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Grocery Bags There are plenty of apartment hacks for loving the environment, even if you don’t live in an “eco-friendly apartment.” Here’s the good news: going green doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. It can actually be fun and a great way to save money. Here are a few ways to jump-start your green living:

Reducing Energy Consumption

  • Unplug your gadgets. Many electronics consume energy even when they are turned off. By unplugging the TVs, DVD players, consoles, coffee makers, etc. in your apartment when you’re not home or they’re not in use can save a lot on your electricity bill every month.
  • Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs use more energy and don’t last nearly as long so why bother?
  • Be conscious of temperature. Running heat and air conditioning not only sucks up energy but also money. During winter, turn the heat down by 2 degrees, wear a sweater, and you’ll save green. Washing your clothes on cold will also cut back costs.

Digital Hand Held DevicesIn 1984, Madonna said that she was a “material girl, living in a material world.” If she re-released that song today, we would imagine she’d be singing a new tune, that she’s a “digital girl, living in a high-tech world.” From smartphones to portable tablets to blue-tooth integration, the world as we know it has evolved over the past 30 years to make us almost 100% reliant on the technology around us. The smartphone in your pocket has more computing power that the systems that put a man on the moon. This digital life has become an integral part of our daily lives. Here are some of the ways technology is helping apartment renters get the most out of the apartment communities in which they live:

Valentine's Day On CalendarHave you found yourself still single as Valentine’s Day is approaching? Have no fear! Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about surviving single or moping around. Let’s shoot some of Cupid’s arrows right into the heart of that myth and start your own Valentine’s traditions this year. Here are four ideas to help you feel inspired.

Celebrate Being Single

While the rest of the world seems to be pairing off, it’s good to remember that you should embrace all the reasons being single is awesome. Use Valentine’s Day as a mini-holiday for yourself and splurge on that pair of shoes or new gadget you’ve had your eye on. Or you could revel in the alone time of your 1-bedroom apartment and sleep in as late as you want!

Plumber Fixing Broken SinkIf you’ve ever accidentally hit your thermostat the wrong way or heard a funny noise from your refrigerator, you’ve probably wondered what exactly your apartment’s maintenance can assist you with. Read on for some basics about how to approach maintenance problems in your apartment.

Major Fixes Are a Must

Your landlord is responsible for anything structurally wrong in your apartment, no matter what. If there are any plumbing problems, leaks, or anything that affects the structural integrity, your landlord must take care of it in a timely manner. If you’re renting in an older building, even simple problems could be a sign of a more deep-rooted issue in the infrastructure and should quickly be taken care of. Unfortunately, a problem like this might lead maintenance to spend a couple days in your apartment – good thing it’s on business days.

Friends Moving Into New HomeGenerally, multiple bedroom apartments save each tenant some money compared to renting a one-bedroom or studio apartment by yourself. Of course, this leads to the dreaded roommate dilemma. Maybe you have had a bad roommate experience, or have never had a roommate at all. Thinking about trying a “blind” roommate? Use these tips to avoid setting yourself up for disaster and have a pleasant experience in your apartment while saving money on rent.

Do: Seek Practical Resources

Where you look for a roommate should depend on your situation. If you’re in college, there are usually resources for students to find roommates. Even if the university doesn’t provide it, there can be Facebook groups, or an outside resource online like RoomSync to match roommates at specific colleges.

New Year's ResolutionsNow that the holidays and New Year’s Day have come and gone, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life and forget about those pesky resolutions that were made on January 1st. Whether your resolution was to lose weight, spend less money, or just be happier, life has a habit of getting in the way of achieving your goals. However, there are plenty of easy ways that apartment living can help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions.

Save Money

There are many different ways to go about saving money, and apartment living can help you do that! If your finances are getting a little tight, consider moving in with a roommate, cut back on the little things like eating out, or check out our Budget Blog Roundup for excellent tips on saving money while living in an apartment.

Be Happier

If 2014 wasn’t your best year, maybe it’s time for a change. Take the leap and find a new job that makes you happier or cut out the negative people in your life. A new year allows you to change things up, so consider where you’re living and if you’re content there. Start fresh, find an apartment in a new city, and jump into the culture there. Making a big change can seem scary, but it might just be the thing you need to make 2015 your best year yet.

Friendly Neighbors Giving a Fruit BasketSo you’ve settled into your new apartment and want to make friends with your neighbors. Maybe they’re quiet and almost transparent, making you overly cautious – or maybe they host rowdy football Sundays when you’re trying to get in some quiet time. Either way, it’s good to know how to deal with people that you share a wall (or a ceiling) with. Here are some tips on how to keep your cool and earn your neighbors’ respect, which will become a surprising advantage in your apartment life.

Be keen with social cues

Whether you’re looking to be friends or just apartment allies, you need to figure out the ways of your neighbors. Do they avoid any and all interaction, or do they ask how you’re doing when they see you? It’s important to introduce yourself no matter their behavior, but beyond that, interact as much as they want to. Any more or less and you’re in the danger zone of either bothering the introverts or offending the talkative ones. Having a good reputation with your building-mates has tons of benefits. Neighbors can help you out of a tough situation like a dead car battery, or cooperate with you if you plan on having a holiday party.

Two Women Moving Into New Home And Unpacking BoxesFinally it is here. Finals week is finished. You have packed up your dorm, and have left the campus for a wonderful holiday break. After a long stressful fall semester, nothing could be more welcome. But, while you are away, visions of a better campus life will be running through your head like sugar plums on Christmas Eve. It may have been that living in the residence hall was too noisy. Maybe one of your dorm roommates were a complete nightmare. Maybe living on campus just didn’t meet your expectations. But that is okay. If you act quickly, the New Year can bring a new start for your college experience.

There are plenty of advantages to living off-campus. One of the most notable is the fact that you now have more control over your environment. In the past, student housing was often dreaded by college students. The thought of being banished to a cinderblock bunker with lots of noise, distractions, and a lack of amenities sent cringes down the spine of students and parents alike. But today’s off-campus housing could not be any further away from that depiction. Today’s student communities are high-tech and luxurious, offering an environment more conducive to study and starting the first stages of adult life.

ApartmentSearch_decorating-christmasIf you’re planning on hosting any friends and family during the holidays this year, it’s likely your apartment will need a little preparation before your guests arrive. The holiday season is a hectic time for most of us, which means things like dusting your apartment may fall to the wayside. Don’t worry though, following these simple steps can help you prepare your apartment for all your loved ones’ visits.

Apartment Kitchen ShelvingSo you found that perfect studio apartment, the next question is: how do you fit all of your stuff into less than 400 square feet? Living in a small space certainly has its perks, like cheaper rent. However, you’ll have to get creative when it comes to storing all of your belongings. That’s where the underappreciated vertical space comes into play. Here are a few space-saving tips that utilize the vertical space in your studio apartment.

Eliminate some of your stuff

First things first, when it comes to living in tight quarters, it’s important to cut back on the things you don’t need or use very often. Items like fancy kitchen gadgets are great, but they tend to take up a lot of room. Good rule of thumb: if you haven’t used it (or worn it) in six months, take it to the nearest donation center.