Musical Houses – Moving Isn’t Fun

21 Aug

I just want to begin with a small apology.  I did not mean to let so much time go by after my last post.  I don’t believe in excuses but let me just say, this last week has been nuts.  Between my summer classes finishing up and moving to a new apartment, I feel like I haven’t had time to breathe.  Sorry.  I am planning on posting about twice a week from now on but we shall see.  I might post more often depending on my schedule once fall classes start up.

So, about this moving business.  In Madison, WI there is one day a year when everyone moves out of their apartment and on the following day everyone moves into their new apartment.  It’s kind of like musical chairs.  The biggest difference is that there isn’t any music and being homeless for a night is a lot worse than being chair-less for a few seconds.

A huge suggestion I have to you, especially if you are a college student, is choose your living situation very carefully.  First of all make sure you know who you are planning on living with well.  Find out about sleeping, eating, and studying habits and definitely cleaning habits.  If you can discreetly ask their current roommates what they are like to live with, that would be best.  I can tell you all kinds of horror stories.  Multiple of my previous roommates simply didn’t clean, ever.  And one of my previous roommates talked to an imaginary person ( I asked her once what she was doing and she responded  with we’re doing the dishes.  No one else was there.)

The other thing to be sure of is that the place you are moving into isn’t falling apart and is reasonably priced.  Do research on the management company of the building and check out other rent prices in the area and check online to find out about the heating and electric bills from previous years of the place you’re looking at.  If you’re from the Madison area of Wisconsin you can check this at mge.com. When you walk through the place be sure to check out all appliances, doors, and ceilings and don’t be afraid to ask if something can be replaced before you move in and the policy on painting and hanging pictures.

My point is that by doing this you will be more likely to be happy and not move into a new place every year.  It’s exhausting and while moving in can be fun moving out just sucks.  I can’t say that moving in is all that fun either, actually…

Anyway, I love Target.  I could spend hours in there.  I had to get the usual items when moving in, so I dragged the boyfriend to Target.  Shower curtains and cleaning products.  As I stated in a previous post Target carries my favorite green cleaning agents by Seventh Generation and I also managed to find some PEVA shower curtains there.  This is important because the usual vinyl ones off-gas toxins that are unhealthy.  PEVA is biodegradable and doesn’t contain PVC or chlorine.  They range in price from $7.99 to $29.99.  They can also be found at most other similar stores such as Walmart, Kohl’s, Kmart, and Sears, as well as on Amazon.com.

I’ll keep you updated on how the new place is coming along.  I’m planning on painting this week hopefully.  Some before and after pictures might be in store!

8 Cheap & Easy Tips to Make Your Home More Green Today

10 Aug

These 8 tips will cost you nothing or next to it.  My favorite price!

1. Unplug all electrical items not being used.  They are using energy just by being plugged in.

2. Get a garbage bin specifically for recyclables. Make sure it’s as easily accessible as your regular waste bin.

3. Turn up the thermostat in warm weather and down in cold weather by a few degrees.  You won’t notice the difference and it will save a lot of energy.  (Sorry if I’m starting to sound repetitive)

but wait, there’s more

7 Green Ways to Keep Your Home Cool

3 Aug

I walked into my un-air-conditioned flat the other afternoon to find my two beautiful roommates sitting in their bathing suits.  It was 97 degrees outside and they had every window open!  I just couldn’t believe that they didn’t know to close the windows to keep the heat out.  In case you’re in the same boat as my roommies here are 7 ways to keep your home cooler during this heat wave.

1. Keep All Doors and Windows Closed During the Day :  By keeping windows closed while during the day you are stopping the hotter air outside from getting into your home.  Of course, open the windows back up at night when the air outside is cooler than the air inside.  This keeps the air in your home cool and fresh.

2. Close Shades and Curtains While the Sun is Out :  Closing any shades and curtains you own when the sun is coming in through that window.  This keeps the suns rays from warming up the air already inside the house.  Don’t have any window treatments?  Do spend the extra cash to get some.  On top of helping to keep your home cool during summer, they also keep heat in and cold out during winter.  I found the vintage-floral inspired ones to the left at Urban Outfitters.  They have lots of other fun prints and accessories as well!

but wait, there’s more

Create More Space – Recycle Your Wardrobe

2 Aug


As a college student August means a couple of things to me.  The first is that summer vacation is on it’s last legs.  The second is moving back to school or simply to a new house/apartment near school.  And like most college students I take this opportunity to do my annual purge of everything I don’t actually use or wear.  This is a great to way to get some extra space in your closet and free up more storage space.  Now I’m one of those people that holds on to items way too long.  I have items in my closet that I bought when I was 16 and being that I just turned 23 I think it’s time they go.

Green Barbecue Friendly Plates & Utensils — Oxymoron?

1 Aug

I thought so until I found these!

One of my favorite things about summer is grilling out with my friends and one of my least favorite things of any season is doing dishes.  I sort of figured there was no way around doing plenty this summer unless I resorted to paper plates.  I hate paper plates.  And I know that hate is a strong word, but I hate them.  I get a little obsessive in recycling paper products, and by a little a mean that I even recycle those little frayed edges from notebook pages that have been ripped out of the spiral.  I know, I might have OCD…

but wait, there’s more

Eco-friendly Interiors? Let’s try this out.

1 Aug

I’m an interior design student at UW-Madison (Yeah, Sconnie!) and a large portion of what we talk about in our classes is sustainable and eco-friendly design.  It’s a huge deal in the design world currently and hopefully not just a trendy fad.  I’ve learned that sustainable design is always the way to design (common sense) and green design is the way to design if you have no other, more interesting ideas for the space; aka the little black dress of interiors.  What I mean to say is that green design is something to always strive for, but unfortunately, the coolest ideas cannot always be accomplished with solely 100% eco-friendly materials.

However, my point is that I was shocked to find that there are only a couple of blogs devoted simply to green interiors.  And while there are lots of really great eco-friendly living blogs and websites, only a few of those have a section for interior design.  So, that’s what this blog is going to be about, eco-friendly interior design.  Now, I don’t just mean the stationary parts of interiors.  I am talking about everything from the structure and finishes to furniture and accessories.

Now, to get this started I’m going to let you in on a few reasons why sustainable, eco-friendly design is the best thing a person can do for their home…

1)   More money in your pocket!

To begin with, eco-friendly and sustainable buildings use less water and energy.  This means lower utility bills.  After this last winter dragged on and on (and on) I know that I don’t want to live in a poorly insulated building ever again.  My heating bills were through the roof! And I always forget to save extra cash when that water bill comes in the mail twice a year.  The lower it is, the happier my wallet will be.  Also, green buildings have a higher market value and in many states there are tax benefits to owning a green building.

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