figure out which tile type will work best in your overall design.  Is it ceramic Tile?  Brick?  Handpainted?  This decision should be based on personal preference but also on the overall design style you are trying to achieve.  If your kitchen is rustic or industrial, Brick might work best.  If it is clean and contemporary, a crisp matte glaze from our ceramic Tile line will probably be your best bet.  Our online Design Consultants are always here to help you figure out which of our product lines will best match your kitchen design.

4.) Consider Your Countertops

Your tile backsplash is always going to be right up against your countertops, so it is important to make sure the two materials and colors work well together.  If you choose a colorful countertop material such as in the kitchen below you’ll want to choose a neutral tile color (but you can still go wild with pattern!).  If your countertops are neutral, choose tile that complements the texture and tone of the countertop material.


5.) Shape and Pattern

Do you prefer classic shapes, or fun patterns?–Another important decision to be made.  If you want your kitchen to remain timeless in design, we suggest sticking with a classic field tile size such as a 3 x 6 in a subway tile layout, or even a 4 x 4 in a straight set pattern.  Field tile will transcend trends, making your tile backsplash a sustainable design feature.


However if you are drawn to pattern, specialty shapes can be just as timeless when done right.  Our specialty tile shapes work well in both color and neutrals, but it is important to consider the impact they will have on your overall design.  You want to make sure the color and shape you are choosing fits well in not just your kitchen but your entire home.  The kitchen below has a natural, mid-century inspired feel, and so does the rest of the house.  The owners chose our contemporary Moroccan-inspired shape, Paseo in an organic green hue to complement the overall design, while adding a little extra character.


6.) Budget

Last but not least, budget is one of the most important things to consider when choosing backsplash tile.  If your budget is tight, you’ll want to lean toward standard field sizes and our Express line glazes.  However you can still add fun details the way the kitchen below has done with our Handpainted tile.  Bordering a few Handpainted pieces with classic white field tile is a great budget friendly way to add handmade, artistic appeal to your kitchen without breaking the bank.


Keep in mind that our specialty shapes and more intricate glazes do cost a bit more.  The manufacturing process is more detailed, and we make everything by hand.  Custom colors will also drive up your price.  So before choosing your dream tile, have a clear budget set, and as always, our online Design Consultants are here to help you get the most out of your budget.


9 Tips for Hassle-Free Home Construction

Carefully Select the Builder:
Before hiring a builder, drive past their previous jobs and speak to the homeowners. Ask if the builder had good follow-through, whether the job was completed on schedule and on budget and if they were pleased with the quality of work. Also, check the builder’s relationships with subcontractors and supply houses — essentially find out if they pay their bills. A builder who is behind in payments will most likely encounter delays in receiving materials and have a hard time keeping a quality crew.
Hire a Lawyer:
Have a lawyer review the contract with your builder. Building a home is a major investment and it’s important to make sure all of your bases are covered. A small lawyer fee up-front could save you thousands of dollars should something go wrong during construction.
Investigate the Area:
Before purchasing land, research the school district and crime rate. Drive around the surrounding area, checking for convenience to interstates, schools, shopping and restaurants.
Don’t Overbuild:
Before finalizing home plans and beginning construction, compare the home you’re planning with others on the same street. You never want to be the most expensive house on the block; you won’t get your money back when you sell.
Don’t Select a Builder Based Solely on Bid:
When choosing a builder, don’t select the one with either the highest or lowest bid. A high bid doesn’t guarantee a superior product and the lowest bid could mean that you’ll be hit with extra costs as construction progresses. Often, the low number is to reel you in and the extras will be tacked on later.
Hire Locally:
Word-of-mouth references are a good gauge of a builder’s reputation. So ask around, then hire the best builder in the community. A well-established local builder will have plenty of nearby subcontractors and suppliers to rely on, meaning no costly travel delays while waiting for out-of-town crews and materials.
Build for Your Future:
When planning your home’s layout, think not only about your current lifestyle but also plan for a few years down the road. For older adults, a master bedroom on the ground floor is a smart bet. Also, including a shaft that could one day be an elevator is a good idea. The space could be used as closets now and easily converted to an elevator should the need arise.
Don’t Go With the Latest and Greatest:
Fill your home with technology that will stand the test of time. State-of-the-art features are great but quickly become outdated. Buy products that have been on the market for a year or two. They’re less expensive, readily available and any initial kinks and design flaws have been worked out.
Avoid Trends:
Nothing betrays a home’s age like trendy, of-the-moment fixtures. Let’s say that Brazilian cherry hardwood is all the rage, then it goes out of style making your home look dated. Select fixtures and features that are classic so your home always looks current.

Article Reference: https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/9-tips-for-hassle-free-home-construction

The New Approach to Home Building

When building your new home with Liberty Homes, consider making small changes now that can save you tens of thousands of dollars in the future. Consider building your home in a way that allows you or your loved ones to age in place. Aging-in-place is a simple yet important concept of adding or making a few minor changes to your home for the aging homeowner or people with disabilities. The changes to your home would permit for you or a family member to remain at home should they become disabled in some way. There are a large range of small changes that are considered aging-in-place certified. These changes include replacing all door knobs with door handles for easy door use. Building wider doorways and frames for ease of wheelchairs and walkers. Other options are wider hallways, using hard flooring rather than carpet, creating low or no thresholds between areas, even roll-in showers are pretty common. Some of these changes are so small you will not notice them right away, but when daily activities become a little more difficult these changes will have a great impact.

Adding these small changes now, while building your home may cost very little. However, should someone become disabled, the savings in staying at home versus going to a nursing home is almost unimaginable.

Build the home of your dreams that you will never want to leave. Talk with Dusty about simple ways to build your home with today and the future in mind.