Master A Stress Free Move In 30 Days

If you have been following our moving series, you might be a little confused based on last month's move update, we went over how we were approx. 3 months out from moving. Now here were are, announcing we are just 30 days (actually less) away from move day! So you might ask, what changed? 

*This post is sponsored by - all thoughts and ideas are my own.

Well... We have a house! While I had full intentions of taking you all along the final house search process with us, this specific home presented itself while doing just a quick browse on last week. We have had no plans to even begin contacting available rental homes until January, but this one seemed perfect so we went ahead and inquired. To our surprise, they got back to us nearly immediately and thus that is when this surprise whirlwind of finding our perfect home began. 

As stated in my last move update, I went over the challenges you can face when trying to find a home/ rental while living in another state along with how to set yourself apart from the many other (local) applicants. One of the biggest tips I have for securing a home from out of state or in a unique situation, is to find a home listed by the landlord/ homeowner. This allows you the chance to connect with the person owning the home and present your situation to them, and more often than not, they will be more open to holding a home for the right person/ family, accepting a not so excellent credit score or a new job change over a property management company who is just approving applicants based off of a checklist.

In this case, as well as when we moved to Georgia, both homes were listed by the homeowner. In both situations we were able to talk on the phone to the homeowners and explain our moving timeline and also let them know a little more about our family and who we are as renters.

So let's get back to our home search journey... After talking to the homeowner, we set up a time to do a video tour of the home via FaceTime. Being that we are moving back to California to be near family, we knew that we had people whom we trust to go view properties for us in person. But... My dad has been here visiting us for the holidays, and when this home presented itself, we were informed that there were already 2 other applications in that they were considering and they needed to make a decision soon. The homeowner graciously walked us through the entire home, then outside to show us the neighborhood, nearest playground and community pool to really get a feel for where we would be living. 

After the tour I think both my husband and I knew instantly that this home was for our family. We sent an email saying that we would like to apply. But, we knew there were still a few obstacles in the way. First off, those 2 other applicants were local and could move in immediately. We on the other hand, hadn't even prepared to start moving until mid Feb! Not to mention my husband starting a brand new job, and not knowing how our credit score would hold up against the other applicants. We decided to give them a call and explain everything up front before ever submitting the application. Being honest and transparent is key if there is anything you are concerned about when applying. Secondly, I sent the homeowner an email with links to my social media and blog, to show how we care for our current home and how we plan to love and care for their home as well. Even if you don't have a blog or social media account where you share your home, send an email with possibly a collage of a few photos of your current home and a photo of your family. This gives them an idea of who will be occupying the home that they cherish. Renting from a homeowner is so much more personal, so try to connect with them on a personal level.

After all was sent off, we received the news within 24 hours, on Christmas Eve of all days... that we were accepted! 

Then came hammering out the details. I won't go into financial detail here because of personal reasons, but the homeowners graciously discounted our deposit due to a long distance move, but we did have to pay to hold the home until we could move in. This has now pushed our move date up by quite a lot! We now will be moving across the country in less than 30 days!

So you might ask... What's next? We now have one massive to-do list...
Follow along as I share a few of the tips that I have learned through my past moves and how I plan to incorporate them into this one. There is so much information that I have actually split this post into 2 parts. Part 1 being everything you need to know to get your home packed up and ready to move. Everything from packing materials to how to pack each room and what you need upon moving into your new home. Part 2 being the logistics of moving. In that post I will take you through a breakdown of moving yourself vs. hiring a moving company, traveling long distance to your new home, and how to do it all on a small budget, along with a to-do list of what you need to do before moving out of your current home.

How to master a stress free move in 30 days (or less)

Packing materials you will need:
Depending on your size of home, this will vary, but when it comes to purchasing boxes and packing materials, you need to factor in the following,

8 boxes - Standard Size Bedroom
(2 large for clothing, 1 medium for shoes, 3 medium for decor, 2 large for bedding/ curtains/ misc.)

12 boxes - Master Bedroom
(4 large for clothing, 2 medium for shoes/ bags, 4 medium for decor, 2 large for bedding/ curtains)
3 boxes - Bathroom
(1 medium boxes for decor, 2 small boxes for liquids, lotions and misc. product)

20 boxes - Living Room/ Family Room
(8 large boxes for decor/ blankets/ curtains/ pillows, 3 large picture frame boxes for wall decor, 1 large TV box, 5 medium boxes for DVDs/ electronics/ decor, 3 small boxes for any small misc. items)

18 boxes - Kitchen
(10 medium boxes for dishes/ pots & pans/ bake ware/ non-perishable foods/ table linens, 8 small boxes for spices/ counter top items/ cooking utensils/ coffee mugs and glass drinking glasses, plastic cups (kid's dinnerware)/ dishtowels & cleaning supplies)

4 boxes - Hallway Closets
(4 large boxes for hallway closet linens such as towels, extra sheets, blankets and pillows)

25 Boxes - Garage, Laundry Room & Misc.
(Depending on the size of your garage and what you need to pack, allow yourself an over count of boxes needed in various sizes from large to small. It is also good to have extra boxes on hand for other products such as cleaning supplies, toys, and extra decor. Remember, you can always return what you do not use, but it's better to have more than enough rather than making run after run back to the store to buy more!)

The average 3 bedroom home usually accounts for 75-90 moving boxes

The quality of your moving materials also matters. Sturdy boxes and tape will insure that your items will arrive at their destination in perfect condition. And how you tape your boxes also is of importance. The last thing you need is the bottom of your box to fall open after you spent all that time wrapping up your belongings.

Begin by taping the box once, across both flaps. Then tape once down the center line, then again on either side of that, overlapping the sides of the tape to create a strong hold. Again, the tape you use will make a difference. I've done this same method of taping but with a dollar store brand before and I was sorry I did... My advice, splurge on the good tape.

Lastly, label each box so that it has a final destination and anyone picking up the box can figure out where it goes. Label the boxes not as where they came from in your current home, but where you want them to go in your new home. I label each box with the room, then number each box for that room, and label the main contents in that box. I also have a checklist that I have created of all of this info that I can relate back to and check off as I un-pack, just in case a box gets misplaced or I can't find what I am looking for.

One other tip - Because we don't have a craft room or a play room, but have lots of craft items and toys, I box all of those items up grouped with similar items. Such as: "Crafts - Paper", "Crafts - Painting", or "Crafts - Wood". And for toys that don't have a place in either of the kid's rooms, I label those, "Toys - Hotwheels" or "Toys - Dress Up". On move in day, I have these boxes placed in the main entry or in the garage until I find a place/ closet to organize them.

Lighten the load:
As I went over in my last update, one of the biggest things you can do before a big move to make moving as easy as possible, is to purge the "junk". I went through round 1 with you, which was the hard part. Round 1 consists of taking inventory of what you have, what you haven't used in years, what you can live without, and what is just plain trash.

(You can read more about the process HERE)

After getting rid of and selling everything you could do without, now it's time to really think about what else can go. If you have a home (which you should being 30 days out from a move) you know the layout. Which furniture that you currently own won't fit or work into your new space? Maybe you want a slight style style change, what can you possibly sell and use that money to buy something new that you love? Or take a hard look at your closet, can you let some of it go? I like to call round 2, the "make room for more" round. You have to let go what is weighing you down sometimes to make room for something even better. Moving into a new home, one you have worked hard for, this is a new chapter, a new beginning. Now is the perfect time to let go of the things you maybe have held onto for too long just because it is "stuff".

Want to know another great thing about letting go? Well, it sure lessens the cost of your move! The lighter the load = the less that you pay. 

For us, we have saved the big items to get rid of, for last. Now that we have the layout of our new home we know what we can take and what needs to be sold. A plus of our new rental is that it comes with a washer and a dryer so we will be selling ours, along with our large dining table and other furniture items we know will not fit into our new home. What is fun about the purging process is that we always use the money that we receive from selling the old to buy new after we move. We get to go shopping without really spending!

Once you have sold/ donated all of the big stuff it's time to take a look at all of those things you have been hoarding for much too long: When it comes to anything in your bathroom cabinets, lotions, hair product or makeup, if you haven't used it in 6 months - a year, its time for it to go. Same goes for clothing, if you haven't worn it in a year or if it doesn't fit, let it go. And as for kitchen items that we all know can gather up over time, if you haven't used it in a year - 2 years, its time to be used by someone else.

Downsizing can be hard and it can feel overwhelming when it comes to deciding what to keep and what to let go of. But with each one of my moves, I have never regretted letting go of any of the items I decided to part with. Just keep your new home in mind through the whole process. Think of how everything needs a place to go and if you don't have the space or room for it, let it go. If you don't absolutely love it and that item no longer brings you joy, let it go.

And if just even starting the purging process feels daunting, I suggest starting in the bathrooms. then closets, then dressers, then the main areas of your home. One bag/ box at a time, and you will get there, I promise. Just trust your gut.

Where to begin packing:
Again, another daunting task that many dread (myself included). After 9 times of doing this, I basically have a routine and a system. Before I ever begin packing to move our home, I set aside a suitcase (or multiple in our case - for our family) along with 2 large size boxes and 1 medium size box. The suitcases will be for your travels to your new home and the boxes will be your "first night boxes". Especially when moving long distance, there is no guarantee what time your belongings will arrive at your new house and if it happens to be pushing bed time, the kids are melting down and you are at the end of your rope, the last thing you will want to do is dig through tons of boxes to find the things you need. Here are the items that I pack as MUST HAVES for the first day/ night of moving into a new home:

The "First Night Box(es)":
1 set of sheets for each bed
2 rolls of paper towels
1 bottle of cleaning spray
1 container of disinfecting wipes
3 rolls of toilet paper
1 towel for each person
4 night lights
1 can of air freshener
1 candle
paper plates
plastic utensils
travel size laundry detergent
travel size shampoo/ conditioner/ hand soap
1 large blanket/ comforter per bed

clothes for each person for 1 week
personal care items
bedtime books for kids

Bring in the car:
favorite pillows
phone chargers
any valuable jewelry or items
memorabilia that cannot be replaced (baby books, photos, family items, etc.)

Packing with kids:
If you have children, especially young ones, moving can stir up a whole boat load of emotions. My biggest tip when facing a new change - get them involved with the packing. Let them choose which items they want to pack up and make a game out of it! Try to see who can pack their boxes faster or count how many items fit into a box, or sort toys by colors. The more you involve your children, the less anxiety they will have.

Packing room by room:
Bathroom - I always start in the bathroom because it is the smallest room in the home and usually has the least amount to pack. (Ziploc bags will be your best friend!) I first pack up all liquids and lotions, each in their own separate Ziploc bag. I always place those in a box by themselves, separate from everything else. 

Closets - I begin by packing clothes first, leaving the clothes on the hangers, placing a plastic trash bag over them and placing each group of clothing into a box. 

Dressers - As for clothing in dressers, we have never packed our clothing, we first take out the drawers of the dresser on moving day, load the dresser, then place the drawers back in them with the clothing still inside. As you fill up the truck, the other furniture and boxes will insure that your drawers will not open and it/s one less thing you don't have to worry about packing! 

Decor - I always wrap breakable decor up with quality packing paper. Each item gets wrapped individually.
Dishes - One of the easiest tips I have for packing dishes is to place a foam paper plate in between each plate, then wrap the whole set up in bubble wrap. For coffee mugs and breakable glasses, wrap with packing paper and pots and pans wrap up with extra bath towels. 

Bedding - When it comes to comforters, duvet covers, etc... I always pack each bedding set together. Including throw pillows. This way, once your beds are all set up, it is easy to put each one together again. 

Jewelry - For jewelry that I won't be taking with me in the car, I like to use scrap pieces of cardboard, then using 2 different sized hole punches, punch holes into the cardboard for where I would like my jewelry to be held in place. This makes it so that necklaces, earrings and bracelets won't get tangled up in the move. For additional packaging, you can wrap the entire piece of cardboard up with plastic cling wrap as an extra step to keep the jewelry in place.

Garage Items/ Tools - Packing plastic wrap is great for keeping rakes/ mops/ brooms together but when it comes to the tools, we have chosen to purchase large plastic totes to insure that none of our tools get damaged in the move. Plus it makes for easy organizing after moving into your new home.

These are just a few of  tips that I hope you find helpful. Ones I have learned after making things much harder on myself over the years, when moving and entire household on a short time frame. 
Stay tuned for part 2 of this series, coming soon! Thanks for stopping by!

Check out HOMES.COM for all of your house hunting needs 
or download the app for even more house hunting features.

Also, check out the other tips and move updates in our moving series below:

The Best Moving Tips For An Easy Long Distance Move

We are officially three months out (actually more like 2.5 months out) from our long distance move to California! Time is flying by and the holiday season, sick kids, holiday events, and present shopping isn't helping our move to-do list any... If you have been following our moving series, you know that we are pretty much long distance move exerts at this point. In this update I want to share a little more about where we are at with our home search using, and other tips I have come to find helpful after making my own moving mistakes over the years. All of this info will help you to make long distance moving a breeze and (almost) stress-free!

*This post is sponsored in collaboration with, all thoughts and ideas are my own

Selling The "Junk"
Before I ever start packing a box, I like to start each move off with a fresh start. This means selling all of the "junk". Being 3 months (or less) out from a long distance move is the perfect time to start de-cluttering and really planning what you will be taking with you onto your new home. 

Designate A Sell Section:
I first start by designating an area of my home where I can begin placing all of the items I need to sell. This allows me to keep track and sort like items such as home decor, clothing, and household items. I can easily take items from that area, photograph them for online groups/sites and place them back. As these items sell, I can put sold tags or sticky notes on them and wait for their new owners to come pick them up. Being that our home is small, I keep all of our "sell" items currently in our front entry. If you are a neat freak, like myself, the clutter will likely drive you crazy but just remember, it's only temporary.

Selling Your Household Items Online:
No need for a garage sale, selling your home items online now is extremely easy and convenient and I have compiled a few tips to get you top dollar!

Photography is important - I cannot stress this enough. I have been selling not only my own household items online for years but also furniture I have painted to sell, along with furniture we have built. When selling online, all your potential buyer has to go off of is the photo. Take high resolution photos if you have a camera to do so. If not, cell phone quality is perfectly fine too. Take crisp clear bright images. Photograph your item using natural light at the brightest time of day in your home. If your images are still dark, you can always edit them in an app. One of my favorites is PicTapGo or VSCO, just adjust the brightness and sharpness and you are set.

Stage your decor - When photographing, stage your decor to show your potential buyer how that item can be used in their own home. Think of your favorite home decor catalog, you want to buy the items in that catalog because you can vision it in your own home. 

Pick a backdrop - If staging items just isn't your thing our sounds like too much work, photographing your items against the same background is an easy way to have all of your images cohesive and makes the subject the focus. Pick a well lit area of your home, against a plain wall (preferably neutral), or use a roll of white paper and tape to a wall. Photograph each of your items individually. 

Posting your items on Facebook - Facebook is one of my favorite places to sell for many reasons. It is easy to upload many images at once into local re-sale groups, you can also post those items into FB marketplace at the same time with just one click, you can share personal items for sale with friends on your own profile by making a photo album, plus you can create a private FB event for your friends to come shop your home/ garage sale. 

Write clear descriptions and add measurements - Make things easier on yourself than trying to answer a ton of the same questions from potential buyers. Write clear and precise descriptions of your items, the condition of your items, brand, along with measurements. Also note if the item is from a pet free/ smoke free home or not.

Utilize clothing resale sites - Have clothes that are in great condition? One of my favorite sites to sell both mine and my children's clothes on is ThreadUp. It saves me the hassle of having to photograph the items myself and leaves the selling to them. Then once my items sell, the money from my sales is free for me to use on their site to buy new to me clothing or I can have the money transferred to me.
There are a ton of these types of sites out there, and many for higher end designer clothing and accessories. Just do your research before selling, but many of them are great!

Selling The Toys:
Sorting through the toys can be overwhelming and one huge task that honestly no parent wants to do. All of the little tiny toy pieces, the fights with the kids of what to actually get rid of, and the begging just to keep that one toy they all the sudden discovered in the trash bag that they haven't played with in almost a year. Being that I have two children in 2 different stages, I have learned a few tricks along the way to getting them involved. My almost 7 year old is my hoarder. She wants to keep every little McDonald's toy to every tiny rock and crystal. In the past year or so we have created a new rule in our home, that no new toys are bought unless one old one is sold. And she can only use the money from what is sold to buy something new. More often than not that means selling 2-3 things just to get 1 new one. It also acts as a great incentive for her to really analyze what means the most to her. She now gets excited with every toy clean out, and when it came to selling this time around, she jumped right in and wanted to even help me come up with prices of what to sell the old toys for. As for my little one, luckily she isn't old enough to care yet. With her, we have always kept toys to a minimum since she was born, being that most of her toys are from her big sister. We like to keep toys that will keep her attention for a few years rather buying baby toys, toddler toys, and so on... Our favorites are the play kitchen and play food, interactive stuffed animals, and building blocks.

Packing Up The Clutter
3 months out, you are not quite ready to pack up the entire house yet, but you are ready to get a head start. Begin by packing the items you know that you will not need within the next 3 months.
For example: holiday or seasonal decor, childhood keepsakes, out of season clothing, books, any decor not in use, dvds/cds, photographs and albums. Once you have these items packed up and boxed, you will be surprised at the space it will free up. Currently, I have been stacking all of our packed boxes in the garage and sorted by area in the home they will be going to when we move into the new house.

Cleaning Out The Trash
Now that you have gone through the items you plan to sell and have begun packing what you plan to keep, it's time to take out the trash! We all have them, the junk drawers, boxes, bins, baskets, and closets... The junk always seems to pile up and hide away no matter how hard we try to keep things organized. My rule when preparing to move, is to go through one drawer a day/ week (whatever your schedule allows). I like to start in the bathrooms. First getting rid of all old and expired shampoos, soaps and makeup. I am afraid to say, I recently found makeup I have been hoarding from my early 20's, nearly 10 years ago! Yep, apparently no matter how many times I move, there is still trash that travels with me somehow... Once the bathrooms are all cleared, I head onto the kitchen and the drawers that just seem to accumulate everything. Throwing away old receipts, gum wrappers, broken pencils, and all of that junk mail. Little by little, I make my way through every drawer, cabinet and closet before we ever even get close to move week. This makes me feel like I can handle the mess without being overwhelmed, stressed and frantically throwing our trash into a box at the last minute.

On The Hunt
You might ask, "How are things going with the house hunt?" Well... were still hunting. We have now narrowed down to a specific neighborhood in north county San Diego called San Marcos. We feel it has the best school district for our price range, a great family community and close to my family. We are on the search for at least a 3 bedroom/ 2 bathroom single family home or town home. So far, we are still a little bit of a ways out timeline wise to put in an application since we will be renting, most listings are wanting a move in date of 30 days or less. I have saved a handful of my favorites on and will be watching them closely over the next month to see if they might still be available. When renting, or applying for a rental from a long distance, it does limit you. You are on a timeline of when you can move in. If the home is currently vacant, the landlord or property management company likely will rent out to the first qualified applicant who can move in as soon as possible. Being tied down to a date until you will be in town, can result in losing out on something you may love. When moving from California to Georgia, this was the exact problem we ran into and in the process I learned a few things that can set you apart as a renter when you might face some factors that go against the norm.

Setting yourself apart in the rental market:
There are many reasons that you as a renter might find it difficult to compete with other applicants. Maybe you have a larger pet, maybe your credit score isn't the absolute greatest, maybe you find yourself in a new job and don't have a steady income history, maybe you are a long distance mover like us or maybe you are on a tight time crunch and need a new rental asap. Whatever the reason, the rental market is competitive enough, without having obstacles in place. To set yourself apart from just another application, you might consider writing up a personal "about me/ about our family" letter. We did this with our last long distance move. We were on a tight time crunch to find a home, in a market where not many rentals were available and to be honest our credit was not the best. We were applying for a single family home that already had 3 other applications in on it. Along with our application, I sent along a letter, introducing the homeowner to our family. Telling them why we saw their home as our ideal fit, explaining our shortcomings with our credit and situation of why we couldn't move in until the end of the month. Although our credit wasn't the best, I made sure to add in pay stubs to show my husband's proof of income. Granted, we didn't have any pets, but it seemed as if every other obstacle was stacked against us. At the end of our letter, I included an attached photo of our family and the current home we lived in so the homeowner could see how we took care of the current rental we were in. As you are reading this, here on my blog, you obviously know I am a blogger. So of course I had a handful of staged photos of my decor. But I don't want that to discourage you. You don't have to be a home decor blogger, or interior decorator to show the beautiful home you have created. Take a day, clean your home well and snap a few photos of the main areas of your current home. You would be surprised at how including these photos in a letter will set you apart. To take it one step further, if you can get a letter of recommendation from your current landlord/ property management company include that as well! Lastly, if you are facing a lower credit score, you might have to offer a little more than you are wanting to, to get into your desired home. This may mean signing a longer lease. In our last home, we knew we would be in that home for at least 3 years, so we felt comfortable offering to sign a 3 year lease up front to make up for our lower credit score. If signing a longer lease is too much of a commitment, you might have to put down a larger deposit. Not saying that these things you need to offer right up front, but if your application is turned away, you might want to go back offering some of these things and see what they say back.

One Step At A Time
If all of this seems like a lot to take in... JUST BREATHE. Moving is overwhelming, and I myself am for sure feeling the effects lately. But I promise you, it will all get done. It will all fall into place. Just take a deep breath. Go through one junk drawer at a time, fill one for sale bag at a time and pack one box at a time. Little by little you will get there. I promise.

Follow the rest of our move updates here:


and visit for all of your home search needs from renting to buying.

The 12 Projects Of Christmas - Tree Stand Box

*This post is sponsored Kreg, all creative ideas and plans are my own.

Welcome back to those that are following our Christmas build series:
The 12 Projects Of Christmas - with KREG
And for those of you just joining in, you can find the first post of our series: HERE
(and be sure to follow along for more projects to come)

In the weeks ahead, we will be releasing 12 easy to follow plans for DIY home decor as well as gifts to build for others this holiday season. Our goal was to create a holiday series that is for the DIY enthusiast, weather you are a beginner builder or a master, these plans are for all skill levels and will walk you through how to use each tool.

This is the second project of 12, and today we will be sharing how to build this:
Christmas Tree Stand Box

LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE: Moderate Builder   BUILD TIME: Approx. 2 hours

Here are the tools you will need before you get started

Tool List:


Material List:

(4) 2" x 4" boards

(3) 1" x 2" trim boards

Sherwin Williams - White Batten Interior Paint (eggshell finish)




Step 1: Laying your 2" x 4" board flat on the 4" side, cut one end of your 2" x 4" using your miter saw set at a 45 degree angle bevel cut (as shown). After one end is cut, flip your board over to the reverse side and then from the longest point of that angle, measure down your board 23-1/4" and make a mark. You will then make another 45 degree cut. Repeat this process until you have 12 identical boards. (Angles should be angled in towards each other.)

(before angles are cut)

(set miter saw to cut a 45 degree by adjusting the bevel handle on the back of the saw)

(place the widest part of your 2x4 board on the saw table & cut 45 degree angle)

(after you have cut one angle, flip the board over and slide the board to your right. before cutting the next angle, your board should look like this facing downward.)

(from the longest point of your first angle cut, measure up your board to 23-1/4" and make a line)

(you will then line up your saw blade with that mark and make your cut)

Step 2: (Note: On two sides of your box, your horizontal trim will line up flush, the opposite sides, the horizontal and vertical trim will be overlapping the flush trim, making the horizontal trim slightly longer. Here, we explain how these cuts need to be made.)

For the overlapping (longer) horizontal sides: Laying your 1" x 2" board flat on the 2" side, cut one end of your 1" x 2" trim using your miter saw set at a 45 degree angle miter cut. After one end is cut, flip your board over and then from the longest point of that angle, measure down your board 24-3/4" and make a mark. You will then make another 45 degree cut. Repeat this process until you have 4 identical trim pieces.

For the flush (shorter) horizontal sides: Laying your 1" x 2" board flat on the 2" side, cut one end of your 1" x 2" trim using your miter saw set at a 45 degree angle miter cut. After one end is cut, flip your board over and then from the longest point of that angle, measure down your board 23-1/4" and make a mark. You will then make another 45 degree cut. Repeat this process until you have 4 identical trim pieces.

For the vertical sides: Laying your 1" x 2" board flat on the 2" side, cut one end of your 1" x 2" trim using your miter saw set at a 45 degree angle miter cut. After one end is cut, flip your board over and from the longest point of that angle, measure down your board 10-1/2" and make a mark. You will then make another 45 degree cut. Repeat this process until you have 8 identical trim pieces.

(you now will need to re-set your saw. bring the bevel back to 0 degrees in it's original placement and lock into place. then, set your miter saw to a 45 degree by moving the miter latch)

(lay the widest part of your 1x2 board on the saw table & cut a 45 degree angle)

(you will then flip your board over to the opposite side and slide it to the right.
then measure the length that you need and make a mark.)

(you will then line up your saw blade to intersect with the corner of the mark you made for your measurement.)

Step 3: Before drilling your pocket holes, begin by first setting your Kreg Jig K5 to 1-1/2" and drill bit to accommodate a 2-1/2" screw.

Step 4: Begin drilling your pocket holes into the top and bottom 2" x 4" boards of your sides only. Drill 3 holes evenly spaced, each one should be leading into the middle board once you place them together.

Step 5: Screw your boards together using your 2-1/2" Kreg screws.

Step 6: Once your sides are assembled, you are ready to attach them together. To do this, you could use pocket holes to attach them, but this time we opted to use our braid nailer with 1-1/2" brad nails, shooting the nails into each end where the angles meet.

Step 7: (1) After your sides are securely attached together, lay your box flat on one side and place (2) of the shorter horizontal trim pieces and (2) vertical trim pieces flush so they meet evenly with all sides of the sides of the box. Nail down using 1-1/2" brad nails and your brad nailer. Flip your box to the opposite parallel side and repeat this process. (2) Once flush sides are trimmed, flip the box to the adjoining side, this will be where you add the longer horizontal trim. Your (2) longer horizontal trim pieces and (2) vertical trim pieces should overlap the trim on the joining sides. Nail in securely with 1-1/2" brad nails and your brad nailer. Repeat this process on the opposite side.

Step 8: Your box should now securely be put together! The last step is optional but it sure makes hiding those cords a breeze... Lastly, we used a 1-3/4" HOLE DOZER to drill out a hole in the back center 2" x 4" board.

Step 9: Fill all gaps and nail holes with wood putty. Then sand to smooth one dry.

Step 10: Lastly, you are ready for paint, or stain. For this project we whipped out our HOME RIGHT FINISH MAX PAINT SPRAYER and HOME RIGHT MEDIUM SPRAY SHELTER.

Now you have a beautiful box to display your Christmas tree in! This box fits most standard tree stands, but measure yours first before starting on this project to be sure.

Check out the first project in our series:

The 12 Projects Of Christmas - Shiplap Advent Calendar

*This post is sponsored by Kreg, all creative ideas and plans are my own

I am so excited to announce the launch of our "12 Projects Of Christmas" series in collaboration with KREG. In the weeks ahead, we will be releasing 12 easy to follow plans for DIY home decor as well as gifts to build for others this holiday season. Our goal was to create a holiday series that is for the DIY enthusiast, weather you are a beginner builder or a master, these plans are for all skill levels and will walk you through how to use each tool.

Kicking off the series, our first project we are sharing how to build is this:
Shiplap Advent Calendar

LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE: Beginner          BUILD TIME: 1-2 hours
(faster if you are familiar with using the KREG JIG R3)

Here are the tools you will need before you get started

Tool List:


Material List:

(2) 1" x 6" x 8' common boards

(2) 1" x 2" trim


Step 1: Cut down your 6" x 8' pine boards down to 47-1/16" each using your miter saw.
This will leave you with 4 separate boards.

Step 2: Cut your 1" x 2" trim pieces, (2) of them being 48-9/16" long and (2) being 21-7/8" long.

Step 3: Using a tape measure, mark out on your 6" boards where to drill your pocket holes. We recommend one pocket hole every 12".

Step 4: Start drilling your pocket holes. You will do this by first adjusting the setting on your Kreg Jig. You can easily determine which setting you will need by using KREG'S SCREW SELECTOR WHEEL. For this project we have set it at 3/4". You will then set your drilling depth using the drill bit and stop collar. You will find the directions how to this in the owners manual inside of your KREG JIG R3. You will only drill pocket holes on one side of 3 boards.

Step 5: Once you have all of your pocket holes drilled, take a moment to quickly sand all of the front facing edges with an electric sander.

Step 6: Now that your boards are drilled and sanded, you will line up your (4) 6" boards evenly and clamp them together using a 36 INCH CLAMP. Now you are ready to begin screwing your boards together using KREG 1-1/4" ZINC COARSE THREAD POCKET HOLE SCREWS.

Step 7: After your boards are securely together, you are ready for paint! You can use any white paint for this, I chose to go with my go-to paint for every indoor home decor project - Annie Sloan chalk paint in Pure White. Two coats are all that were needed.

Step 8: Lastly, it's time for trim. Take your pre-cut trim pieces and stain them in your desired stain color first before attaching to the main boards. After they are dry, take your brad nailer loaded with 2" brad nails and nail in your trim.

Step 9: First off, give yourself a pat on the back, because your are almost at the finish line! The last step is to add the HOOKS to hang your daily advent cards/ bags. We alternated ours, having 7 hooks on one board, and 6 on the next, having 26 hooks in total. You may ask, why 26? Well, the perfectionist in me just wasn't okay with how an odd number looked spaced out, and secondly that 26th hook actually comes in handy! As you count down your days and complete your advent, you can stack up the past day's cards or bags on that extra hook. As far as how we spaced out the hooks, each one is approx placed 1" down from the top of the board and 6" apart from each other. To be completely honest, I laid them all out first and just eyeballed what looked best. If you are one that needs precise directions, start with your second row, measure 6" in from the trim and place your first hook. You screw these in by hand. You then can continue measuring 6" apart for each hook on that row, giving you a total of 6 hooks in all. Then head back up to your first row and place the hooks in the middle distance of what you did on the second row. Hopefully this is making sense...

Step 10: The very last step is to add the 20 LB. D RING HANGER to the back of your advent calendar, and you are finally finished!

For the advent days: Photographed here, I opted to use these CLOTH FAVOR BAGS from Amazon and hand letter the numbers by using a sharpie. My plan is to add a fun little surprise in them each day for my girls. Some days will be a small toy or piece of candy, others I have planned to add in a fun holiday activity we could do that day and even how we can give back to others. One of the most special ideas I have planned to incorproate into our advent this year, is having my husband, myself and some of our extended family members write notes to the girls of what they love most about them.

Optional Idea: If you are one for a simple and easy advent, Michaels this year has a ton of adorable numbered cards that are perfect for adding on these hooks, and taking it a step further, you can easily just write on the back of them.

I hope that you have enjoyed this first project, of 11 more to come in our "12 Projects Of Christmas" series to come! Stay tuned for more holiday home decor and easy DIY gifts! And if you are looking for great stocking stuffer ideas for the DIY lover in your life, check out: 

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