Green Apartment Supplies

Looking for a way to make your apartment not only stylish but environmentally friendly? The amount of recyclable items has steadily grown from a trend and transformed into a staple at stores that sell home decor, office supplies and other items for around the house. What you might have seen tends to be produced from cardboard or not so pleasing to eye, so you may be wondering what options there are out there to green it up a bit while staying fashionable. If you want to make the most of your apartment purchases so they’re eco-friendly, here are some options you might like to considered:

Cork Mat

This can be used in your kitchen as a trivet to hold hot pots, in a home office to pin notes to or as a piece of wall art for your bedroom.

Soy Candles:

These candles are produced with naturally occurring materials and can often be found at local farmer’s markets. They burn longer and come in a variety of colors.

Soy Paint:

Paints based in soy are environmentally friendly because they come from a renewable research. The best part of these candles is that they do have the harsh chemical smell of other paints.

Bamboo Mats:

Bamboo mats look great in a home office or as a small area rug in living rooms. By buying one or more of these, you help cut down on the use of petroleum-based plastics.

Organic Cotton Linens:

Buy linens that have been locally produced if possible, but as a whole, organic cotton linens offer a softer feel than synthetically produced materials.

Reclaimed Wood:

The best furniture available is one you help design. The best way to do that is from reclaimed wood. Cabinets, chairs, tables and other items can be created from reclaimed wood and helps encourage the concept of recycling.

Plants:

Adding plants to any room adds a pop of color. Not only are plants pleasing to the eye, but they also add natural air purification.

Be sure to check your local stores and ask to see any of their eco-friendly items. The variety is growing by the day as people become more conscious of how their decisions affect the world around them. Going green doesn’t have to be bland and boring. It can be exciting, fashionable and eco-friendly! Happy shopping!

 

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Holiday Hosting: Apartment Tips

The holidays are upon us! It’s a very exciting time of year when families and friends gather to enjoy each others company over good food. At Package Concierge, it is one of our team’s favorite times of the year! If you are living in an apartment like millions of other Americans, and want to host a gathering this holiday season, you might be wondering how to make it happen. Small kitchen, lots of hungry people and few places to sit? No problem! Here’s how you can enjoy Thanksgiving in your apartment with all the people you love: pie

Cooking- You probably don’t have much counter space and your oven likely can’t hold all the fixings you want for the meal, so, ask for help. Make it a pot-luck dinner and have everyone bring a different dish.

Space- Once everyone does arrive, where should you put everything? You can use chairs, an ironing board or TV tray tables to double as temporary space to hold all the delicious dishes.

Seating – As your friends and family settle in for the meal, don’t worry about all gathering around a single table. It might be easier to use the table to serve the food and have everyone sit on the couch or the floor during your meal. Be creative!

Decorations- If going out and buying decorations stresses you out, use leaves from outside to set the tone. Or, why not use items that can double as a decoration and a snack? Grapes, cheese and crackers, chocolates, seasonal candies—choose whatever you’d like.

When the meal begins, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in a mansion, hotel, banquet hall, or apartment, eating and enjoying a meal with your inner circle is perfect anywhere.

Have you hosted an apartment holiday party? What got your through the evening? Share your tips!

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Off-Campus Student Housing Secrets

Even though the summer is barely half over, for many college students, a new year is nearly here. For upperclassmen, this probably means moving into an apartment or home for the year that they’ve rented off-campus. While this opportunity provides extra freedom, it can also be laced with potential pitfalls. Not to worry, there are a few secrets we’re willing to share to help make students enjoy the experience to its fullest:

moving

Before signing the lease, be sure to do your homework. The language in a lease agreement can be difficult to understand, especially to a first-time renter. Have a friend or family member look it over as well so you’re sure to get the most out of the deal.

2-      Something very few people think about is how your roommates will affect the year you spend off-campus. Enjoying and respecting your own space and common space comes down to the people you live with. Choose wisely.

3-      If you find the idea of furnishing an apartment or house to be daunting, there are some tricks you can use to obtain furniture. Ask the previous residents if they will be leaving any items, or ask seniors or gradates who are moving away if you can take their belongings off their hands. Sometimes you can even get it for free.

4-      During move-in, the rush of excitement might distract you from the dings in the wall and broken coffee pot, but be sure to document any and all existing damage so at the end of the year, you don’t have to pay for someone else’s mistakes.

5-      After you’re settled, introduce yourself to your neighbors. Bring them an old-school basket of muffins or drop by with some wine. By getting off on the right foot, you establish a relationship that can be beneficial throughout the year.

 6-     The most important tip to remember is that even though you live there, the space does not belong to you. Treat it as if you are sleeping over at a friend’s house for the year. Don’t trash the interior or break things without replacing them. Be responsible.

The year ahead is bright with promise and we’re sure many returning students are elated about their new living space. If you remember the secrets we’ve detailed above, you should have an incredible, off-campus experience.

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Best Pets for Apartments

It’s no secret that owning a pet can help you de-stress after a long day at work or class, but finding the right pet for your apartment can be a bit more challenging. Certain animals require more attention and commitment than others, while some can more or less take care of themselves. So long as your apartment is pet friendly, there is an animal friend right for your situation. fishtank

Fish– Aquatic pets require very little attention so far as feeding and exercise are concerned. However, your fishy friends will require a tank equivalent to their size and feeding every other day.  And don’t forget cleaning the tank! Some fish prefer to be alone, but others love to school in a group.

Insects– Much like fish, insects are low maintenance. But also like fish, they are not a pet you can really get close to and their lifespan is short. If this kind of pet is right for you, there are plenty of varieties to own such as ants, millipedes or even spiders.

Reptiles or Amphibians- Generally speaking, reptiles and amphibians can have a significantly long lives compared to the aforementioned critters. But they can also provide the entertainment and personality needed to spruce up an apartment. Think about whether you want an aquarium for frogs or turtles, or a terrarium for snakes, lizards or tortoises.

Birds– Flying friends like these can be a very chatty and fun addition to your life. They require a lot of exercise activities within their cage birdsand regular feeding and cleaning. The bigger the cage the better and you might even think about letting them out in your space so they can stretch their wings.

Cats– This self sufficient creature is a staple for most apartment dwellers. Cats require regular feeding and playtime, but are able to manage and entertain themselves if need be. They are the first pet on this list that you can really cuddle up to and have several breeds to choose from.

Dogs– Another furry friend on the list is the canine. Since they have a plethora of breeds, choose a smaller, less active kind for apartment living. You can go big if you have the time and space nearby to exercise them. More importantly, since dogs are high maintenance and need regular food and exercise, be sure you are truly committed to this pet before adopting.

No matter what pet you are thinking of adopting, ensure that you have the time, patience and intentions to see the animal comfortably through their entire life.

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Tips for First Time Renters

leaseAre you looking to rent an apartment for the first time and feeling overwhelmed? Here’s a great list of tips we’ve compiled to help you through the process:

1.       Do Your Homework

Before calling a landlord or going to a showing, be sure you have researched the location and its amenities as well as the surrounding area. Conduct your investigation thoroughly. If you require transportation, a parking space or a pet friendly location, inquire about these specifics before moving forward.

2.       Talk to the neighbors

If possible, before you speak with the landlord, ask around the premise to see how other tenants feel about the apartment complex. The best resource you’ll find in apartment searching is current residents: they’ll have all the ups and downs you need to know.

3.       Act Confident

Once you do make contact with the landlord or the community, speak with confidence. Write yourself a list of notes as a reference and stand up for yourself, but don’t be pushy either. This also applies for when you go see the apartment.

4.       Ask questions

You are your greatest advocate, so ask questions if you have them. Often first time renters are too shy to question management or potential neighbors, but if you don’t ask, no one else will.

5.       Don’t go over budget

Even though you may love the park side apartment with three bedrooms, if its out of your price range, you must resist. Whatever you do, don’t go over budget. Your stress and anxiety will increase if you have to scrape for every dollar just to live on your own.

6.       Actually read the lease

Once you’ve chosen an ideal location and you are handed the leasing contract, actually read it. Don’t skim it. Don’t show it to your dog. Read the contract and be sure you understand everything contained within it.

7.       Take Inventory

When the time comes that you move in, the first thing you should do is document every scratch, loose floor board and dented appliance on paper and in pictures so whenever you move out, you aren’t held accountable for previous damages.

Photo credit to movinginsider.com

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How to Organize Your Apartment

When you first moved in, did your apartment look bigger without all your stuff? Now that you’ve filled it with furniture and nick-nacks, do you wish you had more space? Of course you do. The average apartment is only 500 square feet and you have collected a lot of things over your lifetime. There’s no need to worry over the possibility of throwing something out.  With a few

organizer2

Image from marthastewart.com

organizational tips and tricks, you can have a place for everything and everything in its place.

Under the bed- Purchase flat bins to store linens, extra pillows or even out of season clothing that can be easily pushed out of sight and underneath your bed.

Counter space- Clear your counters by keeping silverware in handy drawer organizers. Clean up your sink with a sink caddy and store cooking staples (flour, sugar, salt) in mason jars.

Closet space- Nowadays, a quick fix to a small closet is a great organizer and luckily they are readily available at most home improvement stores. For floor organization, use baskets or stackable bins.

Bathroom- Fixtures to clear up your bathroom are as easy as hangers for towels, an over the toilet baker’s rack or a water proof shower caddy.

organizer

Image from brit.co

Over the door racks- Use over the door shoe racks in all your rooms! For the kitchen, use it for spare utensils or spices; in the bathroom it could collect hygiene products and in the living room it makes a great DVD rack.

Stacking / Shelving- Where ever possible, get stackable storage bins or blocks to maximize your space. And likewise, hang shelving over areas that are otherwise not using the space well enough.

Without a doubt, these tips will help keep you organized and help banish clutter from your apartment. Who knows, throughout your time in the apartment, you might find great ways to reuse shoe boxes or coffee cans. Be creative. It’s all about functionality and live-ability. Have fun with it!

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