May 2013

  • The Snapshot

MAY! And May is the month of transition for us! …. Probably one of the biggest transitions we’ve experienced since being married… besides Michael’s job transitions of course. We’re MOVING!! In like 3-4 weeks! Michael has been packing up our current home in his free time and let me tell you, it feels WEIRD!! Our living room just looks sad! Mirrors and pictures are off of the walls and boxes are piling up in the kitchen. It’s really starting to feel real! For those of you that have moved several times, we would love to hear your packing tips and tricks so that our move can be easy and organized!!!

And don’t tell us to hire someone to pack for us because I’m on a strict budget so that I can afford my Pottery Barn curtains for the living room!! :):) We have priorities ya’ll!!! But seriously, every time we think about spending money, I remind Michael “Um, that could be 1/4th of our new sofa…. or that money could go towards your surround sound…”. It really does put spending in perspective when you have a new house to furnish! Whew. We’re going to have a few rooms that stay empty for a little while and I’m ok with that.

So here’s the snapshot for MAY 2013!!!!


This month we’re looking forward to:

– MOVING & CLOSING on the new house!!! AH!

– Shooting some pretty awesome weddings around Virginia and Maryland!

– Being HOME and getting back into a rhythm… aka… going to the GYM again and actually having groceries in the house! (ps. We did a 60min cycling class this AM… so proud of us… lets see if that pattern can continue!)


Personal Goals for May:

– Not to get stressed out about all that needs to be done and just remember how much fun it’s going to be to live in a new space!

– Prep the current house for our renters… this includes a long list of “fixes” that we need to get working on!

– Order our honeymoon book… seriously, just do it Katelyn… it’s only been 2.5 YEARS!

– Continue to prep for the move… like ordering blinds, rugs and booking the painter… so much to do!

– Organize our “Life” folders… ex: Tax records, house documents, insurance folders, rental folder, appliances and purchases folder, etc…. (I actually already did this… this was yesterday’s project, I just added it to the list so that I could feel productive!)


Business Goals:

– Order and Proof first final draft of the Bridal Guide! It only needs tweaks! :) So ready to get this thing OFF the to-do list! It’s going to be super helpful for my brides as they plan!!

– Continue to keep up with Album orders

– Pack up and clean up the office! Yikes! This is a mighty task! :)

– Continue to teach Michael some business-y things that he would do a better job of managing than I would!


There is so much more to do but I have to be realistic about what we can accomplish on “Moving month”.  I’m really thankful for a few free weeknights in the next few weeks that will allow us to prep and pack!! So again, leave a comment for us if you have some PACKING TIPS! We’re all ears!!! My blog stalkers always have good advice and so I’m excited to hear from you!!! Happy Monday! AND big thanks to Kelsey Waterfield for the pic!!! :)




58 Comments Personal
  1. Gabrielle C reply

    So excited for you guys as you move! We just moved into a new house ourselves about 2 months ago. The biggest tip I can give is LABEL LABEL LABEL!! I not only labeled which room each box went into, but I also made a note of what specifically was in each box! Made it MUCH easier the first couple of nights when I needed the most basic items (i.e. toothbrush, shampoo, toilet paper, silverware, work clothes, etc…). Hoping your transition isn’t too stressful! :)

  2. Amanda Hedgepeth reply

    Love when you share your “to do” list! And I’m glad that I get to see you soon! LOVE YA!!!!!!!

  3. Rebekah Hoyt reply

    SO excited for you and Michael (and Bokeh!) – my best advice for moving is to use tshirts and clothes to pack fragile items! There’s no point to wrap everything in extra paper AND to fold and pack clothing when you can just USE the clothing as the padding! Saves space and extra trash :)

  4. Stefanie reply

    I’ve moved a lot so you learn a couple tricks a long the way. The biggest one I would say is put everything in a box! This may seem weird but if you have lots of odds and ends that aren’t in boxes, that’s one trip per item when you’re carrying them, as opposed to even putting some bigger items in a box with light stuff like pillows. It also makes it easier to pack the truck!

    Also this is a good time to get rid of the stuff you don’t need. Sell, donate, etc anything that you haven’t used in 6 months (unless it involves precious memories). Less you have, the less you move. Even if you have more room in the new place,

    Hope that helps!

  5. Rebekah Carter reply

    If you haven’t already, buy professional moving boxes, like from Uhaul. My husband & i just moved into our new (to us) house & that helped us so much. We wished we’d done it all the other times we moved between various apartments. Also LABEL every box & really try to keep them organized so you don’t end up w/ a bunch of boxes of random things. That will help w/ unpacking.

  6. Dessie reply

    My husband is in the Navy and we have moved many times plus when we bought our home. My tips would be..

    pack room/area by room/area. Don’t mix!

    Label each box with room name.

    At new house, put up stickies labeling each room if you have helpers so they put boxes in the right rooms.

    put necessary to live items in a suitcase and keep out.

    Unpack your kitchen first. You have to eat and i have always felt less stressed once my kitchen was done, so i always do it first!


  7. Johnna reply

    So excited for ya’ll! Good Luck! Biggest Tip I have after having moved 7 times in the past 4 years, mark your boxes! Write down absolutely EVERYTHING within each box so you know where everything is. And make number categories of importance, so you know which boxes to open first and which ones can wait. For example. your kitchen and clothing would probably be a 1 so that you know to open those first, but your christmas decorations might be a 4 because they can obviously wait.

    Have lots of newspapers or packing materials to wrap EVERYTHING. Everything can break so easily. If you don’t have enough, use blankets or sheets to wrap stuff too.

    And if you need boxes, craigs list is a great place to look, Someone is always getting rid of a ton of boxes, and it’s usually free to just go pick up.

    Good Luck!!

  8. Kelly reply

    Congratulations! I was going to say the same thing… Label!! I’ve moved nearly 40 times in my life and that is the one thing I am SO anal about. I want to know what is in each box, not just the room it came from. When you need that specific item and haven’t unpacked everything yet, you’ll be so thankful! I also label at least 2 sides of every box in case they are stacked the wrong way :)

  9. Melony reply

    I’ve actually moved so many times its kind of ridiculous. However, I can say label a couple sides of each box so you can always see it!! and, I’ve found when transferring the clothes hung up in the closet, its much easier to leave them on the hanger and put a bag (black or white trash bag) over them to keep together. I just put a hole in the bottom of the bag for the hangers and tie the bottom to keep clothes in… then you can just rehang in new closet and tear the bag off… a ton less work! ;) the house is beautiful, I hope you have a very *un*stressful move.

  10. Lisa Price reply

    Label each box in great detail. When unloading the boxes into your new house, put it in the room it goes. Unpack your kitchen first…. Bribe your friends with free pizza to get them to help you. Lol. DOn’t stress if you don’t get it done

  11. Jeremy & Kristin reply

    We moved 2 years ago from Florida to Texas. Buy your boxes from home depot, they are cheapest there. invest in moving pads for your wood furniture. we loosely used blankets but had a few scratches on our bookcases. Best of luck!!!

  12. Jaimie Krause reply

    Instead of newspaper, use your towels and blankets to pack your dishes or other fragile items.

  13. Bethany Cox reply

    What I have seen one pinterest is to make sure to pack a box of essentials like a shower curtain, sheets, Roll of toilet paper, paper towels, coffee etc in a box that you bring with you like you would your purse. It Will make the transition a smidge easier when you need to function normally even if you have nothing else unpacked. I think chocolate should be one of them.

  14. ashley barnett reply

    As someone who has moved TEN times since 2005, I have figured out some stuff that is really helpful in keeping you sane while moving! Definitely label each box and try to not put more than one type of thing in a box…as you get towards the end of packing you’ll definitely end up with some odds and ends boxes and that’s okay, but try to keep similar items together. When you start to unpack, take the boxes to their appropriate rooms…it helps you feel less cluttered when there are only a handful of boxes in each room versus the living room totally full! Focus on one room at a time, you’ll get overwhelmed trying to do everything at once, so pick one room (say the living room because you know people will be seeing that first), and get that setup and unpacked, move on to the master bedroom, etc. If you guys are the ones moving yourselves, try to pack the car/truck in a way that makes sense when you unpack! So don’t put all of the living room boxes in the living room first, you’ll be tripping over them the entire time you’re trying to get other boxes in! So try to pack with your unpacking strategy in mind! Hope that helps friends! :)

  15. Kelsey reply

    Don’t take your clothes off of the hangers! Just stack everything in laundry baskets. This saves SO much time :)

  16. ali W reply

    I agree with Gabrielle – LABLE boxes [where and what]. Also, there is such thing as too many helpers. 6 – 8 people is key. Otherwise, things get chaotic and BROKEN. We’ve moved 4 times in the 2.5 years we’ve been married so if you need ANYthing, let us know!

  17. Karena DIxon reply

    I used to work for a company in college that did moving for DOD agencies. We moved pentagon offices. The best adn easiest way is color coded labels. We’ve moved our household many times and this works so well. especially when you have friends helping. no words, just colored labels. then we’d hang enlarged print-outs of the floor plan up in various parts of the new house. the rooms on the print out coordinated with the labels. no one had to ask “where does this box go” fluorescent labels work best. slap one on the top and sides. so easy! lots of luck! can’t wait to see photos of the interior!

  18. Lyndi reply

    I can relate to this on so many levels! I have moved nearly every year for the past six years – so let’s just say I’m getting to be an expert.

    – Label EVERYTHING! I usually color-code my boxes too which really helps if you have friends/family helping you move in.

    – Use shirts, blankets, towels and pillows as buffers in boxes with fragile pieces.

    – Paper boxes from Office Max/Office Depot are great to use, they have holes for handles and they’re extrememly sturdy.

    – be careful boxing up books. While they fit neatly together in a box, it rapidly adds up to a HEAVY box. Seriously. Mix in DVDs and you’ll thank me later!

    Good luck in the moving process!!

  19. Janine A. Enold reply

    All these tips are so good already! so, Ditto on most of them! I have moved a bit and the thing that I found helpful was to have a dolly for heavy items or to make sure that we don’t pack boxes that are too big to handle (i.e. heavy). It might be more trips but that the carrying is more manageable! can’t wait to see the house!

  20. Callie reply

    First of all, we should have totally asked for advice when we moved so that someone could have told my husband that it REALLY is a good idea to go through stuff BEFORE it gets packed!!! I wish all of our papers and files would have been organized in advance and that we had done all of our Goodwill trips prior to moving. It is so hard having the “yucky” stuff hang around a new house, especially when you are not one for clutter :) And as far as letting stuff go, I had a vision for how our new house was going to be decorated/styled and as much as I wanted to hang onto stuff from our college days, even throw pillows, some furniture, decor, etc, I kept reminding myself that it had to go to a good cause if I wanted the new stuff too. XO Good LUCK! Soak it in :) And, don’t worry about feeling awkward at the loan office when you want to take pictures of signing all the papers….I tooootally did it :)

  21. Linda Gould reply

    So happy for you both!! We have moved many, many times in the past 10 years and the best tip I had for our last move to Georgia was to number each box and keep a notebook with the list of numbers and a brief description of what’s in each box. this helped so much when I was looking for something that I had not unpacked yet. it also helped to jog my memory of what else I packed. best wishes!!!

  22. Kari Cillo reply

    Moving is exciting and building even more exciting! My husband and I just built a house in Fredericksburg and it sure is a crazy transition! My suggestion would be to use towels, shirts, sweatshirts, blankets, sheets, etc to wrap fragile things. I use kitchen towels to put in between plates and such, not only does it save on packing it doubles as cushioning! Label everythinggg!!! it makes the unloading go so much faster! Tupperware/plastic containers (the big kind) have proven to be awesome in moves, although we are military so we plan to use them over and over, but they double as extra storage in the closets of the bedrooms you won’t be using. Pack things you’ll need in separate boxes, You most likely won’t be doing a massive amount of packing the night you move in, so make sure you have what you will need so you aren’t digging through boxes and making a mess! Good luck with the move!

  23. rachel reply

    don’t pack your clothes! move them in drawers and on hangers! use drawers of other things your taking as packing things, and move them out of the dresser or other piece of furniture! Move your bed first (then you can at least sleep in your new house)!! and bribe your family and friends with free food and drinks (I promise they will help then :))

    ps who are you ordering your honeymoon album from? just started doing ours!!!

  24. Kathy reply

    As mny others have said…label, label and label. We moved last year and I put stars on those boxes that had first to open stuff…cofee pot, mugs, glasses. pack as much as you can when you have free takes longer than you think…and you probably need more boxes than you think. know where toilet paper and paper towels are.

  25. Sharon Elizabeth reply

    so happy for y’all katelyn!!!! the house looks beautiful!

  26. sara harper reply

    Colored ducktape on outside of boxes. then in the new house, put that color tape over the door. ex. yellow tape over your bedroom door and then all over your boxes for that room!

  27. Abby reply

    We are the WORST packers ever! I get so overwhelmed and discouraged at the strangest point- I’m great at packing up all the big stuff, but when it gets to the point where almost everything is packed up and al that’s left is the stuff that doesn’t really FIT into any particular category of box, I just want to curl up in a ball and wait for it to be over. All of the odds and ends overwhelm me! I guess my advice would be to have a few spare boxes for “random stuff.” And coincidentally, those are always the boxes that are last to be unpacked for us :)

  28. Stephanie Messick reply

    You go girl!!! Congrats on the house again! Cannot wait to see how you decorate the space :)

  29. Erika reply

    Definitely suggest color coded labels, instead of words. Hang coordinating color labels in each room of the house to make it easy on people helping out – or the movers.

    Save money on wrapping paper by saving old newspapers for the next few weeks. Even ask neighbors to save theirs so you don’t run out. If you use your clothes it might end up stretched and then you have lost the advantage of moving your clothes still hung up (major time savor).

    Buy the hanging boxes and DO NOT fold up all your clothes. You can pack some of your folded stuff in the bottom of hte hanging boxes to best ultilize space. It will save you a TON of time and energy.

    Make an “essentials” box for each room and label it with a color and ESSENTIAL. This will give you all of the things you NEED right away for each room. For the bath, all your toiletries, two towels and washcloths, TOILET PAPER and the like.

    CLEAN BEFORE you start moving – AND – line your cabinets with cabinet liners before you start moving. This way, everything is clean and ready for your stuff. And you dont have to waste time cutting cabinet liners when all you really want to get is get those boxes unpacked. (If you don’t get them in when you first move in, they will be on your to-do list forever because who wants to unload their kitchen cabinets – EVER.)

    Get shoe covers for everyone helping you (unless you solely have hardwood floors). Seems silly, but if it is rainy, or your yard is still a little muddy – that will end up all over your house. Gross. If you feel bad asking people to put on shoe covers when they come in the house – designate indoor and outdoor movers. Outdoor people get it from the truck to the door, then the indoor mover takes over and puts the items in the right room.

    Happy moving :)

  30. Kat reply

    Can’t wait to see more pics of the house!! My advice: ABC stores will give away their boxes and since they’re used to holding heavy glass bottles, they’re really durable and FREE! Yea it may look like you and michael enjoy a little too much alcohol haha but if it helps you get those pottery bard curtains AND prevent boxes from breaking, it’s a great deal :)

  31. Christy Tyler reply

    Hahaha – I LOVE that you put something on the list you actually already did just so you can feel productive and cross it off the list! I totally do the same thing. Can’t wait for you guys to get into your new place! and sorry – I have NO packing tips. I’m terrible at it!! ha :)

  32. Cheri Nelson reply

    Congrats on the new house! My biggest tip is to label all of your boxes in a very detailed way and make sure they all have the room labeled too. It can get frustrating to think something is missing only to find it at the bottom in the garage. Good luck on everything.

  33. sara-anne reply

    so I have moved 12 times in my 13 years of marriage…crazy! The best thing that I do, especially if you have friends helping you move. WE used colored post it notes that corresponded to rooms. For instance my daughters room were labeled with Hot Pink post it notes…so that they didn’t have to read (which they won’t) then I had that color on the door so that the movers could just deliver in room. It really was helpful! I also used Big RED dot stickers (3 inches) for things that are fragile. Have two or three “directors” at your new home who are primarily there for guiding where things go. Make sure you get your bed and your kitchen/table set up first. Good luck!

  34. Amanda reply

    Lots of great tips! To just reinforce onces I found helpful and would have suggested myself:

    – Before packing start organizing! Keep, Donate, Trash. No sense in moving things you no longer use/need! Moving is the best spring clean there is!
    – LABEL LABEL LABEL! At least 3 sides so you can always see two no matter how it is stacked/placed.
    – Floor plan mounted so noone gets lost carrying a heavy box, they know exactly where to go the first time!
    -Move FURNITURE first. Nobody wants to be tripping over boxes while they are carrying your couch or heavy mattress.
    – Group boxes into “moving piles” that start from the upstairs and move down to the back of the house and then forward. IE: Master Bedroom, Spare Bedroom, Upstairs Bathrooms Load 1. Living Room & Kitchen Load 2. Office & Dining Room Load 3. Storage Room/Garage Load 4.
    – Pack a suitcase like you would for a vacation. Keep a couple days clothes and toilitries separate so you can have those things handy your first few days in the home. Same with Bokah’s toys and food/water bowls!
    – Keep clothes in drawers and hanging clothes on hangars – SAVES SO MUCH TIME!!! Never tried the trash bag trick before though, GENIUS.

  35. Sydni Jackson reply

    Some tips:
    Make sure that every box is labeled on multiple sides. When people are carrying things in, you don’t want them asking you where to put them. Pack same-room items in the same box and make sure the boxes end up in the right room as soon as you move.
    When packing dishes, stick a paper towel in-between each stacked dish if you run out of packing paper.
    Either before you move or when you’re moving in, PURGE! You’ll see everything you own, and it’s a great time to decide which things to throw away or give away.
    My mom always tells me to leave out my shower curtain and curtain hooks. You’ll need to shower when you move in! It also helps to pack a basket (not a box – so you can easily find it) of toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates/cups/bowls/silverware, soap, etc.

  36. Amy reply

    1. Dont stress. It’ll all get done :)
    2. Label, organize, purge. This all sounds like really great advice.
    3. You can always find reliable, free boxes. The liquor store and other big stores like Walmart & target! I’ve moved a ton And each time I’ve been able to find plenty of free boxes. At places like Walmart, they start unloading at night. Call your local store and see what time they do that. They have a bunch of different sizes, and they’ve always been really helpful!

  37. Breanna McKendrick reply

    I moved A LOT as a kid, and most of the time without movers to do it for us.

    We would buy colored tape and assigned each room of the new house a color. The colored tape is easy to see and we wrote what was specifically in the box on that colored tape. It worked really well for us. Best of luck!!

  38. Kristina W. reply

    Katelyn, I’m so excited for you and Michael to move into your new house! Moving is always super stressful, so wish you the best of luck with it! I’m actually moving to Tucson next month! I scrolled through all your other comments and have nothing new to add. Good luck again!

  39. Rebecca Witt reply

    All of these tips are so good! As someone who moved four times in 18months its a hassle. Most of what I have as a tip is most likely a repeat but here goes:

    -Label label label! I know you like making lists so you should be good at this :)

    -Use t-shirts, sheets, pillow cases etc as packing material rather than wasting paper

    -As you are packing up books, periodically lift the box and make sure it is not too heavy. Books fit so nicely in boxes but it gets very heavy quickly.

    -Once you have your bed in your bedroom make it right away. You will be so grateful at the end of a long day and you want to sleep

    -Same goes for putting up your shower curtain, towels, and toilet paper in your bathroom

    -Give away and throw away things as you are packing. The less you keep the less you have to move

    -Otherwise, here is a fun blog with some useful tips:

    Have fun and try not to become too stressed! Im so excited for you and your new house!! Good Luck!

  40. Katelyn reply

    Use big tubs to pack and move things and not boxes. We bought big plastic tubs from target and walmart and they helped so so much when moving. You’re able to fit a lot more in one tub and they are stronger so they protect your stuff better. You can buy them for like $8 a piece. Some people may say just save the money and “find” boxes…but totally worth it to me!!!

  41. Shelley Hohe reply

    We are pros when it comes to moving after selling 2 homes…one of them with almost 3000 sf worth of stuff and moving out of state!
    1~ Really think about if you are going to use what you are packing in your new house…if not why pack it, donate it.
    2~ Use sturdy trash bags for pillows and beddings
    3~ we purchased rubbermaid storage boxes to pack…made it so much easier to Label, pack and stack. They are practically the same price as moving boxes and then you can use them for storage or sell them afterwards :)

  42. Amy reply

    The first time Gary and I moved we got all of our stuff out of the house and then had a “House Sale” instead of a garage sale. Anything in the house was up for grabs. If it was hanging in the closet, it was for sale. In the cabinet? It was for sale. Under the sink? It was for sale. It saved a ton of time and gas going to and from Goodwill, People carried it out of the house for us and we made money! You would be amazed at how much time and energy it saved us.
    BTW…We have a heavy duty dolly and at least one moving blanket you can use, along with some “Manpower” Let us know what you need =)

  43. Aunt Susan reply

    Hire Alsop Moving and storage!! they are affordable and friendly!!

  44. Annetta reply

    Looks like you got a lot of advice so I’ll spare you my two bits. Just have fun moving!

  45. Adri reply

    My biggest tip is to ask office stores for any leftover paper boxes they have (the cardboard boxes that reams of paper come in). They are GREAT for packing books, breakables- pretty much anything, really. And they’re a really manageable size for 1 person to carry. Also, when you pack the clothes in your closet, don’t even take them off the hanger. Just lay a bedsheet on the ground, put all your clothes in the middle, and tie them up. Then you just have to untie the sheet and your clothes are ready to immediately hang in your new closet.

  46. Caitlin Alexander reply

    Yay! Moving is stressful and exciting all at once. When we moved a few years ago, we didn’t put everything in cardboard boxes… some of the stuff we knew we’d need as soon as we got to the new house, we packed into duffle bags! (Bedding, cosmetics, sweats, etc.) We lived out of those for a few days until we got settled, and it really helped!

    Much love! So happy for you guys :)

  47. Sarah reply

    Label everything by room and content and do you best to not just throw random things into a box because packing gets tiring and boring after a while. Also, make sure to mark what needs to be unpacked first and what can wait if things get crazy.

    Also, pack an “Essentials Until We Get Unpacked” box or two (or three…however many you need). That way you can take your time unpacking and organizing things well, rather than searching frantically through all of your boxes and making an even bigger mess because you can’t find one particular thing that you need.

    Good luck! Can’t wait to see what you do with the new place! :)

  48. Sarah Adams reply

    You are so beautiful, Katelyn :)

  49. Carrie n. reply

    So excited for you two! Label your boxes with different colors of duct tape and then stick a piece of matching color paper on the door or floor of the room of where the box needs to go. Helps your family or movers. And we labeled boxes as 1,2 and 3 based on priority opening them. 1 were same day boxes of towels, sheets, plates, etc. just the day one essentials. 2 were open within a couple days to a week, and 3 were the get to them when you can. And give yourself permission to take your time (the perk of buying a long-term house) good luck!

  50. Caroline reply

    GAAAHH!!!! CRAZYYYYY!!!!!!!

  51. Linda reply

    Definitely label EVERYTHING that goes in a box or a tote! It makes it so much easier to prioritize what gets unpacked first and what everything is, instead of tearing through all the boxes to find one thing :) AND, definitely use clothes, sheets, towels, etc. as the padding for your boxes!

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