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Serving the entire San Francisco Bay Area | Gayle Grace, 510-654-7983

Saturday, August 30, 2008

What the mover won't move

Recently on a move I used a new moving company and was surprised when they advised their list of things they would not pack or move, like Soy Sauce. Every moving company has their own list of items they've had bad experiences with, so you must check with them before you pack.

Generally, all moving companies will refuse:

1. Propane tanks, oxygen tanks, gas, car oils, aerosol cans of cleaning and car fluids, fire extinguishers, car batteries
2. Anything explosive or highly flammable, cans of sterno, butane, lighter fluids, lighters, matches
3. Ammonia, bleaches, most household cleaning and laundry products, pool chemicals, pesticides
4. Ammunition and household batteries (as in D, C, AA, AAA, etc.)
5. Paints, paint thinners, even children's paint sets, chemistry sets
6. Gardening supplies, snail baits, poisons, fertilizers
7. Nail polish and remover

Items most commonly in question and depending on the distance of the move:

1. Food - perishables
2. Open containers of cooking oils and liquids
3. Produce
4. Household plants
5. Alcohol and wine

When in doubt, give the item to your neighbors and buy fresh at your new location.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Moving in

Just returned home after spending 2 days in Saratoga unpacking one of my favorite clients. They moved from Danville and my associate, Charlotte Scott of Custom Move Solutions and I packed and then unpacked their kitchen and dining room. The weather was hot, but they made it fun and we got to soak our feet their pool to cool down, so all in all not so bad.

Here's the new kitchen on moving day...

And voila, the next day - done!

Here's Charlotte putting the finishing touches on the office bookcase.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Move management

One of my organizing clients recently moved. She opted to manage the move herself. She felt that since they were only moving one mile away and using a major moving company with a good reputation she wouldn't need a professional move manager. Today I went to see her new house so we could start planning the kitchen organizing. When I asked how the move went she told me that they lost 15 boxes on the move. Gone, vanished into thin air. The boxes contained her antique Christmas Ornaments and her grandmother's silver. The moving company only pays .60 lb, so they will be sending her a check for $80.00. There's nothing anyone can do about it.

As a professional moving manager, I have learned that no matter who the moving company is, it's so easy to lose things in a move. Instructions that aren't clearly understood causes boxes that were meant to be moved put into a dumpster instead. Someone not paying attention leaves boxes on the street and they disappear. Moving company help who help themselves to your stuff. Boxes left behind in the old house or in the truck when the move is done.

Moving is disruptive and no one person can be paying attention to everything that is going on during a move. If you are managing your own move here are some points to consider:

1. Pack extremely valuable items yourself and if you can take those boxes in your car. If valuables have to be moved by movers, do not label the boxes "Grandma's Silver" or "Antique Jewelry".

2. Inventory your items. Take photos of your stuff so you can prove what you own.

3. Number the boxes yourself. Moving companies do not do inventories on local moves, it takes too much time so it's expensive. That leaves YOU to count the boxes and number them as they go out your door.

4. Have someone at the door watching your things being loaded in the moving truck.

5. Do not let the movers stop along the route (on local moves). Make you sure you have water and food for them so they don't leave the premises with your stuff in the truck while they go off to find the local hamburger stand.

6. Check the truck before they leave. Make sure the truck is empty! Check under moving blankets and in any boxes left on the truck.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Toni Berry, Hanging Art

Hang things closer together rather than farther apart. I often use the width of the frames as the spacing between pieces, and very rarely hang pictures more than two inches apart.

Use symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangements of art to create either a formal or a casual feeling. Symmetry adds balance and formality to an arrangement and is generally pleasing and calming to the observer. Or do something unexpected by hanging pictures in an asymmetrical arrangement, which can be a casual, fun look for informal settings.

Consider hanging a set of pictures with similar subject matter and frame style in a tight grouping with almost no space at all between the frames, like the photo above. Note the frames and the art itself support the color of the decor, driving the purity of the color as the focal point.

Hang things lower rather than higher. In general, artwork should be hung so that the center point of the picture, or grouping, is at eye level for the average person. (5 1/2 feet from the floor is the "universal" eye- level height).

Don't get stuck in the rut of hanging all of your art in a predominately horizontal arrangement. Create interest and visual excitement by hanging several pieces in a vertical "stack". When hanging 2 pieces one under the other, go for the unexpected - hang the larger piece above the smaller one to avoid a "bottom heavy" look. Or try propping a piece against a wall or mantel, not hanging it at all, this works great for mirrors too!

A grouping of pictures should be thought of as one unit. Test an arrangement of art by laying everything out on the floor, seeing how they relate in size, color and subject matter. Play with combinations until you hit upon one that works, then transfer your final arrangement to the wall.

Relate artwork to the furniture below it. When hanging art over a table or sofa, for instance, the bottom of the frame should sit within 4-8" of the furniture below and its width should be less than that of the furniture.

Bigger is often better even in small spaces. One large painting can make a real statement, keep things simple, and draw attention to a room's focal point, like a fireplace or sofa.

Still need help hanging your art creatively? Marie Antoinette Interiors offers art placement and hanging services - give Toni a call at 925 862-9064.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Start your engines

My client is a retired professional race car driver hoping to finally organize his racing car tools and paraphernalia in his new garage. I spent a day with him gathering all the stuff together, measuring the available space and then shopping for the necessary organizing supplies. The next day we put all the tools, nuts, bolts, files and cleaning supplies in their new storage units and away he went.



Chocolate & Zucchini

I don't know how I missed this, but I have discovered the most delightful books by Clotilde Dusoulier.

In adddition, she has a wonderful blog at chocolateandzucchini and a newsletter - try it, you'll be transported to France at the click of your mouse.
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