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.

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)

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)

It’s Party Time! Do You Know About the Social Host Ordinance?

Wild Party

 

4th of July is approaching and you’re no doubt already planning your own party and/or being invited to get-togethers with friends. Before you get too carried away with planning your BBQs and events, however, you should keep the Social Host Ordinance in mind.

Wait, the What?

The Social Host Ordinance (also known as The Ordinance on Unruly Gatherings) is a law that holds individuals responsible for organizing and hosting an unruly event. In other words, if your party gets out of hand, you’re criminally responsible for it.

What Constitutes a Disorderly Gathering?

That’s a fair question, after all one person’s disorderly gathering might be another person’s book club. Here are the telltale signs of a party that will land you in trouble:

  • Over-packed gatherings filling out onto the streets.
  • Under-age drinking.
  • Open alcohol container/consumption in public.
  • Noise pollution that affects neighbors.
  • Interfering with a police officer.
  • Drunk and disorderly conduct.

In other words, if it’s likely to result in a call to the police, it’s considered a disorderly gathering.

What about Fireworks?

Legal Fireworks are permitted to be used between June 23-July 6 and December 31-Jan 1. Your 4th of July party should be fine having them, but you won’t be allowed to use them the rest of the year.

What Can I Do to Avoid Getting in Trouble?

Below are some suggestions from the City of Eugene to keep your party safe and acceptable:

Keep a Guest List

Though it’s always tempting to adopt a “come one come all” attitude about your party, this typically ends with a party at max capacity pouring out onto the streets. By knowing ahead of time how many people you’re inviting you’ll limit the party’s capacity to escalate beyond reasonable levels.

Inform Your Neighbors

Let your neighbors know the date and time of your party beforehand. While you’re at it, give them your phone number and contact information should any concerns arise. This step will go along way to avoiding the police being called on your event (and also makes you a better neighbor).

21+ Only

Keep your party legal! If there’s going to be drinking make sure all guests are of the legal drinking age.

Monitor Noise Levels

Keep an eye (an ear?) on the noise levels of your party. Don’t blast your music to the point where people have to yell to one another and keep the hollering to a minimum.

Clean Up After Yourself

Your neighbors are less likely to have any issues with your (or involve the police) if your party is organized and clean.  Pick up after yourself when the event’s over.

Prevent Drunk Driving

Regardless of the Social Host Ordinance, this should be a rule for every party you host or are a part of. Do not allow your friends or you yourself drink and drive, or breaking the law will be the least of your concerns.

Be Polite to the Police

Look we get it, nobody wants the police showing up at their door, but it’s important to remember that they are doing their job. Be courteous and helpful should the authorities come with concerns about your party.

Call The Police if Needed

Call the police to your own party? When it’s getting out of hand or becoming dangerous, absolutely. If things reach the point where you yourself can’t control it, give the authorities a call.

That’s a good starting point on the Social Host Ordinance and should be enough to help you plan your upcoming summer parties. If you want to know more, you can read about the ordinance at Party Safe, Party Responsibly.  Have fun!

photo credit: Kids gone crazy via photopin (license)

Make Moving Out A Breeze With These 10 Handy Tips

MovingBoxes

 

Moving on is so hard to do… but moving out doesn’t have to be! Stick to these tips to save yourself a headache come moving time.

#1 – Have Lots of Packing Supplies

Moving out requires boxes, packing tapes, bubble wrap, labels, pens, and more. Plan ahead for the move and stock up with more supplies than you need, or you’ll find yourself running back and forth constantly to stock up. 

#2 – Make a List

Did you remember to pack that special item that means so much to you? Which box did you put that cable in? By keeping an organized list as you’re packing you’ll be doing Future You a huge favor come unpacking time.

#3 – Keep Things Together

Resist the urge to toss random items into one box! Keep kitchen item together, bathroom items together, and so forth. This extends to moving day, see if you friends or movers can move the boxes that belong together at the same time.

#4 – Color Coordinate

Having a color system will make aforementioned organization much easier for packing, moving, and unpacking. Separate the rooms 

#5 – Use Wardrobe Boxes

Moving companies will often bring vertical moving boxes for you to transfer your clothes and clothes-hangers too. 

#6 – Valuable? Keep it with you

Avoid putting valuable jewelry in moving boxes if you can’t afford to lose it. This tip also extends to important papers, be sure to keep them close at hand. Don’t tempt fate!

#7 – Clean What You Can Ahead of Time

You’re going to need to clean before returning your apartment/home, but you can get started with cleaning now!

#8Pack an Overnight Bag

Chances are at the end of moving day you’ll be too tired to unpack boxes and find your toiletries and supplies. Pack an overnight bag with some toiletries and a change of clothes to give yourself a little breathing room before you need to unpack.

 #9 – Change Your Address Before Moving

Don’t wait until the last minute! It’s recommended you do this at least two weeks before moving.

#10 – Don’t Shop For Groceries On Your Last Week

Ideally you’ll be able to eat all the food in your fridge right in time for moving day and avoid having to throw anything out.

 

photo credit: moving house via photopin (license)

Going Somewhere for Winter Break? Follow These Safety Tips

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Reposted from The Pond & Beyond

The holiday break brings relaxation from the day-to-day demands of college life and for many, an opportunity to leave the area to enjoy time with family and friends. However, students are not the only ones who look forward to this time of year!

Here are some tips to keep your things safe while you’re away.
These simple and effective tips to protect your property can make the difference between coming home relaxed and ready to take on the new challenges of winter term and becoming a statistic for future students to learn from.

BURGLARY PREVENTION

Lock doors and windows
Take valuables like small electronics with you
Cose your blinds and leave a radio or TV and a light on

THEFT FROM VEHICLE PREVENTION

Don’t leave ANYTHING in your vehicle
Lock all doors and windows
Park in well-lit areas

THEFT OF VEHICLE PREVENTION

Use a steering wheel locking device
Use a vehicle security system that disables the ignition

Not Leaving for the Break?
For those who will be in the area for winter break, help protector your neighbor’s stuff by reporting suspicious activity to the Eugene Police non-emergency number at 541-682-5111!

Be sure to click here to download our Winter Break Safety Tips!

photo credit: UC Irvine via photopin cc

7 Simple Storage Ideas for Your Rental Property

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons Craig Conley

Finding new ways to make the most of your apartment storage is key to making a rental feel like home.

Unfortunately, finding ample storage can be a challenge for some tenants (depending on the amount of stuff you own). However, with a little creativity (and some inspiration from Pinterest), it is possible to implement simple storage solutions that will transform your living space.

Here are 7 storage ideas we found on Better Homes and Gardens that could help:

1. Hang a skirt around an open sink, using adhesive-backed hook-and-loop tape to hide plumbing. Hide baskets or a low shelving unit of bathroom essentials behind the skirt.

2. Place an open metal shelving unit (like what you would find in an industrial kitchen) with decorative baskets to keep kitchen staples organized.

3. Make your coffee table double as a handy storage container by using a decorative trunk with a flat surface large.

4. Create your own “entryway” by placing a large multi-functional bookcase near your apartment entry. Add hooks to hold jackets, umbrellas, book bags, etc. Decorative baskets on bottom shelves can serve as shoe containers or other out-the-door essentials like hats and sunglasses. Add a memo bar from an office supply store to the top of the bookcase as a place to organize mail and reminders.

5. Wanna fake a vintage built-in bookshelf? Flank a doorway with identical bookcases that reach almost to the ceiling and install moldings around the tops of the shelves. As a style bonus, paint the bookcase before installation, or line the backs with pretty paper.

6. Employ laundry hampers for more than just dirty clothes. Use them around your apartment for stashing umbrellas and hats, extra linens, or kids’ toys.

7. Hang a grid of favorite pictures or prints inside frames with large mats. The bigger mats will provide much-needed white space for an active display. Onlookers will be able to take in each photo, which makes for an effective display.

Article Source: www.bhg.com