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7 Characteristics Of The Best Roommate

7 Characteristics Of The Best Roommate

When I say roommate, you say…?

 

Most of us have had them, and most of us could tell you the worst stories imaginable when it comes to living with other noisy, dirty humans.

 

Whether you’re just out of high school or in mid life looking to save a few bucks, having a roommate that is less than somewhat ideal can be tough.

 

We don’t always get to choose our roommates but when we do, they…

 

7. Like similar shows.

tv

It ain’t no thang if someone prefers a little nature show over Stranger Things, but it creates a more solid camaraderie if you can both geek out over what the creature is the in woods and how the hell it can get from one place to another so fast!

 

6. Are available.

two friends

Not every roommate can act as a sit in therapist, but if you have a crappy day at work or your relationship isn’t what you want it to be your roommate can stand by you to listen when you’d rather not call mom.

And vice versa… we all got junk in the trunk sometimes and we need a little help getting it all sorted.

 

5. Can have fun.

fun

One of the best roommates I have had was the stand by me type to be sure but she was always up for something. Whether it was late night ice cream runs to Sonic or trying out a new bar, she was ready for an adventure.

 

4. Give privacy.

alone

There is nothing worse than needing space and being unable to find it.

Try to grab one of those rare housemates who can be in the same room and be virtually invisible. It’s an art, but it’s possible.

And for those of us who don’t enjoy the library, a roommate who knows that home is a sanctuary is invaluable.

 

3. Are quiet (When it matters).

sleep

When I go to bed, my place has to be silent and dark. My two biggest wishes for sleep are two of the hardest things to have when you live in the city. Find a roommate who enjoys being home and believes in the importance of GOOD sleep.

And that means, off with the lights!

 

2. Are prompt.

prompt clock

It can be paying rent or arriving at a shindig at your place on time (if they are otherwise disposed), but have a roommate that doesn’t leave you hanging.

 

1. Clean up after themselves (and sometimes you!).

sink

We can’t all be an Alison Hendrix, but we can at least do our own damn dishes. And when it comes to roommates, and small sinks for that matter, you may want someone who will pitch in when that exam is at 7 AM.

Either way, look for someone who understands the importance of cleaning up after oneself.

 

What are some of your favorite or most desirable characteristics in a roommate?

Transitional Spaces 101
After

Transitional Spaces 101

Today, we’re going to do something a little different.

 

I recently completed a task with a client that I have fallen in love with.

 

Partially, because I enjoy the idea of “transitional spaces” and partly because this idea has come up a couple times while doing Mine Space.

 

She described it as wanting “visual separation” of the spaces.

 

My client wanted to create a separation between her garage and a connecting room her family uses for storage and hosting parties.

 

Originally, I thought we would make a really nice division between the spaces using galvanized pipe.

 

But, I quickly learned this would have be a more expensive and difficult task to undertake.

 

So, we did this instead:  Curtains hung with electrical conduit

 

Supplies & Cost:

10 ft electrical conduit pipe ~ $6.50

Closet pole flange set ~ $6

Window elements dover linen grommet curtain panel pair (2) $30/ea

Total: ~$73

 

Equipment needed:

Reciprocating saw (if necessary)

Drill

 

Steps:

1 ) The pipe we bought was 10 ft, so we first had to use the reciprocating saw to cut the pipe down to 9 ft

NOTE: Be sure to measure the distance from wall to wall and then the pipe at least twice

2) Find the studs and mark them

3) Measure from ceiling to desired spot for installation

4) Install closet pole flange set on either side using the drill

5) Make sure the pipe is the right size

6) Once the pipe fits, place the curtains on the pipe

 

Voila!

 

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IMG_20160819_114833127_HDR

 

Now, her storage is hidden by some beautiful and inexpensive curtains and the rest of the space can be used for parties, relaxation, and yoga.

All for under $100!

 

Share your fun and affordable DIY projects!

 

6 Things You Should Consider Putting On Your Wedding Registry And Why

6 Things You Should Consider Putting On Your Wedding Registry And Why

I won’t pretend that I get excited about most things wedding.

 

But when it comes to the registry, I have put a lot of thought into what I ask for from others.

 

Here are the items I have decided will be better bought new and why.

 

 

TOWELS

TOWELS

You got a set when you graduated high school or you’ve saved the myriad of person-less towels your friends have left over the years.

It’s time to say goodbye to these guys and ask for a nice set in your registry.

I don’t want to go into the dirty details of why it may be important to buy new towels, but YOUR and EVERYONE ELSE’S SKIN CELLS, is all I’m going to say.

 

SHEETS

sheets

Your sheets are probably the best or worst thing about your bed. 

If you simply can’t part with the jersey sheets you bought in college, that’s up to you, but choosing a higher thread count feels worlds better than those t-shirt sheets.

Trust me, I was that girl.

 

POTS & PANS

pan

If you’re like me, pots and pans are one of those items I have always acquired while on a budget.

I had no problem adopting lone pots and pans from friends that moved or purchasing a couple from Goodwill.

Now, the more I use my old pots and pans, the more I realize these guys are in bad shape. 

Over time:

– Leftover grease will absorb into the “pores” (yes, even pots/pans have pores!).

– The material will begin to rust.

– Teflon eventually cracks or peels.

– General warp occurs.

I’m usually A-ok with overlooking most of these issues (I think I’m just lazy) but now that I’m about to step into a new phase of life, I think it’s time for the new and improved.

 

VACUUM

vacuum cat

One cat, two cat, three cat, NO!

Our fur babies are just that, our babies.

We don’t mind sweeping and vacuuming often to keep a space tidy if it means cozying up to them.

Again, now that we’re about to step into this new phase, I realized that neither of us have an optimal vacuum for what we are cleaning.

Sweeping gets tiresome and it is not as effective as vacuuming (the never-ending line of dust and miscellaneous specs).

We also plan on living mobile in the next couple years, so we wanted a durable but hassle free cleaner.

So we did a little research and decided that a Dyson V6 Animal Cord-free Vacuum was exactly what we were looking for.

There were other suitors on the market, but this guy, like his other counterparts, came highly recommended.

 

DISHES

dishes

I’m more lenient when it comes to dishes.

Personally, it is fun to go to the nearest thrift store and pick out mix matched sets.

Some of us don’t care about having full sets of dishes.

But, this might be a good time to think about if it will matter to you once you get hitched.

 

CASH FUND

cash

In rummaging through the traditional gifts in registries, I started to think of where Jeremy and I wanted to be in a year.

We are both travelers, so I thought it would be a fun idea to make a cash fund for our upcoming adventures!

I had not heard of doing such a thing until I came across Zola.com.

Along with an assortment of basic and eclectic wedding gift ideas, you have the option of creating cash funds. 

I think this is a unique and valuable idea for the registry.

Scotland 2017, anyone? 

 

What are some items you asked for?

Are there any items you wish you’d asked for after you got married?

 

 

5 Things I Learned Through Time In The Rockies

5 Things I Learned Through Time In The Rockies

Hey everyone,

 

Jeremy and I took a trip out of state for a while, and we faced a harsh awakening upon arrival.

 

The past couple of weeks have changed the way I think about some things.

 

This week, I’m going to share some pictures Jeremy took along with a few lessons I learned on our travels.

 

1. Traveling is way more fun with someone.

01_edit

While we were spying on a lone bison, we looked across the river and noticed an entire herd eating and drinking. Then, the bulls lead the way and before we knew it the giant herd was swimming over to us. This is one of my favorite stories because Jeremy and I get so animated when we tell it. If we had not been together, one, this picture would probably not have been taken, and two, the story would not have as much life.

 

2. You are small.

CRW_6348 edit

For almost a whole month, we were surrounded by the most beautiful mountains in the Rockies. Sometimes, our surroundings felt so large it was not surprising to find yourself feeling tiny. Relishing in our small selves allows us the space to remember just how big the Lord is and how vast his creation and wonders.

 

3. Don’t be afraid to say yes.

P1020837 edit

Getting into cold water is not something I do often, and when I do it is never with grace. If it had not been for my stepmom, I probably would not have built the courage to jump. Well, if you can’t tell, this picture is my “after I said yes” shot. We had a marvelous day playing in the crystal clear water, and although I would have been much dryer and warmer, saying yes was the best thing I did that day.

 

4. Don’t forget to look up.

01 sign and stars

At the end of each day, I was pretty exhausted, but Jeremy, being the crafty cameraman he is, took some long exposure shots that give you a glimpse of the glorious northern night sky. Away from the world, the sky is clear and endless. No matter where you are or the situation you are in, don’t forget to look up when you need inspiration.

 

5. Say thanks.

CRW_6750 edit

The trip was full of many twists and turns; some were exciting, some were scary, and some filled me with awe. This is one of those moments. Jeremy surprised me on my favorite hike with a question that can only be answered with “of course.” In December, I will marry the best friend, son, brother, and man I know. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

 

If you have anything you’ve learned recently that you’d like to share, leave it in the comments!

6 Things To Put Into Storage

6 Things To Put Into Storage

Need more space?

Here are 6 things to put into storage today.

 

attic

1. Unused carseats.

Did you know you can get money for these? ToysRUs and BabiesRUs will give you a discount on new gear for handing over old gear. Until you get around to that, store away these awkwardly shaped bad boys somewhere other than the spaces you occupy.

2. Stuff up for sale.

Still trying to sell that old bed, chair, or pair of shoes? Until the price is right, go ahead and put these in an offsite storage unit or the attic.

3. Seasonal Decor.

An easy way to get decorations in order is to have a separate bin for each holiday of the year. A client of mine keeps one bin for birthdays and other more frequent get togethers in her garage for ease of access, but the rest of her decorations are not on the property.

4. Keepsake CDs.

If you can’t seem to find a good enough reason to ditch that Shania Twain or BeeGee’s album, go ahead and store these guys away until you can figure out what you want to do with them.

5. Kid clothing.

Let’s face it, kids grow FAST and it is nearly impossible to keep up with all their clothing and accessories for more than a short while. Be sure to have the clothes that are actively worn on hand and store the rest.

6. Grandma’s dresser.

Antique furniture is not only beautiful, it is special. Keeping these items off site or in an attic helps to preserve the furniture’s integrity and allows more space in the home.

Tips for storing other items:

  • Put in safe easy to store box (preferably with a lid)
  • Label box
  • Put in attic or storage unit
9 Things To Look For When Renting Or Leasing

9 Things To Look For When Renting Or Leasing

This week’s post is a little out of the ordinary.

Due to recent events, I have become inspired to write about important things you need to look out for when moving into a new place.

Sometimes, it can take time to really check all the items we need off a list. However, when the deal is long term, it is important to know your health (and anxiety) are not at stake.

 

when getting a new house

1. CRACKS IN THE CEILINGS OR WALLS

This one might be a bit obvious, but come on… more often than not we are willing to overlook a few cracks in exchange for the cute overlook onto the garden. No, ma’am. Be sure this sign is not indicating to you that the house is in need of more than a little TLC. Ask questions!

2. STANDING WATER

Be sure to take a good look around the backyard (if there is one) and then around the perimeter of the home. Standing water = bugs… and not the fun lady kinds. Mosquitos, flies, etc. Know how much work its going to take you to prevent these pesky critters.

3. PLUMBING

Flush the toilet, run the water in the sink, check the hose outside… be sure you’ve got good pressure. If the pressure is low, there could be a bigger problem i.e. the plumbing, which could lead to bigger problems down the road.

4. AIR FILTER

In the Texas springs and summers, we all know how important it is to consistently change the air filters in our homes. Before you move in, be sure you have a place for the filter. Most homes do, but I have recently come across places that have a major air filter problem. Don’t let allergens have the chance to build up without any respite!

5. THE LEASE

Read, read, read, my friends. My current apartment manager was annoyed I took the time to read my lease, but boy am I glad. When I re-signed, he had put in the wrong time frame for my stay; he had me down for an entire year when I only signed on for six months! Don’t let a typo get in the way of you understanding your responsibilities as the tenant or owner. READ THE FINE PRINT and be sure you get a copy.

6. NEW LOCKS

Negligence is more prominent in the renting and leasing world than I anticipated. Be sure when you move in, that you are getting the first and only set of keys for the locks in your home. You don’t want some “used to be tenant” coming in randomly looking for that really important item they left. Nip it in the bud.

7. FLOORING

Man, oh, man… be sure you know when the flooring was last replaced and or refurnished. 10 year old carpet most likely means that more people’s skin, hair, nails, and all kinds of other gifts are left right under your feet. Ask questions: How long has it been since the floors have been replaced? What kind of damage are you responsible for if there is a flood or leak that ruins it? 

8. INSPECTION

All of the previous items have come to one critical part of your move in: INSPECTION. I’d like to think that each renter cares about the well-being of his tenants… WRONG! They want money. They want a consistent check from you, and that’s about it. Be sure you are covered if, God forbid, anything major happens during your stay. If things are already in a chaotic state, at least you have paper to prove it.

9. RENTER’S INSURANCE

Get in touch with your insurance company and be sure you are covered. Also be sure your coverage covers YOU and not just the paper pushers “managing” your stay. It’s not a lot and some companies will give you a discount if you already have auto, life, or any other insurance policies with them.

 

There is an endless list of things to keep on the lookout, but hopefully this provides you with a good start.

 

 

8 Things To Get Rid Of Right Now

8 Things To Get Rid Of Right Now

A lot of the clutter in our homes consists of items we don’t notice.

 

We never actually use them or have too much of the same thing.

 

Here are 8 things you can get rid of right now.

love letter

1. CARDS.

What about the time I graduated high school? What about when I had my first baby? While these are great memories, there are other ways to never forget i.e. pictures and other physical items. Plus, you were there! If you cannot bare to part with certain ‘thank you’s’ and ‘congratulations’s’ keep one per occasion and file them away. For the others, time to bring out the recycle bin.

make-up

2. EXPIRED MAKE-UP.

Ok ladies… I’ve seen your bathrooms and I know you don’t want to open ‘that drawer’ so ease your anxiety and take a few minutes to trash all the expired makeup lurking in your bathroom, room, bag & car.

socks

3. SOCKS WITHOUT A FRIEND.

We all have them… we all loathe them each laundry cycle. Bite the bullet and chuck the socks with missing mates! Maybe they’ll find each other elsewhere someday.

expired

4. EXPIRED FOOD.

We may not even notice, but there is probably expired food in the pantry and fridge that needs to be tossed. Take a few minutes to go through the freezer, fridge & all your dry goods. You might be surprised.

bottles

5. HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS.

Why do we have an all purpose cleaner, window cleaner, counter cleaner, bathroom cleaner, counter cleaner, car cleaner etc? We only need a few of these items to get the job done. You can take your unused or slightly used chemicals to your city’s recycle and reuse program’s physical location. Here is the one for Austin.

excess of sharpies

6. PENS & PENCILS.

“But I never can find one!” I can relate to this sentiment, but even taking a minute to peruse through your personal collection might make your heart skip a beat. Take your favorite few pens and pencils to one (or two) designated locations. Put one in your purse, in the car, in the kitchen, etc. And chuck or donate the rest.

books

7. MOVIES & BOOKS.

Because of this “hyper-digital” age, a lot of us are watching our favorite shows and movies online. This weekend, go through your movies and books and sell them at Half Price. I had heard horror stories about not getting anything from them for books and movies my friends treasured, but I got almost $50 bucks. It might be worth it for some gas money.

plastic bags

8. PLASTIC BAGS.

So, I know you Austinites understand our plastic bag policy, but for those of you who still rely on the convenience of taking these guys from the store, it’s time to invest in the reusable bag. Keep some plastic bags for traveling or a pair of dirty shoes at some point, but get rid of the rest; they’re taking up space.

 

You may even find there are other items you can easily ditch along the way.

Happy decluttering!

DDR Your Life

DDR Your Life

When it comes to home organization, it can be hard to know where to start.

 

We have a lot of stuff and not enough time.

 

We want fast results and we want the end result to be pretty.

 

How about a little DDR?

 

DOWNSIZE.

downsize

This is the most important aspect of what I do.

I advertise “creating functional space where everything has a place” and I desire to find the right spot for all of your belongings, but it is important to know that organization that looks good and feels good comes more often when there is less stuff in the way.

To properly downsize, a good chunk of time is needed. When downsizing, there are a few steps:

1. Pick a space.

2. Have three boxes and a trash bag handy, label the boxes: Donate, Sell, Relocate

3. Go through every item in the space: pick it up, hold it, and decide if you want to donate, sell, relocate, or trash the item.

4. Do this with each space in your home you wish to work on.

While this may seem more like organizing, it is much easier to downsize while categorizing than having to go back through each item at a later time.

Application: We have a lot going on. We have kids to feed, appointments to make, phone calls to take, and not enough time in the day. Take a moment to note the most important tasks for the week: “make this appointment”, “call this person”, and schedule “To Do” for each day to spread out your work load.

 

DECLUTTER.

declutter

Now that we have more room to work, it’s time to figure out trouble spots in the home.

One of the easiest ways to determine if an area in your home is a trouble spot is to notice any space that may be visible after downsizing.

You can also walk around your house with a pen and paper to make notes about places you notice that have no defining purpose. A defining purpose can be described as an area that has one function.

Q: Does this area have a defining purpose? 

Yes: Like items are in this area, each item has a designated home

No: Random items are placed together, I put items here when I don’t know what to do with them

If you determine that the area DOES NOT have a defining purpose, make a note and work in this area after your home tour using the mini DDR method. (i.e. go through each item and decide what to do with it right then and there, keep like items in this space and find homes for the other items)

Application: Whether its the random assortment of things in your car console or apps you never use, take a few minutes to consciously get rid of some clutter in your life.

 

REDESIGN.

redesign

Redesign is my favorite aspect of the Mine Space process.

It is one thing to move an item to a different part of the house, but we don’t often go through our spaces in depth.

Redesigning a space is simply allowing the space to be created organically and figuring out its function. The function of the space may not make itself known until this phase.

The relocation box is attended to at this time until all items are gone through and each one is either donated or given a new home.

We need to know there will be space for the item, and since we have already determined we want to keep it, we know we aren’t just adding more clutter to the house.

Application: Maybe there’s a workout routine you’d like to start or maybe you’d like to make  more meals at home. Whatever your weekly subgoals may be, take note of them this week and watch your productivity soar.

 

If you have any questions or concerns about your space, please leave a comment below or email me directly.

 

7 Items To Find A Home For This Weekend And Beyond

7 Items To Find A Home For This Weekend And Beyond

I just had it!

 

If you catch yourself thinking or saying this aloud, you are not alone.

 

We are notorious for misplacing that one item we swear we just used.

 

Using three basic techniques, we can find homes for every item in our homes:

 

  1. Like with like

  2. Consistency

  3. Permanent placement

keys hanging

 

1. KEYS

We’ve all lost these darn things so many times, if not on a daily basis.

Command hooks or a tack by the door you frequently enter and exit through is a good place to start.

If you don’t like command hooks, you can screw in a metal wall hook or get creative with something else.

You can buy command hooks for a dollar at the Dollar Tree and wall mounted hooks are sold at Walmart and Target.

 

phone charging

 

2. PHONE CHARGER

I know most of us have at least two of these for the purpose of being more likely to find one when needed, but let’s discuss home options for these chorded critters.

If you…

Charge your phone next to your bed, keep it there.

Find your phone usually has low battery when you are on your way to work, it may be time to invest in a car charger if you don’t have one.

Travel more often than not, it would be in your best interest to carry one in your work bag permanently, too.

Like to have your phone and charger secure, you can make your own “charging station.”

And if you are on the go, an unused glasses case works great for storing a charger and head phones.

cat licking

 

3. LINT ROLLER

I have a big fluffy cat that I love.

She is my precious girl but she is also an unbearably fluffy kitty that sheds nonstop.

Whether you have a cat or a dog, pet hair ends up in places we never thought it could. Under the bed and couch, behind (and on) the TV, and especially on our clothes.

The lint roller is a small sticky gift that is easy to misplace. I found two jumbo rolls for a deal somewhere (Target, maybe?) and since then I keep one in my car (this can be placed in your middle console, side storage in the car, etc.) and in my bathroom for the house.

The mini lint rollers are great to have on the go, so stick one in your purse, too!

three mailboxes

 

4. MAIL

When I say mail, I don’t mean the enormous amount of coupons that come to us, I mean the important documents they are still sending via mail like bills, notices, discount deals at our favorite stores, etc.

I have started trying to deal with mail right after I get it, but sometimes this is not the most timely task.

I like this tutorial from craftandrepeat. They use plastic formula containers, but this could also be done with empty plastic coffee containers.

Just be sure to hang or place this where you deal with your mail and label the container with the items they should contain.

pen

 

5. PENS

“I have a billion of these everywhere!”

Most people do, but it becomes difficult to find a working pen when it’s needed.

I recently went through all my old pens and pencils and threw away/donated most of them. I kept my favorite working writing utensils and put most of them right on my desk, but I also have a couple pens in a glass jar near my front door, in the console of my car, my work bag, and my purse.

You never know when you or a friend may need a pen.

TV with books

 

6. REMOTE

One of the biggest turn offs for relaxation has got to be when the remote is M.I.A.

Side tables are great for remote storage, but we usually have more than one person in our homes using the same TV and the remote tends to disappear.

Wooden jewelry boxes are a stylish storage option that can be placed in the TV console area or on a side table. If you are crafty, you can make your own remote holder for the arm of the couch or buy one at Walmart for $7.

man holding sunglasses

 

7. SUNGLASSES

For summer in Texas, having our sunglasses with us on the lake, in the river, or on that commute from work is a necessity, so why are they so easy to lose?

Keeping a pair in your car console or on the dash is the way to go, but that can be hard to remember.

Like with keys, installing a small metal rack or placing a command hook on the wall is an easy fix to a frustrating problem. For the DIY er, here is a cute and fun project for storing all the family’s shades.