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Get to Know Your Furniture, Part 3!

Fainting Couch
If the name of this item makes you picture a scene from a Victorian era novel, you would be on the right track.  The fainting couch is a furniture piece similar to a more modern day chaise lounge or a traditional settee with the back raised higher on one side.  They were popular in the 19th century and were particularly used by women, who were said to often have daybeds in their boudoirs to receive guests and to have a safe place to fall when wearing a corset for extended periods left them light headed.  According to historians, this type of reclining furniture actually originated in 7th century BC, so some think the Victorian attempt at Greek and Roman revival was actually more of a fashion statement to impress guests in public rooms like a parlor, rather than an intimate furniture piece hidden away for the lady of the house.
 

 

 

Escritoire
This small writing desk is said to have merged into different variations that we commonly call a secretary desk today.  The originals in 16th century Europe were hardly larger than a lap desk with small drawers and compartments to hold traditional items such as an ink pot, blotter, writing feathers and pens.  The Escritoire started to be mass produced in France during the 18th century and during that time new distinctive features such as the hinged drop down front, and the tall upper bookcase element were added.
Trundle Bed
Often called a hide-a-bed, this is a space saving pair of typically twin sized beds, where the second mattress pulls out from under the primary bed, and can be put out of sight when not in use.  These beds are mentioned in writings dating back to 16th century Europe, where servants would sleep in the same room as the Lord and Lady so they could be there for protection.  And more updated versions were seen again many years later in the pre-Civil War south where slaves would be assigned to sleep in children’s rooms to attend to their nightly needs.  Now trundle beds are commonly seen as an optional part of a kid’s furniture set since they offer a practical way to host sleepovers with friends.
Etagere
An etagere is a storage unit with characteristic open tiered shelf construction, and a light airy feel gives the appearance that it’s not taking up as much space as a traditional bookcase or curio cabinet.  These pieces were developed in France at the beginning of the 19th century and the word is actually french for “shelf”. Also called a whatnot, this style became a popular form of furniture in mid-19th century England where displaying collectibles became a common form of decorating, and during this time the pieces also became much more ornate and expensive.

Get to Know Your Furniture, Part 2!

Grandmother Clock
Thinking this must be a typo?  In very broad terms, a Grandmother clock is similar to a Grandfather clock, but typically about two thirds the size of it’s more well known counterpart without the signature pendulum.  These clocks tend to be slim and spring driven with chimes, a dome top, and although being under 6’3 in height is the rule of thumb, many are actually in the more petite 5’4-5’9 range.  Most of these were made in the 1920’s and 30’s which is well after the birth of the original Grandfather Clock in 1656.
 
Chifforobe
To the untrained eye, this utilitarian storage item could easily be mistaken for an armoire.  It’s actually a smaller piece that features both a long space for hanging clothes as well as drawer storage.  The name draws from both the French chiffonier, a tall piece with drawers, and a wardrobe which traditionally offers ways to hang items in order to serve as a move-able closet.  These are most commonly found in the southern United States and debuted in the Sears catalog in 1908. Most are factory made due to their post Industrial Revolution invention, but there are some unique hand made ones out there for those who like a shopping challenge.
 
Credenza
The name comes from the English word “credence” and the Italian word for “belief”. In the 16th century, the act of credenza was the tasting of food and drinks by a servant for a VIP guest in order to test for poison.  The name was then passed to the room where testing took place and then eventually to the furniture, which during this time was typically a small but solid legless cabinet. By the mid-20th century the Credenza took on a more modern look with a longer body, slender legs and sliding doors, and can sometimes be mistaken for similar furniture pieces commonly found in a dining room such as a sideboard or buffet.

Get to Know Your Furniture, Part 1!

Pie Safe

Although the name of this furniture piece tends to conjure up an image of a stashed sweet treat locked away in a foreboding metal vault, only part of that’s true. A pie safe was originally designed in the pre-icebox 18th century to hold pies and other perishable food items to protect them from vermin, but it is actually a free standing wood cabinet with ventilated doors that open out in front.  Today these antiques are more likely to hold collectibles than edibles but the unique design makes them noteworthy even if they are no longer functional.
 
Dry Sink 
This is not the arid vessel of a person who never cooks or does dishes but rather a piece of furniture that was common in homes before the invention of indoor plumbing in order to provide a convenient place to wash and store toiletries.  There are different styles but a dry sink is almost always a wood cabinet base with a top made to hold a basin and pitcher for water.  In more modern times these are sometimes re-purposed as a vintage bathroom vanity. Dry sinks are one of the most copied antiques out there today, so be careful if you are looking for an original.
 
Cellarette
These wooden chests originally functioned as freestanding liquor cabinets and first appeared in 15th century Europe as a way to secure alcoholic beverages in public houses. Cellarettes then became popular in Virginia and other southern colonies during the 18th century as a way to safely store personal collections of whiskey and wine. They were often custom made with decorative wood such as mahogany, and came in many shapes and sizes.  Over time they became less portable and were commonly built into another furniture piece such as a buffet, with space for glasses and other drinking paraphernalia as well a lock to protect the goods from thieves.

Moving During College

 

When it comes to college, there’s a lot to be excited for. It’s one of those first really big steps into independence that people look forward to for their whole lives.  While it may not be for everyone, a college education is expected for a great deal of careers, and helps individuals grow as people. When in comes to moving during college, though,there are a lot of factors that come into play. Keep these factors in mind and you can work for a much more stress-free move!

First, there are a lot of location options for students. Living on campus comes with some great benefits. Proximity to class, dining hall plans, and campus events are just a few. However, there are many reasons not to opt for campus housing.  Sometimes it’s cheaper to room off campus, sometimes you’d rather be closer to work or family, and sometimes you just would rather live with (just) your friends.  All of these are valid options.

If you’re interested in looking for off campus housing, there should be various resources at your disposal. At my university, there were dorms in a more apartment style on campus, and later they built an apartment complex with very strong affiliations with the school. This provided an option for students who wanted to live in an area with a lot of other students but didn’t want to necessarily live right on campus (it was close instead to a campus parking lot that shuttled to the school). Ultimately, I myself spent one year in campus housing and moved to apartments directly afterwards because it was much cheaper in our area, but in cities like DC this is not always the case!

When moving, things can get tricky.  I understand the concerns of movers being expensive–trust me, I really, really do.  I moved maybe 10 times during college due to many strange circumstances.  At the time, I never hired a mover. Having seen smooth, professional moves while growing up a military brat, I knew moves could be quick and efficient. I just never had the experience myself. Moving requires a lot of organizational skills that I as a young student did not have. Once, a roommate told me the wrong move out date and called me at 6 pm to say that I had to have everything (including her things) out by that night. I was really upset with her for a long time, but really, I clearly should have known our lease myself! Definitely know your lease, and plan as far in advance as you can!

If you have that one friend with the big car or truck, lucky you! This could be instrumental in your move, because moving large furniture isn’t easy.  However, if you do have this friend, be aware: they know you’re using them for their car. Everyone else who knows this person is asking for moving help in exchange for pizza and beer.  Sometimes this is ok, if you’re close to them!  Sometimes, they get really upset. I was lucky enough once or twice to have someone like this volunteer to help without prompting.  The same guys who offered to help me would complain whenever someone else insisted–or worse, demanded–that they help with some never before mentioned move. If a friend does help, really do appreciate it and thank them the best you can.  Don’t forget to pitch in for gas!

If your friends are flakes like mine often were, it may be time to just bite the bullet and hiring a moving company. If you’re worried about cost, there are ways you can bring down the price.  Most moving companies, like ours, offer lower rates for a weekday move.  Similarly, moving in the middle of the month would be less expensive than moving at the beginning or end of the month, when moving companies are busiest. If it’s possible to move smaller items on your own, this could also cut the costs. However, most companies do have minimums, so often you will have to pay for a set number of hours no matter how small your move.  Splitting the cost with a roommate is often a good idea.  If you’re particularly charismatic, you may be able to impress your parents enough with your organizational skills that they may help as well!

Another option is to consider a labor only move–get help loading or unloading a truck that you rent yourself.  Depending on the date and the cost of the truck rental, this could also be a great way to save time and money. You may love your friends, but chances are they aren’t the most efficient at packing a truck. Hiring movers (especially to load!) will save you time, which, when renting a truck, saves you money.

Whether or not you choose to go to college, live on on off campus, or move with or without movers, getting organized is a big part of your 20s. Trials like these, as frustrating as they can be, will help you prepare for the (equally frustrating) future. Just remember that it’s ok to ask for help, either from your friends or from companies like ours.  You’re going to do great!  And if not, you’ll have a few fantastic stories.

The Five Stages of Moving as a 20-Something (as explained by a 20-something who has moved 19 times)

Who’s Taylor? Where’s Paul?

 

Stage 1: Denial

This is no problem.  I moved as a kid, and it was fine.  I’ll just throw my clothes in some trash bags and call up some friends.  Who was that guy in Poli Sci?  With the pick up truck?  I think I have his name somewhere…

Stage 2: Anger

Why do people have to make this so complicated? Do I seriously need to hire a carpet cleaner?  How am I going to have time for cleaning if I need to be out the day that I need to move into the new place?  I better get my deposit back!

Stage 3: Bargaining

Heeeeeey… Paul? It’s me!  From Poli Sci! You know, sophomore year of college? Do you still have a pickup truck?  Do you want some pizza for, say, a measly 6 hours of manual labor?  … What do you mean your name is Taylor?

Stage 4: Depression

That’s it.  There’s no way I’m packing, moving, and not having a brain aneurysm at the same time.  There’s way too much to do and I can’t even get myself to start. You know what…I’m going to go take a nap.  Take a nap and think about all the life choices that pointed me to this terrible moment.   

Stage 5: Acceptance

This is too much for me to handle while work/school/Overwatch/all seven seasons of Golden Girls also exist. I’ve got a little extra cash to spare and I’d rather spend my time looking forward to my new place instead of crying while trying to google how to pack dishes. Time to get an estimate.

Start planning your move today with Bookstore Movers Free Estimate Form and spare yourself some grief!

A Catalog of Terms

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Here at Bookstore Movers, we love words. In fact, we’re soi-disant lexicon aficionados. Words move us, so to say. And we’d like to move you. Thus, here is a catalog of terms to describe what your move would be like with Bookstore Movers.

Efficacious: Successful in producing a desired or intended result. It may not be the most poetic or romantic way to describe it, but a move with Bookstore Movers is, in fact, very effective. If possible, your possessions will be physically moved, absolutely guaranteed. It’s kinda what we do.

Intrepid: Having no fear, very brave or bold.  It may be an exaggeration to say that we have no fear, but I’d definitely say that we are brave and bold.  We have a healthy amount of fear, and we do have our limits (I’m looking at you, grand pianos!) but as we grow as a company and experience more, we only get bolder. More importantly, when you use our services, you should be 100% fear free because we’ve got your back.

Perspicacious: Having a ready insight into and understanding of things.  We’ve got years of experience and we know just how to help you. Our movers are well-trained, prepped, and ready to help. Our operations team has seen just about everything (Feel free to take that as a challenge!).  We didn’t get voted Best Movers 7 years in a row for nothing!

Sagacious: Having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgment.  Our admin team, those lovely folks you kind of think may be at least partly robotic, are crazy-good at estimates. In fact, they tend to be right while estimating times more often than our actual movers–just don’t ask them to move anything larger than their laptops.

Fulgurant: Flashing like lightning; brilliant. Maybe this is a stretch, but we do take pride in how fast we respond to emails.  We see it, we respond, and FLASH: you’ve got mail.

Puissant: Mighty, or having great power or influence. Our movers lift for a living, so they have both the strength and the know-how.  They actually complete roughly 10 to 12 Herculean labors during training, ranging from loading a storage pod to slaying the nine-headed hydra.

Celeripedean: Swift-footed.  Our movers are fast and efficient, like a mix between wing-sandaled Hermes and super-buff Hercules. And maybe, like, some Helios since he pulled the sun across the sky.  He was pretty much a mythical mover with a much stranger truck.

Doughty: Brave and persistent.  Yes, this word applies to our movers, always facing new challenges and working through them.  Also, our operations and admin teams, working side by side to offer the best customer service we can.  But also it apply to me, personally, right now, trying desperately to sell this move to you.  C’mon. Do it.

Sempiternal: Eternal and unchanging.  Now, we here at Bookstore Movers are always in flux.  We’re constantly changing–growing as a company, adding more trucks, hiring more amazing people. But some things never change.  We will always strive to provide amazing service. We have a commitment to excellence and a reputation to back it up.  We are here to make things easier on you, and that will never, ever change.

So what’s the epimyth here? We here at BSM are here to help, whether it be with a move (hopefully!) or with learning a few new words that I myself may have had to google to double-check the meanings.  You may also learned that we are often a sesquipedal people prone to long and goofy tangents, but that’s just another sempiternal fact of Bookstore Movers.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Giving Tuesday

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Giving Tuesday is not just a day, it’s a movement!   This global day of giving is being celebrated on November 29th, and was created to unite us in kicking off the charitable season and to get more engaged by donating time, money, a gift or just the power of your voice.  Interested but not sure where to start? You can search for ways to get involved on their main website or check out some of our favorite nonprofits that are always in need of support to keep doing the amazing work they do.
 
Serve Your City – This Capitol Hill based nonprofit creates essential learning opportunities for at-risk District of Columbia students through innovative programming such as alternative sports (swimming, rowing, tennis), art, financial literacy, after school tutoring and college preparation with the help of passionate volunteers, community organizations, and academic consultants.  There are many options to get involved or donate to this unique organization that is helping to change the outcomes of local youth who are most in need.
 

Rural Dog Rescue – This local rescue group is dedicated to saving the lives of dogs in shelters who are often overlooked and most at risk of being euthanized such as the hounds, the black dogs, the seniors and those with medical needs.  There are many donation options and RDR is always in need of volunteers who can foster and help with events. And of course if you are looking to adopt a new furry family member, this organization is a great place to start your search!

 

Capitol Hill Restoration Society – Founded 60 years ago to help preserve and protect the historic neighborhood’s architectural and residential character, it is now the largest civic association on Capitol Hill, and one of the largest in the District of Columbia. CHRS continues to play a key role in maintaining the integrity, history and appeal of the neighborhood which has been a diverse community for more than 200 years, and is always in need of volunteers to assist with their annual house tour fundraiser and other events, write for the newsletter and provide website support.

 

Small Business Saturday!

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It may be tempting to get caught up in the hoopla of Black Friday madness or want to check out shopping deals from the comfort of home on Cyber Monday.  But please don’t forget to support all the wonderful independent businesses by getting out there for Small Business Saturday on November 26th!  Many of your local shops will also be offering promotions, and it’s a chance to enjoy the fun of chatting with store owners, running into neighbors and getting some real one of a kind finds.  Here’s a few ideas if you’re feeling stuck.
 
Hello, books anyone? – Of course we highly recommend a trip to Capitol Hill Books (as in, if you haven’t been, you must go), and also suggest checking out our friends at East City Books to search for amazing gifts for all those readers in your life or just to treat yourself during this stressful season.
 
Exercise lover in your life? – Sustainable brands of clothing and gear from Summit to Soul, a class pass to Be Here Now Yoga or a giftcard for a massage from Freed Bodyworks.
 
Pets are people too? Howl to the Chief has a large selection of goodies for dogs and cats as well as giftcards that can be used in the boutique or for services such as grooming and pet sitting.
 
Kiddos? Labyrinth Games & Puzzles is newly expanded and full of exciting gift ideas for kids (and adults) of all ages.
 
Home is where the heart is?Fragers Hardware and Garden Center is a good place to scope out both practical and interesting gifts, and Hill’s Kitchen literally has something for everyone who likes to cook, eat, drink or entertain. (and who doesn’t?)
 

Thanks, You!

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It’s the perfect time of year to be thankful. Now, we here at Bookstore Movers do advocate being thankful year round, but we can’t help but get all wrapped up in the holiday season–ha. Wrap. I, for one, am a huge holiday fanatic. I’d like to present, unabashedly, an incomplete list of what we are thankful for:

-Coffee: We wouldn’t be here in the morning without it. Quick estimate in the morning? Thanks coffee.

-Delicious meals: Just in time for Turkey Day! Whether you have traditional stuffing (yum) or mofongo (yuuuum), delicious meals are a huge perk of the season

-That there’s not Christmas music playing in the office: Apparently some people just aren’t ready.

-That I’m not at the office and can play Christmas music: They can fight me.

-Holidays: I’m a sucker for them. Fall and winter are rife with holidays! Halloween? Done. Thanksgiving? On that. Christmas? Of course! Hannukah? For sure! New Years? The best! Tres Reyes? You better believe it! You just watch my holiday flow.

-Friends and Family: This answer is on every thankful list because it’s always true, and we have so many friends and family to be thankful for here. Some of us are lucky enough to be working with their family through BSM. Others are even luckier that they aren’t working with their family. In either case, we are always working with our friends, and I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that.

-Our clients: You make this all possible. This is not an exaggeration. Our clients, especially our repeat clients, not only give us work for one day, they spread the word through reviews and referrals that allow us to gain more work. Not only do they trust us with their moves, they then trust us with their friends and family by suggesting us to others, and we couldn’t be more grateful.

You give us the opportunity to deliver turkeys and Christmas trees to families, to help schools move books, and to get out in the community in general and do some good.
We appreciate everything you do. You allow this local company to exist and flourish. So, thank you. Yes, you, with the bright eyes and perfect hair or lack thereof! We’re thankful for you this year, and we hope you’re surrounded by good food and great friends, with a grateful heart and a full stomach. You deserve it.

 

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Welcome to the Hill!

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Thanksgiving is a time when many of us have a more heightened awareness of all we have to be grateful for, and prioritizing giving to others.  The Bookstore Movers family spreads generosity all year long by regularly donating time and resources to many, many great causes that benefit our local community (as I write this we have crews out delivering trucks full of turkeys that will go to deserving people and families for the upcoming holiday, and next week those same trucks will be making Christmas tree deliveries for a local school fundraiser).
So it is not surprising that November was the kick off month for our new Welcome Packet.  Thanks to the power of collaboration, all BSM clients moving onto the Hill (our original neighborhood stomping grounds, the home of Capitol Hill Books and where our roots run the deepest) will now be receiving a folder filled with materials and promotions from some of our favorite independent businesses and nonprofits here in the neighborhood.  So for customers new to the ‘hood, we’re providing a great kick off point for places to check out for local services, shops, classes and volunteer work.  As a small business, we are committed to supporting other small businesses and nonprofits, and it’s only fair that in the season of giving we share with new residents some of the many resources that make living on the Hill enjoyable and unique.  And for those of you not living on the Hill, it’s an open invitation to come visit our quirky village, and also to make similar commitments and collaboration efforts wherever you do call home.