Clutter & Cortisol: Using Home Design To Eliminate the Stress of Stuff

(4.5-min read)

The following scenario may sound familiar to many of us. You come home from a long day at work or from driving the kids to their various activities. The home is a wreck. More than untidy, it feels like items have begun to accumulate all over the house over the past several weeks or even months. A feeling of disappointment or even anxiety may flare up inside as you walk through the door. You’re definitely not alone in this feeling. In this piece, we’re going to look at how clutter has been linked to heightened stress as well as how to control your collection of assorted stuff before it controls your emotions.

Clutter Linked To Stress

It may seem like the build-up of clutter in your house is only dangerous if you trip on it in the middle of the night or early morning. We wish this were true, but it isn’t. According to a study by the UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF), women who consider their homes to be overly cluttered and filled with unnecessary or misplaced items had higher levels of cortisol — the hormone associated with stress. Extended periods of stress can result in heart conditions, impaired cognitive abilities, and digestive issues. Ever just feel off? Part of the reason could be your cluttered house.

Practical Clutter Reduction Tips

Reducing the amount of clutter in your home isn’t rocket science, but rather just requires being more intentional about the items you bring into your home and what to do with them once they’re there.

  • Disregard “might use” items. If you’re holding onto items simply because you “might use” them one day, they’re likely just taking up space in your house as well as your mind. This goes for items that you have already upgraded. That box or drawer full of old phones and random cables likely isn’t helping out your mental state at all.
  • Assign places for your things. It sounds overly simplistic, but simply having an assigned spot in your house for your items can take a load off of your mind. This process not only reduces clutter-induced stress but has two other benefits. Firstly, you will always know where this item is when you need it. Secondly, this will gauge whether or not you need to keep this item. If you don’t have space for it, think hard about whether or not you need to keep it.
  • Gravitate towards multifunction or multi-use items. Instead of buying an item you will only use once or only has one function, consider purchasing items you can use time and time again as well as items that have multiple functions. This is especially true when it comes to kitchen gadgets, which can quickly clutter kitchen drawers.
  • Tidy your garage as though it is another room. It is pretty rare to have a tidy garage as most people simply consider it a space for overflow. If an item has been residing in your garage for years without use, the likelihood that it will be used in the next few years is slim. A tidied garage can have a surprising effect on stress levels and your mental state.

Using Home Design To Reduce Clutter

Organizing and decluttering can greatly help relieve stress you didn’t know you were experiencing. However, in order to make your home less likely to build up clutter in the first place, some elements of custom home design can help.

  • Tame clutter with built-in storage. Once you have a good idea of how a space will be used, you can start to design custom storage solutions to organize the necessary items that the room contains. Built-in cabinets can hide unsightly items. Built-in bookshelves can help organize and tame book collections. Built-in display cases can revive the usefulness of cherished items once taking up space in your closet or attic.
  • Utilize recessed storage. Bulky cabinets can stick out and make a space feel cramped. However, recessed storage elements flush with a wall can increase the feeling of openness in a living room, kitchen, or even bedroom. Consider recessed built-in storage options when designing or remodeling your home.
  • Take advantage of vertical headspace. Most homes today have heightened ceilings. Take advantage of this increased verticle space to store items in higher areas where they are out of your eye-level. Keep the items you need within eye level and easy to access. Less often used items can afford to be kept up higher with a step-stool nearby. If you find yourself needing to store something you rarely use, consider selling, donating, or throwing it away.

For help designing a new home with clutter-reduction built-in, feel free to learn more about and connect with the custom home builder professionals from Perry Hood Properties.

Building a Home Gym You’ll Want To Use

(7-min read)

We’ve all been there — you tell yourself that you’re going to make strides to get into shape via exercise…and then proceed to fail. Whether you just never get started or you over-buy and underuse, it’s easy to fall victim to your own fleeting drive. In this piece, we’re going to look at building a home gym space that you will actually want to use.

The Psychology of Your Workout Space

“Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior.” – James Clear, author of Atomic Habits

We’ve used that quote in pieces before, but we wouldn’t if it wasn’t so true. When it comes to your home gym, if your mind isn’t in it, it will be nothing more than a storage room for your exercise equipment. It’s for this reason that we need to change the dynamic and rethink how we see the space.

This isn’t your home gym. This is the place where exercise happens.

If you assume that exercise will happen in your home gym once you fill it full of expensive exercise equipment, you’re likely to fall victim to what is known as a “false start.” If you’ve ever purchased that expensive set of golf clubs in hopes that they will motivate you to hit the greens, only to never make it out there, you understand this concept completely. A false start in the realm of your home gym can happen just as easily. If you don’t think of the space itself as an area of your home where exercise happens, even the fanciest equipment won’t help. It’s crazy how quickly treadmill can become a $3,000 towel rack when we’re not serious about facing our workout goals.

Trick to try:

Before you place a single barbell or piece of exercise equipment in your home gym, clear out the room completely and use the space solely for solo exercise. Run in place. Do jumping jacks, push-ups, planking, and other exercises that don’t require any equipment whatsoever. After a few days or weeks, this space will become your home gym in your mind before it ever materializes physically. After a while, doing jumping jacks in an empty room will start to feel somewhat silly. Still, this space will feel more like a gym and less like a closet for your workout gear.

Add Equipment Piece By Piece

Once you’ve mentally dedicated the space as the location of your physical exercise, you may begin adding exercise equipment piece by piece. Start small and work one at a time depending on your actual workout routine. Maybe start with a set of hand weights or a jump rope. A few weeks or months later, if you feel up to it, install a pull-up bar. Take baby steps to make your gym customized to exercises you actually do.

Only Buy the Equipment You’ll Use

It can feel tempting that, just because a transaction went through on some new sneakers, you’ll start to see gains on new equipment. If you’re not ready for it, it will likely collect dust. Don’t buy a treadmill just because you feel like a gym isn’t a gym without one. Instead, buy a treadmill because you’re tired of running in place. Don’t buy a benchpress set because that’s what a gym has. Buy it because you’re tired of doing bench-presses laying on the floor, pushing your hand weights towards the ceiling.

Trick to try:

If you’re thinking about buying a piece of equipment, put that piece of equipment on your calendar a month away. In the meantime, start doing exercises that the piece of equipment would help you with. Before you buy a rowing machine, replicate the movement with elastic bands in a sitting position on the floor. Before you buy a punching bag, try shadow boxing. By delaying purchases and trying out their benefits, you may find that you wouldn’t actually enjoy the kind of exercise the equipment offers or that you don’t actually need it to achieve similar results.

By only buying what you need once you’re ready to incorporate it into your workout, your home gym won’t be cluttered with unnecessary equipment.

Organize Your Gym In a Transparent, Inspiring Nature

If a plate of cookies were sitting on your kitchen table, you would probably grab one every time you went to get a glass of water. Over time, you’d probably want to consider changing out the plate of cookies with a bowl of apples. Your gym should have the same kind of environmental cues associated with it.

Your home gym is a place to get work done. Like any other workplace, it should be tidy. With that being said, don’t hide pieces of equipment in drawers where you’re likely to forget they exist. Organize your gym equipment where you easily see everything you have. Install a hook on the wall for your jump rope. Keep your weights on a rack where they are visible. Also, keep your equipment organized in accordance with your workout. If you start your workout stretching, leave an open space by the door that allows you to do so. If you then move on to jumping rope, keep that located on a wall hook just outside of that space, followed by weights just beyond that. Allow the flow of your gym to take you on a journey through your workout.

You May Start With No Mirrors

As you start building up your home gym, you may be tempted to copy the look and feel of a regular, subscription-based gym — including installing huge mirrors. If you’re just starting your workout journey, you may hold off on the mirrors for a while. According to an article in Psychology Today, those with body issues may be deterred from continuing their exercise routine if they can see themselves in mirrors all the time. Even if you know that you’re not quite in the best shape yet, you know that you don’t look your best when you’re struggling through a workout. While you may be on your way to six-pack abs and toned limbs, mirrors may make you feel hopeless at first.

Make Appointments For Your Home Gym Use

When you schedule time on your calendar to use your own home gym, you’re more likely to keep the agreement you’ve made with yourself. Treat it like you’ve paid for a membership and you don’t want your money to go to waste. This is actually pretty spot-on as you’ve definitely paid for the use of this gym.

Don’t Break The Chain

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld attributes much of his success to never “breaking the chain.” By this, he’s referring to a habit he developed of writing one joke every day. It could be great, it could be terrible, but just the act of doing this act is what led to notebook after notebook filled with jokes. On every day that he wrote a joke, he would draw a huge red “X” on the calendar date of a calendar that hung on his wall. His goal was to never “break the chain” of Xs. In a similar way, you may consider hanging a generic calendar on your gym wall with a red pen or marker hanging next to it on a string. For every day you work out, X out the date. See how long you can go without breaking the chain.

If you’d like help designing your ideal home gym space, you may consider factoring this into your new home build with help from Perry Hood Properties.

Learn more about the experienced home building professionals from Perry Hood Properties today.

Transforming Your Guest Room into a Serene Old-Fashioned Study

(3.5-min read)

As a society, we’ve never been more connected. Personal computers with access to every person we know (and don’t know) fit in the palm of our hands. Open-concept floorplans are great for parties but provide no space for private contemplation. Perhaps it is time to put down the screens from time to time and reconnect to the stoic contemplation that our grandparents enjoyed. Perhaps it is time to consider transforming your guest room into a multifunctional study.

Making Use of the Unused Guest Room

home library reading nook studyMany homes today enjoy the luxury of a guest room. However, many of us don’t set foot in our guest rooms when they’re not used for their intended purpose. Even worse, when these spaces are not utilized, they often fill with unnecessary clutter and may even become unusable for their intended purpose. In order to give your guest room a sense of utility as well giving yourself a place to retire in quiet contemplation, transforming your guest room into a multifunctional study has never felt more appealing.

Using a Murphy Bed or Hide-A-Bed Sofa

murphy bedYour guest room may not feel like anything more than an unoccupied bedroom. This is due largely in part to the large bed that occupies the entire room when not in use (which is most of the time). In order to be able to make great use of your guest room when not occupied, an easily concealable Murphy bed or hide-a-bed sofa is a great choice. Murphy beds allow any unused bed to fold into the wall. Hide-a-bed sofas provide great seating for enjoying a coffee on a rainy morning or a cocktail with a novel after hours.

Warming Up Your Study Space

A study can feel like an oasis from the busy world or even a busy home. In order to maximize this warm and cozy feel, there are a few easy methods.

  • Consider removing or concealing TVs and computer monitors. Sometimes, we simply need a break from screens. By removing these screens from sight, you will feel less drawn to be mindlessly carried into the busyness of the outside world and instead settle into that book you’ve been wanting to read.
  • Stocked bookshelves provide instant warmth and escape. There are few things more simultaneously appealing and calming than the sight of a fully-stocked bookshelf. Your study can act as the library of your home. After a while, it will feel like the books are begging to be read.
  • Keep your study’s lighting warm and muted. Bright or sterile lighting can feel harsh and irritating. Instead, consider lighting your study with lamps or wall-mounted fixtures with warmer color temperatures.
  • Keep the color palate natural. Bright colors can add energy to any space. For this reason, intentionally mute the colors of your study with warm and natural colors. Wood-grain furniture, leather tones, and brass accents can add an old-world warmth to any modern space.

Studies Make For Relaxing Guest Spaces

One of the biggest advantages of a study/guest room is how much your guests will enjoy their temporary accommodations. Because they will likely not be spending a large duration of their visit in their room, when they finally do retire to the quarters, the warm study will embrace them like a welcoming hug at the end of the day. The muted lighting will help them settle their minds before bed. The stocked bookshelves will not only be aesthetically pleasing and not offensive but will also help muffle outside noise from interfering with their slumber.

If you would like additional help designing your ideal guest room/study, consider including such a space in your custom home build with help from Perry Hood Properties.

Learn more about the homebuilding professionals at Perry Hood Properties today.

7 Signs You Hired a Bad Contractor to Build Your House

(4.5-min read)

Building a house is one of the largest investments you’ll ever make. When doing so, it pays to be diligent in determining which contractor will help you achieve that goal without breaking the bank. You have received a great quote from a contractor, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best home building contractor for you. In this piece, we’re going to investigate some of the telltale signs that you shouldn’t be working with a certain home building contractor.

1. They Don’t Get the Proper Building Permits

You’re not expected to know everything about the home-building process — that’s why you hired a home building contractor in the first place. However, if your contractor begins work before securing the proper legal building permits, this could be a terrible sign of what to expect in the future. This denotes that they are hasty, irresponsible, and possibly not even legitimate. Do your homework to determine what building permits are necessary for which stage of your home’s construction and make sure that your contractor has these at the appropriate time. If not, it may be time to have a word with them.

2. They Aren’t Punctual

We all have a lot on our plates, but if your contractor is habitually late to meetings or cancels frequently, this shows their lack of professionalism and dedication to the building of your home. While you need to be professional as well, don’t forget that these people are essentially working for you. If you were the manager of a business and they were your employee, how much would you let a perpetually tardy employee get away with this? Expect this of your contractor as well.

3. They Change the Price Repeatedly

A great deal out of the gate is great, but it can sometimes be too good to be true. A contractor that changes the price is likely either not professional or could be taking you for an expensive ride. When your price is established, discuss the likelihood of price changes in the future. Ask about everything that could happen that may end up changing your prices, down from material upgrades, unforeseen issues, down to even natural disasters. You and your contractor should know precisely how much you’re willing to pay and not exceed this level.

4. They Avoid Contracts and Written Agreements

If someone with the word “contract” in their job title avoids written agreements, they’re likely someone with whom you don’t want to do business. If your contractor avoids written agreements and contracts whenever possible, consider this a bad omen. When you stress that you’d like written agreements for absolutely every bit of work or material purchased, frame it in a way that says, “I’m trying to protect you as well.” If even this doesn’t change their attitude, don’t walk — run!  

5. They Are Often Out of Reach

You should have your contractor’s phone number handy. If they don’t give it to you, ask them for it and what the best hours are for you to reach them. If they always seem out of reach during the agreed-upon hours, this means that (a.) they’re going through a personal crisis or family emergency, (b.) they are unprofessional, or (c.) they are avoiding you. Any of these means that they are likely not the contractor to work on your home at this time. Apply the rule from #2 here as well — if they were your employee at a company, would you tolerate this behavior?

6. They Don’t Provide Examples of Work

If a contractor you’ve found can’t provide you with examples of their work or past clients willing to provide a testimonial/reference for them, this is not the contractor you want building your home. This lack of demonstrated experience provides too many variables for your tremendous investment.

7. Their Prices Seem Too Good to Be True

A great deal can feel like God-send during the stressful time of building you house. Still, if the price is too good to be true, it likely is. An inordinately low price quote can mean that your contractor may not be on the up-and-up. Either they’re not paying for the proper insurance, training, management, registration, personnel, or they will expect you to budge a bit in your expectations of them in the future (“be happy I’m giving you a great deal”). Just like in other parts of life, when it comes to a cheap contractor, you often get what you pay for.

Don’t get stuck with an unprofessional home-building contractor. Perry Hood Properties has a proven track record of building the highest quality home on time and on budget.

Learn more about the home-building professionals from Perry Hood Properties today.

Opening Windows During Tornado To Relieve Pressure?

There is a belief that reemerges around tornado season most years about opening windows in your house during a tornado in order to protect them. While you may be scratching your head, let us examine the science behind this as well as whether or not this is a worthwhile practice.

Why Some Say To Open Your Windows

During weather conditions that are ripe for tornados, there are a lot of changes in barometric pressure. When this pressure happens quickly, the pressure inside of your house may not be equal to the pressure outside. There is a belief that this dramatic shift in pressure can cause your damage to your windows. Another school of thought says that this imbalance in pressure can even cause an upward pressure in your home, causing your roof to be more readily lifted off by storm-force winds.

Why You Shouldn’t

While it is true that there are changes in pressure during a storm, these changes in pressure do not merit the effort of opening your windows to relieve the pressure in your house.

Firstly, the pressure is not different enough to make any real difference in your home. The pressure isn’t strong enough to break modern glass windows alone.

Secondly, if your home was built in such a way that upward draft would pull the roof off of the house, a few open windows will not change this. This is more attributed to the load path of the construction of your home and less about the pressure levels in your house.

Another factor to consider is what you should be doing in the event of a tornado — seeking shelter. Not only is running around to open windows turning tornadic conditions a waste of time, but it is also bringing you closer to where you don’t want to be — anywhere near any windows. If you hear that a tornado may be approaching, your best bet is to immediately move to a safe space.

Whether or not your windows or roof will be damaged in a tornado will have nothing to do with whether or not you open windows. All you would be doing is putting yourself at risk of injury by being near windows in a storm.

If you fear that the load path of the construction of your home is inadequate to withstand a storm, you may consider speaking with a home building professional about building a home that is more storm resistant.

Best Construction Practices Against Severe Weather

We all know that there’s no such thing as a house that is “tornado-proof” outside of living in a bunker. However, if you’re building a house in tornado-prone places such as Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, or other Midwestern states, there some building practices to keep in mind to minimize the potential damage to your home.

The Last Building Standing

There was an architect out of Waco, Texas at the beginning of the 20th century who claimed that his buildings were tornado-proof. (This man, Roy E. Lane, happens to be the great-grandfather of his article’s author.) He designed what is now the ALICO Building located in Downtown Waco. Upon claiming that his building was tornado-proof, most people scoffed at the idea. After a while, a tornado swept through the center of Waco, wiping out most everything in its path…aside from the ALICO Building. To this day, the ALICO Building is the only remaining high-rise building in all of Waco, Texas.

Is this because the building was truly tornado-proof? We may never know. What we do know is that there are designs, building styles, and materials that may decrease storm-related damage to your home — many of which were involved in the building of the ALICO Building. Here are some that you may consider instituting in the construction of a new home.

Continuous Load Path Structures

We all know that a house can fall down, but did you also know that a house can fall up? When a pressure imbalance from a storm approaches a house, it can literally use this imbalance to lift the building’s roof from the rest of the structure. A house can also fall sideways, usually resulting in either from a strong side wind or an earthquake that puts intense sideways pressure on the supports of the house. A continuous load path is a construction style that seeks to remove weak points from a home’s structural supports. This makes homes more resistant against upward drafts, pressure imbalances, and lateral movement. When speaking with your home-building professional, ask if your home design and construction include a continuous load path to ensure the stability of your house.

The Use of Insulated Concrete Blocks

Where some traditional construction materials for homes may fail in the event of a tornado, insulated concrete blocks have proven quite strong — withstanding winds of over 200 mph. Concrete construction means fewer lateral shifts from high winds in comparison to steel or wood construction. On a side note, insulated concrete blocks are also to be tremendously energy efficient and can result in a reduction in utility costs.

The Importance of a Safe Zone

If you’re building a new home in Oklahoma, you should know which location in the house is the safest to occupy in the event of a tornado. For help identifying this, we’ve created another resource to help you. In order to determine this space, we recommend asking your home building professional. This experienced professional will know precisely which space is best suited for weathering a violent storm.

Tornado Shelter Options in Home Design & Construction

Spring is upon us in Oklahoma and with it is inclement weather. As you consider the construction of your new home in Oklahoma, you should weigh your tornado shelter options in case of emergency.

Preferred Tornado Shelter

According to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, in the event of a tornado, the best place to be in a house is as inward as possible and as low as possible. Ideally, this means in an enclosed basement. Due to rocky soil and high water tables, this isn’t possible for many Oklahoma neighborhoods. Still, there are preferred places to take cover in your home when a tornado strikes.

Find the Lowest Point in the Event of a Tornado

Pronounced structures that catch the most amount of wind will be the most impacted by tornadic activity — whether in catching the wind or flung debris. For this reason, you should seek shelter in the lowest point of your home. Remaining on an upper level can be extremely dangerous.

Find the Most Inward Point in the Event of a Tornado

As mentioned above, structures that are the most pronounced will bear the brunt of a storm surge. This included exterior walls of your home and windows. In order to remain safe, it is recommended to seek an inward room in your house not up against the exterior of the house or exterior windows. For many, this is an inside bathroom, closet, or pantry with no windows.

Tornado Shelter Options

If your neighborhood is at a high enough elevation, building an underground on your property may be an option. These shelters are frequently built to be accessed from within a garage or possibly in the yard. If building an underground shelter is not possible, there are also above-ground shelters that can installed within your home. These shelters are also usually installed within the garage. They are typically made of steel and bolted to the foundation of the house.

Building Your Tornado Shelter Plans Into Your Home Design

If you live in an area known to receive tornados from time to time, it is crucial to have your tornado safety plan in mind in the design stage of your home. Ideally, you should be able to point to an area on the plans to your home and identify it as where your family would seek shelter in the event of a tornado. If you have questions about which room would be the safest in the event of a tornado or severe storm, ask your home building professional.

While there is no need to panic, we must all remain vigilant in keeping our families safe from severe weather. It is much better to have a safe space in your home and never need it rather than need a safe space and not have it.

Designing a Home Made Easy With Higharc

Designing or even customizing a home by yourself used to be nearly impossible. In order to make the process easier and, dare we say, fun, Higharc uses a robust online 3D designer to make it possible.

Unless you’re in the hands of an experienced design-build home construction company, designing your dream home required quite the learning curve. Even if you had a general idea of what you wanted, knowing how much your design would cost would still remain a mystery. A new online 3D home design service called Higharc will be allowing users to customize the home of their dreams to begin planning to build.

So, how does it work?

Step 1: Sign up and make a profile. Upon signing up, you will be asked a variety of simple questions. What kind of square footage do you want? What do you like to use your home for? What kind of special features would you like?

Step 2: Selecting a style and budget. Taking your previous answers into consideration, you will be asked what style you prefer as well as home much you can spend. The system will keep these factors in mind going forward.

Step 3: Tweak your design. Once the main aspects of your home design are established, you can customize your creation.

Step 4: Making sure your home is financially realistic. One of the advantages Higharc has in comparison to many other virtual home builders is its ability to give you an estimate of home much your design would cost if built. This allows users to consider if that extra add-on is realistic or if it would put them over budget. Crunching the numbers has never been this simple.

As of the publishing of this article, Higharc is not yet functional. However, they are taking early signups for their service.

If you’d prefer to simply consult a home building specialist, the experienced professionals from Perry Hood Properties can provide a very similar custom home design and build experience.

15 Packing & Unpacking Tricks To Save You Time, Space, Effort, & Sanity

Moving to a new home is exciting, but packing, moving, and unpacking is the pits. Here is a list of some moving tricks and hacks to hopefully make your move to your new home a little less stressful.

1. Plan your packing with a schedule.

Procrastinating can make packing chaotic. Packing an entire house can feel daunting. Reduce the size of the job in your mind by creating a packing schedule. Starting weeks out and working from least essential to most essential items, make a schedule of what you will pack when to pack it. Instead of one huge task over the course of a few days, this can make it into many very small jobs over the course of several weeks or even months.

2. Downsize before packing using the Marie Kondo method.

Being that you will be going through virtually every single item you own in order to pack, this is a great time to downsize. You may consider using the method employed by famed decluttering expert Maria Kondo. Take the item in your hands and feel if the item sparks joy. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, thank it for its existence and either sell, donate, or dispose of the item.

3. Downsizing to picture books.

When decluttering and downsizing our belongings, there are many items that we will absolutely never use ever again and are simply taking up space. Still, we don’t want to forget what the items represent. These could be nicknacks, meaningful yet useless gifts, old varsity jackets, trophies that never leave boxes or other items. In order to keep the memory of these items while not giving them free rent in your home any longer, take a picture of each item and then get rid of them in the appropriate fashion. After you have the pictures of these items, you can easily make a picture book containing all of these items to keep with you (you can usually do this online these days for under $10). As you acquire and get rid of more items, you can make more books. A few picture books will take up much less space in your home than an entire closet of treasured-yet-useless objects. You’ll probably also actually look through the pictures more than you would a dusty closet of trophies or great-grandma’s needlepoint.

4. Put t-shirts, lines, and towels to use while packing valuables.

Instead of buying packing paper for glass valuables, use what you’re going to pack anyways. T-shirts, wash clothes, towels, and linens make for great padding in boxes that contain fragile items.

5. Pack books and other heavy items in rolling suitcases.

Books are probably going to be among some of the heaviest items you’ll need to stow away, so it makes sense to stow them in sturdy rolling suitcases. The wheels will also make the books easier to move in and out of the house onto the truck.

6. Pack smaller kitchen items inside pots and pans.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to pack air inside your pots and pans. Fill them utensils, seasonings, and the like for maximum efficiency. After all, they’re going to wind up in the same place on the other side!

7. Mark packed boxes by room.

There’s nothing more frustrating than having to direct traffic when you’re moving into a new home. Instead, as you pack, mark the top of each box with the room where it will wind up. When moving into your new house, mark each room for what it is (office, bedroom 1, bedroom 2, bathroom, etc.). This will allow those helping move boxes in know where to take boxes without any direction.

8. Pack an essentials bag first.

Before start packing things that you can’t live without, pack bags for yourself and your family as though you were going camping. Not vacation — CAMPING. Remember toiletries, towels, and toilet paper.

9. Before unhooking electronics, take pictures of how they were wired.

Some stereos or television accessories are plugged in rather elaborately. Instead of having to bust out of the manual in order to plug the items back in, simply snap a picture of the way it is wired before unplugging it. Use a flash to make sure everything is easy to decipher.

10. Have a plan for your children and pets.

As much as we think they will be helpful, younger children and pets only slow down the moving process and make it more stressful. Plan something fun for your children outside of the house on moving day — preferably something that will wear them out as you will be equally exhausted upon getting them back. Also, ask a friend if your pets can stay with them as there are few things more frustrating than attempting to wrangle lose pets before you want to hit the road.

11. Start unpacking the fridge weeks out…with your mouth.

Moving food is a pain. Throwing food out is wasteful. The weeks leading up to your move, make a special effort to consume as much of the food that is in your fridge and pantries without bringing in any new food. Your meals may be slightly, ahem, creative for a while, but at least you won’t be lugging around boxes of food and hoping they don’t spoil before getting to your new house.

12. Remember to unplug your fridge 24 hours before moving.

In order to let it de-ice, you’re going to want to unplug your fridge at least 24 hours before a move. If you don’t, moisture from in the fridge will likely thaw and leak out into your moving truck. Nobody wants soggy boxes.

13. Pack a cooler for the move.

Remember to pack food in a cooler that is easy to prepare and consume on the go. Also, remember to pack plenty of fluids as your water may be turned off on the day of your move and may not be yet running in your new house.

14. Unpack the kitchen first.

The kitchen is typically one of the more frustrating areas of the house to unpack, so bite the bullet and do it first. The rest of your unpacking will feel like breeze in comparison. You’ll probably also need more items from your kitchen boxes, so this is also just fairly practical.

15. Consider taking the opportunity to downsize again.

If you didn’t Marie Kondo when you packed, then you can Ryan Nicodemus when you unpack. Ryan is one-half of The Minimalists. Ryan’s decluttering approach is to pack up your entire house in boxes as if you were moving and then only unpack items as you need them. When Ryan did this, he found that about 80% of his items were still in their boxes after 3 weeks. He ended up selling or donating it and living a much more minimalistic existence.

If you’re considering a move for your present home into a new home, we invite you to discuss what it would take to build the home of your dreams. Building a new home has never easier than it is with the help of the home building professionals at Perry Hood Properties.

Using Recycled & Repurposed Building Materials

Whether you’re looking to build a new home or commercial building, the materials used in construction are nearly infinite. Instead of looking to the future, many are looking to the past. In the past few decades, using recycled building materials has become quite popular and in this piece, we’ll examine why.

“What are the benefits of using recycled building materials?”

The perks of using recycled materials range from the economic to the environmental to the aesthetic.

Environmental Benefits

The environment is one of the main reasons why people started using recycled construction materials. The process of manufacturing many construction materials is environmentally taxing. Mining operations in order to manufacture cement and bricks use an immense amount of energy usually in the form of fossil fuels. Logging operations in order to manufacture wood products are a leading cause of deforesting. Using recycled building materials drastically reduces the number of environmentally harmful processes as well as keeps these materials out of landfills.

Aesthetic Appeal

Try as much as we like, it is extremely difficult to replicate the look and feel and of historic structures. This becomes a unique issue whenever we want to maintain the historic look and feel of a certain neighborhood or city district. Using recycled materials allows builders to construct new structures that do not detract from the established historic aesthetic of the neighborhood or side of town. Even newer homes can achieve a timeless look and feel with help from recycled materials.

“Which building materials can be recycled?”


Certain wood elements can be repurposed for a variety of uses. Undamaged wood can often be re-milled, refinished, or possibly even ground into engineered materials.


Among some of the most easily recycled, scrap metal from building materials is a huge industry. Aluminum, steel, and copper can be recycled and turned into a variety of products.

Concrete & Bricks

In order to reduce the impact of mining, the recycling of cement and bricks is very prevalent. Whole bricks can be recycled to give newer homes a more historic feel. Cement is typically ground down to make new cement, bricks, or other similar mineral-based building materials.

Interested in learning more about incorporating recycled building materials into the design and construction of your ideal home? Let the home construction professionals from Perry Hood Properties answer any question you may have. Learn more about how to get started designing and building the home of your dreams today.