10 Under Sink Storage Solutions You Need in Your Life

10 Under Sink Storage Solutions You Need in Your Life

Keeping your house organized is no easy task and the space under the sink is no exception. It’s often easy to forget about the storage under the sink as it’s mostly covered and hidden.

However, it can and should be just as organized as any other part of your house. Here are 10 under the bathroom sink and under kitchen sink storage ideas.

Under kitchen sink storage ideas

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in any house or apartment. The only thing that makes a kitchen more enjoyable is when it’s clear of clutter, under the sink included.

Here are some clever under the kitchen sink storage ideas for you to try.

kitchen sink storage

1. Hang bottles with tension rods

Tension rods are one of the best under sink storage solutions. They can be used on virtually every surface and also can be fitted to almost any size area. Once they’re in place you can hang cleaning supply bottles from them to free up space from the bottom of the cabinet.

One of the best things about tension rods is they’re not permanent and they can easily be removed and reused through the house.

2. Use file holders to add storage

File holders aren’t just nifty organizers for the paper on your desk — they make great storage for under your kitchen sink. They’re pretty inexpensive and easy to find at your local paper store or Target.

All you have to do is adhere them to the inside of the cabinet door and you’ll have yourself some extra storage. It’s a great place to put extra towels, dish brushes or sponges for easy access.

3. Organize with bins

When organizing, you can never go wrong with a good old bin. They make a great space to neatly organize and group everything into their own neat place. Once everything has its place you can easily stack them to create even more cleared up space.

Another tip is to label them so that you don’t have to waste time sifting through each one when you’re looking for one thing.

4. Expand storage with a Lazy Susan

Let’s all thank Susan for being lazy and inventing the lazy Susan. It’s one of the most helpful and fun storage hacks on the list. They come in a variety of sizes to fit under any cabinet and make finding what you’re looking for super easy. The best part is you just place all your supplies on it and you’re done!

5. Install cabinet towel holders

Similar to tension rods, cabinet towel holders offer extra space in your cabinet while keeping it organized. They’re very easy to find and even easier to set up and can be used in a variety of spaces around the home, including under your kitchen sink.

All you have to do is remove the packaging and attach the hooks to the door part of your cabinet. Once you’ve done that hang anything from them like cleaning supplies, extra towels and even your cleaning gloves.

Under bathroom sink storage

Similar to the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink is another space that can be difficult to organize. Fear not we’ve got you covered there, too! Here are some great tips for how to organize under your bathroom sink.

bathroom sink storage

6. Store hair tools with PVC piping

When you think of PVC piping under the bathroom sink, storage probably doesn’t come to mind. PVC pipes are a great way to store hair tools such as curling irons, flat irons and their cords. Since they come in a multitude of sizing, you can perfectly fit your tools to the pipe. When you have a perfect size the only thing left to do is attach it to the inside of the cabinet doors.

7. Declutter with sliding shelves

Sliding shelves are a great way to de-clutter under your bathroom sink. They create more space to store items, such as hair products and tools, toilet paper, etc. One of the best things about sliding shelves is the easy access to everything without having to dig through all your things.

8. Create extra space with cabinet door bins

Creating extra storage in small areas is a great way to accomplish all your organizing goals. One way to add extra space is to add cabinet door bins. They’re extremely easy to adhere and also can be removed easily when you’re done using them. They also hold quite a bit and are a great place to put your products, brushes, towels and more.

9. Utilize bins and caddies

As mentioned above, a bin or a caddy is one of the most useful tools to create a clutterless space. Get a large bin specifically for towels and toilet paper and they usually take up the bulk of under sink storage. Use smaller bins for other supplies and stack them to create ample, organized space.

10. Hang caddies over the cabinet door

Hair tools can take up a lot of space under your bathroom sink. One of the best ways to combat bulky hair tools is an over-the-door caddy. They make some specifically for hair tools that easily slip over the door for easy access and assembly.

Do’s and don’ts of under sink storage

You can store a number of items under your bathroom and kitchen sink. Although, there are some items more suitable for under sink storage than others.

under sink storage

Things to safely store under your kitchen sink

  • Sponges, cleaning brushes, gloves
  • Cleaning supplies, such as glass cleaner, dishwashing pods, soap. When storing cleaners underneath the kitchen sink, keep in mind who is in your household. If you have small children that enjoy exploring cabinets you may consider placing cleaners out of reach or adding childproof locks on the door. Another idea is to place all your cleaning supplies on a rubber tray in case of spills for easy cleanup.
  • Trash bags
  • Trash can
  • Recycling can

Things to safely store under your bathroom sink

  • Toiletries, such as extra toothbrushes and paste, deodorant, contact solution
  • Toilet paper
  • Towels
  • Hairstyling tools
  • First aid kit

Things to avoid putting under the kitchen sink

  • Bug spray
  • Oven cleaner
  • Lightbulbs
  • Food

Things to avoid putting under the bathroom sink

  • Jewelry
  • Medications

Organize under your sink

Organizing is never an easy task, however, with the right guidance, it can be a little easier. Use these under the bathroom and kitchen sink storage ideas to create a nice organized space for yourself.

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Published at Thu, 22 Oct 2020 13:00:26 +0000

Rodent Crisis is Getting Worse in Major U.S. Cities

Rodent Crisis is Getting Worse in Major U.S. Cities

Have you ever come across rats carrying bits and pieces of leftover food? Or maybe you’ve seen them in your kitchen and gone completely wild trying to kill them? It is known that rats are rampant in the city and live among us, taking refuge and shelter on the streets, and even sometimes in our homes. What’s worse is that rodents are a major public health problem, and more and more resources are invested in rodent inspection and prevention.

Each year, we at RentHop examine the data from major U.S. cities, hoping to help renters and homeowners make an informed decision when it comes to housing. This year, we again reviewed the rat sightings data, and what we discovered isn’t great. Our study this year includes Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C., and unfortunately, all three cities saw a drastic increase in the number of rodent complaints.

Figure 1 below illustrates the number of rodent complaints from January through August in the past five years. In Boston, the number went up 33.5% to 3.42 rodent complaints/1,000 population. In D.C., the number is slightly worse. As of August 31, 2020, DC 311 has received 5,848 rodent complaints, or 8.29 complaints/1,000 population. This number is 30.7% higher than in 2019.

Chicago, a.k.a. the rat capital, not surprisingly, has had the greatest number of rat sightings/1,000 population among the cities included. The number reached its lowest in 2018 but has since been rising significantly. From January 2019 through August 2019, the city’s 311 reporting system received 28,249 rodent complaints or 10.5/1,000 population. This number since jumped to 34,501, or 12.8/1,000 population in 2020, a 22.1% increase.

Select one of the cities below to learn more:


Rodent complaints rose 33.5% in Boston

Founded in 1630 by the Puritans, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and played a crucial part in our history. As we all know, old infrastructure often makes perfect habitats for rats. Rodents thrive in outdated subway systems, sewers, parks, and in foundations of old homes and buildings, and pose a threat to humans.

And this summer, Boston has to deal with a serious rodent crisis.

As of August 31, Boston 311 has received 2,368 rodent complaints in 2020, which translates to 3.4 complaints per 1,000 population. Now, while it might seem very few compared to Chicago or DC, this number, however, is 33.5% higher than the same period in 2019.

The CDC attributed such an increase to the coronavirus lockdown. The agency warned that a possible increase in rodent sightings as restaurants and other sources of food shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is worth noting, however, that the number had been increasing since January 2020, way before the first confirmed COVID-19 case and lockdown were announced in Boston. The rats were particularly active this past summer. August 2020 marked the worst month in the past five years, with a total of 530 rodent complaints filed to the city’s 311 reporting system. Could it be the warm weather? After all, winter 2019-2020 ended over 2°F above the twentieth-century average, making it one of the warmest winters on record.

Which neighborhoods are run by rats this year?

According to the city’s Inspectional Services Department, it is launching a campaign to reduce the rodent population that has been running wild around neighborhoods. Do you know if your neighborhood will be one of the firsts visited by the agency? Well, let’s find out!

The interactive map below indicates the concentration of rodent complaints in Boston. Neighborhoods in darker shades have a higher concentration of rodent complaints in 2020. It is highly possible that larger neighborhoods receive more complaints than smaller neighborhoods, and so we normalized the number of rodent complaints by land size. You can click on the polygons to learn more about each neighborhood.

The ISD will most likely show up in these neighborhoods
  • Downtown – 312 complaints in 2020, 502.3 complaints/sq mi
  • North End – 55 complaints in 2020, 277.4 complaints /sq mi
  • South End – 153 complaints in 2020, 207.6 complaints /sq mi
  • Beacon Hill – 56 complaints in 2020, 179 complaints /sq mi
  • Back Bay – 107 complaints in 2020, 171.5 complaints /sq mi
Rodent complaints spiked in these neighborhoods
  • South Boston Waterfront – 1 complaints in 2019, 7 in 2020 (+600%)
  • Allston – 75 complaints in 2019, 189 in 2020 (+152%)
  • Brighton – 99 complaints in 2019, 213 in 2020 (+115.2%)
  • Back Bay – 55 complaints in 2019, 107 in 2020 (+94.5%)
  • Mattapan – 23 complaints in 2019, 41 in 2020 (+78.3%)
Rodent complaints dropped in these neighborhoods
  • Longwood – 2 complaints in 2019, 0 in 2020
  • Chinatown – 29 complaints in 2019, 10 in 2020 (-65.5%)
  • Leather District – 8 complaints in 2019, 4 in 2020 (-50%)
  • Mission Hill – 40 complaints in 2019, 20 in 2020 (-50%)
  • West End – 3 complaints in 2019, 2 in 2020 (-33.3%)

Chicago wins the title of “Rat Capital”, yet again.

In our study from last year, Chicago ranked #1 as the “rat capital” in the country. The abundance of garbage and buildings in the Windy City makes it a great location for rats to seek shelter and food for survival. In 2019, Chicago 311 received in total 42,864 rodent complaints, or 15.9 per 1,000 Chicagoans, 10.2% more than in 2018.

And this year, rodents are once again on the rise.

As of August 2020, the Windy City has scored 34,501 rat sighting reports, 22.1% more than the same period in 2019. Indeed, the uptick in rodent sightings might be related to restaurants and other sources of food shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is worth noting, however, that the number had been increasing since January 2020, way before the food establishments were forced to close their doors.

May 2020 marked the worst month of May in the past five years, with a total of 5,203 rat sightings reported to the city’s 311 system, 131.7% higher than May 2019. The number continued trending upward throughout the summer, with 6,863 rodent complaints logged in July 2020 – that’s over 200 complaints per day!

Which neighborhoods are run by rats this year?

The interactive map below indicates the concentration of rodent complaints in Chicago. Neighborhoods in darker shades have a higher concentration of rodent complaints. It is possible that larger neighborhoods receive more complaints than smaller neighborhoods, and so we normalized the number of rodent complaints by land size. You can click on the polygons to learn more about each neighborhood.

Rats are roaming around in these neighborhoods
  • Grand Boulevard – 257 complaints in 2020, 147.8 complaints/sq mi
  • Printers Row – 5 complaints in 2020, 64.5 complaints/sq mi
  • United Center – 124 complaints in 2020, 106.3 complaints/sq mi
  • Sheffield & DePaul – 99 complaints in 2020, 263.3 complaints/sq mi
  • Humboldt Park – 1039 complaints in 2020, 231.7 complaints/sq mi
Rat sightings spiked in these neighborhoods
  • Greektown – 1 complaints in 2019, 12 in 2020 (1100%)
  • West Pullman – 191 complaints in 2019, 793 in 2020 (315.2%)
  • Gold Coast – 15 complaints in 2019, 47 in 2020 (213.3%)
  • Hegewisch – 10 complaints in 2019, 31 in 2020 (210%)
  • O’Hare – 2 complaints in 2019, 6 in 2020 (200%)
Rats are migrating out from these neighborhoods
  • Jackson Park – 2 complaints in 2019, 0 in 2020
  • Grant Park – 6 complaints in 2019, 1 in 2020 (-83.3%)
  • Printers Row – 17 complaints in 2019, 5 in 2020 (-70.6%)
  • Burnside – 30 complaints in 2019, 14 in 2020 (-53.3%)
  • Millennium Park – 2 complaints in 2019, 1 in 2020 (-50%)

Rodent complaints are up 31% this year in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is known for many things. It is the capital of the United States of America; it is a cultural center with many monuments and museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution; and it is a walkable and bike-friendly city with many bike lanes in the downtown area. What you probably don’t know about D.C. is that not only our president and government officials reside there, many, many rats also call it home, and this year, the District has seen a spike in rat complaints.

The number of rodent complaints has been trending upward in D.C. since 2016, but 2020 is by far the worst year. By the end of August 2020, D.C.’s 311 reporting system has received a total of 5,848 rodent complaints, 30.7% more than the same period in 2019.

The past summer was particularly bad for D.C. June 2020 marked the worst month since January 2016, with a total of 985 unique complaints made to D.C. 311 by Washingtonians. 37.2% more than June 2019. Could it be that people are more likely to spot rats when they are working from home? Or maybe as the restaurants closed due to COVID-19, these furry critters are forced to invade people’s homes? No one knows for sure. But what we do know is that some neighborhoods are seeing more rodents than others, and that’s bad news for the residents. Now, check out the map and see if your neighborhood is one of them.

Which neighborhoods are run by rats this year?

The interactive map below indicates the concentration of rodent complaints Washington D.C. Neighborhoods in darker shades have a higher concentration of rat sightings. It is possible that larger neighborhoods receive more complaints than smaller neighborhoods, and so we normalized the number of rodent complaints by land size. You can click on the polygons to learn more about each neighborhood.

These neighborhoods are run by rats this year
  • Columbia Heights, Mt. Pleasant, Pleasant Plains, Park View – 691 complaints in 2020, 526.3 complaints/sq mi
  • Shaw, Logan Circle – 213 complaints in 2020, 376.8 complaints/sq mi
  • Brightwood Park, Crestwood, Petworth – 847 complaints in 2020, 337.6 complaints/sq mi
  • Howard University, Le Droit Park, Cardozo/Shaw – 214 complaints in 2020, 297.9 complaints/sq mi
  • Union Station, Stanton Park, Kingman Park – 461 complaints in 2020, 287.7 complaints/sq mi
Rodent complaints surged in these neighborhoods
  • National Mall, Potomac River – 6 complaints in 2019, 35 in 2020 (+483.3%)
  • Woodland/Fort Stanton, Garfield Heights, Knox Hill – 3 complaints in 2019, 10 in 2020 (+233.3%)
  • Fairfax Village, Naylor Gardens, Hillcrest, Summit Park – 3 complaints in 2019, 9 in 2020 (+200%)
  • Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, Massachusetts Avenue Heights, Woodland-Normanstone Terrace – 22 complaints in 2019, 62 in 2020 (+181.8%)
  • Colonial Village, Shepherd Park, North Portal Estates – 4 complaints in 2019, 9 in 2020 (+125%)
Rodent complaints dropped in these neighborhoods
  • North Cleveland Park, Forest Hills, Van Ness – 4 complaints in 2019, 1 in 2020 (-75%)
  • Eastland Gardens, Kenilworth – 3 complaints in 2019, 1 in 2020 (-66.7%)
  • Saint Elizabeths – 10 complaints in 2019, 4 in 2020 (-60%)
  • Downtown, Chinatown, Penn Quarters, Mount Vernon Square, North Capitol Street – 89 complaints in 2019, 50 in 2020 (-43.8%)
  • Douglas, Shipley Terrace – 27 complaints in 2019, 16 in 2020 (-40.7%)

Methodology

This study examines the rodent crisis in major U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C. The rodent complaint data was retrieved from each city’s open data portal, and the population data was collected via U.S. Census Bureau. For this study, we limited the research time frame to January 2016 through August 31, 2020. We then geocoded the complaints using each city’s neighborhood shape file and normalized the complaint count by land size. This allows us to fairly rank each neighborhood and provide better insights.

RentHop is all about data and facts. Our data science team does annual studies on rental data as well as 311 complaints across major U.S. cities. To get to know the city you live in, take a look at our previous studies on rodent complaints, human/animal waste complaints, noise complaints, and more.

Published at Wed, 23 Sep 2020 03:41:24 +0000

Best Gyms in Aurora, CO

Best Gyms in Aurora, CO

Regardless of where you live, it’s important to have a balance between your work life and personal life. And, while you may decide to move to a new city for a work opportunity or to be near relatives or friends, you also have to consider what that new city has to offer. For this reason, if you’re looking for apartments for rent in Aurora or are considering moving here in the future, here are the top gyms in the area.

Powerhouse Gym

One of the many gyms in Aurora that’s open 24 hours, Powerhouse Gym is one of the most popular local fitness spots. It’s appreciated for its cleanliness, friendly staff, wide variety of equipment and welcoming environment. Plus, it’s large enough that it never feels too crowded. Powerhouse Gym can be found in Meadow Hills.

Crunch Fitness

Locally owned and operated, Crunch Fitness is a newer gym in City Center with brand new cardio and fitness equipment. Although it’s only open until 9 p.m. on weekdays and 5 p.m. on the weekend, there are still plenty of classes to take advantage of for everyone from beginners to advanced, as well as high intensity personal training.

Anytime Fitness

Vasa Fitness

Although it’s not open 24/7, Vasa Fitness in Summer Valley Ranch makes up for its reduced number or hours with the amenities that it offers. From cardio classes to a full range of fitness and cardio equipment and even to a swimming pool, Vasa has it all. The gym is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays.

Planet Fitness

Another major fitness chain, Planet Fitness is a must on the list of top gyms in Aurora. It features a full range of equipment, and plenty of each, so that each member can work out whenever they want and at their own pace. Located in Utah Park, it is open from 4:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.

24 Hour Fitness

A 24-hour gym, this fitness center in the City Center Marketplace Shipping Center holds up to its name. However, 24 Hour Fitness is not just great for being open during all hours of the day. It’s also equipped with the best machines and all of the amenities for a complete workout for every type of trainee. Also, for those with kids, the kids’ club is great way to keep your children entertained while you exercise.

Colorado’s Pro Gym

A neighborhood gym, Colorado’s Pro Gym in Dayton Triangle is well-known among the local business and area residents. In addition to offering all of the equipment and resources required for any type of workout, the facility is also extremely clean and the staff is always friendly and willing to help.

Let’s Do This Fitness

Let’s Do This Fitness is a community-based gym in Aurora that is known for its fitness programs. Run by certified instructors, this neighborhood environment provides the opportunity to work out with like-minded people, thereby offering the possibility, inspiration and motivational support to achieve your fitness goals. It’s open every day from 5 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. and can be found in Heather Ridge.

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Published at Tue, 13 Oct 2020 07:46:47 +0000

How Does The CDC’s Eviction Moratorium Affect You?

How Does The CDC’s Eviction Moratorium Affect You?

During the novel coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans have been struggling to pay their rent and avoid eviction. About a month ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) passed an eviction moratorium to prevent Americans from getting evicted from their apartments. If you’re having difficulties paying your rent, here’s what you need to know about the order.

What is the CDC eviction moratorium?

How Does The CDC's Eviction Moratorium Affect You

The CDC’s moratorium on evictions went into effect on September 4. The order, which runs through December 31, protects approximately 43 million rental households nationwide. It does not cover rental assistance or forgiveness, but it is intended to prevent mass evictions and thus the further spread of COVID-19.

Who does the CDC eviction moratorium cover?

The order applies to renters facing eviction who meet five requirements. To qualify, you must prove you put in all your best efforts to seek financial assistance for rent payments. You may also qualify if you earned less than $99,000 in 2020 (or no more than $198,000 for renters who filed joint tax returns last year). You must also be financially struggling to pay your full rent due to pandemic-related income loss or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses. 

Additionally, to qualify for protections under the CDC eviction moratorium, you must also show that you’ve tried your best to make timely partial rent payments. Your final requirement will be to prove that you would become homeless, need to live in a shelter, or relocate to another crowded place if you’re evicted.

If you meet all five of the above requirements, you must sign a declaration form under penalty of perjury and deliver an affidavit to your landlord to prove your eligibility. Even if you deliver this affidavit, landlords can disagree with your self-assessment. Landlords retain the power to evict nonpaying tenants by arguing that these tenants are ineligible for CDC protections and threatening to pursue legal action. A housing court judge would then have to decide if you are indeed eligible or if your landlord can evict you.

What protections does the CDC eviction moratorium provide?

The CDC’s new order halts evictions nationwide for anyone who has lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and cannot pay rent. However, it doesn’t include funds or safeguards to help renters get caught up with missed payments, a crucial provision that many people believe will be critical to prevent a wave of evictions when the CDC eviction moratorium expires in 2021. Lease violations for other infractions not related to COVID-19, such as criminal conduct and noise complaints, are still enforceable with eviction.

What about state-level protections?

Any state-level eviction protection orders are still in effect and will remain active until they expire. You can find the status of eviction ban laws in your state via this list of state eviction provisions.

What else can I do if I’m struggling to pay rent?

In addition to looking up your state-level protections, you can get assistance if you’re struggling to pay timely rent payments. This interactive map lists available local programs in each state, and you can browse this local organization database for help staying in your apartment or finding emergency housing. You can also use this pandemic assistance portal if you’re struggling to afford not just your rent, but food and other necessities. If you need additional help, you might find what you need by researching community services available in your area.

Published at Fri, 02 Oct 2020 15:30:10 +0000

Five Common Security Deposit Deductions Your Landlord Can Take

Five Common Security Deposit Deductions Your Landlord Can Take

Security deposits are among the more significant finances involved with renting your first apartment. These deposits cover any damage you cause to your apartment, and even the most careful tenants can easily cause minor damage to their first apartments. After you move out, your landlord will subtract the monetary equivalent of any damage you cause from your deposit.

That said, if you’re clean and careful with your apartment, If you know the below five common security deposit deductions your landlord can take, you’ll be in especially good shape.

1. General cleaning

Leaving your apartment dirty will result in your landlord deducting from your security deposit to cover cleaning costs. Even basic apartment-wide cleaning tasks can run a deduction into the double-digits. So to avoid being charged for excessive cleaning costs, keep up with your cleaning routine, and leave your apartment “broom clean.”

Five Common Security Deposit Deductions Your Landlord Can Take

It’s essential to leave your apartment in the same condition as when you moved in so you can receive your full deposit when you move out. After removing your belongings, use a broom, vacuum, mop, and other cleaning supplies of choice to achieve that squeaky-clean initial condition (or at least get your apartment as clean as it was when you first moved in).

2. General repairs

Surface-level repairs and maintenance, such as repainting or sealing holes in the wall, can cause a significant reduction in how much you receive from your security deposit. It’s best practice to fill any large holes you’ve created before you leave as well as smaller holes from nails, screws, and the like. Many people use spackling paste for this purpose. 

More in-depth repairs, such as plumbing and electric, can be costly to fix, causing your landlord to deduct a large fee from your deposit. Inform your landlord of any electric and plumbing issues as they arise during your residency to prevent yourself from being charged after you move out. Given the high costs of repair, it’s better to have these issues repaired before you leave instead of being blamed and charged for the damage after moving out.

3. Interior fixtures

Make sure to replace batteries for carbon monoxide and smoke detectors before you move out. Additionally, defective appliances should be fixed before moving out, whether you can do it yourself or you need to have your landlord bring in an expert. If damage occurs to a fixture or appliance in your apartment, ask your landlord to take care of it when the problem first appears instead of waiting – you’ll save more money this way.

4. Doors and windows

It’s important to replace faulty doorknobs, doors, and window panes. Perhaps you can’t do some of these replacements by yourself, but some door and window repairs may be easier than you think. Either you do it yourself or get your landlord to hire someone to repair the damage — again, don’t wait until you’ve moved out. 

5. Items left behind

Packing and moving everything you own may be a daunting task, but you shouldn’t leave anything behind. Leaving things in your apartment after you move out can be costly for your landlord because of the labor it takes to remove it. 

Some tenants leave mattresses and box springs behind, but doing so is ill-advised even if these objects are tough to move – your landlord can charge you high sums for these left-behind items in particular. If you need to get rid of large items, look into donating them to charity, hiring a junk hauling company, or selling them online.

The key takeaway: Fix faults as they happen

In general, if you want to receive your full deposit amount after you move out, you should always strive to repair damages right after they occur. Many people recommend taking a picture before you move in to keep track of any damages the apartment has when you first move in. Your landlord can fix issues while you’re living there instead of withholding money from your security deposit after you move out.

Do you have any advice to ensure that people receive their full security deposit after moving out of apartments? Sound off in the comments!

Published at Tue, 29 Sep 2020 22:42:32 +0000

As NYC Exodus Continues, Sublets Rose 158% Year-Over-Year

As NYC Exodus Continues, Sublets Rose 158% Year-Over-Year

Summer months are historically great for real estate. This summer, however, has been a rough one, especially for landlords across New York City. The market has been grappling with high vacancies as New Yorkers flee to suburbs and other metro areas and companies extend their remote-working policies, which further hinders population inflow.

Citywide, median net effective rent in the month of August fell 5.2% year-over-year. Manhattan, specifically, saw a rent drop of 7.5%, from $3,284 in August 2019, to $3,039, as landlords offer more concessions in response to the high vacancies. Meanwhile, the median net effective rent fell 1.9% year-over-year to $2,795 in Brooklyn.

NYC Exodus Continues

As previously reported, this year we’ve noticed an unprecedented number of renters looking to sublet their apartments. The total number of sublet listings1 on RentHop went up 110% from April to May 2020 and has since been trending upward. In August, the total number of sublet listings increased by 9.8% month-over-month and is 158.2% higher than August 2019. This once again broke the record in RentHop’s 11-year history.

In our previous sublet reports, we highlighted that wealthy neighborhoods, particularly those in Manhattan, saw a steeper upward deviation from their 2020 average than other neighborhoods. This time around, the outflow from wealthy neighborhoods in Manhattan, such as Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, seems to have reached its peak in July and has since died down slightly. The neighborhoods that saw the largest spike in new sublets in August 2020 vs. the first four months of the year were Yorkville (+643%), East Harlem (+464%), Astoria (+420%), Central Harlem (+327%), and Bedford-Stuyvesant (+300%). Most of these neighborhoods also saw a month-over-month increase in the number of new sublets from July to August 2020.

Brooklyn Replaced Manhattan as the Most Popular Borough

Grand Central was once the busiest hub in New York City. It’s now one of those eerily empty stops that make people wonder if New York City will ever be the same. According to CBRE via WSJ, only 9% of the office workers returned to their office after they were permitted to return to the workplace. This inversely drove rental demand in outer boroughs, as living in the city center and being close to work no longer justifies the rent premium many landlords ask for.

Bushwick was the most inquired neighborhood in August 2020, replacing Hell’s Kitchen. Meanwhile, Crown Heights rose to the second from the 8th in the previous year. Yorkville and Upper East Side, both used to be the most popular neighborhoods for rentals, had experienced significant changes in terms of renter inquiries.


1. As used in this study, “sublet listings” are listings created by apartment renters seeking to find a new tenant to take over the remainder of their apartment lease. In NYC, finding a subletter is widely considered the most effective way to get out from under a lease without paying the steep contractual penalties triggered by an outright lease break.

Published at Wed, 09 Sep 2020 12:50:11 +0000

What San Francisco Neighborhood is Best for Me? (Quiz)

What San Francisco Neighborhood is Best for Me? (Quiz)

The City by the Bay is mostly known for its hilly streets, trolleys and Victorian-style homes.

Year-round perfect weather, a scenic coastline, nearby mountains for skiing and hiking, and tech — these are all reasons to live and enjoy the neighborhoods in San Francisco.

Tourists visit the usual hot spots — a stroll down Lombard Street, takeout in Chinatown and a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. But if you’re looking to make a San Francisco neighborhood your new home, there are specific areas with unique characters, flavors and a sense of community.

The most popular San Francisco neighborhoods … and Oakland

You may have already done your research and narrowed down your choices to specific neighborhoods based on family- or pet-friendliness, proximity to parks or greenery, or public transportation. Either way, take our San Francisco neighborhood quiz to find out which suits you best.

Mission Bay

mission bay

Despite the fact that in the 1890s Mission Bay was once called Dumpville due to the garbage that flowed downhill, it has evolved to be one of San Francisco’s most beautiful neighborhoods.

Located adjacent to the downtown SOMA (South of Market) area, it sits right on the water and is bordered by China Basin on the north. It’s close to the action but offers outdoor recreational activities, such as walking along the water and green parks.

Mission Bay, which is home to newer high rises and developments, are great for young families and professionals who may not want to be so centrally located in SF and away from the hustle and bustle.

Expect to spend about $3,900 for an average one-bedroom apartment here.

North Beach

north beach san francisco neighborhoods

North Beach is known as “Little Italy” and is perfect if you enjoy old school, traditional Italian food and cafes. Despite its name, it’s not close to an actual beach. However, it’s a prime location if you want to be close to the pier and near the Embarcadero, which is just a ferry ride away from the East Bay or Sausalito.

North Beach is a walk-friendly neighborhood, close to restaurants, bars and cafes. It’s conveniently located near Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown where you can get your pizza, gelato and egg noodle soup!

Nob Hill

nob hill san francisco neighborhoods

Who doesn’t want to live in Nob Hill? It’s one of S.F.’s signature neighborhoods, centrally located in the heart of the city and close to shopping at Union Square, a Trader Joe’s and Grace’s Cathedral. Nob Hill is known for its historic mansions, city landmarks and luxury hotels that border Huntington Park. However, the neighborhood isn’t pretentious and is influenced by the diverse residents and close proximity to the downtown surrounding areas.

Although it’s close to Lombard Street and can get quite hilly, you can always hop on the cable car to get up the hill.

Dogpatch

dogpatch san francisco neighborhoods

Source: Avalon Dogpatch

This oddly-named neighborhood in S.F. consists of mostly single-family homes and duplexes. It’s an area full of designers, artists, creative entrepreneurs and musicians. Dogpatch has evolved over the years with newer developments, art galleries and a mix of trendy restaurants and has a hip, industrial vibe to it.

The main drag, on Third Street, is full of indy boutiques, local artisans, bakeries and cafes. The area, which is located right next to Potrero Hill, is also relatively flat, so it’s great for riding your bike around town. It has a laid back vibe and feels like a small community tucked away in a big city.

A one-bedroom apartment in Dogpatch will cost an average of $3,670 each month.

Rincon Hill

rincon hill san francisco neighborhoods

Rincon Hill is a part of SOMA and is bordered by Folsom Street, the Embarcadero, Bryant Street and Essex Street. If you look up, you’ll see the Bay Bridge, which connects the city to Oakland.

It’s considered one of S.F.’s best places to live, since it’s a part of the downtown area and easily accessible by public transportation. It’s also home to the infamous Salesforce Tower and at one point, had one of the priciest penthouses in the city, at $42 million.

It’s also one of the most expensive neighborhoods for renters. Your average one-bedroom apartment here only costs $5,700 a month.

Parkmerced

parkmerced

If you’re new to S.F., you’ve probably never heard of Parkmerced. It’s the opposite of what the rest of S.F. looks like, with cookie-cutter high-rises and townhomes. The area is also difficult to get around if you don’t have a car.

Tucked away near San Francisco State University, it’s further out and feels more like a real suburb. Parkmerced is centered around Lake Merced, a freshwater lake located in a 614-acre park that’s adjacent to Daly City, close to the ocean and centered around Lake Merced.

The area was originally conceived by MetLife Insurance Company, which purchased a large plot of land to build a “small city” for middle-income families. While you’ll be outside of the hustle and bustle of the city center, Parkmerced is a fine choice if you want to be around peaceful surroundings but still close to the heart of S.F.

A one-bedroom apartment in Parkmerced will cost a little under $3,000 a month on average.

Tenderloin

tenderloin san francisco neighborhoods

Situated between S.F.’s famous Union Square shopping area and Civic Center, the Tenderloin can be viewed as a controversial neighborhood. Some might call it dangerous or problematic because of the homelessness, others say it’s full of character and remains one of the most unchanged parts of S.F., and rich with character.

The neighborhood is thriving and full of artists and activists, as well as immigrants. The rental market in this up-and-coming area may still be affordable, which makes it a viable choice for young professionals who are just starting off in their careers.

Living in Tenderloin will set you about $3,800 a month for an average one-bedroom apartment.

Oakland

oakland

Yes, we know, Oakland isn’t part of San Francisco. But it’s just a few miles away across the Bay Bridge. It’s also the third-largest city in the area and has its own Chinatown, man-made lake (Lake Merritt) and an up-and-coming downtown area.

It’s convenient for folks who want to be close to the city, but also live in a house and have a car. Oakland offers a trendy mix of restaurants, coffee shops, bars and even has its conveniently located Redwood Regional Park for a day hike. Some of the trendier areas in Oakland include Temescal, Rockridge, Piedmont, Grand Lake and Uptown.

Certain neighborhoods in Oakland are more expensive than others, but as a whole, you can expect to pay an average of $3,380 for a one-bedroom apartment in the city.

Find the best San Francisco neighborhood for you

Still undecided about your San Francisco neighborhood? Just answer a few questions and we’ll tell you!

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What are your top priorities right now?

What do you want to see when you first wake up in the morning?

What kind of weather best suits you?

Which San Francisco Neighborhood Should You Call Home?

Mission Bay

Mission Bay

Despite the fact that in the 1890s Mission Bay was once called Dumpville due to the garbage that flowed downhill, it has evolved to be one of San Francisco’s most beautiful neighborhoods.
Located adjacent to the downtown SOMA (South of Market) area, it sits right on the water and is bordered by China Basin on the north. It’s close to the action but offers outdoor recreational activities, such as walking along the water and green parks.
The neighborhood is home to newer high rises and developments and is great for young families and professionals who may want to be away from the hustle and bustle.

Find Apartments in Mission Bay

North Beach

North Beach is known as “Little Italy” and is perfect if you enjoy old school, traditional Italian food and cafes. Despite its name, it’s not close to an actual beach. However, it’s a prime location if you want to be close to the pier and near the Embarcadero, which is just a ferry ride away from the East Bay or Sausalito.
North Beach is a walk-friendly neighborhood, close to restaurants, bars and cafes. It’s conveniently located near Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown where you can get your pizza, gelato and egg noodle soup!

Find Apartments in North Beach

Nob Hill

Nob Hill

Who doesn’t want to live in Nob Hill? It’s one of S.F.’s signature neighborhoods, centrally located in the heart of the city and close to shopping at Union Square. Nob Hill is known for its historic mansions, city landmarks and luxury hotels that border Huntington Park. However, the neighborhood isn’t pretentious and is influenced by the diverse residents and close proximity to the downtown surrounding areas.
Although it’s close to Lombard Street and can get quite hilly, you can always hop on the cable car to get up the hill.

Find Apartments in Nob Hill

Dogpatch

Dogpatch

This oddly-named neighborhood in S.F. consists of mostly single-family homes and duplexes. It’s an area full of designers, artists, creative entrepreneurs and musicians. Dogpatch has evolved over the years with newer developments, art galleries and a mix of trendy restaurants and has a hip, industrial vibe to it.
The main drag, on Third Street, is full of indie boutiques and local artisan and bakeries and cafes. The area is also relatively flat, so it’s great for riding your bike around town. It has a laid back vibe and feels like a small community tucked away in a big city.

Find Apartments in Dogpatch

Rincon Hill

Rincon HIll

Rincon Hill, which is now called the East Cut, is a part of SOMA and is bordered by Folsom Street, the Embarcadero, Bryant Street and Essex Street. If you look up, you’ll see the Bay Bridge, which connects the city to Oakland.
It’s considered one of S.F.’s best places to live, since it’s a part of the downtown area and easily accessible by public transportation. It’s also home to the infamous Salesforce Tower and at one point, had one of the priciest penthouses in the city, at $42 million.

Find Apartments in Rincon Hill

Parkmerced

Park Merced

Tucked away near San Francisco State University, this neighborhood is further out and feels more like a real suburb. Parkmerced is centered around Lake Merced, a freshwater lake located in a 614-acre park that’s adjacent to Daly City, close to the ocean and centered around Lake Merced.
The area was originally conceived by MetLife Insurance Company, which purchased a large plot of land to build a “small city” for middle income families. While you’ll be outside of the hustle and bustle of the city center, Parkmerced is a fine choice if you want to be around peaceful surroundings but still close to the heart of S.F.

Find Apartments in Parkmerced

Tenderloin

Situated between S.F.’s famous Union Square shopping area and Civic Center, the Tenderloin can be viewed as a controversial neighborhood. Some might call it dangerous or problematic because of the homelessness, others say it’s full of character and remains one of the most unchanged parts of S.F., and rich with character.
The neighborhood is thriving and full of artists and activists, as well as immigrants. The rental market in this up-and-coming area may still be affordable, which makes it a viable choice for young professionals who are just starting off in their careers.

Find Apartments in the Tenderloin

Oakland

Oakland, a large port city in the East Bay, is just a few miles away from S.F., just across the Bay Bridge. It’s the third largest city and has its own Chinatown, man-made lake (Lake Merritt) and an up-and-coming downtown area.
It’s convenient for folks who want to be close to the city, but also live in a house and have a car. Oakland offers a trendy mix of restaurants, coffee shops, bars and even has its conveniently located Redwood Regional Park for a day hike. Some of the trendier areas in Oakland include Temescal, Rockridge, Piedmont, Grand Lake and Uptown.

Find Apartments in Oakland

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. Data was pulled in September 2020 and goes back for one year. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Published at Tue, 22 Sep 2020 13:00:20 +0000

The Best Music for Working from Home

The Best Music for Working from Home

Among the many side effects of physical offices closing during the coronavirus crisis is the massive increase in people working from home.

As of this summer, a whopping 42 percent of everyone in the workforce is telecommuting full time. And both for those who have been working in a home office for a long time and those for whom this is a brand new experience, making your home office a place for productivity is a challenge.

With all the distractions — both physical and emotional — of working from your living room or home office, what better way to make your space your own than creating your own soundtrack to work to. But what’s the best music for working from home? Why is listening to music beneficial to your WFH life, and what genres best promote continued quality work?

person listening to music

The benefits of music while working

Why should you listen to music while working from home? Because music can help you be more productive, more creative or just happier. A silent room can be just as distracting as an over-stimulated environment. It can also drown out the sounds of your partner working in the other room, a cranky baby, a needy puppy, noisy neighbors or the sounds of the city.

Creates positive emotions

A happy worker is a productive worker. For many people, working from home is a new phenomenon and can cause worry about being distanced from co-workers and friends and falling into a poor mood which will affect the work.

It should be no surprise that the right music can make you happy. We all have that one song or one band that puts us in a good mood. And studies predictably confirm that happy employees are more productive and more efficient. In fact, more research shows that people who listen to music are happier than those who don’t. And who doesn’t want to be happy at work, even at home?

Brings the upbeat vibes

Music can also bounce out that 2:30 feeling, those times during the workday where you need a pick me up. In a normal world, that may have been a trip over to the office kitchen for a snack and/or gossip and a few moments away from your desk.

But when working from home, that midday lull can be alleviated with some upbeat tunes to kickstart yourself. Happy, uplifting music can also assuage the boredom of a particularly mundane or repetitive task and turn that project you were dreading into something much more appealing.

Drowns out distracting noises

The most practical use of music for working from home is lessening distractions. Back in the office, you were surrounded by people holding too-loud conversations, clacking away on keyboards or drowning you in the sounds of cold and flu season. Tossing on the earbuds took you away to a different place to concentrate on your tasks at hand.

At home, it’s the same thing, just different distractions. From barking dogs to kids in Zoom school to your neighbors running the vacuum way too often, a solid work-from-home playlist will keep you focused and on task.

Improves memory and cognition

It’s not just productivity that music heightens, but your memory and actual work performance. Sure, a great work-from-home playlist will get you excited and moving on that new project, but music can actually make your work better.

Recent studies have shown that listening to background music enhances episodic memory and improves your cognitive performance. Just imagine what the right background music can do to the quality of your work with better memory and optimizing your executive functions.

classical music

The best music for working from home

There are a lot of choices of music to listen to. Spotify alone defines nearly 2,500 different genres. But not every one of them is the perfect music for working from home for every person. You may be into melodic metalcore or Canadian indie or LGBT hip hop, but some genres promote productivity, creativity and concentration more than others.

Here are some of the best musical genres for working from home and keeping your day up and running between your morning coffee and your end of the day wrap up. And for each, we’ve provided some great work from home playlists to get you started.

1. Classical

Talk about staying power. Classical music dates back 500 years but remains popular today. Upwards of 35 percent of adults listen to classical, making it the fourth-most-popular genre — and the perfect background noise for your work from home. Classical music is many things at once: uplifting, moody, aural, familiar, mellow, inspiring — sometimes all within the confines of one piece or movement. And it’s a great WFH soundtrack.

The “Mozart Effect” theory says classical music makes you smarter, that it’s good for test-taking, studying and working, particularly creative work. Other studies have shown that classical music can boost your mood, increase productivity and even improve the quality of your work.

But classical music is a very broad genre spanning some 50 decades, so where to begin? One survey found that the Baroque period — think Bach, Vivaldi and Handel — fostered an increase in positive disposition and concentration.

Classical work-from-home playlists

rock concert

2. Epic and anthemic music

Soaring. Moving. Epic. Anthemic music is a style that crosses genres from the biggest arena rock bands and ’90s modern rockers to country storytellers and jock jams. It’s music that gets you on your feet, powerful celebratory songs with memorable choruses that project triumph.

It’s music that makes you feel like you can take on the world and accomplish anything. Even finishing that spreadsheet or submitting that HR project right on time.

Anthemic or epic music can inspire grandiosity and motivate you to get through that tough assignment or meet that goal. It’s sports anthems like “We Will Rock You” or “Takin’ Care of Business.” Soaring contemporary classical pieces like “Fanfare For The Common Man.” Inspiring heart-pumpers like “The Rising” or “Born This Way.” Or genre-defining hip-hop like “Fight The Power” and “It Was a Good Day.”

Like athletes getting off the bus, focused and Beats headphones on, anthemic music makes you feel uplifted, empowered and ready for game time. Is it music you should spend all day listening to while you work? Probably not. But if you’re feeling tired, beaten or simply unmotivated, high-powered anthems might just be the answer to sitting up straight and showing your boss who is boss.

Epic and anthemic work-from-home playlists

3. Ambient music

Ambient music may have a reputation as just elevator music or random soundscapes, but it’s so much more. It could be a colorful house or techno playlist. World music or indie shoegaze. Synths or space rock. But no matter what the subgenre, ambient music makes for a distraction-free backdrop to your workday.

The pioneer of ambient music and the iconic artist-producer Brian Eno, who created the ambient music masterwork “Music for Airports,” described the genre as, “able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular, as ignorable as it is interesting.” Music that won’t steal your attention yet fills the silence while you’re working may be the genre for you.

There are as many exciting artists as there are classifications of ambient music. Sample the spacey sounds of Enya and Enigma, electronica of Aphex Twin, old school prog Pink Floyd and Moody Blues, ambient pop of Talk Talk or Nick Cave, downtempo chillwave of Kygo or Toro y Moi or atmospheric dream pop of Dizzy and The XX.

Ambient work-from-home playlists

4. Feel-good music

Ever walked into a dentist’s office and the local hot adult contemporary station is playing over the intercom? Of course. Because feel-good music makes you… feel good. No one loves the dentist’s office, but maybe you’ll feel a little better if Hall & Oates or Britney Spears is playing. Songs that bring a smile to your face and make you move your feet a little (but not too much).

Pop music designed to make you feel happy even while you’re toiling away at work is perfect for working from home. It’s possible your old office even had this pumping through the hallways or in the kitchen. Because feel-good pop can make the day go by a little faster.

As you’re rushing towards deadlines or unburying yourself from an email avalanche – or even if the boss has just been on your tail all day — sometimes you need to do a little walking on sunshine to bring your motivation back. None of this is meant to be deep and thought-provoking. Feel good music is supposed to be like a snack break or a candy bar, to stimulate the happiness centers of your brain and release that hit of dopamine to get you onto the next task.

But take care to avoid songs with narrative lyrics or story songs, as music that tells a linear story has been shown to be distracting to cognitive work. So, blast the Pharrell or Barenaked Ladies, but stay away from the Don McLean, Gordon Lightfoot and Harry Chapin.

Feel-good work-from-home playlists

chill vibe music

5. Chill vibes music

Not every work situation calls for music that makes you move. Reading heavy text or concentrating on a difficult task might take something to ease the nerves and keep you relaxed. Some chill music — folk rock, smooth country or just good old classic acoustic rock — might be just what you need certain times during the day.

Acoustic or muted guitar, smooth vocals, light instrumentation and an uncomplicated beat is just the soundtrack for a stressful job or project. Cue up indie-folk jammers like Hozier, Dan Mangan, Phoebe Bridgers or Vance Joy, chill crooners including Ed Sheeran, Ingrid Michaelson or John Mayer, acoustic old-schoolers such as James Taylor, Cat Stevens or Rickie Lee Jones or just a great album of acoustic hits like Arkells’ “Campfire Chords” or something moody like “Folklore” from Taylor Swift.

But be wary of playlists heavy with your favorite songs. A study has shown listening to tracks with lyrics you know by heart, or “familiar vocal music,” can decrease your performance through distraction while you fight the urge to sing along, even in your head. Sounds like the perfect time to catch up on some new music you aren’t familiar with.

Chill vibes work-from-home playlists

6. Video game soundtracks

If you’re over a certain age, this category is going to make very little sense. But one of the best choices for music for working at home are video game songs. We’re not talking about 8-bit Atari beebop or Nintendo chiptunes. This is thematic, pointed and often soaring music specifically designed to enhance the video game experience.

Video game music is a marketing tool, designed to enhance your gaming experience. If you’re winding your way through a fantasy landscape or dodging enemy fire as you infiltrate enemy hordes, video game music can help you focus, keep your energy levels up or even just keep you playing. The same can be done with those soundtracks while you work alone in the living room.

These are compositions to encourage you to reach for that next level, whether it be in your first-person shooter, your epic fantasy adventure or your latest work project. It can help you avoid obstacles and collaborate with your friends, in the game or in the work huddle. This is the strategic music you’ll find in games like Bastion, SimCity, Thumper, Doom, Final Fantasy, Journey and Legend of Zelda.

Video game work-from-home playlists

7. Instrumental music

A study by two researchers at Middle Tennessee State University found students who listened to instrumental music scored higher on tests than those that listened to lyrical music. Logically, it makes sense. For some, a song with lyrics is akin to someone standing behind you talking while you’re working. In fact, an NIH paper showed that music needs to be lyric-free for it to promote productivity.

The great thing about instrumental music is it can literally be any music devoid of lyrics or words. Instrumentals exist in every single genre (well, maybe not a cappella or barbershop). No matter what music you enjoy, you can type away and crunch those numbers with soothing or inspiring music-only tracks bereft of those pesky words. Country, indie, classical, power ballads, skiffle, trip-hop — every genre has perfect instrumental music to fit your needs.

Instrumental work-from-home playlists

nature sounds

8. Nature and real-world sounds

Sometimes the soundtrack to your day doesn’t even have to be music. Filling your living room or home office with the sounds of nature can put you in a variety of moods, from motivated and amped to relaxed and attentive. The choices are endless and only limited by your tastes. Choose from classics like waterfalls, an afternoon thunderstorm, rustling leaves, a crashing surf, morning birds chirping or a crackling campfire.

The most useful noises don’t even have to be of the natural variety. Try something out of the box like rain hitting the roof of a car, an oscillating fan, a clacking train or a running washing machine. Are you really missing the office? Why not fill the silence with the actual background sounds of an office.

Is this still too disruptive? Help block out distractions with the neutral sounds of white noise. Just ask your smart speaker to play some.

Nature work-from-home playlists

Picking the right music for you

No one genre or music type is going to be exactly what you need every minute of the day. Take a cue from a music therapy concept called the Iso Principle. This technique calls for starting with music that mirrors your current mood and gradually ramping up to songs that match the mood you want to be in.

Start the morning with something slow that can ease you into your day without forcing you to be productive. Then, transition into some power jams that will increase your performance and get you pumped for finishing that big project or the day’s task.

Looking for a sweet spot to feed your day? One research report concluded that music clocking in at about 121 beats per minute was optimal for productivity. Think songs like “December” by Collective Soul, The Bangles’ “Manic Monday” or “My People” from Missy Elliott.

But no matter what genre you decide on, the only goal is to find what’s best for you. Studies show that while listening to music does aid in completing tasks quicker and improving cognitive thinking, how much it actually helps you concentrate depends on how much you actually like the music being played. So, find your jam, and get it done.

Published at Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:00:05 +0000

What to Plant in September, the Start of Fall Gardening Season

What to Plant in September, the Start of Fall Gardening Season

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In most parts of the U.S., folks have been staggering through the heat of the summer, desperate for a reprieve from the high temperatures. Good news: September is here! And although it may still technically be summer, the weather is starting to lean a little more autumnal—for many flora, it’s the perfect time to plant.

While the cooler months might feel like the end of the growing season, gardeners know that their work is far from over. There is always something to be done in a garden plot, no matter how large or small.

As you enter the cooler month of September, try to anticipate your next steps in the garden. Now’s the time to get in the last batches of edible greens for the year, and to plant ahead for next year. Read on to learn more about what to plant in September.

If you follow your favorite peony farm on social media, you’ve probably noticed that they’re gearing up for a fall root-division sale. In the late spring these farms are slinging beautiful cut blooms, but by fall they’ve turned the trade into a game of longevity. 

Plant peony roots in the fall for spring growth. Don’t plan on them producing blooms for a few years—they need time to establish—but after they’ve put their roots deep, you’ll have gorgeous blooms for decades to come.  

Yes, you can find peony roots at nurseries and greenhouses, but I would suggest buying root divisions directly from a farm. This will ensure that the divisions are fresh, free of disease and properly cared for.

Right-from-the-farm also means you’ll be able to get your hands on the most unique, heirloom varieties of peonies for a very good price.

Don’t live near a farm? A little internet search will provide you with many farms that will ship the root divisions right to your door. You can support a small business without even leaving the house.

Cool-weather greens and lettuces

There are plenty of cool-weather greens that will be ready to harvest in less than 30 days, including:

Clear some space in your garden or grab your favorite container and seed some of these delicious veggies. Direct sow—or plant seeds directly in the ground—and you can expect to see sprouts within a week or two. 

As the season continues to cool, you’ll notice that veggies in your gardens will last longer in the ground before harvest. If you feel like taking an extra step and you’re in a moderate agricultural zone, try using a cold frame to push your season even further. (It acts like insulation for your veggies, keeping heat inside the bed and cold out.)

If you’re looking for a vegetable that will go from seed to maturity in under four weeks, try planting radishes. The roots are great in salads, and are also delicious baked, grilled or sauteed. You can also use the young greens to toss in with your usual salad—or you can use them to make pesto!

It’s rotation season at all of the nurseries and greenhouses. Scraggly summer annuals and perennials go on sale while cool-weather plants take their place. These include:

These cool-season annuals are great options if you want to bring more color to your fall garden—whether you’re planning on filling a container or popping them into the ground.

Without the excessive heat of summer bearing down, these annuals can last quite a while, depending on your agricultural zone.

Try planting these ornamental plants in groups of three or five for a larger impact. Yes, there is power in numbers, even when it comes to plants!

Published at Tue, 01 Sep 2020 11:00:07 +0000

The Best Places for Camping Near Portland

The Best Places for Camping Near Portland

In a summer (or year) turned upside down by a novel bug for which there’s currently no reprieve, the notion of traveling to some faraway paradise is more akin to a pipe dream than a plan of action. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for camping near Portland that provide you an opportunity to get away from it all without leaving the Pacific Northwest.

Where to camp near Portland

From state parks near the ocean to campsites nestled in the mountains, these are five of the best places near Portland to go camping — and social distance like a boss.

Silver Falls State Park — Sublimity, OR

Silver Falls State Park

Sitting atop more than 9,000 square miles of pristine, water-splashed greenery, Silver Falls State Park has long been one of Portlanders’ ideal weekend destinations. Complete with 25 miles of hiking trails and 10 waterfalls — nearly half of which allow you to walk behind the spray and catch a dose of cool, refreshing mist — this park is a personal favorite of yours truly. Family-friendly and just 53 miles south of Portland, this is one of Oregon’s most unforgettable state parks.

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L.L. Stub Stewart State Park — Buxton, OR

Whether you’re looking for a simple day-long excursion or a weekend getaway, L.L. Stub Stewart State Park has plenty of escapism on tap for you and yours. Boasting nearly 2,000 square miles of billowing hills, bike trails and rippling streams, L.L. Stub is one of our favorite spots to pitch a tent. The best part: It’s a mere 34 miles west of downtown Portland.

Beacon Rock State Park — Skamania, WA

Beacon Rock State Park

Though the popular trail of the same name is currently closed as a result of the pandemic, that doesn’t mean you can’t spend a night or two in Beacon Rock State Park, a sterling, year-round campsite on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.

A favorite among hikers, mountain bikers and intrepid families of all stripes, Beacon Rock is unique in that it offers campers more than 9,000 feet of freshwater shoreline. Need one more reason to visit? Less than an hour from downtown Portland, this veritable utopia is one of the most accessible parks in the region.

Beaver Campground — Carson, WA

Perhaps the most intimate option on this list, Beaver Campground offers an undeniably peaceful experience for those looking to escape the bustle of the Portland Metro Area. Just 63 miles northeast of the Rose City, and offering two dozen campsites, toilets, picnic tables and RV hookups, Beaver Campground is an ideal spot to visit this summer, particularly if you’re interested in exploring additional areas within Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Trillium Lake Campground — Government Camp, OR

Trillium Lake Campground

Just a quick jaunt from Mt. Hood, perhaps the most iconic geographical landmark in all of Oregon, Trillium Lake Campground is an extremely popular destination for folks throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Located 40 miles southeast of downtown Portland, Trillium Lake Campground offers boating, swimming and fishing options for those looking to cool off during the (increasingly) warm summer months. It’s also situated within Mt. Hood National Forest, which spans more than a million miles (!) of green-dappled mountains, streams and hiking trails.

Camping near Portland is everything

In the midst of so much uncertainty, it’s essential to remember that the Pacific Northwest remains one of the most beautiful places on the planet, rich with exotic wildlife, natural resources and campgrounds galore. We’re truly fortunate to live among such a plentiful bounty, and since none of us will be fleeing to Hawaii anytime soon, we may as well grab our tents and make plans for camping near Portland.

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Published at Tue, 25 Aug 2020 05:11:55 +0000