Sunday, December 25, 2016



Stay Warm and Save Money with these Efficient Heating Tips for Cold Weather 

Turn down the temp – The California Energy Commission recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees, noting that for every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you’ll save up 5 percent on heating costs. For sleep hours or when leaving the home, setting the thermostat down to 55 degrees or off for an extended time, saving 5-20 percent of your heating costs.

Change your filters – Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Changing the air filters at least every three months can save your renters 4 to 6 percent on heating costs. If your tenants have a pet, changing filters every month is recommended. This tip will help not only help your tenants save money, but it will prolong the life of your furnace too.

Get Wintertime Curtains – According to AARP, insulated curtains or window quilts, can reduce an estimated 25 percent of an older home’s heating costs associated with window heat loss. Even regular curtains made from a heavy fabric can reduce heating costs; Energy.gov recommends hanging curtains as close to windows as possible and letting them fall to floor for maximum effectiveness. 

Keep Your Chimney Closed – For homes with a fireplace, remind your tenants to keep the damper closed when not in use. Another solution to keep the cold air out and the warm air from escaping up the chimney when a fireplace is not in use, is a chimney ballon. These inflatable devices claim to decrease heating loss more than just closing the damper and sell at HomeDepot for $56.99.

Use your fan – While ceiling fans are excellent tools for staying cool in the summer, they can be adjusted to help your tenants keep warm in the winter. Many fan models have a switch that allows blades to spin clockwise, which will push warm air that rose to the ceiling back down into the room. 

Heated Mattress Pad or Electric Blanket – Use this simple trick for staying warm at night. Instead of heating an entire house during the late night hours, a renter who keeps the thermostat programmed at 55 degrees or lower, can stay warm with an electric blanket or mattress. According to Go Green In Your Home, a 90watt electric blanket used for 8 hours a day will cost your renters only $2.20/month. 

And just for fun- try eating spicy foods! SELF Magazine claims that eating spicy foods in the winter can help you stay warm since spicy foods like chili peppers and seasonings made from chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which makes them spicy and, when eaten, increases our body temperature, creating a warming effect.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The 10 Commandments of Rental Decor


If there are rules that you as a renter must follow, make it these 10 commandments. Because, while paying your rent on time is important, so too is making sure your place is personalized and stylish. Working within the boundaries of your landlord, it's little things like a new light fixture that will make an impact without costing a lot of time or money. And, the best part about this entire list is that you'll leave with your security deposit intact once it's time to move up and on.



1 Thou Shalt Add Storage

Let's get real, custom cabinetry is not an option if you don't own the place. Since rentals usually lack storage, add your own with affordable Ikea bookcases, simple shelves, or these organizing solutions.

2 Thou Shalt Change the Hardware

Rental hardware is basic . . . your style, not so much. Switching out cabinet pulls and bathroom hardware will make a huge difference. Just remember to keep the original pieces to swap back in before moving out.

3 Thou Shalt Ditch Vertical Blinds

They are the ultimate decorating sin! To prevent your space from looking like a hospital room, take them down or hide them under curtains. Again, don't toss — they're essential if you want your security deposit back.

4 Thou Shalt Line Cabinets

This might seem trivial and a bit annoying, but lining your cabinets is a must. Not only will it make your kitchen look clean, but also it will mask worn and grungy cabinets without having to paint. Adhesive liner works, but a softer grip liner is better because it's easy to install; it will also prevent glassware from chipping.

5 Thou Shalt Accessorize Like Crazy

It's true, and that's the only way you're going to get a truly personal space. Go to town with throws, pillows, and accents that reflect your style.

6 Thou Shalt Avoid Wallpaper

Well, in most cases. Sure it's stylish, but in all honestly, wallpaper is really inconvenient to remove, especially if you won't be in your place for long. If you love the patterned look, consider the removable wallpaper seen in this studio or these alternative wallpaper ideas.

7 Thou Shalt Hang Art

No excuses — get your art on the walls! Patching up a tiny hole come move-out day is nothing compared to the impact it will make on your space. No need to create a full-blown gallery wall either. Try hanging one statement piece and resting photos on a mantel or shelf, similar to this home.

8 Thou Shalt Invest in Rugs

Especially if your place has carpet! Rugs are an easy way to cover up that not-so-cute carpet and can be packed up with you come your next move. Rugs are also a necessity to keep noise down, especially in older apartments with wood floors.

9 Thou Shalt Emphasize Lighting

This is another trick that many renters often overlook. Take it from HGTV stars Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri who suggest you use lighting to set the tone and make an impact in a rental. Get creative with floor and table lamps that can easily be moved from place to place.

10 Thou Shalt Make the Most of Plants

No yard? No problem. Pots are a great way to achieve the bohemian jungalow look or even have your own urban garden. The best part is you won't have to fret about leaving any of them behind.

Thanks to the folks at Popsugar.com for the ideas!

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