Creative Storage Solutions for Your Apartment

Photo source Ikea

Storage space and organization will always be an issue renters face when moving into a new apartment—especially if they have roommates! With these creative solutions, you can maximize your available storage space and leave your apartment looking better for it!

Hooks offer a lot of vertical storage space

As seen above, you can make the most of your apartment’s untapped vertical space by using hooks.

Store items under your bed

Use the space under your bed to store linens, blankets, clothes, or more. With sliding compartments access is even easier.

Photo source Life Hacker

A fridge-side rolling storage pantry can offer a lot of extra space

Looking for a place to store your ever growing collection of cooking spices? A rolling storage pantry can take advantage of the untapped space between your fridge and the wall.

Get a shower caddy

Shower caddies offer a convenient storage solution for soap, shampoo, conditioners, and any other must-have items for your cleansing routine. Especially helpful if your sink/bathtub is becoming crowded with cleaning products.

Photo Source Fresh Home

Turn your headboard into a shelving system

Many people neglect the available space that can be found in a bed’s headboard and/or above the bed. A few simple shelves can open a lot of room to store items.

Over-the-door organizers are your best friend

Hanging door organizers can help you store and organize shoes, cleaning products, socks, towels, or anything else you might want to keep close together.

Photo source Pottery Barn

Use baskets

Baskets provide a stylish method to organize and group items throughout your house. A pile of CDs may not especially appealing on their own, but put them in a basket and suddenly it looks like a design choice as opposed to clutter.

A storage chest can double as a coffee table

Just because something gets a lot of use doesn’t mean it can’t also add to your storage space. A cool-looking storage chest can add a lot of style to your apartment and provide an out of sight repository for your things.

With these tips, not only will your space offer all the storage you’ll need—it’ll look amazing in the process.

Eight Benefits Available to U of O Students (You May Not Know About)

There’s no shortage to the excellent benefits and resources U of O has to offer its students: terrific career services department, state of the art facilities, an unparalleled staff, the Ducks (go Ducks!). Still, you may be unaware of some of these less obvious resources.

Zipcar Student Rates

Zipcar has partnered up with University of Oregon to provide affordable prices to the student population, allowing you to join for only $15. Head to our Zipcar post for more info!

LTD Rides for Free

That’s right, flash your student ID badge and you can ride any LTD bus for free. Click here for info regarding their routes and time tables.

Discounted Rates for Enterprise Car Share

Not only is the one-time $20 fee waived if you’re a student, your annual membership is a discounted $35! Visit Enterprise’s Car Share page for a map of available cars and pick up locations.

10% off Whole Foods Purchase

Did you know that as a student you can save 10% of your entire purchase every Tuesday throughout the academic year at Whole Foods? Not a deal to miss!

Deals on Mattresses from American Mattress Manufacturing

A new mattress can be a costly endeavor; American Mattress Manufacturing helps by offering discounts on mattresses and full sets.

Save Money on Software and Hardware

Most major software and tech companies—Adobe, Apple, Autocad, Microsoft—will offer student discounts on software and hardware; in some cases even allow students to use software for free.

Expand Your Mind Without Paying A Cent

Both the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural & Cultural History are free to students! Just bring your student ID with you and you’re good to go!

Get Your Swing on for Less

Like others on this list, Laurelwood Golf Course offers discounted rates to University of Oregon students!

Who knew a student ID could save you so much money? Be sure to follow our blog for the latest in tips and hacks for student living in Eugene!

Top 10 Holiday Travel Tips 2016

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The holiday season is here, and with it many will start considering their future travel plans. The unfortunate truth is that holiday travel can be an oft stressful time if not handled with patience and preparation. To that end, we are sharing our top 10 Holiday Travel Tips to guarantee your holiday is nothing but sleigh bells and egg nog.

Empty Apartment Tips

  1. Stop your mail if you’re leaving for more than 5 days.

Other than avoiding the potential frustration of coming home to a pile of mail and newspapers, this tip can protect your home. By keeping your mail from piling up, would be burglars are more likely to be unaware of your absence.

2. If you haven’t already, get renters insurance!

This one is applicable for the entire year, not just the holidays! Protect yourself in case of the worst. Read more about it here.

3. Have a friend or neighbor check in.

Let your trusted confidant know of your travel plans and if you can have them check in on your apartment in your absence. Be sure to get them a nice gift to reward them for their help!

4. Unplug appliances.

Sure, your toaster may seem harmless, but freak and unexpected electrical accidents can cause a fire that can potentially destroy an unattended apartment. Be safe and unplug all unnecessary appliances. You can have your lights plugged in to an automatic timer to give your apartment the illusion of being lived in an attended (see our first tip).

Car Travel Tips

5. Have your car examined before you leave.

The last thing thing anybody wants is to have their car break down when traveling out of town for the holidays. Avoid being stranded from home by having your car examined and ensure it’s winter ready.

6. Pack for the worst!

Sure, gifts and clothes will undoubtedly occupy most of your suitcase space, but you need to have a kit ready for those problematic situations. A car charger, a phone charger, jumper cables, sand for traction on snow, an ice scraper, flashlights, a first aid kit… you get the picture.

7. Take breaks when driving.

When driving for long stretches, be sure to pull over and stretch your legs. It’s important to stay alert when you’re behind the wheel, and more so when driving in the winter time.

Plane Travel Tips

8. Pack light.

By avoiding checking bags you can skip the frustration of potentially losing a suitcase full of gifts and/or clothes. Better yet, you can avoid the checked baggage fees most domestic airlines charge.

9. Travel on off-peak days.

If you’re looking to help your wallet, avoid peak travel days. Not only will you save some dough, you’ll avoid the madness that are the crowds of an airport at full capacity. If you really want to avoid the hassle and save even more money, consider traveling on the holiday itself! Not only is it cheaper but it’s guaranteed to be much calmer.

10. Ship Gifts Ahead of Time

This one applies no matter the method of transportation, but applies to none more so than air travel. Not only do you avoid potentially losing/damaging gifts, but you save yourself the hassle of packing and lugging gift with you on an already chaotic travel day. With a bit of pre-planning your day will be considerably simpler.

With these handy tips in mind, nothing will interrupt your travels be they by plane, train, or automobile. Happy holidays!

 

photo credit: alist Denver Airport Security Lines via photopin (license)

Give it the Old College Try With These Back-to-School Tips

Photo Source - Scholar Advisor

Yeah, we know; heading back to college after summer break can be tough. You’re probably still enjoying your time off and avoiding thinking about classes and registration, right?

The truth is, it’s better to be prepared and to start thinking about it now rather than be blindsided later on. So whether you’re a returning student or a brand new enrollee, consider these Back-To-School tips to make your life easier down the road!

1. Registration and Paperwork are done, right?

This is a biggie so we’ll go ahead and make it number one. Be sure to fill out all necessary paperwork for your classes, meal plan, parking permits, and any other steps required to be a functioning student. There won’t be much of a back-to-school if you aren’t enrolled in any classes, after all.

2. Establish Healthy Habits

These are helpful to stick to all year round, but doubly so when heading back to class after a long break. Make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep a day and drink plenty of water. Try to get exercise when you can and rest when you’re sick. Stick with these tips and you’ll be in good shape.

Roommates

3. Get to know your roomie

You two are going to be living together for a while! Get to know one another, establish rules for cohabitation, and treat each other with mutual respect. You’ll have enough on your mind without having to worry about roommate troubles.

4. Be Safe

We could devote a whole post just to this (and we have) but the important thing to take away is to always be aware of your surroundings and careful when traveling at night. The buddy system is your friend!

5. Warm Up Your Brain Before College

Heading back to class, you’ll be expected to do a lot of critical thinking, assignments, and test taking. Like any good muscle, you should warm up your brain before putting it to work. Lead up to your term start by engaging in some brain activities, such as sudoku or crossword puzzles.

Stick to these tips and you’ll be ready to face anything your classes have in store for you!

Even the Score with UO $CORE

UO$CORE

 

How much do you spend on electricity a month? What about water? Is it higher than you’d like to be spending? What if we told you that you could be helped with your bills and do your part to help the greater good in the process? That’s exactly the case with UO $CORE, a student run program to help students save money on their utility bills for environmentally-responsible practices.

$CORE stands for “Student and Community Outreach for Renter efficiency” and was started in 2012 by James Walton, a senior business major who secured a grant from Eugene Water and Electric Board to create the program. Through $CORE, student staff perform free audits and install upgrades in older, off-campus student rental housing while also helping student tenants by providing information, materials, and skills to help lower their carbon footprint and utility bills.

If you’re interested in hearing more about how $CORE can help you save money then you should register for a free energy assessment!

Energy Assessment

What does this assessment include? Simply put, two Energy Evaluators will come to your house and assess your energy needs. Over the course of an hour they will install low use devices such as CFL lightbulbs and weather stripping, while also give you some information on how to lower your energy consumption and carbon footprint.

Not only will your bills be lower and your house better for the environment, you’ll even get a free pizza from TrackTown Pizza if more than half the household is present!

CFLBulbs
Say hello to your new best friend.

Tips for Reducing Energy Use

$CORE’s Facebook page is constantly updated with handy tips to reduce your utility bills and carbon footprint. We’ve selected a few here to share.

  • Wrap your water tank with jacket insulation to save up to 10% on water heating costs.
  • Install low-flow showerheads.
  • When cooking on a stovetop, match the pan size to the heating surface to prevent heat loss to the surrounding air.
  • Put your computer and monitor to sleep mode (or off) when you’re not using them.
  • Replace your bulbs with Energy Star® efficient light bulbs.
  • Keep your freezer full to minimize energy used. For maximum savings fill the freezer with gallons of water.

A quick session with UO $CORE and you’ll have lower bills, a diminished carbon footprint, and free pizza!!! That’s what we call a win-win!

photo credit: CFL bulbs via photopin (license)

Zipcar Around Eugene

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As much as we love biking (and we really, really love biking), there are certain times when you simply need a car. The problem is, if you’re not a car owner this can often amount to the awkward begging of friends for a ride.

Well, say goodbye to unnecessary groveling, because Zipcar is providing students with an affordable way to get around Eugene! Zipcar has partnered up with University of Oregon to provide affordable prices to the student population, allowing you to join for only $15.

Oh, and did we mention gas and insurance are included? Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

How does Zipcar work?

  1. Join Zipcar

Once you’ve successfully joined, you’ll receive your Zipcard, the key (both figurative and literal) to unlocking cars, vans, and trucks the country over.

  1. Reserve a Car

Reserving is incredibly simple and can be done either online or on your phone.

  1. Tap your Card

Approach your Zipcar and hold your zipcard to the windshield, thus unlocking the car!

  1. Drive

With that done, you now are free to drive around! When your time is up just return your car to the same reserved parking spot.

Where to Pickup your Zipcar

Zipcar has several accessible locations around campus! Below are the locations you can pick up/drop off your vehicle.

Zipcar LocationsIf you’re planning on moving out (or moving in) in the near future, Zipcar is an excellent option to help lessen your burden come moving day. After all, those boxes aren’t going to carry themselves across town!

A you can see, Zipcar is a simple, affordable, and convenient option to travel around Eugene and beyond. So the next time you’re looking to make a trip to Portland, consider trying a Zipcar!

Eugene On The Cheap – Top Activities and Events That Won’t Break Your Wallet

 

Who says you have to spend a lot of money to have a good time? Eugene is full of fantastic activities and events that don’t require you to break the bank in order to enjoy yourself. The next time you’re bored and looking for something to do why not consider some of these options? Your wallet will thank you!

Art

Museum of Natural and Cultural History
The Museum of Natural and Cultural history is an incomparable look into Oregon’s distant past, a good 300 million years of history in the making.

Oregon Air and Space Museum
The Oregon Air and Space Museum offers a collection of various aircrafts and artifacts chronicling the history of air and space travel.

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
From photography to sculpture to painting to manuscripts you can find it all at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Parks and Hikes

Hendricks Park
This park is ideal for anyone with an interest in hiking, bird watching, picnicking, or simply looking to relax in nature.

Alton Baker Park
Walking your dog, fishing, BMX, exercise stations, and disc golf are just a few of the options available to you at Alton Baker Park.

Skinner’s Butte Park
The Columns of Skinner’s Butte offer a 50′ high rock wall that climbers can scale.It’s also a pretty fantastic spot for a picnic or to ride your bike.

Owen Rose Garden
The Owen Rose Garden organizes year-round Thursday work sessions where you can help manage these beautiful parks and get on some hands on experience in pruning, planting, and general rose care.

Amazon Park
Amazon Park offers tennis courts, soccer fields, a skate-park, baseball diamonds, ball fields, a community garden, picnic tables, recreation centers, bike paths, a dog park, and exercise stations.

Spencer’s Butte
Spencer’s Butte is a favorite destination for students, couples, even families to recharge and reconnect with nature.

Decorating Your Rental on a Budget – Part Two

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So you found an apartment and now you want to make it feel more like a home without spending a fortune. We know that decorating can be a challenge when your options are limited by rental rules.

Apartment Curtains

Make your windows a work of art. There are numerous ways to creatively dress up your windows without it costing a fortune.

  • Before you begin, measure your windows (starting from where you will install the curtain rod). This will help you determine how much fabric you will need (consult with a local fabric store to help you determine how much fabric you will need for this project)
  • Look for a basic medium-weight fabric such as cotton or a cotton-linen blend so it is easy to work with. Bright colors or patterns will give a refreshing contrast to the monotone white walls in your apartment.
  • To make your ceilings seem taller, hang the curtains 6-10 inches above the window.
  • Consult with a DYI website to get easy sewing tips on simple curtains. If you don’t sew, you can always use an adhesive fabric tape.
  • Hang your homemade curtains with inexpensive clip rings which can be purchased at most hardware stores or any Target or Walmart.
  • If you want an even easier window treatment, you can of course purchase inexpensive pre-made curtains at most stores. Fabric shower-curtains are another option, and are easy to install. You can even make a window valance using a scarf or a tablecloth.

Decide on your color scheme and stick...Blending colors that contrast with white walls will make the space feel more open. Cool colors like green, turquoise, blue, and purple can make a room feel more spacious and elegant. Warm colors like orange, yellow, and red can make the space appear cozy and intimate.

 

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photo credit: June:22 via photopin (license)

Apartment Safety 101: 10 Tips to Keep Your Apartment Safe and Secure

Apartment SafetyAt Von Klein Property Management, we do everything that we can do ensure the safety and wellbeing of our tenants and their homes. We carefully screen our applicants to ensure that those with criminal records or drug convictions do not obtain a lease with us.

Unfortunately home invasions and burglary traditionally reach their peak during the holidays so we encourage you to be vigilant and follow these tips to deter criminals:

1. Never hesitate to report any suspicious activity you may see in and around our properties (or on campus).  Program these numbers into your phone and keep them somewhere visible so you can quickly call for help if needed (you can also call 911).
University Police Station – 541-682-8350

After you report any suspicious activity to the police, report it to us by calling the von Klein Emergency # – 541-686-0743

2. This may seem obvious, but it remains an important tip: NEVER leave your apartment door unlocked, even if you are leaving for a few moments to obtain something from you car, get the mail or take out the trash. Someone lurking nearby could gain access quickly.

3. Never open your door to a stranger. Require all utility/repair men to provide identification before opening the door. If there is no peephole, have the repairman slip the ID under the door so you can check it out. If still uncertain, look up the telephone number, (do not accept one they give you) and call to verify the information.

4. Use a timer (an inexpensive purchase from a hardware store) for radios, televisions and lights so that the home looks occupied. If you will be away for a while, notify a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your home.

5. A well-lit area is one way to deter crime so keep a light on at night if possible. If you notice that a light is out on our property or parking lots, please notify our office.

6. Do not leave valuable items visible in your home or car.  Close your blinds at night and keep your car doors locked and park in well lighted areas if possible.

7. Get to know your neighbors. Introduce yourself to them, get to know who they are and try look out for each other. If your neighbors know who you are, they are more likely to report possible criminal activity and get some help.

8. Test and examine each latch, lock, window and door. Look to see if there are solid core doors, peep holes on entry doors, and securely fastened window locks.

9. If there are sliding glass doors, invest in a secondary locking device– it can be as simple as a broom stick that prevents the door from opening or as complex as “Charley Bars” pin-locking mechanisms or anti-lift measures to prevent the door from being lifted from the tracks.

10. Try to use common area facilities during high-traffic hours. Do not feel compelled to change laundry if your common sense tells you to stay away from an empty laundry room.

Sources:
10 Tips for Safe and Secure Apartment Living 
5 Apartment Safety Tips to Help You Sleep Easy 
Apartment Safety and Security 

Decorating Your Rental Property on a Budget (Part One)

Apartment Decorating

Ever wonder how you can personalize your apartment without spending a fortune or ruining your chances to get your deposit back?

Lots of our tenants have!  That’s why we have put together a list of simple decorating tips to help you make your apartment feel more like home.  Whether your taste is traditional, eclectic, minimalist or kitschy it is possible to create a desirable living space on without spending a fortune when you use a little bit of
creativity. Here are some ideas on how to decorate your rental property on a budget.

Bring in area rugs to add more color. If you are decorating on a budget, an area rug  is a big purchase. Look for bargains online and at discount stores like IKEA, thrift stores or resale sites like Ebay or CraigsList. Once you find the right rug that fits in with your color scheme, place the rug in the middle of the room to frame your space.

Brighten up standard walls and ceiling lights with DIY artwork ideas!

  • Add soft lighting throughout the apartment with inexpensive lamps with lamp shades rimmed with ribbon for a personalized designer look.
  • Tack a scarf or square of neat fabric to the ceiling over a drab boring light fixture. The fabric hangs far enough down that it won’t heat up or scorch, and the pretty colored light shines through below.
  • Staple fabric over a bulletin board. Hang on the wall and pin your favorite pictures on it.

Choose light and functional furniture (if possible). Chances are, you probably do not have a budget to buy all new furniture. For many of us apartment dwellers, our furniture chooses us when we inherit pieces from our family members. Despite popular belief, you don’t need as much furniture as you think.

  • Remember- what you move in, you will eventually need to move out. So go light and stick with the essential pieces- a few living room pieces for seating and storage, a dining room table, a bed and a dresser is really all you need to get started.
  • You can find great deals on used furniture at thrift stores or resale sites like CraigsList.
  • If you get a thrift store sofa, consider covering it with an inexpensive slip cover in a soft or muted color that blends with your accent colors.
  • Repurposing furniture from a thrift store is also great way to go green.
  • If you must buy new furniture, find some that you can assemble yourself (IKEA is a great place to find this). This will make moving in and moving out easier.
  • Make your own throw pillows in the same color scheme as your curtains to pull together the look in your living room and bedroom.
  • Go to the local discount store or dollar store for more basic items like kitchen utensils, trash cans and more.