5 (Possibly Ridiculous) Tips on Packing Up Your Home

PackingStuff

Let’s start off by first stating that I am no expert mover. I’ve just done it a lot. You should also probably know that my methods of moving might not be for everyone. I don’t hire expert movers; I sweet-talk friends (preferably friends who own trucks) with promises of free beer. I don’t buy packing supplies. (I knew that tissue paper I saved for the past two years would come in handy!) My methods may be unusual, but I have picked up some tips that may help you if you’re surrounded by boxes and at a loss for how to pack. Here’s how I pack my home for a move.

1. Assemble your packing supplies
One time I moved everything I owned in reusable bags. You know, the kind you take to the grocery store. Granted I did this move over several weeks, but it was still a bit extreme. I don’t recommend this. Get some boxes. Many stores will give them to you for free. You’ll be a lot happier if you have the supplies you need. There’s nothing worse than scrambling at the last minute trying to find something to put your stuff in.

2. Start with the easy stuff
You have to start packing somewhere. I recommend zoning in on the items that fit easily in boxes (and aren’t breakable.) I essentially own a small library’s worth of books, so I start with those. Books are easy. They fit nicely in boxes, you don’t have to worry about them breaking, and you feel like you’ve accomplished something after you pack them. Other easy items to pack first include magazines, scrapbooks, photo albums and notebooks. Just use small boxes because this stuff is heavy.

3. Go through your things as you pack
Purging the stuff you don’t need saves you a lot of extra hassle on moving day. As you pack, make a donate pile and take that stuff to a secondhand store before you move. Trash anything unnecessary. Trust me, purging feels so good. And there’s nothing like the thought of having to lug all of that stuff up stairs, through hallways and in and out of trucks to get you to finally get rid of those holey socks and broken furniture.

4. Use items you already own as padding
I’m not a fan of bubble wrap. After you use it to move, it just goes in the trash. Save the planet a little by using items you already own as padding. I love wrapping dishes and other breakables in bath towels, dishtowels and rags. They make better padding anyway! I’ve even been known to use clothes as padding. Wrap that vase in a sweatshirt! Plus, it saves space. You have to move all of those towels and clothes anyway, may as well as put them to use while packing.

5. Give yourself plenty of time
It’s going to take longer to pack than you think. No really, it’s going to take longer to pack than you think. Start packing anything unnecessary as soon as possible. You’ll be happy you did.

I hope my tips help you out this moving season. I just finished a move, so I know it’s not an easy process. Let me know your favorite packing tips in the comments!

Weekend in St. Louis

IMG_6860_web

Decorating your home doesn’t come without inspiration. And I find that I feel most inspired to get creative with my home when I’m away from it for a while. Sound counterintuitive? Maybe. But it’s no secret that a little fun can leave you refreshed mind, body and soul.

This past weekend I spent a little time in St. Louis, Missouri. I wanted to share a few spots I went to (and loved!) in case you plan to visit.

Here are some great areas to explore:

Central West End

Pi PizzeriaLeft Bank Books

This cute eclectic area features some nice eateries and a couple shops. We ate at Pi Pizzeria, which has locations all around St. Louis. And I couldn’t visit a city without stopping at a local bookstore. So, I bought a book after perusing Left Bank Books.

Clayton

This neighborhood has a nice strip of restaurants and boutiques. We ate at a really delicious salad restaurant called Crushed Red.

The Loop

Blue Print Coffee

This funky area features six blocks filled with shops and restaurants. I had fun perusing a secondhand shop that I can’t remember the name of and sipping an iced coffee from Blueprint Coffee.

The Hill

Starting in the 1890s, Italian immigrants clustered in this area of St. Louis. Today, the neighborhood still holds to that heritage with dozens of Italian restaurants and stores. We ate at Zia’s, a reasonably priced (and tasty) classic Italian restaurant.

Other highlights:

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company: A craft brewery with a fabulous patio lined with picnic tables and lit by string lights.

Downtown/The Arch: We stayed downtown, which made it an easy walk to the Arch. (Be sure to check out the free museum below it!)

Forest Park: This 1,300-acre park is home to the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Saint Louis Science Center, the Missouri History Museum, The Muny and the Saint Louis Zoo.

Downtown St LouisPark Avenue CoffeeIMG_6880_web

Related articles:
Travel Planning Board

Decorating Idea: What to Do With Seashells?

Three Seashells

Who can resist gathering seashells any time they’re near an ocean? Just me? Maybe that’s just a thing people who don’t live near an ocean do, but chances are even you coastal dwellers have a few seashells in a drawer somewhere.

Because really, what do you do with them? You could put them in a jar. Or a bowl. Those would be pretty, but how many jars or bowls of seashells can you have? Am I right?

I faced this same conundrum a few weeks ago when I got back from a trip to Cambodia. During the days I spent in a couple of seaside towns in Cambodia, I gathered plenty of seashells. Because when am I going to go back to the Gulf of Thailand? Probably not any time soon. After unpacking and staring at my shell souvenirs, I was at a loss for what to do with them. Then, I came up with a brilliant solution.

Use them to decorate plants!

Decorate with seashells

It may sound weird, but I like to set little objects in my houseplants to give them some flair. Usually I place a few pretty rocks on the topsoil. Maybe a small figurine if I’m feeling crazy. But seashells are even better plant decorators!

Decorate plants with seashells Add flair to houseplants with seashells Seashells decorate houseplantThey just add a little something. It’s subtle. And pretty. And it makes me feel like I’m actually doing something semi-creative with my seashells.

What do you think?

Related articles:
5 Best Houseplants For Your Home
Why Snake Plants Make the Best Houseplants
Thrift Store Plant Saucers

Travel Day: Cambodia

Cambodia_web

Today I leave for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Cambodia! I’m sorry I’ve been so out of touch recently. An upcoming move (yes, I’ll be moving again this summer) and excitement over this trip has made me not in a writing/working mood. A vacation always changes that though! I hope to come back feeling refreshed and inspired.

I love the feeling of the unknown before a trip (especially when traveling to a completely different country and culture). You don’t completely know what to expect and you can only imagine what you’ll see. I’m ready for an adventure!

Packing_webShoes_web

Where are you itching to travel? Tell me about it in the comments! 


Keep Up With Red Leaf Style!

Follow Red Leaf Style author Kirsten Hudson on Twitter @kirsten_hudson, Google+ and Pinterest.

Weekend Finds: Saturday Garage Sale Haul

TableStuff_web

Last weekend I got up early and hit the garage sales. Driving from spot to spot, I scoped out some good deals. It was a prefect weekend for garage saleing. The cool weather meant tons of people were having sales. I didn’t drive far at all and found some great stuff for low prices!

Here’s what I found:
Small wooden end table: $3 (Yes, $3)
Glass ice bucket: $5
Two books: 25 cents each
Random hardware: 25 cents
Two 4×6 Crate & Barrel rugs: $35 total
Two dark wood shelves: $15 total

NewBooks_web

I bought a couple of cheap paperbacks to take on my upcoming trip to Cambodia!. You can’t beat 25 cents each.

Woodentable_webGlassIceBucket_web

I’m excited to add this ice bucket to my vintage bar cart!

AndiRug_web

Perhaps my best finds of the day were two barely-used 4×6 Crate & Barrel rugs. They’re a pretty white and beige color and they feel so soft! Also, they’re pup-approved.

Check out my past weekend finds!

What do you think of my finds? Let me know in the comments!