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by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties,


If you own a cat, you may know that our feline friends are not fond of change.  Unfortunately, we can’t always give them the predictable lives they love, especially when it comes time to move to a new home.  This is a HUGE change for everyone, and it can be incredibly stressful on your cat, so it’s essential that you make your move with intention, and follow a plan.

Pre-move Preparations:

  • Bring out the carrier, and allow your cat to get used to it well before you start the moving process.  Try leaving it sitting out with the door open, with an inviting bed and some cat treats inside to encourage your kitty to enter it willingly.  Also try feeding your cat exclusively in the carrier.
  • Bring out the moving boxes a couple weeks before packing.  This allows your cat to become used to their presence, and will result in a calmer kitty come packing day.
  • Keep to a routine.  In the days prior to the move, try to maintain a feeding routine, this will be comforting to your cat.
  • Talk to your vet about anti-anxiety medication if you feel like your cat is easily stressed or nervous.

During the Move:

  • When the movers are loading up your belongings, close your cat in a quiet room with food, water, a bed and a litter box to prevent it from running out the door.
  • Make your cat’s breakfast a small one on moving day to prevent an upset stomach.
  • Keep your cat in his or her carrier while in transit, and only open the carrier when absolutely necessary.  You may want to soothe your cat during the journey, but they may try to dash out if they’re frightened.
  • Bring packing tape along to ensure that you’re prepared if the carrier needs any emergency repairs.

Settle In:

  • Cat-proof the new house by: tucking away electrical cords, plugging up nooks where your cat could get stuck, check all windows for secure screens, check for poisonous houseplants or pest-control poison left in the house.
  • Take your cat to a quiet room and set up your cat’s food and water dishes, litter box and bed before you open the carrier.  
  • Think about keeping your cat in this quiet room if possible for the first few days to allow him or her to get used to the sounds, smells and feel of the new place gradually.  Remember to spend time with your cat in this room to encourage him to explore.

Following this basic plan will not only prevent your cat from unnecessary trauma, but will also prevent stress-induced behaviors that can make a mess in your new home!


by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties,


White seems to be the go-to color these days, and using white to decorate is definitely on-trend.  It gives a clean and bright look to any space, and goes with just about anything, so what’s not to love?  The possibility of creating a clinical, hospital-like feel, that’s what.

When you want to use white in your bathroom, without running the risk of creating a sterile, cold environment, read on to find out the best reasons to go white:

  1. Create a backdrop for architectural details and plumbing fixtures.  If your bathroom has interesting details like beams, or a beautiful tub, use white walls to show them off.
  2. Brighten up the space.  If you don’t have much natural light in your bathroom, using an all-white color scheme can bounce the light from your light fixtures all around the room, creating a brighter space.
  3. Make the room feel larger.  A small bathroom can feel cramped, but when you use an all-white scheme, it can appear much more spacious.  Go for a cooler white when you really want an expanding effect.
  4. White can handle texture and pattern.  If you start with a white canvas, you can play with fun textures and tile without creating a noisy space.
  5. Play up warm and rich materials.  If you have a home with plenty of wood trim, or enjoy decorating with characterful wood pieces, then a white color scheme is perfect.  It will pair with your pieces to create a warm, modern feel.

What about you?  Do you love all-white bathrooms?

Good Things Take Time

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties,


by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties,


The thankless task of housework can often make you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.  Its repetitive and relentless nature will probably never change, but your attitude can truly make all the difference.

One strategy for finding a new way to look at household chores is to separate untidy from dirty.  Put them together, and messiness and uncleanliness can seem like an unsurmountable mountain, but mentally split the two, and you can deal with them one at a time.  Trying to decide where to start?  Dirt first!

Value flexibility over perfection.  Often we feel stressed about housework because we set the bar too high.  Everyone goes through seasons of chaos and quiet, and if you have young children, a new puppy, or are just plain busy, you need to adjust your expectations.  Instead of overvaluing the opinions of others, decide for yourself what level of cleanliness is acceptable to keep the house healthy, and functioning.

Choose your battles and decide which parts of your home to prioritize.  If having a sparkling kitchen trumps tidy bedrooms, then spend more of your time working on the kitchen.  Also, try not doing certain chores for a while, and take note of how far you can push it.  Some chores that you’ve done daily out of habit might actually only need doing every few days.

Finally, develop a fast and effective chore routine to keep things running smoothly, and set yourself up for success by having some housework essentials close at hand.  For example:

  • A Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
  • Some All-Purpose Spray Cleaner
  • A Swiffer Mop
  • A Long Handled Feather Duster
  • Foaming Spot Cleaner

Housework doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence if you keep it in perspective.  Focus on making your home an inviting and safe place for your family, and no one will mind if things are a bit untidy from time to time.

Have Fun

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties,


by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties,


When it’s time to sell a home, minds often jump to the ever important staging aspect of preparing for a walk through, but the best approach is to start with a serious deep clean.  Depending on how long you’ve lived in your home, cleaning your house from top to bottom may seem like an overwhelming task, so try breaking it up into smaller pieces.

Start with clutter.  A great rule of thumb is to pack away anything that is not decorative, so even organizational elements like mail slots and shoe cubbies need to go.  Once you’ve cleared away anything that can detract from the feel of your home, remember to do a daily sweep to prevent things like junk mail and magazines from wiggling their way into your open spaces.

Once you’ve completely decluttered your home, it’s time to tackle the cleaning.  Here are some important places to focus on:

  • Floors should be mopped/waxed/vacuumed and baseboards scrubbed
  • Walls should be wiped down, and completely repainted in some cases
  • Windows should be washed, both the interiors and exteriors
  • Drapes and vents should be vacuumed and cleaned
  • Furniture should be dusted and polished
  • Bathroom and kitchen surfaces should shine and be mildew and grime free

It’s also important to keep your home walk through-ready by making a daily effort to clean the counters, sweep, dust, wipe down door knobs, and clean and wipe down your bathrooms.  A grimy and cluttered home is the ultimate turn-off, so give yours a leg up when it comes time to sell.

Progress over Perfection

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties,


by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties,


Staying with friends and family on a trip is often much more fun than checking into a hotel, not to mention much friendlier to your wallet.  However, it’s not always so easy to be the perfect house guest, so here are a few etiquette tips to increase your chances of being invited back again.

Bring a Gift

A great idea is to bring something unique from your hometown or area.  When in doubt, bring some special eats or a bottle of wine.

Learn the House Rules

When you arrive, ask for a house tour and find out if you need to take your shoes at the door, how to work the dishwasher, and where to find the washer and dryer.

Provide Your Own Supplies

Don’t arrive assuming that you can use the toiletries and groceries of your host.  Bring what you need from home, or drop by the supermarket to pick up your necessities. 

Tidy Up

Leave the area as clean and tidy as when you found it.  Take note of where things are when you arrive, and return the space to its original state.

Say Thank-you!

Remember to send a thank-you note, and if possible, invite your host to your home if they are ever passing through.


by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties,


In recent years experts have seen a rise in second home sales, and a large percentage of Americans will admit to either owning a second home, or planning to own a second home in the future.  While buying a cottage by the sea, or a bungalow on the lake can be incredibly exciting and ultimately rewarding, the decision to purchase a second home comes with many financial and logistical considerations.  Before you take the plunge into the sea of vacation homes, ask yourself these 3 questions.

  1. How much will the home cost, and can you really afford it?

In addition to the sale price, there are many extra expenses to take into account when deciding whether or not you can afford to purchase a second home.  Even a small house comes with expenses like a mortgage, property taxes, utilities, insurance and maintenance fees.  If you’re new to the vacation home game, it’s a good idea to think these things through.  When you’re not living in a house on a daily basis, small problems can become big issues before you even notice them, leading to higher maintenance and insurance costs.  Estimate your annual maintenance costs by budgeting about 1% - 1.25% of the purchase price, depending on the age of the home.  If you decide to rent your home, you may also want to hire a property manager.  Renting a vacation home comes with many tasks and duties, like advertising, screening possible tenants, cleaning, handling deposits and contracts, as well as the regular maintenance of the home.  If you decide to hire a property manager, expect to pay between 20% and 30% of your rental income for the services.

  1. How do you plan to use it?

People buy second homes for many different reasons and purposes.  Will you be reserving the home exclusively for yourself and your family?  Will you be renting it out to bring in some income to cover costs?  If you are buying a home with rental income in mind, remember to bring those plans to the table when choosing your home.  You may love the idea of a small cabin in an isolated spot, but that isolation may turn off potential renters.  Rental houses also come with unique tax considerations, so plan on consulting with a tax professional before you buy.

  1. Are you rushing your decision?

Buying a second home is a dream for many of us, and once the wheels start rolling, it is easy to be swept up in the current of emotion.  As with any big decision, whether it be buying your family home or considering a big move or career change, you must not make it based on your emotions or impulses.  Do your research on the area, consider the costs and stress involved, and sleep on any big steps before you take them.  Buying a second home is a luxury, so you have time on your side.

Do Great Work

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties,

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 10

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Contact Information

Photo of Vicki Graham, Broker Associate Real Estate
Vicki Graham, Broker Associate
#1 Properties
6106 Yellowstone Rd.
Cheyenne WY 82009
(307) 631-6884