How to jazz up your graduation cap

blog4:28It’s time! You’re graduating! All of your hard work has paid off and now it’s time to go to your commencement ceremony and celebrate with friends and family.

But first, the cap and gown. Is it plain? yes. But, it doesn’t have to be. Here’s 5 ways to spice it up!

#1 You Can Quote Me-Do you have a favorite quote? Maybe pull one from your favorite book or song that really speaks to you. Generally people pick quotes about moving forward in their life or future.

#2 Diamonds are a girls best friend- Looking to stand out? This could really help you achieve that goal! Go to your local craft store and buy some jewels and hot or fabric glue to take your cap to the next level. You can create a fun design, flower or even just cover the whole thing with jewels and make a color pattern.

#3 They call me…-Want mom and dad to see you from the stands and know it’s you? Try putting your name or nickname on your cap! This will especially be cute for grad announcement pictures, but be sure not to throw your cap up too high when you graduate! It would be a shame for an Ashley to wind up with an Amy’s cap.

#4 Go team!- You’ve been going to this school for 4+ years so obviously you have some school pride! Putting your school’s colors, letters or mascot on your cap is a fun idea to show how much you really love your school. The design will be timeless!

#5 Thanks for the memories- You have probably made tons of memories at college over the past years so why not put those on display? Print out some of your favorite pictures you’ve taken and make a fun photo collage to put on your hat.

Ways to destress before, during and after finals

BLOG4:23Oh, how we’ve missed you finals…NOT. Yep it’s time for finals again a.k.a. all nighters (not the fun kind), studying, libraries, notecards, study guides, study groups, cramming all semester’s information into one test and living off of snacks and coffee or energy drinks. Sounds stressful, right? Well, we can’t make finals go away (unfortunately) but we can try to help you destress for them.

Stress doesn’t just come before the exam, it comes during and lasts until after too! Don’t worry, we broke our tips up into 3 sections just for you…

BEFORE

  • Take regular breaks- Use these to exercise, get snacks, walk around, watch the latest episode of your fav show or even check out some funny stuff online.
  • Snack on healthy foods and drinks- Energy drinks can help with those all nighters, but make sure your body is getting the nutrients you need! Trail mix, water and fruits are highly suggested and will keep you fuller and concentrated
  • Make a schedule- What are you studying from 1-3 and what about the rest of the day? Making a routine for yourself will keep you organized and on task. Don’t forget to schedule those breaks and maybe even some naps too!
  • Take a hot shower/bath- The warm water will loosen up your muscles and wash the stress right away! Maybe even use calming scents like lavender or vanilla body wash, soap, lotion or bubble bath.

DURING

  • Breathe- Remember, you did the best you can do and it will be alright! Some studies even say to paint your fingernails a bright color and when you look down at them, they will remind you to take a deep breath
  • Don’t Rush- Take your time to read over all of the instructions and questions. Answer the questions that you reviewed the answers too first and then go back to the others after.
  • Take a break- Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone. Put your pencil down and tell yourself it will be okay. Take a few deep breaths and stretch out your neck, arms and back a bit before beginning again
  • Manage your time- This could be a difficult one, but try to leave yourself some time for those questions that you need to go back to. If all else fails and you only have a few minutes left, put something down on those questions. Be sure not to leave anything blank unless you absolutely have to.

AFTER

  • Let it go- Looking back on your notes about those 7 questions you were unsure about may be tempting, but don’t obsess over what could have been. Take a deep breath and let it out. You survived! Now you can put your notes away after quickly going over them and put it out of your mind until you get your grade.
  • Treat yourself- You did it! Now, you deserve something right? Whether it is food, buying yourself something or getting a massage, reward yourself.
  • Sleep- You’ve been staying up until 1, sometimes 3 am to study and it has taken it’s toll. So now it’s time to catch up on your sleep! Put on your favorite movie or tv show of the week and curl up for a nap…you deserve it!
  • Hang out with friends- You’ve probably been so enthralled in your notes, you have been deprived of social interaction. Well, now is the time to get back to being that social butterfly you were! School is ending and you may not see your friends all summer so make sure to fit that last brunch, lunch, happy hour or just group hang out with your friends!

The Pros & cons of summer school

blog4:21Before college, summer was that long break between grades when you were able to soak up the sun and enjoy your freedom. Responsibilities were at an all time low and it felt like your well-deserved break from all your “hard work” during the school year.

What a difference a year or two can make! Now that you’re a college student, your time during summer break is more valuable than ever. Yes, you still want to be able to take a break from it all and relax, but you also realize that summer can be a great chance to either catch up or get ahead. In order to do this, more and more students are considering summer school to help ensure they reach their academic goals.

Deciding whether or not to enroll for summer school can be tough. There are many factors to consider, including how successful you’ll be and how to avoid burnout.

Here are some pros and cons of summer school to consider:

Pros

  • It’s often easier to get into the classes you really need. You may have missed an essential class in your schedule because it filled up too quickly during the semester. Summer school allows you to get into these classes easier and at realistic times of the day.
  • The class sizes are usually smaller. Some of the classes that may have as many as 200 – 300 students during the year will shrink to as low as 20 – 30 during the summer. This allows you to actually meet your professors and possible get more one on one interaction.
  • Classes are often more relaxed. Both students and professors tend to relax during the summer months. A more relaxed atmosphere can lead to a better learning environment. Besides, who wouldn’t prefer a more laid back professor.
  • You can get ahead by taking a pre-requisite class in the summer for a class you’re interested in for the fall. Summer school is the perfect opportunity to knock out some of the pesky classes you’ve been needing to finish.

Cons

  • Classes are often faster paced. Typically, the classes offered in summer school are very compressed requiring classes to meet every day for an hour or two. This can lead to a very intense schedule, especially when you are adding homework in on top of everything.
  • You may not get the normal faculty. Some professors take the summer off, which means that you will receive instruction from someone who is not typically on staff. Even though they are qualified to teach, they may not be as familiar with the focus of the class.
  • A class may not cover everything. Considering the compressed timeframe in which a class is supposed to be completed, there is a chance that a summer school class will not cover all of the material that would be covered during the semester. Even if everything is squeezed into the 6-week timeframe of a summer class, it may be difficult to retain as much.

These are just a few of the pros and cons of taking summer classes. Ultimately, it comes down to the individual and what their goals are. Summer school may not be something that you can do every year, but maybe every other year so you still have a summer break to look forward to.

What to keep and what to throw away at the end of the year

blog4:17You’re busy studying for finals, spending time with friends and figuring out summer plans, so naturally you need to add another thing on your to do list…right? Packing up for summer vacation could be a time consuming thing to do, but it’s necessary. What’s more important is figuring out what to keep and what to throw or give away at the end of the year.

Here’s some of our guidelines…

1. Clothes- When was the last time you wore that random sweater in the back of your closet? As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t worn it in a year, it’s time for it to go. In addition, stained, stuff that doesn’t fit anymore and uncomfortable items should be given away as well.

2. School Stuff- You’re making about a bajillion notecards and study guides for finals right now, but after your exams you should ask yourself if you will really ever use these again. If you have notebooks of doodles and notes for classes that probably won’t relate to your overall major or any classes you take in the future- toss! Keep those files on your computer or notes that may be useful for the future!

3. Decorations- Are you thinking about changing up your room next year? Maybe it’s time to get rid of that One Direction poster with Zayn and buy an upgraded one! Think about what you will really use again or what is worth spending money to ship or store. You may even be moving from a twin bed to a full or queen bed and never use that set of jersey sheets again. Chances are, you’ll find a few things in your room that you’re ready to let go of.

how to get ready for your child’s graduation

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Graduation can be a very crazy time. You’ve been watching your child grow each year but probably thought this was a long and far off. From Pre-school all the way to their senior year of college, time has probably felt like it has flown by. Your child is getting ready for their next chapter, but they aren’t the only ones who need to get ready…

Here are three things parents can do to get ready for a child’s graduation:

#1 Emotionally prepare:  By now, you should be used to you and your child living separate lives. Yet, you may still struggle seeing your child grow.  It is a bittersweet feeling – a pride mixed with your natural desire to protect them from the unknown.The best way to ready yourself for this adventure in your child’s life is to emotionally prepare. You have done your jobs as nurturers, and now your child is officially a full-fledged adult. You have emotionally and financially prepared them for the unwritten chapter ahead, and now it is time for you to watch their story unfold.

#2 Announce the event:  This is your way of letting the world know just how proud you are of your child. Sending announcement letters to your friends and family will also ensure your students graduation won’t soon be forgotten. Graduation is a celebratory event and announcing the date marks the festivities to come.

#3 Plan a party: The party doesn’t have to stop when the commencement ceremony begins. Perhaps planning a party will help channel the emotions you feel towards this milestone in your child’s life. Put your pride into decorating and watch them walk the stage to collect their coveted degree knowing that more celebrations are on the horizon.

How to Get your furniture prepared for your move

furnitureblogSo, you don’t just have boxes full of clothes and knick knacks to move or store? Not a problem. We’ll help you figure out how to get all that furniture prepared and ready for move out.

Here are a few common things people ask us about packing:

1. Mattresses and Futons- If you live in an off campus apartment or house, this could be pretty common. All you’ll want to do is use or buy a box or plastic mattress cover to keep in the dust and make sure bed bugs stay out!

2. Desks and Dressers- Make sure to cover the finished surfaces of your furniture with either plastic or cardboard. Empty your items and secure all of the drawers and shelves so that they do not open or separate during the move.

3. TV- We recommend that you use the original packaging materials for your television but if that’s not possible, wrap your television in moving blankets or towels and place it inside of a sturdy box. Make sure that the television is secured and does not shift inside of the box. Also make sure that nothing is putting pressure on the screen of the TV. No box? No problem. Just wrap it in a packing blanket or tell your movers to bring one for you!

4. Lamps- Remove light bulbs and cover lamp shades with a plastic bag to keep them clean. If it’s a desk lamp, we suggest putting it in a box with some of your other stuff!

5. Rugs- Roll your rug tightly and tape it securely in at least 3 places. Wrap it in plastic if you would like to keep the dust out.

Need more tips on packing some of your other stuff? We’ve got your back! Check out our FAQ section!

How to use your child’s room when he or she goes to college

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So, you’re the proud parent of a college student, or future college student, and now you’re also the proud owner of a new spare room. Your child probably wants you to preserve every single item and memory they have in that room and that’s an okay choice, but what if there’s another option out there that’s better for you? We think there might be…

Check out our 5 favorite ideas:

Guest room- If you didn’t have a guest room before, this could be the perfect option for you. Your child may likely move back home for a small amount of time after college, so having a bed for them will be nice. You can take their room now and simply give it a makeover, creating a new and improved room for a cheap amount. We suggest keeping the furniture but getting more of a neutral bed spread, new decor and even painting the walls to transform the space!

Workout room- Always wanted that elliptical at home? Now is the time. You can also throw in a yoga mat and some dumbbells to create your own space. Time to say goodbye to your gym membership and hello to your new home gym oasis.

Home office- Creating a space to work in could be very beneficial for your family. All you have to do is purchase a desk and you can have your very own home office. Even if you just need to do a little paperwork or put in a few hours on the weekends, it’s nice to have a separate space where you’re not distracted by other things in your home. You an even put a pull out couch in there for guests.

Hobby room- What are YOU in to? Now that your student is gone and having a great time at school, you can really take more time to work on yourself and find your passions. Photography? Scrapbooking? Knitting? Whatever your interest is, it can now be explored in your new hobby room. Get your things organized and create a real space for yourself.

Closet- If your master closet just is NOT cutting it anymore, then maybe it’s time to be free and expand a bit. Go to ikea or another organization place like that and get some wardrobe closets or organizational cabinets and shelves. Turn this into your very own dressing room. Put in a vanity for make up, a mirror and a cute little pouf to sit on. You’ll never want to leave…unless it’s to go shopping!

Packing Tips For Breakables

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So, it’s getting to that time where you need to start packing your stuff up and heading out for summer break. You have things like clothes, books and bedding that you’ll throw in a suitcase or box, or even maybe a trash bad. But, what about those picture frames, glass nicknacks and jewelry that you have? Those things are fragile and may break during the move.

Here are our top 3 packing tips for breakables:

1. Get prepared- You know that you can always throw an extra pair of socks in your bag but you won’t be able to rush packing those breakable items. Make sure that you set all of your breakables aside or make a list of them so that you know you’ll need an extra hour or two to take care of those. It may even be best to save them for last so you know you have enough time to concentrate.

2. Supply Yourself- Throwing items in a bag or box may work for softer items, but you will need some extra cushion for your fragile items. Newspaper, bubble wrap and packing peanuts should all be something you consider. If you run out or don’t have access to these types of things- no worries! Just use some of that softer stuff you have, like sweaters, for protection!

3. Pack it up- This may seem like the easiest step, but often it might be where you get a little frustrated. Don’t worry- we’ll help! Make sure that you have the right size boxes and that you’re not under stuffing those boxes! If you can hear your breakables clinking together, you’ll need more cushion. If you see an extra open space, stick a big sweater or some styrofoam in that spot. Lastly, make sure to tape this one up extra and write “Fragile” on the box.

Happy Packing!

 

3 Unusual Packing Tips

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So, you’ve packed before. Maybe for vacation or moved to a different house with your family, and maybe you’ve even moved back and fourth to and from college. You’ve heard packing tips like rolling your clothes, using airtight bags to fit more or even wrapping your fragile items in your soft sweaters. But, what haven’t you heard that may just help you this year?

Here are our top 3 unusual packing tips:

1. Pack your silverware in socks- Well, make sure you’ve washed the socks since your last gym session before you do this one. This tip may seam slightly odd, but you’ll be surprised at how well it works! Your silverware will fit perfectly in a high tube sock and you can tie the sock in a knot at the end so they don’t fall out!

2. Use trash bags for hanging clothes- If you’re just driving home or packing your stuff for storage but plan on hanging it up right when you get back, this is the perfect tip! Keep all of your clothes on the hangers and just take trash bags for large sections of them. Poke a small hole at the bottom of the bag and put your hangers through them, tying the bag at the bottom to enclose you clothes- This will make carrying them SUPER easy!

3. Plastic wrap for liquids- Moving shampoo, body wash, or any other liquids? Not surprising! Open the top of the bottle and put plastic wrap at the top so that when you close the top again, there is no chance of spillage!

How to prepare your mini fridge for storage

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So, you decided to store that mini fridge you have in your dorm room? Great choice! Now you don’t have to deal with lugging it back home for the summer. But, how exactly should you prepare your fridge for storage? Don’t worry, we have all of the answers!

1. Unplug your refrigerator and leave the doors open at least 2 days prior to your selected move out day. This is to ensure that it has completely defrosted and dried so that it does not mold and leak water on your other items.

2. Wrap the cord up and tape it securely behind the coils so that it does not drag or tear.

3. Make sure to secure the drawers and shelves inside as they may shift during the move.

Doing these 3 easy steps will guarantee that your fridge will come back smelling normal and that your storage company won’t charge you extra for it not being defrosted properly.

For more info or to see some of our other awesome packing tips, click here.