How to Protect Your Belongings During a Move

By: Laura Gaskill

From nicks in that fresh paint job to broken chair legs and sofas stuck in stairwells, there are lots of things that can go awry during a move. Thankfully, with some thoughtful preventive measures (and lots of padding), it is possible to get from old house to new with all your belongings in one piece — and hopefully with no dings in those freshly painted walls either.

1. Declutter first. It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating: If you don’t want to keep it, you shouldn’t bother moving it. Preparing for a move is an ideal time to declutter, so take advantage and let go of items you no longer love or use. The less stuff you have to move, the quicker it will be to pack and unpack, and the less your move will cost. In addition, when the total amount of stuff to move isn’t quite so overwhelming, you’re a lot less likely to revert to the “just dump everything in a box!” mentality that seems to afflict just about everyone in the final hours before the movers arrive.
2. Measure large furniture, door openings and stairwells. Your furniture may have fit into your current home without a hitch, but that doesn’t mean it will be as easy to move into the new place. Among the moves of my immediate family and close friends alone, I have seen sofas get jammed in stairwells (twice) and a much-loved cabinet left behind because it simply wouldn’t fit through the door. Don’t let that be you.

3. Use corner protectors on mirrors and art. Fragile mirrors and picture frames need to be treated with care. Ideally, use a mirror- or picture-packing kit that comes with foam corner protectors, and follow the instructions that come with your kit. Once you have the corners secured, place the mirror or frame in a mirror or picture box and fill any empty space with paper. If you have a lot of artwork, framed photographs and other delicate items, it’s a good idea to start packing up your collection early so you can take your time and do it right.
4. Completely cover furniture with pads or moving blankets. It may seem like something that’s OK to skimp on, but covering your furniture well can make the difference between your treasured pieces arriving in perfect condition … and arriving scuffed, torn or otherwise damaged. You can also purchase rolls of plastic wrapping material, but pads and blankets offer more protection for extra-delicate and upholstered items.
5. Detach small parts and store them together. Life in a moving van is rough on your belongings. Items knock into each other, and the first things to sustain damage are usually the little bits. Whenever you are able to safely remove the legs, handles or small protruding parts of a piece of furniture, do so. Wrap up the parts and keep them together in a labeled bag inside or taped to the furniture it came from.

6. Use the right box for the job. The heavier the item, the smaller the box is a good rule of thumb to follow when packing. A large box filled with heavy items is likely to either fall apart or injure the person carrying it, and boxes left too empty can leave their contents vulnerable to breakage. Choose the right box for the item you’re packing, and fill in the empty space with paper or packing peanuts.
7. Protect floors and stairs with nonslip runners. There will be a lot of foot traffic in your home on moving day. Protect your floors and prevent slips and falls by rolling out nonslip runners in high-traffic areas. Your moving company may have reusable nonslip runners, or you may purchase nonslip self-adhesive plastic floor coverings to protect your floors in key areas. If you have a large area of flooring that you would like to protect (such as wall-to-wall light-colored carpeting) a self-adhesive plastic floor covering is probably your best bet.

8. Protect door frames with padding. Even the most careful movers will sometimes bump into a tight door frame when passing through with a large piece of furniture. Covering the door frame at the main entrance is a smart preventive measure. Some movers come equipped with doorjamb protectors, or you can rent or purchase your own in advance. These covers contain flexible spring clamps that attach to the door easily without causing damage.
9. Leave specialty items to a specialist. Planning to move a piano, hot tub, appliances or another large or heavy item? Be sure you discuss the specifics with your movers in advance, as they will probably need to bring special equipment and allow extra time to handle it. And although it should probably go without saying, do not attempt to move a piano on your own.


10. Be sure there’s a clear, close spot to park the moving van. Not only will this help avoid long-carry fees, having a clear space to park the moving van means less of a chance for accidental damage to occur on the way in and out. A sturdy ramp placed on a level surface is important for safe moving — both for the movers and your belongings.
Related Links:

Floral Classes Offer Fun, Fresh Design Ideas

Decorative glass vases with succulent and cactus plants.Glass interior terrarium with succulents and cactuses.Miniature garden in glass with cactuses and succulents.Top view.

Terrariums or floral arrangements are fun ways to customize your home and bring freshness into your space. Use them as centerpieces, bookends, or thoughtful gifts for neighbors, friends and family.


If you’re interested in learning how to make your own, these seven North Texas floral design classes are the perfect way to spend your free time.


DIRT Flowers – $147 
Dried Flowers: 8/21 and 8/22, 7 to 9 p.m.
Fall Wreaths and Floral Design: 9/4, 9/18 and 9/19, 7 to 9 p.m.
Bishops Arts District
417 N. Bishop Ave.
Dallas, TX 75208
Contact: 214.242.9533


Ephemera! – $15 for Succulent Mugs, $20 for hanging Airplant Orbs, and $30 & up for Terrariums
Tuesday and Thursdays: 12 to 8 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 10 to 8 p.m.
Sundays: 11 to 6 p.m.
No appointments needed
1208 W. Magnolia Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76104
Contact: 817.382.8238


North Haven Gardens – $25 
Saturday, August 19 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
7700 Northaven Road
Dallas, TX 75230
Contact: 214.363.5316


Persona Pizzeria – Pizza starts at $7.95 and tickets are $45
Pizza and Planting: 8/23, 7 p.m.
8704 Cypress Waters Blvd., Suite 190
Irving, TX 75063
Contact: 972.556.2200


Dallas Design Supply – Free 
Airbrushing Flowers: September 24,  11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
2000 N. Stemmons Freeway, Suite 1F314
Dallas, TX 75207
Contact: 214.757.7715


Love Floral – $85
Centerpiece arrangement: 8/23, 7 to 9 p.m.
4611 Langland Road, Suite 104
Dallas, TX 75244
Contact: 214.668.4343


Blue Mesa Grill – $45 
Succulent Terrariums: 8/16, 7 p.m.
7700 W. Northwest Highway
Dallas, TX 75255
Contact: 214. 378. 8686





Ebby’s Prosper I Celina Office Opens

Ebby's Prosper I Celina Office Opens


Ebby Halliday Realtors recently opened a brand-new, state-of-the-art Prosper I Celina Office. The approximately 5,000-square-foot office is located at the northeast corner of Highway 289 (Preston Road) and Prosper Trail in fast-growing Prosper. It will be “home” to approximately 50 residential real estate agents serving the greater Prosper/Celina area.


Ebby's Prosper I Celina Office Opens


“This state-of-the-art office greatly enhances our ability to serve the needs of the area’s growing number of home buyers and sellers for many years to come,” says Mary Frances Burleson, president and CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies, which includes Dallas-based Ebby Halliday Realtors and Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate and Fort Worth-based Williams Trew Real Estate, as well as affiliated core-service companies Texas Premier TitleHome Team Insurance and Home Team Mortgage Company.


Ebby's Prosper I Celina Office Opens


“The location of our new office is phenomenal,” says Ebby Halliday Companies Chief Financial Officer Ron Burgert, who was instrumental in selecting the new site and building out the new office. “Strategically situated along State Highway 289 (Preston Road), it offers easy access to the 289 and U.S. 380 corridors, as well as the Dallas North Tollway.”


Ebby's Prosper I Celina Office Opens


Ebby’s Prosper I Celina Office features collaboration centers where Associates and clients may meet to discuss residential real estate needs, says Cathie Skinner, sales manager of the new office. Cutting-edge technology helps the office’s Associates assist buyers with their home searches and sellers with their understanding of local market trends.


Ebby's Prosper I Celina Office Opens


Skinner, who has been a real estate agent for seven years, joined Ebby’s Plano/Willow Bend Office three years ago. She has been a multimillion-dollar producer every year since she entered the real estate business. Skinner says she chose Ebby Halliday Realtors because of her respect for the firm’s founder, Ebby Halliday, who passed away two years ago at the age of 104, and because of the firm’s stellar reputation.


Ebby's Prosper I Celina Office Opens


“From day one, Ebby Halliday Realtors has offered a firm foundation for my business,” Skinner says. “Having owned many properties and having experienced the ups and downs of the market, I strongly believe in homeownership and in our company.”


A very open, authentic person, Skinner says she is a mentor-teacher at heart.


“I love to see others succeed, and I’m excited about this opportunity to use my enthusiasm and sales skills to ‘sell’ Ebby as a company,” Skinner says. “Agents have choices and they can’t choose a better company than Ebby Halliday Realtors. I really enjoy investing in our Prosper I Celina agents by encouraging them and giving them the tools to be the best they can be.”


For more information about Ebby’s new Prosper I Celina Office, call 972-893-3130 or visit


Fresh Listing Friday: Charming White Rock-Area Home

Fresh Listing Friday 960


Happy Friday y’all! This week’s Fresh Listing Friday is a beautifully updated home served by sought-after Lakewood Elementary school. 7335 Syracuse Drive, near White Rock Lake, offers a custom front door, natural lighting, an open floor plan, custom moldings, an electric gate, manicured landscaping, a two-car garage and additional covered parking. Take a virtual tour below to see all the beautiful amenities throughout.


Need-to-know Details:

• Priced at $434,500
• 1,541 square feet: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths
• Kitchen with granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances, a gas cooktop, and hardwood flooring
• Screened-in porch with soft decorative lighting
• Newly upgraded carpeting, windows, lighting fixtures, kitchen and cabinetry


147660043-3294513147660043-3294523147660043-3294583 147660043-3294603147660043-3294633147660043-3294643147660043-3294663147660043-3294683147660043-3294693147660043-3294743147660043-3294763147660043-3294783147660043-3294823147660043-3294813147660043-3294803


To view this listing, contact the Kay Cheek at 972.733.8025 or

5 Must-See Open Houses This Weekend


If you’re looking for a home in North Texas, you’ve come to the right place! Even if you’re not, these properties are all open to visitors this weekend and may serve as the perfect inspiration for your next home search.


6606 BROOKSHIRE DRIVE26606 Brookshire Drive | Dallas – Preston Hollow | $1,999,0002050 SILVER HAWK COURT2050 Silver Hawk Court | Rockwall | $829,0001454 COTTONWOOD VALLEY COURT1454 Cottonwood Valley Court | Irving | $789,0001220 SHADOW WOODS COURT1220 Shadow Woods Court | Keller – Wildwood Community | $725,000656 CLEARWATER DRIVE656 Clearwater Drive | Irving | $689,000


To see all the wonderful homes open this weekend, visit

Celebrate Hatch Chile Season

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 12.28.34 PM

‘Tis the season for one of the Southwest’s most-anticipated flavors to return to the forefront of kitchens and restaurants alike, and we have to say … we’re pretty excited.
That’s right, it’s Hatch chile season.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Hatch chile, they are directly related to Anaheim peppers, but instead are grown in New Mexico’s Hatch Valley. Some are mild, with heat levels similar to Anaheim or poblano peppers, but others can be as hot as their smaller serrano counterparts.
"Once a year, the supermarkets are flooded with Hatch Chile Peppers. Once roasted this spicy vegetable makes beautiful soups and stews."
Hatch aficionados believe the New Mexico soil and climate cause these peppers to be more flavorful and spicier than the widely distributed Anaheim peppers. Unlike Anaheim peppers, Hatch chile have one growing season per year and are harvested each August and September.
Rows of Chile in a field near Hatch, NM.
These spicy, versatile peppers are essentially treated like their own food group in Texas, and what better way to celebrate their existence than an entire festival?
From August 9 to 22,  Central Market’s 22nd-Annual Hatch Chile Festival will transform each location into a “Land of EnHATCHment,” where you can find an extensive roundup of pre-packaged Hatch products and fresh Hatch fare. This year, the lineup includes Hatch dark chocolate, Hatch popcorn, Hatch beer, and Absinthe & Hatch salami.

Central Market Hatch Chile Dark Chocolate Bar 3 OZ
Photo courtesy of Central Market


Take a trip to the bakery for items such as cheddar Hatch pepper bread or Hatch sourdough, or visit the deli counter to snag some Hatch tamales, Hatch crab cakes, and Hatch-stuffed chicken breasts.

In celebration of the return of the Hatch chile, below are some tips from our friends at Central Market on how to pick, roast and store your chiles.
Photo courtesy of Central Market
How to Roast & Store Hatch Chiles
By: Central Market

*We recommend that you wear gloves while working with Hatch Chiles.
You can roast chiles either over a grill or in your broiler oven. Be sure to puncture the skin with a fork or knife before roasting to a golden brown on both sides.
Oven-roasted chile is as close to flame-roasted as you can get. Preheat your oven to 425°. Place chiles in oven for 15-20 minutes until soft. When roasted, the chile skins will begin to blister. Allow peppers to “sweat” a while before you peel them to use in a recipe.
Then peel the skin and serve, or add to your favorite recipe.
If you are going to freeze your roasted Hatch peppers, allow to cool completely. We recommend leaving skins on and seeds and veins intact. So much of the pepper flavor is in the skins and seeds, so leaving this on should give you a more flavorful pepper after thawing. Simply slip 4 to 5 whole peppers into a freezer ziplock baggie, squeezing the excess air out as you zip the bag shut. These can be stored in your freezer to use all year long, until the next Hatch season rolls around.
It’s easy to peel your roasted Hatch peppers by laying the whole pepper flat on a cutting board. Holding the stem with one hand and running the sharp edge of a knife across the skin will scrape the charred skin right off.
Note: Some folks like to skin (and even chop) their peppers prior to freezing. They say that it makes it easier and quicker to add to recipes.
This year, we had the pleasure of visiting Central Market to taste some recipes in which you can utilize these potent peppers.
Homemade Iced Tea with Lemons and Mint
Hatch Pepper Simple Syrup

*8 Hatch peppers, chopped with seeds removed
*1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
*1 cup water
Directions: In a large saucepan, dissolve 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water over medium heat. When sugar is dissolved, bring to medium-high heat and add Hatch peppers. After 3 to 5 minutes (peppers should be flexible but not soft), remove from heat and steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain peppers, reserving liquid as the syrup.
Hatch Pepper Sweet Tea
*1/2 liter strong black tea
*1/4 to 1/2 cup Hatch pepper simple syrup
*Juice of two lemons
*1 bunch mint, lightly crushed
*Sugar, to taste
*Iced water

In a large pitcher, combine 1/4 cup Hatch simple syrup with tea — stir to mix thoroughly. Add lemon juice and mint, then add iced water to desired strength. Use additional Hatch syrup and sugar to reach desired heat and sweetness. Serve with a garnish of mint and lemon.

BvB Dallas Tackles Alzheimer’s

 BvB Dallas Tackles Alzheimer’s


We’re proud to once again sponsor Blondes vs. Brunettes Dallas, a powder-puff football game and fundraiser benefitting Alzheimer’s Disease research and awareness.


This year’s game takes place Saturday, Aug. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cotton Bowl at Fair Park. Mary Frances Burleson, president and CEO of Ebby Halliday Realtors, will once again conduct the official coin toss prior to kickoff. Each person who donates $25 receives admission to the game and the after-party.


Over the past nine years, BvB Dallas has raised over $3 million for Alzheimer’s research and care in North Texas. For more information and to donate, visit

Ebby’s New Allen Office Now Open

Ebby Halliday Realtors recently opened a brand-new, state-of-the-art Allen office.

Ebby's New Allen Office Opens


“Ebby Halliday Realtors has served the residential real estate needs of Collin County since 1971 and has had an Allen office since 2005,” says Chief Financial Officer Ron Burgert, who was instrumental in selecting the site and the building of the new office. “We’re proud to open this new, larger office and expand our capacity to serve Allen and the surrounding area as it continues to experience substantial growth.”


Ebby's New Allen Office Now Open


The new 10,500-square-foot stand-alone building, designed by architect Michael Twichell, whose work includes The Shops at Legacy in Plano and the Angelika Film Center in Dallas, replaces the company’s former Allen office. Near the intersection of State Highway 121 and U.S. Highway 75, Ebby’s new office offers a highly visible location and the latest in technology. The “one-stop residential real estate shop,” also offers title, mortgage and insurance services.


Ebby's New Allen Office Now Open


“The location of our new office is phenomenal,” says Diane Hausler, who has served as sales manager of Ebby Halliday Realtors’ Allen Office since its inception. “It is ideally situated near the thriving StarCreek development and offers easy access to the entire 121 Corridor.”


Ebby's New Allen Office Opens


Hausler says Ebby’s new Allen Office offers area residents and those who may be considering calling Allen and the surrounding area their new home an opportunity to be a part of something special. The office, which serves all of the 121 Corridor, will accommodate approximately 100 agents.


Ebby's New Allen Office Opens


“Our new office is a gathering place where people can learn about the area, all it has to offer and why we love Allen so much,” Hausler says. “We’re invested in the 121 Corridor and look forward to serving area residents – and those just arriving here – for many years to come.”


Ebby's New Allen Office Opens


For more information on Ebby’s Allen Office, located at 955 State Highway 121, Suite 130, in Allen, call 214-509-0808 or visit


Ebby's New Allen Office Opens


Ebby's New Allen Office Opens


Ebby's New Allen Office Opens

8 Quick Decorating Fixes Before Guests Arrive

By: Shoshana Gosselin
Sometimes you don’t have much time to prepare for company when so many other things are consuming your time. Your home could use some sprucing up, but quickly! Here are simple tips to add personality, a fresh feel and function.

1. Check your bulbs. Lighting can make or break a room. One burned-out bulb can ruin the the mood, whether it is a ‘large and in charge’ chandelier or a simple recessed light. If you know company is coming, do a quick walk-through of your home with pen and paper, turning on each light. Make a note of any bulbs you need and you will only need to make one trip for replacements.

2. Cut tags from throw pillows.

A lot of decorative throw pillows come with annoying plastic tags. Those tags can be frustrating to work with when you’re placing pillows on your sofa: the pillows have to be placed just so and then you have to tuck the tag under so it doesn’t show. Whatever you do, don’t rip those tags off: you might tear the seam. Instead, use a pair of sharp scissors and cut as close to the seam as possible. I have a friend hold the pillow and stretch the tag, pulling it out as far as possible so I can cut close to the seam.


3. Keep an extra roll on hand. An inviting bathroom definitely includes an extra roll of toilet paper. Store it out of site, or try placing it in a basket for a more casual feel.

4. Make vent covers, switch plates and outlet covers disappear. Walls painted in a deep rich color can be beautiful, but any vents, outlets and light switches on that wall can really stand out. Help them blend by painting them. Simply unscrew the covers and dust them off with a clean cloth. For switch and outlet covers, spray with a bonding primer like XIM, then paint. For vent covers, lightly rub steel wool (so the paint can adhere) and paint.
Tip: Never paint the actual switch or outlet. It could be dangerous and interfere with the function of the electrical mechanism.

5. Reorganize your bookshelves. Bookcases can become cluttered. Turn on your favorite music and spend an hour rearranging them. Try turning a few books on their sides and using small accents throughout to bring in personality and keep the shelves from feeling crowded.

6. Create a showstopping wall. Pull a wall together using all the lonely framed art and photos you have around the house. The frames do not have to match. Hang them close together. Recently I added three more framed photos to two that were already hung on a wall. It filled out the wall nicely and I love it.
To figure out how I am going to hang my art, I like to lay the pieces out on the floor in front of the wall, create my design (use a tape measurer to make sure the length and height work with the wall), then snap a photo to use as my guide for hanging them.

7. Add ‘Wow’ to your dining set. To up the drama, add new head chairs to your dining set. If your other chairs are wood, try two upholstered chairs to give them significance.
If you have the time, consider reupholstering the seats of your chairs. If you are a DIYer you might be able to unscrew the seats and fasten new fabric on the seats using a staple gun. Or go to your local upholsterer for the job. Recovering just the seats is an economical way to refresh your chairs, as you don’t need a lot of fabric.

8. No window treatments; no problem! Create a statement in minutes using plates, platters and bowls. Hang them on either side of a window or door. You will need to purchase plate holders from a home improvement store. I had a client who did not want window treatments in her dining room because her son had allergies, so we hung a plate holder on either side of her window, and used brightly finished plates.
Related Links:
Double Check the Bulbs in Wall Lights
Outlet Covers That Blend In With Walls
Lighten Up the Home With Indoor Plants and Fresh Flowers