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Distance Learning & The Organized Home

Distance LearningPhoto: New York Times

We at Changing Places have run out of adjectives to describe life in the “new COVID-19 era”–different, challenging and uncertain are a few. Adding a layer of stress to our lives here in Northern California? The wildfires that are still raging in several counties, threatening homes and life and sanity. Oh, and school just started for many of our kids.

We know this much is true: Your home should be your haven. It should be a place where you find refuge, calm, peace and comfort. The dynamic and stressful world outside should stay outside.

The Optimal Kid’s Workspace

For most American families, the new school year has begun remotely from home, aka “distance learning”. We’ve collected several great tips to optimize the calm and order in your home, while also creating a productive learning space for your kids.

This New York Times article provides awesome tips for setting up a great, productive remote learning space for your kids:

  • Carve out space for schoolwork based on your child’s age and learning style.
  • Consider a rolling cart for moving school supplies from room to room on the fly.
  • label maker can transform any workspace into one that feels neat and organized.
  • Hang a large white board in your kids’ work area and, depending on their age, use it to help them chart their various meetings and tasks, or do so for your entire family.
  • Headphones are not so much an organizational tool as they are a sanity tool. If you’re trying to work while one kid watches Khan Academy and the other enjoys Sesame Street, you’ll be glad for a set of headphones.
     

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Find Calm and Plan Your Move While Staying Home

Plan your move

April 28, 2020 by Margaret Fearey Walsh of Changing Places, Inc.

Changing Places founder & president Margaret Fearey Walsh and her award-winning team offer wise advice to help us survive and thrive while we stay at home.

Virtual Move Preparation Now While You’re Home

Right now, we crave family and community. Our Changing Places team is truly a family of men and women in business for 27 years­–offering moving and relocation help all over the Bay Area. Our focus is downsizing, moving, organizing, and staging at our clients’ homes. Our mission is to create order, peace of mind, and beauty.

Amid the pandemic, Changing Places and movers are deemed essential services. Just last month, we were honored to help a family who lost a home in the Sonoma County fires move into their dream home in Healdsburg. We are essential and we are here for you.

During this time of sheltering in place, our team offers our relocation services to clients virtually to orchestrate and plan every aspect of the move process.

This newfound time at home is the perfect opportunity clear the clutter and find peace of mind in your household. We’re all spending more time cooking, cleaning and baking with our kids.

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Kitchen Organizing Tips

Kitchen Organizing

Help your kitchen live up to its full potential with the right organization tricks. Our area-specific ideas will get your most essential room in the house organized—and rid yourself of “clutter anxiety” for good.

1) Sort:

Tips before you start to sort “Like with like” is the key. As you review items in your kitchen, edit out anything that is:

  • broken/chipped
  • outdated
  • stained/torn
  • duplicated too many times
  • starting to take up space instead of being useful

2) Do:

Shelf lining: This will help preserve the condition of your shelves and drawers from accidental spills and rubbing from metal and/or plastic. This is especially helpful whether you’re a new home owner or renting. Assess current lining; if you’re reusing, clean and reinstall. This is a good time to switch out shelf lining if you don’t love your current product. We recommend lining under sinks throughout home as well as any high “traffic” area (e.g. mudroom cubbies, pantry shelves, laundry room detergent shelves, etc.). No liner is needed for glass shelves.

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The Changing Places Survival Guide to Sheltering in Place

Sheltering in place

THE CHANGING PLACES SURVIVAL GUIDE
TO SHELTERING-IN-PLACE

Now, more than ever, the Changing Places mission to create order, peace of mind, and beauty, rings true. These jarring times bring uncertainty, anxiety and disorder.

We feel passionately that offering the resources we cultivated over the last two weeks is a gift we can give you: our clients, partners and friends.

How are you and your loved ones doing? Send us a quick note to let us know what your new “normal” looks like.

We’re all in this together.

Breathe. Connect. Stay positive.

With gratitude,
Margaret Walsh, Katie Carr & The Changing Places Team

Changing Places is here for you:

TO CREATE ORDER

Order begins with clarity.

  • We’ve been amazed how many of us don’t fully understand what COVID-19 is. This enlightening video explains it calmly, clearly and scientifically.
  • Are you struggling to keep your kids engaged and homeschooling even when their schoolwork is done for the day? Khan Academy is an amazing resource, with its library of trusted, standards-aligned practice and. And even better: it's all free!
  • Have you found yourself clearing out your closet/garage/spare room? Read these tips on what to do with your extra stuff while you’re stuck at home.

 

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Unpacking & Organizing Strategies for a Fresh Start in Your New Home

You’ve probably heard the thoroughly researched data that moving is one of the most stressful of life events, ahead of divorce or a break up. Finding the best moving company, coordinating packing, and then dealing with a dysfunctional home for weeks after moving day are huge contributors to this stress.

Fortunately we’re here to help get your home organized as fast as possible. If you’re looking for some practical, easy-to-understand tips for stress-free unpacking, take a look at this unpacking article from lifestyle website thespruce.com. Some highlights:

  • Get the essentials unpacked first, then take your time with the rest of the house.
  • Plan each room before you unpack too many boxes.
  • Anticipate future needs. Rather than putting off work—such as lining cabinet shelves or installing closet organizers—do it now, when it is most efficient.
  • Let each member of the family unpack their own bedroom, as applicable. This allows kids to participate in the event.

Are You Ready
To Get Organized?
Let’s get your project moving today

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Spring Home Organizing Tips

Spring has sprung! Are you organized?

Start by studying how you and your family move about your house. Recognize how you utilize each room, and how often you’re there–this will help prioritize your organizing. We’re offering some basic and clever tips for overall home calm: 

Spring Home Organizing

1. RESIST THE PILE HABIT
Most of us walk into our house with purses, groceries, keys, and more. An intuitive “drop zone” off your main entryway creates a home for essential items. It may include a key rack, an inbox for kids’ artwork or bills, or an attractive container for everyday items.
Bonus: Find space in your entryway for a custom–or makeshift–mudroom area.
 

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Ultimate Holiday Gift

Ultimate Holiday Gift

Looking for a holiday gift for someone special?
Give the ultimate gift of organizing:
A Changing Places Gift Certificate

Give Yourself the ultimate gift of organization this Holiday Season Between planning a holiday party, shopping for gifts or hosting company, it feels like your to-do list never ends. Changing Places can help keep you organized and on track during the craziness of the holiday season.

How we prepare you for the holidays:

  • clear clutter throughout the house
  • organize your most-used rooms
  • install lights and decorations
  • organize and stock your kitchen for holiday cooking
  • prepare guest rooms to welcome family and friends
  • arrange furniture to allow socializing
  • donate unwanted items to charities
  • create room in your garage for holiday overflow

Contact us for help this holiday season and beyond.
415-461-6256    |   Info@Changing-Places.com

 

AN IMMEDIATE CALL TO ACTION

We need your immediate help!
The Salvation Army Chico is in dire need of volunteers!

Please help us create a call to action by sharing this letter with friends and family through any and all of your social media pages.

On Dec. 4, 2018, Margaret Walsh of Beyond Celiac and Elizabeth Tashiro of Explore Cuisine Pasta Co. drove up to Butte County with a second load of food for the Gluten Free community, delivering it to the Salvation Army Distribution Center. On their way up to Chico, they stopped at Sonoma Creamery to pick up a half a pallet of Gourmet Mr. Cheese O’s that was donated for the cause.

To date, Explore Cuisine has generously donated their high protein pasta to feed 2000, which has been met with deep gratitude.
When Margaret and Elizabeth arrived at about 11am, there were approximately 60 people waiting in line to fill up a cart with clothes, necessities and food. By the time they left at 3pm there was still a line of about 45 new people waiting outside to be helped. The staff can’t keep up with the demand and there was very little left on the tables and shelves by end of day.

Top Golf San Fran volunteered 8 staff personnel to work in the warehouse. They wore branded t-shirts and recorded it on camera—Keep an eye out on their social channels to see what they produce. All 22 locations of Top Golf participated in their call to action to bring new items to the Salvation Army of Chico. They started in North Carolina with an UHaul and zigzagged across the nation to Chico California. In the end they had two 27 foot UHaul trucks. Amazing!

Margaret and Elizabeth, as well as many others, have been profoundly impacted by the experience of volunteering.

Elizabeth of Explore Cuisine said, “Talking with survivors as we filled up their carts with supplies made it very personal to me. Bailey and Matt were no older than me and came to the center with 2 children under 2 yrs. old. They also have 9 yr. old twins who were in school at the time. This week, they were gifted a motor home for the 6 of them to live in. We joked about what baby food must taste like to babies. They had been staying with her sister and Bailey was shy to ask for items. I helped load their donations into Bailey’s car, which also contained all of her remaining belongings after the fire. Another person I helped, Linda, reminded me so much of my aunt—proud, put-together, and private. She could have easily been my aunt. Bailey and Matt could have easily been my friends from school. Because of sheer luck, geography and timing, they aren’t. That makes it really scary and important to me that we help each other. I can’t tell you enough how thankful I am for Margaret and Explore Cuisine for allowing me this time and for donating to this cause. “

Click HERE for more photos of the trip.

Recovery will continue for months.
FEMA has not begun re-building.
No one knew where FEMA was when we asked.

There has to be a way to get more help!

Some ideas we are exploring and companies we are reaching out to:

Marin Airporter: We are checking to see if they can offer a bus or buses to transport volunteers from Marin and SF for the day with each person contributing to cover the cost of the bus. Schools, businesses, and local folks could ride up to Butte early in the morning, work for 5 hours and be home for dinner.

Each bus holds 56 passengers. If we can fill the bus, it would work out to be about $25/ per person round trip.

Contact Information:
David T. Hughes, Charter Manager
Marin Charter & Tours
1081 Anderson Drive
415-256-8830
charter@marinairporter.com

Financial Donations for Gluten Free Products:
This is to be done later. We have to set up our 501C3 organization to host the funds we raise to cover the cost of the gluten free food and the deliver expenses.

It was really hard for Margaret and Elizabeth to tear away to go home. There is such a desperate need for volunteers to help. Please get the word out however you can.
Be loud, noisy and persistent!

Volunteer Opportunities:

Salvation Army Chico – they can use 50 volunteers per day

Monday – Saturday
Anyone can show up to volunteer anytime Monday through Saturday. The facility is open to survivors on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The other days they need help re-stocking and organizing. It’s about a 4-hour drive from San Francisco.

Sign up here to volunteer: https://www.buttecaa.com/north-state-food-bank/

Phone Number: 530-570-7016
Head of Salvation Army services: Lt. Craig Rodriguera: 808-351-5817

“New” Donated Items Needed for Camp Fire Distribution Center

All food and product donations:
Salvation Army Distribution Center: 530-772-1009
1100 Marauder St, Chico, CA 95973
Receiving Mon-Sat 9am-4pm

List Below for items needed:

NEW CLOTHING
Jackets (Waterproof/Warm)
Men, teen boys, pre teens, tots
Women, teen girls, pre teens, tots
Baby clothes of all kinds and sizes
XL & 2XL Clothing
Sweaters/Flannels
Long Sleeve Shirts
Rain Boots
Men’s and Kid’s Shoes
Women’s and Kids Shoes
Jeans/Pants
Sweat Pants
Warm PJs
Belts

NEW HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
Pillows
Sleeping bags
Blankets
Sheet sets w/ pillow cases
Bath Towels
Batteries
Phone chargers
Pots & Pans
Can Openers
Plates / Utensils
Cooking Spoons / Spatulas
Laundry Soap / Dish Soap
Kitchen Supplies

FOOD (Non-Perishable)
Peanut Butter/Jelly
Canned Protein Meat/Tuna
Canned Fruit
Cereal
Oatmeal
Granola Bars
Crackers/Chips
Soup
Boxed food
Snacks/Items for kids lunch

GLUTEN FREE FOOD (Non-Perishable)
Macaroni & Cheese
Pasta
Crackers
Power Bars
Convenience Foods

THANK YOU,

 

Condo Renovation Project

This 1,200 square foot condo was constructed in 1975. Until renovation, nothing in the condo had been updated since it was built. From start to finish, the renovation took only 2 1/2 months.

Renovation Details:

  • 160 hours of wall plastering
  • 9 hours of electrical upgrading
  • Popcorn removal
  • Fireplace mantel installation
  • Kitchen gutted and replaced with an ecological chief’s kitchen
  • Kitchen storage increased by 35%
  • 3 pocket doors and 1 barn door – 4 new installations
  • Molding throughout
  • New carpets
  • 2 new bathrooms

Retail Cost: $145,000

Office Renovation Before & After

 

Downstairs Renovation Before & After

 

Kitchen Renovation Before & After

 

Family Room Renovation Before & After

 

 

 

 

Don’t Leave It To Your Heirs: Decluttering Tips For The Senior Community

DownsizingGiven the growing aging baby boomer population around the country, senior decluttering is a HOT topic.

More often, heirs are left with the daunting task of clearing a house that contains decades of clutter. Here’s how to avoid leaving the workload – and the stress – to your heirs.

START IN THE ATTIC
When you’re up against your memories, remember that you are simplifying your life NOT erasing your past.

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