Get ready for Spring!

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It may have taken a long time for the snow to finally leave, but it's safe to say that spring is finally here! The weather isn't quite warm enough for outdoor activities, but there are plenty of other indoor activities that can still help celebrate the upcoming season.

To help get you and your family ready for spring, why not try out one of these seasonal activities that can easily be done with a few household ingredients:

Baking

  • Use up your leftovers: Do you have a lot of Easter chocolate leftover, and aren't sure what to do with it? This recipe from Bake. Eat. Repeat. uses popular Easter egg candies on top of a haystack to make a festive treat! Not only is it easy to make, this recipe requires no baking at all, and is easy for children of any age to help with.
  • Snacks that are healthy and fun: Strawberries are a versatile fruit, and a great snack for kids to take to lunch or have at home. This spring, why not add a little something extra? Consider trying these pastel-coloured strawberries from Salt & Lavender that are covered in chocolate for a fun treat or dessert. Kids can easily help out by dipping them into sprinkles or dipping the strawberries themselves. For something simpler, Kid Friendly Things to Do has a recipe for lady-bug themed strawberries that only require some melted chocolate and mini-marshmallows.
  • Butterfly pretzels: It may be too soon to see a real butterfly, but consider decorating your cupcakes with chocolate covered pretzels and round candies to resemble a colourful butterfly like this one from Who Needs a Cape. Or, you can use your creative skills to assemble these pretzel butterflies from Butter with a Side of Bread with a variety of colourful candy melts and plenty of sprinkles!

Arts and crafts

  • Garden decor: This craft is easy for children to help with, and after it's done it can be used to spruce up your garden or flower bed. All you need are a few rocks, a brush and outdoor paint! Check out the full instructions at Crafts by Amanda.
  • Food into art: Bow-tie noodles have another use besides a meal option - they can be used to make a variety of springtime objects for an artistic rendering of spring. Crafty Morning shows how you can use these noodles, a few markers and glue to create butterflies, flowers and more.
  • Bird feeders: Bird seeds, water, and gelatine make for a fun craft from Messy Little Monsters. Use whatever cookie cutters you have to make the seeds into fun shapes, and hang them with coloured ribbon. This is also a great activity for kids to get involved in - not only can they enjoy making the bird treats, they can also have fun waiting to see who eats them as well!

There are many different activities that you and your family can do to celebrate the season without having to break the bank or buy extra materials. While these activities are spring-themed, they can easily be pulled out throughout the spring and summer whenever bad weather hits the city!

Don't forget to make your moving checklist!

If you're planning on moving soon or in the process of moving, you know that there are a lot of tasks that need to be completed before the process is over! In order to stay on track, make sure that you create a checklist with all of the important tasks that you need to this. Checklists are important because during a busy time like moving, it is very easy for people to forget to do even the most important tasks. With so much going on, many things can get lost in the shuffle. Whatever needs to get done, make sure you write it down.

Checklists also make it easier for you to delegate to others. For a more organized move, don’t be afraid to ask from help, either from family or friends, or even professional moving services. This will help make the process as efficient and stress-free as possible. You want to make sure that you have enough time to complete the process without rushing, but you also don’t want to be perpetually unpacking your belongings, so a checklist can also help you stay on track.

While many items are easy to remember (like decluttering and packing), there are other tasks that often get overlooked. Below, we’ve outlined some of the tasks that you should include on your list:

-       Important records: This includes any school, medical, or dental records you may need to transfer to a new service. If you are unable to have them transferred, you may need to obtain your own copies.

-       Time-off work: Why try and finish a move over the weekend? Make sure you take plenty of time so you don’t have to rush or put off moving until your done work for the day. It might be a good idea to take an extra day or two to relax and enjoy your new home!

-       Moving documents: Designate one folder for all of your important moving documents so you don’t forget anything (or accidentally pack it!) for moving day.

-       Insurance: If you’re moving a lot of valuable items, it may be worth it to get moving insurance. This way, you will be covered if anything goes wrong during the move. Make sure to carefully pack your valuable items and store them in a safe location during the move.

-       Know where to go for help: If you’re moving to a new area, it may be useful to research the different service providers (electrician, plumber) in case you notice something isn’t working right during your move or right after.

-       Return borrowed items: Have you recently loaned items from the library or from a friend? Make sure you return everything that you have out on loan and there is nothing left on your records.

-       Prescriptions: Visit your pharmacist and make sure that all your prescriptions have been filled so you don’t have to worry about running out during the move and the initial period after.

-       Electronics: Many electronics come with a variety of cables, so take pictures of all of your plugged-in electronics so you can easily set them up in your new home. It is also a good idea to back up your devices before the move.

-       Plan a moving party: Make sure you enjoy the last couple of nights in your home. Help your children plan one last sleepover, or invite family, friends, and neighbours over for one last evening.

-       Pack an bag with essentials: Make sure that all of your essentials like toiletries, a couple of outfits, shoes, snacks, and important documents like passports and birth certificates.

-       Defrost freezer: A day or two before you move, make sure that you empty out the items in your freezer and make arrangements for their storage. Then, let your freezer defrost so it is ready to be moved to your new home.

-       Drain fluids: Make sure that equipment and machinery like hoses and lawnmowers are empty of any water or gasoline before moving.

-       Plants: If you’re taking plants with you, make sure they have been watered and cared for, and are stored in a safe location during the move. If you are unable to keep them, see if family and friends are interested in looking after them, or donate them to a local charity.

-       Check the weather: The weather is constantly changing here, so make sure you stay up to date on what the weather conditions will be like on moving day. This may affect your travel times and how much you are able to do on that day.

Don't forget anything during your move by keeping track of everything you need to get done before, during and after the process. When in doubt, there are plenty of printable checklists available online to help you get started!

Moving? Start planning ahead of time!

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There is a lot more involved with moving than putting your belongings in a box. Moving requires careful planning, preparation and organization well before you are ready to bring out the packing tape. Moving should not be a last minute or impulse decision. It is often best to start making preparations up to a year before you are planning your move.

When you start seriously thinking about moving, you need to consider the logistics of your move. How are you going to pack and get prepared? Will you be hiring services? Will you need to take time off? Before you can start organizing your belongings, you need to organize and coordinate your moving process.

The first step is to establish a timeline. This needs to be a realistic and achievable timeline – there is no need to stress you and your family out by rushing the moving process. You will need time to find a new home, prepare your old home, pack, move and unpack. As well, there may still be work, school, sports, and other everyday obligations that will still need to be taken care of. By establishing a broad idea of what needs to be achieved and when, you can start focusing on the finer details of the moving process.

Once you have a timeframe in mind, you can start thinking about how you are going to prepare for your move. Will you be hiring a moving or organization service, or undertaking the entire process on your own? Will your family and friends be involved in the process? After you determine who will be involved in the process, you can start delegating different tasks to each person, with clear timeframes. For example, your partner can set up appointments to meet with realtors while you book tours of the schools in the area. You can also get other family members to start decluttering their belongings and purging the items they do not want or need any longer.

Before you begin coordinating your move, make sure that you have the resources and materials you need. Determine how you’re going to pack your belongings – will you need to buy bins or labels, or are you borrowing them? What rooms will you pack first, and when will you do it? Will you need to rent a storage locker, or can you store some items with family? Book your family and friends or a professional service for moving days as far in advance as you can, or at least give them a heads up that moving day may be coming soon.

There are many elements that make up the moving process, many of which can be accomplished well in advance of the actual move. The more time you have, the better, as sometimes homeowners have a short amount of time to leave their home and move into their new one. Make sure that you and your family are prepared in advance by looking beyond packing. Don’t forget – you can always ask for help! At Calm Order, we can assist you with all aspects of the moving process. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to contact us or submit a question to our Ask the Organizer page.