When the last residential moving company truck rolls out of your driveway, you get to work unpacking as quickly as you can. Your family pitches in, knowing that Christmas is fast approaching. This process can take a bit longer than unpacking at any other time of year – there is so much to remember, and much that needs to be temporarily put away until the Christmas decorations come down.
If you’ve decided to host Christmas for your entire family this year, it is all the more pressure to unpack the boxes moved by the Fort Collins movers as quickly as possible. If you’re stressed, the enormity of what you have to get done in such a short amount of time can overwhelm you and cause undue panic.
Never fear, just follow these tips to pull off your first family Christmas in your new home without a hitch now that your Fort Collins movers have gotten you to your new place!
Make overnight guests feel included in Christmas Day planning.
You don’t have to involve them in every little detail – it is your house. To make them feel like they are an important part of the day without relinquishing control of everything, you simply need to ask their opinion on how things are usually done in your house. You could say, “We typically eat breakfast after opening gifts. Are you okay with this?” or “We’ll be eating an early dinner after opening presents. Our tradition is to eat around 2:00 p.m. Is that alright with you?”
You’ll find your guests will be glad to feel as if they are included in the decision making process, and normally, they won’t have a problem with doing things your way. Giving them the option to voice any concerns they have will be thought of as considerate, and they’ll appreciate the gesture.
Determine tastes and dietary needs.
If you’re hosting the whole family or both yours and your spouse’s families, you’ll want to be sure you are catering to any dietary needs. Is anyone diabetic, gluten- or dairy-free, nut free, or otherwise? Maybe your great-grandmother has a certain dish that just has to be on the table, otherwise you risk hearing her complain for the rest of the year.
Find out who is coming, what dietary restrictions they may have, and if there is anything other relatives just can’t live without in terms of holiday dishes. Worst case, you can ask other guests to bring the things they consider essential to the holiday feast – they won’t mind, and it will be done exactly the way they like.
Let the kids roam free after dinner.
It may be tempting to force the kids to stay at their places around the table so that they aren’t sneaking into rooms they don’t belong in, or destroying the cleanliness of your living room with endless boxes and toys. However, you’re going to have to let them go and say a silent prayer nothing bad happens. If this really bothers you, just close the doors to the rooms you don’t want anyone getting into, locking them if possible.
Know that kids want nothing more than to sit and play with their new toys, so your fear of them getting into mischief in your bathroom is probably unfounded. Adults may remain around the table sipping wine and talking, while children head to their new toys.
Don’t be a Scrooge.
With all of the anxiety having the family in your new home can bring, it can be easy to get annoyed with the overly excited kids. Take the time to remember they’re kids, and kids get excited on Christmas. It’s the toys, and of course, the sugar in the cookies, pies, fudge, and chocolates in the candy dish. There is really nothing you can do except take a few deep breaths and biting your tongue.
A good solution to burn off some energy: send the kids outside. Sledding, building a snowman, a snowball fight, or if there is no snow, some bike riding, roller skating, or a game of tag can get the extra energy Christmas has infused in them out, bringing down the chance they’ll drive you bonkers.
Ask for help.
Despite what you think, your guests want to help make things easier for you. Accept help when it is offered, and ask for help when it’s needed. It doesn’t matter if it’s making side dishes and bringing the pie, helping clean up after dinner, helping to prepare the feast – they will help, even though you feel like you’re being a horrible host. Nobody’s perfect, and everyone knows that more help means better chances the feast will hit the table on time.
We know you’ll have a wonderful holiday, as long as you remember nothing will ever go perfectly. Whatever hiccups you run into along the way will just provide you with fond memories you can look back upon at future gatherings! Call Exodus, your Fort Collins movers, for a free moving quote today, so that you can start planning your holiday feast! We’re proud to be the best residential moving company in Fort Collins!
Your dear friends have just moved with the help of Boulder movers, and are working on getting settled in to their new home. Next up: the housewarming party. Sure, you could get them a Tupperware set or some kind of cute “Welcome Home” sign to hang on their door, but chances are they already have enough of that. If you have to employ a residential moving company to get your stuff to your new house, you probably have all of the typical household items given at housewarming parties.
If you’re looking to get your friends something incredibly thoughtful and unique, something no one else will get them, here’s a fun list.
- Make a terrarium. Terrariums are all the rage – glass containers housing a mini indoor garden – and they’re simple to make. Google it to get ideas, and then make them a unique, one-of-a-kind gift you’ve taken the time to design just for them. The best part: every time they go to water it, it will remind them of you!
- Jar up a meal. Forget the sugary treats-in-a-jar, where all the ingredients are in there layered attractively so that they can enjoy your family’s sugar cookie recipe, for example. What they really want is a home cooked meal without the fuss (or the measuring cups, because they’ve been packed by the Fort Collins moving company!). A popular choice here is pasta and soup, where everything you need is all in the jar with instructions on how to heat it up. All they need to do is dump it in the pot and cook it. Just as convenient as take-out without the expense. If you can’t find something you like, you can always provide something they can freeze, like lasagna or another casserole-type dish. Trust me when we say your gift will be their favorite gift!
- Cake. But not the type you eat. Think diaper cake, but no diapers. You can do a household essentials cake, with a basket of cleaning supplies at the bottom, toilet paper in the middle, and paper towels topping it off, wrap it all up in cellophane, and tie a bow on it. More like gift baskets than cake.
- Grocery gift card. Just like the jarred meal, it’s exactly what they want. You know their pantry needs stocking, and this is the perfect way to help them.
- Throw blanket. This is always a winner – everyone could use more blankets! Consider their décor and tastes when choosing the right throw to suit them so it doesn’t end up forever banished to a closet.
- Personalized anything. Whether a simple sign for inside their house, a welcome sign outside with their name on it, or a personalized doormat, you can’t go wrong. The best part is you can personalize just about anything these days, even cutting boards and wine casks! This opens up the door to choosing something that is uniquely them.
- QR Code for their Wi-Fi password. You know everyone is going to ask them for it, so make things super simple for them and provide a framed QR code guests can scan to log in to their wifi network. Genius! Just head to QRStuff.com, select “plain text,” and enter the password. After choosing a color to print it in, the website will automatically generate a QR code. Voila! Test it with your devices to make sure it works, and then print it out and frame it. Simple, and very unique (your friends will love it!).
- A strange kitchen item no one would buy for themselves. Did you know they make a kitchen tool that you stick in the center of a cake, and it marks the lines to cut perfect slices? Your friends probably don’t have one, nor would they buy one – but you could! Housewarming parties are the perfect place to give these I-didn’t-realize-I-needed-it gifts. Other great items include a spaghetti measure, a plate designed for serving pancakes, novelty cutting boards, and magnetic bottle openers.
- USB charging outlet. Why take up valuable outlet real estate? Purchase them a couple of wall outlets that feature a built in USB charging port right next to the outlets.
- Personalized commemorative ornament. Commemorate this moment in time with an “Our New House” ornament. You can find many online that are as simple as that saying with the year, or add their last name. Find one that suits them so that they can be reminded of this moment every time they decorate the Christmas tree.
Forget the kitchen towel set. Get them something unique they’ll cherish for years to come, long after the Boulder movers have gone. Contact us today if you need Boulder movers!
Are you moving to Denver? If you have a family, you’re likely researching areas that are near the best schools in the area. It’s hard to know which sites give out accurate information on the schools in the area that hasn’t been provided by the schools themselves, or how many reviewers are not parents at all, but instead faculty and staff writing reviews to bolster the image of the school that aren’t entirely accurate.
Here’s a list of the top 3 public schools in Denver according to the Denver Public School’s School Performance Framework to help make your decision as to the final destination of that residential moving company truck a bit easier.
Byers Middle School
Part of the Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST) Public School network, Byers Middle School is a college prep charter school that focuses on the fundamentals – reading, writing, math, and science – and accepts admission through a lottery process. Kids here are expected to live up to the high expectation held by the teachers, and behavioral issues are not tolerated. Soon, there will be a high school for kids to move up to (this middle school opened its doors to its first group of 140 six grade students in June of 2013). This education will prepare them to move to the equally demanding high school to prepare them for college.
It’s not all strict academics and rules – there are many things for kids to get involved in, whether sports or the school play. Some enrich the lessons they’re learning in school, while others connect them with their peers more deeply. Budding authors can check out creative writing club, while those who just love learning can join STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Club. Jam out in guitar club, or join the school’s travel club — Falcons Without Borders. Enjoy basketball in the winter, and choose from tennis or soccer in the spring.
Stapleton Middle School
This school is yet another DSST school, it’s just been around longer than the Byers School. Stapleton Middle School first opened in 2008, and is just as vigilant about ensuring a high quality education for all its students. It too uses the lottery method of enrollment.
Because it has been around a bit longer, it has a few more athletic opportunities than the Byers School. Students can play soccer, basketball, cross country, volleyball, or basketball here.
Green Valley Ranch High School
Guess what – this school is another DSST school! See a pattern here? Denver’s innovative model for a school centered around a strong foundation in the fundamentals of education seems to be the best way to go, at least based on test scores. The Green Valley Ranch High School is just a part of a larger 35-acre campus serving preschool to senior in high school – Vista Academy, Soar Elementary, Clayton Early Learning, Strive, Green Valley Ranch Middle, and Green Valley Ranch High.
The campus model gets the kids used to the campus model, like most colleges are set up, preparing them and making them comfortable with a campus. There is even a Student Union building complete with parking lot, as well as a sports complex.
Students in Denver have wonderful options with the addition of this DSST model. Parents love the structure and how well the schools prepare the kids for college. You’re going to feel confident unpacking that residential moving company truck at your new Denver residence, knowing your child has options like this at their disposal.
This school model isn’t for everyone. What do you think of this DSST school model? Would you be excited to send your child to a school as rigorous as this, or not? If you’re moving to Denver, let us know, and we’ll help you with the big move – we also have storage space for rent for anyone that’s moving to Denver!
Moving with kids is tough. It isn’t really moving to a new home that is stressing them out (unless you have a baby or toddler, in which case it is – babies and toddlers thrive on routine and familiarity). If your kids are school-aged and you’re staying in the same school district, they’re probably excited for the move to the new place. It isn’t the house that’s the problem. It’s when you move out of the district or to a new state entirely, forcing them to go to a new school full of unfamiliar faces.
Sometimes, you just can’t help it – the residential moving company is bringing your stuff to a new state because of your job, or maybe you’re moving to a new country altogether because you’re a military family. Either way, you know that your kids are going to hate you for a short period of time. One way to make sure they bounce back to their old selves is to move to an area where the schools are amazing. But how can you know?
Hooray for the Internet
There is a handy website called Greatschools.org, a place where parents go to rate the schools their children attend so that others looking into schools for their kids can make informed decisions from the advice of actual parents sending their kids there. Who better to recommend the school than the parents sending their kids there? It just makes sense.
Here’s a list of three of the top-rated Fort Collins elementary schools to help you decide the area that’s best for your kids, all compiled by Greatschools.com. The schools listed in this article received the highest score possible, a 10.
Traut Core Elementary
This is a public school offering preschool through fifth grade, and the draw here is the high rate of parental involvement. Any teacher or school administrator will tell you this is the key to a great school. They have a high standard when it comes to a student’s work, but most important is their attention to character.
They know that kids need to learn more than the three Rs – they need to build their character and become strong citizens of their communities. There is such a high standard for excellence here, both academically and personally – the school has been nationally recognized, earning a Blue Ribbon Award for excellence. The school’s national assessment test scores were exceptionally high.
Liberty Common Charter School
A charter school you need to submit a name to enter into the lottery to get in, it is well worth taking the chance. The K-12 school’s ACT scores are extremely high (the highest in Colorado, in fact), and kids that attend are expected to work hard. If you have dreams of your child getting into a top college, this school is a great way to prepare them for that. There is a strict dress code, a zero-tolerance policy on bullying, and very high expectations regarding behavior. It won the John Irwin Award for three years straight (2010-2012).
Extracurricular activites abound – recycling club, robotics club, jazz band, drama, and more. If your child is a gifted and talented student, there is a selection of college prep and AP classes to challenge them. The school also features sports fields for baseball, cross country, soccer, volleyball, and basketball to name a few. Or participate in chess club. If you’re struggling with a certain class, attend homework club for extra help.
Coyote Ridge Elementary
This school serves students in grades K-5, and parents just love it. The teachers care about each individual student, and make sure that each of them is getting what they need from their time at school each day. The school fosters a sense of community and focuses on both academics and character, nurturing the whole child. Test scores are high – all above the 90th percentile – and this is attributed to the teaching methodology. Teachers here teach to the students’ interests, based on research showing that kids learn better about things they are curious about.
This year, the school won two awards from the Colorado Department of Education – both the John Irwin Award and the Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award. There is a wide variety of extracurricular things – choir, walking club, chess club, Lego club, and more – and parents have put in over 6,000 hours of volunteer time over the past year. It’s a wonderful community here. If you need help getting here, call your Colorado moving company, Exodus, today. We’ve been Fort Collins’ top residential moving company for many years for a reason! Or, find us on Facebook. Your Colorado moving company awaits.
Do any of these schools sound like a good fit for your child?
Moving is a stressful time for everyone involved, young and old. The adults are stressed about the moving details, and probably aren’t really thinking about the new neighborhood. The kids, on the other hand, are only worried about the new neighborhood and the school – if they’ll fit in, if any kids live nearby, and what there is to do nearby. To make sure the kids aren’t stressed, parents would be wise to get to know the neighborhood prior to the day the Denver moving company packs up their belongings.
And it isn’t just for the kid’s peace of mind – the adults can benefit from knowing the neighborhood in advance as well! Where’s the closest hardware store just in case there is something you need on that first day in your new home? Where’s the grocery store or convenience store in case you run out of bread? Where’s the nearest pizza joint so you don’t need to rush unpacking the kitchen that first night in your new house?
To prepare your family, you should check out the new neighborhood before you move. Hit the road and travel about the streets to see what your neighborhood has to offer. Where’s the local post office? How far away is the school? Is there a playground nearby? How about the library? Think about all of the places you frequent in your current neighborhood and learn where they’re located in your new neighborhood before you even load up one box on the residential moving company truck.
If you’re moving to another state, it can be tough to explore the neighborhood. Instead, you should check it out virtually with the help of the Internet. Head to the website for the city you’ll be moving to and note where important buildings are located. Then you can head to Google Maps online and starting from the location of your new house, find all of the places you need to find as if you were driving on the streets yourself. Take your kids on a tour of the city via the website, showing them all of the fun stuff there is for them to do. They can even visit the website for their new school, checking out the activities and clubs available to them.
Once the Denver moving company has left and you’ve unpacked all of your boxes, a great way to get to know your neighborhood is to get outside. Whether you spend evenings unwinding with a beer on your front porch or your mornings weeding and watering the garden, your neighbors will have a better chance of introducing themselves to you when you make yourself available. Would you be more apt to approach someone who is outside nearly every day, or a person who never leaves their house?
Taking walks around the block and further into the city are another great way to get to know the neighborhood. Not only will you be able to take in more of your surroundings (you notice much more on a walk than you do in your car), you’ll have the added bonus of meeting neighbors! Make a goal to introduce yourself to a new person each week. The more people you know in your neighborhood, the safer and more at-home you feel.
Once you’re settled, it’s time to get involved in your community. Think about the volunteer work you did in your old community, and try to find something similar. If you’ve never volunteered, now is a good time to start! Head to the PTA meetings at your children’s new school, join a gym, or find a rec league sport to join. All of these things get you immersed into the community and allow you to meet new people.
Once you’ve gotten to know the community, you’ll begin to know the things that go on that are unique to your town, like any special events or festivals. And the more neighbors you get to know, the more you learn to keep everyone happy.
Don’t forget to get out of your neighborhood from time to time to explore the city all the way to the limits. You never know the fun places you’ll come across! The more you and your family learn about your community before you move, the more at-home you’ll feel when you are moved in!