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Pets experience anxiety about a move, just like the other members of their family. While you can talk to young children to prepare them for an upcoming move, your favorite canine or feline simply can’t always understand your words. The good news is that you have many ways to help soothe your pet’s worries. Implementing these strategies as soon as you know you’re moving can ease your pet’s anxiety and help them acclimate to their new home faster.

1. Hire Professional Movers to Free Up Time for Your Pet

Similar to children, pets need more supervision during a move than you might be able to give if you are constantly shuffling boxes around. Hiring professional movers allows you to delegate major tasks that take up your attention. As the movers work, you can tend to your pet, which helps to alleviate their anxiety. Whether you play with your pet in the backyard while the movers do the packing or take them to a special part of the house while they load boxes, you’ll be able to keep your attention directed towards your favorite animal.

2. Try to Stick to Your Normal Routine

Your pet depends upon their routine to feel safe in the world, and nothing fuels anxiety like wondering when they will get their next meal. While it might be difficult, sticking to a routine during the move helps your pet feel secure. If necessary, recruit help with making sure your pet gets their daily walk or assign another family member to feed them on time when you’re signing paperwork for your new home.

3. Visit Your New Home Before the Big Move

Animals prefer familiar places, and you can bet that your pet will want to explore their new environment. If possible, take your pet to the new house before the main moving day. If you cannot go inside just yet, then you might still be able to let them sniff around the front yard and neighboring areas.

4. Keep Treats and Toys Accessible

Many pets are territorial regarding their toys, and seeing their favorite ball or chew toy get tossed into a box is upsetting for animals. Plus, having a ball to play fetch with is a great way to help your pet burn off any anxious energy they develop. Try to make sure that your pet’s favorite toys stay close by, and let your movers know that you prefer to keep them around until the move is complete. You might also opt to pack your pet a special box of new toys that you can bring out anytime they are especially anxious. Distraction is a wonderful method for keeping pets calm as new people work around the house.

5. Stay Close to Your Pet During Moving Day

On the big day, you’ll find that your pet is happier when you are able to stick by their side. You might decide to designate a special room where you and other family members can hang out with your pet while the movers work. Or, you could opt to take your pet to their favorite dog park while the bulk of loading up the truck is completed by professionals. Where you hang out with your pet is up to you but making them a priority helps to eliminate potentially challenging behaviors such as excessive barking or trying to run away.

6. Give Them a Safe Space While You Set Up

Once you get to your new home, you’ll want to establish a safe space in the area where they can rest and play while you unpack all your boxes. If your pet is crate trained, then you might put them in the same room where most of the action is happening. If they tend to roam more freely, then you can set up a pet gate to block off a safe area where your pet won’t be in the way of people carrying heavy boxes or furniture. Soon, you’ll be able to let them roam free and explore their new environment. Most pets quickly adjust to their new home once it’s set up, but you might still need to give your favorite animal a little extra love and care for the first few days.

Throughout your move, you might notice that your pet’s anxiety comes and goes. Taking the time to stay attuned to their mood can make it easier to know when to give them a little extra love and care. Once you’ve all settled into your new home, you’ll love watching as your pet begins to explore their new surroundings as they return your efforts to keep them calm with plenty of affection.

By: Katherine Robinson, a writer for Allied Van Lines

As the holidays draw closer, the time comes to turn your focus to your dining room. It’s the place where you’ll do most of your hosting. If you want to make a positive impression, consider the style and design. Just a few tweaks can change take your dining room to another level. Here are seven ways to spice up your dining room for the holidays.

1. Purchase A Rug

You can easily freshen up your dining set with a new rug. Size is an important consideration when investing in a new rug. Most dining room rugs are 24 inches. You also want to make sure that the rug isn’t so thick that it catches on the chairs whenever you pull them out.

The right size and color can add that comfort and warmth you seek during the holiday season. Consider a rug that features an abstract, multicolor, or red floral design. Any of these would be appropriate for a holiday party.

2. Invest in Black Wall Paneling

Another way to elevate this space is with black wall paneling. You don’t have to have a boring room. To make it pop, incorporate it with natural elements and a gray patterned rug. Or, you may want to add some refined elegant tones such as merlot or emerald green.

3. Add Natural Textures

This might sound unusual, but natural textures are on trend and can bring light into your dining room. This is necessary for those long winter days. Simply changing your dining set to oak will give this space a different feel. It’ll add some style and energy to an otherwise boring and drab dining room.

4. Replace the Light Fixtures

This calls for simplicity. Something replacing your light fixtures with something minimalist and understated can transform the look and feel of any dining room. A glass chandelier adds a touch of luxury while a glass lantern brings more light and color. Alternatively, twinkle lights provide that whimsy you want during the holiday season.

Ry Luikens
Visit www.Ry4Camas.com

5. Introduce Color in Your Home

Incorporate some color into your home. It’s predictable to decorate your dining room with the same Christmas decor. However, you could add a pop of color with a floral wallcovering. This provides a dramatic backdrop that complements your best dishware.

6. Add A Built-In Bar

An open bar keeps any party going. It’s a good way to keep everyone invested and entertained. Ensure you stock non-alcoholic options like seltzer, sparkling water, and mocktails. You also want to have lots of ingredients for cocktails and cream liquors.

A built-in bar is a custom unit that looks like furniture. It’ll blend in with the rest of your dining room. Maybe you’ll want to paint it in a bold hue such as black or forest green. Either of these shades will make your bar stand out in a good way.

7. Change Your Chairs

Sometimes all it takes is changing the chairs. For instance, you might want to add some comfort with fur cushions or plush throws. You might even consider velvet blankets, faux sheepskins, or fleece, depending on the style of your dining room.

You can also swap out the chairs for a bench. It offers that cozy feeling you get when you eat out at a restaurant. This provides room for everyone to sit at the table together. No one will wonder about where they should sit. If you want to break up the style of a dining room set, this is a great way to do it.

Spicing Up Your Dining Room

Each of these ideas will improve your dining room in a great way and will make your guests’ stay as comfortable as possible. The best meal is one that’s enjoyed with your friends and family. Making your dining room more stylish will impress anyone who visits, even the pickiest of guests.

Sometimes it could be as simple as getting a new area rug or chairs. Or, you can do a transformation with a black panel wall or a built-in bar. You can also keep it simple with light fixtures and splashes of color. No matter what you choose, you’ll have a stylish space that offers lasting memories for the holiday season.

By: Hannah, a writer for Exit Realty Number One

Don’t let a little bit of distance prevent you from celebrating your loved one’s birthday. Sure, you can’t be there in person, but this doesn’t mean your presence needs to be absent completely. There are plenty of ways to celebrate a long-distance birthday so that they still feel cherished and appreciated.

Send All Their Favorites

Spoil them rotten and send a huge gift basket with all their favorite items. These are the perfect gifts for when you can’t be there because it shows that you are always thinking about them. You also get to test your knowledge of how well you know them depending on what you put inside the gift.

Add their favorite snacks and beverages, but take it a step further and include some old photos inside the care package. Little mementos of your greatest moments together drive the point home that you love and care about them.

Video Birthday Cards

Instead of sending a classic birthday card from the store, add a personal touch to it. Create a video birthday card and pour your heart out. You can film yourself sitting down and talking to them, or you can combine several videos in one.

Ask a few others to join the video and have everyone share one of their favorite memories with the birthday boy or girl.

Virtual Parties for the Win

Don’t assume that you don’t have to do much planning because the party is virtual. Treat this virtual birthday party as you would an in-person one. You need to ensure everyone’s schedules match up, and if you plan on making it a surprise, you need to keep the guest of honor in the dark.

Start planning a least a month in advance, getting in touch with everyone you know who needs to be there. Start a chat with them all to see their availability. Ask the honoree what plans they have for their birthday and adjust your plans to fit their schedule.

Send out a link for everyone to join and then, at the last minute, contact the birthday boy or girl so that they can participate. Make sure everyone joins before you invite them into the call. Prepare some games for everyone to play and stories to share because you don’t want to just stare at each other all night.

Dinner Movie Date

Dinner and a movie is always a special gift. You can’t be there in person, but with this option, you can spend that quality one-on-one time that you guys miss. Make the day completely about them and have dinner ordered and sent over to their house so that they don’t need to lift a finger.

Get a meal from their favorite restaurant, and don’t forget to include dessert. You’ll need to blow out the candles with them virtually for it to be equally special. Plus, since you don’t have to worry about paying for multiple movie tickets, choose a couple of different films.

Go with some of their classic favorites, and then add a film neither of you has seen. That way, you get to share a new experience together.

Long distance doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate their birthday, and it definitely doesn’t mean you can’t make it special.

A functional garage workshop makes a difference in how well you finish projects. When your space is unorganized, cramped, or dark, it’s hard to stay focused and get motivated. 

But you don’t need a big budget or an interior designer’s mind to make your space work for you. Follow these top three tips for a functional garage workshop.

1. Select or Build Your Workbench 

Your workbench needs to be sturdy so that you can safely complete projects. And it needs to be the right size for your available square footage. Choose between wood, plastic, or steel workbenches.

Or, if you’re handy and have the tools for it, consider building your own custom workbench. Keep in mind that even when you have enough floor space, a larger workbench won’t always improve your space. Also, think about whether you want to put the workbench against the wall or away from it.

2. Light Up the Room 

In most standard garages, lighting is limited or ugly. Therefore, the next tip for a functional garage workshopis to upgrade the lighting. The better the lighting, the easier it is for you to see what you’re doing, and the less likely you are to strain your eyes. You can hang an LED shop light directly over your workbench to keep it illuminated. 

You don’t have to add lights everywhere to lighten the room either. Adding a diamond plate backsplash behind your against-the-wall workbench is a great trick for reflecting the light. And since one of the benefits of cosmetic diamond plates is durability, you’ll protect the wall from debris as you work.

3. Store Tools and Supplies Neatly

Use vertical storage space as much as possible. This will conserve your available floor area and can make it easier for you to find your tools and supplies. People commonly use pegboard to hold lightweight tools. And you can use a slatwall fitted with hooks, shelves, baskets, and bins to store larger and heavier items.

Place small items in drawers and use dividers to keep things organized. For miscellaneous small objects, consider using small storage bins. Label the bins, then keep the items you need the most often closest to you.  

This is Part 2 of our Being Prepared series, which focuses on water storage. Provident Living provides some great insight on being prepared.

Do you have enough water stored for you and your family in the event of an emergency? If so, is it stored properly? Adults need to drink at least two quarts of water each day. There are four quarts in a gallon. And, if you add in other needs, such a water for cooking, cleaning, etc. you really need one gallon per day per person. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people may need more. Additional water is needed for food preparation and hygiene—for a total of one gallon per adult per day. Experts recommend storing a two-week supply as a minimum. For an adult, that’s 14 gallons (53 liters).

A gallon of water weighs about 8.3 pounds. Water is not easy to transport because it is so heavy. That means your emergency water plan should account for that.

Keep these items in mind when you are planning. For example, you may want to put a gallon of water per day in your 72-hour kit. But, that will weigh about 25 pounds. Are you and your children strong enough? Will it even fit?

How do we do this? An approach

Here is an approach to water storage. The Ready Store says you need to have three ways of getting to clean water:

1. Store water. Every shelter-in-place supply should have water storage. A small word of caution: Don’t try to go cheap on your water storage. Buy a food grade water storage container like a 55, 30 or 5 gallon container and use that. Don’t fill up your old juice bottles or your old milk jugs. They’ll crack more easily and they’re not designed for long term storage.

The barrels and water containers are not very expensive and when the time comes that you need the water, you will be glad you stored water you can actually use. Also, have a variety of sizes of storage containers. Don’t just have a 55 gallon barrel that you never move and never clean out or fill up. Use smaller, easier to transport containers like a 5 gallon stackable.

2. Have a portable water filter. If you do have the water stored but you are not sure if it is safe or you come across water in an emergency and you don’t know if it is safe, portable water filters are extremely handy and will allow you to clean suspect water that you come into contact with and make it drinkable.

These portable micro filters will remove bacteria and protozoa from the water, but won’t kill viruses. If you have a stream, lake, pond, river or well by your house; you will be able to clean the water from those sources using these filters. Each filter will clean up to 500 gallons of water. That is nearly ten 55 gallon drums worth of water. They are also great for camping or hiking.

3. Have water purification tablets. These are very handy to have around and a small bottle will chemically treat up to 25 quarts of water. They work fairly quickly (typically in less than a half an hour) and will kill bacteria, protozoa and viruses.

Remember that if you don’t have any of these three things, you can still clean water by boiling it. As a matter of fact, boiling is most effective way to clean water except it won’t take out the floaties like a filter will. The problem with boiling water to drink is it uses a lot of fuel that you may not want to use for that purpose. Also, don’t forget to have portable water pouches in your emergency supplies. They have a 5 year shelf life and are very handy to have around.


According to providentliving.org, water storage containers should be thoroughly washed and should be airtight and resistant to breakage. Plastic soda bottles are commonly used. If the water has been treated with chlorine by a water utility, you do not need to add anything before storing it. If the water is not chlorinated and is clear, add eight drops of household bleach (5 percent sodium hypochlorite) per gallon. If the water is not chlorinated and is cloudy, add 16 drops per gallon. Seal the containers tightly, date them, and store them in a cool, dark place. Since many containers are clear, and light can permeate them, you may want to cover them or store them in dark plastic bags. Replace water every six months.

Other water sources in your home include the water heater and water remaining in the pipes, but in the event of contamination, this water would need to be purified. Having ready, potable water available for immediate use is one of the most important ways to help your family be prepared for an emergency.

If more families and homes are prepared for an emergency that places less burden on local governments and first responders.

Water storage containers.